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Spring Sports Preview

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Soccer

With spring sports peaking through classroom windows like the sun does on a regular Friday, the men’s soccer team is ready to show out and win another championship for Garfield after taking home last year’s state title with a 2-1 victory over Roosevelt in the final.

“Winning state was incredible, it was one of the craziest games of my life. It was like a dream,” said senior Thomas Tolgu, one of the team’s captains this year. “[With it] being my last season I’m a little bit sad, but I’m super excited because we have all that potential and I’m excited to see what we can do with the new group of guys.”

The JV soccer team is also ready for another great season said Rhys Lawson, a junior on the team.

“I’m excited [about the] community around Garfield soccer,” said Lawson. “It gets me in shape which makes me feel a part of the Garfield community. Everyone is there to work hard and play soccer.”

Last year, the men’s soccer team lost a lot of seniors so there has been some been conversations between students putting down the team saying they won’t be able to win another state title. “Based on the community

the work that everyone puts in, I think they’ll be at that super high level and be really successful. There’s still a ton of talent and a ton of motivation.”

The next match against Garfield and Eastside Catholic is on Monday March 18th.

 

Softball

Coming off of an exceptional season last year, when they made it to quarterfinals in the 3A State Championships, the softball team is dusting off their bats and cleats for their first game against the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors on March 13th.

The expectations are high for the Bulldog players this year. Last season, aside from making the State Championships for the second consecutive year, they also had a historic 18-0 regular season, a 2nd place finish at SeaKing Districts, and their first ever win at State, giving them an overall 9th place finish.

Nicola Simpson, pitcher and first baseman, wants to do everything possible to get the team in its best shape and playing to its fullest potential to make this season the most special one yet, especially for its seniors.

Thanks to them, she says, the program has transformed into one of the most competitive teams in the Metro League.

“It used to be like other teams wanted to play Garfield because they knew it was an easy game, and that’s not the case anymore,” Simpson said.

The team has been working on weaknesses that have been identified in past games in order to fulfill the season’s optimistic expectations and continue making Garfield history.

Strengthening their offense is a top priority this year, catcher and shortstop Amelia Collet said, who’s also looking forward to being on the field with some fresh new players.

Coach Ken Simpson knows, however, that the softball team has an intangible edge over every other team, along with their “strong pitching staff” and “powerful batting lineup”.

“Our coaching staff believes one of our team’s greatest differentiators is… the incredible team spirit and energy our players, manager, and parents bring to each and every game.” Ken Simpson said.

Coach Simpson and the team are looking forward to a strong start to the season playing against some of the toughest opponents in Garfield history, such as Redmond, Stadium, and Kentwood.

“We have a really competitive schedule this season, so playing better teams right off the bat will help us identify what we need to work on for the rest of the season,” Simpson said.

The softball team has its first home game against Edmond-Woodway Wednesday, March 13 at 4pm.

 

Tennis

A new season brings a new coach for the Garfield tennis team. Coach Eric Webster is a Garfield tennis alumni, and has an impressive tennis background. He played division one collegiate tennis at Columbia University and has also been ranked as high as number four in the country. Although he is new this year, he is not new to coaching at Garfield, as he coached in the 90s.

“I was back here, enjoying life, and I decided to go back to the school of my origins, because my blood is purple,” Webster said. “Bleached purple.”

His goal is to secure a metro title for both the varsity men’s and women’s team. However, he feels this is more realistic more so with the boys than the girls.

“The girls need a little more depth,” Webster said.

Webster will be handling both girls and boys varsity teams, and last year’s JV coach, Stella McClure, will be returning. He plans to focus on character building as well as education.

“My approach is that they are student athletes, students first,” Webster said. “Get your education first and that will help open more doors than a tennis racket will.”

Senior and captain Ben Ferry is also excited for the new season.

“I’m looking forward to a fresh start with a new coach and possibly a metro title,” he said.

Playing both doubles and singles, Ferry’s number one goal is to make it to state.

“My number two goal,” Ferry said, “which is actually pretty much tied with my number one goal is beating lakeside.”

Along with that, Ferry is also looking to the future.

“I also want to leave behind a reputation and a memorial for Ira and Jacquelene,” Ferry said.

Former coaches Ira Moss and Jacquelene Morris both passed away this September and October, respectively.

With a new coach and positive memories of Moss and Morris, the  is team looking forward to the new season.

 

Track and Field

The upcoming track season will hold a team filled with both new and old faces.

“One of the things I am looking forward to this season is all the new people …I walk around the halls all recruit all day everyday,” said head coach Kwajalein Griffin.

She has some new plans for the season, namely creating a more cohesive team. This year, for the first day, she had everybody run together.

“That gives everybody a chance and opportunity to bond,” Griffin said.

For the girls, Griffin has big plans.

“I’m hoping that we get the girlsback down to state in the sprint relays,” Griffin said. “This year I also hopefully want us to get a 4 by 400 relay.”

Griffin also emphasized the importance of a multi-talented team to succeed.

“We had some of everything, just like when we went with the girls last year,” Griffin said. “That’s what it takes to win state.”

Distance coach Derek Lactaoen echoed the goal to have a more cohesive team

“We are one big Bulldog family,” Lactaoen said, “kids at Garfield, students at Garfield, teachers at Garfield, our competitors, they are all going to see us show up as one team.”

He thinks that the team this season will be one of the biggest yet. In terms of goals, Lactaoen does have some of his own but he also wants the runners to formulate goals for themselves.

“I think overall we are going to have to see how kids progress, how we move forward as a team, and encourage them to set their own goals for the season,” Lactaoen said.

However, he does want Garfield to be represented on the state level for distance.

“Last season we didn’t…have any distance kids qualify for state, on the boys and girls side,” Lactaoen said.

Senior and triple jump champion, Lyric Harris, is also excited for her last season with Garfield.

“I’m really looking forward to this season, especially because it’s my senior season. ” Harris said.

Like Griffin, she is also hoping for another state win in the triple jump. For the past two years Harris has also gotten second in the 200.

“I definitely want to go back and try to win that,” Harris said, “that would be a big finale for senior year.”

Sophomore and distance runner, Alyssa Tou, predicts a strong season for the distance runners.

“I think in general we have some really strong freshman and the seniors are on top of it,” Tou said, “I can’t wait for this season, it’s going to be super fun!”

 

Baseball

You know it’s baseball season when purple body bags and wooden bats start standing out in the hallway rush. This year, the pressure is on.

“The past two years we’ve been a game away from State, and we have a large group of seniors on the team [this year] who know we’re close, we’re right there,” said senior Trevor Ing, captain of the varsity team.

Most of the players on varsity have been playing and growing together on the field for four years. Hungry for victory, they know how important playing as a unit is and are confident in the chemistry they’ve built this season. 

“We need to be more consistent as a team. Last year we sort of had a lot of good individual performances, but we weren’t quite able to all step up and have solid games,” Ing said.

JV is alsoworking on their team chemistry and fostering a positive environment in preparation for an exciting season, which includes welcoming some freshman faces to the diamond.

“I never really got a lot of help when I was on JVC, so I’ve been trying to help the new kids who’ve never played baseball in the outfield, teaching them how to hit, small things like that,” said junior

Xavier Morada, who’s been on the team since 9th grade.

With the team locked in and committed to meeting their high expectations, this baseball season promises  to be a thrilling one.

The baseball team has its first home game against the Highline Pirates  Monday,  March 11 at 7pm.

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Spring Sports Preview