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Over One Hundred ACGC Students Out for Fall Sports! Coaches Optimistic

August 16, 2018

    As the fall sports scene is about to burst upon us, let's take a look at the previews for the ACGC fall sports teams.  All four teams--football, volleyball, and girls' and boys' cross country--began official practices on Monday, August 6 with over a hundred participants reporting for practice.  This writer spoke with each of the head coaches last week about their upcoming seasons.

    Trevor Irwin begins his tenure as the head volleyball coach, replacing Lindsey Moe who resigned after a successful 21win season in 2017.  Irwin, an assistant coach for several years, inherits a team that has a strong senior class and several underclassmen who could contribute early.  Irwin indicated that there are twenty nine girls who began practice with seven seniors leading the team.  The seniors include setter Chelsea Larsen,  middle blockers Jadeyn Carrick and Savana Fuller, defensive specialist Georgia Hoover.  Sierra O'Brien, Sam Sloss, and Sara Pauley round out the senior class.  Junior Olivia Laabs figures to be a strong outside hitter.  Hailey Kintz joins her as the only other junior on the team.  Underclassmen who Irwin thinks can help immediately include freshman Cloe Largent in the front row, and sophomore setter and hitter Audrey Stowe.

    When asked about team goals for the season, Irwin said he thinks the team can contend for the conference title, with Des Moines Christian and Van Meter also being strong contenders.  "To challenge for the conference title we have to communicate, play together, play smart and play within ourselves.

    "We will have to increase our offensive tempo and improve our number of potential kill attempts to achieve our goals," he added.  Assisting Irwin this season are Tara Largent and Alexa Groff.

    The team will start competition with a jamboree at Woodward tonight, August 16, and will begin conference play at West Central Valley on Tuesday, August 21. 

    The Charger football program has a new head coach as well, as Cody Matthewson takes the reins from Mark McDermott who resigned last winter after heading up the Guthrie Center and ACGC programs for four years.

    When asked what the keys to success are for this year's team, Matthewson said that there are three points of emphasis this season--conditioning, discipline, and perseverance.   He calls them part of the "Charger Way."  

    Numbers are up from previous years, as forty three boys began fall practice.   Matthewson indicated that the biggest challenge is for the players to believe in themselves.  "We are starting over with a new offense, so there is a lot of learning to do through repetitions.  The boys also need to develop the mental toughness to know that they can win." 

    When asked about strengths of the team, the Charger mentor said that the senior class is providing good leadership, and that the team has good size to go along with its physicality. 

    Matthewson sees Van Meter, Panorama, and Mount Ayr as the top contenders in the district.  "Van Mater won the state championship last year," Matthewson commented, "and until someone unseats them, they are the team to beat."

    The Chargers will begin the season on Friday, August 24 when they will entertain IKM-Manning in a non-district game.  The first four games will be non-district games, with the last five making up the district schedule.

    Matthewson has a large coaching staff as he is assisted by his father, Kurt Matthewson, Mike Underwood, Taylor Morris, Taylor Christensen, Ethan Lensch, and Shawn Danker.

    Cross country coach Colin Shawgo is the eternal optimist, and he has reason to be this season.  The veteran coach has set some lofty goals for both his girls' and boys' teams.  "Our goals are to win both the girls' and boys' conference championships and to qualify both teams for their respective state meets, and to finish in the top ten at those meets."  In addition, Shawgo believes that their is the potential to have individual state champions in both meets.  Although he did not mention their names, he was no doubt referring to Kate Crawford (2016 state champion) and Noah Nelson, consistently a top runner for the Chargers' boys team.

    At the time of this interview fourteen boys and fifteen girls are practicing, although the coach expects additional runners when school begins.

    When asked who he expects to be the top teams in the conference, Shawgo said that Panorama will be strong in the girls' conference and Madrid and Earlham will field solid boys teams.

    Shawgo believes that experience and pack running are strengths for this years teams, while he is still looking for more consistency from his harriers.  "We have been up and down so far and we aren't getting consistent efforts."  

    The season gets under way on Thursday, August 23 when the Chargers will participate in a meet hosted by Gilbert High School on the Iowa State cross country course.

    Following are the rosters for each sport, with a total of  one hundred and four athletes participating in the ACGC fall sports programs!

    

Volleyball                                            Football                Cross Country: Boys            Girls

Seniors                                               Seniors                            Seniors                   Seniors

Sam Sloss                                          Ben Kingery              Clay Bilheimer        Aubrey Chmelar

Savana Fuller                                    Gabe Rowley             Blaine Beeler          Lauryn Embelton

Sierra O'Brien                                    Avery Wheatley        Noah Benson          Malena Rumelhart

Jadeyn Carrick                                  Mike Ure                    Matt Hanner                 Juniors

Chelsea Larsen                                 Flavio Gonzalez        Noah Nelson           Kendra Campbell

Genevieve Hoover                             Will Byars                 Easton Sargent       Kate Crawford

Sara Pauley                                       Spencer Grove              Juniors               Taylor Lemke

Juniors                                               Easton Benson         Ben Young               Kenzie Reinhart       

Olivia Laabs                                       Dylan Soper              Sophomores           Reagan Rumelhart

Hailey Kintz                                       Juniors                       Nash Ayers             Jackie Trujillo-Garcia

Sophomores                                     Quynton Younker       Eli Kading               Keely Vasey

Jorja Hoover                                     Kolby Jacobe              Zach Moon             Kennedy Young

Audrey Stowe                                   Colby Morehouse      Donnie Swanson        Sophomores

Reese Coffman                                 Sam Madsen                Freshmen            Alyson Embleton

Kylie Young                                       Bryce Littler               Miles Kading          Belle Policky     

Jenna Anderson                               Cole Plowman            Zander Kenyon     Rylee Sloss

Breanna Vra                                     Hayden Knutter          Lane Sheeder        Emma Vogl    

Sophie Danker                                 Sophomores

Kalie Kinney                                     Clayton Wardyn

Olivia Van Meter                              Gage Buttler

Tori Fuller                                        Lucas Marsh

Mady Kelsey                                    Noah Wheatley

Ali McDermott                                 Carter Hansen

Freshman                                        Cale Rowley

Alyssa Byars                                   Christian Nolte

Britni Hayes                                    Seth Danker

Alaina Bunde                                  Gunner Larsen

Megan Lemke                                 Freshmen

Chloe Largent                                 Cael Hoing

Jenna Grubbs                                 Victor Gonzalez

Abby Hansen                                  Griffen Ayers

Kailey Eivins                                   Hunter Pauley

Myah Defruscio                              Charlie Crawford

Jenna Wheatley                              Logan Brokaw

Morgan Lemke                               Cayden Jensen

Manager                                          Preston Zimmerline

Katelyn Thompson                         Gavin Cornelison

                                                         Gage Keutzer

                                                         Hayden Tunink

                                                         Dallas Jacobe

                                                         Reid Rumelhart

                                                         Trevin Suhr

                                                         Bryce Rockholz

                                                         Jacob Fox

                                                         Dawson Muller

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