Junior high play under way
Though Tonganoxie High School hasn't begun practices for winter sports, the season already has started at the junior high school.
The girls basketball team played several games last week, and the wrestling team had its first match against Lansing and Pleasant Ridge on Thursday.
Phil Jeannin, the junior high's athletics director, said that though school enrollment was down, sports participation was proportionately higher this year than in previous years. There are 37 players on the girls basketball roster, with 19 eighth-graders and 18 seventh-graders. The wrestling team has 26 members, with 14 eighth-graders and 12 seventh-graders.
The boys basketball team has not been formed.
Wrestling coach Bill DeWitt and girls basketball coach John Korb said they had strong eighth-graders leading their teams.
DeWitt said several eighth-graders had had strong seventh-grade seasons.
"We're fortunate to have kids coming up who can wrestle incredibly well," DeWitt said. "They have a bright future."
He said that Ross Starcher, Hunter Samuels, Andy Koontz, Zach Ditty, Clay Lamb and Kaleb Lawrence should lead the team this year.
The team finished with a 32-31 record at Thursday's tournament.
Korb's eighth-grade girls already are playing strong. In its two games last week, eighth-graders Madison Weller, Addie Heim, Laura Jeannin and Hannah Heintzelman all were high scorers for the Warriors.
For the week, Heim had 23, Weller had 16, Heintzelman had 10 and Jeannin had eight. Korb cited several other Warriors for their team play in the games.
The girls also won their Monday home game against McLouth.
Beating the team 34-14, the eighth-grade girls have already jumped out to a 2-1 record to open the season.
The girls basketball team is coached by Korb, Bill Shaw, Julie Frank and Phil Jeannin.
DeWitt, Dean Moss, Bryce Ferris and Gene Samuels coach the wrestling team.