Grant Union High School’s 2017-18 varsity sports players and fans will have plenty of glory days to look back on in the years ahead.
The Prospectors had 11 teams qualify for state. One team and two individuals won state championship titles.
Grant Union Athletic Director Jason Miller said the upperclassmen were strong this year, with freshmen and sophomores also contributing.
“We have good groups,” he said. “The seniors have been great leaders in all sports.”
He added the coaches worked to get the most out of their players.
“It’s been a wonderful year for athletics at Grant Union,” he said.
Prospector teams won seven district championships, including volleyball, football, wrestling, girls basketball, boys basketball, girls track and softball.
Prospector teams qualifying for state playoffs included volleyball, which won the 2A state championship title, led by coach Shae Speth; football (quarterfinals) led by coach Jason Miller; girls basketball (fourth place) led by coach Casey Hallgarth; boys basketball (sixth place) led by coach Kelsy Wright; wrestling led by coach Andy Lusco; dance led by coach Kattie Piazza; golf led by coach Ron Lundbom; boys track and field and girls track and field (second place) led by coach Sonna Smith; softball (quarterfinals) led by coach Zach Williams; and baseball (state playoffs) led by coach Dusty Williams.
When the volleyball team won the state championship title, defeating Culver 3-1 in November (25-23, 22-25, 25-17 and 25-20), Speth said the each team member assisted in the success.
“Everybody contributes in their own way — whether serving, defense, blocking, everyone knows and accepts their role,” said Speth, who was head coach for nine years. “They work really well with each other. They’re not afraid to communicate with each other, and they don’t take offense and feelings don’t get hurt.”
Speth and her family had moved to Nebraska last summer, but she returned to coach to finish what she had started.
The Prospectors’ last volleyball state championship was won when coach Speth was a player on the team in 1989.
“I returned to continue building the program and achieve our goals we set years ago, with an amazing group of young women and coaches,” she said.
Her assistant coaches were Rhonda McCumber, Shanna Northway and her husband, Steve Speth.
Grant Union’s individual state title holders are Kaylee Wright, a junior, and Drew Lusco, a sophomore.
Wright won championship titles for track and field in the 100-meter dash and high jump and the javelin in which she set a new state record of 138-06 — breaking the previous state record she set in 2016 as a freshman.
Sophomore Drew Lusco won the 2A state champion wrestling title in the 285-pound bracket.
At the June 2 graduation ceremony, Miller recognized eight senior student athletes who received Gold Club jackets.
Offered since the 2013-14 school year, student athletes who have participated in three athletic activities during each of their four years of high school are inducted into the Grant Union Gold Club.
This year’s honor went to Zack Deiter, Wade Reimers, Whitney McClellan, Mariah Moulton, Cauy Weaver, Hadley Boethin, Cameron Hallgarth and Duane Stokes.
Miller said participation in multiple extracurricular activities is encouraged at the school.
“These types of performances only happen when students are willing to risk failure to attain success,” he said.