Last Thursday the Wildcats went to the Central McLean Varsity Invite and the junior high team competed in the Badlands conference meet in Beach on Friday. The Wildcats had multiple placers in both meets, and even had a weekend total of at least eight two-event winners. On Thursday, at Central McLean, the Wildcats came away with a good showing in the men’s triple jump. The Wildcats placed three contestants in the event that took fourth, fifth and sixth. Weston Meckle led the way with a fourth place finish, jumping 35 feet and 9 inches. Danny Kraft followed at fifth (35-04) and Levi Johnson grabbed sixth (32-09).
The Wildcats took advantage of last week, getting two meets in before weather started making a turn for the worse today. The Wildcats went to the Bison-Miner invite in Hazen early in the week and ended their week at the Southern McLean Track Meet in Washburn on Friday. Bison-Miner Invite The girls had two placers and took 16th overall. Madeline Henke, freshman, scored the most points at the meet for the girls. Henke was seventh in the high jump, clearing 4 feet and 3 inches. She added another place in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 19.74 seconds – good enough for sixth place.
The varsity boys had a great showing, taking fourth place. They had their best results in jumping events. The long and triple jump had four placers each and the high jump had three placers. The Wildcats got a 2-3-4-5 finish in the long jump. Lane Erhardt led the way, taking second (17-02), Weston Meckle followed (16-02.50), then Logan Staigle (16-01) and Danny Kraft closed out the group at fifth place with a 15 feet, 6 inch jump. In triple jump the Wildcats went 5-6-7-8. Meckle led the way (34-09), Kraft followed (34-03.50), then Levi Johnson (32-04) and lastly Erhardt in eighth place (31-10.50).
Logan Staigle was patient and hardworking during his high school career, even though his team had trouble finding ways to win for most of it. His patience and hard work paid off with a chance to play college football at Mayville State. Before Staigle could even think seriously about college football he had to show that, as quarterback, he could lead a team to a respectable record. And that’s exactly what he did in his final campaign. Staigle got the Wildcats to .500 on the season, but the excitement of a .500 season wasn’t only about him or the team, it was about more. “I mean, just the fact that Center hadn’t had that in a long time, and it just felt good because we were able to bring something to the town that they haven’t had in a really long time. And it was more for the community, and it felt good for us too,” Staigle said. Staigle felt like the community played just as big a role as the players on the field throughout the year. Because they came to the games when the weather wasn’t nice and even stayed to support the team in the fourth quarter and give the Wildcats that extra drive.
No one ever wants to have learning seasons, and having back-to-back learning season is the worst. But for the Wildcats that was what most of the 2013-14 season was. Last Friday and Saturday the Wildcats suffered two more learning moments in the District 10 tournament in Washburn.
Parents’ Night is an emotional one for seniors. Most seniors want to win the last time they play on their home floor and most parents want to remember their kid’s last home game with a winning smile. The Wildcats tried hard for that winning feeling but came up four points short against Heart River 57-53. The Wildcats didn’t start the game strong, allowing a 6-0 Heart River run. Senior post Carly Benjamin broke the scoreless start for the Wildcats with 6:50 left in the quarter. But her score was quickly negated by a three-point play, making the score 9-2. The Wildcats got back into the game with a 7-2 run, started by a Madeline Henke 3-pointer. Katie Windhorst, forward, added four points during the run that helped draw her team within two points 11-9. But the Wildcats failed to tie the game.
Early in the season the Center-Stanton Wildcats were viewed as a dangerous team because of their senior leadership. But this season the team’s senior leadership couldn’t break though their painful past of losing. Entering the District 10 tournament the Wildcats were 4-15, but all they needed was two wins to keep playing. The Wildcats didn’t get a win on their first day of the District 10 tournament. The Wildcats faced off against Garrison – a team they fell to earlier in the season by eight points on Jan. 10. So here the teams were, almost a month later, facing off again.
The Center-Stanton Wildcats knew facing Hazen was going to be their biggest test of the year. The Wildcats were facing the No. 6 team in the state in a road game. The Wildcats had a good first quarter but Hazen’s depth wore them down and won the game 86-58. The Wildcats were looking good after the first period. They were in striking distance of the Bison. They weren’t in the lead but trailed by single digits, 19-13. The six-point deficit wouldn’t hold. Hazen outscored the Wildcats 30-15 in the next period and never looked back.