SPRING PREVIEW: Sabers look to make some noise on the track in 2018

Manistee Catholic Central’s 2018 track teams. Front row, from left: Josie Ziehm, Elena Pizana, Katelyn Brown and head coach Gabe Wise. Second row, from left: Mateo Barnett, Henry Hybza, Justin Stickney, Andrew Jacobson and Keeton Capling. Back row, from left: Bobby Jacobson, Eric Stickney, Andrea Marconi and Joe Buswinka. Not pictured: Mason Callesen, Rachel Callesen and Johnna Hanson. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Manistee Catholic Central’s 2018 track teams. Front row, from left: Josie Ziehm, Elena Pizana, Katelyn Brown and head coach Gabe Wise. Second row, from left: Mateo Barnett, Henry Hybza, Justin Stickney, Andrew Jacobson and Keeton Capling. Back row, from left: Bobby Jacobson, Eric Stickney, Andrea Marconi and Joe Buswinka. Not pictured: Mason Callesen, Rachel Callesen and Johnna Hanson. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — In his second year as Manistee Catholic Central’s track coach, Gabe Wise is excited.

The Sabers struggled with low numbers in 2017, but finished strong. That momentum seems to have carried over to this season, when 16 athletes will represent the school, 10 more than last year.

Wise said that MCC has a track team that can actually cause the West Michigan D League sit up and take notice.

“The kids are buying into the program,” Wise said. “They’re enjoying what they’re doing, and they see that they can enjoy some success in the WMD.”

For the first time in recent memory, MCC will field a boys track team large enough to allow them to post competitive team scores in league meets.

Senior Mason Callesen, junior Eric Stickney and junior Joe Buswinka will be called upon to provide leadership for the team.

“I think if they do well, we will do well following them,” Wise said.

Stickney, a thrower, will be among the favorites to win league honors in both shot put and discus. Callesen and Buswinka led the sprint relays that were among the top in the league by the end of last season.

The Sabers will also be young. Freshmen sprinter Mateo Barnett and distance runner Henry Hybza will be expected to be key contributors. Wise also expects big things in the near term from eighth-grader Keeton Capling.

Italian exchange student Andrea Marconi will feature in the sprints for the Sabers, and not just as filler for the relays.

“He’s got some speed,” Wise said. “I actually believe that he can challenge the reigning champion, Max Stoneman (of Pentwater), in the 100 and 200. He’s fast.”

While a league title is not a realistic goal for the team yet, these talented Sabers can very well be a spoiler in the conference race.

“We’re going to make some noise,” Wise said. “We’re going to go out and give it our all, and if points are there to be had, we’re going to try to get them. We have the athletes in place, we have the talent and we have the willingness to work.”

 On the girls side, the Sabers will be in building mode, much like the boys last year. MCC did not field a girls team last year, but five girls will don the red, white and blue on the track this season, four of them eighth-graders.

“We started building the boys (team) last year, and continue to do it this year,” Wise said. “Now we have the girls back, and we’re going to build that up as well.”

avatar

Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply