ALTA - Alta-Aurelia football coach Kevin Hammer says that the loss through graduation of All-District player Jalen Henningsen will definitely hurt the Warriors this year, but Hammer, now in his 17th year at Alta, feels that A-A's offense should be more balanced this season than it has been.
Fullback Garrett VanHouten, a three year starter is a very powerful runner, and Quarterback Joe Napierala, like VanHouten a senior, is a two year starter for the Warriors, who had a 1-8 overall mark last season.
Hammer said the offensive line which will block for the pair, as well as for running backs Alex Stephan and Manny Murillo, has an opportunity to be very solid this season, "depending on how quick the younger guys pick up their blocking assignments." Lettermen Spencer Bezoni, Ben Wetherell, Brett Stange, Jacob Berg and Conner Napierala lead the returning linemen, with sophomores Brandon Glienke and Tristan Bainum expected to help out.
Defensively, Coach Hammer says the team will have more overall speed than last year and will also be bigger up front, and he sees the defense as being a team strength. Among the returning defensive starters are D. back Steven Handwork lineman Bezoni and linebackers VanHouten, Murillo and Stephan.
The lack of team depth could be a factor "if we fall into the injury bug," says Hammer.
In conclusion, Coach Hammer says, "If we can stay healthy and make strides early on in the season, this team has the ability to turn the corner and get back to the playoffs and a winning season - something that has eluded them the last two years."
ALTA - The Alta-Aurelia girls have a couple of new coaches this season in volleyball, with Jen Keitges and Kacee Jensen serving as Co-Head Coaches for the Warriors, who posted a 7-24 overall mark last season.
Alta-Aurelia returns seven players who were starters and/or letterwinners last season - Katie Turnquist, Gracie Winterhof, Kelsi Snyder, Jenna Snyder, Taler Stanton , Cristena Heschke and Tayler Rohwer.
Coach Keitges sees serving and positive attitudes as the Warriors' chief team strengths and a lack of varsity experience as a team weakness.
Three freshmen - Micah Barnes, Izzy Hinkeldey and Shantana McDonald - are expected to help the Warriors on the court this fall, according to the coaches.
ALTA - Coach Wendell Larson greeted a solid nucleus of runners for this season's Alta-Aurelia cross country teams, with more than 20 participants filling out the boys and girls squads.
Comprising the A-A girls team are Jacey Solko, Stephenie Robbins, Hannah Nelson, Abby Hill, Katie Post, Chayce Glienke, Laura Holmes, Ali Turnquist, and Reghan Harms.
The Warriors look to field full teams in varsity and JV meets and continue to show improvement as the season progresses.