2023 Spring Sports Preview

Returning senior and letter winners Robert Spohn, Gentri Holub, Anthony Rziha
Returning letter winners Allie Stuchlik, Kaitlynn Bina

Centre Track returns strong with strong roster and former head coach returning after year off

Coach Alan Stahlecker is back for his 21st season of coaching track at Centre after taking the 2022 season off. Dawson Raymer is assistant coach, in his first year with the Centre Track team. He is also helping with the Centre Junior High track program.

“We are fortunate to have nine returning participants from the 2022 track team, five of whom were letter winners by their performance on the track and in the field. We have thee new participants in Track and Field, with one being a freshmen,” said Stahlecker.

The team has five returning letter winners.

Kaitlynn Bina returns as the overall leading scorer from the 2022 season and a 6th place finisher at the 2022 regional track meet in the 1600 meter run.

“She is a distance runner, who will venture down to the 800 on occasion, but she plans to focus on the 1600 this spring. She may pick up the Javelin as an additional event,” said Stahlecker.

Allie Stuchlik returns as the highest placer at the 2022 regional track meet where she placed 5th in the 3200 meter run. She will run distance.

Anthony Rziha returns as the only senior and the boys leading scorer from the 2022 season.

“He excels in the horizontal jumps where he earned most of his points, but he also runs the 100. He competed in the long jump, triple jump and 100 at the Regional Track Meet,” said Stahlecker.

Gentri Holub participated in the Shot Put and Javelin in his first high school season as a sophomore and was able to be competitive.

Stahlecker said, “I expect him to take another big step forward as he seeks to improve on his performances from last year.”

Robert Spohn made his entry into high school track last season and participated in all the jumping events available.

“As he has matured and grown stronger I expect to see some big improvement this season in the long, triple and high jumps,” said Stahlecker.

The team also has several returning athletes. Emilee Remmers does the high jump and discus. Alex Marshall has participated in the discus. Michael Herrera participates in the sprints, up through the 400 meters. Andrew Madron also participates in the sprints, up through the 400 meters.

Newcomers to the team this year are still searching out events in which to participate and include sophomores Haily Barton (throws) and Olivia Carlson (throws, horizontal jumps and hurdles) and freshmen Addison Bina (throws). Carlson will also participate as a diver in the Marion/Centre Coop for swimming and diving.

“Coach Raymer will handle the hurdlers, sprinters and horizontal jumpers, while I will work with the throwers, distance runners and high jumpers,” said Stahlecker.

Back row: Grant Bryant, Eli Boden, Joey Lapp, Javin Schmidt, Jake Flaming, Rylee Walker, Riley Graber, Tiffany Popp, Jaicee Griffin, Ashley Rosfeld, Brooklyn Wuest. Front row: Jake Wiens, Kacen Smith, Levi Olson, Aimee Funk, Logan Bryant, Abbigail Funk, Cheyenne Sawyer, Braylyn Hoopes.

GHS Golf returns with strong team

The Goessel High School golf team comes back with Coach Chad Lindeman at the helm in his 12th year coaching.

The team finished in 6th place last season with Noah Schrag placing 4th individually with an 80.

Schrag, a junior and 1st Team all State selection through the Kansas Golf Coaches Association, returns

along with Chevy Gagnon and Kyle Valdois.

“I am excited to see what Noah Schrag can do this year and to see him improve and make another run at the top 5 in the State tournament. He has been playing in some junior leagues in the off season and plays any chance he can get. He loves golf and is always working to get better and be the best he can be,” said Lindema. “I am also looking forward to seeing Kyle Valdois and Chevy Gagnon improve from last year. Chevy will be coming off an ACL injury from football so we will see how that goes. Kyle works hard and I am looking forward to another year for him and for him to be more consistent this year. So we will be looking for 3 more people to fill our varsity team.”

The team has 20 athletes that have decided to come out for golf this season. There are no returning juniors from last year’s team so no returning seniors this year.

“This will be another rebuilding year with three players returning from our State Team last season. I am excited to see what we can accomplish,” said Lindeman. “We have a number of first time golfers coming out so I am excited about that. I am hoping that we can find a few more to add to the varsity level to make a team for Regionals and hopefully State. This could mean rotating people around to see what we can do.”

The team’s biggest challenge this year will be finding six players to play at the varsity level.

“With only three returning players from last year and Chevy Gagnon coming off an ACL injury we will need some inexperienced players to work hard and hopefully help us out at the varsity level. Our varsity team could look different week to week and consistency could be a struggle for us,” said Lindeman. “Our goal for this season is to be competitive as a team and hopefully get back to the State Tournament.”

COMING—The team gets started on Friday, March 31 at the Solomon Meet at Great Life Golf Course Salina.

GHS Track comes back strong

The Goessel High School track team had a great season last year and plan to come back stronger than ever. Last season, the girls took 2nd in Wheat State League and 2nd at Regionals. The boys took 1st at Wheat State League, 1st at Regionals and 9th at State for the 2022 season.

“We are looking forward to a good year again at Goessel High School. We are returning good

group of state qualifiers from last year,” said Head Coach Curtis Guhr.

Curtis Guhr, returns for his 16th year as head track coach. Assistant coaches are Crysta Guhr, Joni Smith, Garrett Hiebert, Brian Lightner and Amy Flaming.

On the the girls’ side, Cheyenne Sawyer, Logan Bryant (4X400 Relay), Jaicee Griffin, Rylee Walker, Braylyn Hoopes (4X800 Relay, 14th), Cheyenne Sawyer, Aimee Funk, Abbigail Funk, Logan Bryant (4X100 Relay, 5th), Cheyenne Sawyer (100 Hurdles, 6th , 300 Hurdles, 6th), Jaicee Griffin (1600, 16th), Logan Bryant (300 Hurdles), Aimee Funk (Long Jump, 15th), Riley Graber (High Jump, 15th, Triple Jump 16th). Returning letter winner Brooklyn Wuest will also be back.

On the guys side, returning state qualifiers are, Grant Bryant, Kacen Smith, Joey Lapp (4X100 relay-6th), Grant Bryant (4X400, 5th), Jake Flaming (4X800 Relay, 11th), Grant Bryant (400, 110 Hurdles, 6th) and Caleb Burkholder (High Jump 15th). Other returning letter winners for the guys are Eli Boden, Javin Schmidt, and Levi Schrag.

“We will be looking to these returning letter winners and state qualifiers to lead the team this season,” said Guhr.

Coming — The team gets started at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4 at the Peabody-Burns CKTL meet.

Seniors and returning letter winners Bryant Dalke, Ella Suderman, Makenna Reed and Josh Siebert. Not pictured returning letter winners are Annaliese Jorgenson and Lincoln Wichert.

HHS Golf returns heavy on numbers and experience

Coach Scott O’Hare, who is coaching Hillsboro High School Golf for the 25th season as head coach, is ready for the season as they begin with the largest number of players ever.

“This will be one of the larger golf teams as far as numbers (14 golfers are out) that we have had at HHS. Several of them are just getting into the game of golf, but a few have participated for us over the past couple of years. A few have also been involved in the Hillsboro Jr. Golf Program and have had some formal instruction,” said O’Hare.

While many are new to the team, they are very eager to learn and play.

“I expect them to be very coachable. My hope is that each of them will continue to learn and improve so that we can put together a competitive team of six varsity golfers as well as get the less experienced

players some quality JV tournament opportunities,” O’hare said. “I know a few of those that return with some experience have spent some time on the course during the off-season and a couple competed in some area tournaments this past summer.”

The team had a great season last year as they qualified for the 2A State Championships last season and finished 9th overall. However, sophomore Lincoln Wichert is the only team member returning from

that varsity state qualifying team. But they have golfers returning with some varsity experience that will be key in senior Bryant Dalke and junior Annaliese Jorgenson. Other key players will be senior Josh Siebert and sophomore Owen Dalke.

While O’Hare is optimistic about the experience of his players, there are challenges they will have to overcome.

He said, “Probably the biggest challenge will be the size of the squad and variety of experience and ability levels. It will be a challenge to manage practices and find ways to get each golfer the amount of individual instruction time they need to help them improve in all areas of the game.”

But he is ready for the challenge and has a plan to be successful.

“The goal is to put together a varsity team of four to six golfers that can shoot scores in the 80s or low 90s. I will be challenging the varsity group to set a goal to post team scores under 350,” O’Hare said.

Returning letter winners Zander Haslett, Tanner Parks and Dawson Boldt will play for Hillsboro High School baseball.

HHS/PBHS baseball is young but hardworking

Coach Daniel Moss will be coaching the Hillsboro High School and Peabody-Burns High school coop baseball team this season. The new coach is excited about the season although he acknowledges that he is playing with a young team.

“We graduated a lot of talented players last year, so we are a very young team that only returns five players from last season. We do however expect to be competitive in a very tough Central Kansas League. We know we will have some growing pains but look forward to getting better every day. There is a lot of really good pitching in the league, and we are going to have to battle and find ways to manufacture runs,” said Moss.

Key returners will be Peabody senior Tanner Parks (P/SS/OF) and Hillsboro juniors Dawson Boldt ( OF/P/SS), Zander Haslett (3B/P), Logan Frantz (OF/P/2B) and Dallas Whorton (1B/OF). Other key players will be sophomores Nash Dickinson (C/1B/P), Jesse Collins (OF/P), and freshmen Kole Willis Dirks (SS/P).

Moss said, “Our biggest challenge will be our lack of experience (young team). We have six upper

classmen with one of those being a foreign exchange student from Germany.”

The team has been practicing for almost a month thought and played an alumni game on March 25 to prepare for the season.

The team’s goals are to improve every day, be more aggressive at the plate, have at least 50% of all at-bats be Quality-at-Bats as a team, commit fewer errors and be more aggressive on the base paths.

Hillsboro Seniors Delaney Lucero, Kristin Kluver, Keeley Brewer and Kori Arnold.

HHS softball returns with well-rounded roster of returners and new players

Coach Alyssa Kroeker is ready for her 2nd year coaching the Hillsboro High School softball team. The return after last year’s season with several successes including Reese Hefley making All-League 1st team team outfielder and All-State Honorable Mention outfielder, Kori Arnold making All-League 2nd team Pitcher and Keeley Brewer named All-League Honorable Mention Outfielder.

The team returns with solid athletes including seniors Kori Arnold, Keeley Brewer, Kirsten Kluver and junior Anslee Brewer. Other key players will be senior Delaney Lucero, junior Faith Cummings and sophomores Keitra Edwards, Cassidy Bernhardt and Skylar Voran.

“All starters from last year and vital for the team’s success this season. Other players that will make an impact this season will be Faith Cummings (junior), Skylar Voran (sophomore), Cassidy Bernhardt (sophomore), Keitra Edwards (sophomore), Hailey Miller (sophomore) and Trysta Miller (sophomore),” said Kroeker.

Newcomers include junior Bailee Gawith who was injured last season. The team also welcome three new freshmen Adi Winter, Abi Benda and Alivia Hefley.

Kroeker said, “The first two weeks of practice have revealed great attitudes and hard work, top down. I’ve never started out a season so smoothly before. I’ve got girls that want to learn the game and get better at the game, which is all a coach wants. We had a bitterly cold practice this past week and not a single girl complained about being cold or not wanting to do things in practice. I’m excited to see what this team can accomplish this year in softball.”

The team does face some obstacles.

“We had a few quit from last season so we are down on numbers. This will hurt when we need

substitutes and/or runners in a game,” said Kroeker.

But she is optimistic for the season since all of the freshmen played on a team over the summer.

“The goals for this season are to become more knowledgeable about the game of softball. Of

course, we would like to win more than we lose but also grow together as teammates,” Kroeker said.

Coming—Hillsboro softball kicked off the season with a home opener on March 28 against Hesston. No results were available at press time. They will play next at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 at home against Remington.

Hillsboro senior David Schafer. Other returning letter winners not pictured are Luke Issac and Colton Rempel.

HHS Tennis young but motivated to win

Coach John Ruder is back and ready to lead the Hillsboro High School boys tennis team in a great season.

“I am looking forward to an exciting season with the tennis team. Exciting because I have several young players who have the potential to develop into solid tennis players. We have three sophomores and two freshmen, which is great because they have started playing soon enough that they will have time to develop. That said, I believe we are a year or two away from having a really solid team. This year will be a year of learning and gaining experience. I believe we will have some success, but the biggest goal and the biggest success will be measured in constant improvement along with the development of a love for the game.

Two key returning player are sophomores Colton Rempel and Luke Isaac.

Ruder said, “They were developing into a good doubles team last year. I expect continued improvement. How far they go will depend on how hard they work and how well they are coached. My goal is to give my all to their improvement— and I believe they are the kind of young men who give their all to get better. It is possible that they could qualify for state.”

Other key players will be freshmen Casen Steinert and Landyn Johnson.

“This will be a season of learning and development for these players. They have a lot of untapped potential, so I expect them to improve drastically from the start to the finish of the season,” said Ruder.

Coming —The boys kicked off their season on Tuesday, March 28 with a quad at Clay Center Community High School but no results were available at press time. Their next tournament will be at 3 p.m. on April 4 at Smoky Valley High School.

Hillsboro seniors and returning letter winners. Front: Mariah LaPlante, D’Myia Cox, Karley Loewen, Abbi Williams, Gabby Arnold. Middle Row: Pedro Nieto, Seth Driggers, Moriah Jost. Back row: Ander Weisbeck, Zachary Denholm, Deon Weeks, Alan Torres, Nick Cunningham.

HHS Track young but ready to compete

Coach Demetrius Cox returns for his 2nd season as Head Track and Field Coach for Hillsboro High School. His goal is to have the team compete at a high level and he plans to help his athletes with individual growth, team growth and to enjoy the sport.

The biggest challenge for the team will be inexperience.

Cox said, “We have a very talented young team, that is going to have to compete at a high level.”

The team sent one athlete to state last year. D’myia Cox competed in the Triple Jump and took 11th place. She returns for her last season before heading off to Tabor College where she will continue her track and field career.

“She is our top performer returning this season and is looking to make it back to state this season. She has made it to state every season and is looking to end her high school career on a high level,” said Coach Cox.

Additional returning athletes are seniors, Moriah Jost, Nicholas Cunningham and Zachary Denholm. Other key players will be sophomores Abbi Williams, Anders Weisbeck and Seth Driggers.

Coming—The team gets started at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4 at home.

Seniors and returning letter winners Katie Rempel, Tanner Plett and Ainsley Duell. Returning letters not pictured are Violet Klein, Gabi Sibayan, Caitlin Thornhill, Alexis Hostetler, Olivia Carlson and Leah Brunner.

Marion Coop swim team returns with new coach and solid roster

The Marion swim team is a coop team that includes swimmers from Marion, Hillsboro, Peabody and Centre. They come back for their second year with new coach Mackenzie Magee.

Last season, diver Olivia Carlson made it to state in the one meter diving and placed 10th. She is primed to have a great season.

The team returns most of their swimmers from last season as well as new faces. Ainlsey Duell, senior from Hillsboro will be a key returner. Caitlin Thornhill will be a key returner and is a junior from Marion. Leah Brunner is a returner and is also a junior from Marion. Lauryn Vogt, Hillsboro will be a key freshman coming in this year. Cadence Craig will also be a great addition to the team this year.

“I think we have a promising season ahead of us and that girls will be able to make their cuts and be able to compete at the state meet,” said Magee. “It will be a challenge working with four different schools and the different schedules, but we have great support from each school to make it a successful season.”

Magee said the team has set goals for themselves individually and as a group which will provide their definition of success for the season.

“I feel like if we work hard and come together as a team, we will improve and enjoy the season which always makes for a successful year,” she said.

The team has already started their season. They took 2nd place out of 7 teams at their home meet on Thursday, March 23.

Some of the results were as followed:

Girls 200 Yard Medley Relay – 1) Talia Jost, Ainsley Duell, Lauryn Vogt and Tanne Plett took 2nd with a time of 2”08.67. 3rd place was Cadence Craig, Leah Brunner, Caitlin Thornhill and Chloe Callahan with a time of 2:14.78.

Girls 200 yard freestyle – Tanner Plett took 5th with a time of 2:31.17.

Girls 200 yard IM – Vogt took 1st with a time of 2:16.70 and Thornhill took 5th with 2:51.66

Girls 50 yard freestyle – Craig took 3rd at 28:33.

Girls 100 yard butterfly – Vogt took 2nd at 1:02:46.

Girls 100 yard freestyle – Craig took 3rd with a time of 1:02.85.
Girls 500 yard freestyle – Plett placed 5th at 7:08.34.

Girls 200 yard freestyle relay – Jost, Duell, Vogt and Plett took 2nd with a time of 1:56.26.

Girls 100 yard breaststroke – Duell took 1st with a time of 1:23.46 and Brunner took 4th at 1:27.84.

The girls also competed at Wichita NW over the weekend where they took 8th out of 18 teams. No more results were available at press time.

Coming—The team competes next at 1 p.m. at Newton on April 11.

MHS Track and Field has roster filled with leaders under seasoned coach

Coach Grant Thierolf returns to lead the Marion Warriors this season. This will be his 35th year coaching track and field for the MHS.

The boys comes back this season with solid returners. For seniors, Tristen Dye (800), Christopher Beery (3200), Chance Shults (PV-hurdles) and Quade Williams (javelin) all return this season, along with junior Jonathan Frese (200/400) and sophomores Luke Wessel (1600-3200) and Brian Nguyen (SP). They will be joined by freshmen Eli Klenda (1600-3200).

“We are looking forward to this season and cannot wait to get started. We have a great group of seniors who provide tremendous leadership for us. They make coming to practice everyday an enjoyable experience,” said Thierolf. “We will be led by our distance runners, with Tristen Dye and Christopher Beery setting the tone for us on a daily basis. They work their tail ends off each day and set an example for a talented group of younger runners. Luke Wessel, Eli Klenda, Keenan Lange, Owen White, Harrison Beery, Jaxon Salbury and Gabe Hasenbank will give us a talented group of runners to work with for our distance crew.”

The girls will be strong with senior Mckinnon Waner (Disc/javelin), junior Gabrielle Newell (110H) and sophomores Taryn Kraus (300h), Addison Cooper (TJ/400) and Sophia Dye (disc/javelin)

Waner and Williams are setting the tone with the throwers group and they are working to get better each day. Waner was in the finals at Regionals last year in both the discus and javelin and should pick right up as a top thrower this spring.

“Quade really picked up the javelin last spring and we are looking at getting more out of him this season. Landon Dye, Brian Nguyen, Jackson Bitonti, Sophia Dye, Madisyn Hulett and Vlad Harris are a talented group of throwers that will push hard to get better. We are very excited about this group,” said Thierholf.

Shults will lead the jump group this year.

“We are really looking forward to the improvement we will see with this group. Chance returns to us as a state qualifier in the pole vault. He is also one of the top hurdlers returning in the area so we look forward to what we will get from Chance this season. Kellen Waner, Kenna Wesner, Addison Cooper, Hailey Harshman, Gabrielle Stuchlik, Georgia Madgwick, and Chylynn Watts all had very good seasons last year and have gotten better from one year to the next. This will be a fun group to watch this year,” said Thierholf.

A couple of juniors lead the sprint and hurdle crew.

Thierholf said, “Gabby Newell and Jonathan Frese have really been putting in the time to improve and we are fortunate to have them leading our runners on the track. Gabby has worked all winter on the hurdles and it is showing in her workouts. Jonathan is one of the hardest workers we have and sets a great example for everyone on our team. Kayla McPhail, Wyatt Soyez, Jesse Snyder, Maria Carlson, Sam Calvert and Chifae El Harrah Bouharrat all have talent that can help us this year.”

Coming—The team starts their season at 4:30 p.m. on April 5 at home at the Marion CKTL meet.

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