By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The boys track and field preview for the Streetsboro Rockets’ 2023 season:
Head Coach: Rob Kidd, 5th year (24th year coaching track at Streetsboro).
Coaching Staff: Phil Starks (sprints), Mark Bindus (distance), Isabella Wagner (high jump and hurdles), Autumn Zitkewicz (throws).
2022 Record: 5-2 Metro Athletic Conference.
State Qualifiers: 4×100 Relay (Omari Steve, Kylan Rue, Preston Hopperton, Elijah Landres); 4×200 Relay (Micah Schuster, Elijah Landres, Kylan Rue, Preston Hopperton), Micah Schuster (400 meters).
Returning Lettermen (11): Omari Steve, sr.; Colin Swanson, sr.; Chris Labedz, sr.; Zach Vales, sr.; Kevin Murphey, sr.; Micah Schuster, sr.; Preston Hopperton, jr.; Kylan Rue, jr.; Eric Tiller, jr.; Devon White, soph.; Charles Ivory, soph.
Lettermen Lost (2): Raynard Sims, Elijah Landres.
Team Captains: Omari Steve, Colin Swanson, Chris Labedz, Zach Vales, Kevin Murphey, Micah Schuster.
Underclassmen to Watch: Manny Gibson, Chris Grabill, Braden Hodge, Ethan Laryea, Jadden Shaffer, Trevor Kamlowsky.
“Both teams, the boys and girls, have a tremendous amount of youth,” head coach Rob Kidd said. “Combining this youth with several key returners provides us with a good sense of optimism, as well as a positive projection for the future.”
The Rockets’ roster features some of the fasters runners in Portage County, with state qualifiers Omari Steve, Preston Hopperton, Micah Schuster and Kylan Rue leading the way, along with Kevin Murphey.
“With their experience and previous accomplishments, they should have great seasons,” Kidd said.
Expect to see many new faces also making an impact in the sprints, according to Kidd.
Kidd said that he expects Zach Vales, Eric Tiller and Charles Ivory to “continuer their great careers.”
The Rockets return standout throwers Colin Swanson and Chris Labedz, along with several veterans in the long jump and high jump.
“Our youth, returning veterans, work ethic and coaching experience gives us great reasons to be optimistic,” Kidd said.
“Our focus is positive so if I had to focus on a concern, I would look to the power and yearly successes of all the track programs in our league. This league has great coaching and outstanding athletes.”
March 28: at Rootstown
April 11: vs. Field
April 15: at Austintown Fitch
April 25: vs. Springfield
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