PHS girls eye another strong season

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth girls squad, bolstered by strong experience and depth, is looking forward to another successful season.

The Panthers return their top-six runners from last year’s team which finished eighth in the Division 2 state meet – the second-highest state finish in school history. PHS was also a sectional and Eastern Wisconsin Conference runner-up.

The PHS boys team lost 13 seniors to graduation but returns three letter winners, led by senior Paul Francis who earned All-EWC second-team honors last year with a 12th-place finish in the conference meet.

Plymouth’s cross country program traditionally has excellent numbers and this year is no exception. The girls team has 25 members and the boys squad, 20.

GIRLS PREVIEW

The returning starters for the girls team are seniors Brooke Koehn, Julia Novotny and Abby Payne and juniors Sophie Bolich, Olivia Jankowski and Karly Knaus. These six girls and senior Sheila Anzures comprise the group of returning letter winners.

Novotny was a sectional runnerup and All-EWC first-team last season which led PHS. She placed sixth in the EWC meet and paced the Panthers at state with a 45th-place showing.

“These girls [letter winners] have lots of experience and have put in a decent amount of off-season running. This should set us up for a strong season,” said Jay Grosshuesch who is in his 25th season as the Panthers’ head coach.

“We had five runners finish with all-conference runner awards last year but we also have a nice bunch of young runners that can add depth to our squad and help push our returners to better races.”

Payne, Koehn, Bolich and Knaus earned All-EWC second-team honors.

“Maria Ryan and Grace Huibregtse put in some good summer training, so we hope to see them provide us with some added depth,” said Grosshuesch.

“We will not only have a solid top-five runners but we should have a real solid 6-8 varsity runners as well.

“Our goals are always to have each runner improve each day and the team successes will follow. We have seen a great work ethic on the team thus far and we are excited to see where this team can go,” said the veteran coach.

Grosshuesch expects two-time defending champion Two Rivers to be the team to beat in the EWC, with Kiel also being strong. Kiel took third in the 2013 league meet.

BOYS PREVIEW

Grosshuesch thinks he has a solid core of returning letter winners in Francis, senior Brent Thiel and junior Ian McConnaha. The coach said the trio has shown great leadership for the team so far this season.

“We expect Paul, Ian and Brent to be our leading runners with Alan Schaefer also adding to that depth. All four of these guys worked hard this summer, so we expect them to be a key part of our success this season,” said the coach.

“We have a nice stable of new runners who will add some nice in-team competition and make us a stronger team. We expect Gabe Olsen, Brady Schultz, Jordan Marshall, Joseph Goelzer and Evan Sebranek to help add depth along with returner Ethan Kaat.”

One of the team’s goals is to finish in the upper half of the conference. PHS finished only fifth last year.

“We are not happy about our fifth-place finish last season. We expect with good, hard work and our young runners coming along nicely we can achieve that goal,” said Grosshuesch.

“Our strength as a team is the number of quality runners we have that will give us some solid depth. We would like to see our top 2-3 runners get in that top echelon of runners in a meet. We hope by the end of the season we will have achieved that.

“Our goal as always is to have each runner improve each day and this will lead to a successful team and season,” said the coach.

Looking at the EWC, Grosshuesch said Kiel, Two Rivers, Campbellsport and Waupun look to be strong. Two Rivers is the defending champion.

PLYMOUTH BOYS & GIRLS
CROSS COUNTRY REMAINING
SCHEDULE
Sept. 4 – @ Kiel Invitational
Sept. 11 – @ Green Bay SW Invite
Sept. 23 – Panther Relays, here
Sept. 27 – @ Manitowoc Invite
Sept. 30 – Co. Meet, @ Sheb. Luth.
Oct. 9 – @ Port Washington Invite
Oct. 18 – EWC Meet, @ Campbellsport
Oct. 25 – Sectional, @ Kiel
Nov. 1 – State Meet, @ Wis. Rapids

PHS CROSS COUNTRY ROSTERS

Boys

Seniors – *Paul Francis, Evan Sebranek, Traverse Such and *Brent Thiel.

Juniors – Zach Jordan, Ethan Kaat, Jordan Marshall, *Ian McConnaha and Ryan Nygaard.

Sophomores – Jack Benedict, Ethan Fleck and Alan Schaefer.

Freshmen – Jon Brisson, Joseph Goelzer, Asher Marcom, Gabe Olsen, Ben Picard, Cole Rogers, Brady Schultz and Matthew Steckel.

Girls

Seniors – *Sheila Anzures, Jonell Klopf, *Brooke Koehn, *Julia Novotny, *Abby Payne, Erika Stauss and Sadie Tournour.

Juniors – *Sophie Bolich, Lizzy Francis, Hannah Harms, *Olivia Jankowski, *Karly Knaus, Danielle Roelse, Erin VanElls and Miranda Walter.

Sophomores – Cheyenne Boettcher, Emilie Pederson and Maria Ryan.

Freshmen – Hanna Eigenberger, Luci Hoitink, Grace Huibregtse, Meghan Krueger, Samantha Loose, Sarah Morris and Ellie Welsch. __*_ =_ R__et_u_r_n_in_g_ l_e_tt_e_r_ w_in_n_e_r_._____


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