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For The Superior Express and Jewell County Record

Aug. 25, 2016

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SHS Wildcats set to open 2016 season
The 2016 Superior High School Wildcat football team will feature a new look in several areas and the changes do not stop there.
The Wildcats transition from 11-man football to eight-man. The eight-man team features two less players on the offensive line and one in the back field. On the defensive side, there are two fewer linemen and one less defensive back. The game is played on a smaller field .Rather than the 100-yard field , the Wildcats will play on an 80-yard gridiron. The field width is narrowed from 53 1/3 yards to 40 yards. The scoring formula remains the same.
The Wildcats are moving from Class C2 to D1 for football only. They join a number of other teams which have made the transition. The downside for the Wildcats is they are not eligible for post-season play. Three of their opponents this season, Thayer Central, Ravenna and TriCounty, have moved from 11-man to the eight-man game. Other Wildcat opponents have been playing eight-man football and have well-established programs.
The eight-man game is offensively oriented and provides fast paced action for the spectators.
Wildcat supporters will notice other changes. The team will sport new uniforms. There are also plans for the Superior junior-Senior High School band to present half-time show at some of the games.
Head coach Brandon Siegel, along with assistant coaches Syd Shepler and Cody Fierstein, are excited about the prospects for upcoming season. The roster features 27 players including eight seniors, who will provide the leadership core for the squad. Siegel said " there is a lot of enthusiasm within the team about our potential this season. The combination of a veteran group of boys and depth as a result of dropping to eight-man should allow us to be competitive. There are quality teams that we will face week in and week out. A smooth transition to eight-man and staying healthy will be key factors to our success this season."
Members of the 2016 Wildcat team are seniors Cale Frahm, Tyler Blackstone, Ethan Freeman, Eric Schiermeyer, Sloan Willett, Darik Holt, Jacob Sunday and Garrett Caldwell. Representing the junior class are Trey Fierstein, Chase Morris, Braxton Webber, Jared Dressman, Ethan Beale, John Sullivan, Cameron Ehlers and Trent Tietjen. Sophomore players are Seth Gehle, Adam Baker, Jaden Hanson and Zach Renz. The freshman class team members are Zade Hansen Hunter Healey, Caden Roberts, Isaac Meyer, Brenden Jensen, Dylan Blackstone, and Cody Mohler.
The Wildcats open their season Friday when they travel to DeWitt to take on the TriCounty Trojans. The junior high school team will also make their debut with a scheduled 4 p.m. kickoff . Varsity action has a 7 p.m. kick off.

SHS Lady Cats volleyball jamboree game time change
The Superior High School Lady Cats volleyball team will face off against the Red Cloud Lady Warriors, today (Thursday), at 6 p.m. in the Superior Elementary School gymnasium. This will be the sole preseason contest for the team prior to their season opening match with arch-rival Lawrence-Nelson Lady Raiders, at Lawrence, next Thursday, Sept. 1. Passes will not be accepted for the jamboree game.
The 2016 Lady Cats will be looking to improve on the 6-22 record of the previous season. Several underclassmen gained extensive playing time as the result of season-ending injuries to starters and this experience should serve them in good stead this season.
Head coach Kelsea Blevins along with assistant coaches Shelby Zoltenko and Jessica Shepler are optimistic as they head into the season opener. The senior leadership will be provided by Evin Miller, Michelle Unruh, Lexi Webber, Ellie Wittke and Abbie Fish. Junior class members are Shanna Utecht, Maddy Blackstone, Nicki Kirchhoff, and Kendra Tietjen. The sophomore class members are Natalie McMeen, Dani Freeman, Megan Miller, Ashley Rand and Marilyn Powers. Freshman class members are Noelle McMeen, Trisha Hayes, Payton Frahm, Emma Schnakenberg, Kalynn Meyer, Ashlyn Brown, Emily Tietjen and Haley West.
The Lady Cats look for a vastly improved season as they go through a rebuilding phase. The experience gained from the previous season should pay off as the team looks to head to post-season play.


L-N Lady Raiders gear up for season
The Lawrence-Nelson Lady Raider volleyball team will look to seniors Molly McCartney, Mackinley Thayer and Kaytlynn Tockey for leadership and experience. The 2016 team is deep with underclass depth. The team also has a new head coach. Jamie Lay assumes the head coaching position. She served as the assistant coach last season. Former head coach Michelle Harrington will serve as assistant coach. Lay has only two returning starters but feels there is a lot of talent on the squad and looks for the younger players to meet and live up to their motto, "stepping up to the challenge."
The team will face a stiff test when they open their season against in-county arch-rival, Superior, at Lawrence, Thursday, Sept. 1.
Junior class members are Mattee Kucera, Hayden Epley, Morgan Menke and Bailey Cox. The large sophmore contingent is comprised of Megan Wheeland, Kaylee Kathman, RaeLeigh Menke, Chelsea Kucera, Brandi Mazour, Savannah Brich and Sammy Jeffs. The sizeable freshman cadre is made up of Taylor Harrington, Hallie Epley, Karigan Drudik, Joanie Schultz, Annie McCartney, Allison Miller, Neika Buschkoetter and Haley Williams.
The team compiled a 27-6 record for the 2015 season and secured a berth at the state championship tournament. This years team will feel the loss of the graduating seniors who made up the core of that team. If they live up to their motto, they could again be looking at a deep post-season run. The schedule could prove to be daunting as the team only plays three games on their home court.

L-N Raiders football ready to open season
The Lawrence-Nelson Raiders open their 2016 season Friday with a road trip to Sterling for a game with the Sterling Jets. The team looks to improve on last season's 8-2 record and the prospects appear promising. The team lost only one senior, Dillon Menke, who happened to be the all-time Raider rushing leader. Gavyn Bushkoetter and Kevin Schroer combine for 1,400 rushing yards last season and will look to fill the void left with Menke's graduation. Head coach Bryan Blevins and his assistant coaches, Kevin Wheeland, Preston Hild, Jerad Niederklein and Dale Endorf, are looking forward to the experienced underclassmen expanding their roles on both sides of the ball. The team roster has 26 players so depth is not a major issue. Student managers are Trevor Biltoft, erik wheeland, Darren Kathman and Dale Endorf.
Members of the 2016 Raiders team are Boone Svoboda, Lane Heikkinen, Anders Jensen, Isaiah Tippin, Korry Golay, Jacob Sharp, Kevin Wheeland, Decker Brown,Jaden Himmelberg, Micah Dolincek, Kevin Schroer, Kyle Golay, Coy Cedar, Trevin Kotinek, Cody Buescher, Brody Himmelberg, Riley Kucera, Peyton Drudik, Colton Biltoft, Gavyn Buschkoetter, Michael Dunn, Wyatt Heikkinen, Matt Buescher, John Hoecker, Tim Herbek, Kacie Herbek Nate Bissell and Kaden Thompson.
The Raiders have gone to the playoffs every year, with the exception of 20111, since 1998, and look to keep the tradition alive again this year.

Cross country teams ready for action

TOP -- Superior High School XC, BOTTOM -- Lawrence-Nelson High School XC

Superior junior high football and volleyball