Last year the softball team exceeded expectations. It was the furthest the team had gone in quite a while. The team had no seniors last season, but that will change this year. The team has a year of experience together and want to use that to their advantage. Coach Slemp would like to finish well in the Sunflower League and to continue to improve. The team feels good about their defense and that will help the team win more games. This season, Slemp said there is an opportunity to do some special things and become closer as a team.
Returning this season with nine of 11 starters, the team is expected to develop this year. Expectations are high, because the team went to the quarterfinals last year and lost 2-0 to Blue Valley Northwest. Blue Valley West, Blue Valley Northwest and Olathe East will be some of the hardest teams to beat this season. The main goals for this year, according to Coach Kelly, are to win league and play as an unit throughout the entire season. Senior midfielder Molly Rappold, sophomore forward Addison Steiner and senior defender Kirsten Clark will help lead the team to many victories this year.
After making progress last year and doubling the amount of wins from the year before, the team should demonstrate some potential. Coach Ryherd said that he saw some young players over the summer that showed progress and could be really good in this league. One of the strengths this year will be the middle infield, according to Ryherd, it will be one of the best in the league. Although the baseball team has made strides, several guys that should be really good players for East this year do not have a lot of varsity experience. Coach Ryherd will focus on helping the kids reach their full potential as a person and a ball player and doing this will contribute to wins this season.
The team is returning with a state championship under their belt and is ready to come back into the season with a positive attitude. They have won the Sunflower League five years in a row and expect that they will win again. Seniors Katy Richardson, Sarah McKittrick, Emily Fuson, Lauren Stanley and Dana Sherard are expected to lead the way to another state championship. One of the main components this season will be the 200-Free relay. If the team executes and performs to their potential, a championship will be likely
Winning state is possible for this season. The team has been the runner-up at state two years in a row to Blue Valley North. One of the main keys to having a successful season is to have a good doubles team. According to Coach Chipman, it is very important to have a doubles team that flows together. At this point, a doubles team has not yet been determined. It is difficult each year to find two people whose games fit together, but if a good one is found this year, it could make the road to a state title easier.
Track and Field
Last year track sent 24 kids to state and expects to send at least that many this year. Some members have been doing winter conditioning and outside training. According to coach David Pennington, if kids come into the season in shape that will contribute to success this season. Hanna Jane Stradinger, Perry Jackson and Troy Wilkins are some of the few that will be back this year to be contenders. Kelsey Kost will also be expected to be a contender this season in state for throwing the javelin.