Fall sports seasons end, Spring sports begin

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Boys Track

Boys track has started their season strong and intends to keep it up.

At their meet on the weekend of Feb. 21, the team placed high, with most of the season ahead of them.

“We won the entire 18-team invite at freshmen and sophomore levels,” said boys track coach Brent Pitt.

In addition, varsity placed 4th overall at the same competition, which according to Pitt is impressive.

The track team has had a record of doing well at their competitions and has opportunities to keep it up, since they have meets every week until May 31. The meets vary from being on the weekends, to happening during the week.

There has not been any changes to the team this year, the only difference being that three sprinters moved away and some graduated last season. However, Pitt does not see this as a problem.

“We have a ‘next man up’ mentality,” said Pitt. “It encourages our kids to work harder.”

Overall though, the goal of the team is the same; to continue to try and improve.

“We go into every competition with a goal of getting better as a program,” said Pitt. “Our goal is to win our conference, win at sectionals and to qualify as many kids as possible for the state track meet.”

The team is confident that they can achive their goals.

“As a team, we’re getting a lot better and have a lot of potential,” said senior Dejuan Ali. “I have high hopes for us and can’t wait to see how the rest of the season goes.”

Pitt is optimistic, as well, about how the team will do.

“I expect everybody to do well and have high expectations for everybody,” said Pitt. “The group of athletes we have right now are training really hard and it’s really impressive.”

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball season is winding down, but that does not mean that the effort every boy puts in has diminished in the slightest.

After spending nearly every day of the past four months together, members of the team, along with the coaches, have grown closer. The players on the team have also learned to play on its many strengths, putting up their best fight they can against their opponents.

“The thoughts I had going into the season were validated, as we’ve been playing our best basketball,” said head varsity coach boys basketball Kosta Kougias. “Each individual player stands out for different reasons. Each one brings something different to the table and that’s why [the team is] meshing so well.”

It is obvious that the group of guys on this year’s team get along on the court, but even off the court the team has grown to be one big family.

“We’re always with each other and we have great teamwork and chemistry.” said senior Michael Benko.

However it is not just the boys who have strong bonds within the team. The boys have connected with their coaches as well.

“All 15 of them have great character,” said Kougias. “One of the toughest things [about coaching] is the end of the year, when you have to say goodbye to all those seniors.”

While some of the team members are graduating this spring, some will continue playing basketball in college.

“Without basketball, my life wouldn’t be the same,” said Benko. “I’m always committed, and somehow I’m involved with it year-round. You know what they say: ball is life.”

Girls Track

The girls track team  moved up in rank from 2A to 3A this season. This means that the girls will have to put in more work to have a successful season.

The ranking goes in the order of 1A, 2A and 3A. Being in 3A means that the competition will be tougher and the girls will have to strain themselves to stand out from the competition.

“The girls are doing an amazing job and they’re taking practice more seriously,” said girls track coach Shawn Murphy.

The girls are adapting and every practice has been more intense, according to Murphy.

Junior Alexa Schmitt said, “[although there is] room for improvement,” her teammates have adjusted in spirit and in psychical ability, taking a “tougher” approach to their involvement in the team while remaining enthusiastic about practices.

The girls have placed 1st in their first two meets which is an accomplishment they are proud of.

“All the girls have remained positive,” said Schmitt.

Murphy sees a bright future for the track team.

“This group of girls has to be all-around the best team I’ve had,” said Murphy.

Girls Basketball

The varsity girls basketball team went to regionals Feb. 16. The team spent the season focusing on the games ahead rather than obsessing over past failures or successes.

“Our goal is to go as far as we can but we have to do it one game at a time,” said head girls basketball coach Steve Ikenn. “It helps them minimize everything else.”

The basketball team prepares differently for every game they play.

“[We prepare by] watching film on the other team and… analyzing how they play and how we are going to defend them as well as how we can score,” said senior Lauren Spalding.

The team looked for useful insight about opposing teams and then their practices reflected what they observed.

“We get details on their star players and what to watch out for,” said junior Kelly Moroney. “Then, at practices we do specific drills and run-throughs to prepare for the game.”

The team’s one-game-at-a-time philosophy helped minimize the stress the season supplied.

“The one game at a time strategy is helpful,” said Spalding. “It makes sure we don’t overlook any team and it helps us focus in on the one game we are playing without any other distractions.”

Even though they put pressure on themselves throughout the season, it got more intense as the playoffs approached.

“Naturally, we put more pressure on ourselves during playoffs because we [wanted] to go as far as we [could] in our playoff run,” said Moroney.

The  regional game was at home and took place in the field house. The team lost 42-44 against Barrington in the first round of the playoffs.

Even though the team lost, the season still made the girls grow closer as a team, and the returning varsity players hope to make it further next year.

Girls Bowling

As the girls bowling season comes to a close, head coach Dianna Soenksen is proud of how far the girls have come.

“I am so proud that we have two individuals, Sarah Polsgrove and Kelsey Holst, who advanced out of the regional,” said Soenksen.

Currently, the girls bowling team is 2-5 in conference, but placed 2nd in the conference tournament.

The girls hit a new program high of a 995 series, meaning all five bowlers averaged about  200 points per game.

“We had the best season since I have been at GCHS,” said Soenksen. “There was a lot of improvement and the girls really came together as a team this year.”

Sectionals were held on Feb. 21-22. Unfortunately, the girls did not advance to State.

“We had the most returning bowlers and three of them were 4th year bowlers,” said Soenksen. “They have really set the standard for what the program should be next year.”

 

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Fall sports seasons end, Spring sports begin