The Future of Our Sports

 On Sunday April 5th, the Chicago Cubs took the field for their 2015 home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals: a game that was sure to mark the emergence of the Cubs from their 110 year world series drought.  With much ridicule cast on their organization, the Cubs have long been searching redemption since their last World Series victory in 1906. Each season they attempt to maintain their frustrated fan base by promising a rebuilt team with talented offseason acquisitions and a head coach that is confident in the athletes. But these promises are too torturous to endure for Cubs fans, who are beginning to realize that their team is making a name for itself as one of the worst sports franchises in history.  Latin sports teams—although we play at a much lower level—face a similar task of rebuilding. Our athletics program may pale in comparison to the likes of New Trier and Saint Ignatius, but we face rebuilding nonetheless, as does any sports team.  The last class of graduating seniors dealt the most recent blow to Latin sports teams with the loss of Henry Schuler from the soccer team, Victoria Bianco from the cross country team, and 6 star seniors from the boys volleyball team.  Both the soccer team and the cross country team were not fazed as they reached new feats and broke new records. The volleyball team, who started their season over spring break, was reduced to a young squad composed of only 6 sophomores and 4 juniors.  Sophomore Sammy Goldman, who was on the varsity volleyball team last year as a freshman, found the change difficult. “We lost 6 great seniors who made our team great. Now that they are in college, my role on the team has changed a lot. I went from playing 10 plays a game in the back row, to having one of the most important roles on the team as starting setter. Now I play the entire game.”  Off to a 1-2 start, head coach Mr. Woodhouse and assistant coach Mr. Puzio, are intent on leading the young, sophomore-dominated team to a successful season. But it is the current senior class that is perhaps the most athletic class Latin has ever seen, with a record-breaking 14 students going on to play college-level sports. So it would behoove their respective sports teams to begin the rebuilding process with the majority of the seasons being finished.  Latin’s girl’s ice hockey, who won the Illinois state championship this year, is a team built around 7 seniors. But assistant captain Natalie Pontikes, is confident that next season will be just as successful as this one, even if another state championship isn’t on the horizon. “I think that the team’s main focus this post season is to really show everyone how special our team is.” said Pontikes when asked how the hockey team plans to rebuild. “Of course we had a spectacular end to our season with the state championship, but all of the games and moments along the way were equally as special. We want to let as many people who are interested know what an amazing program we have and plan on making announcements at the upper and middle school to do so.”  Despite Natalie’s optimism for the future of the girl’s ice hockey team, she still recognizes that next season will be a challenge. “There will definitely be a lot of responsibility that goes with being an upperclassman on a [young] team like this next year, so it is very important that we help pave the way for more success in the years to come!”  In addition to the Girl’s hockey team, the boys cross country team—which has made it to the state meet each of the past 6 years—will face a devastating blow with the loss of 7 star senior runners. The girl’s cross country team, although in less jeopardy, will also lose senior Abigail Nadler, who holds the school record for the girl’s 3 mile race.  But these are certainly not the only sports teams who will have to say goodbye to its seniors come summer break. And even the teams who don’t have any seniors to lose face rebuilding too.]]>