Athletes prepare for new spring sports

By Alicen Meysing – News Editor

The clatter of feet against the gym floor, the crack of a baseball bat as it collides with the ball, music flowing from inside the weight room. Although winter break ended just a few weeks ago, the sound of athletes preparing for spring sports already fills the campus.

But this spring is unique. Hesston will be competing in two new sports and welcoming a new tennis coach. Each sport’s team is training and pushing themselves to overcome obstacles and prepare for the season.

Hesston tennis coach Chance Joost says that even with cold temperatures outside, his team is still finding a way to prepare for the season.

“I’m thrilled to start my first season with these guys,” Chance stated. “We’re working in the weight room and conditioning until the weather warms up. After that we’ll be hitting tennis balls, working on technique, footwork, and strategy for our first match against Emporia State on February 22.”

Tennis skills are not the only thing Joost is looking forward to improving.

“I can’t wait to see my team’s growth and development not only on the court, but off the court,” Chance said. “For the women I’m excited to get the program moving forward and continuing to build it up.

On top of welcoming Chance as the new tennis coach, Hesston is introducing two new sports into its spring lineup. Both golf and track are starting their first official season. Gerry Sieber, who coaches both the cross country and track team, is excited about track returning to Hesston College.

Photo by Sarah Booth

“I’m really looking forward to coaching track this year,” said Gerry. “Hesston hasn’t had an official track team since the 1980s and I can’t wait to watch my athletes grow in skill and confidence as they continue with their training.”

Sieber is currently coaching track simultaneously with cross country.

“Right now it’s up in the air on who will actually be part of the Hesston track team, but I have about 5-6 individuals and the entire freshman cross country team practicing almost daily,” Gerry said. “We’re focusing on basic conditioning before we go into more specific training. In about four or five weeks everyone who hasn’t already committed to the being on the track team will decide whether they want to do track or not. I’m happy because it’s always very rewarding as a coach to see athletes do really well.”

Hesston will compete in its first track meet sometime during April.

Also leading a new sport into Hesston’s schedule is head golf coach Chris Franz. Regardless of the cooler temperatures, Franz and his team are already training for the season.

“Although it’s cold outside now, we are lifting weights and using two indoor facilities to practice and keep our skills polished,” said Chris. “Golf is a sport that you have to keep practicing so you don’t lose touch with your abilities. I’m very excited to see how much my team can apply what they learned in our fall tournaments to our spring season.”

Golf kicks off their spring season by competing in a tournament on March 13 at Myrtle Beach, SC.

Hesston’s spring season does not only include new sports. Both softball and baseball are also beginning their regular season in the spring. Softball will begin their season with a scrimmage at Hesston Feb. 4, against Tabor College. The baseball team will start off their season Jan. 21 at Friends University.

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