Skyline Football returned to relevancy this season, surging at season’s end with a three-game winning streak that gave the Thunderbirds a winning season with a record of 5-4.
With most of the players having suffered through the miserable 0-9 2012 season, the T-Birds came into the season looking for redemption. Having worked hard in the off-season paid dividends as Skyline broke the victory drought in only the second game of the season, defeating Cunningham. Wins remained hard to come by, though, as the record stood at just 2-4 following a difficult stretch of games.
Pulling together at the end, though, Skyline downed St. John, Macksville and Kinsley in succession to close out the year and finish above .500 at 5-4 — an impressive and sudden turnaround from 2012.
Seven T-Birds received all-district nods for their contributions. Seniors Brandon Abbott and Cole Patterson will move on, but Daniel Hacker, Dustin Weber, Landon Lee, Layton Kenworthy and Brady McComb should return next season to build upon this year’s success.
The Lady Thunderbirds won 80% of their games in 2013 and captured the HOPL double for the second time in as many years. In addition to winning the HOPL regular season, Skyline won the HOPL tournament.
Starting the season 10-0, the Skyline girls were soon 16-2 and being mentioned in the 2A rankings. Although faltering slightly down the stretch, the T-Birds were still in the mix when it came to sub-state time, but were ousted in the semi-finals after a 3-set tussle with Kiowa County.
Seniors Taylor DeWeese, Kaitlyn Stark and Janessa Davis as well as junior Alyssa Swonger received all-HOPL recognition. Other seniors whose contributions will be missed next year include Taylor Tobin, Shelby Bender and Mycha Owens.
The Skyline boys crosscountry team had their best showing in recent memory as they emerged as a force to be reckoned with. Capturing the HOPL title and their own Invitational, the Thunderbirds took second in three other meets and narrowly missed qualifying for State as a team— taking 4th in what was by any estimation a stacked regional.
Soph Roman Ibarra paced the T-Birds for most of the season, culminating his season by qualifying for State as an individual, and then climbing the medal stand to receive 18th place hardware. Other T-Birds who ran varsity most of the season included Khaleb Cason, Lucas Cason, Colin Kumberg and Tony Ibarra. Jared Shriver, Joshua Moore and Garrett Bell also toed the mark at times for the T-Birds.
It was a rebuilding season for the Lady Thunderbirds following the departure via graduation of much of last year’s squad. Senior Brooke Fisher completed an outstanding career with a return trip to state where she narrowly missed medaling, finishing 22nd. During the season she added a HOPL championship to her collection of medals.
Page 2 of 2 - Kadi Richardson, Miranda Ghumm, Ascha Lee, Madalyn Owens and Briana Neifert rounded out the Lady T-Bird line-up.