Kingsland teams ready to compete if weather cooperates
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 9:45 AM
Kingsland got in part of a track meet Friday, while the other sports are still waiting to get started as the spring weather had caused considerable delays in the spring schedule.
Erica Earley of the Knights stays ahead of a Chatfield runner in the 1600-meter run at Plainview-Elgin-Millville. The meet ended early as the precipitation came down heavier and more frozen later on Friday.
Brent Kohn returns as the coach for both the boys and girls again this year. Assisting him will be Paul Eckhart.
Last year the girls were 1-7 in the TRC and 1-11, overall. Said coach Kohn, "We didn't have the best record last year, but did win Academic All-State Honors, I think the first time for that."
Returning letter winners for the girls are Karli Bly (junior, 51.7 avg.), Megan Back (junior, 66.5) and Hailey Smith (freshman, 68.5). Smith is currently injured, but is hoping to rejoin the team before the end of the season. "Karli Bly is our most experienced player and should compete in sections, and possibly state," said Kohn. He thinks Caledonia and Fillmore Central are the teams to beat in the conference.
Others on the squad include Brianna Hindt and Audrey Farlinger, both seventh graders.
Returning letter winners for the boys team are Nick Niemeyer (sophomore, 49 average) and Alek Kohn (junior, 55 avg.). Other candidates include Jordan Pokorney (junior), Colt Hamersma (freshman), Tyler Kappers (freshman) and Scott Lechner (eighth).
"The boys team this year will be rebuilding," said Kohn. "The team is young and will not have the experience we've had in the past, but I do have two returning letter winners that have been with the program since seventh grade. I hope to see Nick and Alek bring the rest of the team along to the point where we can compete in the tough Three Rivers Conference."
Kohn sees Caledonia, Fillmore Central and Rushford-Peterson as the top teams in the TRC.
Jim Hubka returns as the head coach, his 13th at the helm, and 14th with the program. Assisting coach Hubka will be Amber Uhlenhake (second year, distance/jumps coach) and Aaron Thauwald (first year, junior high coach, throwing coach).
"We have 17 total athletes on the team," said coach Hubka, "my smallest team in 14 years at Kingsland. We may be small, but will make a statement in certain events."
Returning letter winners include Lacey Schwartz (sophomore, 2012 section qualifier in the 200m and 100m dashes), Marissa Bornholdt (junior, 2012 section qualifier in the pole vault) and Erica Earley (eighth grade, distance runner).
"We're looking for great things from these three females in their respective events," said Hubka. "Marissa also runs the 200m, but was injured most of last season. Lacey is stronger this year and it will be interesting to see how she does in the 100m dash when sections roll around."
"On the guys side, we welcome back senior DeAngilo Funches, who hasn't been out since his freshman season. He's already posted two 19' plus jumps in the long jump. He'll also be sprinting for us," said the coach. There's also a group of young throwers that will be working with Thauwald.
Brad Reiter takes over as the baseball coach, replacing Taran Jack (four years). According to the Rochester Post Bulletin, multi-year starters Trevor Gomer (senior), Lucas Roe (senior), Marshall Oeltjen (senior), Perry Stejskal (senior) and Trenton Bleifus (junior) return for the team. They'll be joined by talented underclassmen Isiah Bubany (sophomore), Jacob Rindels (sophomore), Quinn Larson (freshman), Blake Olson (sophomore), Isaac Tangen (junior), Wyatt Richardson (sophomore) and Doug Sabatke (junior).
Last year the Bulldogs were 1-20, losing to Plainview-Elgin-Millville in the first round of the playoffs. GMLOK got the only win, 5-4, over Rushford-Peterson, on the first of May.
The baseball team was expecting to open the season this past Monday, April 8, at Southland. The home opener is scheduled for this Thursday against Caledonia.
The Kingsland softball team is scheduled to open the season Thursday, April 11, with a double-header at Rushford-Peterson. John Fenske returns as this year's head coach.
Last year the Lady Knights finished the season with a 9-12 record, 1-1 in the playoffs. The gals won their first playoff game, 8-7, over Plainview-Elgin-Millville, then ended the season with a 3-0 loss to Caledonia/Spring Grove.