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Bluebirds athletes win league honors

Sports writer

Goessel High School coaches had a chance to reflect on the Goessel athletic season with supporters, parents, and athletes Nov. 17.

The Bluebirds will leave the 12-team Heart of America League after this season.

Goessel has made its mark on the league and the 2009 season was no exception.

Volleyball

The volleyball team played in class 2A for the first time in several years and advanced to the finals of substate where Lebo defeated them in three games, the last game ending at 25-21.

Lebo ended with second place in the state tournament. Coach Crysta Guhr commented that the Goessel team also lost to state champion Moundridge in three games with the last game of 25-21.

“If we had to lose, at least we lost close games to the best teams in the state,” she said.

The team had an overall record of 27-10. Guhr was pleased that the C team finished the season 4-0 and the JV volleyball team ended the season with a record of 17-7.

One individual school record was set this year with Jessica Goertzen serving 76 aces in the season, breaking the 13-year-old record of 67.

All four Goessel seniors were recognized by the HOA League for their abilities during the season.

Karina Harvey, libero, was selected to the league’s first team.

Second team honors went to setter Jessica Goertzen and hitter Karis Janzen, with hitter Aspen Frey earning honorable mention.

These girls were all seniors this year and played varsity volleyball at Goessel all four years.

Football

Six Goessel football players were recognized in the eight-man division of the Heart of America League.

Seniors Bryant Miller, Cameron Stultz, and Weston Hiebert were selected to the first team.

Juniors John Berkholz and Alex Ross joined them. Receiving honorable mention was senior Austin Cooper.

The football team qualified for playoff games for the fifth year in a row, losing to Baileyville, who played in the championship game.

The Bluebird defense picked up 13 interceptions in 10 games, with three of those games not going the distance of four full quarters.

Hiebert earned 177 tackles. Running backs Stultz and Berkholz accumulated 1,700 yards rushing. Goessel quarterbacks Tyler Schmidt and Neal Brubaker threw for more than 1,400 yards with seniors Hayden Goerzen, Stultz, and Hiebert gaining many of those yards.

“Winning is expected,” Coach Justin Coup said of this group of seniors.

“With the attitude of our seniors, the underclassmen have picked up the enthusiasm and the future looks good for the seasons to come.”

Cross-country

Out of 64 2A schools, the Goessel boys cross-country team finished 11th at state as a team. Individuals earned 29 medals during the season.

Senior Jared Reimer led the boys squad most of the season. Senior Derek Kruger and junior Laird Goertzen traded positions for second and third spots during the season.

Exchange students Said Bahoul and Lucas Kemkes, along with Chad Wedel and Stephen Goertzen, rounded out the team of boys that competed at state. Grant Flaming was the alternate in case someone was unable to run.

Senior Kristen Hoffman earned a spot at state with a 10th-place individual finish at regionals.

First-year coach Derrick Birdsell was impressed with the support that the runners received, especially from parents.

“Some parents were at every meet, with many parents making several meets,” he said.

Birdsell noted that whether the team went east or west to meets, other schools knew of the good reputation that Goessel brought with them.

Last modified Nov. 25, 2009

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