Spring sports season is underway. Head coaches for each sport joined the Senioritis podcast to discuss their outlook on the season.
Baseball enters season with new coaching staff
Charger baseball has a new face in the dugout: head coach Lance Fuller. Fuller is taking over a squad that returns several players from last season. The team’s opener on March 21 was postponed due to weather, so the team is currently scheduled to open the season March 29.
What are you looking forward to the most?
Being able to get outside. Honestly just to see how the kids are able to pick up what we’re trying to teach them and just to get out there and compete.
What do you think your strengths are going to be this season?
It’s hard to say. Last week is when we started. We were outside, but we had basketball still competing in sub-state, so that was kind of half our roster. We weren’t able to implement a lot of stuff and this week we’ve been indoors. So really it’s going to be tough to see.
How many people do you have out this year?
We are sitting at 27. Coming into the season, before I got numbers, I was thinking maybe low twenties, and then we got a couple more that I didn’t anticipate, so we are sitting great. Six or seven are newcomers. I’m curious to see them out there on the field because I know a couple of them played growing up, but haven’t played for a handful of years, so just seeing them be able to pick up what they already know and taking some years off in anything you do is obviously it’s own piece to work around.
Specific players or newcomers?
Bryton Reves was one of the better players last year. Returners: Lanson Parry, Zach Frank.
I’m excited to see some guys that haven’t played for a few years — Cade Oliver, Brayden Meseke, Eli Oliver. There’s definitely plenty of guys that I’m excited to see and see how they transition from last year.
What are your biggest match ups?
It’s too early for me to tell. I know the league’s really good. I’m not too familiar as to what everybody returns and I’m not sure who our “rival” is. I’m not too concerned with who we are going to play, I just want to see us be able to be competitive and see improvements each day we go out. With what we are starting off with, we’re working from the ground up, teaching them what we want fundamentally. I’m going to be more concerned on what we got and how we’re improving than looking forward to certain opponents.
I’ve got two assistants. One is named Jake Holle. He graduated from Manhattan High and then we’ve got Chase Nelson who graduated from Wabaunsee.
We’ve got five. Definitely more than we need, but at the same time, on game days there will be plenty of jobs. Mayah Mumpower, Sydney Holthaus, Kaci & Karli Meseke, and Taryn Maike.
Track returns state champion and several qualifiers
Coach Roger Alderman returns state qualifiers Lauren Schutter, Madison Schurle, Sienna Jones, Sophia Castillo and Wyatt Wurtz. The team will open its season on April 1 at Lyndon. Alderman joined The Charger to answer some questions about the upcoming season.
What are you looking forward to the most?
It’s just fun getting started again and seeing improvement day by day — that’s always the most exciting part of it for me.
How do you think this season is going to go?
We never know for sure, but I know we have a couple returning athletes on the girls side, so we’ve got some pretty high-ups there. Boys side we’re rebuilding some, but we were rebuilding last season and then had a really good year.
What strengths are you seeing so far this year?
Right now we’re just seeing that day-to-day progression, so just going out there and doing the drills the way they’re supposed to be done. That’s what we look for more than a huge performance.
Who are some key returners this year?
On the girls side, we have a jumper who had some pretty good success before, and a great 4×1 team that made it to state. Sienna Jones also qualified in the triple jump last year. We have a 4×4 that has some potential, and we have a new one with Payton Wurtz who had success in cross country.
How many people are out this year?
We’re looking at about 23 or 24 so far.
How has this first week been so far?
A: Good so far, we lucked out with the weather and we’ve had people working hard… which is the biggest thing.
What are some key meets?
We always target league, regionals, and state. But also along the way we have a pretty big meet at Burlington late in the season that gets us ready.
Softball looks to upperclassmen for leadership
Softball returns seven starters from last year’s squad, including seniors Kaelyn Conrad, Madisyn Havenstein and Kara Hafenstine. Coach Joe Dee Tarbutton spoke with the Charger about the upcoming season. The team’s opener on March 21 was postponed, so the team is currently scheduled to open the season April 1.
“This time of year is tough with school coming to an end, prom and everything else. It’s hard to play softball with all those long fingernails,” Tarbutton said.
The team ended the season 11-11 last year. They were one game away from playing for the title of Regional Champions.
What’s your outlook on the season?
I’m really, really confident that we’re going to have a good year and go a long way. With everyone back, there’s no reason we can’t go to the next level.
What are some of the biggest match ups to look forward to?
Rossville, St. Mary’s, Silver Lake, and Mission Valley.
What is something you’re working on as a team?
“There has been some separation I’ve felt this year in the girls, and that’s one thing I do not like. So I am hoping we can get some of the team bond together, though it’s something we can’t force.