Category: Season Previews

Speed and experience will fuel Eagle baseball success
Speed and experience will fuel Eagle baseball success

Speed and experience will fuel Eagle baseball success

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Forming the heart of the Canton-Galva baseball team this year are: front row (from left), Brett Middleton, Bryant Baldwin, Logan Rierson, Cody Johnson; back row, Eric Larson, Andrew Westbrook, Ted Regehr, Brett Williams, Taylor Myers.

With speed on the base?paths and a solid set of veteran batters, the Canton-Galva baseball team has its sights set on coach Joe Rierson?s first trip to the state tournament since 1998.

Rierson guided the team to a state championship in 1996 and has a core of seven returning letter-winners, six of whom earned all-league honors a season ago.

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Eagle softball gears up with a nucleus of five veterans
Eagle softball gears up with a nucleus of five veterans

Eagle softball gears up with a nucleus of five veterans

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Returning for the Canton-Galva softball team this spring are: front row (from left), Kalie Tector, Ashley Vogts; back row, Kaycie Shearer, Kaitlyn Bressie, Brianna Scott.

With six players returning after graduating five seniors from last year?s squad, coach Barry Fritz?s Canton Galva High School softball squad has both a stable foundation and a measure of uncertainty entering the new season.

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Marion girls gearing up for big track accomplishments
Marion girls gearing up for big track accomplishments

Marion girls gearing up for big track accomplishments

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The returning seniors and letter-winners for the Marion track team are: back row (from left), Julia Zeiner, Brett Billings, Adam Regnier, Justin Heidebrecht, Ryan Jones; middle row, Kayley Heerey, Hank Collett, Kristen Steinborn, Camille Christensen, Charlie Holub; front row, Kimber Hardey, Amara Prescott, Kalaya Jackson.

A season ago, a trio of senior girls led the Warriors to what coach Grant Thierolf termed ?the best finish in program history.?

His words do not contain a hint of overstatement.

The Marion girls are coming off a fourth-place team finish at the Class 3A state meet?not to mention the championship they won in the Mid-Central Activities Association or the myriad individual honors they obtained in the process.

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Consistency key to return trip to state for Marion golf
Consistency key to return trip to state for Marion golf

Consistency key to return trip to state for Marion golf

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The Marion High School golf squad has four returning letter-winners back after a fourth-place finish at state. They are: (from left) sophomore Lindsay Hett, senior Keith Jones, Luke Gordon, senior Jake Bredemeier.

With the graduation of Travis Hett, who took second place at the Class 3A state tournament last season, the Marion High School golf team has its work cut out for it.

?If we can stay consistent, we?ll be pretty good,? coach Rex Ostmeyer said. ?We return basically everyone from a team that tied for third in state last year.?

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As the lone senior, Jeffrey will lead young Warrior team
As the lone senior, Jeffrey will lead young Warrior team

As the lone senior, Jeffrey will lead young Warrior team

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The Marion baseball team includes (from left) Chase Carlson, Will Case, Logan Richmond, Isaac Hett, Adam Maag, Brian Fruechting, Zan Fine, Calvin Jeffrey. Coach Shawn Craft said every game, and especially the games early in the season, are ?critical for our confidence, to get our young guys going.?

The outlook for the Marion High School baseball team begins with senior Calvin Jeffrey, but also includes a group of six sophomores who started for the Warriors as freshmen.

Among those sophomores, Brian Fruechting will have the biggest role to play, filling the shoes of ace of the pitching staff and cleanup batter.

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Six seniors to lead Warrior softball team this spring
Six seniors to lead Warrior softball team this spring

Six seniors to lead Warrior softball team this spring

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The Marion High School softball team has six returning seniors: (from left) back row Tacy Taylor, Lauren Helmer, Megan Schmidt; front row Austin Percell, Lana Carroll. Not Pictured: Kristen Waner.

The Marion High School softball squad has six seniors returning to lead a team that goes 21 deep.

The Warriors lost six players to graduation, but increased their numbers to the point of being able to field a full-fledged junior varsity squad.

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New Start
New Start

New Start

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First-year coach Nathan Hiebert has six returning letter-winners at the core of his Hillsboro girls? team. Pictured from left are Abi Humber, Samantha Heinrichs, Amy Neufeld, Dakota Kaufman, Kassidi Luthi and Amanda Faber. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

The Hillsboro High School girls? basketball team will take the court as the defending Class 3A state champions this winter, but the makeup of this year?s squad will be very different from the one that roared through post-season play a year ago.

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Trojan boys short on experience, but long on talent
Trojan boys short on experience, but long on talent

Trojan boys short on experience, but long on talent

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This group of seniors and letter-winners will form the base of the Hillsboro boys? basketball aspirations for 2007-08. Pictured from left are Gavin Serene, Daniel Jost, David Loewen, Clay Shewey and Mitchell Koop. Jost is the only returning with significant varsity playing time as the Trojans lost eight athletes to graduation, injury or departure. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press.

Despite some adversity even before the start of the season, Hillsboro High School boys? basketball coach Darrel Knoll is looking for his fresh-look Trojan squad to improve on last year?s 11-11 record.

Knoll knew he?d be losing seven key players from last year?s team, but a knee injury to returning point guard Spencer Brown late in the football season has changed the tenor of the upcoming campaign.

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Five state qualifiers spice a solid Trojan mat lineup
Five state qualifiers spice a solid Trojan mat lineup

Five state qualifiers spice a solid Trojan mat lineup

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The Hillsboro wrestling team has 10 varsity-seasoned seniors and letter-winners to fill many of the 14 weight classes on this year?s wrestling card.? Pictured from left are Jacob Yoder, Tyler Jones, Frankie Martin, Nicholas Mueller, John Hein, Jared King, Zach Jost, Grady Stultz, CJ Shaw and Alex Jost. That bodes well for a Trojan program that has compiled a 25-1 record in duals the past two seasons. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press.

With five state qualifiers returning, plus several other athletes with varsity seasoning, coach Scott O?Hare anticipates another strong year for Hills?boro wrestling.

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Bluejay men expect to surprise KCAC competition
Bluejay men expect to surprise KCAC competition

Bluejay men expect to surprise KCAC competition

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The Tabor College men?s team is off to a 2-5 start against a tough early-season schedule. First-year coach Micah Ratzlaff expects his squad to surprise pollsters who picked the Bluejays to finish ninth in the preseason KCAC poll. Pictured are: back row (from left) assistant coach Garrett Bryant, Mike Rousell, Jared Hett, Orson Thomas, Kory Faul, Brent Nelson, Brett Curran, head coach Micah Ratzlaff, Zack Vanselow, Mike Stoecker, Jordan Funk, Jeff Hussong, Andrew Schroter, assistant coach Anthony Monson, student assistant coach Tyler Weinbrenner; front row, Brad Kaiser, Aaron Schmucker, DaQuon Anderson, Kyle Kroeker, Kyle do Blonk, Caleb Good, Aaron Whitelaw, Dustin Burnett, Melvin Green, Dale Collins, Ryan Watson. Vance Frick / Tabor College.

On the cusp of conference play, the 2007-08 Tabor College men?s basketball season already bears some of the marks of a transition year.

With the loss of all-conference guards Andy Brubacher and Tyler Weinbrenner to graduation, along with Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference ?Newcomer of the Year? Greg Munroe this off-season, and combined with the changing of the guard at the end of the Bluejay bench, Tabor slid to ninth place in preseason polls.

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