Out of the box thinking in response to the uncertainty of Covid-19 has not been limited to the classroom. Our coaches and athletes have been tenacious in returning to the water, course, courts, and fields and we’ve seen an interesting start to the fall 2020 sports season.
Jenison High School Athletic Director, Tim Ritsema has been working alongside our high school teams to ensure the safety of our student athletes and provide the best opportunity to return to competition.
Our coaches and student athletes showed up ready to work hard and they continue to do so despite the uncertainty of our fall seasons. Obviously they want to compete, but their commitment to their team and overall resolve has been nothing short of amazing!
Read below for more about the relentless commitment of our student athletes and coaches as they navigate their season during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also, don’t miss the CATS ROAR, an in-depth Jenison Athletic Boosters wrap up of last year’s sports programs and other Athletic department highlights.
Girls Swimming and Diving
Swimming coach, Kyle Stumpf and Diving coach, Brian Zuehlke started training with their teams in August. Covid athletic protocols made it necessary for them to find outdoor venues for their practices. The swimming team travels in two smaller groups for training at a variety of locations including Coopersville, Camp Geneva in Holland and open water training at a local residential lake (with coaches supporting from kayaks). The diving team has been practicing at a local house with a diving board.
The team’s new mantra has been borrowed from Teddy Roosevelt – “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” And they are doing just that. The coaches have been reminding the girls (and themselves) that perseverance is key. They want to have a season and are doing everything they can, considering the circumstances, to expectantly prepare for a return to indoor swimming and diving this season.
Varsity coach, Joe Steenhuysen and Junior Varsity coach, Mya Udell have called the start of their fall season, ‘interesting and non-traditional’. The team is training outdoors as well; on the football field and they have traveled to an outdoor court in Caledonia (in some wet weather). As the football team has dealt with the loss/rescheduling of their season, the team also gained some new team members when four senior guys joined up to train with and manage the volleyball team.
Coach Steenhuysen is a first year coach in Jenison and shared that he has been impressed by the determination and commitment of these athletes and their families. The team is clearly important to them and no matter what has been thrown their way, they come in each day to work hard. Even though it’s been a non-traditional start to the season, he and the players have enjoyed every minute.
Boys Soccer and Football
They proceed with caution, but there are many soccer and football players with fingers crossed these days as we await communication from Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer regarding potentially reinstating their seasons to occur during this fall.
Varsity coach, Aaron Boersma and Junior Varsity coach, Jeff Brown excitedly move forward with their season in full swing.
Varsity coach, Linda Reimink and JV coach, Alanna Kremkow are happy to have their season count – no mulligan here!
Jacci Storey (Boys coach) and Kelly Tavis (Girls coach) are running full steam ahead with their teams; and the team has recorded some very impressive times in their first few meets.