If you were to score a percentage between 50 and 70 on anything, you might think you didn’t try hard enough. You probably would have failed.
What if that percentage was applied to the number of total points scored from returning veterans on let’s say a current track and field squad?
That’s where the 2019 Bluejays team stands at the start of this season.
Despite losing a number of intricate leaders from last season, the amount of experience on this year’s squad could make for a long and successful season. Just ask head coach Ben Coy.
“We lost six great seniors from last year,” he said. “They will be difficult to replace, but we do return 60 percent of our team points from last year and we return our top performer in terms of individual points scored in meets from last year.”
Gone off to pursue life after high school were Brandon Kenyon and Reece Dunlap. Both were an important piece at state as last season they led the Bluejays in 5 of 10 events, not to mention team relay events.
“Those two were a big part of the team the last few years, but we have a group of kids that are fun to work with and have been working hard so far,” Coy said. “I have an idea of some individuals who I think are capable of stepping up and filling voids, but I will obviously have a better idea once meets start.”
A couple of those track standouts are veteran senior Kaleb Olejniczak, and junior Kato Dougan.
“We will have a couple of solid 400 runners returning with Kaleb Olejniczak who scored multiple points for us last year,” Coy said. “Kato Dougan was a state qualifier in the 100 last year and we will count on him in other events as well.”
Both Olejniczak and Dougan competed in three events at state last year. They have shown the coaching staff to be great leaders in practice and they are two guys that will need to have compete in multiple events, according to the head coach.
For Coy it is still to early to tell who will carry the torch but are keeping their eye out as the season progresses.
“As a coaching staff we are curious to see who will step up and take the lead early, but we will have a solid foundation to build from,” Coy noted.
Other strong Bluejays hoping to make a name for themselves as well as help guide the Bluejays to a state title are Jared Narber, Luke Holtrof, and Eduardo Sanchez.
“All three of those guys are seniors. I am expecting all three of those guys to be leaders that we can depend on to score points in meets this spring,” Coy said. “Then there are a handful of juniors that I am excited to see compete too, such as Byron Melendrez and Tyler Fessler who were both alternates for state relays last year.”
Regardless of who or how many become leaders this season, the head coach has high expectations for his team - expectations he knows they can meet.
“One of the things I love about track and field is there always seems to be someone who steps up that you were not expecting to during preseason,” Coy said. “I am excited to see who that might be this year.”
The Bluejays will be back in action on Monday, April 8 when they travel to Carroll for a coed invitational.