WCA cross country: Knights return young rosterWest Central Area head cross country coach John VanKempen is more than ready for the season to begin.
West Central Area head cross country coach John VanKempen is more than ready for the season to begin.
“Can’t wait to get out of the gates and start the meets,” he said. “We have kids with a great work ethic and are really quite young. We have an excellent bunch of junior high kids who will be tough runners for us.
“Returning state competitor, Abby VanKempen, should con-tinue to move up on her finish-ing places and we expect Kylee Fernholz to be right there with Abby.
“Alex Toms appears to be running comfortably thus far and should be a top contender in the meets for us,” he added. “Having captain Tyler Schill is like having another coach for us. He works harder than any-one and leads by example.”
The Knights do return five girls letter winners and nine boys letter winners for the 2012 season in Fernholz, VanKemp-en, Toms, Schill, Katie Poyzer, Ashton Blair, Hannah Frisch, J.J. Drews, Zach Cunningham, Alex Olson, Ethan Olson, Devin Schack, Ryley Nelson and Aus-tin Clavin.
“Numbers in the boys’ team competing for varsity positions should make it interesting,” said the coach. “Newcomers to the team Chris Swenson, Devin Nelson and Bryce Paulson will need to prove themselves, but we think they will definitely help the boys compete in the meets as a team. They are proven competitors.
“Chris comes to WCA from Seattle where he ran cross country.
“We’ll need a few more girls out for the team,” VanKempen added. “Usually, more kids will join when school starts, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed on recruiting a few more.
VanKempen sees Perham or Warroad as roadblocks for the girls in the Heart O’ Lakes Conference, with Holdingford and Long Prairie-Grey Eagle the teams to beat in the section.
The boys will have to face perennial powerhouse Perham in the conference, with Pelican Rapids leading the pre-season favorites in the section.
WEST CENTRAL AREA
GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY ROSTER
JUNIORS – Kylee Fernholz, Ashton Blair, Katie Poyzer.
FRESHMEN – Abby VanKempen, Hannah Frisch.
7TH GRADERS – Stephanie Toms, Demarra Bumgaurtner, Amanda Droeschel.
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY ROSTER
JUNIORS – Alex Toms, Tyler Schill, J.J. Drews, Zach Cunningham, Andrew Lindor.
SOPHOMORE – Alex Olson, Bryce Paulson, Austin Hennen, Cody Melhaf, Devin Nelson.
FRESHMAN – Chris Swenson.
8TH GRADERS – Ethan Olson, Devin Schack, Ryley Nelson, Austin Clavin, James Wiese, Isiah Westby.
7TH GRADERS – Matt Poyzer, Chase Veld-house.
HEAD COACH – John VanKempen. ASSIS-TANT COACH – Rick Toms.