Van Meter cross country kicks off new season, football is off to strong start

Megan Teske, Correspondent
Special to Dallas County News
Brooklyn Fryar runs in the West Central Valley Invite on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, in Redfield.

Cross country kicks off new season

The Van Meter girls and boys cross country teams kicked off the new season with the first meet on Aug. 31.

Head Coach Josh Flaws said the practices have been good but hot so far, and the runners have been competitive.

“We’ve had a really productive, really competitive first couple weeks,” Flaws said.

He added that the Bulldogs have a lot of freshmen on the boys’ side and new kids on the girls’ side, so they are trying to get the new runners comfortable running the full 5K.

Aside from the new runners, Flaws said the teams are looking good. For the boys, the goal is to find consistency as a team, but Flaws said there’s potential to be good by the end of the season.

On the girls’ side, Flaws said the team is hoping to build off of what they have done in the past as they have made it to state the past two years.

Mary Kelly runs in the 2020 West Central Activities Conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 15 in Panora.

“They’re just the same girls as usual, the Kelly girls have been pretty consistent for track and cross country and everything that they do, so they’re destined to have a pretty good year I think,” Flaws said.

Along with Clare and Mary Kelly, Flaws expects to see freshman Emma McCoy in the top five mix as well as sophomores Brooklyn Fryar and Maddie Waldorf.

The girls team placed seventh at the state meet last season, and while Flaws expects a return to the state meet again this year, he said the girls are super motivated to improve themselves.

More:Van Meter girls cross country captures seventh in state meet action

“I think their goal is to get up into that top five, see how well they can do, I know most of them put a ton of time in this summer, worked a lot and you can definitely see their improvements already,” Flaws said.

While the girls have a goal of improving their standing from last year’s state meet, for the boy’s team, it’s a little different.

Dustin Barth runs in the Tiger Invitational on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, in Adel.

Flaws said the conference is very competitive, so if the boys can get into the top five for the conference, that’s a big accomplishment.

“They’re working hard, they’re looking good so their goals are just to keep improving,” Flaws said. “I think we were sixth or seventh last year in conference so if we could take that next step for them I think they’d be really happy with that.”

More:Van Meter boys cross country takes seventh in conference meet

Even though the girls and boys teams are two separate teams, Flaws said it’s like Van Meter is one giant team that just runs two races.

Both teams have embraced being one team through team dinners and inviting each other to everything, which Flaws said makes for a good team culture.

“They do a great job of supporting each other,” Flaws said.

Along with having more of a normal season than last year, Flaws is looking forward to seeing where the teams end up.

He said the Bulldogs have the potential to be as good as they were last year and now they just need to prove it.

Both teams competed in the DCG Invitational on Aug. 31. Flaws said the teams were busy preparing for the flatness of the DCG course, as well as the rest of the season.

The girls and boys cross country teams will be back in action at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 in Winterset.

Kaleb Myers nears the finish line in the 2020 West Central Valley Invite on Thursday, Oct. 1 in Redfield.

Van Meter football gets season off to strong start

The Van Meter football team had its first game last week with solid results.

The Bulldogs faced off against Earlham on Aug. 27 at home and won 42-0.

Senior quarterback Jack Pettit had a strong first game, going eight for eight passing for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Pettit also had 10 carries for 132 yards and one rushing touchdown.

Senior running back Dalten Van Pelt also had a solid game, rushing 16 times for 112 yards and three touchdowns.

Leading the receivers was senior Ryan Fisher, who had three receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown as well.

The Bulldogs return to action against Williamsburg at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at Williamsburg High School.

The Van Meter Bulldogs take the field on Friday, Aug. 27 to take on Earlham in the home opener.