By Berklie Haag
As excited as all of the Gordon-Rushville athletics coaches are, it will be exciting for Mustang fans to watch the athletes improve and strive to reach their goals throughout the upcoming fall sports season. The head cross country, volleyball, football, and girls golf coaches gave some insight into their seasons and what is to be expected as the 2017-18 season progresses.
First-year coach Kinley Hadden will be the head Cross Country coach for the Mustangs this year. Assistant Coach Angela Anderson will be returning to help start another successful running season.
A total of nine runners – six boys and three girls – are signed up this year under Coach Hadden and Coach Anderson.
When asked what the Mustangs’ season outlook was, Coach Hadden said, “Seniors Darin Archibald and Michael Tiensvold and Juniors Justin Frandsen and Ryan Wellnitz are looking to lead the Mustangs to a successful season. Their leadership will be key in the success of the Mustangs this year. Sophomores Calvin Landreth and Max Meng also look to be steady runners for the Mustangs. We have a couple of new female runners who hope to work hard and compete well throughout the season. The Mustangs are hoping to compete well in the conference, at districts, and hopefully earn a state birth. We have an energetic group of athletes, and we are excited for the start of the season.”
As the season looks promising, each runner must push themselves throughout the running season to consistently improve their times. The team’s first goals are to compete for the Western Trails Conference championship and do well at the district meet, and the Mustangs’ ultimate goal is to earn a trip to the state meet in Kearney. Each are possible if the more experienced runners are willing to show good leadership, and each person on the team puts forth the effort needed to improve.
After coaching six seasons together, 22-year coaching veteran, Coach Kim Turnbull-Campbell and Assistant Coach Steph Lovell will be returning to lead the Mustang volleyball team into another successful year.
After losing a lot of their starting talent last year, the Mustangs are looking forward to the challenge of rebuilding their team dynamics.
Last year and in previous years, defense has posed a challenge for the Lady Mustangs.
Coach Campbell stated, “We will continue to work on defense a lot. That will be our primary focus as we start the season. Offensively, we are looking to speed things up, providing we can pass the ball the way we need to for our offense to be effective.”
The team is excited to continue to build and grow together. Coach Campbell said, “Thier has been a great vibe during league and other team functions this summer. This group is super close.”
The Mustangs are hoping to use this team dynamic to push them and reach the team’s full potential. This teamwork will hopefully help the girls reach their goals this season.
Returning for his third year as head coach, Kevin Lindholm is looking forward to a winning season. Assistant Coaches Nate Haag, Boone Bowker, and Brandon Goodrich will be part of the returning coaching staff.
The Mustang football team has about 31 boys signed up to play. This could pose some difficulties for the Mustangs.
Coach Lindholm said, “Our biggest challenge going into this season will be staying healthy and fresh. We have low numbers this season, so we don’t have much depth. Taking care of our bodies will be key.”
The team’s goals for this season are to have a winning record and to make the football playoffs. The coaches and the rest of the team are working hard to build on the Mustangs’ tradition of having a hard working team and to create a strong team unity.
Last year, one of the biggest struggles for the team was the attitudes of the players when a challenge arised. Coach Lindholm said the team struggled with staying positive when faced with adversity. Before the first game, the coaches will try to replicate these tough situations in practice, and this should lead to an improvement on battling difficulties and create a stong team bond.
Coach Lindholm said, “My coaching staff and I are really excited about this upcoming season. We are a team where we have quality over quantity– only having 31 players where in years past we had around 44. We feel this is a positive. Our players have great attitudes and are hard working, and seem to be committed and driven to reach their potential.”
David Morris will be coaching the Mustang Girls Golf team this year. After having a season with only one golfer last year, Coach Morris is excited to have four golfers for the upcoming season.
Having more than one golfer, the Mustangs will be able to compete as a team in tournaments this season. Team goals will be established after the girls’ first contest. Returning for her third year, junior Kenna Rose is ready to help pass her leadership onto her three freshmen teammates.
Coach Morris said, “Individual goals at this point are just to learn the rules and etiquette of the game. The girls are all relatively new to the game, but have shown a lot of promise in our first week of practice. Hopefully, the girls learn to love a sport that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives!”