Fall sports rosters looking strong for next year

By Teo Soler – Horizon News & Features Editor

The Women Soccer Team holding a youth clinic in the CAC. Credit: Jenna Ratzlaff

Abby Busby, Walid Boudjarane, Kate Ingol. These are a few of the names of the future freshman recruited to play this fall. They also represent one of the busiest times of the season for the Hesston College coaches: recruiting season.  

Following up with recruits, going to tournaments, making offers: Coaches put in a lot of work to fill up their rosters and build the teams that will compete best on the field or court.

It’s an important time for Matthew Gerlach, head coach of the men’s soccer team. Since he began running the program in 2016, the soccer team has significantly improved its performance. The rebuilding of the program was made thanks to recruitment of 16 freshman and a new assistant coach. The team moved from a record of 5-12-1 in 2016 to a 7-13 in 2017, the best record in a decade.

The performance of the past season will allow Gerlach to recruit better quality players and further strengthen the program for next season. His goal is clear: Keep improving the win-loss record and play in the postseason. Gerlach doesn’t hide his enthusiasm.  

“We have a chance to make it to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years,” he said.  

This is a challenging year for Bryan Kehr, head of the women soccer team, as well as he is seeking to improve on a less than stellar record. The team will suffer from the loss of eight sophomores. After a solid season with a record of 9-10, the team is hoping to further its progression down the path to the playoffs. For Kehr, it isn’t just about hard work.

“We are focused on long term goals,” Kehr said. “If players improve a lot and enjoy the game, then positive results will follow.”

After an intense off-season, Kehr sees potential.

“This year’s freshman are ready to take over the team,” he said.

Similarly, the volleyball team is suffering the loss of four sophomores. But Deedee Landes, head coach, isn’t worried.

“We have eight returners that have been working hard during the offseason,” she said.

Through connections, showcases and tournaments she attended, Landes was able to recruit four more freshman for next year. She expects her girls to give everything at every practice and keep on working hard.

“If we play and practice with the passion the end goals will take care of themselves.”

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