Fall sports wrap up

Whether it was the Iola High School’s Mustang football team going to the playoffs, or the cross country team running their way to state, it has been a successful fall season for the student athletes of Iola.

Allie Utley, Staff Writer


The Iola High School’s football team had a season record of 4 – 6, which includes a heartbreaking loss to Frontenac in the playoffs, consider their season to be “successful.”
“At the playoffs, we played very hard. [Frontenac] had a lot of seniors, so they had some advantage. But we gave it our all,” freshmen Karson McGraw says. This was the first time since 2008 the Mustangs had made it to the playoffs. “But when you think about it, only half the teams in this state get to even go into the playoffs. It makes us feel that we worked hard and put in the time to get that far,” McGraw concluded.
“This was an honor that we will not take lightly. We’ve gotten better each and every week,” head coach Doug Kerr says. “Making the playoffs really makes me feel like my class put the program in the right direction and set good expectations for the younger guys,” senior Seth Stanford also commented.

Allie Utley
IHS football players charge onto the field.


Jenn Bycroft, head coach of Iola fillies tennis team, says she was “pleasantly surprised” with how their season turned out. Sophomore Jennifer Tidd went 1 – 8 in singles varsity, junior Carley Cescon and freshman Allie Utley went 4 – 6 in doubles, and juniors Erin Klubek and Macayla Bycroft went 6 – 7.
“I struggled for the first couple weeks in knowing who to pull up from JV so that we could try and have a full varsity squad. But it all worked out, and I saw improvements in each and every girl throughout the season,” Bycroft says. “With having four seniors on the team next year, I look for more leadership, and having a much stronger team.”
“The best thing about this season was all the inside jokes,” junior Erin Klubek says. “There is this joke with Jenn, and she says if we all make it to Wimbledon, then she’ll take us all to Disneyland… So now we all have to make it next year.”

Allie Utley
Sophomore Jennifer Tidd faces her opponent in Pittsburgh on September 26.


Iola High School’s cross country team also had a successful season. The Fillies’ varsity team ended up Pioneer league champions, with freshmen athlete Kelsey Morrison qualifying for state. At state, Morrison ended up placing 81st out of 104 runners. Morrison was also the first girl from Iola to have qualified for state since the distance was changed to 3.1 miles in 2011. “The most impressive thing about Kelsey is the way she practices. The reason she qualified for state is the effort she put in her regional race. I knew she had a chance of making it, but her time was so much better than I had expected. It was a reward for the way she practices. As for the rest of the team, the five freshmen girls did more than I had originally expected,” coach Marv Smith says.
Mustang runners seniors Kendall Jay, Braden Plumlee, Isaiah Fawson, junior Bryce Andres, sophomore Cole Regehr, and freshmen Elijah Fawson and Royce Smith also qualified for state as a team and ended up placing 12th. “We should have more people qualify next year. We’re going to be bringing in lots of eighth graders, so that should strengthen the team even more,” Smith commented.
“It’s hard to say how many years I have left coaching. I would’ve said zero, but I’d have to talk to coach Daugharthy because there are a few things we’d have to do before he could take it over totally. He and I have discussed this, and we might not even make a decision till the end of this school year. Actually, my good friend, Tim Savage, [head coach of Wellsville’s cross country team] when we went to Central Heights, he said ‘Marv you’re still coaching cross country? Dang, you must be close to eighty years old! Is this your last year?’ Then I said, ‘Well to tell you the truth, I’ve got a group of eighth-grade boys, and I’m thinking that I may wait till these boys finish up their senior seasons.’ Then he said, ‘really, you’re that attached to the eighth-grade boys?’ Then I replied, ‘no, I’m afraid the next cross country coach might kill them!’”

Seniors Braden Plumlee, Kendall Jay, Isaiah Fawson, and sophomore Cole Regehr pose for the camera during their meet.


“I think, in the end, volleyball is about stamina. You have to be able to pull through for two games, and if you go into a third you have to get through it and get a win,” freshman Allie Fager says. The IHS Fillies varsity volleyball team finished the season with a record of 9 – 20, and said farewell to seniors Sydney Wade, Toni Macha, Jadyn Sigg, and Riley Murry.
“I really look up to all the upperclassmen. They’re all intense and passionate about the sport and they all have great techniques about them that I would like to become one day,” Fager says.
“It’s sad knowing that we will not play on our home court again. However, senior night was perfect,” senior Jadyn Sigg says. “We couldn’t have had a better last home game.”
This was also freshmen team’s coach Addie Haar’s first year of coaching. “The best part about playing for Addie was the fact that she just graduated a few years ago, and she still remembered and understood what it’s like to be a high school athlete. She could connect to us more on a player’s level, rather than a coach. Addie did pretty great for her first year of coaching. She was always so supportive, and had so much patience with us whenever we would learn a new rotation or learning how to serve,” Fager says.
“My coaches were amazing this season. Addie was the best, and Hampton was always pushing us to do our best we could, and I cannot wait to play for coach Fehr in upcoming years. In a game situation I always knew they were there for me, rock solid,” Fager concluded.

Drew Tucker
Varsity volleyball players huddle up on Senior Night.