GREENVILLE – The Greenville Senior High School track and field team playing in the MVL numbers 70 athletes for the 2021 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) season.
“We have had a great time so far this year,” said veteran head coach, Bill Plessinger. “We have been blessed with pretty good weather and the kids are working hard. It’s fun to be back out. I really missed it last year – like it was a big hole in my life after 26 years.”
“It’s a different year, a different feeling,” Plessinger added. “Last year – I use the analogy; when you read a book and you get to the last chapter and the last chapter is missing.”
Greenville’s numbers are down slightly from past years as the high school team readies for the 2021 OHSAA year follow the cancellation of the entire 2020 season.
“It’s a rebuild because these kids didn’t have track last year,” Plessinger noted. “We have kids that are freshman that were seventh graders and seventh grade track is a new sport for most kids that have never done track so they have gone from the nuances of junior high track to freshmen in high school track.”
“We lost some great seniors – irreplaceable kids like Riley (Hunt) and Emma (Klosterman) but you just have to retool and rebuild,” continued Plessinger. “Our boys are young, real young. Our entire sprint crew are pretty much freshmen and sophomores so that doesn’t always bode well. They might take a few lumps this year but gain some invaluable experience – but they are great kids.”
The Lady Wave side of the program will look to several returning veterans to provide leadership and points for the upcoming season.
“There are a lot of kids that have never run varsity track that are going to be able to contribute along with the seniors we have retuning,” said Plessinger. “Grace Conway in the pole vault and long jump and Harley West in the shot put will probably break the school record in the first meet of the season. She’s the best shot putter Greenville has ever had.”
“We have Izzy (Isabelle Rammel) coming back for distance,” Plessinger continued. “We have some really good young sprinters. We have a great mix on the girl’s side. Some kids have never done high school track that are tying for the first time. Usually we have to beg kids to run the 4×4. I have five or six kids right now I could put in the 4×4. We usually don’t have an excess of girl 400 runners so that’s a rarity here but I look forward to it. I think the girls can be pretty decent.”
Riley Hunt has moved on to pole vault for the prestigious Arkansas Razorbacks program after becoming Ohio’s all-time best female pole vaulter with a jump of 13’7” her junior year winning the OHSAA DI state championship. Hunt was also a three-time indoor State champion in pole vault (2018-20) and earned All-Ohio honors in 2018 and 2019 while missing her high school senior season.
“I just feel like we lost a big opportunity to be there not only for Grace (Conway) for recruiting purposes,” said GHS pole vault coach, Micah Coblentz said of the lost 2020 season. “But with Riley, she was starting to move some pretty big poles and I was looking forward to the outdoors season and that just got taken away from us. Riley was fortunate enough to get taken care of scholarship wise. We are still working for Grace and working to see a few more higher heights out of Grace which I think is very possible. I’m looking forward to this outdoor season because I think Grace is ready to do some good things.”
“It’s nice to get back out here and this is a great facility for the kids,” Plessinger said of the Jennings Center Track and Field Complex. “We take care of it – it’s a forum for Greenville track.”
“Our numbers are down a little this year. I usually have 100 kids combined. This year we have 70 but we are here, we’re laughing, we’re having fun, they are working hard.”
“It’s good to be back out on the track – that’s for darn sure,” Coach Plessinger concluded.