By Steve Peterson
“We had another great season. We had a 35-2 record last year, the third best record in the state of all classes. We won the War Eagle Conference championship for the 10th year in a row and had big wins over Le Mars, Bishop Heelan and Sergeant Bluff-Luton,” said Akron-Westfield Softball Coach Todd Colt in recapping 2012 at the A-W Athletic Awards banquet May 14.
“Our pitching staff recorded 179 strikeouts in 237 innings, and had one walk every eight innings and had 1.2 strikeouts every inning. We had a tremendous pitching staff,” said Colt.
Softball team letter winners were Class of 1011 graduates Monica Harvey, Melissa Kroksh and Brandi Davis, Class of 2012’s Haley Coyle, Jaclyn Smith, Katie Coyle, Class of 2013’s Kayla Tindall, Jordan Hansen, Dana Hedlund, and Class of 2014’s Ryleigh Schnell, Kortney Hedlund and Desi Oltmanns.
Last year’s team participants also included Sarah Schroeder, Hannah Boehme and Bethany Eastman and eighth graders Trisha Frerichs, Sam Johnson, Zoe Mullinix, Abbey Easton and Briannah Watkins.
All-WEC First Team recipients were Davis, Kroksh, Harvey and Tindall; and Second Team honorees were Dana Hedlund and Coyle.
Kourtney Hedlund won the Most Improved Player Award for softball.
Davis, Kroksh, Harvey, and Dana Hedlund made All-State.
“We’ve had a week and a half of practice. I think we’ll be an exciting team. There are a lot of the same faces from last year but the players are in different positions, due to graduations, but we’ll have another fine season,” said Colt.
Letter winners for the 2012 baseball team were: Class of 2011’s David Berkes, Mitchell Hedlund and Zach Tindall; Class of 2012’s Cory Eskra, Chet Willer, Daniel Beitelspacher, Spencer Frankl, Cole Oltmanns, Taylor James, Devon Myers, Alex Foley, Sam Mace, Caleb Colt. Other players included Spenser Wardrip, Dylan Blinde, Kyle Schroeder, Nathan Sanchez; and Jess McMahon.
“Our Most Improved Player from last year went from just barely making the starting lineup to becoming a steady player at third base, Spencer Frankl,” said Coach Gordy Johnson.
“I have two pitching awards to hand out. We had two guys who really stepped up for us, Chet Willer and Cole Oltmanns,” said Johnson, noting both did a good job of picking off runners on base. Both were named All-WEC.
Oltmanns was also a very hard worker on his pitching skills and picked five opponents off first base.
Meanwhile on offense, Eskra hit 0.300.
“Cory was a very consistent hitter; he led off for us,” said Johnson.
Taylor won the Westerner Award for baseball.
“The Westerner award goes to a senior who has not missed a practice in five years. He throws twice a week, every week, in the off season as soon as football ends. He is the first one to practice and most of the time the last to leave,” said Johnson.
A-W had an 8-21 record in 2012.
Johnson thanked the efforts of the Akron Parks & Recreation Board in keeping up Sargent Field well as it was once again honored for its appearance among district high school fields.
Volleyball team honors were presented by Head Coach Mollie Koopmans.
Team members and letter winners in 2012 were sophomores Kali Kriener, Desi Oltmanns, Kortney Hedlund, Kelsey Jackson, Cali Westergard, Lexi Hageman; juniors Bethany Eastman, Hannah Koele, Jordan Hansen, Sarah Schroeder, Kayla Tindall and Dana Hedlund and seniors Haley Coyle and Emily Miller.
The team had a 12-11 overall match record. The Lady Westerners finished second at Spalding Catholic’s tournament.
Other participants included sophomore Marlenne Arreola, freshmen Hannah Boehme, Briannah Watkins, Trisha Frerichs, Katie Johnson, Abbey Easton, Zoe Mullinix, Anastasia Hoffer, Shayna Pickell, Julia Vieria, Kaila Tokarz and Katie Horton. Tami Britt was the assistant coach.
“These girls all have a positive attitude and are hard-working,” said Koopmans.
For All-WEC honors, Coyle and Miller were Honorable Mention; Kortney Hedlund was Second Team and Dana Hedlumd was First Team.
Cross Country Team
Dustin Meinen coached the cross country team as the Westerners returned to the sport, which had a “late start.”
Grades 7-12 Principal Derek Briggs gave out the awards. Garrett Wall’s mom, Raelynn, gave some remarks at the athletic awards night.
The highlight of the season was senior Garrett Wall qualifying for the state cross country meet, for which he received a plaque and the team’s Most Valuable Player honor.
Jaclyn Smith was named Most Improved Runner.
Jonah Anderson, Trevor Hansen and Kiley Schoen were also on the squad.