Practice Makes Perfect

Fall athletes prepare for their upcoming season

Ashlyn Pratt
Marina Johnson runs for a cross country meet at Eudora on September 5.

Abi Shore, Co-Social Media Editor

Marina Johnson, senior, is excited to be running cross country again after a long recovery that prevented her from running her junior year.
“I’ve been recovering from two surgeries that have kept me from running for a while and I need to build a good base for the season,” Johnson said.
Although summer practices and fall sports are looking a little different this year, athletes were still dedicated to going to practices to better their season this fall.
Johnson moved back home for practice after living in her lake house for most of the stay-at-home order. Getting back into the swing of things was slow, but summer training helped Johnson get the rust off for her fall season.
With hopes to run in college, she feels committed to her sport. This is part of her motivation for choosing to train during the summer.
Johnson started practicing five days a week on June 3. At the end of June, she transitioned from running five to three days a week until school started.
“Running in the off-season is one of the things that can help you improve from a good runner to a great runner,” Johnson said.
Jade Meade, freshman volleyball player, practiced with a similar mindset. Meade attended summer practices to improve her abilities. The biggest improvement Meade noticed is in her vertical leap, which helps for volleyball.
Since the season has started, Meade feels that she’s grown as a player, and plays for the JV team.
“I feel like I am finally getting in my mind snapping my wrist when I serve or hit the ball.”
Mike Dumpert, weights teacher and football coach, planned practice in the middle of the pandemic, and planned how athletes could play with some of his team in quarantine.
“We understand that at any given time we could lose player(s) and will have to adjust,” Dumpert said. “We have always taken a ‘next man up’ mentality and will continue to prepare as best we can.”
One of Dumpert’s goals for his team is for his players to care as much, if not more, about other’s success.
“Team-building activities such as team meals are a great way to build a sense of family, unfortunately, we are trying to keep our team separated as much as possible and have had to cancel a very popular activity, making team chemistry harder to achieve,” Dumpert said.
So far, Dumpert has coached an undefeated team.