Starting Off on the Right Foot: Muskies Open Seasons with Winter Sports Kickoff

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

For athletes at Muscatine High School (MHS) Thanksgiving always signals the beginning of winter sports competitions and games. As practices got underway in mid-November, MHS showcased their winter athletes and previewed their seasons to come at their Annual Winter Sports Kickoff on November 22nd. With boys and girls basketball, cheerleading, dance team, boys swimming, and wrestling getting into full swing, Muscatine has a lot of exciting sports moments to look forward to this winter.

Over the course of the evening, athletes from each of the various sports got to introduce themselves to the community and show off some of their skills at the very start of their seasons. Along with these introductions (and some fun competitions too) Joel Kraushaar, color commentator for Muskies basketball, had the opportunity to sit down with each head coach and find out a little about their team and prospects this winter.

Susan Orvis, Girls Basketball Head Coach, addressed an issue on many fans’ minds, how the team will adapt to play without Alicia Garcia as she recovers. Though the team had not played any games at the time of the Winter Sports Kickoff, Orvis expressed confidence in them, and felt that after an adjustment period, they will play better than they did last year. “We’ve already started to figure out how we can fill in the gaps. . . we’re anxious to see them settle in. It may take a little time, but so far, so good.”

Similarly, John Windham, Boys Basketball Head Coach, talked about how his team will come back from last year’s difficult season. Though Windham acknowledged the Mississippi Athletic Conference will continue to provide challenging opponents, he believes the boys have prepared to face and do well against them.

Joseph Kane, Head Wrestling Coach, also had positive predictions for his team’s success. With state competitor Tim Nimely returning, Carson Harder, Cedric Castillo, Anthony Mathias, and Kuinton Middaugh competing as seniors, and Togeh Deseh competing as a seasoned sophomore, Kane feels confident the varsity team will send people to state again this year. “We expect them all to win a lot of matches and make a run for the state tournament,” he elaborated.

Kraushaar also spoke to Judd Anderson, the Boys Swimming Head Coach, Ali Failor, the Dance Team Head Coach, and Mollie La Rue, the Cheerleading Head Coach. Each expressed excitement for the season ahead. For Anderson, having new bleachers and starting blocks will make this winter’s swim experience better for athletes and spectators. For Failor, the excitement of the start of basketball game halftime performances and their state competition has her team already in the swing of things. For Mollie LaRue, a good showing at this year’s State Competition has her cheerleaders ready to do their best at each of their basketball game performances.

A thoughtful close to the evening’s festivities, Kraushaar also interviewed Megan Kaufman-Randal, president of the Mighty Muskie Booster Club (MMBC). Kaufman-Randal thanked all the parents and community members who help raise money for the MMBC, which they in turn give to each sport and activity at MHS. Kaufman-Randal encourages people interested in helping the MMBC help groups at MHS by contacting them at [email protected] to learn about volunteer opportunities, and to come out to the annual Cake Auction during the home basketball game on January 24th. Board game themed, this event will help support each winter sports team and highlight the sweet success they will experience this season.

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