Gibson, Fridley new coaches at Houston

Rob Kiser/Call File Photo Morgan Ely (right) returns for the Houston girls cross country team.

Staff Reports

HOUSTON — Misty Gibson takes over as Houston volleyball coach.

The Lady Wildcats are coming off an 11-14 season and finished 2-10 in the Shelby County Athletic League.

Graduating off that team were Jenna Mounts, Jenna Winner and Katheirne Everett.

Returning letterwinners include seniors Allie Voisard and Jenna Green; junior Sarah Monnier and sophomore Jessica Monnier.

“This season, our team will be made up of two seniors, one junior and seven sophomores. We will be a very young team,” Gibson said. “With the majority of our players being first-year letterwinners, the focus for this season will be not be our record, but building our young team for the future.”

Allen hopes to be competitive in the always strong SCAL.

Boys Cross Country

Ron Boeke, Bill McKinney and Tyler Roeth are back to coach the Wildcats. Boeke is a long-time coach, while McKinney and Roeth were D-I runners in college.

Houston finished fifth in the SCAL last season.

Graduating off that team were Troy Riley, Azen Reier and Malachi Wissman.

Returning letterwinners included senior Devyn Ostrander, juniors Parker Cox and Dakota Francis; and sophomores Ethan Knouff, Tristin Freistuhler, Jacob Slater and Dominic Beaver.

“We have several letter winners returning from last year’s regional qualifying team and a good incoming freshman class,” the coaches said. “We lost some very good senior leadership from last year so we will need some of the underclassmen to become leaders on this team along with our lone senior Devyn Ostrander.

“We will still be young but have some good talent in our sophomore and freshman classes. Our returning lettermen Dakota Francis, Parker Cox, Ethan Knouff, Tristin Freistuhler, and Jacob Slater have regional meet experience from last year and have worked hard this summer. Freshman Blake Jacobs, Joseph Earl, and Patrick Meiring had good track seasons last spring so they will be expected to step into varsity and contribute right away. Expectations will be set high based upon the success of last year. As long as we develop and can stay healthy as a team we expect to compete well in our regular season meets and run well in the league and post season meets.”

Houston hopes to be competitive in the SCAL and improve on last year’s finish.

Girls Cross Country

Boeke, McKinney and Roeth will coach the girls as well.

The Lady Wildcats were fourth in the SCAL last year.

Returning letterwinners include seniors Emma Mertz and Kaitlyn Ellison; junior Morgan Ely; and sophomores Hollie Voisard and Addie White.

“The girls team returns regional qualifiers Emma Mertz and Morgan Ely from the past two years, so we will look for them to be the front runners and team leaders,” the coaches said. “Senior Allie Voisard is running for the first time this year and she should be able to contribute right away. We return all of last year’s runners from a young team so we should only improve on last year’s performances. If we can stay healthy and progress well throughout the season we hope to have a competitive team this year.”

The coaches see Russia as the favorite in the SCAL, along with Botkins and Fort Lormaie. Houston hopes to be competitive.

Boys Golf

Former Lehman standout and Ohio Wesleyan University All-American Nate Fridley takes over as boys golf coach.

Returning letterwinners include Tristin Stangel and Cameron Via.

” I am a new coach and it is almost entirely new team,” Fridley said. “I am Looking to build a program and improve our record going forward as most of our team members just picked up the galme of golf this summer.”

Fridley is pleased with the progress already.

“This summer has been extremely excitingfor the program.” Fridley said. “Since May 3, over 15 growing golfers have worked together every week to build a stronger golf team

“In addition to over 15 high school students practicing together during the summer, junior clinics held at Shelby Oaks Golf Course helped teach the game to 25 future team members from our elementary grades. The enthusiasm for golf displayed in our junior high school and elementary students promises a bright future. Junior High School students have shown a dedication to golf and will surely help our team in the years to come.”

Fridley has no expectations in the SCAL.

“It will take a few years for our brand new golfers to really learn the game,” he said. “We are going to have a lot of fun this season and will continue to improve this year and through the next few years.”

Rob Kiser/Call File Photo Morgan Ely (right) returns for the Houston girls cross country team. Kiser/Call File Photo Morgan Ely (right) returns for the Houston girls cross country team.