Spring sports athletes hopeful for upcoming season

O'hara Diamond '23, Page Editor

Captain Megan Degrand shown pole vaulting at a meet in 2021. (Megan Degrand ’22)

With the winter sports season coming to an end, it’s now time for the spring athletes to step on the field and the court. From Track and Field runners to baseball pitchers, lacrosse goalies, softball fielders, golfers and girls tennis players, student athletes are getting revved up for the upcoming season. This season in particular is incredibly special – it’s the one they’ve been hoping for since their previous season was elongated and ran late.

This year’s track and field season is hoping to have its best yet, with new members and a new chance to create a bond. Track and field captain, Megan Degrand ‘22, is excited for this season and ready to see the development of her fellow team mates over the course of the season. She was thrilled to be chosen as the 2022 track and field captain alongside Becca Koch ‘22.

“It’s a great feeling, I’m happy that many of my teammates saw me as a responsible and valid captain and I hope I can make them proud,” Degrand said. “I’m very excited to be captain with Becca, she’s super organized and experienced; she is also a super supportive leader.”

The track season has two teams, a girls and a boys. Sophomore Joey Drawbaugh ‘24 is a second year veteran to the junior varsity team. He hopes his team can go undefeated and pull out a win against Dakota. Drawbaugh is looking forward to hanging out with his friends and enjoying his third season.

Chase Mazey throws a pitch at a baseball game in 2021. (Chase Mazey )

“It’s going to be a lot different from last year,” Drawbaugh said. “We lost a lot of good people and gained a lot of good people, it’s a whole different season without our masks.”

Coinciding with the track season is boys lacrosse. Patrick Koeppen and Owen Domzalski ‘23 are ready to treat their tryouts as practice for their upcoming game – scheduled for only two weeks away. Domzalski is also a member of the boys varsity football team and hopes to translate his knowledge from the football field to the lacrosse (lax) field.

“I personally haven’t played lax since I was young but I have a lot of experience so I decided to end my baseball career and come back to lax,” Domzalski said. “I’m looking forward to getting back on the field again because I love the speed of the game.”

Domzalski’s good friend and lacrosse teammate Koeppen is anticipating the home games and full bleachers of fans. He hopes to see him and his teammates become a team, as they lost 19 players and are going to need comradery through the season.

“Obviously I hope to improve and get better as a goalie, but I also hope the team gets better,” Koeppen said. “I want us to come together not as individual players, but as a team.”

Along with lacrosse, the ball is thrown onto the diamond and hit with a hard blow. South’s boys baseball team has been one of high reputation. Entering into his tenth year as a baseball player, Chase Mazey ‘23, is expecting a similar culture on the field because most players graduated last year.
“I look forward to making memories with my teammates, as well as just being out there and competing again after a long offseason,” Mazey said. “I am hoping to see our team have great success and be able to make a far push into the state tournament because I believe this year’s team is special.”

On the other side of the field is the girls softball team which includes senior and captain, Peyton Greiser ‘22. Greiser has done three seasons of softball in highschool and overall seven to eight seasons in total. She plans to be closer with everyone and hopes to see her team come together.

“Although this season will be different from last year, we will have more seniors, experienced players, and a drive to win,” Greiser said.

Junior and profound tennis and golf athlete, Corbin Ifkovits ‘23, has participated in two golf seasons here at South; his third season was canceled freshman year due to Covid. Ifkovits believes that this season will be similar to last year for most players are coming back and there are a few new members that have joined the team.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to play the sport that I love with all kinds of new people from different schools every week,” Ifkovits said. “Playing golf with so many different people lets you see all the different play styles and swings that different people have.”

Also playing on the court is freshman Olivia Kowal, a seven year tennis veteran and a new addition to South’s varsity team. She is looking forward to starting the season and tournaments and hopes to see an improvement in her overall game.

“My goal this season is to improve myself and help my team as a whole,” Kowal said. “I want to do this because I think it would be awesome if we could win states and in order to get there as a team and as an individual, we need to be able to improve.”

This year’s girls soccer player, Amelia Ricci ‘22, has been on Souths soccer team for all four years. Ricci is excited for team pasta parties, bonding, and creating new friendships. Since she is one of the oldest team members, Ricci hopes she can impact each of her teammates and help them all with anything she can.

“I hope to improve my soccer skills since this is my last year playing for South,” Ricci said. “I want to have the best last year and help my team improve so we can do well for the seniors last season.”