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Rocket Athletics

This Week In Rocket Varsity Sports

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All Comes To An End

With the season coming to a close it was hard to see all the seniors leave. The season did not go in dread though. As a whole, the team grew stronger together and pushed each other making each other accomplish things they never thought they would be able to. As the season ended, Coach Barger said, “Our track program took another leap forward from last year.  We broke three records with Carter Wagner in the high jump, Ava Markley in the Triple Jump, and Tyler Kiser in the Javelin.  We also increased our number of state qualifiers from a year ago.  With a good majority of qualifiers coming back next year with state experience, we have to find a way to put points on the board.  Our coaches are already talking about how we can get better for next year.  So when that happens, our athletes will see that and will respond in a positive way. Being the coach of these young men and women was easy but when they were pushed to their fullest potential they were able to subdue anything and take on the challenge in their path”. Two of our seniors had some final words to say on the season starting with the State Champion in the triple jump, Carter Wagner. “I feel like we started off strong the first couple meets of the year, but toward the middle of the season we had some injuries and some performance issues, but we overcame the problems. It wasn't easy but it had to be done and we really picked it up the last three meets of the season. Success isn't measured by the individual but by the team.” State placer Jillian Rockley said, “I think we grew a lot as a team and pushed together to make it a good environment! We had a lot of people qualify for state and overall had a very successful season in my opinion”. Although the season is over and the loss of numbers from this year’s graduating seniors will hurt next season, it will be a very optimistic year for the Rocket track team. I believe no matter what or who is there anything will be able to be accomplished.

Golfers Perform Well In 2022

The Rocket golf team had a very successful 2022 season. The team won both the Circle Invitational and the Clearwater Invitational. They placed second at the AVCTL Meet and placed third at the Augusta Invitational. In their best performance of the season, the Rockets won the Circle Invitational by 19 strokes as Jaime Gracia-Gil won the tournament by shooting an 83. Gunner Fulk, Lane Gardner, and Caiden Crosby also placed in the top ten of the tournament. When they won the Clearwater Invitational, Gracia-Gil again walked away with a tournament title by shooting an 85 while Brody Barrus and Fulk both tied for second place by shooting a 91. The Rockets had great expectations for the post season but struggled at the Regional Meet in Winfield. They were only able to qualify Gracia-Gil and Gardner for the State Meet. At the State Meet in Newton, Gracia-Gil made the cut for day two. However, the State Meet was cut short when the second day of the tournament was canceled due to rain. Per KSHSAA rules, final scores were based on each golfer’s day one score. Gracia-Gil finished in a tie for 41st place.  Head Coach Matt Browning said, "While the season didn't end the way we had hoped it would, it was still an overall successful season. Not many teams can say they won two tournaments and medaled in four more. I'm very proud of my guys for a fun and fulfilling season."

Successful Season For Ladies

The Lady Rockets had a successful 2022 season that unfortunately came to an end in the Regional Championship game against the Clearwater Indians. The Rockets finished their season with a 13-9 record and finish with a winning percentage of .591. Even though the team was young, the Lady Rockets had several talented players. The Lady Rockets getting all league awards include Camrynn Yardley - 1st Team OF, Kandance Heumann - 2nd Team 2B, Paige Green - 2nd Team 3B, Dakota Bryer - 2nd Team OF, Karley Grinstead - 2nd Team OF, Camrynn Yardley - 2nd Team Pitcher, Reese Goetz - Honorable Mention 1B, Payton Jackson - Honorable Mention Catcher, Carly Lee - Honorable Mention SS. Luckily the Rockets are a young team so this team will still be able to develop and play together next year. Coach Heumann stated, “The girls had a great season, I am so proud of them all. We will be returning all nine varsity starters next year. These girls will do great things next season!” The girls definitely have a chance to be very successful in their next season and are looking forward to the 2023 season.

Rocket Soccer Season Ends Well

The Lady Rocket soccer team looked at this season as a rebuilding year since they had graduated 13 seniors the previous year.  When they started the season they shocked everybody by winning 3 of their first 5 games with a majority of the freshmen on the team starting and playing well.  After the first five games the Rockets struggled to finish anything and went on a seven game dry streak by losing five and tying two games until the Rockets played Winfield at home and won 6-0, blowing the Vikings out of the water.  They then played the three hardest games of the season against good teams to get ready for playoffs.  They lost all three and prepared to head to Nickerson for their first playoff game.  The Rockets showed up to Nickerson and dominated the game ending the game 4-0 and moving on to play the number one seed in the bracket, the Mulvane Wildcats.  After they traveled to Mulvane the game started and the Rockets were once again on their game and kept the game 0-1 at half and then made it 1-2 with 12 minutes remaining until the Wildcats scored another goal and finished the Rockets off ending their season. The Lady Rockets will lose two seniors from this year’s team, Haley Murray and Lauren Henderson, as they look forward to being more experienced and winning more games next season. Head Coach Matt Henderson stated, “I am extremely proud of all the girls; they played tough all season long. We started six freshmen and multiple sophomores. Only having two seniors made it tough although they were great leaders all year long. I'm most excited about how we finished the season. Even though we did not win our last regional game, we played extremely well and I think it gives us something great to build on for next year. I can't wait to see where these girls will be in three years.”

Strong Second Half For Baseball

The Rockets 2022 season has come to an end. After losing several seniors from last year’s team, the Rockets would be a young team with several sophomores starting on varsity. After struggling early in the season and starting 0-8, the young team rebounded and finished the second half of the regular season with a record of 7-6. The Rockets ended their season with a blowout loss to eventual State Champion McPherson in the regional game. The team finished up their season with a 7-14 record and a .333 winning percentage. The Rockets also had to say goodbye senior players Kyle Howerton and Chase green who were big influences on the team for the younger classes. The team also had some a few all-league selections with Green getting first team outfield, Scotty Carr getting 2nd team outfield, Jayden Jones getting 2nd team pitcher and honorable mention catcher, Cameron Mock getting 2nd team DH, Cooper Nace getting honorable mention 1B, Howerton getting honorable mention 3B, and Jarrett Jones getting honorable mention pitcher. This team had some good young talent that will surely help them be better next season. Coach Carr stated, “The kids had their ups and downs as far as wins and losses but the improvement made and the work ethic shown is something our staff respected about them. With such a young group of kids playing their first years of varsity level baseball the future looks bright and we are all excited to see how they develop and perform in the 2023 season.” The Rockets are looking to be stronger and better next year as the majority of the team returns with experience.

Girls Swim Comes To An End

The girls swim team this season was a young team looking to gain experience.  As they were preparing for the season, they showed good potential and talent even among the younger more inexperienced swimmers.  They started off the season a little bit rough not placing very high on the team level but still trying their best.  Meets continued to happen and people began improving but it was not enough to start placing well on the team level and it wouldn’t all year. Although the team placement aspect wasn’t very good the personal team morale and personal records began to flood in for every swimmer.  Left and right swimmers were beating their old times and often crushing them by five or more seconds each time.  After all of this improvement their season ended with the AVCTL Meet at Andover. This was a sad time for the team since their only senior, Jenna McCulloch, was graduating.  However, the team is looking forward to the rest of the girls coming back next year. Head Coach Christopher Kurt state, “The RHHS Girls Swim Team was a very young team this year. Outside of superstar senior Jenna McCulloch, the rest were sophomores and freshmen. This year presented some growing pains, but a lot of success as well! Sophomore Josie Belden is on track to make it to state in the 100-meter Breaststroke by her senior year, maybe even next year. Sophomore Grace Koehn keeps the team morale energized and has been readily improving her distance swimming. Freshman Katelyn Vanmeerbeck earned a spot on the A Team relays and proved to be a valuable asset on meet day. The B Medley Relay team, consisting of Emma Hayes, Whitney Roach, Lindy Nottingham, and Jacie Krause, all freshmen, ended their season with a personal record improvement of 7 seconds! It's been a good season and I wish them the best of luck with their future seasons.”