USD 410 Fall 2020 Sports

 

Front row (from left): Tristan Rathbone, Austin Rempel, Dillon Boldt, Jared Janzen, Cole Kaufman, Paul Glanzer, Frank Wichert
Back row: Jamari Harris, Matthew Potucek, Jaxxon Hanschu, Lane Rogers, Levi Smith

Hillsboro is looking pretty solid this year after only losing two players to graduation last year. In addition to keeping the majority of their team, they gained a few transfers and some freshmen.

Many of the returners lettered last year as well as received league awards and numerous honorable mentions.

“We have some really solid guys. We have Matthew Potucek, Jamari Harris, Tristan Rathbone, Austin Rempel, Jared Janzen, Frank Wichert and Dillon Boldt. Levi Smith is coming up and he looks really promising,” said Demetrius Cox, who is starting his second year as head coach.

While Cox and his staff and team are feeling good about the season, there is some concern about the obstacles they face with the virus.

“I am worried about us staying focused and not getting too stressed out about COVID. We have put a lot of safety precautions in place so I am not worried about it in that aspect. If we run into an obstacle (of other teams getting it and not being able to play us) and can’t play, then we will find a way to get our team ready for the next week,” said Cox.

Regardless of the obstacles, the team seems upbeat and just ready to play.

Coming- The trojan kicks off their season on Friday, Sept 4 at Nickerson.

 

Front row (from left): Kinsey Kleiner, Kory Arnold, Dani Klein
Back row: Sammie Saunders, Jessica Saunders, Tuesday Weisbeck, Teegan Werth

The Trojan girls are looking strong and ready to win this year as they come back with seven returning starters from last season.

“These 7 girls will have a great deal of experience and game knowledge. We should have a large group of girls in the gym as the freshmen class is pretty big,” said Sandy Arnold, head coach of 17 years.

And three of the girls are Central Kansas League (CKL) All-League players—Jessica Saunders, Kinsey Kleiner and Sammie Saunders.

This year’s team will return a large number of girls with varsity experience. They have always had a passion for the game, but hopefully now their experience and game knowledge, in addition to their athleticism, will help them reach a new level.

“Once our serving and our passing game is consistent, the possibilities for a strong run at the end of the season could open up. These two things have to be strong and at a higher level in order for the rest of the game to fall into place,” said Arnold.

Nickerson, Smoky Valley, and Halstead will be the teams to beat in the CKL.

“Our goal would be to join them in the top spots of the league. The CKL league is always competitive so every night will be a challenge. We will continue to branch out this season, as we have scheduled matches with larger schools such as Great Bend and Emporia,” said Arnold.

Like all teams, COVID-19 presents a challenge.

“We are not certain we will be playing in tournaments this season due to COVID-19,” said Arnold.

KSHSAA has recommended the largest competition be a quad.

“We are honestly just truly happy to be playing this season and hope we can finish the schedule in place – with adjustments – and hopefully have post-season play,” said Arnold.

Hillsboro has a strong volleyball tradition. The first state title was in 1987. They made appearances in the late 90s and early 2000s.

“In 2008 we started a string of seven straight appearances that continued through the 2014 season – including 3 consecutive state titles from 2011-2013 and a state runner up in 2014,” said Arnold.

This will undoubtedly be on the player’s minds as they strive for another state title.

Coming- The girls will open up their season at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at Hesston.

 

Front row (from left) Emersyn Funk, Ainsley Duell, Moriah Jost
Back row Noah Bartel, Caleb Diener, Tristan Reed, Carson Linnens

The Trojan cross country team has set a team goal to make it to state and it seems plausible considering that many of them have already been there.

Three of the team’s athletes went to state last season. Emersyn Funk placed 16th for girls. For the boys, Tristan Reed placed 22nd and Caleb Diener came in at 59th.

Funk, now a junior is the 5k school record holder and has been to state two years in a row. Seniors Reed and Diener have also been to state twice so all have had the experience.

And Coach Kodi Panzer points out that the team has a solid group of underclassmen coming up as well as two new seniors who have joined.

Sophomore Moriah Jost has sheer determination in practices and training throughout the summer to reach her goal of getting to state and freshmen Levi Allen was undefeated in his 7th and 8th-grade seasons.

“With a team of five males, two returning state qualifiers, our newcomers Levi Allen and Noah Bartel and a previous letterman Carson Linnens (PR 21 minutes 2 years ago), the runners have set a goal to make it to state as a team,” said Panzer. “Both males and females are dominating practices early on in the season, compared to near the end of last year’s season due to the training program over the summer to reach their individual and team goals.”

This team will be a lot of fun to watch this year.

Coming – Their first meet is at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 at Lindsborg.

 

The Hillsboro High School cheer squad is relatively young this year with six of the eight teammates being underclassmen. Two of the athletes, sophomore D’myia Cox and freshmen Landry Duerksen will be joining the squad for the football homecoming performance and then basketball season since they both play volleyball.

Senior Sarah Paulus is captain and has been on the squad for three years. Junior Olivia Slater has also been on the squad for three years. Sophomores Tanner Plett and Karley Loewen have both returned for their second year.

Newcomers freshmen Rylie Driggers and Adrian Unruh have joined the team.

Coach Kathy Klein is on her 6th year as their fearless leader and is excited about the potential this young squad has this year.

I have an amazing group of cheerleaders this season,” said Klein.

Coming – The cheerleaders will kickoff their season at 7 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 4 at the football game at Nickerson.

The Hillsboro High School cheer squad is relatively young this year with six of the eight teammates being underclassmen. Two of the athletes, sophomore D’myia Cox and freshmen Landry Duerksen will be joining the squad for the football homecoming performance and then basketball season since they both play volleyball.

Senior Sarah Paulus is captain and has been on the squad for three years. Junior Olivia Slater has also been on the squad for three years. Sophomores Tanner Plett and Karley Loewen have both returned for their second year.

Newcomers freshmen Rylie Driggers and Adrian Unruh have joined the team.

Coach Kathy Klein is on her 6th year as their fearless leader and is excited about the potential this young squad has this year.

I have an amazing group of cheerleaders this season,” said Klein.

Coming – The cheerleaders will kickoff their season at 7 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 4 at the football game at Nickerson.

 

HHS Tennis

While John Ruder is a new coach to the Hillsboro High tennis girls, he is not at all new to the game of tennis. In fact he brings years of experience from both his years at Tabor and just life in general.

And he is already excited about the talent and hard work he has seen in the short amount of time he has been working with the team.

“This is a great group of young ladies. They are very coachable and excited about the season. In the two weeks we have been working together, I have seen some real improvement. I believe we will have some singles players or doubles teams that will have a very good chance of qualifying for the state tournament,” said Ruder.

The team has a solid group of upper classmen leadership including seniors Kyla Isaac, Kailee Funk, and Callie Barnhardt and junior Callie Plenert. Juniors Kate Maxwell and Cheyenne Funk are also ones to watch as they continue to grow and improve.

Like all teams this fall, COVID-19 proves to be this teams biggest challenge.

“We will need to navigate our way through the COVID-19 procedures keeping everyone healthy,” said Ruder.

The coach remains optimistic though and is ready for the challenge.

“After retiring as the Tabor College, Head Men and Women’s tennis coach in 2019, I am really excited to be back on the court teaching tennis. I’m looking forward to a great year,” said Ruder.

Coming- The girls first Varsity Invitational was on Tuesday, Sept 1. They play next on Thursday, Sept 3 at Ellsworth High School.

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