Fall Sports Wrap Up

Fall sports teams finish their seasons with relative success, even when impacted by COVID-19

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Madeline Hammett

Senior Ruby Wright walks with her father and her grandfather while being presented during the field hockey Senior Night on Sept. 10. on the field.

Ella Rogge, Editorial Editor

All fall sports teams finished their regular seasons with varying degrees of accomplishment and success, and prevailed through the challenges put in place by COVID-19.

Due to the majority of the field hockey team’s opponents being online and the team being unable to travel for tournaments, the season consisted predominantly of games against the team’s rival, The Pembroke Hill School. Throughout the season, field hockey won two and tied one game against Pembrooke.

“I think we all got closer as a team when we won the games against Pembroke because we played together and finally beat them.” junior Marin Ismert said. 

The golf program, which was “one shot short of winning” according to senior and three-time state champion Megan Propeck, ends another successful season receiving second place in state. Awarded an induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame along with Alex Gordon of the Royals, the team is honored for their total of nine state championships. 

 “We had such a strong bond as a team this year and it was really special to have everyone qualify and play at state.” Propeck said. “It’s allowed us to play for each other, not ourselves.”

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Starting off the season with all new coaches, the softball team advanced in skill and morale following their leadership. The players worked harder at practice and had more focus and confidence during games as according to junior Lauren Ellwanger.

“I think this was a year of progress, everyone has made such huge strides since the first day of practice,” Ellwanger said, “and it shows on the field and in the dugout.”

Junior Angelina Ferrara takes a swing at the rivals pitch Sept. 16. (Keely Schieffer)

After losing the top four varsity runners to college, the team was nervous as to how the season would go especially with COVID according to senior Dillan Elmquist. As the season went on the team gained a freshman runner who would quickly make varsity and help lead the team to win districts. Cross country ends its season with state in Columbia on Nov. 5.

“I am sad that it’s over, but I’m so glad that I got to experience it and have it be a part of my high school journey.” Elmquist said. “Every single year there’s been a different team, but every year I’ve felt uplifted and supported just the same.

Seniors Abby Delong, Dillan Elmquist and Mary Hudak are presented with their Senior Night gifts by coach Reynold Middleton on Oct. 15. (Madeline Hammett)

Facing setbacks such as a mandatory quarantine mid-season, the team won districts and tennis players junior Sophia Ong and senior Addie Vance finished the season placing third in state. Missed matches and team bonding opportunities, such as a team sleepover, banquet, and riding together to matches, took from the normality of the season but overall the players had fun and played well together according to Ong.

“I think the season was a success especially considering having to quarantine for two weeks,” Ong said. “We came out of that strong and continued to work and winning districts as a team just showed how much we all improved.”

The new volleyball coaching staff and the commitment from all the girls brought huge growth to the volleyball program according to junior Bridgette Conner. The team won districts and made their way to sectionals which took place at Sion on Oct. 29.

“The opportunity [to play at sectionals] was very exciting and playing at home made it even more special.” Conner said, “We definitely earned our way to that spot so I was ready.”

Sophomore Brynna Fitzgerald sets the ball up for senior Gabby Gaither while junior Bridgette Conner runs to place during the varsity volleyball game against St. Teresa’s Academy in the gym on Sept. 8. Players wore masks at all times during the match. (Sofia Aguayo)

In ending their seasons, four teams won districts this year including tennis, cross country, golf and volleyball. The golf team went on to take second place in state with Propeck taking first overall, tennis duo Ong and Vance placed third in state and varsity cross country will take on state Nov 4.

“The teams faced possible exposure and quarantine of the teams and wearing masks due to COVID masks, other than that they got to play they got to practice,” Director of Athletics Kate Pilgreen said, “it just looked a little different.”

Seniors Audrey O’Brien and Lindsey Dougherty receive a pep-talk from their coach, Meghan Flanigan, during their tennis match against Blue Valley high school on Sept. 22. (Catherine Crayon)