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Rocket Athletics

Wrestling Looks Strong For Rockets

The wrestling season for both the boys and the girls is about to kick off. The Rockets are looking strong as they have a lot of returning wrestlers with the returning varsity boys and girls including seniors Rhett Briggs and Riley Page; Juniors include Johnny Leck, Adam Bilby, Damone Ingram, Tyren Emberson, Cole Rogers, Milan Colvin, Carrigan Dellinger, and Navia Garcia-Bebek; Returning sophomores include Sebastian Bentley, Leven Jones, and Dakota Snook. In reference to the boys’ wrestling season, Head Coach Chris Saferite stated, “We have a high expectation to win a state title. We hope to qualify at least 12 if not 14 wrestlers to the state tournament.” For the girls’ season, Coach Saferite said, “We are hoping to be able to have a top five finish in the state tournament.” We asked some of the returning varsity wrestlers on how they think the season will go. Junior Johnny Leck stated, “Our team is chasing a title this year. We have a target on our back, but we’re ready to ball out.” Junior Tyren Emberson said, “I think this season will go great. We have a lot of high-level wrestlers who are going to do what they do best and that’s compete. We have a few guys under the radar too that I think are going to make a huge impact for the team this year.” Junior Adam Bilby stated, “I think the season is going to go great. We have a target on our back and a very young team. Something to look out for is that we’re explosive! We’re hungry and we’re getting back what we didn’t finish last year!” The Rocket boys will have their first meet at the Valley Center Invitational on Friday, December 1st starting at 3 pm; the girls will wrestle the following day at Valley Center with their tournament starting at 9:00 am on Saturday, December 2nd.


Rockets Slamming Into New Season

The Rocket boys’ basketball team is starting to get warmed up as the weather is freezing up, and there is a lot to talk about with this upcoming season. Last season the Rockets went 11-10 under the command of a ranged threat, senior Kellan Simoneau. The loss of Simoneau certainly will hurt this team, but it could also help it in some ways as well. Last year’s Rockets had one huge hole in their game that could be exploited supremely well with good defense; that issue being ball movement. Last year, all teams would really have to do is play a zone with a double team on Simoneau and then trap if he dumped off the ball. This year’s team shouldn’t have that issue as ball movement has never been an issue for these boys and now that there is more team initiative, we should start to see more of a diverse scoring chart from these boys. When asked about this year’s team, Head Coach Greg Welch shared similar opinions, “This season we return four starters from last year's team. With 8 total seniors, we have a lot of experience built up through the years and expect them to lead our team. We should be a balanced team with the ability to score inside and outside. This group seems to get along very well with each other and as a team, we are looking forward to this season. Our expectations are simply to become the best team we can be. I don't think you would peg us as the favorites in our league by any means, but if we show up we should be able to compete every night and give ourselves a chance to win the game.” Those eight seniors he was talking about include Dawson McNaul, Cooper Nace, Jace Evans, Connor Jackson, Connor Wallis, Hunter Roy, Jace Beery, and Trent Chickadonz. The only other varsity returnee is Junior Asher Munn. Overall, this team has a chance to be good; they don’t have an overpowering scorer like the Rockets have had in years prior, but they do have good team composition and hopefully with that in combination of good ball movement and getting good shots up, this team has the potential to be a solid squad that could simply outwork other teams. The season starts December 1st when the boys travel to Ark City to face the Bulldogs.


Lady Rockets Have Motivation

The Lady Rockets had a rocky year last year and are anticipating a lot of improvement this season after their 2-18 record last year, winning both of those games against El Dorado. The Lady Rockets had three seniors last season that will need to be replaced. Coach Page stated, “This season we are wanting to play in a way that we are not beating ourselves. A high number of turnovers and poor shooting has plagued us the last couple of seasons, so we are definitely trying to improve in those areas. Hopefully we have improved in our ability to take care of the ball and we have several players who are ready to step in and contribute.” The Lady Rockets have 16 returning players this season, three of which are seniors, six are juniors, and seven of them are sophomores. The Lady Rockets also have 12 incoming freshmen this year. Senior Lanie Page stated, “During this first week of practice I have already been able to tell that the connection of the team has improved so much since the last few years playing. I can see how the love of the game is helping everyone work together on and off the court and I truly believe that each and every one of us is ready to give it our all this upcoming season.” The Lady Rockets will open their season on Friday, December 1st against the Ark City Bulldogs.


Rockets Aquatics Kick Off

As the swimming season gets underway, it's looking to be an interesting season. The Rockets do not have as many returning swimmers as they want, but sophomore Jake Bowser and junior Travis Dixon are looking forward to having a great year back. When asking Head Coach Robert Roach about his plan for the upcoming 2023-2024 season, he stated, “It's hard to make long-term plans and goals when I don't know exactly what we're working with. I can tell you one thing, these boys will work hard and they will empty the tank on every meet, event, and heat we compete in. It's going to be a lot of fun.” From the looks of it this will be a very new experience for a lot of young men. When asking returning Rocket Jake Bowser about his plans to make his second year better than his last he said, “I am expecting myself to have faster times than last year, and I am also expecting the swim meets to have fewer people since we don't have nearly as many people as last year.” The Rockets swimmers have high hopes for the season as they anticipate their first meet of the season on December 2nd at Maize.


Great Season For The Rockets

The Rockets had a great season with their record being 13-5-1. They had a few ups and downs this season but they always stuck with each other and worked together. The Rockets were able to win a Regional Championship this year but were cut short for the chance to go to state. The Rockets played Trinity in the State Quarterfinals with the game going into 4 overtimes and ending in PKs when Trinity won the game 3-2. Senior Scotty Carr stated, “This year we really improved as a team from the previous years but the season didn't end the way we wanted. I was glad to spend my last season with this group of guys. I couldn’t ask for better teammates.” Senior Logan Parker also stated, “It was a great season; we just came up a little short.” Juniors Luke Anderson and Trey Bias also had a few things to say about the season. Anderson stated, “I enjoyed every minute of this season with the guys. I’m excited to see what we can do next year.” Bias also stated, “It was a good season, just bittersweet on the way it had to end”. Head Coach Jerry Treat’s thoughts on the season were, “We had a successful season, but we came up frustratingly short.” The results for the AVCTL All-League voting are in and the first teamers are junior Josh Grelinger as a first team defender and junior Trey Bias as a first team forward. Junior midfielder Luke Anderson earned second team honors as did senior midfielder Scotty Carr. Junior forward Johnny Leck also earned second team honors. Junior Cooper Bates and senior Ethan Brooks earned honorable mention as defenders. Senior goalkeeper Logan Parker also earned honorable mention. Even with a number of quality seniors graduating, including Scotty Carr, Jace Berry, Anthen Arheart, Ethan Brooks, Cameron Harrold, and Logan Parker, the 2024 season for the Rockets should be another exciting season as the Rockets will have at least 16 players returning with varsity experience.


2023 XC Comes To An End

Cross Country did outstanding this season. On a plus side we are only losing two seniors this year, which are Alexa Marshall and Kaitlyn Maycock. The girls’ varsity team placed in the top three at six different meets! Kimberlin Lovell won eight medals throughout the season with an average time of about 19:24.55. Emersyn Herod’s average time for the season was about 21:24.57, earning five medals. Sian Hoang’s average time for the season was about 21:32.33, earning four medals. Navia Garcia-Bebeck’s average time for the season was about 22:27.48, earning two medals. Marshall’s average time for the season was about 21:34.51, earning five medals. Marshall stated, “Throughout the years, I didn’t drop my times as much as I was hoping to, but I found myself falling in love with the sport more and more each year. Some advice I would give to kids who would be interested in cross country would be to definitely give it a try. It is such a rewarding sport and is a really fun group to be a part of. The coaches and runners are all amazing people, and so much fun to run with!” Lindy Nottingham’s average time for the season was about 24:23.26, earning two medals this year. Maycock’s average time for the season was about 24:25.51. Maycock stated, “Cross Country has given me so many friendships and experiences that I will never forget. Coach Barger works really hard to make it more than just a team. It really is something special. Throughout the years I have gotten much stronger and I plan to keep running in my own time. For anyone who might be interested in joining cross country next year, I'd say definitely try it out. It may be hard at first but in the end, you won't regret it.” The boys fielded a young team in 2023 and struggled in the team scores but they will return everyone in 2024 as they look to make a big jump in their finishes. Sam Lovell’s average time for the season was about 18:24.56, also earning four medals this year. Ivan Lin’s average time for the season was about 19:45.55, earning three medals. Matt Weber’s average time for the season was about 19:48.36, earning one medal. Jonah Lemaster’s average time for the season was about 20:50.49. Adam Bilby’s average time for the season was about 20:34.45. John Adamson’s average time for the season was about 22:07.54. Aidan Haugh’s average time was about 21:11.33. Carson Nickelson’s average time for this season was about 20:15.40. Jon Barb’s average time for the season was about 19:37.69. Mark Adamson’s average time was about 21:37.00. Coach Barger stated, “Our season was a really good season, not just for what we accomplished, but what we have for the future. Our girls did what I thought they could do, another fantastic season. Going to Rim Rock, League Champs, and going to state again. Our boys are starting to be competitive again, which will aid them for next year. I am thankful for Coach Madison joining our group. He was a very good resource. I am thankful for our supportive parents. The future looks really bright as we just graduate two senior girls and no boys. Our 8th grade girls just won another league title and we have a couple boys that could also immediately contribute.” The girls had 12 runners on the team with only two graduating this year and more freshmen to come in the 2024 season. There were 16 boys on the team this year with no seniors and there are going to be more freshmen next year. The future of the Rocket cross country team is looking bright!


Rockets Have Gritty Season

The Lady Rockets started this season unsure of what they could do, but they left this season feeling like they could hang with almost any team. This Rocket team was one that would go out and compete and it never truly felt like we were out of a game until the final point hit the court. On the year, the Rockets went 16-17 playing one of the toughest schedules in 4A with teams like state runner-up McPherson, 3rd place finisher Andale, and state qualifier Clearwater. The Rocket team this year would see a range of players stemming from underclassmen and upperclassmen alike. Key pull ups throughout the season included Defensive Player of the Year Emme McNaul and Jailey Davis, who would have to fill big shoes after Mandi Heinz graduated last year leaving the libero spot open. Upperclassmen would step up as well with our team captain, most inspirational player award winner, and 2nd Team All-League player, Reese Goetz, really stepping into a leadership role for some of these younger girls. Kadance Heumann would repeat by winning the hustle award as she shared it with foreign exchange student Clara Nuno. The Rockets Offensive player of the Year award was given to Addison Rockley, an All-League Honorable Mention player. Emily Howerton also stepped up for the Lady Rockets this season earning 2nd Team All-League honors; Howerton was also selected for the MVP award for this 2023 team. This season saw Heumann, the team’s setter, hit a high school career milestone of 1,000 total assists putting her at number six on the all-time assists leaderboard in Rocket history. Other statistical leaders for the season include Howerton with 61 serve aces, Goetz with 167 kills followed by Rockley with 159, and Howerton with 151. Rockley also had 14 solo blocks followed by Payton Jackson with six. Rockley also led in block assists with 26 and Jackson also recorded 22 block assists. Heumann would be our setter for all but four sets and recorded 585 assists on the season. Goetz would have 260 digs followed by Howerton with 220 digs. In just 39 sets played, McNaul picked up 59 digs on the season with her fellow pull up, Davis, playing in 32 sets with 39 digs. When asked about her view on the season, Coach Mock stated that, “This season was a lot like a roller coaster ride. There were soaring highs like when we beat #1 ranked Clearwater in set 1, when we had #2 Circle down 15-6, when we beat #5 McPherson in game 1 of substate 25-18 and were tied with them 19-19 in game 2. They went on and were runners up at state and did not lose a set after us until the state finals! Every single team that finished above us in league went to the state tournament with the exception of Collegiate, who had a stacked substate. I felt like every player grew this season both mentally and physically within volleyball. I will miss my senior players and managers. Thanks for the memories.” Senior Ryelle Woods was sentimental about her four years as a Rocket stating, “I thought the season went very well. I have enjoyed playing volleyball these past four years for Rose Hill and it was a great season to end on. I feel all of us got along really well and while we definitely could have played better some games, our overall energy and effort was very good.” Overall, this team has things to look forward to in the upcoming seasons as they have a lot of potential. The seniors leaving will hurt this team, but the upcoming class has a chance to develop and help this team.


End Of A New Beginning

This 2023 football season was different with almost an entirely new coaching staff. There were five new coaches with one of them being Head Coach Landon Wright, who had a goal of changing the team’s culture with a much sturdier regiment from the start. The Rockets had more discipline and confidence coming into the season. We had a new face join the Rockets in sophomore running back Keedrin Jones, who came from Ulysses earlier this year. In regard to his first year as a Rocket, Jones stated, “My first year at Rose Hill has been good. For football season, we did okay but we have a lot of improvement to make this next year. Just for myself, I expect a lot more and we’re going to see a whole new KJ next year. This year, I feel like we ended on a good note with a lot of good memories. My teammates were really good and awesome teammates; my favorite would have to be Connor Wallis, or Qb1, because he showed me a lot and we just had good chemistry. We had a lot of ups and downs this year, like the Abilene game, which was not a good game for me. We always found a way to bounce back whether it would be the next game or the next half. With this team we always wanted to win. At halftime of the Winfield game, nobody was down and everybody’s heads were up; we were all believing that we could come out of the game with a win and that’s what we did. Coach Wright always asks who wants it more and says that we need our dawgs to be dawgs and that’s what we did that game.” The start of the season was rough with two losses to state powerhouses Collegiate and Andale, but the Rockets came back with much needed wins win against Clearwater and Mulvane with large contributions from Jones rushing the ball and receiving yards from senior wide receiver Jace Evans. The Rocket’s other regular season victory came against against the El Dorado Wildcats where senior quarterback Connor Wallis set a school record with 421 yards passing to go along with four touchdowns in that game. When asking 3-year letterman Blake Struble about his last year as a Rocket football player he said, “For my last season it was great to play with my friends that I have played with since first grade one last time. At first, with a new head coach, I was a little worried, but we played better than I ever expected and I made memories that I will never forget.” Struble is one of the many seniors that will be graduating after this school year. The other seniors include 2-year letterman Connor Wallis, 3-year letterman Jace Evans, 3-year letterman Landon Naylor, 3-year letterman Brodyn Ford, 3-year letterman Dawson Mcnaul, 3-year letterman Kallen Higdon, 2-year letterman Connor Jackson, 2-year letterman Jarret Jones, 3-year letterman Ayden Klingenburg, 1-year letterman Trevor Logan, 4-year letterman Kulton Richwine, and 3-year letterman Keegan Taylor. These seniors brought us to a 4-6 season, which is not as good as what they had hoped for, but the friendships and experience gained along the way will last a lifetime. When asking Coach Wright about his thoughts about the season he said, “There are a lot of positives to take away; the boys fought hard all year and displayed great character the vast majority of the time. Statistically, we improved significantly in many categories, but obviously we would have liked to have won more games. There are lots of positives we can build on moving forward.” While the graduating seniors will be missed, the underclassmen are determined to continue working hard as they build upon this year for what should be an exciting 2024 football season.


Lady Rockets End 1st Season

Lady Rocket Golf had an interesting first year as a team. Overall, the team had an average season at best with our best placement being in Arkansas City where the team placed 2nd out of the four teams there. Freshman Hannah Reeves would medal in that same invitational in Ark City, making her the first Lady Rocket to earn a medal. Later on in the season, senior Maddy Vaughters would place 13th at Regionals, allowing her to move on to state. As the first Lady Rocket to make it to state, Vaughters would shoot a 100 in the first round of the state meet; however, this score would not qualify her for the second round the following day. In regard to the overall season, Vaughters stated, “I think the team this year surpassed everybody's expectations. Both jv and varsity worked well together and everybody showed improvement regardless of experience. Overall, I think we had a really successful season. We had a lot of fun and I think the team has a lot of potential in upcoming years.” This was the first season the Rocket Golf Team has been separated between girls and boys, so the season as a whole was historical for that reason alone. Next year’s team will be looking to improve as the girls are only graduating two seniors in Vaughters and Loryn Johnson. Reeves will undoubtedly be someone to watch as in her freshman season she was consistently one of the lowest scorers for the Rockets.


Rockets Preparing For Season

The Rose Hill Rockets soccer team is preparing for the upcoming season with the first game being played at Coffeyville on Friday, August 25th at 6:00 pm. Last season the boys had a record of 12 wins, 5 losses, and 1 tie. Head coach Jerry Treat stated, “We have high expectations for the 2023 season driven by the leadership of the returning senior starters of Scotty Carr, Ethan Brooks, and Cam Harrold.  Add to that the depth of experience from junior returners Josh Grelinger, Cooper Bates, Trey Bias, and Luke Anderson.  Complimenting these guys will be Anthen Arheart returning from injury and a host of talented sophomores and freshmen who will definitely make an impact. We are expecting to go very deep into the playoffs.” Senior Scotty Carr said, “With seven returning starters along with a lot of experience and new pieces on the bench coming in, I expect us to have another double-digit win season and hope for a state tournament appearance.”  Senior Logan Parker also stated, “The team is going to do well and I think we are going to make it far.” Junior Luke Anderson also has some inspirational words for the team as he stated, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” The Rocket soccer team is working hard for another exciting season that leads to a final four berth in the state tournament.

Building On A Great Season

The Rose Hill Rockets Cross Country team is coming off a great season last year. The Cross Country team has two returning seniors from last year which are Alexa Marshall and Kaitlin Maycock. The Girls’ Cross Country team took 5th as a team at the State Meet in Wamego with 120 team points and had an average time of 22:16, which is 40 seconds better than the year before. Both Kyrsten Lucent and Kimberlin Lovell medaled at state last season. Lucent finished the State Meet in 18th place with a time of 21:17.16, which is .24 seconds better than her year before. Lovell finished in 20th place with a time of 21:18.71, which was her first time competing at State. Overall, the girls had an outstanding 2022 season. Coach Barger stated, “Well, our girls are coming off a great season last year!  Our numbers are lower on the girls’ side and we actually have more boys than girls this year which never happens. I think our girls still can be a top team this year with the number of girls that we have; we just have to be healthy. On the boys’ side, the sky is the limit for them.  We have a lot of returners back and I am excited on what they can do.” The Cross Country team will have their first meet on August 31st at Clearwater.

New Faces For Rockets Football

As the Rockets get ready to start their 2023 season, we should look at all the major changes in the offseason. Rocket football underwent a significant change this offseason with new head coach Landon Wright taking over and new assistant coaches Bryce Bishler, Ben Page, Jarrod Page, Lachlan Jones, and Jon Probasco falling into their new roles. Leading the Rockets this season will be a number of returning seniors including  Blake Struble, Connor Wallis, Jace Evans, Jarrett Jones, Brodyn Ford, Conner Jackson, Kulton Richwine, Keegan Taylor, Kallen Higdon, Ayden Klingenberg, Dawson McNaul, Landon Naylor, and Hunter Roy. When asking new Head Coach Landon Wright how he feels about his first season with Rose Hill, he said, My family and I are very excited to be here. We have a very supportive community and administration, a tremendous booster club, and a strong core of hardworking players. Those are essential ingredients to build upon and I'm confident we can work together to achieve some good things.” In my opinion, it sounds like the Rockets are ready to do the best they can. We asked senior Blake Struble how he is adjusting to the new coach and he said, “I believe with the new coach coming in, we have a solid chance of being good this year. He has brought us closer together as a team and I think most of us are on the same page, unlike last year. His practices are a lot more conditioning than we've had in the past but we needed it badly, and with us learning our new playbook it's been a little challenging. Still, it'll be good for us.” We also asked senior Dawson McNaul about the adjustments he has made to prepare for the season, and he said, “I feel like going into this year we are the most prepared team I’ve been a part of in high school. I think in part thanks to Coach Wright but also in part to that we have a lot of guys returning that know what it takes to be competitive in our league. These guys have a lot of in-game experience and we are a very close-knit group so I think those two things combined with our work ethic, we are going to be a force to be reckoned with this year.” From the looks of things, the Rockets are getting the hang of it. We all are ready for our first game at home against the Collegiate Spartans on September 1st.

Rockets Ready For Exciting Start

As we start to get back into the swing of school, the Rocket volleyball team has been at work for a while now getting ready for their season opener on August 26th at Wichita North. This year's team is coming off of a 13-22 record and is in the hunt for an above .500 record this season. When it comes to returning varsity players, there are quite a few including Seniors Reece Goetz, Payton Jackson, Paige Loeck, and Ryelle Woods. Some returning Juniors include Emily Howerton and Kadance Heumann, as well as Sophomore Addison Rockley. New additions to the varsity roster include Junior Tarissa Barry, as well as Sophomores Brooke Forred and Natalie Hernandez. When asked about the upcoming season Coach Mock stated, “We are returning six varsity players from last year's team, so we’ve got some varsity experience. Our team really seems to get along well and they enjoy playing together. We are gearing up for our first tournament of the season on Saturday at Wichita North.” When asking the seniors on their thoughts on the upcoming season, they mirrored what coach Mock said about the upcoming season almost word for word. Paige Loeck stated, “I am looking forward to enjoying my last year ever playing volleyball. The team is extremely strong in defense and I think our team chemistry will be better than past years.” Bouncing off what Loeck stated, Payton Jackson agreed stating, “I’m looking forward to playing my last high school season with these girls; we all get along very well and I know we will have a lot of fun this season.” Ryelle Woods stated the same saying, “I’m excited to play this last year of high school volleyball with these girls. I feel that our team gets along very well and I’m looking forward to a great season.” Finally, when asked how this year's team will improve off of last year's team, Reece Goetz stated, “One way this team is going to improve will be team chemistry and that’s a huge part of the game.” I personally can’t help but agree with what these girls are saying. Being at the summer practices there never really was a negative energy, and as we are getting closer and closer to game one this upcoming Saturday, that positive energy only continues to grow. That's not the only energy either though as there is a sense of growing excitement amongst this varsity lineup that transfers through this group of girls, they work well together and I have a feeling that this could be an exciting team to watch grow over the course of this season. This year’s first game is at Wichita North on Saturday at 8:00 am, but the girls also have their annual soap scrimmage on August 24th starting at 5:15 with the freshmen and 5:45 for the JV vs. Varsity game. Admission is just a sports drink!

Lady Rockets Golf Starts Year 1

This 2023 Fall season starts off something special for the Rockets as Rose Hill has officially created a Lady Rockets Golf team! In recent years, the Rockets have had a joint team with a few girls on the boys’ team but with the start of this year the Rockets officially split the teams into boys and girls with the boys’ season remaining in the spring but with the girls playing a fall schedule. Newly appointed Head Coach Jacqueline Weber had nothing but excitement to share for the upcoming season stating, “I am very excited to be the head coach for the very first girls golf team at Rose Hill High School! It's also exciting because I played all of my high school golf at Hidden Lakes as my home course! I am looking forward to teaching the fundamentals of golf to a new generation of female golfers. My goals for this season are to embrace the value of a team and good sportsmanship, learning the rules and etiquette of golf, and focusing on personal improvement in their golf game.” The Lady Rockets are set to hit the course today (August 28, 2023) at Derby for the first official meet as a Girls’ Golf team.