The Harbinger Online

2011-2012 Sports Preview

Football

It’s a Saturday morning in April. Football is the furthest thing from most people’s minds, but Dakota Collins, Christian Blessen and Nick Pirotte are out on the turf, throwing routes to their receivers. There’s no red-faced coach, angrily blowing his whistle for them to work harder; these young players took it upon themselves to improve their game.
It’s the kind of maturity and determination necessary to take over the starting quarterback position, and at this point, they are all even. Though their ages range from freshman to junior, any one of them could fill the shoes of first team All-Sunflower League quarterback John Schrock. Coming off of a record breaking 8-1 season, that role carries more weight than ever.The high-powered passing attack of the Lancers may have a new look, but the expectations remain the same. According to junior wide receiver Elliot Faerber, the offensive strategy won’t be changing drastically despite the absence of Schrock.
“Percentage-wise, we threw about 75% of the time last year, and we are actually planning on throwing more this year,” said Faerber.
Coach Chip Sherman puts a lot of trust in his young players, and the change in mentality from when he began coaching at East only two years ago is day and night. Others may see a group of undersized, over privileged kids, but Sherman sees the kind of young men who spend their seminars and Saturday mornings working tirelessly to get better. It’s important to him that his players take ownership and responsibility into the program. Coaches can prepare as much as possible, but ultimately it has to be the players who step up.
“The kids understand why they’re working hard; they understand the value of it,” said Sherman.
All three of the quarterback candidates have exemplified this work ethic in hopes of leading the team next year. Sherman is no stranger to decision-making; just last year, he chose to start Schrock over Robby Moriarty; his eye for talent will surely help him in selecting the 2011 QB.
Boys’ Basketball

We all used training wheels when we were young. They were safe; you never had to be responsible for keeping yourself up. The problem is, you can’t get too far with a pair of training wheels. Coach Shawn Hair is ready to kick them off as his team gears up for a state championship.

“You can only say they’re young for so long. They’ve grown up now,” said Hair.
Sophomores Vance Wentz and Zach Schneider will be returning for their third year on varsity, along with nearly every starter from last year. The Lancers will once again have a senior class of only four, but their leadership and composure on the court are an essential part of the team. 

With another year of play, the Lancers should have no problem coming out on top in close games. They have learned much from last years mistakes.

“We saw one bad thing lead to another; just small things that we can do right, but weren’t focused enough to accomplish,” said incoming senior Andy Hiett. The Lancers made adjustments later in the season and ended up only one win away from going to state.
While other teams, like Rockhurst, are losing several key players, the Lancers will be the quintessence of experience next year. Hair said the team will be preparing for the year the same, but expectations are much higher; being close is no longer good enough.

The players and coaches are much more confident this year, but there are still aspects of their game to improve. The Lancers relied heavily on outside shooting last year and hope to get a boost in the paint from current sophomore Billy Sutherland. Maintaining focus in tight games will be especially key.

The pieces appear to be falling into place for the Lancers and their training wheel days are long behind them.

Boys’ Soccer

We all used training wheels when we were young. They were safe; you never had to be responsible for keeping yourself up. The problem is, you can’t get too far with a pair of training wheels. Coach Shawn Hair is ready to kick them off as his team gears up for a state championship.

“You can only say they’re young for so long. They’ve grown up now,” said Hair.
Sophomores Vance Wentz and Zach Schneider will be returning for their third year on varsity, along with nearly every starter from last year. The Lancers will once again have a senior class of only four, but their leadership and composure on the court are an essential part of the team.

With another year of play, the Lancers should have no problem coming out on top in close games. They have learned much from last years mistakes.

“We saw one bad thing lead to another; just small things that we can do right, but weren’t focused enough to accomplish,” said incoming senior Andy Hiett. The Lancers made adjustments later in the season and ended up only one win away from going to state.
While other teams, like Rockhurst, are losing several key players, the Lancers will be the quintessence of experience next year. Hair said the team will be preparing for the year the same, but expectations are much higher; being close is no longer good enough.

The players and coaches are much more confident this year, but there are still aspects of their game to improve. The Lancers relied heavily on outside shooting last year and hope to get a boost in the paint from current sophomore Billy Sutherland. Maintaining focus in tight games will be especially key.

The pieces appear to be falling into place for the Lancers and their training wheel days are long behind them.



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Will Webber

Will is a senior in his second year with the Harbinger. Will writes about a wide range of topics for the print publication and is also a top contributor for the website's online broadcasts. He enjoys wearing suits and commentating varsity basketball games. Read Full »

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