I think we all can agree that this was not the school year that any of us had in mind. Many athletes were expecting this year to occur a lot like last year. Instead, Columbus High School’s Fall Sports got thrown into a wild ride. Columbus High switched from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) to the Heartland Athletic Conference (HAC). In addition, the teams also had to take several precautions to stay safe with the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Each of the teams has a different conference story that you can read about below.
The Discoverer Boys Tennis team finished 9th out of 12th in their HAC Tennis Tournament on Friday, October 2nd in Lincoln, Nebraska. “The biggest difference in being HAC instead of GNAC Conference was the level of competition.” Head Coach Scott Bethune says. The boys faced a lot of top level competitors, but had one of their divisions placed 6 out of 12. Bethune believes that there was no one specific competitor for Columbus overall, but that the guys played each match to the best of their ability. As the 2020 season is coming to an end, the Boys Tennis Team is preparing for State on Thursday, October 15.
Upcoming for Volleyball is their conference competition on Thursday, October 22. Columbus High’s Volleyball team will host Grand Island Senior High on Thursday, October 22 at 5:00pm. The winner of that match will play the winner of the Norfolk and Lincoln Northeast’s game at 6:30pm the same evening. Head Coach Jerri Otten is hoping for a double match win on Thursday night. “This will be a great way to end regular season and carry momentum into the post-season.” Otten described.
The lady Golfers finished in 6 place at conference with a score of 389. They competed against many Lincoln teams finishing ahead of Lincoln SouthEast. Their competition was a new experience and a chance for them to “get their feet wet” as Head Coach Anne Robertson described. The biggest difference about HAC versus GNAC was the number of teams competing and the high level of the competition. The Lady Golfers competed at State Golf in Norfolk on Monday and Tuesday, October 12 and 13 with Sarah Lasso finishing in 15 place.
Both of the Boys Cross Country and Girls Cross Country teams finished 8th in their first year running at the HAC Conference on the State Course in Kearney, Nebraska. “In spite of the hot and windy weather, almost every one of our runners ran really well.” said Heach Coach David Licari. Columbus had no specific one team that they were trying to beat, but finishing in the top eight was a great goal earned for Coach Licari. The teams are preparing for Districts on Thursday, October 15th and a JV invite at Fremont Middle School on Friday, October 16th.
The Columbus High Softball Ladies had a different story to their conference competition. To keep all safe, the HAC conference split them all up into three pools. This gave each team a two-game guarantee to decide how they were going to be placed in the final results of the conference. Columbus was placed into a pool with Grand Island, Lincoln High, and Lincoln Northeast. Starting off at the 10th seed, Columbus won against Lincoln Northeast fourteen to eight. The second game was a twelve to one loss against Grand Island. Overall, the Softball Head Coach, Kelsey Newman was pleased with how the team did during the HAC Conference and was glad that Softball got to play an entire season.
According to the Coach’s of CHS’ Fall Sports, the main difference between the GNAC and HAC Conference is the level of competition. Each Columbus Team competed to the best of their ability and are now working hard for the post-season. As State may be the post-season for some, other teams are overall working to wrap up this strange year of 2020. Best of Luck to all the Fall Sports as they finish this year out strong.
Heartland Athletic Conference. “Heartland Athletic Conference.” Custom Sports, 2020, nebraskascreenprinting.com/product-category/team-apparel/heartland-athletic-conference/. Accessed 16 Oct. 2020