Marin Creamer, Staff Writer
As the snow begins to clear up, and winter athletics come to a close, Latin’s spring athletes look forward to their upcoming seasons. With the beginning of open gyms, athletes can anticipate the performance of their team and reflect on their previous season.
After a rough season last year, the boys’ baseball team is looking to redeem themselves this season. With a record of 4-13 last year, and only four upperclassmen on the varsity team, baseball had what co-captain Eli Aronson refers to as a “disappointing season, and that’s putting it lightly.” Two years ago, Latin’s baseball team was second in the ISL. After losing the prestige the team previously held, Eli reflects, “I feel like teams disrespected us because we aren’t what we have been in the past.” He thinks that other teams treated them unfairly last year based on their skill, but he wants to change the narrative. Instead of holding onto last year’s record, Eli states, “We’re definitely capable of winning regionals and making a run at sectionals and state this year.”
Returning player Ryan Kramer agrees. “I definitely think the record will improve this year, especially because the team only lost one senior and we will almost be bringing back the same team,” he said. With a stronger team, the guys are looking to beat DePaul this season and win state.
The boys’ tennis team, on the other hand, is looking to live up to their reputation from last year. Sophomore Will Benford remarks, “Last year, the team was the strongest it has ever been.” He is proud of the team’s ability to go “undefeated in duel matches” and their success in winning both sectional and conference tournaments. As the favorites to win state this year, Will is confident in the team’s ability to go far. Will is looking forward to the new players this year too, including “freshmen studs, the Garapati brothers.” With the addition of skilled players and Latin’s new, nearby courts, the tennis team is anticipating a strong season and a higher attendance rate among their peers at games.
Although the season is looking up for the tennis team, Will mentions, “All of our singles players and doubles teams were seeded poorly at state last year.” He is also frustrated because after the team was moved to the bigger school division last year, the “IHSA moved us back down to the smaller school division this year for no reason.” Will and his teammates are looking to reclaim their position in a higher division and win state this year. Will encourages fans to show up to games in the upcoming season. “There is no excuse not to come,” he said.
Latin’s track team also hopes to carry on their success from last year. Last spring, Latin’s track team had many strong athletes which allowed the team to excel. Of the runners who qualified for state, many are likely to return to the event this year. Junior Marianne Mihas, who won the 1600m and 800m events at the competition last year, looks forward to going again this year, especially since “the girls have moved up to 2A” after securing second place last spring. Marianne believes that although the “competition will be tougher” this year, the team “should still have a lot of success.”
With many runners, including sophomores Ava Parekh and Mckenna Fellows, juniors Olivia Syftestad and Bea Parr, and senior Clare Hardiman, setting school records last year, the team is expected to only improve. Meanwhile, pole vaulter Peter Cahillane is looking to “go to state again and hopefully clear a bar.” Peter has been “training consistently” throughout the year in anticipation of the state competition this year.
Marianne believes more athletes will be able to attend the event in the upcoming season. She specified, saying “Ryan Hardiman and Akili Parekh have good shots of qualifying for state.” In addition to Ryan and Akili, sophomore Ronan Hussar is hopeful that “more people can make it to state” this year.
Latin’s new indoor track program is intended to get runners in shape before the season starts. Marianne is confident that the program will prepare athletes because “running is unlike so many other sports because you can lose fitness really quickly.”.
While Girls’ soccer has undergone some changes within the team, returning players look optimistically towards the upcoming season. Many returning players are excited to be led by captains, Maya Edwards, Lizzie Nash, and Lily Weaver. Sophomore Zoe Weiss believes that the girls were “great leaders junior year” and “the embodiment of what a captain should be.” Captain Maya Edwards is preparing for the season, exclaiming that she has “been looking forward to this soccer season all year!” As a new captain, Maya is excited to lead the team to a successful season and engage in the “new team dynamics with new players and with Mr. Cronister as the new head coach.” Although many players on the team, including junior Malia Brandt, will miss the former head coach, Coach Bower, Malia is excited for a fresh start to the season with “a new coach, new captains, and new spots open for new players.” Maya talked about the recent open gyms, saying “the team is already playing well together… and I am beyond excited to get into the team dynamics with new players.” She predicts that the team will have “a really successful season.”
Thinking strategically, goalie Lucy Norris, class of ‘22, anticipates an increase in performance this year because the team “didn’t lose many players other than Charlotte Cronister.” Although the team was able to maintain many of their strong players, Lucy believes losing Charlotte Cronister “will be a very hard adjustment for the team.” Additionally, Lucy talks about how the size of Latin affects our athletic performance because “the bigger schools in Illinois usually have the better teams which is a disadvantage for Latin.” She’s concerned the competition brought on by larger schools will affect the team’s record. Meanwhile, Malia mentions how “we did have a lot of injuries and concussions.” She hopes that the team will have an injury-free season, and as a result, the girls will go farther in the competition.
The girls’ softball team, one of Latin’s smaller teams, is also enthusiastic towards the new season and looking to overcome any adversity they may face. Sophomore Vivie Koo, who understands that “softball isn’t a popular sport and doesn’t often have big numbers,” is prepared to hold “our own against larger teams from bigger schools.” She believes that the team is “small but mighty” and able to achieve great things in the upcoming season. With seniors Maddie Koo, Bella Flerlage, and Olivia Hirshorn as captains, Vivie “could not be more excited.” Vivie raves, “the girls have been at the forefront” of the team, “with high enthusiasm and genuine love” for the sport and their teammates for the past four years.
Under the leadership of passionate, energetic captains, Vivie thinks the team will only “get stronger and represent Latin with a positive and enthusiastic image.” Vivie mentions how last year the girls played many “angry teams who sometimes play very nasty,” but she believes that sportsmanship is more important than winning. The softball team is ready to hold their “heads up high and represent the Latin Softball team with pride.”
This year, girls’ lacrosse has officially joined other spring athletic teams as a Latin varsity sport. Lacrosse is a sport that’s only recently begun at Latin. Because people are less accustomed to girls’ lacrosse being a sport, Alanna Madry feels that “people underestimate the girls’ team.” Although she says it’s disappointing for fans to not expect much of the team, Alanna hopes becoming a varsity team will “make people see that we are really ready for a strong season and want to be taken seriously.” Alanna is excited to show off the intensity of the girls team this season and demand the attention of fans. Additionally, she is excited to see the team play together this year. Alanna recalls, “last year we would see these moments where we played so well together.” She’s excited to see the team carry on the same energy from last year because the team knows what they “are capable of and super ready to work” to achieve greatness.
The boys’ lacrosse team also hopes to make a stronger impression this season. After a decent first season as a varsity sport, Ascher Cahn said that “Last year was great for how new of a program lacrosse is at school.” He believes that the longer the team is established, the more it will grow. Sophomore Sam Gibson agrees, “Our program has been exceeding expectations since it was founded, just a few years ago.” Sam and Ascher are excited for the team to grow and “increase in numbers” as time goes on. Ascher believes the “extremely supportive and helpful” team environment will allow them to improve their record and beat Lane Tech and Whitney Young again.