Park Hill South doesn’t settle for the idea of rebuilding.
After losing in a Class 4 District 15 opener last season, the Panthers’ run of consecutive playoff appearances ended at two. They also said goodbye to a large senior class that was a part of the district championship teams and must retool the roster in hopes of forging a return.
Lexi Maddox (defender) and Kallen Mazeitis (forward) — both seniors — and juniors Ryanne Serrone-Brown (forward) and Kate Eischens (defender) will be Park Hill South’s returning All-Suburban Conference Red Division performers.
“We have a lot of new players, and our depth is such that it will be work in progress,” Park Hill South veteran coach Joe Toigo said. “I do feel that this team has the potential to be successful by the end of the year. They come to practice to get better and communicate well, and I think they know they will need the younger players for us to be successful this year.”
Park Hill South’s changes start at the back with the loss of goalkeeper Haley Mills with Brooke Montgomery having the most experience of the returners.
While the defense returns a pair of starters, the midfield will be almost completely turned over after the loss of Division I-signees Mayleigh Oder and Madi Sanders plus Margaret McKeon and Mikayla Spires. The Panthers were a deep team last year but struggled to find consistent results, finishing at 10-12 overall.
Newcomers who could immediately see time for Park Hill South include sophomore forward Macie Bolger and sophomore midfielder Jill Ketchmark, along with freshmen Taylor Evans (goalkeeper), Aubree Koren (defender) and Annika Munch (defender).
“We had a large senior class last year and there will be others given the opportunity to help us get better,” Toigo said. “We would like to get back to the district championship and see if we can finish the deal this year.”