JV Boys Lax: Hopes against rival gone in puff of vape- Joe Pohoryles, Sports Editor
After an incredible start to their season, the JV boys’ lacrosse team was caught up in a bit of scandal after the suspension of five players for the rivalry clash against Churchill. Now, the boys are sitting at 6-2-1 with one game yet to be reported and with all the controversy behind them, it’s clear that when push comes to shove, this season was a success.
It was business as usual for the Patriots in their 9-3 win over the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons on April 20. The Patriots’ attack overwhelmed the helpless B-CC defensive unit and while the Patriot defense was a bit more lenient than in the past, the team as a whole did more than enough to get the job done and improved to a 5-1-1 record at the time. “I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with this group of young men,” Coach Jonathan Powell said, “We have a great group. They’ve grown a lot this year.”
With just a few games left in the season, every player on the roster had their calendars marked on April 24, the day they’d play their undefeated rival- the Churchill Bulldogs. It would be their biggest test of the season and coming off a win on April 20, there were plenty of reasons to celebrate all while preparing for the much-anticipated matchup.
According to multiple members of the team, days prior to the team’s clash against Churchill, five players, all of them starters, were caught using an inhalation device inside the Frost locker room, which they use as their practice facility. As a result, all five of those players were suspended for the Churchill game. Powell declined to comment on the subject.
Those players’ absences proved costly, as the Patriots would go on to lose to Churchill by a slim margin of 6-5, their first loss since their season opener vs. Northern on March 24. With one of the team’s top scorers as well as one of the best defenders both on the bench from the suspension, the under-manned Patriots squad were left to face the consequences. Understandably, there were struggles on both sides of the field, and although they came remarkably close, the boys were just unable to gain an edge. Even with all the struggles and chaos that came with the Churchill game, there was one silver lining.
“We felt less pressure because we knew the odds were stacked against us,” sophomore attack Caleb Metz said.
After all the controversy surrounding the Churchill game had passed, the Patriots got right back to where they left off in an 8-1 win over the Quince Orchard Cougars on April 28. With all the starters back in the lineup, the offense went to work. Collectively, it was one of the best team performances of the season.
On the other side of the field, the Cougars never strung together much of a challenge, but defense still did its job and allowed the offense to take the reins. “Good defense leads to good offense because it allows the offense to have more time with the ball,” sophomore midfielder Ben Stoller said.
The Patriots wrapped up the season against the Urbana Hawks on May 4, too late to be covered in this issue.
JV Baseball: Boys start to feel aftershock of roster shake-up- Danny Rothenberg, Staff Writer
A surprising turn of events has occurred for JV baseball since their road loss to Quince Orchard on April 19. On April 21, the varsity coaches shocked everyone by pulling up five players from the JV squad. The players who were pulled up, however, were no surprise after their outstanding season so far.
The promoted players were freshmen pitcher Dev Zoks, right fielder Graham Blondes and shortstop/left fielder Connor Walsh along with the team’s two sophomore captains, first baseman Ethan Reff and centerfielder Ethan Kach.
Without their ace, starting first baseman, and all three starting outfielders, sophomore third baseman Matthew Winson looks to keep the team’s momentum going after his four-run, three-RBI season while hitting just above .400 on the season. Winson, whose best skill is contact hitting, looks to become a leader for the remainder of the season and improve his already good fielding skills to finish the season off on a high note. “I feel like we’re good enough to win even without the five guys. If we all play our hardest and put in the work, good things will come,” Winson said.
In the team’s matchup against Einstein on April 21, the boys got off to a great start. The team was led by freshman Darren Chang who had a hit at his first at bat. Even after only three innings of play, the team racked up five runs and only allowed one before the game was ended due to inclement weather.
The team’s next game against Clarksburg on April 25 was cancelled again due to inclement weather, allowing the team to get some extra practice in before their home matchup with Walter Johnson on April 27. The team got off to a hot start against the Wildcats after scoring three runs in the first inning thanks to a walk by Chang and a hit by freshman Will Karis. After the fourth inning the team was up 4-0 but the Wildcats showed they weren’t done yet after scoring two in the bottom of the fourth. The Patriots shut down any chance of a comeback in the fifth inning after scoring four times, thanks to singles from freshmen Andrew Misovec and Freddie Rodgers. The team went on to win 9-3.
The boys couldn’t keep the momentum going after losing 5-1 at B-CC on April 29 where it seemed like no one could get things jump-started for the team after scoring one run in the first inning thanks to Walsh, who played with the team for the game.
The team’s next game at Blair on May 1 was cancelled again due to rain, leaving the boys looking forward to their matchup against Gaithersburg on May 3 where they brutally lost 8-0.
JV Softball: Low season ends on high note- Emily Eichberg, Staff Writer
As the junior varsity girls’ softball season comes to an end, gym teacher and first year coach James Long helped the team end their losing streak, ending with one win, and one tie due to a forfeit by the other team.
Three games were cancelled due to unsafe weather conditions, which interrupted the team from establishing better game playing habits. The season did not pan out as the girls had hoped, but everyone worked hard to improve their skills, while having fun.
Junior captain and center fielder Elizabeth Acosta and sophomore captain Layne Harbourt helped lead the team to its close, as they aimed to break the losing streak they had throughout most of the season. Freshman catcher Amy Kraft was pleased with how the season went, despite the lack of wins, “I think that all of us worked hard this season, and that is what brought us so close together,” she said.
At the start of the season, the team had full confidence that they worked well together and had good chemistry. This was shown during practices, but lacked during games, considering they had a few close scores, only losing by one run in a close 10-9 loss to Kennedy, and another close 13-12 loss against Magruder, “I believe that our losing streak was caused by a lack of communication in some of the positions,” Kraft said.
Communication is essential in team sports, so bonding with one another on and off the field became the team’s number one priority as they worked to get out of their winning drought. The girls became close, and honed their skills and techniques in addition to implementing and practicing new strategies during every practice. They were also able to improve their game by learning from their previous mistakes. “Having the coaches and the players around me, teach me new things every practice, as well as learning from my mistakes really helped me improve the way I played this season,” Kraft said.
JV Girls’ Lax: Team looking to finish strong- Ethan Reff, Staff Writer
As the JV girls’ lacrosse season comes toward an end, the team’s record is 4-3-1. The team picked up a victory against B-CC and tied Churchill.
On April 21, the squad faced B-CC, who had only won two games up until the matchup. The team focused on working together as well as on not making any selfish plays offensively. This approach allowed the girls to be successful on the offensive side, scoring 11 goals. Defensively, the girls were able to disallow the Barons from scoring a large number of goals due to the game plan made in practice the prior week. The final score was 11-5.
Sophomore Dede Beck credits the success of the team to the hard work they put into preparing for the game. “We really put an emphasis on improving our mistakes in practice, which allowed us to play a great game against B-CC,” Beck said.
On April 24, the Patriots traveled to Churchill to face the rival Bulldogs. Defensively, they were able to stop the tough Bulldog attack from scoring with ease. The team needed to improve on their communication on both sides of the field. This hurt them by not allowing them to be at their best on defense because they were not on the same page.
Offensively, they were unable to finish key attacks because they were inaccurate passing the ball when on offense. This made it hard for the team to stick to their game plan because they kept turning the ball over. On the positive side, the squad was able to make their transition from defense to offense easily and quickly. This allowed them to have more time in the offensive zone, which led to more shots.
Sophomore Mollie Greenberg credits their offensive success to communication. “Our communication put us in a position to win, but unfortunately we came away with the tie,” Greenberg said.
The squad looked to end their season with a win against Frederick on May 5, too late to be included in this article.