Winter Sports Preview

2018 McDonald County High School

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Thursday, November 29, 2018 McDonald County Press 9C W i n t e r S p o r t S p r e v i e W do as much as possible," Kennedy said. "Also, we learned that we will have to put a lot of time into prac- tice on our defense. Our strengths will be our speed and quickness. We have a good number of upper- classmen and a mix of younger girls who have played a lot on the varsity level." One thing Kennedy said needs to improve is being able to score. "The girls need to quickly under- stand the system we will be putting in and continue to improve in the fundamentals," Kennedy said. "One fundamental that has to improve is poor shooting that has to get better — as well as our shot selection. We need the correct players to shoot the ball and be able to get it to them when they are open. We have to get better shots than we did last year." Kennedy said he sets the teams' go a l s fo r e a c h a n d eve r y ga m e, i n c l u d i n g s h o o t i n g p e rce n t a ge s , stops, assists and several others. "The more of our goals we reach in the game, the closer we will be to winning," Kennedy said. Kennedy will be assisted by former MCHS player, Joel McDuffey, and Sarah Holz will coach the freshmen. McD o n a l d Co u n ty o p e n e d t h e season at the Carl Junction Tourna- ment against Nevada on Nov. 26. The Lady Mustangs then faced Neosho on Nov. 28. The tournament finals are set for Nov. 29. v Continued from preceding page RICK PECK/SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS The 2018-2019 McDonald County High School girls' basketball team. The 2018-2019 McDonald County High School wrestling team doesn't bring back a lot of starters for this year, but those back are some of the best in the state. Leading the returning starters is Oscar Ortiz. The junior won the school's first-ever wrestling state championship last year when he beat Nathan Pulliam in the Class 3 title match at 113 pounds. Also back are state qualifier junior Jack Teague, who earned his trip to state at 145 pounds where he went 1-2, and senior Christian Davidson, who is expected to start the year wrestling at 126 pounds. "This is the first time we have ever opened a season with a returning state champ," said coach Josh Factor. "Having Jack also back as a returning state qual- ifier means the team will definitely be wrestling on the shoulders of those two. Besides being good wrestlers, they are good leaders despite both being just juniors. I would like to see some of our seniors take more of a leadership role this year." Factor said he has several seniors with varsity experience who he needs to take that role, including Jarred Maggard, McCoy Ikosia, Brandon Andrew and Jesus Ocampo, all who started at times last year. "It's one of those things where we have Oscar and Jack and they are obvi- ously the guys who we are going to expect a lot of, but I think really what this year is going to be about is building up those other guys so they can follow in their footsteps," Factor said. Factor said, even though wrestling is a one-on-one competition, he wants to build the Mustangs into a strong team up and down the weight divisions. "We want to focus on the team aspect and get a few more guys to Columbia this year," Factor said. "We are trying to build our program. The biggest thing is we have to grow as a team. We have to be willing to help make sure everyone has a ride to practice when we are out of school. We need to be able to bond, State Champion Returns As Starter For MCHS Wrestling Rick Peck SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS SEE WRESTLING PAGE 12C

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