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Spring Sports Preview

Sara Javkhlan, Photos by Peter Kubiniec

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Boys Soccer
Despite a 4th place finish at the state tournament last year, the Garfield boys soccer team is still not satisfied. This season, they are eyeing redemption.
“We want to win state this year. We definitely have have the team to do it,” said senior captain Peyton Menti.
The soccer team is looking stronger than ever. The majority of the team is made up of returning seniors, and with the loss of only one starter from last season, the prospects of winning state are high.
In addition, players have been doing a lot more preparation for the upcoming season.
“We grinded more in the off season, we went to a lot more workouts,” said Menti.
This season is very important to Menti, who’s playing for Garfield one last time, so he wants to make the most out of it. For him and many players on the team, it’s their last time to make a statement for Garfield soccer. He expressed high hopes for his team, and wants the students of Garfield to feel the same way.
“I want people to know that even though all the hype goes to basketball and football, they should watch out for soccer,” said Menti. “We’re pretty filthy.”

Softball
The dedicated Garfield softball team is expecting to win big again this year. An unexpected turnaround that led to the school’s first run in the softball state tournament last season has turned the team into a fierce competitor in the Metro League.
Before the last season, the program went through significant changes, one of which included bringing in former University of Washington softball player Whitney Jones to coach the once struggling team.
“Last season, we brought in [Coach] Whit and she certainly made the playing environment much more positive,” said senior captain Josie Barker.
Barker stressed that being in a positive, supportive environment led to the team’s successful road to the state tournament last year.
With that in mind, Barker wants to continue the success into the new season.
“Our hope is to make it back to state this season,” said Barker. “But more importantly, we want to make sure we’re in it together, and that we’re supporting one another when we’re on and off the field.”
Off the field, the softball program has introduced a new head coach alongside a bigger assisting coach staff, which will supplement the team and keep the program strong.
Things are looking great for Garfield Softball, so don’t turn your attention away just yet. “Expect big things,” said Barker.

Track and Field
The Garfield track and field team is looking to continue their legacy.
“[This season] we’re going to give it another fight. We want to be repeat state champs,” said head coach Kwajalein Griffin.
The boys and girls teams made standout appearances at the state championship meet last year. The girls team put forth an extraordinary performance, and with a team point total of 72 points, the team took home first place.
It was expected for the girls team to make to very far into state. A star-studded team that included now junior Lyric Harris, and graduated seniors Iman Brown, Imani Moronkali, and Taleijah Sims did not disappoint. The four of them won the 4×100 and the 4×200 relays, an incredible feat.
Individual athletes from both the girls and boys were state champions in their respective events, including Brown, who won the 200 meter race.
Coach Kwad thinks that this season the team will be just as strong. Other multi-sport athletes will be joining as well, making this incredible team even more stacked.
“We’re an accomplished team” said Coach Kwad. “And if you’d like to join us, we accept everyone from all walks of life. Come join us!”

Baseball
Last season, Bulldogs Baseball made an impact on the field by being just one game away from qualifying for the state tournament.
“Being that close was kind of sad but it was also cool because that was the first time we’ve ever been that close,” said senior captain Nelson Huffaker.
The team hopes to see the continuation of that success. Despite losing some valuable pitching this season, Garfield baseball may still be able to pull off another successful season with the arrival of some younger players.
With the new arrivals to the team, it is essential for the team to cultivate an inclusive playing environment.
“We want to make sure everyone is truly a part of this team so that we can all work together and perform better on the field,” said Huffaker.
Off the field, the team dynamic has been described to be wild. Yet, when it’s game time, they’re committed and focused on the game. It is with that commitment and passion that has led to their games being exciting for the spectator. Huffaker wants students to join in with the fun.
“Come out to our games and support. There are some exciting things that can happen at our games.”

Tennis
Walk into the Amy Yee Tennis Center on any given weekday afternoon, and you’ll feel the energy and excitement from the Garfield tennis team practicing. Hopes are high for both the boys and girls.
Senior captains Lizzie Bui and Evelyn Holt hope that the addition of young talent on the girls side of the team will help put forth a strong performance this season.
“A large portion of our team left last season, but I’m looking forward to seeing how some of our new freshmen do,” said Holt.
For the boys, they are looking to stay dominant on the court. Despite being a very young team last season, they remained competitive and won some hard fought matches. With many returning varsity players, this season is destined to be another strong one.
Even though girls and boys tennis are now technically separate sports rather than co-ed like in the past, both teams still practice together and maintain an inseparable bond. On meet days, they all root for each other.
“We all cheer together, for each other,” said Bui.
Team spirit is high for Garfield tennis. And if you would like to show some spirit, both Bui and Holt highly recommend coming out to a match and rooting the team on.

senior captain Peyton Menti takes a break from practice

Coach Kwajalein Griffin poses on the track

senior captain Josie Barker sports a softball bat

senior captain Nelson Huffaker poses during practice

senior captains Lizzie Bui and Evelyn Holt pose before practice

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Spring Sports Preview