Soccer and tennis and golf. Oh my! Spring sports are ready to, well...spring into action. Varsity track has been going strong since early March and they are officially headed outside after a good indoor season. For anyone looking for something to do on a weekday afternoon, check the school calendar. You can catch one of STC's spring sports almost every week night, with the exception of Wednesdays.
South Tama offers an array of spring sports that feature nearly 200 student-athletes (just under 50% of the whole student body). Programs include golf, soccer, and tennis for high school boys and girls.Track and field (for both boys and girls) begins at the middle school level with 7th/8th grade teams and continues on to JV and varsity at the high school.
Madie Baack practices some warm up hits in practcie on Tuesday April 1 in the STC elementary gym.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham
The 7th grade girls track team will again be coached by Abby Gard. "I am really looking forward to this track season. The girls have been working hard at practice so that they will be ready for the first meet on April 22", said Gard about the girls upcoming season. Tiffany Thiesen coaches the 8th grade girls track team.
Dustin Peska may be a new face to the middle school track coaching staff, however is not a new face for STC sports. Peska coaches for the football and basketball teams as well. Peska stated, "I am new to this sport and I'm learning everyday. I enjoy being around the kids and they work hard on a daily basis. Regardless of how we place in meets, I know the kids will put in the effort and go 120% on everything they do and that is all I can ask for. That is already a W in my book".
Levi Hunerdosse coaches the boys 8th grade track team. Hunerdosse says, "We have a large 8th grade group that got a good taste of success last year as 7th graders and they have really set their minds to improving and performing to the best of their abilities this year. They are a talented group that we as coaches could make numerous competitive lineups with. I look for great things this spring"!
Varsity track has been in full swing with indoor meets and the coaches are anxious to move outside. George Kuhter and assistant Robert Tyynismaa coach the varsity boys team. The varsity girls track team is coached by George Corum and assisted by Olivia Van Zante.
This is the first year for girls golf coach, Melinda McDowell. "I'm really looking forward to this season! It's my first year coaching golf, and we have a few beginners this year, but we also have some returning players who can help us this season. Paige VanDyke was state champion last year, so I'm looking for her to lead the team again. Unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to get on the course yet, but we have been outside a couple times hitting onto the practice football field. From what I've seen out there, Carrie Cibula, Laurel Scharnweber, Erin Clayton, and Elysiana Gonzalez are also hitting very well as return players. They all want to be in the mid 40's to low 50's this year which will help us keep that low team score and win meets. Just having one or two low scores helps a little, but if we can get all 6 varsity girls in the 40's and 50's we'll do really well. Our goal as a team is to be conference champions this year and make it to state, and I think we have a really good chance at doing this", stated McDowell.
The boys golf team is coached by Nate Doran who like Peska is a multi-sport coach. Doran coached his first season of varsity boys basketball this year and also assists Jay Hoskey with varsity football.
This season will be veteran coach Steve Bearden's seventh year with the STC girls tennis team. "I am excited for the upcoming season. We return a strong team with a lot of experience. Our top five players are all seniors who have played on the varsity level for several years. We have finished in 2nd place the last two seasons in the NICL. We are ready to challenge for the championship this year. The addition of Waterloo Columbus will make that a challenge. They are an annual participant in the state team and individual meets. We have a challenging dual meet schedule that should prepare us for post season play. Non-Conference matches against Grinnell, Waverly-Shellrock, Mount Vernon, Marion and Oskaloosa will be tough. In NICL action, I anticipate tough matches with Aplington-Parkersburg and Dike New Hartford. We have 20 players this year on the team. Twelve of the 20 are seniors"! said Bearden.
Looking at the veteran STC roster, there are several players looking to continue and improve upon last season's success. Emily Martin returns at #1 Singles for the 2014 season, with a singles record of 27-4 the past two seasons. She also has a record of 25-5 in doubles. Madison Baack will return at #2 Singles. Madison is 18-11 in singles the past two seasons. She is 31-6 in doubles. Tori Appelgate is a strong #3 who has shown amazing improvement. She has a singles record of 12-10 and a doubles record of 14-9 in the past two seasons. Caitlin Svacina will start at #4 in her second season as a varsity player. She was 6-7 in singles and 6-7 in doubles last season. Taylor Muhlstein will play at #5. She was 5-7 in singles and 4-2 in doubles last season. The #6 singles position will be decided through a series of challenge matches.
Bob McBain coaches girls soccer for STC. South Tama joins with the East Marshall school district for a combined varsity team. "The ST/EM girls soccer team will be a young team this year, with 43 players out, 12 Freshmen, 13 Sophomores, 10 Juniors, and 8 Seniors. We have 7 starters back from last year's squad, and 4 more that saw enough action to letter. Attendance has been good with 40 players every night. We have 6 players from East Marshall this year as well. This is the highest number of girls out that the program has seen. Which shows that the program continues to grow. We will take our share of lumps this year, due to experience, as the average years of experience across all the years is .4 years. I have only one girl that has played more than 3 years of soccer. For a majority of the girls, this is their first exposure to the game, so makes it a challenge for coaching, but at the same time, lots of potential in the players that are out", said Bob McBain.
The boys soccer team is coached by Dmitriy Shklyarov. It is exciting to see such a diverse group of participants all representing South Tama County this spring. Best of luck to all the student-athletes and coaches on their seasons. Go Trojans!