Civic Memorial High School
With several returning players, the Eagles are setting their sights on finishing with their fourth straight winning season this spring.
“We’re excited,” first-year CM coach Nick Smith said. “We’ve got a lot of strengths. We’re going to lean on those seniors and hopefully, they’ll lead us.”
Seniors Corey Price, Brandon Hampton and Jaxson Helmkamp and junior Geoffrey Withers are back for another year at CM, which was scheduled to start its season Thursday against Mount Vernon at Edwardsville High. The Eagles will play Belleville East at 4 p.m. today at Edwardsville.
Price, Hampton and Helmkamp earned all-Mississippi Valley Conference honors last year. Price was CM’s leading hitter with a .362 average and Hampton won four games on the mound.
Smith, a 1996 CM graduate and a former assistant coach for the Eagles, replaced Gary Bruening as the Bethalto school’s head coach this year. He takes over a team that finished 18-16 a year ago.
Luke Angelo hopes his first season as CM head softball coach is a successful one this spring.
Angelo replaces Mike Eddy as the Eagles’ head coach after working for 11 years as an assistant. He takes over a CM team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2012.
“I had a good person to learn from and hopefully, I can take what he’s taught me and carry it onto these young ladies who want to play, get better and compete,” Angelo said.
Susan Buchanan, Sierra Nolte, Izzy Roberts, Ryan Allison, Cassie Reed and Kaitlynn Wrenn are among the returning players from last year’s 10-16 team. Buchanan earned second-team all-MVC honors after hitting .429 in 2016.
“Our goal is to compete every single game,” he said. “Our goal is come out and put forth our best effort every game and be proud of the way we play at the end of the game.”
The Eagles were scheduled to start their season on Wednesday at Althoff.
The Eagles bring back their 1-2 scoring punch of juniors Morgan Wilson and Cassie Hall from last year.
Wilson and Hall finished with a combined 23 goals and were named on the all-MVC team. Both players are part of a strong returning group that includes seniors Samantha Mann, Kaity Kappler, Gwen Lewis and Dani Stockton and sophomore Jenna Robinson.
CM was scheduled to start its season on Thursday against Auburn in the Carlinville Tournament.
The Eagles have just eight players on their team; half of them are returners from last year.
Jacoby Robinson, Kyle Wesoloski, Alex Winter and Michael Dixon return for another season with CM, which starts its season at 4 p.m. March 21 at Waterloo.
After turning in an outstanding basketball season this winter, Allie Troeckler is back for another year with the CM girls’ track team.
Troeckler won a Mississippi Valley Conference title in the 300-meter hurdles and came up one place short of qualifying for state in the event, finishing third in the Class 2A Rochester Sectional. Troeckler is part of a strong returning group that includes Jessica Mays and Monica Baker.
Troeckler averaged 23 points per game and helped the Eagles’ girls’ basketball team win 31 games and capture regional and sectional titles. She will be playing basketball at SIUE next year.
The Eagles start their season at 4 p.m. March 28 against Mascoutah at home.
Junior Michael Stevenson and senior Sam Hurst are the top returning athletes for the CM boys’ track team, which starts its season on April 5 against EA-WR and Columbia at Columbia.
Stevenson placed in the top 10 in the long jump and 400 at the Class 2A Lanphier Sectional last year. Hurst was one of the team’s top performers in the distance events.
CM lost several athletes to graduation, including Brett Lane, Jarrett Lacquement and Jake Brockman.