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LCAA’S FINEST: Perry winter sports report includes defending cheer champs, outstanding indoor track numbers

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By Chris Metcalf

LCAA’S Finest

PERRY- You know one thing’s for sure this winter when the Perry boys basketball team takes the floor.

The opposing team is going to have to hustle because this Yellowjackets squad will leave it all on the floor.

Head coach Phil Wyant will have his work cut out for him, however, as Perry will have to replace four of his team’s five starters after finishing 1012 a season ago.

The sixth-year head coach returns senior Bryce Tallman to the starting five.

Tallman had a successful season after averaging nearly 12 points a game while pulling down 6.2 rebounds and dishing out 2.9 assists per game.

Senior Hunter Henchen (1.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg) also returns this season.

Top newcomers expected to contribute include senior Wyatt Arbo, junior Emmit Hill, sophomore Tyler Harvey and eighth-grader J.T. Grover.

“Several players will be playing their first significant varsity minutes, but we look to improve as the season progresses,” coach Wyant said. “LCAA provides some very tough competition this year but we look forward to the challenge.”

Cheerleading

The defending LCAA and Section V champion Perry cheerleaders are back!

After claiming both titles a year ago, head coach Ashley Hyjek will be taking the reigns this winter in hopes of more hardware.

Key returners include Jayda Hank (senior), Annabel Bucknam (junior), Destiny Hopkins (junior) and Peyton Leitten (freshman).

“Each of our returners brings a lot to the mat,” said coach Hyjek. “They have continued to bring success to the program and have been a part of many Leagues and Sectional wins.”

Top newcomers include Mikayla Karnes (sophomore), Isabell Lantz Peters (junior), Gematria Loucks (freshman) and Zanyah Yisrael.

“Our newcomers have already brought amazing talent and energy to the team,” coach Hyjek said. “Trinity Hopkins and Annabelle Beardslee are the alternates and crucial to the team to the team as well.”

Indoor Track and Field

Head coach Jeremy Ohlson returns for his second season with the Perry squad, who created their inaugural season last year.

And if season number two is anything like the first, the Yellowjackets are beginning to build something special.

Ohlson enjoyed a tremendous season in 2022-23 as several athletes earned accolades in Section V Class A5 including Isabel Swyers who was a sectional champion in the pole vault and also placed seventh at the NYSPHSAA Championships.

Also, Zac Narowski captured the boy’s pole vault sectional title.

The 4x200m relay team of Swyers, Courtney Westfall, Addison Buckley and Abygail Herring also took home the sectional crown.

While Swyers has graduated, the senior Narowski returns and will compete in the PV and middle-distance events.

Westfall (senior, racewalker and jumps) and the sophomore Herring (sprinter) are also both back.

Other key returners include senior Harley Wolfanger (sprinter and PV); junior Briella Ohlson (throws and jumps) and sophomore Avery Dueppengiesser (throws and hurdles).

Top newcomers include seniors Jaelyn Morris (middle distance), Meredith Petri (sprinter), and Abigail Rockcastle (middle distance); junior Makai Miller (distance); sophomores Kylie Joy (sprinter), Jon Kerr (distance) and Maximus Siewert (thrower) and eighth-grader Lucy Carpenter (sprinter and jumper).

“We are heading into our second year of the program and we are hoping to build on the success we had last year,” coach Ohlson said. “In our first year of the program, we had 14 participants between the boys and girls teams. We now have 31 participants between the two squads. I expect some of our athletes to be very competitive and possibly have an opportunity for some individual sectional champions. The rest is kind of unknown, we have a lot of new athletes that only time and experience will tell how they will perform. I look forward to seeing the athletes improve and grow as the season progresses.”

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