Fall Preview: Zimmerman

Sports Reporter

by Eric Oslund

Sports Reporter

Football

Last year: 7-2

Coaches: Tom Kish (head), Chris Riley, John Budreau, Mark Hayes, Jake Zierden, Jim Gornick, Adam Pelot, Dan Melquist, George Kratee, and Brandon Lemke

Captains: Nate Carlin, Justin Robinson, Jake Pensinger, Tommy Laabs, Dylan Larrabee

Returning starters: Nate Boyer, Carlin, Blake Howard, Carter Janu, Ben Kuker, Laabs, Carter McEachern, Andrew Olinger, Ben Ortberg, Pensinger, Robinson, Andrew Thompson

Also in the mix: Ryan Acker, Landon Berroa, Cole Gould, Brett Howard, Aaron Koch, Ben Kuter, Larrabee, Hunter Nelson, Jake Pool, Jeg Schottenbauer, Devin Slaight, Tim Vorobyev, Tre Wilkins

Coach says: “We will be a very experienced team with a large senior class. We will find out a lot about our team early in the season as we have some big games to open our season. The team has had a great summer and has made a tremendous amount of progress.”

Outlook: Expect to compete for both a sub-district and section championship.

Girls soccer

Last year: 3-13

Coaches: Jeff Downing (head), Rich Bond

Returning starters: Only three players graduated last year, so the Thunder are expecting 17 returners with varsity experience.

Coach says: “We expect a great deal of competition for the varsity roster this year as we look to improve on last season.”

Outlook: Many players have put in work during the offseason so every position is on the table. The Thunder could be fielding a very young group, but expect to be improved and very competitive. Their primary focus will be leadership roles and service. The record will take care of itself but the takeaway for the players will be deeper than the results on the field.

Cross-country

Last year: The boys were eighth in their conference and 15th in their section, while the girls were fourth in their conference and 13th in their section.

Coaches: Mike Back (head), Lynda Bouley

Captains: Cheresa Bouley, Grace Kerzman

Returning Contributers: Bouley, Kerzman, Sophia Smith, Kaitlyn Wehmeyer, Peyton Opsahl, Lana Schultz, Grace Guentzel, Aaron Coons, A.J. Martin, Jordan Opsahl, Jordan Nauber, Jack Firkus, Blake Lahn, Austin Kitzberger

Coach says: “I am hopeful that some new kids come out, and that our returners continue to develop.  I would think that my girls team should be fairly competitive this year. We have had good participation in our summer program.”

Outlook: With the start of a new boys soccer program this year, it’s hard to say how many boys will end up going out for cross country, but the girls should have an improved season from a year ago.

Volleyball

Last year: 5-24

Coaches: Cassandra Olson (head), Emily Zahn

Returning starters: Ilea May, Natalie Miller, Eilysha Rosario, Alyssa Daughtery

Also in the mix: Gabi Wilson, Aly Hanlon, Caitlin Steiskal, Savannah Elphick, Janele Anderson

Coach says: “We have most of our starters returning and a great group of juniors and seniors who can fill in some of the open spots. Our backcourt defense will be strong again this year, but in order to compete at a higher level we will need to improve our consistency on offense.”

Outlook: The Thunder should be able to improve from where they were a season ago. A lot of their key players are either juniors or seniors now with plenty of varsity experience, they just need to be able to find offense on a consistent basis.