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Rocket Athletics

At The Start Line

As the Rocket track team prepares for their first meet of the season, there is optimism that this will be a really great season. In regard to the upcoming season, Head Coach Brandon Barger said, “With the season coming to a start this should be an exciting one. We have a lot of returning letterman and also a lot of returning state experience. The expectations will be set even higher than last year to keep getting better. Hopefully the team will fulfill those expectations and have a lot of people at the state meet.” The expectations are set above and beyond this year to do great, even all of the team thinks that. Junior Ben Peck said, “We are expecting a great season this year. Hopefully we will get to state again this year and maybe place as a whole team. I think we are almost there but still have a lot of work to do. If we keep pushing how we are, I believe we can reach our goals, but we can’t slack one bit.” Senior Jillian Rockley said, “This year will be a rebuilding year as we lost a lot of athletes last year, but I think the season will be a progressive one regardless.” A lot of the team believes we will place as a team at state this year; with a lot of the kids just coming short last year and returning, they are working to make it to the state meet this year with goals of placing at the state meet. It will all come down to working hard and fulfilling our goals. The first meet will be on March 24th at Andover Central for the Early Bird Meet to kick off the season.

Rockets Looking To Improve

The Rocket baseball team has some very promising attributes this season as they look to improve their offense, defense, and pitching. The Rockets are looking to have an improved record this season after their underwhelming 6-15 record last year. The Rockets will have several new varsity players this season including Jarrett Jones, Blake Struble, Colton Roberts, Scotty Carr, Chase Williamson, and Cameron Mock in addition to the six returning varsity players including Landon Rutledge, Chase Green, Jayden Jones, Cameron Jewell, Kyle Howerton, and Cooper Nace. This team is hungry for this season and the Rockets are looking to do some damage this year. Senior Outfielder Chase Green said, “We have a lot of young guys and I’m looking forward to helping them and winning a lot of games.” Senior Landon Rutledge said, “I am looking forward to have a lot of fun during my senior season; I have a lot of great teammates and I’m looking forward to winning some games with them.” In regard to the upcoming season, Head Coach Scott Carr said, “Our team is a very young but determined group who are led by three returning seniors in Chase Green, Kyle Howerton, and Landon Rutledge and one junior in Jayden Jones. After graduating several starters from the class of 2021, we are expecting our returning varsity players to work well beside those players moving up from the JV level. Jayden Jones is our top returning pitcher along with Landon Rutledge. The makeup of the rest of our pitching staff will be young. We as a whole must improve greatly on the defensive end and be more productive throughout our batting line up. We return Senior Chase Green who had an outstanding defensive/offensive campaign during the 2021 season. Again, many young guys are working hard and motivated to get the program moving in the right direction.” This year could be a turnaround year for the Rockets. Ironically, the Rockets kick off their 2022 season on Thursday, March 24th by hosting state ranked Buhler, who ended the Rocket’s 2021 season with an extra innings 3-2 win at the 2021 4A Regional Tournament.

Softball Looking To Impress

The Rockets softball team is looking to improve this season after finishing last season with an 11-11 record. The team has eight returning varsity players including senior Tatum Raney, juniors Karley Grinstead, Carly Lee, and Camrynn Yardley, and sophomores Reese Goetz, Payton Jackson, Paige Green, and Dakota Bryer. The team has lots of young talent which they could do a lot of great things with. Lady Rocket Head Coach Dani Gardner said, “We have a young group of girls but they are talented and we are excited to see how the year goes.” The girls are looking forward to having a fun season full of success. Senior Tatum Raney said, “The team is hard working and dedicated. Lots of good things will come out of this season for us.” The girls will kick off their season against Buhler at home on Thursday, March 24th.

Building Year For Girls' Soccer

After losing 12 seniors from last year’s team, the Lady Rockets are looking toward to their three returning seniors including Kayden Lucent, Haley Murray, and Lauren Henderson to provide leadership.  After finishing last season with a 7-9 record, the team is rebuilding with 6 new freshmen.  With low numbers and confident seniors, the girls are looking to have a good year with lots of fun and gaining more experience.  Head Coach Matt Hendersen said, “We are excited to get the season started off on Friday. After graduating 12 players last year we are an extremely young squad with our largest group being freshmen.  However, we are poised to grow quickly; with just 16 players everyone will get plenty of playing time and varsity experience which will only make us stronger in the future. However, I am not looking at this year as a rebuilding year. To me it’s a reload and an opportunity to show everyone how much heart we play with at Rose Hill”.  Senior Lauren Hendersen said, “Reloaded and ready to Roll” when asked about the potential season.  The first game will be Friday, March 25th.

A Season To Remember

This Wrestling season was full of accomplishments from state titles to new records being set. Keegan Beavers and Johnny Leck both won the State Championship at their respective weight and Milan Colvin was the first freshman ever to wrestle in the state championship match of the 285 lb. weight class. Keegan Beavers also tied the all-time wins record with David Leck with 141 wins in their high school career. We also had two girls place at state with Brooklynne Page placing 3rd and Payton Sholander placing 4th in the girls state tournament. Assistant Coach James Bilby had this to say about the season, “Each practice you make deposits and through the year it accumulates like a bank account. Postseason is about making the withdrawal. If your deposits are good, you get paid a lot but if your deposits were weak, you won’t have much to show.” The boys definitely put a lot of effort and hard work into this season which earned them 4th place as a team in the state tournament. “The season went well, with a storybook ending!!” said Keegan Beavers. “I thought this year was very good and we made a lot of improvements from the beginning of the year. I am very proud of the way me and my teammates finished. Horns up.” Coach Saferite had this to say about the season, “With wrestling season coming to an end, we are super proud of where we finished up. We finished in 10th place as a team for the girls, with both Brooklynne and Payton placing in the top 4 at the state tournament. They wrestled well at the state tournament and I am very proud of them. As for the boys, we finished in 4th place and again we are extremely proud of where we ended up. We were just a few points away from bringing home a trophy. At the Beginning of the season, top 5 was just kind of a dream goal, but the boys wrestled well enough to make that goal come true. I am very pleased and proud of all of them; they stepped up and wrestled tough in the biggest and toughest tournament of the year.” With talented wrestlers moving up from middle school, the future of Rocket wrestling is looking very bright.

Ending To A Great Season

With the Rockets playing their last game in the substate championship at Andale, it was sad to see the seniors go but a lot of the players were proud of the season. Some of the players had some words to say on the season and Coach Shirley had some final words on his last season at Rose Hill. Kellan Simoneau, who was one of the leading scorers on the season said, “The season didn’t end how we wanted but as a whole it was good. We are losing a lot of key players that are seniors this year but we also have a lot of sophomores that will be juniors next year that have a lot of potential of being stars and getting big minutes. I’m ready for what next season brings us and can’t be prouder of these seniors this season.” Senior Xander Landrie said, “It was a tough season and I did not want it to end the way it did. I came here to win a championship with Adriel and this team. I feel bad that we didn’t win the championship for Coach Shirley and the school. We had a good night but as a unit we just couldn’t get them to fall and ultimately came up short as a unit. It was a tough way to go out but our guys fought as hard as they could.” With Coach Shirley moving to Illinois at the end of this school year he will be remembered as a great coach. Shirley, who was a standout athlete in high school and a Rose Hill graduate returned to his alma mater as the head basketball coach in 2015 and he has accomplished a lot in the years he was here. Before he returned, the previous record over the last 3 seasons was 13-50 and he had the team in the state tournament at the end of his first season. Over the 7 seasons he created a culture of winning. Coach Shirley led the to an overall 79-73 record over seven seasons, including going 30-13 over the last 2 seasons. With the season ending, Coach Shirley said, “This season was full of many great accomplishments. It didn’t end the way we would have hoped but it does not take away from the terrific season these young men had. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to coach them.” There will be a lot unknowns about next year but the players that played for Coach Shirley will know what it takes to win.

Season Of Personal Records

The Rocket swim team swam their last meet at the Andover AVCTL league meet as they did not qualify anyone for the State Meet.  While at the meet all of the swimmers beat their personal records or even placed overall gaining the team points.  After starting the season off slow and with a very young team, the Rocket swimmers had a successful year.  Three freshmen, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior joined the returning junior and senior.  Coach Kurt quickly introduced the team and proceeded to whip them into shape with vigorous workouts.  The team consistently performed at the meets with a few hiccups along the way for weather or other conditions canceling a few. At the league meet, Landon Rutledge scored a “consideration” time for state with a 24.68 in the 50-yard freestyle.  Unfortunately, a “consideration” time does not guarantee you going to the state meet and he did not make it.  Although they had no one to go to state, the swim team is looking forward to a great year next year.

Rocket Ladies With A Rough Year

During the 2021- 2022 girls basket season, the Lady Rockets basketball team played against very stiff competition throughout the year.  With a few returners, the varsity team looked to be set for the season, but after a few major injuries the team was struggling.  After going 1-2 to start the season, the Lady Rockets had to face an undefeated Wellington.  This did not go well and neither did the rest of the season with the Lady Rockets only recording wins against Chanute and Collegiate and losing the rest of their games making their overall record 2-19.  When asked about the season, coach Jenny Page said, “Although we struggled through the season, we got a lot of our young girls some experience to better us for next year.” Senior team captain Jenna McCulloch said, “The girls’ basketball team had a tough season this year. We had lost several seniors from the year before that had really contributed to the team.  That meant that a lot of our new team was composed of younger girls that had never played in a varsity game before.  But despite our tough year, I can say that we always had a good time at practice and at games.  The chemistry and connection on this team was better than it had been in a while.  I hope in the next couple of years they find more and more success along with a good relationship with each other.”

Boys Return Strong Team

The Rockets are going into the season looking to make a return trip to the State Tournament. The Rockets advanced to the “Final Four” of the 2020 State Tournament but the rest of the tournament was canceled due to the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, the Rockets recorded a stellar 15-6 record advancing to the State Quarterfinals. The Rockets are now a very experienced team and are ready to begin the season. In looking forward to this season, Coach Shirley said, “We are very encouraged about the players we have returning. We have a solid group of guys who played significant minutes at the varsity level last year. We also have JV guys who are ready to step up and take on new roles with the varsity. Our ability to defend and rebound will be what makes the difference this season. We know as a team we are not overly tall, so we will have to be able to get stops and then find ways to win rebounding battles to be successful.” The Rockets will be led by returning starters Adriel smith, Xander Landrie, Kellan Simoneau, as well as several other upperclassmen looking to contribute to the Rocket’s success this season. The Rockets are looking forward to an exciting season.

Bright Future For Wrestlers

The Rocket’s wrestling team welcomed new head coach Chris Saferite last year and with the help of assistant coaches James Bilby and Darian Eshelman the Rockets had a great season. They had a very good 9-3 dual season. The Rockets, who placed 7th as a team in last season’s State Tournament, will be led by returning State Qualifiers Pierce Probasco and Keegan Beavers, who placed 4th last season at the State Tournament. The Rockets look to have a bright future as there are many returning wrestlers and new promising freshmen entering the program. Returning State Placer Keegan Beavers said, “We’ve got a bunch of good wrestlers out this season giving us a full line up. I believe it will be a pretty good season.” Senior Aden Lemasters said, “We have some very promising underclassmen and some very strong returning juniors and seniors”. Head coach Chris Saferite stated, “The Rose Hill High School wrestling team is excited to get started. We will be a very young team this year with seven freshmen in the starting lineup and three seniors to help lead the way. Even with a young team and the few seniors that we have, there is a lot of wrestling experience. We are looking forward to the seniors to lead us in the right direction. The goal is to go and compete each and every week, and by the end of the year, we would like nothing more than to bring home a state trophy in February. As for the girls, we currently have five girls on the team. We have two juniors leading the way and there and three freshmen looking to compete as well. Both teams have been working hard and are prepared to go compete starting this weekend as we kick things off.” The Rockets are looking forward to this season and hoping to make noise as a team at the State Tournament.

Rockets Begin To Rebuild

The Lady Rockets welcome back two returning varsity players this season in Alexia Struble and Jenna McCulloch. In regard to this year’s season McCulloch said, “We lost the majority of our starters from last year so this year we are relearning how we are going to work together. It has been going very well so far. We are practicing hard every day getting ready for the long season. It will be different from last year, but I am expecting great things”. This season for the girls will be different but it will be good for them because they will build strong new connections with each other and learn to work together as a team. Coach Jenny Page is very excited to see how this team works together. Coach Page said, “This season will be a rebuilding year as we are very young and inexperienced. While this takes some time, I believe that by February we will be a much more competitive team.  These girls are fun to coach and I can't wait to see what they can accomplish.” The Lady Rockets are hoping to have a very successful season this year after their 10-9 season last year.

New Year New Team

This year the boys swimming team only has one returning senior in Landon Rutledge, although he will be joined by a new senior, Zander Arheart. The only other returning swimmer is junior Dante Robinson.  The new swimmers are Sophomore Cameron Harold, Ben Kinnan, and Travis Dixon.  Senior Landon Rutledge said, “We look very promising this year even with the lower numbers.” The Rockets are coached by Christopher Kurt, who is beginning his second season as the Rocket’s swimming coach. Coach Kurt said, “This is going to be a very different season, as six of our nine swimmers from last year were seniors.  Our returning swimmers this year, Landon Rutledge (State Swimmer) and Dante Robinson, are already looking like strong competitors this year and ready to take on being the team leaders. Our new swimmers are eager to learn and willing to try everything, which makes coaching them easier and more enjoyable.  We are going to have a great season with a lot of growth.” The Rockets first meet is on December 10th.  Good luck Rockets!

Lady Rockets Finish Strong

The Rocket runners did very well this year with the ladies really running hard. The Lady Rockets won five out of their eight meets. At the AVCTL Meet in Mulvane, the girls dominated by placing seven runners in the top eight. At the Regional Meet in Buhler, the girls placed all seven runners in the top 26 places to easily win the Regional Championship. In what was a bit of a disappointment to the girls, they finished in 9th place at the State Meet in Wamego but are already looking forward to improving on that finish next year.  The men’s team tried hard this year with each of them running personal bests at a meet during the season and even having some finish in the top 10 like McKoy Corte at a few meets as well.  The team motto this year that pushed everyone to their hardest was to “run hungry and taste victory”. I asked several runners what that meant to them and they said it was to want something so bad that they had to work for it every day until it just came to them. Coach Barger stated that “Our cross season was one of expectations.  We accomplished so much and also didn’t end it the way we wanted to end it.  Both the boys and girls are young enough to make a good run next year.  It was fun to watch this group compete and be successful.  Run Hungry and Taste Victory.” The girls’ team is looking forward to another strong season in 2022 as several of the varsity runners were underclassmen. Graduating seniors from the girls team include Jordyn Croft, Jenna MuCulloch, Hattie Mills, Haley Murray, and Alexia Struble.  The boys’ team will also be losing three seniors to graduation including McCoy Korte, Kaleb Ross, and Carter Wagner.

Girls Have Winning Season

Coming into this year's volleyball season the Lady Rockets were ready to tear up this season after coming off of their 9-20 record in the 2020 season. The girls started off the season strong winning their first tournament of the season at Northwest and going on a 7-game winning streak. Unfortunately, the Rockets then fell into a 5-game losing streak playing against some really tough teams. The Rockets continued the season strong with some wins and some losses. Nonetheless they played to the best of their abilities at all times. They would go on to the substate tournament to face off against Rock Creek, who they beat with ease. For their second game of the sub-state tournament, the Rockets had to face off against the Andale Indians for their third time of the season; both teams played their hearts out but the Rockets ultimately fell short. They would finish their season with a record of 19-16 and say goodbye to their five seniors. Jillian Rockley stated, “I'm really proud of the growth we went through this season and the way we continued to work to better each other on and off of the court. I'm proud of our performance at substate and how we fought against Andale.” Another senior, Mia Kuehn, also said “We had a great season and the all-around chemistry made playing volleyball so much fun! The team is going to continue to grow with a lot of young talent.” Sydney LaKous said, “I think it was a great season and I wouldn't have wanted to spend my senior year of volleyball with any other group of girls.” Coach Mock stated, “I would say that this team had some great leaders on and off the court. They helped us grow into a team that I am very proud of. We played as a team and won as a team all year! That’s a big deal in the sport of volleyball. We ended 19-16 and 12 of our losses were to teams who went to state in their respective divisions. We built a great foundation with seven returning varsity players for next year. I am excited to continue to see growth in our athletes over the off season.” Overall, the Rockets had a great season and fought it out till the very end.

Growing Stronger Together

Although the season did not end how the Rocket Football team wanted, it was still a good season.  The Rockets had a lot of young guys step up and fill in for injuries this year where it was needed.  That courage is what is needed for the future of Rocket football and the boys took a great step towards next year and getting better. The Rockets began the season losing to state power Andale but then evened out their record at 1-1 the next week with a blowout win over Clearwater. However, the Rockets would lose the next four games to drop their record to 1-5. Two of the losses were very close games that easily could have been wins with a little bit of luck. The Rockets then closed out the regular season with wins over Winfield and Independence to improve to 3-5 going into the 1st round playoff game at Circle. Head coach Lee Weber stated, “I was extremely proud of this squad for being resilient through the season of bad bounces and injuries.  While I feel like we should have had a better record and won several of our tight games, our team never gave up and battled all the way through the playoff loss to Circle.  Our players should hold their head high being able to finish off with two good wins at the end of the season to higher ranked teams than us in 4A and also battling Circle until time ran out.” Defensive Coordinator David Penner said, “This football season presented itself with several challenges. I feel like we built a solid foundation for us to excel next year if we can continue to develop and build off of what we did this year. We need to put in work in this off season to make sure next year ends on a better note than this year did. We got a lot of younger kid reps this year which will hopefully allow those kids to be successful next year.”  Coach Hill said, “I am proud of everyone this year that came out and played and appreciate their efforts this season. The season didn’t end as we expected but players had to battle through diversity and injury.  There is a lot to learn from this season to carry on to the next year so in my eyes it was still a very productive season. Success is not always measured in wins and losses but is measured by the growth of the player and the team.”  Although the seniors weren’t all there to finish the season because of injury, some guys that stood out this season were Keegan Beavers, Chase Green, Lane Gardner, and Jadon Green.  These boys supported their team until the very last buzzer.

Heart Breaking End For Soccer

The Rockets started out strong with a breathtaking win against Coffeyville with a score of 2-1 in overtime. They then continued the winning streak until the difficult Goddard/Campus tournament where they went 1-2. Goalkeeper Temo Luna-Beruman, suffered a concussion saving a goal leading him to be sidelined for a few games. “This year the biggest problem we had this season was the injuries,” said Head Coach Jerry Treat. He was right as many more injuries started to occur for the Rockets. A couple of games later in the game vs Classical, center defender Teagan Cobb pulled his hip flexor and right back and Ethan Brooks suffered a concussion. Many more injuries started to pile up on them as the season went on. After all the injuries the Rockets sustained this year the team's morale was a little low but the Rockets pushed on. The Rockets won the Senior night game against Mulvane with a convincing 7-0 victory. The Rockets were preparing for a hard game at Buhler in the first game of Regionals having lost to the Crusaders 1-0 earlier in the season. However, the Crusaders again dealt the Rockets a heart breaking 1-0 defeat at Buhler in a hard-fought game in the first round of regionals. The game was tied 0-0 until the Crusaders finally scored in the 77th minute of the game. After an intense season the Rockets look forward to the years ahead. They are ready to build back up next year even stronger than before. The Rockets have 10 returning juniors and many sophomores and freshmen ready to play hard next year to make it back to state.

Time For Rebuilding

The Rocket Soccer team finished last year in 4th place at the state tournament after some costly injuries derailed their chances of winning a 3rd state championship in the last seven seasons. Going into the 2021 season, the Rockets will need to replace 8 of the 11 starters (Ethan Anderson, Charlie Black, Ethan Tucker, Drew Leck, Caden Dinkel, Timmy Hoopes, Zach Hoang, and Gavin Strawn) and 12 total seniors who graduated from last year’s team. The Rockets will need to do some rebuilding and to rebound for this next season. They have gained 8 new freshmen. There are high hopes for the returning Starters (Teagan Cobb, Andruw Weeks, and Temo Luna-Berumen) and Seniors Zander Arheart and Joshua Fisher as it will still be a strong team. The Rockets are working hard in preparation for their opening game at Coffeyville on September 27th.

Football Coming Back Strong

Head football coach Lee Weber will be beginning his 4th year guiding the Rocket’s program and will be looking to continue building on the success of last year's team. With a record of 6-4, the best record since 2011, the Rockets also went on to win their first playoff game since the 2011 state championship. Coach Weber's number one goal is to be 1-0 every game this year and the team believes that they have the potential to do it. The Rockets will be led by quarterback Lane Gardner along with 5 other offensive starters that are returning from the previous year. On the other hand, the Defense is looking just as strong if not stronger with 9 returners from the previous year. The team’s goal this year is to get better and have a better record than any years previous; they are hoping to make it deeper into the playoffs again this year. The key to get further this year is to be efficient and have ball control on offense. On defense they have to be the best tackling team and keep every team under two scores. The Rockets are looking strong and look forward to their first game against perennial state power Andale on September 3rd.

Running For State

After coming off a great year of running with only a few seniors last year, the Rocket cross country team is looking forward to the many returning runners and quite a few new ones. The returners include seniors Carter Wagner, Jordyn Croft, Haley Murray, Jenna McCulloch, and Hattie Mills.  Even more seniors joined this year including Hayden Forred, Kaleb Ross, and McCoy Korte. The juniors will be Dylan Henry, Elliot Herod, Carys Moore, Abigail Weidner, Kyrsten Lucent, and Savanna Crawford.  Returning sophomores will be Logan Shropshire, and Alexa Marshall who placed 19th in state last year and helped the girls team place 6th at the State Meet.

Girls Looking For Strong Rebound

The Lady Rocket volleyball team is excited to get back to playing matches following the hectic 2020 Covid-19 season. The team is returning two starters from last year’s team in Jillian Rockley and Mia Kuehn. Other varsity contributors from last season returning include Dayleigh Barger and Mandi Heinz.The team will be bringing on many promising newcomers for the varsity team including Emily Wellenstein, Sydney LaKous, Jessa Lee, Paige Loeck, Reese Goetz, Payton Jackson, and Makayla Kiser. Coach Mock stated “We are hoping for a more normal season after the covid season we had last year”. New to the coaching staff this year is Chelsea Payne for the C-team. The Rockets will start off their 2021 season with a tournament Saturday, August 28th at Wichita North High School. They will not have their first home game until later in the season on October 5th.