By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The high school boys track and field preview for the Field Falcons’ 2023 season:
Head Coach: Ed Conroy.
Coaching Staff: James Dutched, Levi Miller, George Wetzel.
2022 Record: 4th place in Metro Athletic Conference; 10th at Salem District.
State Qualifiers: 4×800 Relay (Sean Silk, Owen Roberts, Ammon Hottensmith, Joe Simonetti).
Returning Lettermen (10): Ammon Hottensmith, sr.; Joe Crawford, sr.; Christian Gressman, sr.; Trey Shanafelt, sr.; Rowen Smith, sr.; Billy Silk, jr.; Sean Silk, jr.; Zane Burguer, soph.; Lucas Pollard, soph.; Parker Shutty, soph.
Lettermen Lost (10): Randy Soeum, Christian Evans, Joe Simonetti, Skylar Thomas, Blake Johnson, Luke Stayer, Sam Dopkosky, Trent Hogan, Owen Roberts, William Yount.
Underclassmen to Watch: X’ion Cunningham, Mike People, Zay Wallace, Cedric Martin, Mason Prusha, Evan Pruszynski, Titus Smith, Victor Brown, Wyatt Rahe, Terrance Howell, Trevor Dixon, Temperance Smith, Gavin Claypool, Shawn Gill.
Joe Crawford, senior: 100 meters, 4×100, 4×200, 4×400.
Ammon Hottensmith, senior: 800 meters, 4×400, 4×800.
Christian Gressman, senior: Shot put, discus.
Sean Silk, junior: 800 meters, 1,600 meters, 4×400, 4×800.
Billy Silk, junior: 800 meters, 4×400, 4×800.
Lucas Pollard, sophomore: 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 4×400.
Mason Wetzel, sophomore: Shot put, discus.
Parker Shutty, sophomore: 1,600 meters, 3,200 meters.
Zane Burger, sophomore: Discus.
“We lost 11 fantastic senior boys from last year’s team,” head coach Ed Conroy said. “This year’s team will need to depend on the upperclassmen to work hard and contribute to our meet scoring. We have some talented young freshmen that will need to learn that competing at a high-school level requires a great deal of time and hard work to be successful.
“If they learn what hard work is all about, I think this team could have a strong season,” Conroy added.
The Falcons are young and will need to use the weeks leading into the opening meet to determine who will land in what events, especially relays.
Last year’s state-qualifying 4×800 relay team returns Ammon Hottensmith and Sean Silk.
Conroy considers Lucas Pollard a “strong sophomore” in the hurdles.
“Hopefully he continues to work hard and have a strong season,” Conroy said.
Hottensmith and Silk spotlight the distance group for the Falcons.
“We have a strong group,” Conroy said.
Additionally, juniors Parker Shutty and Billy Silk will be an “essential part of the squad,” according to Conroy.
“We have two freshmen that are showing promise and are hard workers in Mason Prusha and Evan Pruszynski,” Conroy said. “They will gain a great deal of experience and by the end of the season, will hopefully find a spot on the team at the MAC league meet.”
Christian Gressman returns to the team as its top senior after placing at the league meet a year ago in both the shot put and discus.
“He will be the foundation of the throwers,” throwing coach George Wetzel said. “Hopefully our younger throwers will prove to have grown over the past year and become major contributors as the season progresses.”
April 4: at Woodridge
April 8: at Crestwood
April 11: at Streetsboro
April 15: at Marlington
April 18: vs. Ravenna
April 22: at Western Reserve Academy
April 25: vs. Cloverleaf, Coventry
April 28: vs. Crestwood, Kent Roosevelt, West Branch
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