Conversation buzzed in the dimly lit auditorium at West High School on Thursday, Aug. 9. Coaches, athletes, and families eagerly gathered in the cool air conditioning, waiting for the anticipated fall sports, coaches and student athletes to be announced. The fall sports kickoff is an annual event that showcases girls swimming, boys golf, cross country, cheer, football, volleyball and dance.
Together, friends and family of the Falcon Nation look forward to an expectant fall season for fall sports.
“I’m very confident that our teams will succeed this year. Our lower level teams have done very well these past years, and now that they’re moving up, our varsity teams will improve,” Athletic Director Kevin Petersen said. “We also have high quality coaches that will get our athletes where they need to be.”
Among these coaches is Jill Donath. Donath previously coached the freshman volleyball team, but has since stepped into the role of varsity head coach this season.
“Being that it’s my first year heading up the program, I worry about every little detail [because] I want to give this team everything I can,” Donath said. “I’m really looking forward to helping them learn qualities that will help them become better players and better humans.”
Donath is not the only coach who is excited for the upcoming season. Varsity football coach Justin Peters is eager for the first game of the season and believes the current varsity team will stand out from the years before.
“I absolutely think this season will be different. We are finally at a level of strength and athleticism as an all-around team that we haven’t had in the past,” Peters said. “We’ve had talented players in the past, but this year we have players that fill key roles, and now we’re able to provide backups for them if needed.”
West’s football history has been dominated by struggle, and competition within the MAC is rampant. This might appear daunting to some. Peters remains aware of this, yet unfazed and confident in his player’s abilities.
“Do we have the talent depth and the numbers that they have out for their teams? No, but we have guys who are going to put in the work and go out and compete against these guys,” Peters said. “We just have to do our job and do it well, and we’ll be successful. Football is a game of attrition. You never know who is going to go down, and who has to step up.”
Senior football player Dalton Carstens is also eager for the season to begin.
“This season I’m looking forward to to working with a team that’s a family. In the past, we’ve had issues that have divided us as brothers, but this year it’s different,” Carstens said.
Click here to check out the fall sports schedule.