2015-2016 Preview and Summary Headlines
(links to archived athletic pages from 2015-2016 are in the drop down menu below)


Down To the Wire
The Rocket golf team finished their spectacular three year run in Ulysses, Kansas. They took 2nd for the 2nd year in a row and have nothing to be upset about. They were the best class of golfers Rose Hill has ever had. They had their good days and bad days, but ultimately represented Rose Hill in a great way season after season. Rose Hill began to be a name everyone respected, and with good reason. The Rockets took top two in nearly 20 out of 30 tournaments in the past seasons. However, all good things must come to an end. Rose Hill will say goodbye to Ryan Walker, Parker Austin, and Ryan Pfaff as they move on to college next year. Parker will continue his golfing career at Bethel. These boys represented Rose Hill well with not only their skill, but their attitude. They were some of the most hard-working, dedicated athletes Rose Hill will ever have. They practiced in the cold, wind, heat, rain, and snow. They deserved everything they won and more. This was a very special group of guys and they will be missed. Peyton Austin, Tyler Collins and Joshua Robson will return next year to try and keep Rose Hill where they are. All good things must come to an end, and these boys will be greatly missed.
Everything Comes to an End
The baseball team has had quite the ride the past three years. In 2013 the graduating class of seniors went 5-14. The first varsity game was a 0-20 loss to Collegiate. Since then the Rockets have dominated teams around the state. They had a combined record of 53-22 and had almost the same varsity team all three years. They made State each year, and went home with a 3rd place trophy each of those years. The team was not led by one or two guys, but the entire senior and junior classes. All the pitchers this year did great, and the defense was there to match. The Rockets only lost one game by more than two runs the entire season. That loss was by three to Buhler who went on to win the State championship 8-3 over Andover Central. The Rockets will return five juniors as seniors next year as they say goodbye to 10 fantastic seniors. The team will surely take a hit after this year, but only time will tell how they will manage. Congrats to Coach Carr and the Rockets on three great seasons in a row. The baseball season never seems to end for the players as they will be busy all summer and into the fall with offseason training.
Season's Finish
The Rocket Track Team had another strong showing for the end of the 2016 season. After an up and down season, the team pushed forward for a total of six state qualifiers in individual events and relays. Out of everyone who qualified, only 3 senior boys and one girl will be lost. Enjoying productive high school careers, seniors Skyler Henry, Ross Nolan, Eric Tinkler, and Brogan Collins will not return next year. The girls’ team has much to look forward to in the years ahead, as next year’s returning runners of Anna Van Driel, Celis Pope, Kempsie Griffin, Emily Witt look to set the standard. On the boys’ side, there will be the returners of JJ Carney and Geoffry Geier. Track has a bright future ahead of them, especially for next year. The team should have little difficultly passing expectations next year with all the experience brought in by veteran runners.
Season Cut Short
The Rocket Softball team had another solid team this year following suit to the past decade. In arguably the toughest league in the state for 4A they kept a record near .500. Their season came to an end to a familiar foe. Winfield beat them for the 3rd time in the season in a 3-0 win. The girls had a very talented senior class with Kendra Baldridge, Brooke Tolbert, Dani Sherwin and Casie Linot. Fortunately for next year, those are the only girls that will have to say goodbye to the program because of graduation. The team will bring back some great pitchers and batters in all grades. Christine Dock should lead the team on the mound as a senior next year. As with many of the spring sports, the softball team appears to be on a upswing with great seasons ahead. Many of the girls are participating in summer ball this year and will come back even stronger next year. Don’t be surprised to see a very strong softball team next year.
Turning Around
The Rocket Soccer team did not have the best year, but it was pretty impressive considering the circumstances. There were only three seniors, and close to a third of the varsity team had never played high school soccer before this year. On top of that, there were injuries throughout the season to add to the Rockets misfortune. This in turn leaves a bright outlook for future years. The Rockets had a few wins and some close games, and have nowhere to go but up. No one knows who will be coaching next year, and if Sackett will stay, but either way the Rockets have plenty of potential coming up. The top of the team will continue to work in the offseason and improve for next season. The Rockets kept it within a goal or two in all of the league games this year, so it will be a possiblitly they pull off a league title next year even as inexperienced as they are. Although questions remain about the girls’ future, the potential is there for a great couple of seasons the next couple years.
The lady swim team had another building year to a new program. Only nine girls made up the small roster, and it unfortunately showed on the team results each meet. On the bright side, not a single one of those nine girls graduated. Also, only two of those girls will even be a senior next year, so that leaves plenty of potential for upcoming years. Multiple underclassmen will be swimming on club teams through the summer and continue to improve over the offseason. Multiple girls on the team had a State consideration time this year, but it was not quite enough to make a trip to State at the end of the season. But with that close of times, it is easy to say they will be working for the State times next year. It was simply another building year and it will be exciting to see how these girls do the next couple years.
One Final Push
The boys’ golf team has had quite the ride from day one. The team has barely changed since the 2013 team. The Rockets’ four seniors, Parker Austin, Ryan Walker, Ryan Pfaff and Ethan Aberg will push each other for one final season. Peyton Austin, sophomore, will take the fifth of six available spots on the team. Seven other golfers will battle for the final varsity spot as the year goes on. The boys won seven of their twenty tournaments the past two years and will look to grow that win count this year. They will be more than capable of a win at every tournament this year, and time will tell how many times they will be able to capitalize. The ultimate goal of the year is to finally bring home the state championship trophy for the first time in Rose Hill Golf history. Their first meet will be on Monday the 4th at Crestview Country Club. The Rockets will work toward the 36-hole Buhler tournament, League and Regionals that all finish off the season. This will be a fun team to watch this year and to see if they can continue to deepen their mark they have left on the golf program and Rose Hill.
Striving to Surprise
Rose Hill track is beginning its second year under coach Brandon Barger. The team had almost sixty athletes come out for the boys and girls this year. There will be some seasoned veterans leading the way such as Skyler Henry, Eric Tinkler, JJ Carney, Peyton Brower, Brogan Collins and Emily Witt. However, Barger is looking for some new athletes to step-up and shine this year. There are many freshmen, along with kids new to track in every grade that have the potential to excel. JJ Carney, Skyler Henry, Tyler Proctor, Brogan Collins and Peyton Brower are the only State returners from last season. Many of the new kids will experiment with different events to see where they fit in the best. Coach Barger did mention he was very excited to see how the season would pan out and to see who will come up and do well by the end of the season. The Rockets first meet will be the Early Bird at Winfield on Monday the 28th. Also, on the 7th and 8th of April, the Shocker Pre-State challenge will show how the top of the team will compete when the end of the season rolls around. Good luck to Barger and the track team this year and years to come.
Small Young Core
The girls swim team is starting their 5th year of the program this season. Unfortunately, only nine girls came out to swim this year, but there will be no seniors and only two juniors. The team is already set up to have a solid couple of years down the road. This year the team will need the girls to come together and work hard to elevate each other's game. Many of the relays will be very close to a State time this year, and a few individuals will have chances to go as well. A few of the girls have club experience in the past and will be much needed for the relay teams. Sophomore, Ashlee Henwood seemed to set herself apart from the rest of the team last year when she set some personal best times. However, much of the topside of the team is very competitive with each other, which will be excellent for growth this year. The team will need a mix of leadership and dedication if they want to send some girls to State this year. Their first meet will be on April 1st at Heights.
Baseball Eyes Championship
The baseball team has seen plenty of success in recent years. The varsity lineup is going to closely resemble the underclassmen heavy team of 2014. The team has brought home back-to-back 3rd place finishes at the 4A State tournament the past two years. Seven seniors will lead the team with four returning junior lettermen. The team did not lose a single senior after last year, and the expectations will be very high. Three of the seniors have started since they were freshmen and the rest of the starting seniors have been starters since their sophomore year. Last year's run was ended in a 7-8 nine inning loss to McPherson in the State Semifinal after being swept by the Bullpups earlier in the season. The season opener will be against El Dorado on March 24th. They will have their first shot of the season at McPherson a quick week later on the 31st. The team will be trying to avoid the early season losing streak that has plagued them the past two years. The team's offense and defense should both be improved over last year. It's going to come down to how well the team can execute. If the players execute at their ability level, it should be a fun and exciting season for Rocket Baseball as the team looks to improve on their back-to-back 3rd Place State finishes.
Deep Softball Roster
The Lady Rockets may have a story that mirrors the baseball team’s after this year. Just like the baseball team, the softball team has a deep and experienced roster that had its runs cut short the past two years. Last year the ladies’ path ended in the Regional championship to the soon to be back-to-back State champions, the Augusta Orioles.  The girls will bring back four talented seniors for this years run, along with many juniors, sophomores and even freshmen who will be fighting for the remaining varsity spots. There could be girls playing in the JV games this year that normally would have a sure varsity spot in years past. The ladies had an up and down season last year, losing some games they probably shouldn’t had. They will want to capitalize on more games late in the season this year to build some momentum going into the post season. They finished with a 9-13 record last year, but easily had the potential to do much better. The girls still have an excellent few years ahead of them. They have the talent to go on a deep run this year, but only time will tell if they can step up when the post season comes.
Potential to Results
The girls’ soccer team said goodbye to almost half of an already small team to graduation last year. Luckily, plenty of new girls came out this year to bump the numbers well over 20 for the year. Many of the girls will be first year players, but many are young and will have three or four years of development before they have to say goodbye to the team. The team has been close to .500 the past two seasons, so if they can hang on to a record close to .500 again this year, the next couple years will have the potential to be great. It will just be how fast the Rockets convert the added potential into those results. Girls from all the classes will have to step up for this year to be successful. Alyssa Knaak, Macie Campidilli and Mattison Futhey will be the junior leaders. Haley Cantrell will be the lone senior of the team, and will need to control the backfield for the Rockets. With so many new players, practices have been very elementary to build up basic skills as quickly as possible. This has limited preparation for actual in-game tactics. This year will see plenty of growth from the first game to the last. This may be a fun team to watch grow throughout the season, and see where they can get in the next couple years. This will be Austin Sacket’s first year as head coach and a great chance to show his development skills. Their first match comes very quickly on the 24th against Goddard. Goddard is normally a close game, and will give the Rockets an idea of where they are. After their Goddard matchup, the Rockets will have six short weeks to prepare for regionals week.
Just the Beginning
The Rocket basketball season was far from perfect this year. However, it was the first time they had made State in a decade. They boys racked up eight wins, which was more than the previous two years combined. This was Coach Josh Shirley’s first year as head coach, along with his father, Don, helping out as an assistant after decades of experience, including many years as Coach Stone's assistant and most recently as the head coach at Mulvane. The highlight of the year was easily the back-to-back wins in the Sub-State tournament against Mulvane and Wellington. Although the Rockets had to play powerhouse McPherson, who had beat them by at least 30 points in both games earlier in the season, they came out firing on all cylinders. Midway through the 2nd quarter, the Rockets were keeping the game close, but eventually the Bull Pups started to slide away. They still kept the game within 20 points, and McPherson went on to take 2nd place in the tournament. The Rockets will say goodbye to a great group of seniors, led by Austin, Bonar, Cotten, Pfaff and Nolan. Next year, returners such as Griffin McBride, Hunter Foresberg and Grant Moore will lead the way for the Rockets. This year was the first step to an effort of rebuilding the basketball program. It could be a process that takes a few more years, but they are no doubt on the right track.
Five Short Years Later
The Rocket swim program started just five years ago in the 2011-2012 season. Only six swimmers made up the entire Rocket swim team. None of the six made it to state that year. The next year only two returned, but ten new swimmers came out and they were almost all underclassmen. A few of the swimmers with familiar names such as Gavin Smith and Austin Farber who had previous club experience, but many were new to the sport. Seven different events had the Rockets at State that year and that was just the start of a great four-year run. The next year the Rockets made another huge step with over twenty swimmers coming out. Although most were new to swimming, the larger team helped push the Rockets to a 2nd place finish at League and six swimmers at State managed to bring home an impressive 4th place finish. In the 2014-2015 season, almost the same team came back stronger the next year. The majority of the team were just second year swimmers, but a few swimmers such as Gavin Smith, Noah Baden and Austin Farber brought home another 4th place 5-1A finish. This season numbers dropped but the team began to become elite as a whole. As the gap closed from the middle of the pack to the top swimmers, the Rockets began to have a real team. Rather than a few swimmers scoring all the points at most of the meets, every swimmer contributed at almost every meet. Although the Rockets’ low numbers made an AVCTL II, III & IV League championship all but impossible, they still ran away with four different league records out of the eleven swimming events. More importantly the Rockets brought 7 out of 13 of their swimmers to the State meet. Four of the seven swimmers finished at least one race in the top three. Maize and Wichita Heights ran away with the meet in 1st and 2nd. The small Rocket State team lead by Smith, Baden and Farber managed to weasel their way all the way up to a 3rd place State finish just before the majority of them graduated this season. As a side note, Heights and Maize were two of the three biggest 5A schools in the state, and the best finishing 4A public school after Rose Hill was 15th place Winfield. The Rockets have some work ahead of them. Eight of the 13 swimmers will graduate after this year. However, five time State champion Noah Baden will be able to return next year for his senior year. Coach Gaskill, Gavin Smith, Noah Baden and Austin Farber have been invaluable assets to the Rocket swim program and its future. Hopefully this is just the start of a long and successful swim program for Rose Hill.
Welch Brings More Wins
First year coach, Greg Welch, and a strong junior class combined for the Rockets’ best season since the 2010-2011 season. Although they were tough games, the girls had a slow start with four losses in their first four games of the season. Once league play started, the girls won four back-to-back games and worked their way back to .500 on the season. The girls played McPherson and Circle and struggled against two of the top teams in the State. The highlight of the season was the 3rd place finish in the Haven tournament in late January. The girls lost in the semi-final to Goddard in a close 41-49 matchup. After the Haven tournament the Rockets went 8-2 in their final games. One loss coming from McPherson in a respectable 48-41 loss and the final loss coming from undefeated Wellington in the Sub-State championship game. The ladies offense was held together by the familiar names of junior classmen Kayna Simoneau, Anna Van Driel, Kylie Woods and Mackenzie Herman who combined for close to 85% of the Rockets’ total points. Seniors Brogan Collins and Casie Linot also helped lead the Rockets through their season. Coach Welch said he was proud with the girls’ attitude and willingness to work for him for his first year of coaching. He was disappointed they did not find a State bid at the end of the season, but still has a very positive outlook for next season. The Rockets will be looking towards making noise at next year's State Tournament with the majority of the team coming back next season as seniors.
Plenty of Potential Ahead
The Rocket Wrestling program was clearly in the rebuild stage this year. The Rockets had another unlucky season with almost half of the original wrestlers not making it to the end of the season mainly for various injuries. The Rockets still managed to grow where they could. From the words of Coach Eshelman, “ We were a very young team with only two seniors and one junior. We feel that this is a good sign for the future. There is so much excitement with the wrestlers about what we can accomplish in 2017-2019.” He also was thankful for Tony Ponce and Dylan Penka as great assistant coaches to help build this program. After getting stuck with the most competitive regional in the state, Matt Atkinson was the only one to survive to make it to the State tournament this year. A few others were expected to go, but will fortunately have at least two more years to make it. The only two seniors left by the end of the year were Brody Hingst and Gage Hollis. Hollis was plagued with injuries throughout the entire year, but Hingst showed great improvement from his previous seasons. The team was led this year by Brody Hingst, Matt Atkinson, Chase Thrush, Grant Scheer and Kyle Sackett, whom all had winning records on the entire season. All but Hingst will return for the next two seasons. Other names to watch for in the next year would be Ben Black, Travis Bilhimer and Luke Culbertson who were all sophomores this year. Nine Rose Hill wrestlers are working with the South Central Punishers this off-season, which could end up really paying off next season. Coach Eshelman has high hopes for the next couple seasons for very good reason. If numbers continue to be high for the next couple seasons, the Rockets have the potential to be one of the top 4A teams in the state. Watch closely for a possible quick turnaround for the Rocket wrestling program.
Swim Family
The Rocket Swim team is coming off of back-to-back 4th place finishes in 5-1A State the past two seasons. They are returning ten of their swimmers from last year’s team. The overall numbers of the team are unfortunately lacking compared to previous years. Around 14 swimmers will represent the team this year. However, the majority of the State swimmers from last year are back on the team this year. The team will be led by Gavin Smith, Noah Baden, Austin Farber and David Steinhelpert. Gavin Smith and Noah Baden both hold three individual state championships from the previous two years. The Rockets biggest problem this year will be their low numbers. One big goal of the season is to actually win a meet. Coach Gaskill looks to achieve this goal by keeping “family” in mind this year. He stresses for the swimmers to work for their fellow family rather than themselves. Each swimmer cannot just cheat themselves, they are cheating the entire team. The Rockets best shot at a win will be on December 15th at the Hutchinson Invitational. The Rockets will also look to excel at the State Championship Meet this year. Some Rockets eyeball another win at State, while many just have the trip up in their sights. The Rockets will not truly know where they stand until their second or third meet. Time will tell how the Rockets’ season will unroll this year, but don’t be surprised to see some Rocket Swimmers crowding the top of the podium in February.
Team Blending
The girls’ basketball team has many new components this year. They have an entire new coaching staff in charge this year. Along with a new coaching staff comes a new mentality, ideals and ethics, not necessarily good or bad. Head Coach Welch hopes to follow up on two goals this season. The team is looking to be the best they can possibly be, along with the team no one else wants to play. Coach Welch believes the skill is there to have a good team this year. He wants everyone to blend their playing styles together. The team is working on sharing and protecting the ball this season. Welch believes if they value the ball, they will improve their efficiency and see many wins in their season. They are looking to compete with every team on the schedule this year by following these goals and focus points. They come off of a 7-16 record last year, along with a Sub State Championship, with many underclassmen. There will be crucial players from every class on the team this year. The team plans on growth from day one to the final game of the season. It will just be a question of how quickly the girls can acclimate to the new team style this year. The girls will also look to head back to State as they did last year. Their first game will be at Labette County on December 4th, starting at 6:00 pm

New Identity
After a few rough seasons for the Rose Hill basketball program, they set out this year to create a new identity. Coach Shirley is asking three things out of his players this year. He wants them to be relentless in all of their actions on and off the court. The team is expected to have a desire to be the best they possibly can be. Finally, the boys’ basketball team will take pride in everything they do. The team is looking to represent themselves well whether on or off the court this season. Essentially Shirley is just looking for his team to be the best they can possibly be every day this season. The team had an excellent turnout this season with close to 50 kids trying out. The Rockets will look to show vast improvement not just this season, but seasons to come. The Rockets will hold a “next play” attitude through the season, putting the past behind them whether it is good or bad. The boys will always focus on what is about to come. The team is coming off of a 7-36 record from the previous two seasons. The Rockets graduated about half of their varsity team from last year, but return seniors Parker Austin, Ross Nolan, Brett Bonar, Adam Henwood, Cory Cotten, Ryan Pfaff and Skyler Henry. Don't be suprised if the Rocket Basketball program is back where it should be in the next couple of years. Their first matchup will be at Labette County on December 4th; the game will begin at 7:30.

Wrestling Eyes Future
This year’s wrestling team is focusing on skill advancement this year. Coach Eshelman is very excited for this year’s season. The majority of the 30 wrestlers are underclassmen, and a bright future could be only a short time away. The Rockets have two individuals, Conner Penka and Kyle Sackett, ranked in the top six of their weight class in the KWCA pre-season poll. Eshelman stated he was very happy with the positive attitude and effort from the wrestlers so far this season. The team does not expect to be ranked this year, but still expects some individual success. The Rockets will need to retain as many wrestlers as they can through the season if they want to become successful this year and seasons to come. Over half of the team dropped out last year for various reasons including injury. If the Rockets keep their numbers up this season, expect some positive team results by the end of the season. The Rockets finished with a 4-6 Dual Record last year, and will look to improve this year as many of the losses came from forfeits from missing wrestlers in various weight classes. Only time will tell if the Rockets future will be as bright as its potential. Their first meet will be at the El Dorado Invitational on December 5th.

End of a Thrilling Chapter
The Rose Hill soccer program has almost always been a force to reckon with since it started in 1986. No two consecutive years have been so dominant as the 2014 and 2015 seasons. These were not the seasons of the Beckham twins. These were not the seasons of Josh Treat. 2014 was not the season of Geoffrey Stitcher. It was truly a “team” with every component needed to become back-to-back State Champions. This class of 2016 was very special though. There is a reason they were the top ranked team in the Wichita area. There is a reason they only lost one game in two years. It was not sheer luck. It was a mix of the time they put in and the time spent with each other along the way. From winning U11 soccer tournaments together, to losing tournaments together, these guys did everything together. They set up small-sided “World Cup” tournaments on summer nights, lighted by floodlights at the turf. These guys played in the cold and the heat. They played in gyms, on grass, turf, and in houses. Many of the players on this gifted team have spent years of their lives revolving around soccer. As a result, this team has been one of the best in the state for the past two seasons. The Rockets have built one of the toughest schedules of any 4A team in the state and shown no weakness doing so. Their sole loss the previous two years came from Bishop Carroll, who they had previously beat 3-0 earlier in the season. Carroll went on to take third place in the 2014 5A state tournament, getting knocked out by the soon to be State Champs, St. Thomas Aquinas. The Rockets offense excelled this year scoring 125 goals compared to last year's total of 92 goals. The 125 goals was a school record for the Rockets. Coach Treat described the offense as a “machine to watch.” Their defense was what needed to step up after losing a goalkeeper and three defenders to graduation last year. That’s exactly what happened. Most of the players who didn’t start last year were this year’s defenders. Coach Treat knew the defense’s progress through the season would be crucial to the team’s success, “The defense was a challenge with four new players back there. All five were in new positions when Parker Smith moved to Center Back.” The Rocket defense only allowed 17 goals this year, even with a 2nd year goalkeeper, Bryce Barnett. Their back-to-back championships are the end of the road for a few of the players. Many will leave with league recognition. Chace Beckham, Josh Treat, Parker Austin, Chance Beckham and Parker Smith all made 1st team All League for the AVCTL Div. III & IV. Jarrod Fisher and Bryce Barnett made 2nd team. Davin Harden, Josh Faulconer, Daniel Steigerwald, and Parker Webb all received honorable mention. Chance Beckham received the most valuable player award alongside Jerry Treat who received Coach of the Year. Chace, Chance, and Coach Treat also received All-Metro honors. Many Rockets played the final game of their career on the 7th of November, but some of the Rocket soccer players are actively looking at college teams to play for around the State and even country. The Rose Hill Soccer team also became the first team from the Wichita area to bring home back-to-back Soccer State Championship titles. As a matter of fact, the Boys soccer team became the only sport in Rose Hill history to ever win more than one State Title from the Wichita area. This Rose Hill soccer team holds many records that will last for a very long time. The Rockets were also invited to visit the Capital of Kansas by Kristey Williams, Kansas House Representative for this District. The State Champions will be making their trip sometime this January.
VB Has Another Strong Year
The Rocket Volleyball team fell short of a State run this year, but still had an overall excellent season. As always, the Rockets had an incredibly difficult schedule to fight through. They played many of the top ranked 4A teams, along with 5 and 6A teams. The Rockets played well against top Kansas City teams at the Ottawa tournament. They placed 6th out of 12 teams, 10 of which were 5 and 6A. Towards the end of the season they played in the Clearwater tournament, finishing runner-up to Douglass. The team did well to keep spirits high throughout the season with players constantly rotating between new positions. The Rockets finished the season 28-11 ending with a fantastic run through the final games of the season. The Rockets went 11-2 in their final 13 games of the season. The end of the season came at the hands of the Andale Indians. The Rockets had lost to the Indians earlier in the season, but knew they were the better team. Sub-State was at Andale, which gave Andale a better oppertunity to advance to the State tournament. The Rockets made many mistakes throughout the first set and were dominated. They fought back, and regardless of other mistakes they made that match, they left everything on the court. They made it to the 3rd set but fell just short of another State trip. The Rockets will say goodbye to six talented seniors: Kendra Baldridge, Madison Walls, Kasey Robinson, Bri Anschutz, Brogan Collins, and Haley Mermis. Coach Segovia was very proud with the leadership and attitude from this year’s class. This year’s team never missed a step in keeping a tradition of excellent volleyball in the Rose Hill program. Multiple seniors are planning on playing sports in college. The Rockets will potentially return six key players from this years season into the 2016 season.
Vast Improvements Made
The Cross Country Team had their work cut out for them this season. Over half of both the boys and girls were new to the team this year. Seniors Joe Milsap, Brandon Holder, Skyler Henry, Hayley Cantrell and Holly Chester were the leaders of the team this year, four of which ran for four years of high school. Unfortunately, the Rockets did not excel as a team at any meets. The runners did a fantastic job of improving as the season rolled on though. Barger spoke of the first year runners: “When you are having PR’s improve by a minute and a half at the last meet, they have more to give.” He knows the team will continue to quickly improve the next year, as long as they continue to push themselves as they did this season. Many of the new runners will have to step into leadership roles next year to keep the program moving in the correct direction. The top runners coming back for next season will be Tyler Collins and Celia Pope. The Rockets still may take a couple years before they are competing for top positions at meets, but all it takes is a good turnout the next few years and they will find themselves back up at the top of the team leaderboards. For how many new runners there were Coach Barger was very happy with the overall attitude and behavior on the team this year. Don’t be surprised to see the Rocket cross country team competing with the best in no time.
Rocket Rebuilding
The Rose Hill football program struggled from day one this year. Unfortunately it was not the players’ fault. It was not the coaching staffs’ fault. It came down to how many players were missing from the team this year. Regardless of the reason, only 6 of the already low amount of 9 seniors on the roster this year played four years of high school football. The junior class turnout was almost as weak this year. Many newer players did their best to fill in these huge gaps. All eyes were on the football team the first game with so much uncertainty on the line. They hosted Collegiate, who is to play in the sectional round of the State tournament on Saturday with a still undefeated record. The defense did their best to slow the Spartans down, but with no offensive firepower they never stood a chance. Unfortunately, the Rockets never found a groove during the season. They came close to finding their first win versus El Dorado, but a few unlucky breaks prevented them from finding their morale boost they needed midway through the season. One reason the Rockets have to be proud is the way they managed to keep a positive attitude coming into almost every game. From the first play of their season opener to the final plays in a cold mist against Mulvane at the end of the season, they always played with heart and determination. This will not be a season to remember for the community or coaching staff, but the players will remember things other than their record. Coach Boese knows football is about so much more than the wins and losses. The boys, especially the seniors, will remember the bond they have built with each other for the rest of their lives. Regardless, the rebuilding process for the program may take a few more years, but the team has nowhere to go but up from this season. If players continue to come back out in upcoming seasons, the Rockets could be back to the powerhouse they once were very soon.
Soccer Plans Repeat
Congratulations one last time to our 2014 4A-State Champion soccer team. This season started right when they got home from their State Championship run last year. The boys will be hurting after a couple big losses from graduation, but the biggest hole will be Geoffery Stitcher graduating after some of the most incredible displays of goalkeeping in the State for the last couple years. The likely replacement will be second-year goalkeeper Bryce Barnett. With years of baseball and basketball under his belt, goalkeeping has come naturally. Time will tell when the post-season comes if he is up for the challenge that awaits. Plenty of talent will be returning for the Rockets, led by Captains Chace Beckham, Chance Beckham, Josh Treat, and Parker Smith.  The Beckhams and Treat will lead the offense, while Smith will command the defense. Other notable returners will be Jarrod Fisher, Parker Austin, Davin Harden, and Parker Webb. The boys will need all the talent they can get for their upcoming schedule. Despite their 20-1 record from last year, they have arguably the hardest schedule of any 4A team in the State. Teams such as Maize, Trinity, McPherson, and Kapaun wait for them in the regular season. They will also have the Goddard/Campus tournament where they played Bishop Carroll, Heights, and Goddard last year. Thanks to a stellar performance from the defense and Stitcher, the team only gave up 11 goals throughout the entire season last year. This will be where they will have a hard time comparing to last years team. The team should have a stronger offense than last year, but will need some new defensive players to overcome the talented opponents they face. The boys will have a familiar goal this year. They plan on brining home another State Championship at the end of the season. Good luck to another impressive lineup, which makes up Rose Hill soccer. The boys’ first home game will not be until September 17th when they host an always exciting game versus Trinity.
VB Sets Plans on 5-Peat
The girls’ volleyball team is looking to build onto a tradition this year. The Rose Hill program has become one of the most respected in the state. There is much in the unknown for the volleyball team this year. There is not very much varsity experience returning from last year. It appears there will not be as much depth as there has been in previous seasons. The girls are still looking to continue what will be a five-year streak in appearing at State. There are six seniors returning this year: Bri Anschutz, Kendra Baldridge, Brogan Collins, Haley Mermis, Kasey Robinson and Maddi Walls. They will all need to step up this year and lead the team this year. The seniors have never been solo league champs, and would love to change that this year. They have had to share the league title with McPherson for two years, so expect some tight matches between the two teams this year. Coach Segovia said the girls have been working hard every practice to help achieve the many goals they have for the season. Until the first few games of the season many questions will stay in the air for what roles each girl will play for the team this year. Whatever happens, expect a competitive team with a determination to make it to State this season.
Football Fields Young Team
There are many naysayers going against the football team this year. Many talented upperclassmen are missing from last season. Some lost by graduation, some injury, and some just never came out this year. Expectations are very low for the team, but Coach Boese and the team captains are striving to shock the school and community. Boese had many comments to share about football and the season. First off, he was very adamant that football is about the bigger picture, not just the wins. It is about the brotherhood that is built through the season. Don’t be mistaken though, Boese is still determined to impress many with results this year. The team’s goal for the year is to improve from last year and come out with a winning record on the season. Boese also stressed how they need not just one person or group to step up, but the entire team. They will need the seniors just as bad as the sophomores. They also need every player to play like it is their last season, not just the seniors. There will be as many as four or five athletes on the field for the first snap of the season that have never played in a varsity game. The season will be a building season with so many young players on the field. If the Rockets can grind out some wins this year, expect some great seasons in the near future. Come support the boys when they host Collegiate on September 4th at 7:00.
XC Low On Numbers
The cross-country team looks like it will be solid this year, but is lacking on overall numbers. As of now, the boys barely have enough runners for a full team. Last year the boys came close to a State appearance, placing 4th at their regionals. They will return about half of their team from last year. The girls are in a much different position. After basically no varsity team last year, the girls will have almost everyone return from last year plus some. Coach Barger gave little insight on the upcoming season because he is still looking for a few more runners. He has a positive outlook and is still planning on two solid seasons from his runners. The team’s top returners will be Tyler Collins, Skyler Henry, Brandon Holder, Joe Milsap, and Holly Chester.  Good luck to Coach Barger and the Cross Country team this year. Their first meet will be on September 3rd at Clearwater.