This week as part of our Craw-Kan Team of the Week in the Southeast Kansas Area we take a look at the Northeast Arma Track and Field Team who had high expectations before the season being cancelled to the Cornavirus. Week by week we will highlight one team from the Southeast Kansas Area this spring at SIK.
Coach Name & School: Piper Richardson; Northeast High School
Years at School:27 years
Records Last Year: Boy’s team were TRL champs last year. Qualified 3 to state
Returnees: Jasper Atchison, Kenneth Atchison, Daniel Balk-All qualified for state last year. Jasper medaled in the 110 High Hurdles, 300 IM Hurdles and the 3200m. Daniel medaled in pole vault, Kenneth qualified but did not place in high jump.
What has this entire cancellation of season been like for you? It’s been very difficult and I’m extremely sad for my whole team but especially my seniors. The day Governor Kelly announced school would no longer take place in the buildings, Jasper immediately text me about what it meant for track. It was a tough conversation with him being a contender in the hurdle races to become a state champ.
What were some key things you were really looking forward to in the 2020 season? I was hoping to be back to back league champs on the boy’s side. I also felt like we had a great opportunity to get quite a few more kids qualified for state this year. We have a really good boy’s 4x400 relay that I felt could qualify this year. We will graduate two seniors off that relay. I have a couple of throwers that had a great opportunity to also qualify.
Who are some of those key players we should have looked out for this year? Jasper Atchison, Kenneth Atchison, Daniel Balk, Karter Dugan, Cole Richard, Hunter Jackson, Keatyn O’Dell, Eric Smith, Zach Cronister are all returners from last year that point for us at meets.
What now ? I’m not going to lie, it has taken me a week or more to get over the feeling of being defeated. I plan to look forward to next year with the kids that were cheated out of their season and hope that they all come back out for track next year. I miss seeing my kids everyday and being on the track at practice. My sadness is for my seniors and the opportunity that they weren’t given in any of this. I pray for my team’s health and happiness through this horrible time.
As a teacher what has this been like with school? As a teacher, I feel lost. I miss going into class and interacting with my students everyday. The routine of life has been shaken. There’s no normalcy or routine now. I have taught and coached for 28 years with my first teaching and coaching job being at Campus High School in Haysville, Kansas. I’m not sure what to do with all my time. I work several jobs and I am struggling with boredom and monotony. We are preparing to kick off Google Meet with our kids on Monday, April 6th and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my students.
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