The Lady Dutch return six of their varsity athletes from 2005 with the lone exception being graduate Kelsey DenAdel. Returning are seniors Gracie Eggland, Kayli Hrdlicka, Michelle Renaud, and Renee VanRoekel, and juniors Adrianna Espinosa and Alyssa VandeVoort. Also returning are Anna Mansueto, Alexa VandeLune and Karina L’Esperance.
The big difference with this year’s team however is the 15 other athletes who have joined last year’s returners. While fielding a full JV squad at meets was an impossibility last season, this year the Dutch will pour out of the bus at meets. Eight of the 15 new athletes are freshman, while seven are simply new to the sport. “My goal was to reach 20 girls on this year’s team, so obviously I am estactic with the turnout,” says Coach Cutler. “I went scouring the hallways for ladies who I knew would work hard, make great teammates, and possessed outstanding character. I couldn’t be happier with the team we are fielding this year. Just having the other girls back is awesome, but the experience of fielding full teams will add a lot to our enthusiasm.”
With all the new faces, spots on the varsity team will be much harder to come by, and has inspired the team to achieve even greater success this year. Last season ended with the ladies earning a 35-48 record, an 8th place finish at the Little Hawkeye Conference, and a 7th place finish at Districts. In order to qualify to the State Championships they must finish in the top 3 at the District meet this year. Coach Cutler recalls, “When last year ended all the kids made a goal that both the girls and boys would qualify to state in 2006. What a fun trip that will be!”