Kennedy’s Winter Sports Start Their Seasons

Making a move around a Marion guard, senior Trevan Krumrai drives to the basket.
Making a move around a Marion guard, senior Trevan Krumrai drives to the basket.
Isaac White
Boys Basketball: Planning for the Season Ahead
Kennedy Boys Basketball during their 2022-23 season, a week before state playoffs. (Merideth Langton)

Following their first-ever perfect regular season and a first-round state playoff exit, the Kennedy Boys Basketball Team proved to be a threat, officially ranked first in 4A for most of their 2022-23 season. With the pickup of senior Xavier transfer and first-team all-state Joe Bean, the team has high hopes for their lineup despite the loss of graduated players.

“Dolphin and Reed [graduated] were very high IQ guards for us,” senior forward Trevan Krumrai said. “As for the pace of play, there will be little to no drop-off. We have very high IQ guards again this year.”

Bean, who led Xavier to a 15-6 state championship appearance, will be filling the hole left by the Dolphin and Reed. 

Senior Cyrus Courtney, standing at 6’1″ with a 35” vertical, helped him tie for the highest average blocks per game at 0.9 BPG. Along with his blocking power, he’s also a sharpshooter making over 57% of his shots in 142 attempts.

Entering his junior year after starting a couple of games in his 2022-23 season, Trey McKowen is averaging 6.2 PPG, McKowen could be looking for a breakout year in point position.

“The bench will be huge for us this season,” Krumrei said. “We need depth to be able to keep our fast speed throughout the entire game.”

Among the returners are senior Micah Schlaak, who averaged 12.3 PPG and 7 RPG, Krumrei, who transferred from Linn-Mar last year and was a key player earning bench points and starting some games and junior Landon Deiters, standing just a half-inch taller than the average NBA player’s height of 6’6.5″.

Last season, Kennedy led the state in points per game with 75.6 and broke the record for points scored in a single game on Dec. 9 against Jefferson, scoring 113 points.

“Our team’s expectation is to get 1% better every day,” Krumrei said. “If we continue to do that every day, we will be where we need to be in March.”

The Servpro MVC-CIML Showdown, a tournament, will take place on Jan. 6. With no Central Iowa Metropolitan League conference teams on the regular-season schedule, the tournament will prove to be a challenge for Kennedy.

“This tournament will be a great opportunity to compete against teams we wouldn’t usually see during the regular season,” Krumrei said. “The CIML is filled with good teams, but no matter who we match up with, our coaching staff will prepare us the right way to come out on top.”

Boys basketball season started on Nov. 28 with an 81-32 win against Marion.

Girls Basketball: Shooting for the Stars
Junior Ella Moser prepares to shoot the ball. (Merideth Langton)

Coming off of a 13-9 (win-lose) streak last year, the Kennedy Girls Basketball Team prepares for their upcoming season. Since two of their top-scoring players graduated, the girls must work together this season to continue their success. 

Seniors Addy Alber and Kaliyah Sain were the team’s top contributors. Alber scored a total of 208 points and 175 rebounds while Sain scored 463 points with 133 rebounds. To fill those roles, the team has been focusing on those skills during practices. 

“We expect multiple girls to step up and start scoring more points per game plus getting more rebounds,” co-coach Madison Parker said. 

Players to watch for this season are seniors Kyla Wright, Sidney and Addison Swartzendruber and juniors Ella Moser and Lexi Moore. Wright and the Swartzendrubers are powerful additions on defense. 

“My goal this season is to break the three-point record here at Kennedy,” Moser said. “I would like to average 18 points per game and be the metro player of the year.”

Moser and Moore bring strong offensive skills that will give Kennedy the advantage in the overall game. 

“We’re really excited,” Parker said. “They’re gonna cause a lot of issues on the defensive end.”

Boys Wrestling: Ready to Rumble
Senior Cael Smithhart lifts his opponent. (Ella Smith)

After ending their last season with a record of 9 -11, the Kennedy Boys Wrestling Team is entering their 2023 season with high hopes. With a large number of their varsity wrestlers returning from the previous season, Varsity Coach Nicholas LeClere believes the team will find success. 

“I think we have a lot of potential this year. If everybody works hard every practice, we could be really good this year,” senior Cael Smithhart said.  

Smithhart himself has high goals, with intentions to place at state.

“It’s a tough goal, but if I go hard at every practice and battle every match it’s definitely possible.”

To prepare for the season, the wrestling team is currently focusing on their core basic skills and intends to repeat them until they are mastered. These first few weeks of practice will be focused on getting everyone into their best shape as soon as possible, resulting in some difficult practices these first few weeks. 

 A new addition to the program is the introduction of mental training. The Kennedy wrestling team has invested in a program called Wrestling Mindset, which will walk wrestlers through various situations and lessons to encourage awareness and provide strategies allowing them to compete at their peak mentally. 

“I’ve noticed a growth in motivation and drive from the guys,” LeClere said. “There seems to be some great leadership happening within all grade levels that are doing a good job holding each other accountable to the standard we want to maintain in the room.

Girls Wrestling: Back on the Mats
In honor of their inaugural season, girls’ wrestling is honored at the 2023 spring pep assembly. (Merideth Langton)

Winter is coming, meaning girls wrestling is preparing for their second inaugural season. This is the second year the girls are a competing team, winning 250 matches last year. 

The team has 12 returning wrestlers, including seniors Carly Baumgartner Natalie Feister, Grace Hallam, Evelyn McDowell, Rylee Ostroviak, Terranae Wyatt, juniors Ella Brown, Shannon Dolan, Bella Griffin, Marly Kraklio, Liz Renshaw, Jenna Steenblock and sophomores Mady Goebel, Sydnie Miller, Onyx Vanderhorn, Meredith Kaump and Olivia Hallam along with 18 new members. 

Standout wrestler Kaump holds the record for most takedowns at 37. Brown is the only returning member who made it to state last year, holding the records for individual wins of 34, pins of 28 and fastest pin of ten seconds.

The team competed last year, giving returning members more experience and confidence for this year’s season. 

“Last year was really hard because everyone was kind of new,” Hallam said. “I know how a lot of things work and I’m much better prepared. I’m excited to see how much I can improve”

The varsity girls had their first meet last Saturday, Nov. 18 and placed seven out of 27 teams.

“I love coaching wrestling,” Varsity Coach Craig Mallicoat said. “Coaching the girls is one of the most fun experiences I have ever had here at Kennedy.”

Boys Swimming: Another Year in the Pool
Senior Owen Kilgore swims backstroke. (Kiera Zwack)

The Kennedy Boys Swim Team’s season has started up with a fresh mindset and athletic goals as new Varsity Coach Chad Derlin, boys gear up for a new season.

This season will be coached by Derlein with assistant coaches Shane Brekke, Arlen Holten and Nick Carew.

Leadership is a key aspect of the team and with the incoming freshmen coming to Kennedy, it is helpful to have a person to look up to.

“Since it’s my third year swimming, I am going to be a leader to help the incoming freshman,”  junior Conner Below said. “The boys are all warmed up and ready for an amazing year.”

After the girls’ successful season ranking at eigth the state competition, the boys hope to achieve the same.

“I am very much looking forward to coaching the Kennedy boys team this year.  It has been a while since I coached boys,” Derlein said. “I want to continue to grow the team, get the boys to perform at their best.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Kennedy Torch
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Kennedy High School - IA. Your contribution will go towards the purchase of a new lens for our photographers.

Donate to Kennedy Torch
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Kennedy Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *