State Bound! Charger cross country and volleyball to compete for championships; Football gets first win

Boys cross country returns to state

The boys cross country team earned one more race.

The team qualified for state, 10 a.m. Saturday at the Wamego Country Club.

Competing at the Wabaunsee course, one well known by the charger runners, resulted in another team qualifying for state, making it the 11th boys or girls team to do so in the past 10 years. With a second place finish as a team, the boys qualified the second year in a row. Junior Luke Stuhlsatz and sophomore Alex Warner ran strong individually as well, placing in the top 10.

Luke XC
Junior Luke Stuhlsatz runs in the home cross country meet in September. The boys finished 2nd at regionals and compete 10 a.m. Saturday in Wamego.

The team had the goal of making it to state from the beginning of the season which was seen early as the boys team remained undefeated until the Riley County meet. They head into state with an overall record of 48-4.

“We were definitely wanting to go to state since the beginning of practice as it was the end goal in mind,” junior Bryce Tharman said.

The running roster is not unfamiliar with competing at state. Most of the team that will be running at Wamego were on the roster that finished 5th place last year. Senior Sean Dugger and sophomore Austin Henderson were alternates on the roster before but will be part of the top seven members that will compete.

“It feels great as I was bummed out that I didn’t get to run at regionals or state last year,” Henderson said.

The state meet will be the first time that the boys have ran against many of the other participating teams such as Central Heights and Stanton, which are the top-ranked boys teams in 2A. Northern heights beat the boys team at regionals by only 5 points and will be seen at the state level.

“We have always been enthusiastic and worked hard,” cross country coach Roger Alderman said.

The girls cross country team’s season ended at the regional meet. The team balanced injury recovery and competition for most of the season but still showed their toughness by placing 6th as a team. Junior Madelyn Hutley and freshman Kyndal Maike competed strong individually but were not able qualify themselves for state.                   

“Our girls team came up short, but we’ve made great progress from last year,” Alderman said. “Looking ahead we should be continuing to improve over the next few years.”

— Sean Dugger @seandugger01

Volleyball advances to fourth state tournament in five years

Volleyball advanced to the state tournament after a win over Herington Saturday.

The Chargers defeated the Mission Valley Vikings 25-12, 25-13 and the Northern Heights Wildcats 25-16, 25-22 to advance into the sub-state championship. The Chargers played a close game with final scores 25-23, 25-22 against the Herington Railers.

The Chargers enter the state tournament seeded 6th out of 8 teams and will play at 10 a.m. Friday at Ft. Hays Gross Memorial Coliseum. “Even though we are the 6th seed we have a good pool that is easily beatable and we are definitely planning to play on Saturday,” junior Autymn Schreiner said. The team will also play games at 1 and 2. The top two teams from pool play will advance to the semifinals 10 a.m. Saturday.

“Being a senior and a leader of the team makes this year special since I’ve looked up to them since my freshman year,” senior Alyssa Lohmeyer said.

“It will be great bonding time and we will have great support from our fans like we did at sub-state,” junior Macy Falk said.

— Kaytlyn Meseke, Hannah Mumpower

Football gets first win under new head coach Jess Rutledge

Spirits ran high Friday night after the Chargers took home their first win of the season against the Northern Heights Wildcats, 16-7.

“They played really good defense and for the first time played with total confidence all four quarters,” head coach Jess Rutledge said.

The players hope to build on last week’s success. “When you get a win you just get hyped. All the hard work we put in finally paid off a bit. We’ve gotta keep grindin’,” junior Eli Wollenberg.

The team will now proceed to the playoffs with a game Friday against the Troy Trojans. “It was a big step in the right direction,” Rutledge said, “This week we will find what we did well and build on it to get better and take what we didn’t do well and work hard to correct it.”

The team plays the Troy Trojans 7 p.m. Thursday in the first round of playoffs.

— Hannah Mumpower

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