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Column: Athletics, activities now under way in District 518

District 518

WORTHINGTON -- Ready or not, the fall sports and music season is upon us! Worthington High School began sports practices on Monday, Aug. 16, and the Trojan Band Camp began on Aug. 19.

Prospective Trojans have shown up in great numbers this fall. The WHS football team boasts 69 members, grades 9-12, under new head coach Brad Grimmius. The Trojan volleyball team, under the guidance of Melissa Schutz, has 42 candidates in grades 9-12. The WHS soccer teams continue to show growth in numbers, with Vilath Lovan's team counting 50 boys in grades 7-12 and Smitty Eknitphong's girls team totaling 40 players in grades 7-12. Under the direction of coach Mike Marquardt, the girls tennis team consists of 24 members, while the Trojan cross country teams, coached by Ken Henkels, have 17 girls and 15 boys, grades 7-12, reporting for practice. Cheer Coach Tracie Luinenburg has 15 candidates reporting for practice.

That means that WHS varsity and junior varsity teams will be represented this fall by 272 student-athletes. Add to that the 93 members of the WHS Trojan Marching Band and the yet-to-be-determined sizes of the WHS choir and orchestra, many of whom also participate in sports, and there will be over 300 student-athletes involved in WHS activities this fall. Those numbers are a great reflection of the Worthington area and the District 518 coaching and music staff! High school activities provide our students with the opportunity to learn many life skills that may be utilized well beyond their high school years.

Opening dates for WHS varsity activities include: Girls Tennis at Albert Lea on Tuesday, Aug. 24, with the first home meet Thursday, Aug. 26 at the Minnesota West courts; Boys Soccer hosts Central Minnesota Christian on Friday, Aug. 27 at 6:15 at Trojan Field; Volleyball at Fulda on Friday, Aug. 27, with the first home match on Thursday, Sept. at 7:30 p.m.; Girls Soccer hosts Austin on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 12:45 at Trojan Field; Cross Country at Mountain Lake on Wednesday, Sept. 1, with their only home meet on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 4:30 at Prairie View Golf Links; Football hosts Fairmont at Trojan Field on Friday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m.

The Trojan Marching Band, under the direction of Jon Loy, will host the Parent Parade Preview on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 5:30 at Trojan Field, while traveling to the Minnesota State Fair Parade on Wednesday, Sept. 1 to open their marching band schedule. The WHS Choir (director Kerry Johnson) and Orchestra (director Melanie Loy) will begin preparation for their first concert on Thursday, Nov. 4 at the WHS gym at 7 p.m.

High school activities are not only great for the students, but are a tremendous source of entertainment for community members, as well. Take some time out of your schedule to attend a Worthington High School activity. You will be pleased with the quality of performance and your support will be greatly appreciated by the Trojan student-athletes and District 518 schools!

Mike Traphagen is District 518's activities coordinator.