While the Spoofhounds are only days into their spring track schedule, there is no shortage of expectations for these young athletes.
Following last year’s performance, the Maryville boys had taken multiple runners to state and returned home with state medals, along with breaking a few state records. As a team, the Spoofhounds placed third in Class 3, just behind Reed Springs and John Burroughs.
The Spoofhounds aim to shoot for even higher honors as the 2018 season starts to bloom.
“Overall, expectations are really high,” coach Nathan Powell said. “We won conference, districts and had the highest finish we have ever had at the state meet last year. There’s no doubt that we, as a team, will be looking to do the same or even better, this year.”
The issue that stands in the team’s way though, is replacing many key seniors that have graduated.
“This year, we are hurting skill-wise due to the fact we have lost some excellent runners,” senior John Holtman said. “This year, we are working really hard to compensate for those losses, and hopefully, we can achieve just as much.”
Holtman is a key returning relay runner that was a part of that successful state run a year ago. Some other key returners on the boys side are senior Reece Bickford and junior Caleb Feuerbacher. Bickford was a triple medalist at state, and Feuerbacher was a vital distance runner for Maryville.
“We should be fine. We are pretty deep on the guys side, and we have guys that are talented,” Powell said. “It should be another fantastic showing this year for the boys.”
When looking at the upcoming season for the girls side, they also look to improve from last year. After a strong showing at conference and district meets, they are striving to do the same this year, and hope they have a shot at a state berth.
“We have got a good base from last year and have a really talented group of freshman coming up,” Powell said. “Hopefully, we will be a touch stronger than last year and make a push at conference and district time.”
A strong aspect to this Spoofhound team is team chemistry. Not only does Powell say that this is important, but many of the athletes that are a part of this team think similarly.
On a scale of one to 10, senior John Holtman said the team is looking bright.
“It’s an eight, but I definitely think it can and will get better,” Holtman said.
This has always been an important goal of Powell when coaching: to find the will to work together and success will come with it.
The Spoofhounds’ first home track meet of the season will come March 21. The teams that will be competing that day include Bishop-Leblond, Savannah and St. Joseph Benton.
“The goal of this meet is just to get our kids out there and competing against other teams,” Powell said. “We always build for the end of the year. This will be a good launching point, but by no means do we have really high expectations for the first time out on the track. It’ll just be a good place to start.”