Changing of the guards
In a year when every school is changing leagues — Hillsboro High School to the Central Kansas League, Marion to the Heart of America League, and Centre, Peabody-Burns, and Goessel to the Wheat State League — there is also a changing of the guard of stellar athletes.
Underclassmen are stepping into some big shoes left by another class of outstanding graduating seniors.
The Marion High School football team is starting two new running backs and a new quarterback.
The Trojan football team in Hillsboro lost quarterback Jacob Fish and wide receiver Jacob Edwards to graduation, both were key pieces in the Trojans spread offense last year.
The MHS volleyball team lost six seniors from last year’s squad — hitters Julia Zeiner and Kayley Heerey, setter Lindsay Hett, and libero Emmali Kelsey.
Key seniors Dakota Kaufman, Candace Weinbrenner, and Taryn Mayfield graduated from the HHS volleyball team. The Trojans are switching from a 5-1 offensive structure, to take advantage of the talents of this year’s team.
Sophomore Jordan Hett will lead the charge for MHS cross-country, finishing an impressive ninth place last year at state and will become the Warriors’ marquee runner after Ryan Jones graduated.
Senior Joel Allen is joining the Hillsboro cross-country team after moving from Minnesota at the beginning of the winter semester last year. He finished third in the 3200-meter run at the state track meet this past spring. He will be replacing Nathan Vogel as the Trojans best runner.
The Hillsboro High School tennis team has five returning seniors — Becky Faber, Emma Heyen, Elise Heyen, Hayley Pankratz, and Aubery Meier. Because of the returning depth, coach Bob Woelk believes some Trojans may be state bound.
The Peabody-Burns football team changed to 8-man this year and is a young team, but many of its skill position players saw playing time last season.
Although he is a sophomore, Hunter Pickens returns at quarterback. Storm Pickens returns as a third-year starter at running back and is running behind a line of third-year starters Trevor Foth, Derek Price, and Spencer Moffett in the Warriors first year back as an 8-man team.
The Goessel Bluebirds football team has senior quarterback Neal Brubaker and senior running back John Berkholz to lean on for their offensive success this season.
Unlike many other teams in the county, the Centre Cougars football team has seven seniors returning to its 8-man squad, including star quarterback Tanner Brunner.
Embry Hodges and Michaela Methvin are returning hitters for the PBHS volleyball team but will be joined by four new teammates.
PBHS and GHS also have preeminent athletes on their cross-country teams.
Junior Lauren Pickens is looking to improve on a sixth-place finish at state last season.
Laird Goertzen is the only senior on the GHS cross-country team but is looking to go to state for a fourth consecutive season.
Last modified Sept. 9, 2010