Junior Rae Ehly – Girls’ Basketball

Q. Was the season what you expected? 
A. It wasn’t what I expected. I had no idea that I would feel so close to the team. We are such close friends and this is the most fun I’ve ever had playing basketball.

Q. Was the season better or worse than you were hoping for? 
A. It was better than what I was hoping for. I was hoping to make varsity but I didn’t think I would impact the team too much. But I really feel like I help the team in certain ways and really feel [like] a part of the varsity squad. My goals were to enjoy the season, but also step up my game and become a varsity player.

Q. What was your favorite event of the season? 
A. My favorite part of the season every year is the trip to Emporia or Topeka. It’s [the] only three days where you are with your team. It is major team bonding and bonding with the coaches. We get to know our coaches by doing activities during the day. When we went to Topeka we visited the Capitol, the Brown v. Board of Education museum and went out to eat. Everyone gets to know each other a lot better by spending a lot of time together.

Q. What are your favorite memories from this year? 
A. My team and I have too many great memories this year. We are all super close and have a million inside jokes. One of my favorite jokes is about Mrs. Kurle who is our assistant coach and she’s pregnant. We have an ongoing joke about her; one of the players rolled in with a wheel chair for her because she can’t be standing around and walking all over the floor. It was really funny and everyone was laughing. Everyone has a nickname for each person and there’s always someone who will make the team laugh at every practice either by missing a layup or just making a joke.

Senior Tyler Nelson – Wrestling

Q. How did your season go?
A. It’s going pretty well–I am 20-12, and the team is doing well also. This is the best team we have had of all time, since 1958 when the school began. I think we will have the highest record this year, because we have tough coaches that push us as hard as they can at practices and at matches. They have done it for a long time and really know how to push us. The guys on the team also know what they are doing so it makes it easier for us to get to the level we are at right now.

Q. Is it what you expected?
A. I expected to have the best team this season because the people we have are very skilled and the coaches know how to push us. Some of the guys on the team really change the outcome of everything so we can really count on them.

Q. How long have you been on the sport?
A. I’ve been on the team for two seasons. All of the wrestlers go on diets where they eat half of what they are used to eating and can’t eat anything with too much sugar. It all needs to be pretty healthy. During football season, I weighed around 210 pounds and now I only weigh 180 pounds. When I condition, I have to work out in sweat pants and a sweatshirt so I can sweat it all out. We don’t do anything that is unhealthy, we just have to really watch what we eat.

Q. What is your favorite part of the sport?
A. Hanging out with all of the guys and winning league was a big accomplishment. In the past we have tied, but this year we won single-handedly, and nobody expected us to win.

Q. Do you have any good memories?
A. Winning League this season was probably my favorite. We have such a tough League with some of the best teams in the state, and no one expected us to win. Our coach told us he believed we could win, but none of us believed him. He convinced us that we could win and we did.

Q. What makes you enjoy it?
A. Just being with the guys. I only joined it to help with football, and it kind of just stuck with me. I also really like the coaches and the teammates because we are all like a family and all the parents know you.

Q. How serious are you about it?
A. I am pretty serious about the sport. My coaches really push me and they have taught me some good things and my teammates care a lot about the sport so it makes me want to give it my all.

Q. What are your goals for the rest of the season?
A. I want to qualify to go to State and see if I can place there if we get to that spot. There is an upcoming meet to see who qualifies for State. Our goal is to score around 18 points, and we have to win at least two matches to be able to qualify. It is just like any other match so we just have to get out there and do what we do. The last two weeks are the most important because it is what you have been preparing for all season.

Q.  What were your goals at the beginning of the season?
A. I wanted to place at State at the beginning of the season because I made it there last year. It is my second season so I am a little behind on technique next to some of the guys on my team. I like to compensate with just doing my best and going out and winning.

Senior Jack Haverty – Boys’ Swimming

Q. How did your season go?
A. So far it has gone really well, we have only lost one meet against Blue Valley North, but they are the defending state champions and we also beat them twice. I’d say we have had a pretty successful season.

Q. Was it what you expected?
A. It is about what I expected because I knew we would have a chance of going to state, but maybe better because we swam against Blue Valley North three times and we’ve beat them twice and they have beat us only once. So I’d say its been a good year for the team.

Q. How long have you been on the team?
A. I have been doing East swimming all four years and varsity for two. I have been swimming competitively for about 14 years and in the summer at Milburn Country Club. Being on varsity is definitely better because it’s more competitive and I have grown a lot by being on varsity.

Q. Do you have any favorite memories from the season?
A. I was anchoring in the relay and it was tied when I jumped in; I finished the race and looked up to see everyone cheering. I hadn’t seen the score board yet, but I knew that we had won by the way everyone was acting. It was a really cool moment.

Q. What makes you enjoy the sport?
A. The sport itself can be boring because all we do is swim back and forth, but my favorite part is just being with the team–and winning is really fun. Having something to work for means a lot because I hate not having anything to do in swimming I can work hard and enjoy it at the same time.

Q. What are practices like?
A. Most of the time we joke around, and we aren’t too serious, but State is coming up so we have to start getting prepared. Usually practice is laid-back and we are always cracking jokes. Somebody on my team is nicknamed Stink Bug for no apparent reason, and every day we draw pictures on the white board of the stink bug.

Q. What were your goals at the beginning at the season?
A. My goals were to do really well at League and State. I think winning state is most important, but we have already accomplished that in the past, so I’m sure we can again. Another goal I had was to beat Blue Valley North, which we did twice out of the three times. We have more to accomplish still.

Ryan Oettmeier – JV Boys’ Basketball Coach 

Q. How has the basketball season been so far? 
A. This season has been a great success so far.  We are currently 12-4.  Hit a little rough patch lately after starting 11-0, but we are still working very hard. Our goals at the beginning of the season were to beat the Shawnee Mission schools twice, beating Rockhurst, and trying to go undefeated at home. Also, just being the best team in our league.

Q. How does this season compare to those past?
A.  This has definitely been one of the better seasons. As I have told the kids, this has been probably the most enjoyable season because they have exceeded a lot of my original expectations.

Q. Do you have any memories from the season so far? 
A. The two greatest memories I have for this season would be Cory Perkins hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer against Olathe South to send us into overtime (which we later won in OT).  Also, beating Rockhurst was very special for the kids.  This is my eighth year of coaching JV, and only the second time we have beaten them at the JV level. For a lot of these kids, this was the first time they had beaten Rockhurst, so it was pretty great to see their excitement.

Q. Were there any specific moments that brought the team closer? 
A. Not really. I think just playing together every day against the varsity brings them closer to each other. Also, out of the 11 guys that play JV, nine are juniors. So a lot of these guys have played together before.

Q. What do you tell your players to prepare them for a game? 
A. At the end of every pre-game talk, I always tell them, “have fun tonight.” If they aren’t having fun, they won’t enjoy competing. I feel like I’m pretty close with the team. I can be hard on them at times, but I follow that right up with a pat on the back and words of encouragement.