Winter Wind-Up


Dylan Nesslein

Senior Abbie Hedgecock drives down the court in the girl’s first scrimmage versus Gothenburg. “We have a really good chemistry. We can play with each other, criticize each other, but also really help each other out,” she said.

Clay Stone, Managing Editor

Senior Abbie Hedgecock drives down the court in the girl’s first scrimmage versus Gothenburg. “We have a really good chemistry. We can play with each other, criticize each other, but also really help each other out,” she said. Photo by Dylan Nesslein

Fall has passed over, the leaves are gone, the snow is here, and the football cleats and golf visors are replaced with swim caps and new basketball shoes! The start of the winter sports season is here, and athletes are buying their gear while the coaches decide which one of their athletes is going to take a stand and lead the team during this new year.

Coach Matt Kaminski and the Dawgs basketball had a rough season a year ago, but Kaminski thinks that the group of returning seniors should be able to turn it around. “In my eight years, [these seniors] are certainly among the strongest group of high character, mature, no-nonsense kids I’ve been around,” he said.

The Dawgs will get the opportunity to play in Class B this season rather than Class A, but the schedule for the most part will not be affected by this change until next year. “We have the same schedule as last season with several Class A opponents, and we want to improve our record from a year ago,” Kaminski said. Kaminski also says that his seniors are more than just players, they are also good teammates. ”They want to work, they want to compete for each other, and they don’t care who gets the credit.”

The Lady Dawgs are beginning their third straight season with a new coach taking the lead. This season, the empty head coaching post was filled by Adams Middle School algebra teacher Tyson Hammond. “We have a great bunch of girls that have put in a lot of work since we first met last May. They did a great job this summer getting into the gym, and putting in the time it takes to improve,” said Hammond.

Hammond expects senior Peyton Negley and senior Abbie Hedgecock to set the tone for the Lady Dawgs, “These girls are great leaders and I’m definitely expecting a lot from them this year,” Hammond said. Hedgecock thinks that the team will push through the coaching changes. “We’ve had three coaches with three different styles, but that helps us adapt to anything,”he said

The swim and dive team, coached by Brian Jahnke, will have the advantage of eight returning State qualifiers, six of them are swimmers. “We are expecting big things from these swimmers, as they bring a lot of experience back to the pool,” Jahnke said. Senior Nathan Dowhower went to State with the relay team last year, but would like to qualify on his own this year, help the team bond. “We need to have each other’s backs and be there for each other. I’d like everyone to act more like a family than a team.”

Sophomore Jon Brouillette and senior Riley Smith are coming back after both getting a shot at the State competition last year. “They’ve worked really hard in the off-season, and are expecting a great season,” said Jahnke. Smith wants to make the most of her last year diving, so she and a few other divers attended Ripfest diving camp in Indiana. “I want to give my all and not leave anything behind, but I also want to focus on the team and what really matters for all of us,” Smith said.

Wrestling coach Dale Hall also has three young returning State qualifiers, in sophomores Jaylan Ruffin, Cash Arensdorf, and Darian Diaz. “The biggest thing I want to see from these guys and my upperclassmen, is a good work ethic,” said Hall. Senior Corey Parsons says that that he’s hoping to lead strong even with the younger team, “I hope to be a positive leader, representing what the team stands for on and off the mat,” said Parsons. The wrestling team is also making the transition to class B this year, but Hall says this won’t change the level of competition. “We are moving to class B, but I wouldn’t say moving down, the competition is just as strong,” said Hall. Hall is especially looking for the younger wrestlers to use the older guys as an example, “If the [upperclassmen] can get into it and lead by example, then we should be able to bring the experience up and improve the team,” Hall said.