By Cliff Richardson
The Eagle Varsity Track Program will hold its 2014 Inter-squad Meet this Tuesday, March 18 at Aaron and Marie Jones Community Track. The meet is scheduled to start at 4:15 pm. and conclude at 6:15 pm.
Is it three strikes and you’re out? Benched for just the third time in McKenzie High School history, the Eagles will not field a Varsity Baseball team this spring. Not enough players to make up a team, according to McKenzie Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Neil Barrett at a recent McKenzie School Board Meeting, forced the shut out. Eagle Varsity baseball players interested in swinging a bat have been offered an opportunity to travel to Dexter each day to participate as members of the Lowell Red Devil baseball team. Lowell has agreed to co-op with McKenzie and Mohawk, neither which is able to field a full baseball roster, thus allowing players at the respective schools an opportunity to play. Alas, it seems, the Canadian geese will have no competition on the Eagle yard. The first Eagle season no-hitter occurred in 1983 when the entire McKenzie team was suspended for the balance of the season following activities initiated by several team players that did not meet McKenzie Team and High School standards. Baseball was reinstated the following season and offered thereafter until the 2007 season when too few players signed up and the Eagle’s season was canceled. The program was resurrected in 2008 and continued until the current situation. With Eagle softball having gone down this road many years prior, and not returned, one has to wonder how long it will be, if ever, Play Ball! will sound again at Finn Rock. With school enrollment numbers dropping and fewer River families, players, and coaches willing to dedicate formative skill building time in baseball during the summers it has become increasingly difficult to field a spring Varsity team. McKenzie has historically sponsored at least three Varsity level spring sports. For the boys, golf, track, and baseball and for the girls, following the drop of softball, golf and track have been offered. This season, at least, one can still catch a sprint, jump or throw at Aaron and Marie Jones Community Track. Or one might hear a “fore” or view a long put at Tokatee Golf Course. But, no-one will take the Bump, cross the Dish, go Yard, spit seeds, or fret thunder-showers at Finn Rock this spring! Or as Yogi Berra once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be!”
McKenzie honored its Winter Sports Athletes last Tuesday, March 11, in the high school cafeteria. Head Boy’s Basketball Coach Galen Scrivner awarded his lone senior player, Bailey Adams, with the Eagle’s Most Valuable Player and the Most Inspirational Player awards. Adams and junior teammate Alex Nastasiuk were honored as the Team Captains. Freshman Chance Hamlow was touted as the Most Improved Player for the season. Eagle Head Girl’s Basketball Coach David Duncan honored senior Makaila Hiddleston as the Team’s Most Valuable Player. Senior Shyla Harlan received the Most Inspirational Player award and freshman Isabella Espinoza was touted as the Most Improved Player. Girl’s Team Captains honored were Makaila Hiddleston, Shyla Harlan, Buggy Hiddleston, and Katey Totten. Eagle Head Wrestling Coach R.O. Gamez presented the lone senior wrestler on the team this season, Casey Mitchell, with the Most Valuable Wrestler award. Mitchell also received a honorary t-shirt earned as the only team member to qualify to the 100% Club, a distinction for those wrestlers who do not miss a single practice session all season.