It’s already been a fantastic year for Archbishop Murphy sports. Girls soccer and volleyball both placed 3rd in state, football won the state title, girls basketball is playing for the district championship this week, and boys basketball needs 2 wins for a state berth. Individual sports, such as cross country, swimming, and wrestling, have all sent or are sending athletes to compete in state tournaments.
With tryouts for spring sports just over a week away, here are my predictions for how all the Wildcat sports teams will do in their 2017 season. (None of them are bad because, let’s face it, the Class of 2017 is a phenomenally talented and athletic class, and many of them play spring sports.)
Losing only one starting senior last year, the Wildcats will be fielding mostly all returning players this season as they look to take the state title for the 3rd year in a row. With powerhouse senior Matt Williams up top, assisted by Jensen Crisler (sr) and Isaac Feeney (jr), and a midfield and defensive front consisting of Sam Johnson (jr), Jake Snider (sr), Chase Whittaker (sr) and goalie Daniel Mycroft (sp), it doesn’t seem far fetched that the boys could bring home the state title again this season. Preseason games are still undecided, as many 3A and 4A teams don’t want to risk their RPI rankings by losing to the Wildcats, but make sure to find time to come out and support the boy’s soccer team. I know I’ll be at as many games as possible.
Last year, senior Lauren Braswell was the only AMHS tennis player to make districts, with 1st-alternate being Hannah Van Hollebeke. This year, Van Hollebeke is a junior and I’m prepared to see her kick some butt on the court and push through to the district tournament. Also, keep an eye out for seniors Natalie Sizelove and Maddy Williams either as a doubles pair or as singles this season.
The Wildcat baseball team is another team poised to go far in districts and possibly state. Led by seniors Parker Sand, Connor O’Brien, Aleks Hansen, and several others, the team has a good shot of returning to districts again this year and making a run at state. Catch them on Roman Miller Field this spring in their spiffy new uniforms.
Coaching changes this year have put assistant football coach Damien Holman and dean of students Jeff Latta in the position filled for many years by Stephanie Harmon. However, I don’t expect this to put a damper on the girls’ season. Although they lost several seniors last year, the team should be returning several strong players such as Yutanee Ryan and Mackenzie Treece, while also seeing the involvement of several new players. I’d keep my eye on the softball team this year; I’ve seen Latta coach powderpuff before, and if he can do half as well coaching this team, they’ll be in good shape.
Track & Field
AMHS boasts a large track & field team, consisting of many talented people. From cross country runners Josh Rauvola (jr), Teresa Barron (sr), and Mackenzie Ryan (jr) running the 3200m and 1600m, to football players Paul Schireman (sr), Martin Napeahi (jr), and Kobe Moorhead (jr) doing long jump, discus, and shotput, to soccer player Tia Asher (sp) running the 400m, make sure you look out for these guys throughout the season. I predict several of them will place in conference, at districts and possibly even at state. I’m definitely planning to make my way to a few meets this season because this team is star studded.
The boy’s golf team also has several returning seniors, 3 of whom placed top 10 at districts last season. Steve Shih, Matthew Pabisz, and Jack McClincy, along with junior Fulton Brawner, should once again prove to be forces to reckon with on the course. Possibly the best dressed Murphy sport’s team, take some time to go watch golf this season.
Coach Cassie Snyder is turning herself into a 3 sport coach this season by stepping up to coach golf. The team last year was small, but who knows, maybe there’ll be a bigger turnout this year.
This should be a good year for the boy’s lacrosse team. The youngest Murphy sports team, only 3 years old, the lacrosse team is technically, because of Title IX, not a sanctioned AMHS team. However, led by seniors Bennett Duffy, Joseph Doyle, and Will Doud, lacrosse will definitely be a sport you should come out and watch this season.