Fresh Faces for Falcons, Look to Defend Title
Following a magical season in 2022, the Hitchcock County Falcons will have a target on their back as they look to defend their first-ever state championship in Class D2. It will be an adjustment for the Falcons as they will have a number of new players on the field. But, Hitchcock County will return an important piece on the offensive line, Taylor Hubl. Hubl was an All-District performer a year ago and he stands at 6'0, 285 pounds. The senior will look to be a mainstay on the line.
Another pivotal piece cog in their team will be Mason Schilke. He will be important at his tight end and defensive back position for the Falcons. He has high expectations and also is an All-District performer.
But as mentioned, the team will be young for Hitchcock County, returning two starters on each side of the ball. But Head Coach, Randall Rath, says his players know what to expect in their program.
"(We have) a lot of young kids playing. Been around winning and know that culture is expected."
It will be an interesting season to watch for the Falcons as they replace a number of positions, but expect them to be physical and disciplined.
The Falcons are in D2-8 District with Bertrand, Dundy County Stratton, Loomis, Maywood-Hayes Center, and Medicine Valley. Hitchcock County will start the season at home against Bayard on August 25th.
Hitchcock County Focusing on Individual Success
Hitchcock County is returning a small group for head coach Natalie Thiessen. With small groups, the Falcons will be focusing on individual success and improvements throughout the season.
Kade Thiessen is the top runner for the boy’s squad this season. Entering his junior season he is looking to improve on his 25th-place finish at RPAC.
On the girl's side, they have enough to field a team with senior Chayse Keith returning along with junior Sonta Schermerhorn, and junior Abbey Whipple. Keith is set to lead the Falcons as she finished 8th at RPAC and 22nd at districts.
Experience Looks to Help Continue Where Season Left Off
The upcoming volleyball season will largely be a continuation of last year for Hitchcock County.
The Falcons return nearly their entire roster from a year ago and almost all of last season's production.
Now the Falcons, who were 9-19 a season ago, are more seasoned and experienced. Add in a new class of five freshmen and Hitchcock County is searching for more victories.
"We are going into the season with an open mindset on our starting lineup," said Coach Lisa Spencer. "The girls will be setting season goals hoping to add a few more wins on our side this season."
Katie Jarecke returns after leading the team with 126 kills last year. Jarecke was a second-team all-conference performer a year ago.
Asia Homma, Kaiah Johnson, and Maddison Gestenslager each posted more than 80 kills last year and return as well.
Also back are all-conference honorable mentions Karstyn Porter, a setter, and Riley Hagan, a defensive specialist.