Fall sports breakdown: A recap on how it began and how it’s going

September 28, 2022

Fall sports are in full swing, especially for the boys golf team. Below is a breakdown of each sport so far, and some insight into each team’s hopes for the remainder of the season.

Football: A rough start, but team remains positive

Many would agree that the start of the 2022 football season has not gotten off to an ideal start. Currently, the team is 1-4, with two losses being decided by a total of 4 points. Although there have been rough patches to the season so far, the Bulldogs are determined to stay focused on a playoff appearance.

“We can’t get distracted, we are all trying to stay focused on the goal and that’s playoffs,” said senior receiver Elijah Mendoza. 

Through five games, Mendoza has paced the Bulldogs’ receiving game with 21 receptions for 291 yards. 

For the Bulldogs to put more W’s in the win column, they need to focus on doing the little things correctly so they can execute their game plan.

“We need to stick to the game plan and not make any mental mistakes, we need to execute during games,” Mendoza said.

Staying positive is key for the Bulldogs to be able to flip the script. Getting down on teammates can produce negative results. Ethan Rodgers, a two-way starter on the offensive and defensive line believes this to be true. 

“We want to keep the intensity level high and we need to keep a good mindset for the rest of the season. We need to try our hardest,” said Rodgers.

Rodgers explained that the team knows what needs to be done for a change in the way things are going this year.

“The intensity level and energy has been really high. Realizing that the first few games haven’t gone our way, we need to flip a switch and turn stuff on. We just need to execute plays and do our jobs,” said Rodgers.

Volleyball: Chemistry secret ingredient to success

Good team chemistry can win games, and that is exactly what the Bettendorf girls volleyball team has.

Chloe Bell, a 2021 all-conference nominee, thinks that this team can be special because of the chemistry they possess.

 “Our team chemistry has always been there, especially since we’ve all been playing together for a long time,” said Bell.

Bell believes that the team is really connecting well. Many members of the team believe the Bulldogs are good enough to make a deep postseason run.

 “We plan on making it further in the postseason than we did last year,” said Bell.

The Bulldogs had an early exit last year losing to Iowa City West in the opening round of regional playoffs. This year, they want the outcome to be different.

Lillie Petersen, a senior who recorded 109 kills in her junior campaign, says that there has been lots of experimenting with different rotations and positioning.

“We’ve kind of been experimenting with different rotations and where people are going to be, I think that will lead up to the postseason,” Petersen said.

Petersen did make it apparent that everybody has very similar goals, primarily beating Assumption High School.

“I want us to finish third in the MAC. Beating Assumption is a strong goal for us all, it is something that we have all been talking about all season long,” said Petersen.

Although beating Assumption was a goal, the team came up short last Tuesday. Currently, the team is .500 on the season. 

Cross Country: Striding towards the next level

There is a different look to the Bettendorf cross country team this season. After the retirement of former girls cross country coach Erin Flynn, the boys and girls teams have combined into one team. 

“This year feels different because Coach Flynn isn’t there,” said Emily See, the top female runner for the Bulldogs.

Along with the loss of Flynn, the girls cross country team graduated 22 runners.

“We lost a lot of our seniors, so it’s definitely been a change. To fill in the upperclassmen role has been different,” said See.

 While the team is unranked, smaller and perhaps less talented than past years, the bar may be set a little lower. 

“For the team I would just like for us to try our hardest at every meet,” See said.

On the boys side of things, runner Chase Wakefield has high hopes for the season. Wakefield believes the team can be one of the best Bulldog teams in a while.

 “We’re hoping to qualify for the state meet as a team this year, I know that hasn’t been done in a while,” said Wakefield. 

 To do this, the team will need to be healthy. To address this, the team has stressed the recovery factor to make sure that everybody is feeling good for the races. 

“The preseason has looked pretty good, we’ve had some young guys running good workouts and good returning runners,” Wakefield said. 

This season, Wakefield has high hopes not only for the team, but for himself as well. Some of his goals include finishing in the top 20 at the state meet, and running a 5k in 16 minutes. 

Coach Dave Terronez believes that his team can be the best team he’s had in his seven years coaching for Bettendorf. The biggest difference with this group? Work ethic.

“The biggest difference with this team is the consistency of showing up not just to run, but to work. They do the extra things that I believe will make this season special,” Terronez said. 

All in all, teamwork is the primary point stressed by not only coaches, but teammates as well. 

“When we care more about the team less than our individual accomplishments, we will take the team to the next level,” said Terronez.

Boy’s Golf: Getting better with each outing

 Jack Pogemiller, a captain and three-year varsity player, believes consistency will be key for the Bettendorf boys golf team. 

“We want to be consistent in the first couple of tournaments leading up to MAC and Districts; we really want to peak at that time,” Pogemiller said.

Pogemiller believes that the team is doing just that by getting better each meet. 

The Bulldogs have a young team, with three underclassmen taking up varsity spots, two of those being freshmen.

“We have two freshmen on varsity, and one sophomore. They’re playing well, they are helping us a lot between last year and this year, they keep getting better and better every tournament,” said Pogemiller.

The Bulldogs want to keep a high level of play to hopefully make at state.

Girls Swimming: Small but fierce

Two words to describe the Bettendorf Girls Swim team? Small and young. Losing 10 seniors, and only having a group of 17 girls, 6 of those being freshmen, the Bulldogs are  adapting to a different team makeup this year. 

“The first meet was good, we swam in Dubuque. We got third out of eight teams. It’s been going pretty well overall,” said Alyssa Witt, a four-year varsity member.

Witt explained how she believes the young team is still performing well and she still has high hopes for the season’s outcome.

“I would say from here on out, we can win every dual meet that we have left. We want to qualify as many people as we can for state, hopefully five to eight girls,” said Witt.

As of now, the Bulldogs have won all but one dual meet. And while the Bulldogs seem to be performing well with short numbers, it has also been a negative factor.

“We lost to PV this year because of our lower numbers, they just have more depth than us,” said Riley Wehr, another four-year varsity member for the Bulldogs.

 In terms of actual swimming, Wehr explained that Coach Mike Ahrens has been having the team work on more explosive work off of the blocks and turns.

“We have been keeping the smaller things in check because those can make the biggest difference,” Wehr said.

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