By Kenny Varner
WINGATE – A new coach will take the helm of the Bald Eagle Area track team this season.
Longtime veteran Jeff Jodon retired after last season after a very long and successful tenure.
The group is coming off a very successful 2021 campaign where the boys finished with a 5-2 record while the girls were 4-3. The Ragles boys finished second in the Mountain League Conference meet with their record while girls finished third.
Bald Eagle lost two top runners on the girls side in Sara Holler and Rachel Veneziano.
The new coach is very excited about the returning letter winners he has returning.
“We have a really good nucleus coming back this year. So we’re real excited about it,” said Hoover. “Our boys team has 28 boys on the squad and 21 girls so we’re really happy with the numbers.”
Hoover will be looking to the large group of returning letter winners for leadership. They are; Abby Hoover, Katie Snyder, Mathew Knepp, Karen Jodon, Ethen Cicco, Trey Green, Kevin Taylor, Chase Thompson, Owen Irvin, Max Yesko, Aaron Sharp, Zeb Fry, Alex Hacker. Tanner Bower, Camd Comly, Isaac Decho, Colton Wagner, Hunter Ishler, Heather Leskovansky, Claudia Irvin, Angelina Greib, Alaina Grant, Jordan Franks and Emily Ream.
“We have quite a bit of returners coming back. We are very happy about that,” said Hoover.
The Eagles have some younger players that are looking to bring good things to the Eagles’ squad this season.
“We have three girls, Cybil Thompson, Olivia Taylor and Emily Grant, that we think will be strong for us,” said Hoover. “ Boys-wise I don’t know if we really have any underclassman who have stood out yet. We’ve only been practicing for a few weeks. But those three girls are definitely going to be point getters for us.”
Hoover sees this year’s teams strengths both coming from the field events.
“ We’re gonna have strengths and the boys and girls strong events, pole vault, and our jumpers will be strong,” said Hoover. “Our other strong events will be hurdles and middle distance.”
The goals for the Eagles’ squad are competitive ones.
“Our goals are we want to be competitive. We want to compete for league championship in both boys and girls teams,” said Hoover. “And our goal is to go through the season and fine everybody’s strengths and be ready to go as soon as we enter our conference meet. We want to have our best team ready for districts.
Hoover sees a newcomer and some Wiley veteran teams to be tough competition this year.
“I know a whole a lot about Hollidaysburg but they are a big school so I think they ought to be good,” Hoover said. “Tyrone is always good. Both boys and girls. I know the Penns Valley girls have been good.”
Bald Eagle opens its season Friday as it hosts Shikellamy.