A spotlight on spring sports


Alonna Johnson

SENIORS Bengy Mitchell and Andrew Van Landuyt and Georgia Goering, ‘20, and Anijah Triggs, ‘20, all look ahead to achieving their individual and team goals for their upcoming spring seasons.

As the snow and the freezing temperatures start to fade, the beginning of spring sports open the final athletic season for the 2018-2019 school year.

This year’s list of spring sports includes baseball, softball, boys and girls lacrosse, boys tennis, boys and girls track and field and boys volleyball.

Baseball began their season with a game against Madeira on March 16. Last season, they finished fourth in the conference with a majority win season. This season, with consistent practice and improving skill, the baseball team believes they can surely win their conference.
New changes come with the new season of softball as Jayma George recently became the coach of the team. George will be the coach to lead Evelyn Merritt, ‘20, and her fellow teammates to a winning season the team wants to have. Merritt is excited for her fifth year playing softball for WHHS and believes this is the year for victory. “We have a new coach and we have new equipment,” Merritt said in explaining why this season will be different. In the 2017-2018 season, the team placed seventh in the conference.

The WHHS boys lacrosse team is ready to make a name for themselves, a name that the Nuthouse will remember in the future and that will leave a legacy for the seniors who are graduating.

In the 2017-2018 season, the boys lacrosse team finished in the middle of the conference. But this year, the chance of winning the conference is magnified. With varsity practicing six times per week going up to two hours and a senior-led team with years of experience, the fight for a conference win is achievable. Starting off the season with a win on the first game on March 15, the team plans to continue the winning streak all the way to the ECC championship.

With it being SENIOR Andrew Van Landuyt’s fifth and final year playing for WHHS, his goal is “to win our first playoff game and have a winning season.”

“We’re going to be good this year,” Charlie Steward, ‘20, said.

The WHHS girls lacrosse team begins its seventh season this year as one of the newest sports here at WHHS. Last season, the girls did not do as well as in previous years. Captain Georgia Goering, ‘20, wants to reassure the Nuthouse that they will be back to winning this year.

“I would like to have a winning season, so if that [is] one game over half or ten, I would be happy because with such a young team it’s hard to teach the game and still excel [at] a position,” Goering said.

Last year, the girls varsity lacrosse team placed fifth overall in their conference.

There are plenty of things that the team wants to do differently this year. Ally Standley, ‘20, says that the team is going back to the fundamentals. “Our team is putting a huge focus on basic skills because those are skills that are overlooked but mean the most in the game,” Standley said.

But it is not just the skills that need to be built upon but also the sisterhood of the team. “When you have a good relationship off the field, you have an even better relationship on the field because you know each other, you know what each player is going to do and that way you can play effectively and efficiently. We’re just trying to hammer in the fact that we need to be friends off and on the field,” Standley said.

The boys tennis team wants to strive for WHHS greatness. In the 2017-2018, the team had a solid season with the boys placing fourth in the conference.

SENIOR Bengy Mitchell has been on the team for four years. Mitchell has a plan for his final year of playing WHHS tennis. “We have a bigger team this year so we are taking the time to get to know each other. Also people are going to be a little bit more flexible about what they play [singles, doubles] and doing whatever is best for the team. I think that’s what is going to help us win more matches, an established coherent strategy,” Mitchell said.

Regarding goals for the team, Mitchell said, “I want to win the Eastern Cincinnati Conference. We’ve gotten pretty close the past couple years. We got second two years ago and we got fourth last year. So we’ve always been in the top half. And this year I hope that we can win or at least perform really well,” Mitchell said.

Track and field is one of the most award winning sports that WHHS has during the spring. With more than 10 members placing in the top 10 in track, runners placing first or second for three out of four relays and three members in top 10 for field, the chances of the boys team receiving as many or more awards than the last season is surely possible.

The girls also had a successful conference as they placed six times in the top 10 in track, placed in the top half in the relays and had two members place in the top 10 for field. Even though they have awards and recognition coming from last season, both teams still have to practice harder than before. Anijah Triggs, ‘20, sprinter and hurdler on the girls team, said, “We’re practicing harder than before.”
Boys volleyball begins its third season at WHHS coming from a previous majority win season in 2017-2018. Boys volleyball began its start in spring 2017 and has been pushing for as many wins as possible.

Our team is putting a huge focus on basic skills because those are skills that are overlooked but mean the most in the game.”

— Ally Standley, '20

With playing a sport, a grand turnout always make the game more enjoyable. Out of all the sports seasons at WHHS, spring has a lower attendance rate than fall and winter.

Lacrosse players would “like to see more fans, it’s an underappreciated sport, mostly because it’s new at Walnut and new in general. I’d still like to see people care because it’s a very fun game,” Van Landuyt said.

“I hope they realize that we also have had a lot of accomplishments and that we have made a lot of progress as a team,” Mitchell said about the tennis team.

Students and faculty are able to see baseball games at Roselawn Park, softball at Owl Nest Park, boys lacrosse at Marx Stadium, girls lacrosse down on the south field, Boys Tennis at WHHS tennis courts, Track and Field at Marx Stadium and volleyball in the High School Gym. A more detailed schedule for each team can be found on the Eastern Cincinnati Conference website.