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2 March 2010

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Growing pains... Cardinal tennis hoping to cash in on lessons learned last season By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

After a year of growing pains, the Clarinda Cardinals are hoping to stack up well against the other boys’ tennis teams in the Hawkeye 10 Conference this season. The young Cardinals went 3-6 in dual play last year, but return four letter winners from that squad. Clarinda coach Matt Bird

said the Cardinals will be looking to juniors Zach Aucker, Jeremiah Haug, Logan Sump and Cordell Turner to lead the way this year both on and off the court. “As freshmen they did not get to play a lot of tennis, but last year was a big year for them. All four got a full season under their belt along with playing in the conference and district tournament. We’re hoping

Photo by Kent Dinnebier CARDINAL TENNIS... Players on the Clarinda boys’ tennis team this season are (front row) Kallon Behrhorst, Zachary Aucker, Nate Jones, Jordan Tait, Aaron Chartier, (second row) Jeremiah Haug, Forrest Greenwood, Cordell Turner, Tyler Steeve, Alex Hiatt, Logan Sump, Colin Sunderman and Nick Clement. Not pictured is Matt Mazankowski.

that experience is going to help us out this year,” Bird said. The remaining 10 players on the tennis squad include eight newcomers. Besides five freshmen, Bird said there are three juniors who are competing in the sport for the first time. Bird said he is looking forward to seeing how those newcomers as well as the other two returning

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players perform this season. “I’m excited to see how they can help us out. I think four or five have an opportunity to compete for the top six spots and will play junior varsity and varsity for us this year,” Bird said. However, before the Cardinals open the regular season Monday, March 4, at Shenandoah, Bird said the team is focusing on

establishing its routine and working on fundamentals of the game during the preseason. “We have a lot of bases to cover early, but we want to work and get better so by the time the middle of March rolls around we can start playing better, have an established lineup and be competitive. That’s what we want,” Bird said. That competitiveness

should then carry over to Hawkeye 10 action where Bird said the Cardinals match up well against several of the other teams in the conference. “Kuemper has to be the favorite in the conference, while Red Oak and Denison should also have strong teams. After that it will be a battle to see where the other teams fit in,” Bird said.

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March 2010 3

Photo by Kent Dinnebier LADY CARDINAL TENNIS... The Clarinda girls’ tennis team this season consists of (front row) Rachael Nordhues, Taylor Wagoner, Kristan Clement, Bethany Reiter, Teal Driscoll, Andrea Nelson, Alyssa Alexander, Lindsey Poore, Samantha Sics, (back row) Rachel Schrier, Casey Dean, Joselyn Pulliam, Hannah Davison, Kaity Williams, Morgan Hartley, Krista Rogers, Courtney Mosier, Charity Espinosa and Coach Randy Pullen.

Lady Cardinal tennis looking for seniors to lead way By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

With a senior dominated lineup this season, the Clarinda girls’ tennis team will be relying on its experience to make a run at the state tournament. “We would like to get some individuals to state and I think that’s possible,” Clarinda coach Randy

Pullen said. Last season the doubles tandem of Beth Reiter and Teal Driscoll fell one match shy of reaching the state tournament. Both players are returning for their final season and anchor a group of nine seniors on the squad. The Cardinals have four other returning letter winners in seniors Alyssa

Alexander, Kristan Clement, Lindsey Poore and Samantha Sics. “Our six returning letter winners know what’s expected of them. They are good role models and leaders who have been with the program for four years,” Pullen said. The final three seniors on the team are Andrea Nelson, Rachel Nordhues

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and Taylor Wagoner. Pullen said those three players have also accepted a leadership role with the team. “When we do our station work, we divide all the seniors into different groups so they can help the younger kids. That’s a good aid right there,” Pullen said. Overall, the Cardinals have 19 players out for tennis this season and Pullen

said some of the underclassmen could compete for a spot in the varsity lineup. “We have some younger kids coming up that are going to give us good depth. There’s probably going to be three or four that will be pushing some of these kids,” Pullen said. Clarinda opens the season Monday, March 4, with

a home meet against Shenandoah. Last year the Cardinals were 8-4 in meet play and Pullen said the Cardinals are looking to duplicate that success this season. “We would like to have a winning record and finish in the top third of the Hawkeye 10 Conference,” Pullen said.

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4 March 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Photo by Kent Dinnebier CARDINAL GOLF... Golfers on the Clarinda boys’ team this season include (front row) Kramer Samuelson, Brodie Bergren, Dakin Wilcoxson, Zach Graham, Sam Rarick, Robbie Leach, Bucky Wulbecker, (back row) Coach Andrew Almelien, Joel Hartstack, Alex Archer, Nathan Cabbage, Chris Buckhahn, Matthew Hays and Kenny Hobson.

Cardinal golf on ‘fringe’ of success By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

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With three returning starters, Clarinda boys’ golf coach Andrew Almelien is confident the Cardinals are on the fringe of a very successful season. Although they lost seven players to graduation, the Cardinals have senior Steven Ripley and juniors Kramer Samuelson and Dakin Wilcoxson returning this season. Ripley and Samuelson are both two-time letter winners for Clarinda, while Wilcoxson lettered last year and is the defending Hawkeye 10 Conference champion. “They have played a lot

of golf and know what it takes to compete at this level,” Almelien said. “They really work and practiced in order to get better. During their rounds they focus on the skills they need to improve on.” Overall, the Cardinals have 17 players out for the boys’ golf team this season and Almelien said there should be a good battle for the three remaining varsity positions. Juniors Alex Archer and Matthew Hays have played for Clarinda since they were freshmen, while Brodie Bergren and Nathan Cabbage are returning for their second seasons with the Cardinals. In addition, senior Zach






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Graham has moved into the Clarinda school district and played golf at his former school. “We also have six freshmen that are expected to be on the team, so it will be interesting to see who steps up to fill the rest of our varsity spots,” Almelien said. In order to improve on their 7-3 meet record of a year ago, Almelien said the Cardinals need to have a winning record on the road. “Since Clarinda is a player-friendly course we play well at home, but I would like to see us be more competitive with teams on their courses,” Almelien said. “I would also like to see us finish in the top half of every tournament.” If Clarinda can accomplish those goals, Almelien said the Cardinals can advance beyond the district tournament this season. “We have enough individual talent to make it to state if the pieces fall into place,” Almelien said.


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March 2011 5

High hopes

Photo by Kent Dinnebier LADY CARDINAL GOLF... The Clarinda girls’ golf team for the 2011 season consists of (front row) Maddy Chambers, Corie Woodard, Sarah Steinauer, Jennifer Geer, Sydney Rarick, Alykk Livengood, Alex Nelson, (second row) Leah Barr, Shelby Kinman, Marissa Anderson, Kristine McCunn, Allie Shane, Beth Anderson, (back row) Coach Maria Jacobus, Taylor Prather, Stephanie Marsh, Leah Brooke, Samantha Swanson, Torrie McGlothlin, Kenzie Jones and Heather Auffert.

CHS golf sets sights on state title By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

Since they walked off the final green at the 2010 Class 2A Girls’ Golf Tournament, the Clarinda Cardinals have had their eye on winning the state title this year. “Our ultimate goal is to win state this year. We came really close last year and the girls’ set that goal before we even left Adel last year. It’s something they’ve been thinking about for 10 months now,” Clarinda coach Maria Jacobus said.

Although Kinsey Long graduated from the team that finished second in the state a year ago, four other players are returning for Clarinda this season. Senior Jennifer Geer earned second place individual honors at the state tournament last year and is joined by fellow senior Sarah Steinauer. The other

two returning letter winners are juniors Sydney Rarick and Corie Woodard. “It is fantastic to be bringing back girls who not only have experience at the varsity level, but in the playoffs and state. They know what kind of pressure cooker situations those are and what they need to shoot to perform well. Some of

them started hitting golf balls already last month, so they are fully prepared to do whatever it takes to be successful again this year,” Jacobus said. Even with the success the Cardinals enjoyed last year, Jacobus said the team still has room to improve. Besides duplicating their 9-0 dual record, Jacobus

said the players want to win every tournament they enter including the Hawkeye 10 Conference Tournament, the regional tournament and finally the state tournament. “We won the Hawkeye 10 in 2008 when Jennifer and Sarah were freshmen, so they started with a conference title and also want

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to end with one,” Jacobus said. “The team also wants to win district and then earn a regional title after finishing second last year.” Besides the four letter winners, the Cardinals have 10 other players back from a year ago. They are joined by seven freshmen to give Clarinda a total of 21 players who are involved in the girls’ golf program this season. As a result, Jacobus said there should be strong competition for the final two spots on the varsity lineup.

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6 March 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Cardinal track: Young and building skills for the future By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

With a very young squad, Clarinda will have its share of hurdles to clear during the 2011 boys’ track season. Among the 29 athletes out for the Clarinda squad this year are only two seniors and six juniors. “We’re the youngest we’ve ever been, but having a lot of ninth graders is exciting for the future. Hopefully we can keep them out in the future,” Clarinda coach Dave Carper said. “We also have a good group of sophomores to go with them.” The lone seniors for the Cardinals are Jack Lin and Austin DeBolt. While Lin

is returning to compete in the throwing events, DeBolt is new to the squad. One of the strongest events for Clarinda appears to be the high hurdles where juniors Jared Stansbury and Brandon Sweet both return. Stansbury is also expected to compete in sprints for the Cardinals, while Sweet will also be participating in the high jump. Also returning for Clarinda this season are thrower Scott Brockman, distance runner Aaron Spinler and middle distance runner Dalton Young. Since the Cardinals are so young this season, Carper said the team is focusing on improving with every practice and meet.

Photo by Kent Dinnebier CARDINAL TRACK... Members of the Clarinda boys’ track team this season include (front row) Isaac Durfey, Terry Blank, Andrew Denham, Jack Davidson, Trent Aldrich, Jason McCall, Dalton Young, T-Jay Jones, Elijah Young, (second row) Blake Luckado, Aaron Spinler, Skyler Shane, Justin Cabeen, Brandon Sweet, Scott Brockman, Matt Barr, Logan Wilham, Austin DeBolt, (back row) Noah Bix, Jordan Peterman, Brandon Meyers, Eddy Love, Tony McGlade, Jarod Stansbury and Troy Aldrich. Not pictured are Dakota Calfee, Ross Christie, Jack Linn and Trey Smith.

“In track you’re not necessarily competing against someone else. You’re competing against yourself and we want our kids to get better athletically. We’re really

focusing on weight training and speed training. If we can get better athletically in each meet, that is the most we can hope for,” Carper said.

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schedule is most of our meets have junior varsity and varsity events, so kids are not sitting on the bench. They’ll be out there competing,” Carper said.

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Clarinda opens the boys’ track season with the Hawkeye 10 South meet Tuesday, March 29, at Creston. “What I like about our

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March 2011 7

LADY CARDINAL TRACK... Clarinda Cardinals girls’ track team members and coaches this season are (front row) Alex Harris, Paige Fast, Emily McComb, Anna Smith, Kaytlynne Gregory, Brooke Larsen, Natalie Donahue, Yui Arase, Ayame Yamaguchi, (back row) Coach Jim Lindsay, Jenny Bair, Karyee Buch, Kaylee Buch, Darcy Sunderman, Halie Goudie, Bailey Mellencamp and Coach Jon Cole. Not pictured are Torie Miers and Bailey Brooke. Photo by Kent Dinnebier

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State qualifier Kaylee Buch anchors a girls’ track team for Clarinda that will be looking to successfully combine a talented group of returning letter winners and promising youngsters. Buch, who is one of the eight juniors on the team, qualified for the girls’ state track meet last year in the shot put and is hoping to

return to Des Moines again this season. “She’s hoping at having a really good year in the shot put and is also looking at throwing the discus. We’ll see if she can have as good a year in the discus as she did in the other throwing event last year,” Clarinda coach Jon Cole said. Buch was joined at the state meet last year by seniors Avery Shepherd and Laura Steinauer.

While those two athletes were lost to graduation, Cole is hopeful this year’s group of three seniors can step in and help lead the Cardinals this season. Those three seniors are Bailey Brooke, Kaytlynne Gregory and Brooke Larsen. Bailey throws the shot, while Larsen throws the discus. Gregory, meanwhile, competes in both middle and long distances races. “Bailey and Brook are really

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trying to help the other throwers. They have been putting a lot of work in helping the younger kids get to know the routine,” Cole said. “Gregory has also been helping the long distance people by showing them how to work out and improve in every race.” The final eight members of the Clarinda squad are all freshmen and Cole said he is excited to see how they will mesh with the vetsee CHS TRACK, Page 9A

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8 March 2011

Going to the Wells: By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

After two years as an assistant coach, Shon Wells has taken over the reins of the Clarinda Academy boys’ track program. “This year’s athletes are the hardest working group I have had at the Academy,” Wells said. As a result, Wells said the potential is there for the Eagles to have an explosive season. Wells oversees the sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers. Meanwhile, Bill Marsh is coaching the throwers and Adam Maher is working with the distance runners. “We have plenty of talent, especially in the sprints and jumps,” Wells said.

Wells was also pleased with the work ethic the Eagles demonstrated during the preseason. “We have pushed them very hard over the last two weeks, and all of our athletes have responded well,” Wells said. However, like all sports and activities at Clarinda Academy, the lessons being taught to the students extend well beyond the track. Besides focusing on conditioning and technique, Wells said his coaching staff has worked hard to emphasize three important ideals - effort, accountability and doing what the coaches say. “Our team has really adopted these ideas and they are beginning to push these ideas during practice,” Wells said.

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Shon Wells takes head job at Academy after spending two years as assistant

Photo by Kent Dinnebier EAGLE TRACK... Clarinda Academy boys’ track team members this season are (front row) Devin Turner, Tony Williams, Marquan Stockdale, James Melhorn, Tyler Washam, Troy Gladda, Keneen Washington, Shaquille Wade, J. W. Haynes, (back row) Keevin Ware, Gervon Parker, Rodney Adams, Henry Young, Marton Thomas, Notorius Jones, Reggie Mungo, Nick Walker, Derek Fowler, (third row) Jaquez Clifton, Michael Privette, Daniel Chan, Taylor Stilley, Dankaran Morris-Meier, Cartez Mosby, Chance Buffab, Daveon Sanchez, (back row) Kruz Mesteth, Michael Heggabo, Leland Bell, Eric Williams, Javontae Geddins, Michael Speech and John Butts. Not pictured is Imari Epps.

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March 2011 9

Eagles hoping late start = strong finish By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

Clarinda Academy girls’ track coach Jason Armstrong is hoping a late start means a strong finish for the Eagles. Armstrong delayed the start of track practice until Monday, March 21, so the Eagles don’t experience a letdown during a lengthy preseason leading up their first meet of the season. “I’m hoping this keeps the girls interested and keeps them working hard from the time we start to our first meet. If their interest is peeked we think they will be in shape for the whole season and will be able to get better as the year goes on,” Armstrong said. The Academy had 31 athletes out for the girls’ track program when practice opened, but none of those athletes were returning from last year’s squad and only a few had some limited experience in the sport. However, Armstrong also serves as the girls’ basketball coach at Clarinda Academy, and is familiar with the athletic ability of several members of the track team. “Talent wise this is probably the most athleti-

cally talented group I’ve had in the three years I’ve been here. I just don’t know how that athleticism is going to transfer over to track,” Armstrong said. If the athletic ability does translate to the track, Armstrong said the Eagles could be solid in the shot

put and discus as well as the sprints. “We also had a basketball player that could prove to be a pretty good high jumper and long jumper, and we could also have a nice middle distance runner,” Armstrong said.

Clarinda Academy will open the season March 5 at the Cardinal Relays in Clarinda and then will compete during the season as a member of the Corner Conference. “I think we have a shot to compete in the conference if we work hard,”

Armstrong said. “In track you can really see individually how you’re doing. If your times are getting better and your throws are getting better, that shows you’re putting in the time and working hard. That is our goal.”


Continued from Page 5 “We could see anywhere from five to seven girls fighting it out for those last two spots on the varsity,” Jacobus said. Since so many players will be in contention for those two spots, Jacobus said she plans to rotate the girls so they all gain some experience at the varsity level. “We’re finally to the place I always hoped we would be which is having the experience to carry over each year so that we can continue to be successful. It’s kind of nice,” Jacobus said.


Continued from Page 7

Photo by Kent Dinnebier LADY EAGLE TRACK... Taking to the track this season for the Clarinda Academy girls’ squad will are (front row) Tamika Marsh, Brandi Lindstrom, Rajhanay Logan-Brewer, Tia Ruffin, Ayoma Ahart, Luella Soyner, Rachelle Islas, Kaylee Parks, (second row) Maria Jefferson, Samantha Matney, Kathryn VanHorn, Kassidy Cowan, Chelsea Macedo, Thresa Weishunn, Demetria Killins, (third row) Victoria Garrison, Alicia Lucey, Brittany Campbell, Oniesha Mandley, Alisha House, Janita Brewster, LaShawna Ashworth, (fourth row) Shayla O’Bannon, Angel Lasley, Jazzmine Gefke, Stephanie Christianson, Mikala Dixon, Kimmoney Duvernay and (back row) assistant coach Jason Dickerson. Not pictured are head coach Jason Armstrong, Tomisha Ezell and Marcelina Lopez.



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eran athletes this season. Clarinda opens the season Tuesday, March 29, with the Hawkeye 10 South meet at Glenwood and then will host the Cardinal Relays March 5. With a balanced lineup and positive attitude for the upcoming season, Cole said the Cardinals have the potential for a very successful year. “We have one or two people in each group that should be successful and that should give us a well-rounded team,” Cole said. “Being able to score in a variety of ways will help us stay com-

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10 March 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Chemistry key is the to success for Eagle soccer By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

Have goal, will travel. That sentiment sums up the challenges facing Clarinda Academy during the boys’ soccer season. After a two year absence due to a knee injury, Jamie Sherley has returned as the head coach for Clarinda Academy and is focusing on getting the season off to a solid start Saturday, March 9, when the Eagles compete in a tournament at Nodaway Valley. “Our kids are going to be excited and full of energy when they get out there. Hopefully, they’ll carry that throughout the entire game and we’ll get a couple of wins,” Sherley said. Clarinda Academy has approximately 30 players out for the soccer program this season and Sherley is optimistic about the skill of some of the players. “There are a few kids that are pretty talented skill-

Photo by Kent Dinnebier EAGLE SOCCER... Eagles soccer players this season at the Clarinda Academy are (front row) Kyle McCorty, Christen Rubio, Jerome Uyeda, Cesar Aguilera, Storm Spencer, Roberto Munoz, Rogelio Gonzalez, Traviss Snelling, (second row) Blake Dobrow, Jimmy Mendoza, Joey Mosqueda, Emilio Rodriguez, Frenando Sclines, Ilias Lasley, Tony Chandler, (third row) John Esparaza, Jose Sorto, Kohl Fisher, Zach Cosgrove, Demetriuse Geyer, Derrell Jenkins, Miklo Gonzalez, Zac Everts, (back row) Diego Zuniga, Merquiz, Kretlow, Keron LaMontt, Shaun Conn, Juan Guerrero, Tyler Donahoo and Leo Salazar.

wise with handling the ball and juggling the soccer ball,” Sherley said. The larger issue, Sherley said, is developing teamwork on the field since this is the first year the Eagles have played together as a

unit. “Understanding how to play their position, how to play good solid defense and moving without the ball are the skills we’re going to have to focus on and try to get better at,” Sherley said.

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Besides a lack of experience, the Eagles also have to contend with several lengthy road trips during the season. Since other area high schools do not offer soccer, the Academy is forced to

travel to Atlantic, Council Bluffs and even Omaha to play a full schedule of games. Although Clarinda Academy has not enjoyed a great deal of success in the past, Sherley said the

Eagles want to represent themselves well on the field. “Our main goal is going to be keeping our heads up and making sure we play out every game,” Sherley said.

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March 2011 11

TROJANETTE TRACK... Members of the Essex Trojanettes track team, are, from left, front, Jasmine Glasgo, Naela Thornton, Annie Lindburg, Haley Fundermann. Middle row, from left, Kaylee Birt, Koreen Polsley, Bailey Stanley, Kendria Johnson, Kassandra Decuir, Seana Perkins, Stephanie McBride. Top row, from left, Emma Martin, Mariah Johnson, Aspen Riley, Tessie Lindburg, Skylar Ross. Photo by Kevin Slater

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Chris Visser takes over the helm of the girls’ track program at Essex, and although the Trojanettes graduated a good deal of the points from last years Corner Conference champion team, Essex still has plenty of talent this season. “We got whole lot of

younger girls out,” said Visser. “Girls that want to work hard and contribute right away. We should be able to score some points.” The lone senior on the team is Annie Lindburg who will hurdle and sprint this year for Essex. “Annie is a really hard worker and a really good leader,” said Visser. “She gets out there and gets after

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it. I will use her to anchor some relays.” The Trojanettes have a trio of distance runners this year with some experience to rely on in the longer events. Jasmine Glasgo and Mariah Johnson racked up quite a few miles on the track last season for Essex and Stephanie McBride was a part of the Shenandoah/Essex cross country team that qualified for state. “I will have some options with those three and should be able to put together some good relays,” said Visser. “They have shown me a lot at practice already.” see CHAMPS, Page 16


12 March 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Numbers, optimism improving for the Trojan track team By MATT PRIETO Staff Writer

Numbers have been steadily improving for all boys’ sports at Essex over the last couple seasons and this years’ track team is no exception. With around 20 kids out for the teams this season, head coach Mike Almquist says there has been a change in attitude as well as an increase in participation. “Just today we wrapped up practice with eight 400 meter dashes and they all ran really hard,” he said. “It wasn’t too long ago I would have had kids looking at me like I was crazy if I told them to do the exact same thing. I’m pretty proud of

the work effort so far.” The most recognizable name on the roster would have to be the lone senior, Tate Jensen. Jensen is a distance runner who has had a great deal of track success before as well as being part of the Shenandoah-Essex cross country team that qualified for state last autumn. “The mile and the two mile for Tate of course,” said Almquist. “I might even ask him to try the 800 on occasion. We have had runners in the past that have been able to run all three in one day and I don’t see Tate being an exception.” Cam Kinney, Levi Allen and Quentin Bangston

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Photo by Kevin Slater TROJAN TRACK... Members of the Essex Trojan track team are, from left, front, Dakota Davis, Lane Brammer, Tucker Scott, Levi Allen, Seth Mortimore, Jacob Jones. Middle row, from left, Avery Taylor, Dallas Lindsey, Quentin Bangston, Cameron Kinney, Brandon Naico. Top, from left, Brett Baucom, Christian Latham, Jacob Ohnmacht, Tate Jensen, Jordan Jones, Zach Dailey, Brett Johnson.

make up the junior class. All three are experienced in a variety of sports, and bring a great deal of leadership to the team. “We don’t have any real speed burners like Mitchell (Nicholas) last year but we have a lot of guys who are stronger in the middle distances,” said Almquist. “All three of these guys will be like that.” Kinney also has prowess as a hurdles, and the trio

will run anything from 200 to 800. “We have so many guys in that middle distance range,” said ALmquist. “They push each other pretty hard at practice and the desire to compete with each other is there.” Brett Johnson, Avery Taylor and Jacob Ohnmacht will also make an appearance in the middle distance races this season for Essex. So will

Jacob Jones and Tucker Scott. “It will help us to fill some relays and hopefully score some team points that way,” said Almquist. “I wish we had guys a little more spread out in what they run, but we should still have a lot of options.” Zach Dailey made his mark on the football field this season with some time at quarterback as only a freshman and Almquist is

looking forward to utilizing his talents in a variety of ways this spring. “Zach will be a pretty good high jumper and also able to run a variety of distances for us,” said Almquist. “It will be nice to have a jumper and getting to do different events will help him next fall on the football field as well.” Overall the mood seems much more upbeat than it see TROJANS, Page 16

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March 2011 13

Blue Devils set for second season on track season at the Corner Conference meet in only her freshman year. Second year head coach Brennan was second in Toby Young of the 1,500 meters and third Nishnabotna has nearly 20 in the 400 in addition to girls out for track this sea- running the anchor leg of son, including Amanda the Botna 4x800 relay team Brenna who led all Lady that captured the conferBlue Devils scorers last ence title. Brennan’s versatility should give the Lady Blue Devils flexibility in the relay events this season. Molly Goltz was fourth in the 800 at the conference meet last year, and will be among the favorites to win it this season if she runs it as no one who finished ahead of her will return this season. Goltz was also part of winning 4x800 relay team, as was Chelsea Nebel who is one of the team’s two seniors along with Rebecca Sears. Sears was fifth in the discus at conference last season and Nebel can run any of the distance races, including the 3,000 which will make her another runner very valuable for putting together relays this season for Botna. Rachel Molly Goltz Finnell runs middle disBy MATT PRIETO Staff Writer

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tances and Kelsey Woodward can sprint and run the hurdles. Bennett runs both the 100 and 400 hurdles. Woodward, Sears and and Jordan Bennett return from last years shuttle hurdle relay team that captured

fifth at the conference meet. Breanna Dyche ran a leg of the 4x200 at the conference met last season and runs anything up to a 400. Alex Pabst, Paris Adrian and Clara Heitshusen round ou the junior class this season. The sophomore class

has nine girls out. Kelly Robinson, Alexia Blank, Tabi Perkins, and Makayla Smith complete the tenth graders. Robinson ran middle distance last season for Botna. Freshman participating this season are Alexis

Adams, Savannah Apperson, and Carissa Pablo. The Lady Blue Devils open the season at Fremont-Mills on March 7 and Red Oak on the 8, before heading to Shenandoah on March 14.

Photo by Kevin Slater LADY BLUE DEVIL TRACK... Members of the Nishnabotna girls’ track team are, front row, from left, Chelsea Nebel, Kelsey Woodward, Rebecca Sears, Breanna Dyche, Alex Pabst. Middle row, from left, Alexia Blank, Jordan Bennett, Clara Heitshusen, Paris Adrian. Top row, from left, Molly Goltz, Ashley Gilbert, Carissa Pablo, Makayla Smith, Alexis Adams. Not pictured are Kelli Robinson, Tabi Perkins, Savannah Apperson, Amanda Brennan. Coaches are Matt Peters and Toby Young.


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16 March 2011


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CHAMPS From left: Shenandoah’s Alexis Saner, Sidney’s Casey Cruickshank and Essex’s Mariah Johnson (below) figure to be some of the top distance runners in the area this year.


Continued from Page 12 years in the Trojan camp. “My guys are ready to start winning,” said Almquist. “Most of them have been starting since they were freshman and not having a tremendous amount of success, but they haven’t quit. It’s a

couple years later now and I still have a pretty good core group left. They are working hard and with only one senior on the team we are still young.” The first big meet will be Friday, March 8 at Clarinda. “We have some time yet to prepare,” said Almquist. “We should be ready.”

Continued from Page 11 Skylar Ross and Aspen Riley will do shorter distances the year for Essex. “Skylar is one of our best hurdlers,” said Visser. “She cant quite catch Annie yet but having both of them will make us strong on the shuttle hurdle relay. Aspen is really good at the 400.” Visser has been especially impressed with Haley Funderman so far this season. “Haley isn’t necessarily our fastest runner but she has a strong desire to compete,” said Visser. “She goes hard every practice and I figure she will be useful for us in a variety of events.” Seana Perkins made an impression on a lot of people this year as a freshman during basketball season and Visser thinks a lot of that success will follow her to the track this spring. “She has the talent and I need her to step up and contribute right away,” he said. “She learned to step up on the court this winter, I know she can do it.” Visser has been working with a lot of the younger girl on technique drills this season and says some are progressing faster than others, but everyone is improving. “You can see some of them start to get it and make improvements and then its just a waterfall effect,” he said. “Once they all get going it will be exciting to see what they can do.” Visser is completely new to the area but has looked at a lot of results and has familiarized himself with local athletes and their strengths. “There are some fast girls around here,” said Visser. “We are going to have to work hard if we want to be able to compete on the conference level, but I think we have the talent to do it if we work hard and things go well.”

The Valley News/Herald-Journal


March 2011 17

Thompson leads way for Devils By MATT PRIETO Staff Writer

Corner Conference 3,200 meter champion and two event state qualifier Andrew Thompson returns this season for Nishnabotna to lead a group of 18 athletes that have reported to practice this season for head coach Toby Young’s squad. All but unknown last season before his win at the Clarinda relays, Thompson blazed to a dramatic series of victories in the two longest events highlighted by qualifying for state in both at the districts in

Mount Ayr. Making the Mount Ayr double even more impressive was running it all alone up front against runners who head teammates making Thompson’s path as difficult as possible with team tactics. Thompson is only a junior this season and almost all of his main rivals within the CC graduated last season. Only Russ Hemeter scored more points than Thompson did last season for the Blue Devils team that was third overall in last years conference meet behind champion Fremont-Mills and Clarinda Academy.

Paul Fichter (Senior) ran hurdles and sprints last season for the Blue Devils and Jacob Tristan will return this season to run shorter events for Botna. Brody Esser, Colton Cooper and Kyle Sebek round out this years’ senior class. Alec Hendrickson, Dakota Dovel and Joseph Gude join Thompson to represent the junior class. Joseph Heitshusen, Johnny Wood, Dayne Sturm and Nick Kuhr (who starts the season injured) combine with Tristan to make up the sophomore class. Freshmen this season

are Robby Bruce, Caleb Mincer, Javon Flores, Bradly Nahkunst and Chris Osborne. Wood sprinted and long jumped last year for Botna. Dovel ran 400s and threw the shot put. Hendrickson was a thrower competing in both the shot put and the discus. Sebek can run anything from a 200 to an 800. The Blue Devils open the season at the Jerome Howe relays in Treynor on March 4, followed by the Cardinal relays in Clarinda on the 8 and the Mustang Relays on the 14. Andrew Thompson

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Photo by Kevin Slater BLUE DEVIL TRACK... Members of the Nishnabotna boys’ track team are, front row, from left, Dayne Sturm, Bradley Nahkunst, Joseph Gude, Andrew Thompson, Kyle Sebek, Johnny Wood. Middle row, from left, Robbie Bruce, Caleb Mincer, Chris Osborn, Nick Kihr, Jacob Tristan. Top row, from left, Brody Esser, Alec Hendrickson, Dakota Dovel, Paul Fichter, Colton Cooper. Not pictured are Joseph Heitshusen, Javon Flores. Coaches are Al Dovel and Toby Young.


18 March 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Mustangs combine experience with new talent on golf course By KEVIN SLATER Sports Editor

Mustang golf coach Jon Weinrich will be the first to admit that the team didn’t have the kind of year he was hoping for in his first season at the helm last year. However, with a lot of experience returning and some key additions, Weinrich is hoping to start building this season. “Last year we struggled, only won one dual and only beat a few teams in tournaments, so hopefully we can steadily improve our own scores and our team scores,” said Weinrich. “We’ll have more competition and more experience this year, so we should have

lower scores.” The Mustangs have seven boys returning that played varsity last year – Tyler Nothwehr, Dustin Taylor, Drew Nielsen, David Hogue, Drew Bayless, Spencer Stanbrough and Ben Mulligan. Taylor was the team’s No. 1 golfer a season ago, and although he played well at times, Weinrich said he is capable of shooting even lower scores this season. “Dustin was by far our best golfer last year, he did a tremendous job and he’s a senior, so I think he’s really excited to go and is going to have a great year,” Weinrich said.

Photo by Kevin Slater MUSTANG GOLF... Members of the Shenandoah-Farragut boys’ golf team are, front row, from left, Tyler McCoy, David Hogue, Jackson Baker, Spencer Baldwin, Spencer Stanborough, Drew Nielsen. Middle: Dustin Nebel, Dustin Taylor, Ben Mulligan, Blake Schwartz, Kelsey Poe. Top: Jacob Welchans, Drew Bayless, Ryan Matheny, Riley Scroggie.

Bayless spent a good portion of last season injured, so Weinrich said having him back healthy will definitely improve the lineup. “He played off and on last year, but he can shoot some low scores.” Weinrich said a freshman that he’s very excited to have joining the team this

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season is Jackson Baker. Playing in junior golf Baker has enjoyed a lot of success and posted some low scores, Weinrich said he expects that to translate into success at the varsity level this season. “He’s a good golfer and he can shoot pretty low, so we’re definitely looking for him to play varsity,” said Weinrich. With some golfers at the top capable of posting low scores, Weinrich said the key will be to keep from having a big drop off as they get farther down the lineup.

“The other guys were just looking for some consistency,” he said. “They’ll be some competition this year, which will force the guys to shoot lower if they want to be on varsity.” In total the Mustangs have 18 players on the team. Weinrich said he is excited by the numbers and is looking forward to the prospect of having competition throughout practice. “It creates competition so guys can’t get complacent,” he explained. “Golf is a mental sport and I think one of the things we struggled

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with last year was playing against some better golfers and we really didn’t handle that well at times. “This year they’ll see much better golf in practice so that should help for the meets.” After successfully coaching several team sports, Weinrich said last year was an adjustment for him as well as the golf coach. “In every other sport I can be active and help the kids, and in golf it’s not that way,” said Weinrich. “You can talk to them very little.” With some experience under his belt, improved numbers and a competitive lineup, Weinrich said he is looking forward to getting the season started. “We have a good mix of people coming back and new people, and I think the kids are excited,” said Weinrich.


The Valley News/Herald-Journal

March 2011 19

Consistency! Key to Fillie golf success in 2011 By KEVIN SLATER Sports Editor

If one word had to be used as a theme for the Fillie golf team this season it would be consistency. Not only is that what coach Kyan Kirkholm is trying to preach to the team on the course, but it can also describe the Fillie lineup from top to bottom. “The big thing is being consistent,” said Kirkholm. “The thing we push to go along with that is to never follow a bad shot with a bad shot. “This year we’ll be consistent. If we can get six girls in the lower 50s I’ll be happy.” Four of ShenandoahFarragut’s top returning golfers include Ashlee Poppie, Courtney Leslie, Amber Miller and Kristen Fichter. The Fillie lineup in 2010 was rarely the same one through six, but when healthy those girls were usually among the top. Kirkholm said health was a definite concern for Poppie last year as she was

injured midway through the season, but he expects her to be healthy for her senior year. “She was our No. 1 or 2 golfer before she got hurt last year,” said Kirkholm. “She hasn’t played competitive golf since she got hurt, but she should be right up there.” Leslie had an outstanding freshman season, before falling off a little last year, however, Kirkholm said he expects her to be back on top of her game this season. “She had a real good year her freshman year, last year she was having some swing problems, but this year it looks like it’s back,” he said. Miller spent most of last year at No. 3, and will be towards the top of the lineup again this year. “She’ll be one of our top golfers,” said Kirkholm. Among the other returning golfers that have some experience and Kirkholm expects to be in the varsity Photo by Kevin Slater mix are Nicholle Blank, FILLIE GOLF... Members of the Shenandoah-Farragut girls golf team are, front row (from left):Yessenia Barbosa, Ashlee Poppie, Brianna see S-F GOLF, Page 25

Wiertsema. Middle: Nicholle Blank, Courtney Leslie, Amber Miller, Kristen Fichter. Top: Ciera Hoyt, Adrian Ruzek, Jasmine Woolery, Drucella Gustafson and Nickole Schwartz. Not pictured: Shyanne Powers, coach Kyan Kirkholm.


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20 March 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Mustang tennis led by seniors By KEVIN SLATER Sports Editor

The Mustang tennis team struggled in some respects last season, but with five of their top six players returning, coach Tom French said there is reason for optimism in 2011. “Our results weren’t the greatest last year, but our team has hopefully worked hard enough in the off season to make up the difference,” said French. “Experience is what it’s all about, and we’ve got that. Most people don’t become a real good player until their seniors.” The only player in the top six the Mustangs don’t have coming back is Tim Fricke. The German foreign exchange student spent the entire season at No. 1, but French is confident Jeff Armstrong can step up to fill that void. “Jeff should be a solid No. 1 player,” said French. “He’s worked quite hard, knowing what he needs to do to compete in our league. His aspirations are

to qualify for state in singles, so that’s what we’re focusing on.” A season ago, Armstrong and Fricke qualified for state in doubles. After Armstrong, French said at this point he doesn’t know what the lineup will look like, but he does know it will be filled with experience. Adam Stauffer, Clayton Young and Andrew Rolf were the No. 3-5 players last season. All are seniors this year and have put in a lot of work during the off season. “We have a strong senior class and most of them on going to be on varsity,” said French. The No. 6 player from last year was Jacob Holmes, who was just a freshman. “Just because they were in that spot last year, doesn’t necessarily mean they will again this year,” said French. “We had a lot of people put in a lot work during the off season and get better.” A few of those French

Photo by Kevin Slater MUSTANG TENNIS... Members of the Shenandoah-Farragut boys tennis team are, front row, from left, Brenden Dostal, Kevin Hansen, David Edds. Middle: Tyler Meyer, Jacob Holmes, Trent Turney, Adam Stauffer. Top: Bradley Young, Mitchell Steinkuehler, Adam Heslinga, Kyle Fischer, Andrew Rolf, Jeff Amstrong. Not pictured: Clayton Young.

mentioned were Trent Turney, Kyle Fischer, and Bradley Young. Turney and Fischer spent some time in the varsity lineup last season, while Young is a freshman this year with some quality results in the youth league. “I think we’ll have a pret-

ty strong varsity squad and a very deep team,” said French. French said winning in the Hawkeye Ten is always tough, and was especially so last season. However, he said when he compares his lineups with that of other conference schools, he

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thinks the Mustangs compare favorably. “I think we’ve put in a lot of work and we’ll be able to compete with most teams,” said French. He pointed out Glenwood and Red Oak as two of the conference favorites.

French said he is looking forward to getting the 2011 season started and hosting the district tournament is an added bonus for the year. “I hope for good weather,” said French. “It should be a good season and we’re excited to have districts here.”

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March 2011 21

Fillies strong from top to bottom on tennis courts By KEVIN SLATER Sports Editor

In the past few years Fillie tennis has been building in both numbers and excitement. Heading into the 2011 season coach Brian Daoust said the team is now to the point where they have plenty of both. “We are pretty excited because we have a large number of returners with varsity experience, and we’ve got a couple of freshmen coming up who have been doing a good job,” said Daoust. “We also have some JV players from last year that have been chomping at the bit to get on varsity. “I’m really excited about this season and the girls are too.” The Fillies didn’t lose a single player off of last year’s varsity to graduation, that’s the good news. The bad news is they did suffer a blow when their No. 1 player, Frankie Hughes, tore her ACL during basketball. “That’s a hard thing for any athlete to have to deal with,” said Daoust. “We knew we could always rely on Frankie to do a good job for us. Everyone’s going to have to step up and play one higher.” They may be without their No. 1, but No. 2-6 on the varsity is back. Junior Mackenzie Johnson was second last season, followed by seniors Kelli Kroepel and Rachel Johnson. “Frankie’s injury is going to put a little more on

Mackenzie, Rachel and Kelli who are consistently playing with each other at the top,” said Daoust. “They’re all looking good and I know they can handle it.” Sophomore Tarynne Kinghorn spent most of last season at No. 5, with junior Ashton Matheny at No. 6. “I’ve always felt the number one contributor to success at the high school level is experience,” said Daoust. “So to know that my team all played last year, they’re going to have the confidence and experience – I feel great about that.” Daoust said as he looks up and down the lineup the things that jump out at him are the consistency in the top seven or eight players.

“As good as our top players are, everyone of them could loose games to our No. 6 and 7 and that can’t be said every year,” Daoust explained. “To have that depth and that experience is a great thing for us.” In addition to those five players with varsity experience, Daoust said there are some junior varsity players from last season and freshmen that will have a say in who rounds out the varsity lineup. “There’s going to be a lot of competition for those spots this year,” he said. Daoust pointed at Beth Wilson as showing a lot of improvement over the off season, as well as freshmen Emma Christensen and LeAnne Johnson.

“She’s done well in our Park and Rec. tournaments and I would expect she’ll be competing for a varsity spot,” Daoust said of Christensen. Daoust also said the athletic ability of Cassie Gilbert, who played for the first time last season, could pay off. “She really came a long last year,” said Daoust. “She has a lot of fire within her, so if she gets excited about tennis she could be dangerous.” In addition to including Farragut and Essex on the team, this season some athletes from Sidney also showed interest in playing tennis. Daoust said he is happy to have Sidney as part of the 2011 team. “We’re more of southwest

Iowa tennis now instead of just Shenandoah and I think it’s a great opportunity for girls in this area if they have an interest in the sport,” said Daoust. In all, Daoust said he thinks he will have 16-18 players this season. Several of those have been playing on weekends in Red Oak, which Daoust said he expects to pay dividends. “I know the girls are excited for the season because a lot of them have taken some opportunities to work during the off season,” he said. “I want to thank the parents for arranging that.” Daoust said the depth from top to bottom this season will also give him a lot more flexibility when it comes to putting doubles

teams together. “It would not be uncommon for me to put a 1 with a 5 this year, or a 2 and 6,” he said. “It’s going to be easier to make those decisions based on the quality of players. There may be two girls that just really play well together.” The Fillies will play a doubles exhibition against members of the community on March 29 and 31, and then open the season March 4 at Clarinda. Daoust said he is looking forward to getting the season started, and everyone is welcome to come in late March and get a preview. “If you want to see a sneak preview of Fillie tennis come on out,” said Daoust.

Photo by Kevin Slater FILLIE TENNIS... Members of the Shenandoah-Sidney girls tennis team are, front row (from left): Berleley Stanton (manager), Emma Christensen, Mackenzie Johnson, Ashton Matheny, Beth Wilson, Tarynne Kinghorn, Liliana Lopez. Top: Coach Brian Daoust, LeAnne Johnson, Jami Wiesen, Sarina Mohrhardt, Kelli Kroepel, Cassie Gilbert, Yevy Kruopite, Annkaren Cepeda, Leslie Lopez, Mirtha Guiterrez. Not pictured: Rachel Johnson.

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22 March 2011

Dynamic change:

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Fillie track strength shifts from sprints, hurdles to mid, long distance for 2011

By KEVIN SLATER Sports Editor

When you talk to Shenandoah girls track coach Jon Skillern about his 2011 team, it doesn’t take long to find out the strengths and weaknesses. “I think we’ve got a good core, but our depth isn’t as good as we’d like it to be,” said Skillern. “We’ve got a really good group as far as kids to work with.” The Fillie team features around 22 or 23 athletes, two of which have experience running at the state meet. For the past several years the strength of the team has lied in the sprint and hurdle events, where the Fillies have qualified for state regularly. However, Skillern said he has a feeling that might not be the case this season. “I think that our dynamic is changing from sprints and hurdles to middle distance and distance,” said Skillern. Leading that group is sophomore Alexis Saner who was a district champion in cross country last fall. Skillern said she can run anywhere from the 400meter dash to the 3,000, and hopes her cross country success translates to fast times on the oval. “Track is a little bit of a different animal and we’re hoping the success she had during cross country carries over,” he said. “She’s going to be one of our key runners.” Anna Hart joined Saner at the state cross country meet last year and will be competing in events ranging from the 400-hurdles to the 3,000. Other runners Skillern said he is relying on this year include Karen Fischer (100, 200), Madison Saner

Photo by Kevin Slater FILLIE TRACK... Members of the Shenandoah girls track team are, front row (from left): Andrea Gomez, Alex Gruber, Alexis Saner, Breanna Allely, Jordan Perkins, Jamie Perkins, Bailey DeBolt, Marissa Comstock. Middle row: Alisha Woodyard, Kylee Farrell, Jourdan Perkins, Madison Saner, Lindsey Hastings, Claudia Cepeda, Megan Hart, Kelly Pullen, Kalie Akers. Top: Shyanne Powers, Megan Bright, Whitney Croll, Hannah Langley, Anna Hart, Karen Fischer. Not pictured: Coach Jon Skillern.

(100, 200 and hurdles), Jamie Schubert (400, 800) and Lindsey Hastings (sprints, hurdles, long jump). Skillern said the thing all of his top runners have in common is a wide range of events they are proficient in. He said the key will be finding the right mix to get the most out of what he’s got. “That gives us our nucleus and then we have other people that are role players and that’s very important,” said Skillern. “We have some flexibility so that will be important.” In the past Skillern said he has emphasized the relay events. However, he said this year he expects Hastings, Schubert and Fischer to do more individually.

Karen Fischer, Jamie Schubert, Lindsey Hastings “We’re counting on them to do a few more individual things that they’ve done in the past.” He said because of prob-

Madison Saner

lems with depth, getting four people that excel in the same distance will be a struggle, which is why medleys might be the way to go. “We probably have the

people to put a solid medley team together rather than a 4x100, or a 4x400,” said Skillern. Hastings and Madison Saner each ran legs on the state qualifying shuttle hurdle team last season, and Breanna Allely also ran on the team during several meets. Skillern said he is confident in their ability, but he’ll need to find a fourth if they are going to qualify for state in the event for an eighth-straight season. “We’ve got three-fourths of our hurdle squad that ran a lot last year, but we’ve got to find that fourth leg,” he said. “I’m not sure in any of our relays that we’ll be as strong as we were last year. It’s kind of a chess match figuring out where everyone will be.”

In the field events Skillern said he is looking to Bailey DeBolt and Megan Bright to carry the load in the throwing events, while Hart and Allely will high jump and Hastings will long jump. Skillern said he is optimistic for the season, but it’ll definitely be a work in progress to find out where all the parts fit. “We’ve got a good group of girls, not as many as I would have liked to have, but a good group,” he said. “Right now our depth is the biggest issue. There are going to be some meets we run at where points are hard to come by. “I have high expectations for a good majority of these kids, so we’ll see if they meet those expectations.”

The Valley News/Herald-Journal


March 2011 23

Numbers, talent big for Mustang track By KEVIN SLATER Sports Editor

One look at the Mustang track team this year and it’s easy to see the size and talent on the team. With that, coach Shawn Morse said also comes raised expectations. “At the smaller meets we want to have our eye on first place at every meet, and we want to place in the top three in the Hawkeye Ten and at districts,” said Morse. “We’ve got a lot of people out, but it’s more than just numbers, we’ve got a lot of talent out here.” Morse said possibly the most exciting thing is the balance of his talent throughout the distances on the track. Leading the way in the sprints is senior Nick Allely. Last season he was a state qualifier in the 100meter dash, and Morse said

he’s looking even faster this season. Allan Dalley qualified for state in both the 400 and 4x400 last year, and Morse said this year he’s looking much faster in the shorter sprints as well. “We’ve definitely got some kids to build around,” said Morse. In the 1,600 and 3,200 Morse has a pair of runners who proved their worth in cross country – Sean Skillern and Derek Kellison. Both ran at the state cross country meet, and Skillern placed sixth overall in Class 2A. “They both placed high in cross country, so they’re going to be an asset,” Morse said of the duo. To go along with the individual talent, Morse said the team’s big numbers will also be helpful when it comes to relay events. Last

season the Mustangs qualified for state in the 4x400, and just missed out in the 4x100 in a disputed photo finish. “With the numbers we have and the kids we have returning, I think our relays are going to be really tough,” said Morse. “With the right work and attitude our 4x100, 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 will compete well in the Hawkeye Ten and in districts this year.” Joe Racine, Hector Rendon and Dalley return from that 4x400 team, and Allely and Dalley both ran legs on the 4x100 last year. “Joey Racine has really stepped up and has gotten a lot faster from last year, so he’s going to be a real asset,” Morse added. Morse said the two areas the team has been weakest at traditionally are the hurdle and field events. However, he said the team

is emphasizing the field events more this year, which should pay off. “We can’t walk away from these track meets with no points in the field,” he said. “We’re emphasizing high jump, long jump and the throws this year.” There are 15 athletes that have shown interest in the jumping events, and Morse said several of them have shown a lot of promise. “We hope to have two 20’ foot (long) jumpers this year and I think that’s possible,” he said. Morse pointed out new comer Marcus Johnson as someone that might to be capable of jumping 21’. “He’s quit a jumper,” Morse said. The team lost its top hurdler from last year in Charlie Edwards. To make up for that loss Morse is moving Hector Rendon to see SHS TRACK, Page 27

Allan Dalley

Photo by Kevin Slater MUSTANG TRACK... Members of the Shenandoah boys track team are, front row (from left): Zac McCoy, Joe Racine, Nick Williams, Tyler Clark, Chris Count, Allan Dalley, Shawn Rice, Ryan Laughlin, Tyler Ranner Sean Skillern. Second row: Sam Kroepel, Dustin Nebel, Hector Rendon, Damian Moore, Kyle Fischer, Scott Hastings, Tyler Dalley, Jaden Woosley, Isaac Woolery, Anthony Wood. Third row: Travis Sunderman, Marcus Johnson, Derek Kellison, Trevor Wood, Caleb Count, Trey Sunderman, Parker Rice, Dakota Lawson, Sean Gluck, Evan Lindburg. Fourth row: Jose Rendon, Jake Kinghorn, Nick Allely, Jordan Poe, Philip Mann, Tyler Miller, Kyle Sparks, Nick Laughlin, Isaac Falk, Caleb James, Jade Allen. Top: Head coach Shawn Morse, managers Laura Perry and Amanda Solt, asst. coach Denny Allely.


24 March 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Cowboys short on numbers, not talent By MATT PRIETO Staff Writer

Sidney head coach Donnie Sears counts 22 athletes out for boys’ track this season. Not quite the numbers he has had in the past, but he is optimistic that the enthusiasm and effort will be good this season in the Cowboys’ camp. “I don’t have as many this season but the ones I have want to be here,” said Sears. “It’s easier to keep practices organized and everyone focused and on task.” It’s a typically talented bunch this season and although Sidney graduated some serious speed last season, there are quite a few athletes left over with a year or two remaining to compete. Devon Barrett and Ethan Burge will enter the throwing events. “Devin has repeatedly shown an ability to throw long and place,” said Sears. “It’s just a matter of consistency with him. If he can throw long consistently he will score a lot of points for

us this season. Ethan and Devon are both strong guys.” Trevor Schaaf will lend his considerable footspeed and quickness to the team this season. “Perfect for the 100 and 200 and we will certainly use him in the sprint relays,” said Sears. “He is quick for sure. Kenny Kelly is another guy who has shown some good sprinting speed during football and we will be able to use him in some sprints too.” Casey Cruickshank has the most credentials of any returning runner for the Cowboys. Cruickshank qualified for state both as a freshman and one year ago in individual races and in relays. He is a distance specialist and could run anything from an 800 to the 3,200. “I’m not positive which events he will be running by the end of the season,” said Sears. “I will just how he looks and what the competition looks like. He has an amazing work ethic.” New to the team this year is Christian Lemaster who

Photo by Kevin Slater COWBOY TRACK... Members of the 2011 Sidney boys track team are, front row (from left): Drake Strickler, Miguel Alvarez, and Brett Ward. Middle row: Jacob Buck, Christian LaMaster, Noah McKeever, Nicholas Shipley, Phil Worcester. Top: Jeremy Cain, Christopher Conner, Kenny Kelley, Devon Barett, Trevor Schaff, Zane Burge, Ethan Bruge, Casey Cruickshank. Not pictured: Coach Donnie Sears.

has also shown some ability in the sprints. “100 and 200 for Christian,” said Sears. “We are happy to have him this season.” Noah McKeever and Phil

Worcester return this year as sophomores. McKeever made a name for himself last fall on the football field and Worcester could be seen frequently last track season, sneaking in for fifth

and sixth places in distance events. “Noah has his sights set high,” said Sears. “200, 400 and he is probably best in the 800. He will push hard and work hard this year.


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Phil was always right there last year working hard and occasionally placing to score us team points. He will be even better this season.”

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March 2011 25

Cowgirls look to make most of small numbers

(Subbert). It will be great to watch them jump against each other again this season.” Osborne won’t be limited to jumping. Sears anticipates using her in a variety of events, anything from the 100 to the 800 and possibly even the discus. “The 400 and 800 will help her prepare for college

basketball next season,” said Sears. “Lots of things will be possible for her.” Shelby Anderson enters the spring fresh off a successful basketball season and last year as a freshman made an impact on the track for the Cowgirls. “She is pretty fast. I can see her running anything up to the 800,” said Sears. “She

medaled at conference last season and scored as many points in the running events as anybody we had last year. I think she will have a great season this year.” Bailey Shirley has been slowed in the early season by a sore knee but Sears doesn’t anticipate her having any troubles on the track this season.

“I don’t think it’s anything serious but its taken a little time for her to work through,” he said. “100, 200 and 400 for Bailey with the long jump in there was well. She will have some options this year to win medals in different events. We could use her to put together some relays too.” Shirley, Tayler Holt will

participate in short events and perhaps some jumping. “She was a good long jumper in junior high,” said Sears. “100, 200 and 400 for her as well this season. She is a good athlete with a lot of potential to improve her times.” Joely Marshall and Emily Bohlen are new to the team this season. “I think Emily will do some throwing. Shot put and discus. We will be working with both of those two to see what talents they have and where we can use them,” said Sears. “Hopefully they will give us a few more options with relays and our lineup.” Despite the low numbers, Sears is optimistic about the season. “Sure I wish I had more girls but I am sure happy with the ones I have,” he said. “We have good numbers in the junior high and only one senior on the team this year. We have a lot to look forward to.”

tribute right away – Adrian Ruzek and Jasmine Woolery. “I got two freshman that’ll be interesting what they look like when they hit the golf course, because they have nice swings,” said Kirkholm. He said the Ruzek in particular has impressed him with the consistency she strikes the ball with. Overall, Kirkholm said

the team has a nice balance of strength and control. “We got some that are going to be power golfers and some are going to be finesse golfers,” he said. “It’s nice to see.” Regardless of the type of game they play, Kirkholm said there is one trait that all 13 golfers on the team share and that’s a competitive spirit. “The girls will compete,”

he said. “They get frustrated when they hit a bad shot, but I like that because that means they’re taking it serious. “The hardest thing will be not getting down when you have an off day, because everyone is going to have a hard day. 90 percent of this game is mental, so they’ve got to keep focused.” Drucella Gustafson,

Yessenia Barbosa, Ciera Hoyt and Nickole Schwartz round out the Fillie lineup this year. Kirkholm said each of them have good aspects to their game, but they need to work on consistency. “These girls are hitting the ball well right now,” said Kirkholm. “They just need some more work on the driving range.” The team will have a

three-day playoff March 28-30, playing nine holes each day to decide the varsity lineup. Kirkholm said he’s not sure how that will turn out, but he is certain the girls that make varsity will have earned it. “There isn’t a lot of difference one through six, so it’ll be interesting to see how the competition comes out.”

By MATT PRIETO Staff Writer

What the Sidney girls track team lacks in numbers this season they surely make up for in a wealth of talent. It will be simply impossible for the Cowgirls to compete on a team level this season but head coach Donnie Sears says there will be plenty of chances to win medals at meet and that will be the focus of the season. “You have to be realistic and select goals that are reasonable,” he said. “We have girls that will be able to win medals and that’s what I am going to try to maximize this season when I select a lineup.” Multi-sport standout and defending Corner Conference high jump champion Aimee Osborne leads the way this season. “It was pretty exciting for Aimee to win the conference in the high jump last season,” said Sears. “I think it was the first time she had ever beaten Kadie


Continued from Page 19 Shyanne Powers. “There’s going to be eight girls going for those six (varsity) spots,” said Kirkholm. “There’s going to be some good competition.” Among those eight, Kirkholm included a pair of freshmen which he thinks have the potential to con-

Photo by Kevin Slater COWGIRL TRACK... Members of the 2011 Sidney girls track team are, Emily Bohlen, Bailey Shirley, Aimee Osborne, Joely Marshall, Tayler Holt and Shelby Anderson. Not pictured: Coach Donnie Sears.

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26 March 2011

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Higher interest, anticipation for Lady Rebel track in 2011 By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

Higher interest has created a higher level of anticipation at South Page High School for the girls’ track season. The Rebels, who will open the 2011 season March 5 at the Cardinal Relays in Clarinda, have 11 athletes out for the girls’ squad this year. “I am really excited about the numbers we have going out this year,” South Page coach Amanda Wooten said. “From last year, we have doubled the number of girls going out.” Anchoring the South Page lineup will be returning letter winners Megan Hamilton, Dallas LePorte, Kelsie Neihart and Alexa Whitehill. Hamilton and Neihart will be competing in shorter distance races for the Rebels, while LePorte will be running middle distance and Whitehill will compete in long distance events for South Page. Neihart will also participate in the throwing events this season.

Joining Neihart in the throwing events will be Natalie Story and Brianna Wheelbarger. Story and Wheelbarger will also be running short distance races along with Shelby Allbee, Jordan Jennings and Mistary McClarnon.

Alexa Whitehill

The final two members of the team are Kady Van Fosson and Kristin McClarnon. Van Fosson is a middle distance runner for the Rebels, while Kristin McClarnon will run middle and long distance events this season. Since South Page has more athletes this season, Wooten said the Rebels will have an opportunity to score in more events than they did a year ago. “We’re looking forward to the chance to put together more relays and get more girls in events,” Wooten said. South Page will be competing in the Corner Conference again this season and Wooten said the Rebels’ success will depend on identifying their strongest events and capitalizing on their scoring opportunities. “The conference is always changing and, this year, there are going to be several girls throughout the Photo by Bob Eschliman conference that do well. It is just going to depend on REBEL TRACK...Members of the South Page girls’ track team this season are (front row) Alexa Megan Hamilton, Dallas LePorte, (second row) Shelby Allbee, Brianna Wheelbarger, Kady who can pull it all togeth- Whitehill, VanFosson, Kelsie Neihart, (back row) Mistary McClarnon, Natalie Story and Kristin McClarnon. er,” Wooten said.


Continued from Page 23 Worcester will run anything from the 800 to the 3,200. Nick Shipley and Drake Strickler both have hurdling

ability. “Both those guys can hurdle pretty well,” said Sears. “Drake might even see some time in the 4x800 relay.” The season kicks off in March this year for the Cowboys at an indoor meet at Nebraska Wesleylan.

“Early meet will let us know where we are right away,” said Sears. “Give me a chance to see what everyone can do and experiment with the lineups.” The Cowboys first action outdoors will be on March 5 as they travel to Rock Port.

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March 2011 27

Rebels look to experienced athletes for leadership By KENT DINNEBIER Staff Writer

With four returning letter winners, the South Page boys’ track team is hoping to come out of the blocks strong this season. South Page coach Cheyenne McClain said seniors Michael Ribbey and Andrew Greedy, along with sophomores Briar Hoyt and Jacob Sunderman, have assumed leadership roles with the team this season. “It helps to have those guys there. They’re leaders by example. They show up for practice every day and work hard. I appreciate the way they do that,” McClain said. Ribbey and Sunderman are both sprinters, while Briar Hoyt will compete in both sprints and middle distance events for the Rebels. Greedy, meanwhile, will throw the shot put and discuss again this season. The other four members of the squad are junior Raymond Townsend, sophomore Zackery Neihart, freshman Blake Harvey and freshman Montana Hoyt.

Photo by Bob Eschliman REBEL TRACK... South Page boys’ track members this season are (front row) Montana Hoyt, Zackery Neihart, Jacob Sunderman, Briar Hoyt, (back row) Blake Harvey, Raymond Townsend, Andrew Greedy and Michael Ribbey.

Montana Hoyt provides the Rebels with another sprinter and will also join Greedy in the throwing

events. Harvey, Neihart and Townsend are all slated to run middle distance events.

In addition, McClain said Harvey will be competing in the longer distances for the Rebels.


Continued from Page 23

Nick Allely

the 400 hurdles, who is capable of a 52 second open 400. “We’re still trying to improve our hurdles,” said Morse. “We’ve got some young kids coming in so we should be improved.” The team has around 45 athletes out, which Morse said is not only a good sign for track, but a good sign for Mustang sports in general. “This is the basis behind all sports – quickness, speed and athleticism and this builds it,” he said. “When you have this many kids coming out here trying to

“I think we’ll be pretty good in the middle distance and long distance events. We should also be able to

improve themselves, it’s really nice.” Morse said he was happy with the majority of the season last year, but he wasn’t pleased with the way it ended. With the district assignments out and the nearest location at least a twohour drive from Shenandoah, Morse said they know they’ll have to travel a sizable distance. However, he said the location of the meet doesn’t matter, they just have to be ready to run regardless. “Last year we should have sent six to state, we sent three, that can’t happen again this year,” said Morse. “You just prepare them to run and wherever you go you go.

put together a distance medley team and a 4x800 meter relay team is also possible,” McClain said. South Page is scheduled to open the season Friday, March 8, at the Cardinal Relays in Clarinda. From there, McClain said the Rebels will be looking to be competitive in the events they enter and in turn perform well at meets – especially the Corner Conference and district events. In recent years McClain said Fremont-Mills has had a lot of athletes out for track and will be looking to defend its conference title. Meanwhile, he said Clarinda Academy and Sidney also have solid squads that could compete for the conference title. However, McClain said the ultimate goal for the Rebels is to improve each time they step on the track. “We want to get better and faster in the events we compete in. A lot of kids go out for track to stay in shape and make themselves better athletes,” McClain said.

This year it’s all about preparation and everybody being on the same page. “I’m trying to emphasize to go for the jugular all the way to the end, don’t drop the ball at conference and districts, and in my opinion we kind of did that last year.” The Mustangs get the outdoor season underway March 29 as they travel to Creston for the Hawkeye Ten South Early Bird meet. Morse said he and the team is looking forward to getting started. “I’m really happy with the numbers this year, and I’m really happy with the attitudes so far,” said Morse. “I’m excited for the season.”

28 March 2011


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