By Taylor King
The Hawks’ football team is looking forward to its season in the fall. They are young, energetic and athletic. The staff feels like they have built a great team for the upcoming season.
Head coach Gary Bass is excited to get his players back to Quincy to start on the new season.
“We will be a very competitive family that has come a long way in the last year and believe we can build upon the success we had the last two games of this past season,” Bass said.
With their schedule being very competitive, Hawk fans can look forward to some hard play.
“You can’t look past anyone however Truman State our first conference game will tell us a lot to how much we have grown in the last year as they are year in and year out in the top three of the conference,” Bass explains.
When it comes to the players and holding them accountable for doing work during the summer, it can be hard to keep track of all of the players on the team. That’s where the team looks to each other to keep them accountable for their responsibilities.
Members of the team have an opportunity to stay over the summer to get better so nothing is lost over the summer months.
“We have a large number of guys that decide to stay over the summer to help push each other and hold each other accountable. We also believe in our recruiting efforts that work ethic is important when signing someone. We want trustworthy people in this program. We have lifting and running testing when we return from the summer,” Bass said.
Returning players will play a huge part in the teams’ success in the fall as well as the incoming class.
“We have a lot of youth returning and guys with some experience but our most veteran and awarded returners are OL Justin Rosendahl who is a returning captain and All Conference player and DB Keenan Steegal who is also a returning captain and All Conference player,” Bass said.
“We feel like we built a class that has a lot of depth and substance for the future of our program. They will be the names of the future however college sports are different and we must give them time to develop and not try to rush anyone too fast or you can kill a career if they are not ready.”
Looking into the future for the women’s volleyball team, a lot of changes will be happening for them. With a new head coach, things will be interesting for their season.
With four key players leaving, but with more than twelve returning players, including 7 seniors the depth and experience is there.
Not to mention the incoming class of eight as well, ranging from freshman to transfers in all classes.
“I am excited to see what happens next season, with the change in our leader and in the huge change with impactful players leaving and newcomers, it can be a lot. But for my last season of volleyball I am just going to make the most of my time left to play the sport I love,” Mollie Rueter says.
The Great Lakes Valley Conference is a tough conference in which to compete. It is the hardest volleyball conference in the midwest region. Two new teams in the conference will give the team more experience with other teams in the midwest.
“I am excited for the new changes coming our way for the fall, I think all of it will give us great depth and experience all around and make the culture and future of our program better. We have great leaders all the way around, from our coaches to the seniors on our team. I think we are in good hands,” Sara Pate, freshman, says.
When it comes to workouts for the volleyball team, in the past team members have used things such as Facetime to keep in touch or through pictures that they send in their workout group chats.
“Everyone has to workout at least five times a week, if they chose to do more they can but last summer we had workout groups of 3-4 players on our team that would would send pictures of us working out and making sure that everyone was doing the lifts right. We hold each other accountable well for doing things the right way,” Rueter says.
From a seniors standpoint, they know that their program is being left in good hands.
“I am excited to watch my old teammates grow and develop the same way I did through my four years. From afar, I will follow how their season is going and where it will take them because I was so close to them, they are like family to me so I will continue to support them in every way I can,” Lauren Nadler says.
For athletics, as a whole, it has been a roller coaster of seasons. Many ups but many downs. A lot of teams are hungry for more when they comeback in August.
For the off season teams, winter and spring; this is their time to get better.
“Coming back into fall can be tough for the players that are in the off season right away because everyone is anxious to get back on the field or the court again. But, since men’s volleyball in in the winter this is the time where we grind. With twelve new players of our own, we have to make up for some spots that were lost from our graduating seniors. I think this year will be a turn around one for us,” Ben Rachilla says.
Quincy Hawks athletics as a whole are hungry for more championships, wins and upsets for next season. The student-athletes work hard day in and day out over the summer and in their off seasons to be better at the sports they play and better for their teams once the season roles around.
As much as the players expect a lot from each other, the coaches only expect the same thing and more.