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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tiger Cubs ready to make an impact in '09

Sunday, March 29, 2009

(Photo)
Jordan Hickam soars over the the bar in the high jump competition during one of the Tiger Cubs' indoor track meets this year.
Every successful team begins with a good nucleus. A good team trumps a great athlete in most situations. In 2009, the Greencastle boys' track team has just that.

"I think the guys have great potential, that's what I think," Greencastle head coach Mike Schimpf said. "They are one of the best core groups that we've ever had, as a core. Some people might be asked to do more than they have in the past, but when you have good athletes, you need to spread them around in as many places as you can. We have some really good athletes, I really think that."

Just barely into the season, the teams must take a breather due to spring break and that causes a little disruption in their routine. Schimpf says it's simply a matter of getting everyone on the same page and get the team eyeing the same prize.

"Sometimes you have to get refocused already," Schimpf said. "We need to get our focus right because I want them to have goals in mind for down the road. It would be wrong of them to not set high goals for them if they have the potential to reach them -- it would be wrong of me not to push them. I'm going to try to get them there."

Something that will help Schimpf with that task will be a large senior class. It will be that senior faction that Schimpf will lean on to lead the team.

"We have a large group of seniors, so with that seniors are considered leaders. If they take up that mantel, it can be a good thing, so as far as that's concerned, having that senior leadership -- it's big," he said. "Last year we had two guys. Now we're looking at around 11 seniors. We've got a lot of seniors, so as they step up and do what they're capable of, it will be interesting to see. We have a tough schedule."

It won't only be the seniors that power the Tiger Cubs this season. There are athletes from all class levels, but he could stand to see more enter the program as they enter high school.

"We have a pretty good mix, but I would like to see more freshmen out. You almost can't have too many freshmen. If you get them early enough, you can figure out the things they're going to be good at and find them a place where they can be successful," Schimpf said.

The Tiger Cubs will have a beve of performers that Schimpf will look to to lead the team. The strongest element of the GHS attack will be their ability to be versitaile in a variety of events.

"We have some guys that have been consistent performers for a long time like Jordan Lewis, Ben Wilson and Ashton Marshall. Greg Lilly came in last year and just did great and his hurdles look great right now," Schimpf said. "He's just doing some really good things. Strength wise, I guess would be our distance runners.

"So many of these guys can do more than one event, he continued. "Greg can run the hurdles like I was saying, but he can also run the 400. He may be able to run a 200, he has enough speed, he might be able to be a 4x100 guy, and he already runs a 4x400. Then you have Steven Miller who is a 4x100, 100 and 200 guy who runs a 4x400. We have a pretty good range."

Greencastle's success will not only come on the track, but also in the field events. The Tiger Cubs have two seniors powering the shot put and discus and a core of veteran athletes in the long and high jump.

"Our throwers are starting out better than they did last year," Schimpf commented. "It's not traditionally been a place that has been our strength. Bo Walker, Andy Harrison and those guys will score some point throughout the course of the year, so that will help. In long jump, Jordan Hickam and Ryan Payne will probably be our one and two."

The Tiger Cubs will be refocusing their efforts as they make their way back to the track this week, with their aim clearly dialed in to late season success.

"As far as down the road, we have high hopes. Every coach is going to tell you we want to win the county, conference -- they're all going to tell you that and we're no different, we want to do those things," Schimpf said. "We want to put our hopes high."