• May 26, 2020

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: Wink coaches reflect on successful school year - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: Wink coaches reflect on successful school year

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Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 6:22 pm

The school year may not be over just yet, but even with a pause in the spring sports calendar it’s already been a year to remember for everyone at Wink High School.

From volleyball to football to cross country and basketball, the Wildcats have had success in nearly every sport, making the 2019-20 calendar one for the history books.

The Lady Cats made it to the state tournament in volleyball, while girls cross country team also advanced to the UIL state championships, placing fourth as a team.

The football team advanced to the Class 2A Division II regional final and boys basketball made it to the regional tournament.

For athletic director-head football coach Brian Gibson, the accomplishment has said a lot about the senior class at Wink.

“They spent a lot of time committing to what we were selling as a coaching staff,” he said. “Getting in the weight room, getting on the track and committing to doing things during the summer.”

Wink football went 10-4 in 2019, which the included District 1-2A Division II title

The Wildcats’ run ended with a loss to Stratford in the region final.

As a coach, the success from his football team didn’t take him by surprise, knowing what his team was capable of.

“As a coaching staff, we were really weren’t surprised by the success that we’ve had but it does mean the world,” Gibson said.

The volleyball team, which finished 40-6, also won a district title before weaving its way through the playoffs to earn a return to the state tournament for the first time since 2012.

Head coach Heather Archibald and her players had set a goal to get to state, with the team’s experience being one of its strengths.

“It’s not often that we started off with our goal and achieving it, and I think that’s something that’s been monumental because they saw it pay off,” Archibald said.

Despite falling in the state semifinal to Jewett Leon, the Lady Cats are hopeful of building off their successful season.

“This was a special group and a very deserving team,” Archibald said. “Hopefully, we can build off that.”

At the state cross country meet in Round Rock, the Lady Cats finished with 146 points to secure a spot in the top five.

After getting eliminated during the bi-district round of the playoffs last year, the Wink boys basketball team responded well, winning the district crown en route to advancing to the regional semifinals.

“We made a goal to get better at the start of the year and we’re hoping to get better,” head coach Jason Archibald said. “We wanted to get to the regional tournament.

“We set goals and achieved them.”

Gibson said the success from all of Wink’s teams speaks volumes about the athletes.

“Our kids did a good job of staying focused on the task at hand,” Gibson said. “They don’t take things for granted.

“They have great teamwork and believe in each other and their coaches and keep working.”

For the coaches and the players, it’s been difficult to stop and reflect on the accomplishments from every team at Wink, especially considering that most athletes are busy with different sports.

“It’s been one of those moments where you can’t sit and enjoy it because we had kids making it to state in cross country, to our football and volleyball teams doing well and then basketball,” Gibson said. “We haven’t had a chance to sit back to reflect on that.

“It’s been a lot of fun to watch.”

Until recently.

With the coronavirus outbreak spreading across the country, schools have had to close campuses to help prevent the growing number of confirmed cases.

Spring sports have been put on hold including baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track and field.

“It’s a heartbreak for the seniors because we have a lot of talented seniors who are missing two weeks of their season and who knows how much longer they’ll be gone,” Gibson.

But that hasn’t diminished what has already been achieved while the Wildcats wait to return to the classrooms and playing fields.

“I still think we’ve done too much to dampen the experience,” said Heather Archibald, who also coaches track and field. “The success from the fall and winter have made our kids excited to compete.

“And our kids are wanting to go back out there to compete.”

Odessa, TX

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