Golf[media-credit id=161 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The boys’ golf team will be looking to follow their last two consecutive state titles with another this spring. Last year, the golf team edged out Olathe East by seven points to complete their state repeat. All golfers from last year’s state team will be returning, including seniors Hank Simpson and Conner Shrock who will both be playing division I golf at Kansas State next year.
Junior Chase Hanna says that Simpson and Shrock have both improved their game from last year’s stellar season.
“Everyone on the team has had strong off seasons and is ready to make a run at state,” Hanna said. “Our goal is to win every tournament we play in this season.”
Track[media-credit id=82 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The boy’s track and field team placed fourth at state last year. The girls ended up in seventh place. This season both teams will be looking to rebound from the loss of key runners.
The boy’s team lost now college athletes Andrew Goble and Connor Wilkins. They will still have returning lettermen David Sosna, Carter Olander and Troy Wilkins. Sosna, who placed fifth in hurdling last year at state, injured his ankle a day before the season started in a basketball game, but will return in four weeks.
The girls team will have Abby Dunn, Toni Aguiar and Grace Pickell. Aguiar, who will be running at Dartmouth nest season, will be a key contributer to the team along with Pickell, who will be coming into the season ranked second in 6A high jump.
Both teams will begin their season on the East track in the SME Quad meet on March 27.
Baseball[media-credit id=25 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The baseball team will be looking to build on the third place finish at last year’s state competition. Their whole outfield will be returning from last year, including seniors Kurt Jensen and Billy Kirkpatrick, the only returning basemen.
One of the biggest challenges for this season is finding a player to fill former senior Dylan Becker’s shoes. Becker, who now plays baseball at Missouri State, was a stud both in the outfield and at hitting. The Lancers may not have one superstar player like Becker, but they make up in plenty of young talent.
According to Jensen, sophomores Colin Burns and Gunnar Troutwine will be key contributors to this year’s team.
“They will have a chance to stand out this year and help the team have a good season,” Jensen said. “Even though we lost some good pitchers from last year we still have a really good hitting team that can also play defense.”
Jensen also believes the whole team improved their chemistry as well as their defense over the summer.
“Most of the seniors this year have been playing together since sixth grade and I think that chemistry formed over the years will help us throughout the season,” Jensen said.
The boys’ tennis team will be looking to bring home a state championship this season after the reigning champion, Blue Valley North, saw their top player Jack Sock graduate last spring.
The Lancers placed second at state last year and lost Sam Amrien and Ross Guignon, now a freshmen player at Illinois. Still, they have plenty of talent on the team. Senior Jackson O’Gorman-Bean who placed fourth in singles and junior Jake Glazer, who placed fourth in doubles with Amrien.
“We expect to win state, like always,” Glazer said. “Hopefully each individual will play either in singles or doubles. Hopefully we’ll bring home the gold.”
Girls’ Swimming[media-credit id=82 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The Lady Lancers lost five seniors from their state champion team last year. The girls will be trying to win their eighth repeat at league and their third consecutive state title with the help of returning state swimmers junior Meg Stanley, junior Sarah Freshnock, senior Lanie Leek and sophomore Madeline Peters.
According to junior Meg Stanley, this year’s team will be more prepared for this season with many of their swimmers swimming year-round.
“Lilli Stalder, Hallie Beck,Tiernan Shank and Madeline Peters have been training all year which is something they didn’t typically do,” Stanley said. “The whole team will be much better conditioned and if we all stay healthy we should be able to get our third state win in a row.”
Last year, the girls’ soccer team ended with a 15-3-1 record and lost in the quarterfinals in state to Blue Valley Northwest, who they lost to in the quarter finals the previous year. The Lady Lancers will have nine returning starters including seniors Caroline Dodd and Kara Hines and junior Addison Steiner.
According to head coach, Jamie Kelly, the team will have high expectations this season.
“In some preseason polls we are as high as number one,” Kelly said. “A lot of the schools that finished above us have lost a lot of players. It’s not surprising that we’re number one but we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The team will start their season on March 23 against St. Theresa’s Academy, a favorite for the Missouri state title.
The softball team will be under new coaching when Heather Vaughan takes the helm this spring.
The team lost four seniors from last year’s team that lost to Olathe South in the regional championship. According to senior Shannon McGinley, who will be attending the University of Virginia to play to softball next year, the team wants redemption after losing to South by one run.
“We really want to come out this year strong and go further than regionals,” McGinley said.
Along with McGinley, the Lady Lancers will also have junior Kassey Hughes who has one of the best arms on the team and senior Caroline Nick who can make big plays as catcher. Expect the softball team to come out big this season.