Only a day before school started, Muscatine High School’s (MHS’s) athletes got the year off to an exciting start with the Fall Sports Kickoff. Featuring members of seven different teams (cheerleading, color guard and marching band, cross country, football, poms, swimming, and volleyball), the evening gave the community a preview of all the amazing things they can expect from students this upcoming season.
In between enjoying the pork tenderloin sandwiches, chips, and cookies that have become a staple of the Fall Sports Kickoff, new Athletic Director Tom Ulses took the time to speak with Muskie broadcasters Brian Mussehl and Joel Krausharr about his previous experiences as an athletic director and what he looks forward to doing, both with fall sports and the athletic program as a whole.
For the past fourteen years, Ulses worked at Waterloo Columbus High School as their athletic director. Ulses enjoyed his work there but looks forward to the change of pace working in Muscatine will offer him, as he will serve as activities director as well. Ulses already loves the community feel that he gets from working here, and considers it fortunate that he, his wife, and four children (Brock and Miranda at Loras College; Reid, a junior at MHS; and Trey, an eighth grader at Central Middle School) now get to call Muscatine home.
As Ulses begins his time at MHS, he knows that its athletic program already has many positive aspects. He said, “There are a lot of great things already in place and going on. My goal and philosophy, starting year one, is to get to know all the coaches and what they’re about.”
Once Ulses gets better acquainted with each of Muscatine’s teams, he looks forward to making some improvements that will benefit all of them. These include continuing to update Tom Bruner Field and making upgrades to the football stadium and track.
After Ulses shared his thoughts, each of the different fall teams had time to introduce their members, and some even took the time to preview their skills for all the fans that turned out to see them. First, the freshman and sophomore football teams made their introductions, letting attendees see some of the up and coming players in the program. Following their introductions, the two teams scrimmaged against each other for about half an hour.
Next, the boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams made their appearances, followed by the cheer team and pom squad. To showcase some of their routines for the football season, the pom and cheer girls joined forces to perform a joint show.
Following the pom and cheer performance, the girls swimming and volleyball teams introduced themselves. Once they finished, the color guard and marching band performed, getting everyone revved up for the final teams on the field.
Last out came boys’ golf and the varsity football team. To close the night, the varsity football special teams’ players ran various scenarios, demonstrating their prowess and potential for the 2019 season.
Throughout the course of the whole evening, each of the various coaches spoke about the prospects for their team. As in years past, the Fall Sports Kickoff ushered in the beginning of high school athletics for the year with a bang. With their appetites whetted, people throughout Muscatine anxiously await the first games of the year, which athletes will play this week.