By J.D. McKay
On March 1, New Albany beat us for the first time this school year in any sport. Losing to them in the second round of sectionals certainly was not what we were hoping for. But like college basketball analysts sometimes say, sometimes a loss is what a team needs. That loss seemed to point out how good we have it athletically at FC.
We have also dominated our rivals in most if not every sport this year. On Monday our girls’ tennis team won their matches against New Albany. That win meant that we had defeated the Dogs in every sport at least once this season. Unfortunately, I could not find the exact record between schools because several sports like golf, track, cross country, and wrestling are not head-to-head and sometimes neither team wins the meet. It is also incredibly hard to find these stats.
New Albany was not the only rival we dominated this year, although we have had the best record against them. We have also beat Jeffersonville and Providence pretty consistently.
Just this year we have already had won eight sectional championships in 13 sports. This spring, we will add to that total. There are six spring sports, and winning five of those sectionals is definitely possible, but we could potentially win all six with a little luck and outstanding play.
I expect the boys’ and girls’ track teams to both win sectionals. The main competition in those sports sectionals is New Albany, and both teams have already beaten New Albany once this year. Two boys’ track athletes I expect to excel the rest of this season are senior Cam Sturgeon and senior Jon Gunn. Sturgeon has a real chance to win state and will be all-state. Gunn can fly. He should carry the title of 100 and 200 meter dash champion out of this sectional after winning both last year. I expect freshman Annalise Zeinemann to win pole vault sectionals and could make a real splash in regionals–maybe even state. Plus, junior Sydney Liddle, who was all-state in cross country, has a chance to be all-state in a second sport this year in a long distance event.
Baseball is the only team I am not expecting to win their sectional. Our team is talented, but we also have a very competitive sectional. New Albany and Jeff are both very good. We have defeated New Albany and lost to Jeff. However, if senior Adam Spalding, who tossed a no-hitter last night, can have another dominant pitching performance over either Jeff or New Albany, and senior Blake Barrett can light it up from the plate like he did against New Albany earlier this year, I could see them winning sectionals.
Softball should win sectionals and potentially go deep into state. Our team has a plethora of future college softball players including seniors Cassie Thomerson (Indiana State) and Dallas Henderson (Indiana University Southeast). As long as our players play up to their potential, the team could advance far past sectionals.
We typically have the best boys’ golf team in the area, and I do not see that changing. Last year, we won sectionals and had three golfers come in the top five. Senior Harrison Eades finished third, graduate Dylan Zink got fourth, and junior Reece Compton got fifth. One of the opponents that finished above Eades and Compton has since graduated, and the winner from Corydon is within reach of Eades or Compton.
Our girls’ tennis team should also win sectionals. They won sectionals last year in straight sets and I do not expect that to change. While we did lose two seniors, Kate Sparrow–a doubles player was the biggest loss–junior Katie Weimer should step up and fill that role.
It is almost the end of the 2018-19 school year and time is running out of time to get to an event if you have not yet. It is a good time to be a Highlander. Do not miss out.