Henry Redmond, Senior Lacrosse Player
Through optional practices and individual drills, senior Henry Redmond is preparing for his fourth and final season of lacrosse at East. After four seasons together, the seniors are hoping for a successful season.
Those optional practices entail working on stick skills in their free time, like passing, catching and shooting. The coaches also advise the players to work on upper body workouts, sprinting and jogging.
“These help us get ready earlier than usual so that we aren’t relearning the fundamentals during tryouts,” Redmond said.
The senior athletes recently started holding optional practices after school on the turf field and run drills that will be incorporated in their practices during the season. These practices will continue until tryouts on Feb. 28.
Redmond, along with his teammates, is hoping to clinch the state title this year, after losing the past two years against Pembroke and Rockhurst High School.
Winning games like last year’s Rockhurst game at Rockhurst helps get the athletes pumped for the upcoming season.
“Having a full student section got us hyped up and definitely helped keep the energy going throughout the entire game,” Redmond said.
Jack Santilli, Senior Tennis Player
After committing to play Division I college tennis at Cleveland State University, senior Jack Santilli is heading into his fourth and final year of high school tennis.
“Even though I have college coming up, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity,” Santilli said.
Santilli will start at number one on the team’s lineup for singles and is focused on ending his high school career with one more state title to add to his other two.
“My personal goals are to try and go undefeated this year because I know I’m capable of it so might as well try,” Santilli said.
To accomplish this goal, Santilli focuses on picking parts of his game that he needs to improve on, such as serve and return as well as depth on his shots.
Santilli thinks that James Lowe from Blue Valley Northwest should be his biggest threat, considering they play together at the same academy, but still believes he can beat him and win the state title.
Looking back at his past seasons, Santilli is sad to see head coach Sue Chipman retire after over 20 years but is excited for what’s in store for a new and different coach, Andy Gibbs.
Chloe Harrington, Senior Soccer Player
Center midfielder Chloe Harrington hopes to leave a positive message once she graduates as she prepares for her final season of girls soccer at East.
“I just really want to work as hard as I can this season,” Harrington said. “So by doing that I think the seniors and I will leave a good message and set a good example for all the younger people to really work hard and enjoy the season because it’s really short.”
Harrington, as well as a few of her teammates, has been attending optional conditioning sessions on Monday through Thursday to prepare for the season before tryouts on Feb. 29. Coach Kelly usually runs the conditioning with long distance running, sprints, plyometrics and more for an hour each day. Kelly will sometimes let the girls finish the conditioning with a scrimmage outside, which he is not allowed to supervise until tryouts begin.
“We have a lot of seniors this year so I think we have a really good shot of winning league and going onto state this year,” Harrington said.
To accomplish this goal, Harrington believes they need to beat their two biggest rivals this season: Shawnee Mission West and Olathe East.
Moments like scoring a header to win the game against all time rival Shawnee Mission South will be one of the many things Harrington will miss most about playing.
Bonnie Longan, Senior Swimmer
In fourth grade, senior Bonnie Longan knew she had a reserved spot for the girls swimming team at East, thanks to coach Rob Cole.
“He came up to me when I was 11 and was like I coach girls swimming at East and you’re going to be on my team,” Longan said.
Through swimming year round at Kansas City Swim Academy, Longan knew many upperclassmen who encouraged her to try out. Since freshman year, Longan has enjoyed being a part of the girls swim team.
The team hopes to win the state title this year after losing last year for the first time in six years against their biggest threat, Lawrence Free State.
To prepare for the season, conditioning is on Monday and Friday for swimmers. During conditioning, they do lots of stairs, box jumps and band exercises. They don’t lift a lot of weights, but work on body lifting such as planks, sit ups and working on pulling their own weight. On Fridays, Longan attends a pilates class which helps with the smaller muscles that most people wouldn’t consider working out.