Following the success of the 2019 season, the Charger softball team was hoping to win another state championship this spring. Unfortunately, due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, the season was cut short. The team had many exciting changes to look forward to this year, including Joe Dee Tarbutton’s first year as head coach. Tarbutton said he looked forward to a state championship with the team this year. He was also looking forward to “coaching a very talented team with Coach Oliver and Coach Eck.”
With school being transitioned to completely online due to the current stay at home order as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHS coaching staff and players took time to reflect on the season that could have been. With the 2020 season, the baseball team had some changes to the coaching staff. David Amer and Colby Harris joined the team as assistant coaches. “I was really enjoying getting back into the baseball groove and working with all of the guys,” Amer said. “It sucks we don't get to enjoy baseball this spring, but if it helps keep family members alive, it's what we need to do.”
On March 17, Governor Kelly made the decision to close all Kansas school facilities for the remainder of the year, ending the 2020 track season before it ever began. Track had high hopes for this season, with several returning state qualifiers and medalists, and upperclassmen who “set the tone for what was expected,” according to head coach Roger Alderman.
Senior Megan Strait signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at Coffeyville Community College in a ceremony February 20. Megan said she looks forward to her time there. “They have one of the best programs in D2 Juco, won the national championship twice, and got third in the last 3 years. I like the small town feel and how close everyone is. Delice (Downing) is an amazing coach and an amazing person, she connects with the girls as a mom figure rather than just being a coach all the time.”
Wabaunsee wrestling returned to the state podium last weekend. Friday and Saturday, juniors Eli Mumpower, Derek Wallin and Alex Warner competed at the Class 3-2-1A KSHSAA State Wrestling Championship at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays. Wallin went as far as placing 6th and earning a state medal in the 160 pound weight class.
Charger basketball tips off postseason play tonight at home, as the girls face Kansas City Christian 7 p.m. at home. The Chargers enter sub-state as the top seed with a 16-3 record. Eight seed KC Christian enters at 3-17.
Juniors Eli Mumpower, Derek Wallin and Alex Warner all managed to punch their tickets to the State Tournament after competing in a tough regional at Council Grove.
A large number of Wabaunsee students compete in school-sponsored sports, but only a select group compete in competitive, traveling, or club sports. Club sports give athletes the opportunity to improve skills in the off-season, play in front of college scouts, and let talented, small-school players compete against larger teams. “You will be able to see the difference in players. These kids are able to play basketball longer, which builds their basketball IQ. From [Spradling Skills Academy, SSA] they are getting a lot of information from very good coaches that played in college,” head boys’ basketball coach Christian Ulsaker said.
Charger adviser Brendan Praeger joins Laurel, Adam and Falisha to discuss the top Charger sports stories of 2019. Check out the Charger podcast for a list of top news stories of the year.
Coach Jess Rutledge joins Adam Miller, Laurel Barber and Falisha Willier to discuss powerlifting, bathtubs full of hot sauce and college football playoff predictions.