Upcoming winter sports

Alana Flinn, reporter

Wrestling

As the team rolls out the mats each day for practice, head wrestling coach Travis Keal has specific goals for the wrestlers to carry with them during the season.

“Our goal is to have each wrestler better themselves daily in the classroom and in the practice room,” Keal said. “By focusing on being the best daily, each wrestler will have the mind set and skills necessary to achieve individual success.”

There are nine anticipated returning varsity wrestlers: sophomores Landon Scott, Daniel Grey, Jake Ellis and Tyler Dickman; juniors Zach Stinnett and Derrick Paxton; and seniors Devin Ellison, Zach Callahan and Christian Service.

During the 2010-2011 season, 10 of the 14 varsity wrestlers placed in the top four out of eight wrestlers at regionals.

Ellis wants to see the team compete again at such a high level of competition so that he and the wrestling program will both benefit from the success.

“I want to place in the top four at regionals to make it on to state because my hopes are becoming a state champion by the end of this year,” Ellis said. “We want as many state qualifiers as we can get because that’ll up our chances of winning state as a team.”

Girls basketball

Head girls basketball coach John McFall foresees that the 2011-2012 season will be one of success.

“With a good nucleus of returning varsity players and a good influx of JV players, this year’s squad should be competitive if they rebound well,” McFall said.

There are expected to be five returning starters: junior forward Stephanie Lichtenauer, junior guard/forward McKenzie Koch, junior guard Tanner Tripp, and two returning letter winners, junior guard Mackenzie Conklin and sophomore guard Mary Altman.

McFall thinks the goal of the team should be reaching its full potential as opposed to only winning games. The players and coaches refer to each game as ‘trips,’ and they go out and play their best each ‘trip.’

“[The trips] help motivate our team to work hard every week at practices instead of just preparing for one game at a time,” Lichtenauer said.

After finishing the 2010 season with a league record of 12-2, McFall coached a summer league team consisting of some players who would be returning for the 2011-2012 season. The league gave McFall an opportunity to observe the growth taking place, as well as focus on the areas in need of development.

“The summer league showed a ton of improvement,” McFall said. “[But] we need to become stronger with the ball.”

Boys basketball

Seeing a large group of young players signed up for boys basketball tryouts, head coach Justin Bogart knows that a large team gives it more depth. The more players who show up, the better the options.

Although many seniors were lost at the end of last season, there are nine varsity players expected to return for the 2011-2012 season. Junior forwards Nathan Stacy, Austin Moylan, Brett Hamilton, L.J. Hatch, Grant Schrepfer, and junior guards Staton Rebeck, Jake Theis and Kyle Kain all earned varsity letters last season and helped last year’s team earn a 12-9 record.

Throughout the season, Bogart hopes that the boys will improve in all aspects of play, including taking care of the ball and making smart decisions on the court. After finishing last season with a winning record, the bar is set high.

“I think this is going to be a really exciting, successful season,” Moylan said. “This team is going to be young, fast and exciting to watch. I think we have a chance to do something really special.”

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