Coaches from all CSC athletic teams gathered at Country Kitchen along with CSC Eagles Booster Club members and fans from the community, Monday evening, to provide updates for their respective teams.
Having decided against their usual coaches lunches in which coaches met weekly with the public, the get together provided coaches an opportunity to briefly address those gathered.
Presentations varied from recaps of seasons having been completed, as is the case with Coach Riann Mullis’s volleyball team, to teams still competing, such as the Eagles’ football and cross country squads, to upcoming winter sports like basketball, and wrestling.
A common thread through most presentations was recruiting.
Speaking at his first such event, Cross Country Coach Scott Foley says he’s been actively recruiting hard and currently has commitment from multiple Nebraska runners, including one from Gering, who he hopes will help address a current lack of depth within his roster.
Several of Coach Foley’s young cross country squad are in their first year of college-level competition and still adjusting to increases in length of races and length of the season. On Saturday the group competed at the RMAC Championships, and will travel to Denver, Colorado, in two weeks to compete at the NCAA South Central Region Championships.
Speaking about the upcoming Track & Field season, Coach Riley Northrup was excited to tease one particular CSC recruit, who has yet to be named, and four other commitments for the early signing period. Though he’s still measured regarding his hopes for the upcoming season, the program will return standouts Isaac Grimes and Ashton Halstead.
Head Men’s Basketball Coach Houston Reed also mentioned future players in his presentation, touting commitments from two “6 foot 8 inch-plus” players from Colorado. Reed says he was happy with his team’s performance during their exhibition game against Weber State last week.
Calling his wrestling squad the best group he’s ever had with regard to character, Coach Brett Hunter celebrated four commitments to his program which he says will use their annual Black/Cardinal Classic this Thursday to help solidify their lineup. Hunter’s group faces a stiff challenge as they travel to face top ranked St. Cloud State University Thursday, Nov. 15.
Softball Coach Kaley Scearcy says she currently has three commitments for the early signing period, and is excited about her team’s potential for success when they begin play in 2019. According to Scearcy, three seniors, and one junior were recently named as captains on the upcoming roster.
Though his season is still ongoing, Head Football Coach Jay Long also mentioned his team’s future, saying a common theme among the 75 potential recruits the college invited to Chadron football home games this season, was how much they enjoyed the atmosphere at Chadron State’s newly renovated Don Beebe Stadium and Elliott Field. Among other topics, Long discussed the team’s recent accomplishment of placing 25 players on the RMAC All-Academic lists. Long says he’ll be disappointed if his team does not win the RMACS Brechler award for football in the 2018-2019 season. The Brechler award is given to a team in each of the 23 RMAC sports whose grade point average is the highest.
Other speakers included Coach John Ritzen who has been happy with the performance of his young Women’s Golf Team. Thought the Fall portion of the group’s season has past, the women’s golfers will resume play this March, with RMAC Championships taking place in April. Ritzen says improvements to the team’s indoor facilities should help the team hone their skills during the winter.
Rodeo Coach Dustin Luper admitted that the University of Wyoming is currently “kicking the puddin’” out of his group and the rest of the region, but that he could see the CSC Cowboys and Cowgirls working up to the second or third spots. Luper celebrated his groups inclusion among CSC athletics this season, and got a good laugh from those gathered when asked regarding his current practice facilities. According to Luper, before enjoying indoor facilities, CSC rodeo members would practice at the Dawes County Fairgrounds, necessitating, on one occasion, Luper gathering garbage to start a fire for warmth as they practiced in the cold.
Coach Mullis, addressing those gathered following a disappointing end to the CSC Women’s Volleyball Team’s season, thanked those gathered for their support. Though Mullis says she expected more than eight wins this season, there were many positives to be taken from the season including the accomplishments of seniors Madison Webb and Ashton Burditt. Mullis also celebrated her group’s work within the community.
Third-year Women’s Basketball Head Coach Janet Raymer says she’ll return nine athletes this upcoming season, referring to the players as the “correct nine to have.” Raymer celebrated the increased support from fans, and says her team is working hard and will be competitive this season. The team will travel to the University of Wyoming, Wednesday, then will go on the road to Laredo and Kingsville, Texas, this upcoming weekend.