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The Purple Clarion

The Purple Clarion

Fall sports prepare for season ahead

Senior Karmello Downey works with young kids during Community Night. Downey prepares to throw a ball for an elementary schooler to run and catch.

Five sports are either getting ready for their season opener or have already started their season.

So far, golf and volleyball have already started playing while football, cross country and boys soccer are preparing.

But that doesn’t mean that Bulldogs athletes have been taking it easy all summer.

“We officially started (conditioning, practicing) after school let out,” head football coach Matt Griffith said. 

Other sports are taking this year as a time to revamp their programs.

“We’re kind of in a reset mode,” volleyball coach Melissa Fehrenbacher said. “I really think even though we have two seniors and five juniors, I still feel like the sophomores bring enough that we will be better and we are going to be better.”

The recent excessive heat has been affecting every sport differently. Many games and meets have been canceled, postponed, or delayed.

“We’ve had to shift a couple of our practices to night practice to avoid the heat. Friday night got bumped from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Griffith said.

Others have been practicing and carrying on despite the weather.

“I played nine holes yesterday (Aug. 22),” senior Frankie Leigh Nicholes said.

Nicholes has been golfing for as long as she can remember and has mixed feelings about this being her senior year.

“It’s very bittersweet,” Nicholes said. “But I’m so excited to see what’s to come.”

One major change the athletics department is facing is a change in the River to River conference.

“We’ve got new teams that have switched into our conference,” Griffith said. “West Frankfort and Benton left our side of the conference and Carterville came over.”

While sports come with a lot of challenges and difficulty, those who play always find the rewards that come along with it.

“The most rewarding part of running cross country and playing soccer is how

much fun it is,” junior Ryan Persinger said. “Sports have taught me so many things. Being on a team is like being a part of a family that you can’t get anywhere else.”

Football will play their first game at home Aug 25, and soccer will play their first game at Salem Aug 26.

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Francesca Messerschmidt, Staff Writer
Francesca Messerschmidt (she/her) is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her third year on the Purple Clarion staff.  She participates in theatre, plays percussion in the band is on the speech team, participates in Key Club and Art Club. She is passionate about music.  Francesca also cares about animals and things going on in the world around her. In her spare time, she likes to play games, listen to music and draw. After high school, she plans to continue pursuing journalism as a career.   “Student journalism is important to me because it helps give students a voice and a platform to educate themselves and others about current events and can help people learn how to make the world a better place.”
Riley Mize, Staff Writer
Riley Mize is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is her second year on the Purple Clarion staff. She participates in YFC and White Hats. Riley also likes to take photos, hiking and traveling.  After high school she plans on attending a university in Colorado, pursue her career in nursing and to become a nurse anesthetist.  “Allowing students to express what is going on in the world through stories and articles, being allowed to put their opinion in things if they feel a certain way about something, is really something I am grateful we get to do, and is also important.” 

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    KeleeAug 25, 2023 at 6:47 pm

    Amazing job!!