December 23, 2020
This week at Thomas Jefferson all winter sports officially start. These sports include girls and boys basketball, wrestling, swimming, bowling.
All of our coaches and team leaders are excited to start the season. The staff and students are excited as well to attend the games to support our school.
On Monday night there was a press conference involving Governor Reynolds. Reynolds announced that all people ages 2 and older must wear a face covering when indoor space is open to the public. Reynolds implemented mask requirements for indoor gatherings of 25 or more people and outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people.
Mr. Kreifels, the boy’s basketball coach, said “Mostly I am looking forward to being back in the gym coaching the guys! I’m so happy they get the opportunity to compete and play a sport they all enjoy. Fingers crossed we get to enjoy a whole season and keep everyone around us safe!”
“Goal number 1, Have fun! 2020 has taught us not to take anything for granted, including the opportunity to compete playing a sport we love,” Kreifels explained when asked what his goals for the season are, “Goal number 2, Get better day by day. We have no idea what the rest of the season will bring so it’s important to focus on improving day by day and if we can do that we should be playing our best basketball of the season come February.”
“Every year you have a new team and new dynamics within the group. However, If we can learn anything from last year I hope we understand the importance of preparation on the floor and the importance of focusing and taking care of our business in the classroom!” Kreifels elaborated.
When asked how he felt about the upcoming season, Kreifels explained, “It feels great to be back in the gym! Like I said in the previous questions, We are taking the season day by day and hope that we are able to stay healthy and enjoy the opportunity to compete each week.”
Coach Schoening of the Girls Basketball team said “I am looking forward to working with this group of girls and our coaches. We are always looking to help each individual player become the very best version of herself, and each year that is what we look forward to the most, seeing that growth in our players and in our team.”
Coach Schoening says that his goals for this season are, “We always have the goal of being competitive in every game we play. We also work to be in the upper half of our conference which is tough every year.”
“In terms of players, we have a few back from last year who played significant varsity minutes. Seniors Hannah Belt and Ellie Perrine will be important for us considering their varsity experience. Sophomore Samara Alcaraz also played a lot of varsity last year and we only expect her to continue to improve. Juniors Lexi Smith and Sydney Hosick played a few minutes of varsity last year and will be very important for us this season. Senior Lilly Thompson didn’t play last year and we are looking forward to her contributions this year.” Schoening included.
Lastly, I asked Coach Schoening how he was feeling about this season. “We lost so many seniors, and so many talented players from last year, so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious and apprehensive about the year. However, I am so excited to see this group of girls leave their mark on our program.
“I am confident that we will be able to continue to have much of the same consistency and success that we have built during the past few seasons. We are a team that is going to continue to get better throughout the season. Who we are now won’t be who we are in January and February.”
Coach Kueny of the Wrestling team said “Working with our young & inexperienced team and assisting them in reaching goals.”
Coach Kueny’s goals for this season were. “Assisting each wrestler with fing success, whatever that may look like for the individual. Keeping the team healthy.”
“Yes – we are trying to build the program with consistency that will allow every wrestler the opportunity for success.” Lastly, I asked Coach Kueny how he was feeling about this season. “Optimistic – We are trying to keep numbers in the room and build on that from year to year.” Kueny Includes that these are some things they are going to bring to the mat this year.
Coach Maxwell of the swimming team said “I’m looking forward to expanding the success of the girls’ season in which we made it to state for the first time since 2006. Building our program hasn’t been ever focused on just one of the two teams but the program as a whole.”
Coach Maxwell goes on to say what his goals are for this season. “Building on the success of last year for a young team is crucial. We are continuing to lay the work for our culture, which the work is never done. I am hoping to get two of the boys close to a state-qualifying time in individuals and maybe even get there.”
Maxwell added that there are some things being brought back from last year. “The discipline and long term vision that I have for this program is still intact. The leadership for the team is still the same within the team itself, so that should bring some consistency. Our goal is to stick to the long term vision of staying the course for sustainable success and growth for our team. We worry about us and no one else.”
Lastly, I asked Coach Maxwell how he as a Coach was feeling about this season. “Our state qualifiers and the girls team as a whole bought into our program and that vision. The boys are committed to it, too, so it is crucial that we continue to move forward together, our slogan for the year.
Maxwell goes on to say, “It is what we are doing, and it is exciting to see that growth through all the adversity that we will get to work through together. It will make the athletes better people. A lot of programs like to build state-qualifying swimmers who happen to be people. We focus on building better people who happen to be state-qualifying swimmers. It’s what sets us apart and is what the kids work towards every day.”
Coach Storey of the Bowling team said “This is a rebuilding year for the girls. My whole varsity team needs to be replaced due to the graduating 5 seniors and 1 transferring school. I am looking forward to working with Assistant Coach Amy Hawthorne, who is new this year, to develop our girls’ team this year.”
Coach Storey says that her goals for this year are “My goals are usually the same every year. I want all of my bowlers to improve over the season. This year I’ve added another goal to keep my bowlers safe and healthy.”
“We are bringing back a strong group of boys, they should do well this year. I would really like to take the team state again.” Coach Storey adds.
Coach Storey goes on to say that I am feeling very challenged. I have had to rearrange the practice schedule to limit the number of bowlers at practice. We have also had to change how we set up competitions. Bowlers on each team bowl on their own lanes. We also have limitations on spectators. We are only allowing spectators if you are the home team.”
“So we have been working on streaming competitions on Facebook Live. In addition, we are low on numbers this year, which I think can be attributed to the pandemic, so I think there are some bowlers that have not gone out for the team who could help the program grow. So I am trying to get the word out that we still would like students to come out for bowling. The bowlers who have come out are working very hard to improve.”
This year things are a little different due to Covid-19, each student on the team is given two wristbands to give to any two people they want to attend the game. The wristbands however do not get you into games for free. Everyone attending the game must wear a mask, students and staff have also been asked to wear masks during the games.