Starting Spring Sports

While last year’s spring was season cut short, student athletes are eager to return to their sports for the 2021 season.


Molly McFadden

Senior Devin McKay chases after the ball during a game in 2019. McKay will be competing for his fourth year during this upcoming season.

Molly McFadden, Taliya James, and Da'Jai Wesson

With less than 30 days until spring, and the winter season of competition coming to a close, spring sports preparation is underway. Students have been attending meetings and hitting the gym for this upcoming season. After school was let out early in 2020 and spring sports were cancelled, teams worked hard at home and throughout the summer to stay in shape. The eight teams haven’t competed since 2019. With tennis, golf, track, and soccer, many students are looking forward to getting outside this spring.

Looking at tennis, Mike McDermott is the head coach. This is his seventh year coaching both the boys and girls. Health teacher Cole Renken will be assisting McDermott this year, as well as volunteer coach and Schuler Elementary principal, James Northwick. The boys team is hoping to compete for a conference championship, while the girls have six returning varsity players. McDermott said that after not playing last year, both teams will need to “shake some rust off.” Currently, Atlantic only has six tennis courts in town, due to the incompleteness of new courts. McDermott foresees some trouble managing court time for all players, but recognizing that having lots of players is a good problem to have. He is looking forward to the tennis meeting on Thursday, March 11 at 3:30 pm, and practice starting on Monday, March 15.

I hope we are able to get a good number of players out and have a highly competitive team. It starts with students coming out and playing.

— Dan Vargason

By hosting open gyms, preparation for this year’s soccer teams are well underway. The head girls coach will be Dan Vargason and the boys will be Matthew Smith. Vargason said, “I hope we are able to get a good number of players out and have a highly competitive team. It starts with students coming out and playing.” Smith, a graduate from Atlantic, has volunteered with the high school team for years and is hoping to “lead it in the right direction.” He has goals of growing this sport around the Atlantic area and sending out the seniors on a high note. Smith encourages students to get out and support at the Trojan Bowl, as well as the new soccer field and track at the high school. This renovation is hoped to be finished before the end of the season.

Golf, having success at the state-level in the past, is looking forward to another good season. The boys will be coached by Ed Den Beste and the girls by Kathy Hobson. An athlete to look for is senior Roni Hook. Hook transferred to Atlantic halfway through her high school career and has yet to golf for the Trojans due to COVID-19. She said that she has been golfing since she was two years old and is looking forward to a successful season. After taking two trips to the State Tournament for Griswold, Hook hopes to make it there as a Trojan this spring.

The 2021 spring season will be a “rebuilding year,” for the boys and girls track teams, according to volunteer track coach Roger Warren, who works with throwers. The head coach for girls track is Matt Mullenix, while the head coach for boys track is Abby Becker. With the 2020 season being cut short, the coaches didn’t have the opportunity to get to know the runners, so this season will make for a fresh start. They look forward to seeing new and former runners, and returning to the track this year. Warren said, “It’s exciting to get into a new season. We need to get back at it.”