Cleveland Journal

April brings more than just rain; spring sports underway

Molly+House+prepares+for+a+pitch+during+an+early+season+match+against+Rainier+Beach+on+March+23.+The+team+is+in+a+rebuilding+year+a+er+losing+several+key+seniors+last+year.
Molly House prepares for a pitch during an early season match against Rainier Beach on March 23. The team is in a rebuilding year a er losing several key seniors last year.

Molly House prepares for a pitch during an early season match against Rainier Beach on March 23. The team is in a rebuilding year a er losing several key seniors last year.

Son Dang

Son Dang

Molly House prepares for a pitch during an early season match against Rainier Beach on March 23. The team is in a rebuilding year a er losing several key seniors last year.

Molly House and Jordan O'Neal, Staff Reporter

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After the success of the Lady Eagles’ basketball team winning the 3A Metro League title, athletes and fans are now shifting their focus to spring sports. With new coaches, new players and higher expectations, the athletes have their work cut out for them to match the success of the winter season.

TRACK & FIELD

For the track team, it’s not about how you finish but how you start. For them, it starts with warm ups.

“We stretch first then we do all types of skips, jumps and high knees and things to … warm-up our muscles in our legs,” said sophomore Ryanne Jones. This is her second year with the track team.

Junior Souleyman Drabo said the Eagles have some fast runners this year.

“We have a more stacked team sprinting-wise this season” said Drabo.

As expected, the number of runners for track and field has increased. The team had a solid season last year, but Jones said there is room for improvement and personal growth.

“I hope to improve in my 100 and 200 this season,” she said.

SOFTBALL

A er losing several star players to graduation, the JV so ball coach leaving, and players opting to try other sports, the so ball team is in a rebuilding year. Underclassmen are taking a liking to the sport.

“Having the same people from last season come back is really great because we get to maintain that team dynamic,” said Aden Afework, a returning senior. “But having new players that are eager to learn and enjoy the sport is one of the things that keep our team motivated to work harder because we see all these new people putting their energy and time to get better.”

So ball struggled to keep girls eligible last year, so Head Coach Megan Claus is prioritizing grades over sports.

“One of the main focuses this season is to help my athletes learn how to balance being a student-athlete better,” Claus said. “Every girl who comes out is expected to be a student first.”

Claus stressed that the girls need to learn how to balance academics with the commitment they have made to the team.

“In the past, I’ve seen academics and athletics get out of balance with one an- other, and so I hope that this year the team is able to continue to be students first while not compromising their commitment to the team.”

BASEBALL

It was the team that almost wasn’t. Baseball struggled to recruit players early on, but they managed to get enough to form a small team. With a new head coach, the team has high hopes for the season.

“We expect that everyone will come out and do their part,” said Michael Taylor, a returning junior. “Last season we lost all of our games, but this season we are striving to win nine or eight games.”

According to Taylor, the team will need to focus to win.

“Being more serious during our practices and more serious during games … these were some of the main factors that

COURTESY OF SON DANG

Molly House prepares for a pitch during an early season match against Rainier Beach on March 23. The team is in a rebuilding year a er losing several key seniors last year.

didn’t allow us to win … one game last season.”

Despite last year’s losing season, the team is not lacking in spirit, they communicate well both on and o the field.

TENNIS

You could say senior tennis co-captain Dominick Ta has big shoes to ll. Last spring, the team won their Metro League division and alumni Rodolfo Baba made it all the way to state.

“Last year we won our division, and this year we’re planning to do that again,” Ta said.

To accomplish this goal, Ta is going to push the team harder, and hopefully bring them closer by more bonding exercises.

As a captain, Ta feels it is his duty to be there for his teammates and make sure they are all getting the most out of their experience.

“I want to make sure everyone on our team is satisfied with what we’re doing, and if there’s any problems I hope they tell me,” he said.

While the team might be missing some key seniors from last year, there is still a lot of promising talent to watch.

“Autumn [Simpson] and Wen [Eckelberg] are two players that are constantly improving and are our best players right now,” Ta said. “We have high expectations for them.”

Junior Melody Wyatt is not only excited for making varsity tennis this season, but also for not having to run to Jefferson Park for practice.

“I’m looking forward to winning more games and also to get more practice,” she said. “Our team goal is more team bonding, maybe like a cheer.”

GIRLS ULTIMATE FRISBEE

A season with less tension, more hard work and fresh new coaches ought to be a recipe for success for Girls Ultimate. Junior Kaitlyn Sargent is looking forward to the changes and opportunities this sea- son will bring.

“I think it’s gonna go pretty good because we have really solid team members and people who really want to try this year,” Sargent said.

Junior Izabella Lee has high expectations not only for the team this season, but also for herself.

“A personal goal I have is to continue to keep my head up even when I feel like I’m not doing the best,” she said.

Lee is expecting to see more personal attention for everybody now that the team has three coaches.

BOYS SOCCER

The fact that boys soccer hasn’t won a game in five years might just be a silver lining. For the players, this dismal record makes it easier set achievable goals. This year, the boys just have one in mind: to win a single game. The team will tackle this challenge once again, and sophomore Rajah Reeves hopes he can help with the endeavor.

“I’ve been helping my teammates mainly with give-and-go’s because in a game that’s very crucial. We usually get beat on give-and-go’s, so it would help if we can learn to defend them,” Reeves said.

The team lost some crucial seniors like standout Lucas King and their coach quit a er just one game. Luckily, Attendance Intervention Specialist Francisco Sanchez-Garcia stepped in to keep the team’s season going.

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April brings more than just rain; spring sports underway