By Tony Hooker
So, this season is starting out a little bit more normally than the previous sports season. How are the kids who run track adjusting to being in baseball/softball at the same time? Are there any? How about the coaches who are involved with both?
We don’t have any coaches that do both, but for the one boy and one girl who do both they pick their primary sport. They then go to that practice more often and will go to whichever game or meet has more significance if there is a conflict.
Who are key returnees that you’ll be leaning on this season?
It is somewhat hard to tell since we didn’t have a season last year. Daelin Price should be strong for us in the throws. Elijah Kiesel and Ashton Harrison should be strong for us in jumps. The girls distance team all have pretty good experience and should be competitive at meets. I look for our sprint relays to have some success as well.
Who are some key losses that you’ll have to fill?
This is also hard to tell with no season last year so we didn’t get to see some people compete. Some very talented seniors graduated like Chase Burwell, Kehm Shirley, Libby Floyd, and Ierik Sorensen, but our team last year and this year are so young that we haven’t lost many athletes.
Are there any newcomers who will be expected to contribute?
Most of the team. The majority of the team are underclassmen so the last time they raced was junior high. Going from junior high to high school is a big jump anyway but to do that with a gap year makes it extra difficult, but I still expect solid numbers from the Villa Grove-Heritage athletes. Maddie Burwell is a great addition to the team as she hasn’t competed in track since her freshman year. So, watch out for her in the discus.
What are your expectations for the season?
I think both boys and girl’s teams will be very competitive at the conference meet and the invites, and we will have the talent to send a good number of athletes to state. We don’t have many meets this year so things will go by fast.