McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Taking the field

The upcoming sports season at MCHS will put many new coaches to the test, including a new Athletic Director
Mackenzie Sroka
New athletic director Chris Madson meets with administrators on the football field during the first home football game of the season on Sept. 1 at McCracken Field

The 2023-24‭ ‬sports season has begun at MCHS‭, ‬with many new coaching changes being made with the addition of a new Athletic Director‭, ‬football coach‭, ‬volleyball coach and boys basketball coach at MCHS‭. ‬Each of the coaches are looking to build growth in MCHS’s athletic program‭.‬

The first major change at MCHS has been the addition of new Athletic Director Chris Madson‭, ‬a former social science teacher‭. ‬He‭ ‬took over the duties of former AD Joel Beard and Barry Burmeister following the end of the 2022-2023‭ ‬school year‭. ‬Madson comes with experience from being the former boys basketball coach‭, ‬and has made the full transition over to AD smoothly for the upcoming sports season‭.‬

“That transition has not been difficult‭ [‬moving from being a teacher to AD‭. ‬At times I do miss teaching and the interactions I had with my students‭, ‬but that has now been replaced with the interactions I get to have with our coaches and athletes at sporting events‭,‬”‭ ‬Madson explained‭. ‬“Almost all of our athletic contests occur after school hours‭, ‬yet it is critical to be accessible and available to staff and students during the school day‭, ‬so finding balance between the both has been part of the transition for teacher to AD‭.‬”

Madson is looking to grow our athletic program‭, ‬and he feels that the athletic department has succeeded in building a culture around our programs

“Only being a month into the school year‭, ‬it is a bit soon to truly evaluate any major changes”‭ ‬Madson said‭,‬”‭ ‬An initial goal of the athletic department this year was to kick off the school year with a much stronger sense of unity and togetherness amongst our athletic department‭ (‬staff‭, ‬students and community‭) ‬and I do feel that has been achieved and something we‭ ‬will keep building on‭.‬”

Madson’s duties include scheduling events for teams‭, ‬managing events we host‭, ‬ordering equipment for teams‭, ‬and meeting with the coaches of our programs‭, ‬working with our feeder teams‭, ‬and evaluating our facilities‭, ‬and he holds a very important position at MCHS‭ ‬to keep our athletic programs running smoothly‭.‬

MCHS is also introducing a new boys basketball who is replacing Madson’s duties‭, ‬Raymond Card‭. ‬Card was hired right before the school year started and currently teaches in the Warrior Academy and the‭ ‬Aspire classes‭, ‬which helps students who have encountered struggles find their path to graduation and is involved with the student services team‭. ‬Card looks to build off a fairly successful season for our boys basketball program from last year and is excited for the upcoming season‭.‬

“As for the upcoming season we have gotten off to a great start with Coach‭ [‬John‭] ‬Beerbower setting the tone in the weight room creating an atmosphere 2nd to none‭.  ‬Coach Madson put us in a great position to be successful as he has created a culture we hope‭ ‬to build upon‭. ‬We have a veteran staff returning giving us continuity as we transition to a new coach‮…‬‭,‬”‭ ‬Card explained‭. ‬“As we look forward to the upcoming season‭, ‬we have all the ingredients of a championship team‭.  ‬How well we come together as a team and sacrifice for each other will determine how the season will go‭.  ‬We will play a hard nosed fast paced style of basketball which we believe will be fun to watch‭.‬”

Card has also applauded the job of MCHS’s PE department‭, ‬and credits Beerbower for his work with offseason lifting and other sporting activities that MCHS hosts‭, ‬but also feels fortunate to have a good core of coaches at the Freshman and JV Level as well‭.‬

“We have a veteran staff returning giving us continuity as we transition to a new coach‭.  ‬Relying on their leadership‭, ‬Jonathon Niemic and Brad Robertson will continue as Freshman coaches while Daniel Glick is our JV coach with Rob Niemic continuing to patrol the sidelines on the Varsity rounding out our coaching staff‭.  ‬They bring a wealth of knowledge and a nice mix of coaches who‭ ‬have been varsity head coaches and a mix of younger guys with passion for coaching‭.‬”

Joining Card and Madson with the coaching changes at MCHS is new Head Football Coach Jeffery Schroeder‭, ‬who is the new Junior Dean of Students at MCHS and replaces former AD Joel Beard at the position‭. ‬Schroeder brings prior coaching experience outside of‭ ‬MCHS and is looking to build up the team’s young core for the future‭.‬

“Changes have been related to starting a new offensive and defensive scheme‭. ‬It’s a process and takes time”‭ ‬Schroeder explained‭, ‬“‭ ‬We aren’t necessarily getting the results we want right now but we are trying to honor our seniors as best we can while building our younger players’‭ ‬expectations for the future going forward‭. ‬It has been a challenge but also very rewarding‭. ‬The kids have worked hard and I appreciate them and their efforts‭.‬”‭ ‬

Schroeder is also focused on building relationships with his players‭, ‬and hopes to develop the team in the coming years to compete in the playoffs‭.‬

“My goals are always wanting to win as much as possible‭.  ‬That hasn’t happened yet this season”‭ ‬Schroeder explained‭, ‬“But outside of the scoreboard‭, ‬I think building relationships with the kids‭, ‬teaching them what a playoff caliber program looks‭ ‬like from the day to day approach and preparation at practice and getting them and the new staff familiar with our systems will‭ ‬help to build a foundation for successes moving forwards‭.‬”

The final coaching addition at MCHS comes with a new volleyball coach Kyle Hobson‭, ‬who is the Assistant Principal at Upper Campus and takes over the spot after former coach Hillary Agnello moved schools‭.‬

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