New London track & field preview
Q&A with coaches Yerkey, Schaefer
By Erik Buchinger
Number of years coaching the team: Amber Yerkey – fourth, Nick Schaefer – fourth.
Returning varsity athletes: We have a large number of returning varsity athletes along with many new faces. Below are some of the returning varsity athletes to watch out for. However, there are some new faces that we think will have some great performances.
Athletes to watch: Brayden Kurth (12), Parker Fermanich (12), Micah Backus (12), Jack Noffke (12), Brennan Stroesenreuther (11), Makaio Harn (11), Vinny Winkler (11), Riley Titterton (10), Jeff Smolinski (10), Kaden Reybrock (10), Max Krause (10), Noah Schiedermayer (11), Ella Johnson (12), Mackenzie Monty (11), Abbi Gillespie (10), Taya Fecteau (11), Addy Graber (11), Sydney Stroschein (11).
Team goals/expectations: We want to see continuous PR’s throughout the season, finish within the top three as a team at conference and send athletes through to the state meet.
Team’s strengths: We are very fortunate to have talent across multiple areas in track. We have standouts in distance, sprints and some of our field events. Our relay teams are also going to be fun to watch again this year. The team continues to grow, and we have strong core leadership with many of our juniors and seniors.
Team’s weaknesses: While the team is growing, our women’s team is still on the small side compared to our competition, which means the demand for these ladies is that much greater in order to fill more events within each meet. We are being cautious that we do not overload any athlete, especially early in the season, so we do not see a breakdown in performance as we progress towards our bigger meets.
Team(s) to beat in conference: Xavier won team state last year with many returning athletes, so they will be difficult to beat. West De Pere also has a strong team with a lot of depth on the girls’ side. We will be eyeing up their strengths and weaknesses throughout the season and will strategize our conference lineups to try and outscore these teams. They have strong programs, so it will be a fun challenge.
Biggest games on the schedule: We have a packed schedule nearly maxing out with 18 meets with six that are indoor. Our biggest meets of the season aside from the tournament series are the Ripon College Showcase Meet, Waupaca County Meet, St. Norbert Elite Meet and conference meet.
What you want your athletes to get out of this season: Track is a unique sport in which everyone, male and female, freshman through senior, has an opportunity for continuous improvement and to compete at the varsity level. Teammates respect one another despite major training differences across the many areas of track and field. In the end, we come together as a team and respect the different events and what each athlete brings to the table. Our overall goal is for student athletes to reach their potential, respect the process, take pride in their efforts and have fun along the way.
Why fans should be excited for this year’s team: Track is a sport where there are as many as seven events going on at one time. We have good competitors across multiple events and good team chemistry. We anticipate a number of athletes advancing into the post season, so it will be fun team to watch.