Evergreen track and field looks to make some noise in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League to make up for not having a season in 2020.
Their boys return five letter winners this season and lose 12 to graduation.
The returnees include Colin Smith, Jacob Riggs, Will Dumas, Austin Pennington and Anderson Tipping. The Vikings are adding newcomers Ben Ruetz, Walker Lumbrezer, Adam Smith, Woran Thompson, Sam Worline, Jordan Witt, Tyson Woodring, Eli Keifer, Jared Peppers, Elijah Hernandez, Colin Clancy, Evan Lumbrezer, and Grant Richardson.
“We have smaller numbers, but will be very competitive in a lot of events,” said head coach Jared Walker of his boys. “The meets on weekends will prepare us very well for league (tournament) and the postseason. The kids so far have been doing a great job with their work ethic and (that) will prepare us well for the season.”
The Vikings will have to replace a pair of state placers from the 2019 campaign. Both Reece Serna (200m) and Mason Loeffler (high jump) took fourth in their respective events.
According to Walker, areas of strength for the boys lie in pole vault, mid-distance, sprints, and throwing events. Weaknesses are in the high jump, and an overall lack of depth.
The Viking coach is targeting a high finish in the league for his boys.
“The league will be very balanced this year,” Walker said. “Archbold is the favorite in my opinion. Wauseon, Bryan, LC, PH, and Swanton will all have athletes that can score very high in the meet. Our team is capable of being in the top four of the league.”
Back for the girls are Jordan Lumbrezer, Gracie Boger, Brianna Sintobin, Amy Eisel, Morgan Foster, Kyiah Harris, Andrea Vanwert and McKenzie Mitchey. They also have newcomers Sydney Woodring, Anna Huntzinger, Brooke Sintobin, Deanna Hoffman, Jessica Campbell, Hannah Wilson, Sofia Rodriguez, Alexa Hambarger, Rebekah VanWormer and Kaitlyn Harkey.
“We have a smaller group of girls, but (they are) very competitive,” Walker said. “We have some returning letter winners who should score very high in meets and in the league. Our newcomers can come in right away and contribute.”
Gone for the Viking girls are Savannah VanOstrand, Asia Gensch and Lindsey Wade.
Areas of strength for the girls are throws, sprints, jumps, and mid-distance. Weaknesses are hurdles and overall depth, according to Walker.
He thinks his squad has potential for a strong finish in the league race.
“The league will be very balanced again this year,” explained Walker. “I would say Liberty Center is the favorite with everyone they have coming back. Archbold, Wauseon, PH, Bryan, and Delta have some good athletes that will score high. We should be able to finish in the top half of the league.”
Evergreen travels to Tinora for a meet Tuesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. to kick off the 2021 campaign.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.