The AD Verdict: Mr. Haggerty Weighs in on Winter Sports

Jerry Haggerty, Hamilton’s Athletic Director, has been watching the 2013-2014 winter sports season with pride.  Whether it’s basketball, swim and dive, wrestling, or cheer, Mr. Haggerty is excited and anxious for Hamilton athletes as winter sports programs pick up steam.

Entering crunch time is the boys basketball team, led by Coach Brant Haverdink.  Coming off of a tough game with Wayland, they now prepare for the big game on Friday the 17th against Holland Christian.  Haggerty notes the positive energy that Haverdink has brought to the team, and his encouraging style of coaching that has led to a series of hard-fought battles on the court.  Elijah Walker’s athleticism and Grant Wolfram’s solid presence coupled with the determined and eager attitudes of the team have been beneficial to the program in substantial ways.  “They made big strides on Friday against Wayland,” Haggerty said.  “We were stronger and more aggressive than before.”

Haggerty is equally excited for the upcoming Girls Varsity games.  He notes strong defense and solid team coordination as two of their most valuable assets.  The Ladyhawks have tough games with Byron Center and Holland Christian coming up, and AD Haggerty is confident that they will rise to the occasion.  He has noticed much improvement throughout the program so far this season, especially in the younger members of the team.  All this effort will be brought to bear in a series of challenging upcoming games, and Haggerty sees Hawkeye victories in our future.

The Boys Swim and Dive program also started out strong this season.  Securing fourth place among some of the best teams around last Saturday, this placement solidifies Hamilton’s status as a formidable opponent in the water.  Coach Talsma, who has built a program that is not only functional but thriving, has put Hamilton Swim and Dive on the map.  Mr. Haggerty briefly lamented how many other schools similar in size to Hamilton have trouble holding on to their budding swimming programs.  The integrity and attitude of the coach in programs such as ours will make it or break it, he said.  He is happy that the position is in Talsma’s hands, and will be keeping a close eye on Hamilton’s swimmers as they continue their season.

Mr. Haggerty admires the strong wrestling program that Coach Stoel has built during his career.  He is concerned about the diminished size of the varsity wrestling team, with only eight wrestlers this year, and worries that they will be going into competitions at a disadvantage.  Not only will Hamilton wrestlers not have as many other competitors of their same weight class and skill level to practice against, but will lose points (“voids”) for not having a wrestler for every class, Haggerty pointed out.  That said, he is looking forward to watching Welcher, Dams, and the rest of the team push on through the season.

Hamilton’s cheer program has been completely revamped this season.  “Leaps and bounds” Haggerty laughs, noting the marked improvement of Hamilton cheerleaders.  The increase in skill, coordination, and athleticism on the cheer team is not only present during their winter competitions, but during fall sports as well.  Haggerty remembers fondly the interactions between the cheerleaders and the audience, saying that their presence was greater than ever before.

Mr. Haggerty is anxious to see where Hamilton sports are going this winter, and hopes that hard work, sportsmanship, and dedication will lead to success on every front.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *