Winning is something that the Maryville track and field team is accustomed to. With consistent success coming from events like the girl's relays and the distance races, the Spoofhounds are starting to focus on creating another rewarding postseason.
Athletes like seniors Jordan Piveral and Will Mattock have been key players in the Spoofhounds’ annual success. With the regular season drawing to a close along with an end to coach Nathan Powell's reign coming up this postseason is one that Maryville has foreseen for years.
“Powell lives up to a pretty high standard. Everyone knows him on a very good level through school and track,” senior javelin thrower Jordan Piveral said. “Replacing him will be a tough job, but I'm sure they'll do their best.”
Powell announced via Twitter that once the school year is over he will be taking his talents to his alma mater of Princeton as the football and track and field coach. While at Maryville, Powell is said to have an influence on both the track and field and football programs and its athletes. This impact is backed by an accompaniment of varying accolades and awards.
“He was my hurdle and high jump coach. I talk to him about any problem, and he’s very approachable and good at keeping everyone on the same page,” junior Molly Renshaw said. “Everyone will be really sad next year when he’s gone.”
To many of the track athletes, they believe that he has improved the program tremendously and has helped the athletes better themselves on a very competitive high school level, and for some, prepare for collegiate competitions as well.
As a new coach and team come into formation for the 2019-20 school year, a younger crowd is slowly becoming the backbone that the Spoofhounds need to create a dependable team to not only finish out this year but for many years to come.
“I think it's good for us older people to just come in and be helpful for them,” Renshaw said. “It’s good for them to come to us and ask us questions because we all know what they’re going through. We have a lot of freshman and sophomore girls that are doing really good.”
While many of the athletes have already seen their own prosperous postseasons from years past, a newer and younger looking group is coming on the heels of their first lucrative postseason.
“We’ve had a lot of younger kids that have shown a lot of good talent, the running events as well,” Piveral said.
The team has faced many battles this year with athlete injuries or focuses on an individual's other respected sports. As these issues have taken many talented athletes out of the race for a district or state title, many are still expected to do what they know how to do — win.
“I feel like Braiden [Sells] and Will Mattock have done a really good job this year,” Piveral said. “This year, we’ve got solid runners in the short distance. Dion Metezier, he's new and I feel like he’s been doing a great job.”
With the end of the regular season drawing near, practicing for the team's future runs at districts and state is the only thing on the mind of these athletes.
“For long distance, they kind of go off and do their own thing, which obviously somehow works, but for us, it’s just trying to be consistent in each meet,” Renshaw said. “It's just continually being with the same people and working on handoffs and continuing the same thing meet after meet, practice after practice so we can get ready and be perfect for postseason.”
With only a few practices and meets left for the Spoofhounds, each athlete has their own expectations for both their individual and team finishes.
“The goal is always to go to state and perform well,” Renshaw said. “I think our boy's team has a really good chance to go forward in competing. Also for girls, we have a better shot and hopefully have a better showing.”