The cross country team opened up its season Saturday, running on a rather rainy morning in Silver Lake. For the girls team, freshman Payton Wurtz had a great opening run, taking 2nd place in her first high school meet with a time of 20:59. Junior Rebekah Stuhlsatz took 6th at 22:54. These two are looking to be a dynamic running duo — Stuhlsatz having state experience her freshman and sophomore years of high school already, placing 11th in 2019 and 14th in 2020. “I want to go to state this year, but I really want the whole team to go with me. I also want to crack the top-10 at state this year,” Stuhlsatz said.
Wabaunsee football is kicking off its season tonight with high expectations. Seniors Cade Oliver, Brayden Meseke, Caden Yonke, and Aiden Boeckman return a lot of experience to this squad, and plan to propel the team forward. “We are the leaders of the team; most of us have played for four years and know what we’ve got to do to be successful,” Meseke said. “It’s on us to hold the team and ourselves accountable.”
The tennis team opened its season Thursday at Wamego, with both singles players bringing home medals. Senior Mayah Mumpower went 4-0 to place first in #1 singles and sophomore Baylie Tharman went 2-2 to finish second in #2 singles. Though the team numbers are a little lower than usual, coach Brendan Praeger sees this as an opportunity to improve. “We graduated 7 people, so initially we dealt with small team issues. As we continued, this pushed players to work harder. These players can just get in more reps, and I’ve seen the younger players improve a lot more quickly than in previous seasons.”
The Wabaunsee volleyball team expects to achieve great things again this season. The team returns four starters, with three previous state appearances for the senior class — taking second as freshmen, first as sophomores and third as juniors. Though the team is bringing in a lot of previous players, there is a new addition to the group: head coach Chris Smart.
Junior Lauren Schutter needed all six attempts to achieve gold at Saturday’s state track meet in Wichita. Schutter, who medaled in the event as a freshman, took the lead on her second jump, 16’7.25”. It was good for a five-inch lead that looked like it might hold. But right before her sixth and final jump, two competitors pulled ahead. Horton’s Maliyah Soto jumped 16’9” and Syracuse’s Katelynn Riley jumped 16’8”, moving Schutter to third place.
Baseball and softball both ended the season in regional competition this week. Baseball fell to Mission Valley 5-9 and softball fell to Troy 2-5.
Senior Jace Reves announced his intent to continue his track career at Emporia State in a signing ceremony Monday at the WHS track. Reves was a state placer in 2019, finishing 8th in the 800. This season he competes in the 800, 4x4, 4x8, and 4x1, with a solid chance at returning to state in each event.
With the school year winding down, athletes look forward to summer weights. Summer weights is a time for athletes to stay in shape throughout the offseason. There will also be practices for most all sports. “Summer weights can help athletes get more explosive, keeping them in shape, and getting their muscles ready so they are able to compete at a high level,” said weights coach Garrett Eck.
Two Charger seniors have been a constant presence in athletic events for the last four years. Eli Mumpower and Jace Reves are this year’s 12-sport athletes. To be considered a 12-sport athlete, students have to play three sports each year for all four years. These athletes have no break between seasons. When one season ends, the other is often already underway.