The weather has improved of late, and with the opportunities it has created, the Morris boys track and field team likely has improved as well.
For most of the spring, the Redskins have been stuck indoors trying to practice, and progress was stunted. Head Coach Bill Lauer said the team did not attend the one meet it had scheduled before the start of outdoor season, the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Indoor, because most of its athletes were out of town over spring break.
“Practice has been difficult with us only being able to get out a few days. It has been hard to gauge speed in the hallways,” Lauer said. “But the boys have been working really hard at cone drills, running halls and all sorts of speed training throughout this process of being stuck inside.”
The Redskins will be led, Lauer said, by three seniors. Jumper Jake Reed, an All-Conference selection in 2013, is one. Sprinter Jeremy Shannon, who Lauer said “has some good speed and will score us some points this year,” and thrower Austin Laurie are the others.
Other key members of the lineup will include sprinters Griffin Sobol and Jake Walker, jumpers and mid-distance runners Jacob Webb and Joey Webb, distance runners Jake Wantland and Alan Alvarez and throwers Eric Haish and Bradly Nicholson. “Younger guys” Tommy Balentine, Keagan Sobol, Michael Gerisher, Michael Feeney, Dan Rotta, Josh Lain and Nick Wright are competing for varsity spots, Lauer said.
In the three years that the NIB12 has existed, Morris never has finished higher than last place in the East Division at the varsity conference meet.
“Expectations should and will always be to compete with all of the top teams in conference and win conference,” Lauer said. “We will work hard every day and get faster and stronger each day. The competition and work ethic of these guys will show, as the season gets into full swing.”