GREENVILLE — Greenville High School has a long tradition of solid performances, both individually and as a team, on the track and in the field.
The Yellow Jackets are expecting more of the same this season.
The girls team is coming off a second place finish (4-1) in the O-K Bronze a year ago. That after winning the league in 2012 and placing fifth at the Division 1 regionals.
While the Yellow Jacket girls are young, the expectations are for continued growth.
“We are young and rebuilding, but we have great leadership from our juniors and seniors,” coach Sharon Gianacakos said. “Our expectations are to continue to build on our strengths and to bring our best to each competition.”
Greenville had three girls qualify for the Division 1 state finals last year. Audrey Wyse placed eighth in the pole vault, while Taylor Baker (200-meters) and Leah Somerfield (shot put) did not place.
Somerfield is back this season along with others like Madison Sorsen (captain), Taylor Zimmer, Ally Berry, Stacey Fitzgerald and Sarah Austin.
“Our strength is in middle distance and field events,” Gianacakos said. “Our weakness is not having depth in our sprinters.”
The Yellow Jackets will have to compete against Forest Hills Eastern in the O-K Bronze. Eastern was Division 2 state runner-up last year to Dearborn Divine Child.
“It is a very competitive conference with Forest Hills Eastern having the strongest team,” Gianacakos said.
The Greenville boys are coming off a third place finish (3-2) in the O-K Bronze. That was an improvement from fifth in 2012. The Yellow Jacket boys finished no lower than second in the previous eight years with five O-K White championships along the way.
Greenville coach Tim O’Brien said his team is trying to get back to winning those championships.
“One expectation is the young men work hard every day and get better so they can compete with every team,” he said. “As a team and individually, they will set high academic and athletic goals, thus work hard to get better at both.”
While the girls team lack depth in the sprints, the boys teams are strong in both the sprints and sprint relays. They need improvement in the distance and field events.
Greenville’s 800 relay team reached the Division 1 state meet last year. Three of the four runners; Eric Plate, Alex Dillon and Carter Stephens return, while Tyler Rasmussen graduated.
O’Brien is expecting a competitive league season this year.
“Every meet will be competitive. Cedar Springs, Forest Hills Eastern and Forest Hills Northern will be tough,” he said. “The competition to good top to bottom. There will be no easy meets, but our young men are looking forward to the challenge.”
Both the boys and girls will host Northview to kick off the O-K Bronze season on April 16 at Yellow Jacket Stadium.