Boys look for seniors to provide leadership
After previously leading only the girls team the past four years, Chuck Groller takes over as the boys head coach after the departure of Tim Cunningham.
The Northwestern boys team will have to replace Trevor Cunningham, who advanced to the state meet with a second-place finish in the Class 3A 300-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 39.51. Cunningham also was a Colonial League runner-up in the 110 and 300 hurdles.
The Tigers also lose Tyler Derr, who was a runner-up in the pole vault at the league meet. Also gone are Julius Mittl (long and triple jumps) and Robbie Seyfried (high jump, long and triple jumps).
Groller will be counting on Phillip Castrine (senior, long distance), Andrew Cornell (senior, mid and long distance), Dylan Frantz (senior, sprints and long jump), Jason Garcia (senior, shot put), Robbie Leiser (senior, mid and long distance) and Hunter Miller (senior, javelin and discus) to be leaders of this year’s team. Castrine and Leiser were state qualifiers during the cross country season.
“Our mid- and long-distance events, led by Phillip Castrine, Andrew Cornell, and Robbie Leiser, will be areas of strength for us this season,” said Groller. “In the throwing events, the discus and javelin will be led by Hunter Miller, along with Jason Garcia in the shot put.
“In sprints and long jump, we’re looking to Dylan Frantz to lead a young squad of sprinters and jumpers. All of these young men have Colonial League championship meet experience.”
While Groller will be looking to his experienced leaders to guide the team, he’ll also be counting on several newcomers and underclassmen, such as John McArdle (senior, pole vault), Nolan Hernandez (junior, hurdles), Devin Thomas (junior, high jump), Sam Yadush (junior, javelin) and Tyler Watson (sophomore, pole vault), to fill key roles this year.
After posting an 8-3 mark in the league a year ago, Groller is looking for the team to continue improving this season. “Our goal is to be above .500 in the regular season,” he said. “Out of the 53 on our roster, freshmen and sophomores total 36. We are a very young team with a lot of unknowns.
“Mother Nature also has not been cooperating to start off our season so that we can evaluate them the way we would like to. Time will tell how these young men respond to the challenges that lie ahead.”