First off we have the Cherokee Washington teams ...
One injured senior, eight juniors, and two sophomores return as varsity lettermen for the Cherokee boys track and field team this season.
That senior in Tyler McLaughlin, who is battling a knee injury from football; juniors Marc Husman (sprinter, long jump), Eamon Adamson (distance runner), Jaden Lux (distance runner), Lane Peterson (throws), Ben Sampson (hurdles/sprints), Zac Taylor (sprints), Sergio Gochez (sprints), and Grayson Roosa (throws); and sophomores Kevin Fajardo (distance), and Luke Zeiman (distance/jumps).
Other talented athletes who will impact veteran coach Lynn Jolly's squad are Stetson Dagel, Skyler Mongan, Nathaniel Morgan, Rasheen Ulis, Carlos Aguilar, Jose Freed, Brendan Nelson, Andy Pitts, Michael Rosewall, Derek Bechtel, Cody Carlson, Austin Johnson, Nathan Johnson, Jacob Kindwall, Matt Kyser, Brendan Rupp, and Conor Voge.
Husman will lead the Braves this season after finishing second in the 200 meters and 400 meters in the Lakes Conference last year, and eighth in the 400 at the State Meet.
Adamson was fifth in the 3200 meters in the Lakes Conference last season, and Lux was eighth in the 3200 meters. Peterson also placed eighth in the discus in the Lakes Conference.
Those seniors include Taylor Woods, a State qualifier last year in the shot put and discus, long jumper/sprinter Katy Hart, and hudrler/middle distance runner Krista Nicholaisen.
Along with that trio, coach Jolene Hultgren greeted four junior letter winners, including sprinter Paige Reinert, and shot put/discus thowers Shelby Bush, Karissa Wych, and Emily Cosgrove.
Five sophomore letter winners include middle distance runner/hurdler Hanna Bennigsdorf, middle distance runner Danni Roethler, thrower/sprinter Ariana Smith, thrower Cenzie Wood, and hurdler/sprinter Anna Wharton.
Among promising newcomers to this year's squad are juniors Hanna Henson and Clara Wulfsen, both middle distance runners.
In addition, 16 promising freshmen are out for the sport this year, with several immediately impacting the varsity squad.
Coach Hultgren lists field events, and middle distance numbers as among her team's strengths, while athletes stepping up in the hurdle events wwill be a challenge as the season progresses.
"We have a great group of seniors and upperclassmen that we are counting on to provide leadership for the team," said Hultgren, who will be assisted by coach Travis Schipper.
In addition to that fourseome, DeVos will count on Zac Anderson, Andrew Zarr, and Josh Haupert to help round out the varsity competitors.
Among the promising newcomers competing on the junior varisty level are Jordan Taylor, Hunter Eaton, Aaron Boisen, Zane Young, Will Vietor, Jared Mackowski, Mason Hatch, and Jacob Fry.
Pitts placed sixth in the Lakes Conference Meet last season to lead the Braves in the conference.
Coach DeVos lists those four returning lettermen as a major team strength, and cites lack of sufficient depth and experience as a team shortcoming.
"Hopefully, we can get in some timely practices to help overcome our depth propblems and continue to work toward improvement as the season progresses and we get into Lakes Conference play," noted DeVos.
The Cherokee Washington High girls golf team is in a hiatus this season due to lack of numbers, so Cherokee will not field a team.
Just three girls signed up for the golf team and it takes a minimum of four to comprise an official team to compete in the golf meets. An attempt was made to share golf programs with Storm Lake, but that was nixed by Storm Lake when it meant this would bump the Tornadoes up a class due to the combined enrollments of both Cherokee and Storm Lake.
Returning senior letterman Matt Enderlin leads the Cherokee boys tennis team into action this season, coming off a knee injury sustained in football last fall.
Among promising newcomers is junior Eric Wilkie, out for the sport for the first time.
Enderlin teamed with graduated senior Alex Struck as Lakes Conference doubles champions last season, and All-Lakes Conference honors.
"We lost our #1 player (Struck) to graduation and two other varsity players who chose not to participate in tennis this year," noted coach Zelle. "Thus we remain a very inexperienced team this year."
All told, there are 13 boys out for tennis and Zelle must develop a couple of them to evolve quickly into varsity competition to compete well in the rugged Lakes Conference matches.
Back to bolster coach Tricia Langhold't squad are letter winners Denise Freed, Taylor Meyerhofer, and Emily Estala, who will fill the top three spots in the varsity lineup.
Four newcomers to the squad also will pay immediate dividends in the persons of Megan Carlson, Megan Hummel, Katie Sambrano, and Ridge View player Lauren Yearous.
Also among top returnees this season are Shelby Bingham and Brooke Luetkeman, who will help coach Langholdt fill out her varsity lineup.
Langholdt lists strong upperclassmen leadership and the team's overall desire to improve and learn as the season unfolds as among her team's major strengths.
Tricia will be "assisted" by the designated team "Mom" - her mother Dianna Langholdt, who never misses a meet and volunteers to assist the team in JV and exhibition matches, score keeping, and supporting the girls. Driving a team Suburban to road meets may also factor in that job description.