Spring sports are often overlooked, with most of the attention on sports like football and basketball; however, last year the girls tennis team won a state championship, the baseball team won a state championship, the girls soccer team made it to the final four, the boys soccer team made it to the state championship, the boys track and field team won region, the girls track and field team were state runner ups, and many individual events won state.
A team is a group of people linked with a common purpose, and this season there are many teams fighting to be significant competitors in the playoffs. Soccer, baseball, lacrosse, track, golf and tennis are all vital sports in the Wesleyan community. With such a small school, it is imperative that many students participate in all of the sports that they can for Wesleyan to be prosperous in athletics.
Boys and girls soccer are both hopeful for this season. The boys team is coming back from a successful season where they made it to the State Championship, and the girls team is coming back from making it to the Final Four. Senior, Anna Mosley has been playing soccer at Wesleyan since the seventh grade, and believes that her team will make it very far. Some of the most difficult games will be their region games because their region has been the top four teams in their league for the past few years. Mosley hopes that her team makes it all the way to State.
The baseball team is coming back as the reigning State Champions from last year. Senior, Jake McCleskey has been on the varsity team since his sophomore year, and is returning as the shortstop this year. McCleskey hopes for a “big time season again,” but is taking it one game at a time. The returning starters for the Wesleyan baseball team are junior Colin Hall, senior Drew Aspinwall and McCleskey himself. Junior Jordan Ward, senior Alex Thompson and Georgia Tech commit, senior Andy Archer are expected to be solid pitchers this season. Other important players this year will be seniors Cole Mannion and Mikey Olson. McCleskey said, “Baseball is an awesome sport, and all the baseball players love the school and hope to impress everyone.”
The boys lacrosse team is in a good position to make a strong playoff run this year. Senior Ren Schmitt says, “[sophomore] Rawley Smith and [senior Haydon Koch] Beans should score a lot this year. Also, [junior] Sid Brendel has been getting huge in the offseason, so I’d like to see a lot from all of them.” Greater Atlanta Christian School, Cambridge and Blessed Trinity are all teams that the boys lacrosse team needs to beat this season. Schmitt hopes that his team will get a home playoff game so that they can play in the stadium, and he would also like to make a run at a championship. Schmitt says, “Come check out some games, it’s pretty entertaining to watch people get hit with sticks and snipe corners.”
The girls lacrosse team has a young team this year with six freshmen on their varsity roster; however, they hope to hold their own in their region this season. Freshman Tabitha Conrad is said to be a stand-out defender with great footwork and aggression. On the offensive side, the girls have quickness and outstanding stick skills thanks to sophomore Lindsay Hayes. Senior Mary Cowart is returning for her fourth Varsity season holding great leadership in the mid field. The girls hardest opponent will be their first opponent of the season, Cambridge. Their most important games are St. Pius and Holy Innocents’ because the past few years their games have had close endings. Senior Sydney Weissman’s hopes for this season are to stay healthy and improve along with breaking her record for “Most Assists in One Season”, as well as adding on to her record of “Most Assists in a Career.”
Track and Field always has a team goal of winning Region and getting top three in State, and senior Kylie Reed believes that her team has a good chance of making that happen. Some key runners for girls track are seniors Cairo Booker, Sheridan Davenport, Kylie Reed and Ellie Bradach along with juniors Nikki Villa and Meagan Lynch. The most prevalent teams that the track team will face are Lovett and Greater Atlanta Christian School because the region meet is a big factor in qualifying. Reed hopes to make a personal record in the 800-meter run. She also hopes that the girl’s 4×4 can break their record again because they have broken it every year thus far.
The girls golf team will hopefully make it to the State Championship and win this year because they have been close for the past few years. The girl team’s key players are junior Alissa Yang and senior Wilton Kennerly. Vidalia has been the one team that the girls golf team has struggled to beat in the past, so that will be one of the more important matches of the season along with Region and State. Senior Wilton Kennerly hopes that the team will win a State Championship this year. Junior Alissa Yang hopes to break a few records and also to win a State Title both individually and as a school.
The boys golf team is also striving for a State Championship win this year. They have some young talent, but also have experienced players like seniors JT Eigel and Will Harper. Senior Geoff Taylor, junior Joseph Bernie and freshman Rasmus Eriksson will also play important roles on the team this season. Wesleyan’s region is very competitive in golf, so Greater Atlanta Christian School, Lovett, Pace and Holy Innocents’ are all difficult opponents. It is important that Wesleyan beats at least one of them in the Region Tournament in order to progress to sectionals and the state championship. Harper hopes that his team will “perform with consistency” and make it to the state tournament.
The girls tennis team is coming back as the reigning State Champions with hopes to win again. They play tough competitors like 5A and 6A schools, but their most important matches will be against Lovett and Greater Atlanta Christian School. Equipped with strong upperclassman, the team hopes to make it far in the Region and State Playoffs. In order to win, the team needs to win three out of five matches, so every player counts for every match. Juniors Harrison Feininger and Makena Renz have started this season well along with junior Lauren Alexander and senior Sophia Strickland.
The boys tennis team believes that they have a great chance to go far in the region and state tournaments this year. Their hardest opponents of the season will be Johns Creek and Marist; Marist has won state many times in the past couple of years. The region matches are the most important for the boys’ team. They were knocked out during Region last year, but because of their strong team this year they are hoping to go farther than they did last year.
When asked about the team’s key players, junior Patrick English said, “Tennis is a team sport. There is no one person more important than the other. If one of us goes down, we all do. If one of us succeeds, we all do.” English hopes that this season the team “can all stay confident and believe in ourselves.”