By Bhagya Pushkaran (Sports Feature) –
With spring rapidly approaching, coaches and athletes are hustling around, conditioning and strengthening in the weight room, the sounds of bars rattling the mats as they hit the ground, and fellow athletes cheering on their peers to accomplish that last rep. Students race across the track, the wind blowing in their faces, as excitement builds up for the upcoming season.
Head Baseball Coach Daniel Beckman talks about last year’s season. “If you look in regards to our record, it wasn’t great, but if you go in regards to the experience that a lot of the guys had, it was pretty good. We had a lot of first time varsity players last year, so a lot of our guys had a lot of experience and were able to play a lot of our games,” Beckman said. This year’s varsity team has four out of their five pitchers returning for the upcoming season, as well as two players from last year’s JV team that are expected to do big things. Junior Jaryd Trumbley was on Freshman/Reserve his freshman year, and on Reserve/JV/Varsity his sophomore year.
“My goal for this season is to do as best as we can by doing a lot of fundamental drills, and trying not to be too flashy or anything, and work on our fundamentals, and make sure we’re doing everything right,” Trumbley said.
Sophomore Lexus Church is in soccer, landing varsity her freshman year. “Varsity, last year, we actually did a lot better than previous seasons, and we really grew as a team, and we ended up having a pretty good record,” Church said. According to Church, teamwork is a trait she keeps close. “Being a team player overall and being able to work with people you’ve never really played with before, and
accepting the fact that we aren’t always going to be winning,” she says.
Girls Soccer Coach Rachelle Fargo has coached varsity soccer for a year, and JV for three years. “Last year, for us, it was more about fun. Every player got better and better, they grew in terms of their skills and their knowledge of the game, so it was a really good experience to watch. Everyone stayed out, no one quit, and the comradery with last year’s group of girls was awesome,” Fargo said.
Track and Field Head Coach Bob White talked about how he preps his student athletes for the upcoming season. “We do anything that involves getting the blood pressure above 140 and any type of cardio,” White said. “We also go into the weight room after the cardio and we do two major lifts, different lifts every day we go into the weight room.”
Junior Zion Perry has much experience when it comes to track and field. He’s been on varsity since his senior year, in events such as the 100 and 200 meter dash, and 4×100 and 4×400 relay, and he has also gone to state every year since his freshman year. A memorable moment that Perry has close to his heart is an impressive streak from last se
ason. “We went on a streak last year, with our relay team, we won four or five meets in a row, so it was pretty fun for me and my teammates as well,” Perry said.
Sophomore Will Brandt is no stranger to golf. “When I was little, when my grandpa would go play golf, he would bring me along. I was not patient at the time, so I just swung the club around, but then I decided last year to try and make the team, and I did,” he said. Brandt made varsity team last year and continues to play golf in the summer.
Boys Golf Head coach Larry Elwood talks about some memories from last season. “I thought we did a good job. We got better as the season progressed and that’s what I’m looking for. I loved seeing some of the players from the beginning of the season and then seeing how well they did at the end of the season,” he said.
Boys Soccer Head Coach Wes Zach has high standards for his players. “A big way for a player to to make an impact on me, to give me a good impression, coming into the season, is if I see them being able to run, to be able to do what I ask of them, and to play quality soccer without having to catch their breath all the time,” he said. Senior Suhaib Shaikh wants to make his goals reality in his last season of soccer, being on varsity since sophomore year. “Personally, I want to be a striker and score some goals, but also getting clean sheets throughout most of our games, not letting anyone score because I’m the defender,” Shaikh said.
Senior Han Le is a winner when it comes to tennis, winning #2 singles at a Northeast invite at Woods Tennis Center last season. “It went great, but I would say I had a really hard semi-finals with Papillion-La Vista. It was a hard match. The final was pretty tough too because my opponent was very consistent, but I beat her,” she said.
Girls Tennis Head Coach Lisa Effle may be new to the varsity position, but she already has her standards set. “Varsity players need to have a developed skill set, but they also need to have adequate physical fitness and mental toughness, and the conditioning helps the players develop the endurance and quickness needed to be successful in their matches,” Effle said.