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We Got Game

Caroline Parry

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Blue Jay athletics strived for greatness this fall season. For 2017,  the Jays made a lot of progress. All of the fall sports went to conference and districts and cross country and men’s swim and dive even went to state.

Softball

For the 2017 season the Lady Jays Softball team ended with 24-7 record. The girls won their third conference title in the past four years. The Lady Jays went on to win districts, which hasn’t happened since 2011. The players were delighted that they made it to the district championship and won.

“My high point was winning districts. It is something that I have never done on varsity in three years,” senior Autumn Avery said. “It was a proud moment for me and the other seniors. We have never won districts so it was a cool experience.”

The Lady Jays played great as a team this year. A goal every season for the Lady Jays is to have 20 wins a season. For the seniors, this goal was not met their sophomore and junior year, so this was a big goal for their last year. Last season, the Lady Jays shared their conference champion title with Liberty North, so another big goal for this season was to be conference champions- and not have to share it. The third goal for the Lady Jays was to win a district title. All three of the Lady Jays’ biggest goals were met with flying colors.

“I’m thankful for all the girls I got to play with,” Avery said, “I was really thankful that this was the team I got to play with my final year.”

The team was really thankful this year that they got to play with the seniors and got to go far this season and that they made a lot of memories at all of games.

 

Cross Country

Cross Country season was like running up and down hills, but this season had lots of improvements on runner’s times. They made it to sectionals and conference and almost made it to state this season.

Coaches Tim Nixon and Tim Fritson stand on the sideline to help them become better runners.

“I always get a big kick out of seeing the kids improve and them getting better at what they were before,” coach Tim Nixon said. “Also, seeing a kid’s time drop is very gratifying to watch and seeing them put in effort and time.”

This year Cross Country went to The Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in Arkansas, to the Kansas City Sectional and went to state in Jefferson City. For some of the runners, they were grateful for the experience to race in some different venues

“I set a new personal record (at Chile Pepper), even though my shoe fell off during the race,” sophomore Carmen Caudillo said. “We also did pretty good as a team at Chili Pepper.”

At Chili Pepper the Varsity Boys got 2nd, Varsity Girls got 24th, JV Boys got 3rd, and the JV Girls got 22nd.

The runners and coaches are gratified with the results for this season because they have put in work towards their personal goals.

“Overall I think we watched some girls improve a lot and we also saw the boys accomplish a lot, invitational victories, conference wins and district runner ups,” Nixon said. “Overall improvement time wise it was a big success.”

This season the guys and girls had a lot of development towards the end of the season and they never gave up. When the team went to state, Logan Bly, Ryan Flood and Ryan Mata. Madelynn Hill won All-State honors for the 2nd year in a row with her 10th place finish.

“I’m thankful for the great kids. It is always fun to watch them become great leaders,” coach Nixon said, “Also these coaches that I work with Coach Marquardt and Coach Tim Fritson works with the girls and Coach English works with the JV boys and Coach Butler works with the JV girls and C team, these coaches have put in a lot of work.”

Girl’s Rugby

The LHS women’s rugby teams season came to an end on November 4. With a third place finish in the state competition. They are thankful for the bonds and success on and off the field. Having many first year players can be difficult but overall the team has had a good season.

“We’ve had up and downs but have improved a lot from the beginning,” Senior Kiarah Mosley said.

As the year progressed, friendship on the team continued to blossom, and the bond between members became stronger and stronger.

“I’ve enjoyed making new friends and especially ones I normally wouldn’t talk to in class and becoming one big group of friends,” Mosley said.

Not only have members of the team learned the actual sport of rugby but they have also learned important life lessons as well.

“It’s given me a really good mindset to be respectful, not only during rugby but at school, home and work. My coach Tracey has given me lots of life advice and good things to take away from rugby,” Mosley said.

The team is also thankful for the opportunities presented by the rugby program at LHS.

“I’m thankful for rugby because it has given me a lot of opportunities to travel a meet a lot of new people and new ways to think. I’m thankful for everyone I’ve met and getting to know everyone and hanging out with them,” Mosley said.

 

Men’s Swim and Dive

This year the Swim and Dive team has been swimming towards victory with perseverance and patience.  The team won conference for the first time in school history and also went state

“We also won our first Invitational since 2011and finished our dual meet season undefeated,” coach Murphy said.

Some of the boys even started late this season and had to put even more work in to get to where they were in the season.

“For me, my low point was at the beginning of the season because me and another swimmer started late,” junior Cameron Murphy said. “We started late because we were on outside of school swim team. Starting late in the season got us to a slow start.”

Even though some started out late they all came together at the end of the season.

“The whole team did amazing at our conference meet.  In order to win conference, all 16 swimmers and both divers had to do their job,” coach Murphy said. “We knew going in that even one person not swimming or diving well could cost us the team title.  They all performed well and we were rewarded with the team conference title for the first time in school history.”

The team traveled to State on November 2-4. The whole team got fifth place and Noah Witzki even broke a 29-year-old school record and his own school personal record on the 50 Free. The 400 Free Relay of Witzki, Coday, Harvey, and Murphy broke a school record taking 4th place, and the same four swimmers teamed up to take 5th in the 200 Free Relay and finished just .05 off the school record.

Since the boys have made a lot of achievements they are also grateful for a lot of things that

happened this season.

“I’m thankful for the team itself,” Murphy said. “We are all supportive of each other. We cheer each other on and we hang out. I’m just really thankful for the team and the coaches and what they have done for us.”

 

Football

The football team ended their season at Staley with a record of 8-3. The team ended their season strong and really worked as a team. The start of the season for the Jays was a night to remember, they got to play in their own new stadium. Playing in our own stadium made it feel real and the Jays even beat Liberty North, 22-20.

“The home game against Liberty North was my favorite part of the season,” sophomore Matt Lawson said. “Our whole student section was hyping us up and we were feeling their energy. It was a close game and we just came together as a team to win it.”

The intensity from the crowd made the players get hyped. From the intensity, individual players made new records for the school and for themselves.

“Joe Barnes became our all-time record leader in tackles and Robert Rawie became our all-purpose yard leader,” coach Chad Frigon said.

They were grateful for their winning games and teamwork.

“The first time we played Liberty North, to me was the best game,” Frigon said. “We just clicked well as a team. This team finished the year playing together as a team and for each other, which is a great way to finish.”

As the season came to a close, some wished that we could have gotten farther, but overall the team came together to finish their last game of the season.

“I feel like the season went really well. I think we finish strong,” Frigon said. “At the end of the year we were playing as a team really well.”

“I loved playing with this team,” he said. “They became my family and I can’t wait next season when we can try again.”

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We Got Game