By Sean Budlong
Schoolcraft’s sports teams have played limited dates this spring, but are already experiencing success. The Eagles field teams in baseball, softball, track and field, girls’ soccer, girls’ tennis and boys golf.
The tennis team has started 4-0, and is getting stronger. “We are really developing as a team,” junior Jenna Barter said. “Our doubles teams are working well together and are helping to carry the team early in the season. This season should be great, and we have a great shot to make it to State as a team.”
The Eagles softball team has only one senior in the starting lineup, but the skill of the younger players has made up for the inexperience. Behind Alyssa Proper’s pitching (as well as playing multiple defensive positions), Lydia Goble’s and Brooke Crissman’s hitting, and solid defense, the Eagles have a 3-1 record. Nicole Abel, Kennedy Leighton, Marissa Sootsman and Mikayla Mead have started the season strong in the field and at the plate. The Eagles’ lone loss came in the first game of the season when Kalamazoo Hackett scored in the final inning to earn a 4-3 victory. Schoolcraft followed that loss with a 15-7 victory over Hackett, and outscored Decatur 24-7 in a double-header sweep. The Eagles hope their fourth victory of the season is a harbinger of things to come. Down 2-0 to Decatur after one inning, Schoolcraft stormed back with seven runs on hits by Leighton, Sootsman, Goble, and Crissman. Already, Goble and Crissman have double-digit runs batted in, and each hit a home run.
Like the softball team, Schoolcraft’s baseball team dropped its first game to Kalamazoo Hackett. The Eagles–ranked sixth in Division 3–have also roared back to post a 4-1 record thus far. Early in the season, Blake Bales, Ricky Clark, Caleb Anspaugh, Nolan Anspaugh, Darren Kehoe, and Carlos Andino have found success at the plate. Bales and Clark have also been strong on the pitching mound. In the second game against Decatur, the Eagles had to fight back from a 3-1 deficit in the fifth inning. Clark pitched a solid game, allowing his team to chip away at the Raider’s lead. In the eighth inning, Nolan Anspaugh drove in Bales (pinch running for Cody Tone) for the game winner.
The boys’ golf went to State last year, and are looking to Nick Jasick, Blake Bales, and Andrew Julien to lead them back again. Early in the season, Bales and Julien have played well even as the team has struggled to find momentum. Last season’s experience should allow the Eagles to improve their scores as the weather improves.
In its second season of existence, the girls’ soccer team is getting contributions from returning and new players. Hannah Huysken has given the Eagles a shot of energy on offense, scoring three goals in three games. Janis Thiede, Emma Woodhams, Breanna Varker, and Chrissy Winkle have carried the team as it develops chemistry. Sam Spears has played well in net, as the Eagles have started the season 1-2.