Fall Athletic Season Wrap With Banquets

Adam Dean Howe
Enterprise Staff
The Warsaw Wildcats fall athletic seasons finally came to a wrap this past Thursday evening.  Separate banquets were hosted for football (at the WHS gym) and softball, volleyball and cross country (at the Knights of Columbus hall).  Teams recognized each other and several individual awards and honors were handed out.  They include:
Cross Country:  All-Ozark Highlands Conference: Trey Palmer, Jr; George Montez, Fr; Alyssa Alcantara, So.  All-District: Trey Palmer, Jr; George Montez, Fr; Alyssa Alcantara, So.  All-State: Trey Palmer.
“2019 was another successful cross country season,” coach Ehren Banfield said.  “Since the sport of cross country was restarted back in 2013, it has started some traditions.  We have 7 straight years of qualifying at least 1 runner for state competition and we have 6 straight years of having an all-state performance by one of our runners.”
Other awards as presented by Banfield include: “Grit” to Alyssa Alcantara, “Role Model/Superstar” to Kathryn Ricke, “Ready for Wrestling” to Elijah Dority, “Making Strides” to Calvin Long, “Freshman XC Star” to George Montez, “Most Valuable Runner/Vigor” to Trey Palmer, “Resolute” to Logan Schnockmann, “Most Improved/Upgraded” to Scott Winters.  
“A lot of our awards might not make sense to everyone else,” Coach Banfield said empathetically.  “We like to individualize some awards though.  They’re based on our season and many are results of inside jokes from our season that only we will understand.  But the kids always like receiving them.”
Volleyball:  All-Ozark Highlands Conference: Ellie Murrell, Fr, 2nd team.
The Warsaw Wildcats volleyball squad finished a 2-26 season, but coach Charlotte Beck doesn’t feel like it was a lost one, by far.  
“I saw a lot of improvements throughout the season, both individually and as a team,” Coach Beck said.  “I received multiple compliments from other coaches, opposing parents and officials regarding the improvement of the girls.”
Beck went on to say, “This season was more about doing the little things that will hopefully lead to more on-court success; getting used to a new coach, basic fundamentals, discipline, being better teammates and valuing ourselves.”
Coach Beck awarded individual honors for: “Offensive Player of the Year” to Ally Wenberg, “Defensive Player of the Year” to Taylor Spry, “Most Improved Player” to Kody Waters, “Heart of the Wildcat” to Ellie Murrell, “Team Player” award to Rheanna Coke.
Coach Beck also feels like her program is headed in the right direction due to successes of her younger girls.
“Our JV finished 11-13  this season, so we’ll be looking for some of those girls to step up to the varsity level,” she said.  “And with the addition of a large incoming freshman class and some crossovers from softball, I look for us to improve even more next year.”
Softball: All-Ozark Highlands Conference: Aubrie McRoberts, Sr, 1st team; Taylor Howe, So, 1st team; Rayni Simons, Sr, 1st team; Aspen Whitaker, Jr, 1st team; Kylee Fajen, Jr, 1st team; Kya Schepker, Sr, 1st team; Reagan Shelby, Sr, 1st team; Karlie Jones, So, 2nd team; Kiersten Grobe, Sr, 2nd team; Payge Adair, Sr, 2nd team.  All-District: Aubrie McRoberts, Sr, 1st team; Taylor Howe, So, 1st team; Kylee Fajen, Jr, 1st team; Reagan Shelby, Sr, 1st team; Rayni Simons, Sr, 1st team; Kya Schepker, Sr, 2nd team.  All-Region: Kylee Fajen, Jr, 1st team; Aubrie McRoberts, Sr, 1st team; Rayni Simons, Sr, 1st team; Reagan Shelby, Sr, 1st team; Taylor Howe, So, 2nd team.  All-State: Kylee Fajen, Jr, 2nd team; Aubrie McRoberts, Sr, 2nd team; Reagan Shelby, Sr, 2nd team; Rayni Simons, Sr, 2nd team.
The Warsaw Lady Cats softball team compiled an overall record of 20-5 and 4-0 in the Ozark Highlands Conference.  They played in the Gold Division at the Greater Kansas City Softball Invitational, took 2nd place in the Marshall Owls Softball Tournament, and won the Ozark Highlands Conference Tournament.  
“We had a season to be proud of, obviously,” coach Steve Larson said.  “But we probably should’ve been the state champions.”
Individual awards and letters were presented to: Madison Coskey (letter), Karlie Jones (letter), Aspen Whitaker (letter), Payge Adair (letter), Kiersten Grobe (letter), Kya Schepker (letter), Rayni Simons (letter), Reagan Shelby (letter), Taylor Howe (letter & Wildcat award), Kylee Fajen (letter & Wildcat award), Aubrie McRoberts (letter & Wildcat award).  
McRoberts (.430) and Howe (.403) both hit over .400 for the Lady Cats.  
Schepker and Fajen both recorded 10 wins for Warsaw.  Schepker had 65 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.64 and Fajen struck out 105 with an ERA of 2.14.  
“We faced the best pitcher (Mac Morgan, Sherwood) in the state and region and, in my opinion, had the toughest road,” Coach Larson said.  “We just came up one game short (of the Final Four).”
Football: All-Ozark Highlands Conference: Offense, 1st team: Aidan Comer, Sr, RB; Clayton Simons, Sr, WR; Tristen Reynolds, Sr, OL.  Defense, 1st team: Lane Bates, Sr, DL.  Offense, 2nd team: Jack Gardner, So, P.  Defense, 2nd team: Tristen Reynolds, Sr, DL; Nick Bagley, Fr, LB; Grayson Gregrich, Sr, DB.  Offense, Honorable Mention: Matt Couzens, Sr, TE; Lane Bates, Sr, OL.  Defense, Honorable Mention: None.  All-District: Offense, 1st team: Aidan Comer, Sr, RB; Tristen Reynolds, Sr, OL; Clayton Simons, Sr, WR.  Defense, 1st team: None.  Offense, 2nd team: Lane Bates, Sr, OL; Matt Couzens, Sr, QB.  Defense, 2nd team: Nick Bagley, Fr, LB.  All-State:  Tristen Reynolds, Sr, OL, 3rd team. 
The Wildcats finished their season with a 7-4 overall record and their first winning season since 2010.  They also finished second in the Ozark Highlands Conference with a record of 3-2.  
“I was very pleased with this season,” coach Ryan Boyer said.  “This team got better each week and about halfway through the season, they were really clicking.”
Boyer handed out individual awards to the following:  “Most Valuable Player” to Matt Couzens, “Offensive Player of the Year” to Aidan Comer, “Defensive Player of the Year” to Tristen Reynolds, “Lineman of the Year” to Lane Bates, “Skill Player of the Year” to Clayton Simons, “Scout Team Player of the Year” to Zander Fletcher. 
“As a coach, I’ve always divided the regular season into thirds,” Coach Boyer said.  “This year, we were 1-2, 2-1 then 3-0.  It’s always neat to watch a team grow and we look to take that momentum through the off-season and into next year.”
Overall, the Wildcats fall athletic season was a good one.  Teams will certainly miss the graduating class, but they will all return core players, have a promise of growth from underclassmen and have showed glimpses of growth and success for the future that we all look forward to.