Coach Koenig Resigns

After four years as the varsity football coach, Ken Koenig was asked to resign due to poor on-field results.

By Nick LeBlanc

Assistant Principal Ken Koenig was forced to resign after going 1-35 in four seasons as Head Coach of the Dexter varsity football team.

Superintendent Chris Timmis, Principal Kit Moran, and Athletics Director Mike Bavineau all were involved with the decision to have Koenig resign.

“We all have jobs to do,” Bavineau said. “We have to try to do what was in the best interest of the football program to help move it forward.”

While he is often only recognized as being the head coach, Koenig has been a part of the program since 2001.  When Koenig was introduced to the Dexter community, he immediately became involved with the football program.

After six years at East Detroit High School, Koenig started his career at Dexter as an assistant coach to the varsity program.  To earn experience within the program, Koenig would tend to his duties as the defensive coordinator for the East Detroit football team and then travel west an hour to help out the Dexter football team at practices or games.  Through his travels, Koenig began to learn the new program more and noticed some dysfunction that ultimately brought him to his assistant coaching job at Dexter in 2001.

“I saw a program that looked disorganized in my eyes,” Koenig said. “I said, ‘Listen, I think I can do something to help the program.’”

That disorganized Dexter team lost all nine of its games in 2000. Once Koenig arrived as assistant, the Dreads improved to 5-13 over the next two seasons.

Leading up to 2013, when Koenig became head coach, Dexter had had five different head coaches, four of which having held the position in the same year.  That’s when Koenig stepped up to the position after 12 years in the program.

“The kids in the program, in essentially18 months, had four different head coaches. All the changes in head coaches led to there being no head coach for Dexter in March of 2013, which means the program was way behind in offseason training,” Koenig said. “I contacted Superintendent Desmarais (Desmarais was an interim between Mary Marshall and current superintendent Chris Timmis) and essentially said, ‘I’m tired of watching our kids get stuck, and I wish to be the head coach.’”

Once Koenig was given the head coaching job in 2013, he had a few goals he wished to accomplish.

“I had a plan for the next five years, and the biggest part of it was to bring stability and financial freedom to the program,” Koenig said.

Out of these two goals, Koenig feels he was successful in accomplishing at least one of them over his four years in charge.

“Through the annual gold card sale, our golf outing, and our contract with the golf course neighboring The Big House (the Dexter football team helps clean up the mess left from tailgaters after every University of Michigan home football game), we raised a lot of money for all three levels of our football program,” Koenig said. “In [the financial] aspect, I believe we were successful.”

However, despite this success, the thought of being forced to resign weighed heavy on Koenig’s mind towards the end of his 16-year career.

“I mean, going 1-35, you can kind of expect [being asked to resign],” he said. “The thought is always in the back of your mind that this could be the last bus ride or that this could be the last time on the field.”

Timmis, when asked about the resignation, didn’t mention wins and losses.

“We were fortunate to have him leading our football program for the past four years,” Timmis said. “As a direct result of Ken Koenig’s leadership, DHS football has the foundation to complete the turnaround started by Coach Koenig and his staff.”

To an outsider, the record over four years may seem to purvey that the Dreads weren’t motivated; however, players said quite the opposite is true.

“Koenig and the rest of the coaches always helped us to never give up and always play our hardest every game,” senior Travon Reid said.

Other players shared similar experiences inside Koenig’s football program.

“He always encouraged us to push the intensity in our practices,” senior Seamus McCurren said. “No matter the status of our season we always tried to push the intensity for the next game.”

19th Straight

Dreads Swim and Dive records 19th consecutive conference championship and looks ahead to the D2 state meet

By Andy Dolen

Dexter women’s swim and dive took on the entire SEC in the conference meet on November 4 and 5 at Wylie Elementary School.

Dexter went into the meet with high expectations of continuing its streak of 19 consecutive conference championships and looked to qualify even more swimmers for the state meet.

Photographer - Claire Ward Freshman Zoe Michos lunges forward in the 100 breastroke, looking to pile on more points for the Dreads. She made the state cut in the event.
Photographer – Claire Ward
Freshman Zoe Michos lunges forward in the 100 breastroke, looking to pile on more points for the Dreads. She made the state cut in the event.

Dexter started off strong with multiple top finishes, winning many events and essentially dominating the meet. The divers continued this momentum through the diving competition of the meet with regional qualifications from all the divers.

Photographer - Andy Dolen Freshman Alyssa Frost takes her mark on the block waiting for the start from the official.
Photographer – Andy Dolen
Freshman Alyssa Frost takes her mark on the block waiting for the start from the official.

After the break for diving, the swimmers maintained dominance in the pool with more first place finishes including some pool records.

Freshman Zoe Michos, junior Madeline Kaufman and senior Danielle Westman all earned state times, adding on to the accomplishments for the Dreads on the weekend.

Dexter’s final score for the meet was 471, nearly 200 points ahead of Tecumseh, the second place team.

“…I thought it was one of our best performances,” Head Coach Cory Bergen said. “All four divers qualified for regionals, and all swimmers swam well after their taper.”

Bergen also revealed the team’s expectations for the state meet: “We expect to be contending for one of the top spots [in the state]… we are well prepared, and I think we will have a good performance.”

Athletes in the Crowd

A look back at some memorable fall athletes along with a pair of winter athletes to keep an eye on.

By Jed Howell

Travon Reid, Football

 Fan favorite and four-year Dexter football veteran, Travon Reid touched the field for the last time this fall. His cardboard cutout will no longer fly over the student section on Friday nights. Reid was a two-year starter on varsity both his junior and senior year, and he contributed to the team as an offensive and defensive lineman. Reid described his final game as “relieving” and “emotional.” He enjoyed his time playing football, but wishes there had been more players that came out each year.

Claire Ketzner, Cross Country

Inspired by her friend Dani Waidley, Claire Ketzner decided to run cross country. Ketzner quickly made her way onto varsity, crediting soccer for keeping her in shape and giving her a solid starting point for the cross country season. Eventually, she worked her way into the top spot on the team. At regionals, Ketzner was the lone qualifier for the state meet finishing 15th with an impressive time of19:15.6. At the state meet, Ketzner ran a 20:23.5, finishing151st out of 244 competitors. “It was fun, but it didn’t go quite as planned. I didn’t run as fast as I wanted to.”

Drew Bishop, Basketball

“I was super excited to be able to make an impact on our team.” Last season Drew Bishop was one of two underclassmen on the varsity basketball team. He received a generous amount of playing time, and will get even more time on the court this season. His goals include winning both the SEC title and districts. Bishop also hopes to win at least 15 games this winter. Look for Bishop to have an impressive second season on the court.

Sammi Corcoran, Basketball

 “Intimidated, yet honored.” As a lone freshman on varsity, Sammi Corcoran quickly found out that she had a lot to learn. She was joining a group of girls who were very close and very skilled, but this didn’t stop her. Corcoran credits her success in her sophomore season to the girls she played with her freshman year. She learned how to be more confident on the court and how to trust her teammates. In Corcoran’s third varsity season, she hopes to win the SEC title and defeat Chelsea.

Lady Dreads Advance to Title Game with Overtime win

By Squall Staff

The Dexter field hockey team defeated Ann Arbor Huron 2-1 in overtime on Thursday to advance to Saturday’s Division 1 title game.

Thanks to @bcheezit, we have video of Emma Tamer’s game-winning goal.

Dexter will play Ann Arbor Pioneer in the championship game. Dexter lost to Pioneer in last year’s semifinals.

Pioneer is looking to win its third straight Division 1 championship. Dexter is looking to win its second in theee years (Dexter won the 2014 Division 2 championship).

Athletes in the Crowd

Here are some key athletes from their respective teams who you should keep an eye on for the rest of the season and beyond

By Caden Koenig and Nick LeBlanc
Alex Janosi- Water Polo

“Our team goal is to be the best ranked Dexter water polo team ever, which is fourth in the state,” senior Alex Janosi said.  Janosi is in his third full year on varsity and is a co-captain. As the season progresses, Janosi realizes this season could be his last year playing water polo as he is undecided about what the future will hold. “I really want to make the most of what we have this year; we have a lot of skill,” he said. Janosi and the rest of his team are excited to see if they reach the “best team ever” goal.

Jack Shelly- Cross Country

For most people, being the best on their team is the goal. Not for senior runner Jack Shelley. “I would really like to be top twenty in the state,” he said. Shelley, now 30th in the state, has been running since he was young and has been running for Dexter since freshman year. However, Shelley doesn’t plan to stop running af    ter graduation. “It’s a deal breaker if I can’t run at a school after high school,” he said.

Annette Schultz- Swimming

Annette Schultz started swimming at the age of six and started USA swimming at 10.  Since then, Schultz has held state records during her three years of varsity swimming and was named Michigan High School Swimmer of the Year for the 2015-2016 school year.  As Schultz’s high school career comes to an end, the process of college searching has begun. “I have a few colleges in mind,” Schultz said. “Right now I’m just trying to keep my options open.”

Nick Fileccia- Football

After not playing football since the eighth grade, junior Nick  Fileccia is hopeful that his return can help the Dexter football team. Nick hasn’t let his time off slow him down: “My goal is to have the most touchdowns,” he said. So far, Fileccia has scored three touchdowns and is pushing to get more. Watch for Fileccia, No. 13, on Friday nights.

Fall Sports Update

A quick overview of some of Dexter’s primary fall sports as the season winds down

By Nick LeBlanc and Alex Strang

Football

This season, the Dreads have shown improvement through six games.  What has been the constant downfall of the team is the lack of personnel, which has caused players to get tired as the games have progressed.  The Dreads still have a positive outlook despite the 0-6 record: “Every week before a game we try and put together quality practices,” senior Seamus McCurren said. “We had a good week of practice before Tecumseh and managed to get into the redzone four times in the first half.”

Soccer

The Boys Soccer team is a main contender for the SEC White division this year.  With a record of 14-4-1 (7-2 in conference play), the Dreads like their odds to compete in districts and beyond.  After defeating Chelsea 2-1, senior Austin Graham said, “I have confidence in my team this year. I think we can win states.”

Cross Country

The cross country team took 3rd in the most recent divisional meet and is looking to improve and win the the next one. “We are a very young team with a strong brotherhood,” senior Tyrus Wood said. “We are looking to bring home a big victory at the end of the season and do better than we did last year at the state meet in November.”

Volleyball

With only four seniors, the volleyball team is finding success with underclassmen stepping up to play big roles on the court. The Dreads (21-14) hope to end their season on a high note. “Our season is going a lot better than expected and I am excited to see how we do in districts later this season,” senior Captain Mary Gallagher said.

Field Hockey

The field hockey team is once again a state championship caliber team, with an undefeated 10-0-2 record. “Right now, we are tied for first in the division,” junior Marin Waddington said. “We hope to win the state championship.”

Tennis

So far this year, the Tennis team has been suffering from a lack of participants. Students who had never played competitive tennis were joining the team midseason.  Despite this, the team is still winning. “We placed second in the SEC’s and managed to overcome some challenges we faced during the season,” senior Brandon Wiegers said.

Water Polo Dominance

The men’s water polo team is showing improvement from last year thanks to leadership and young talent

By Truman Stovall

The men’s water polo team at DHS believes it is more capable of competing against top teams this year than last, and much of it has to do with new players and leadership.

Last year’s team was talented, but some key players were seniors. It’s hard in many sports to replace a solid senior class, but current senior Alex Janosi believes the team “definitely made up the talent that was lost.”

Janosi, along with Ben Daugherty and Kevin Kimmel, are captains who have all been with the team since their freshman years. Along with a new assistant coach, Steven Sobczak, the team’s leadership has started to focus more on improvement this year.

“A key part is having a better mindset,” Janosi said. “Last year, thinking we were great got in our heads.”

As a result, the team lost many games against top teams by large margins. This year, these types of games have been much more competitive.

A big game against Skyline was lost only in a penalty shootout, and the team was able to take down Pioneer in a tournament during an early-season tournament. It’s predicted that the district could be won by anybody this year, but Dexter is now in the conversation.

A big boost to the team has been new players, including senior Randy Gesell and the Sterlitz brothers, who transferred from California.

The transition was difficult for Gesell, who had “never even watched a water polo game” before joining the team.

“The first practice was really hard,” he said. “Swimming is too tiring, so I mostly play goalie. Sobczak is keeping us in shape though.”

He’s improving every day, though, and he might be able to help his team by playing outside of the goalie net later in the season.

Freshman Mitchell Sterlitz originally joined to “have fun and meet people” despite never having played water polo either. He doesn’t regret it, adding he “has fun just playing against other teams and winning.”