DHS coaches continue to guide athletes


Wildcat photo taken at the Cessna Stadium in Wichita of Jack Sachse with the 5A boy runner-ups on May 30, 2019

A lot of adaptation for De Soto High School students has occurred these past two months. Not only are students being impacted, but so are DHS spring sports and the coaches in charge of the season. 

Many coaches have been improvising with different strategies taken on since the news of DHS closing down. One example is with cheer coach Megan O’Boyle hosting her first ever online cheer tryouts. 

“Luckily we had started the tryout process before spring break, so I knew who was interested and had their contact information,” O’Boyle said.

Tryouts will be conducted using an app called “Band.” This app allows O’Boyle to post albums with tryout videos and instruction for those who want to participate in next season. 

Although this is a suitable alternative to real life tryouts, there are still some struggles O’Boyle is having to face. 

“Seeing how fast and quickly they pick up on material is something I cannot observe in an online virtual tryout,” O’Boyle said. 

Spring sports are also at a big disadvantage because none of them were able to have a season this year, leaving many disappointed. 

“I know it was the right decision for the safety and health of our players and our community. However, I am sad that the [senior] girls didn’t get to experience their senior season,” said head softball coach and physical education teacher Junelle Woolery. 

Even though softball season was taken away from the team, Woolery has made sure the athletes are still conditioning. 

“Monday through Friday they have a workout to do or work on improving their softball skills,” Woolery said. “It is nice to stay connected with them on a regular basis, especially since we should have been seeing each other everyday for practice and games.” 

Woolery is also keeping the athletes motivated by featuring the winner of the weekly challenge she assigns on Twitter. 

“It can’t fully replace the time that we are missing on the field, but it does help us stay connected and gives them a plan to become a better softball player everyday,” Woolery said. 

Track and field coach Jack Sachse has also been trying to take on new strategies for his spring athletes. Because over 100 kids are involved in track, there has been no efficient way to communicate. Despite this, many track kids also do cross country in the fall. Sachse held a zoom meeting for those runners to attend so they can reconnect and stay in touch. 

“Right now, we’re just asking general athletes to stay in general shape and what they can do from home. The next track season is far away, and with so many events requiring equipment (hurdles, discus, etc.) it’s hard to work on track specific things right now,” Sachse said. 

Coaches are optimistic that their athletes will be able to participate in summer training, but in the meantime, they continue to remain in contact over technology.