Winter Sports Preview

Tifanee Mask, Sophomore Staff Editor

While leaves are plummeting and things are slowly dying down into the chilly winter season, here at Leonardtown High School, we’re buzzing with energy about all winter has to offer. Winter is a busy time for both students and staff. Everybody’s trying to balance both school and the abundance of after school activities, clubs, and opportunities flourishing through the year. Some people that really are filled with energy and life during this winter season are the coaches and athletes that are putting so much effort into making Leonardtown High School the team to beat this athletics season. Here is a preview of this season’s outcome from the basketball teams (boys and girls), hockey, indoor track, swimming, and wrestling.
Girls’ Basketball
Coach Doerrer, the girls’ basketball coach, has been coaching at LHS for nine years; four years coaching JV and five years coaching varsity. She said her “aspirations for the team this season is that they meet with the same amount of success (if not more) as last season. We had the most wins that we’ve had in 4 or 5 years, and despite losing some talented girls to graduation last year, I think the girls that are returning are ready to step up and lead the team. This combined with new girls to our program and girls from the JV team last year; I think the team is poised to have a positive season.” Doerrer’s positivity about the season continues when asked her about any challenges she thinks that her team might face. Shesaid, “I think at least to start the season, the inexperience in terms of actual game experience for some of our girls will be challenging. We’ll make mistakes, but as long as we learn from them and improve every practice and game, we’ll be fine in the long run.” Coach Doerrer felt that her team’s strong points are that her team “works really well together, and they are very encouraging of each other, and positive on the court and on the bench. Most of the girls are very athletic, and that will help with certain things we’re looking to do on offense and defense.” We hope the girls’ basketball team will have an extremely victorious season.
Boys’ Basketball
Coach Holland, the current head coach for boys’ basketball for three years here at LHS, has been coaching basketball for thirty years. He tells me that he “loves coaching basketball because I have played the game for most of my life. I want to pass the knowledge that I have gained back to my players.” When asked what his goals were for this season, he says that “we hope to be very competitive in SMAC play and make a deep run in the state playoffs.” He says that one of the biggest challenges that his team will face is “helping the sophomores and juniors adjust to the varsity level.” Despite that challenge, he says that they “are very quick and have some good outside shooters.”

This is Coach Koehler’s 5th year coaching for the LHS swim team. She tells me that what she enjoys most about coaching is “the kids, the excitement, (and) the friendships that are made by the swimmers.” Like all Leonardtown coaches, she has high expectations for her team this year. She hopes for the team to “continue our undefeated status for the girls and to win SMAC for boys and Girls (and) for both the boys and girls to finish undefeated.” “We lost a lot of strong swimmers due to graduation; our new swimmers have some big shoes to fill. We know the other schools all want to beat us” she says. Leonardtown High School swimmers have set the bar pretty high, and it’s obvious that the team is eager to be the one to beat. When asked about who their biggest competition will be this year, Coach Koehler says that it’s “North Point… we have been their only loss since Winter 2009-2010. They want to beat us badly!” As you can see, Leonardtown has high standards for our athletics teams, and the swim team is an excellent example of that. A good example of one of Leonardtown’s excellent swimmers is Mike Kaslik. He says, “I enjoy the exercise and the friendships I’ve built with all my great teammates.” As far as his goals for the team this season, he says, “I, along with the rest of the team, would love to repeat as SMAC champion again.” When I asked about what his personal goals were, he says, “Personally, I want to win two individual SMAC championships and make it to states again.” He tells me that “a big challenge we’ll face this is a lack of experience. We had a lot of great seniors leave last year and we’ll need more underclassmen, including myself, to step up into those leadership roles.” Despite the challenges the team may face, when asked about the teams’ strongpoints, he gave m a positive comment. Kaslik says, “At Leonardtown we are very close- knit, kind of like a family, and we know we can rely on each other in bug moments and pull off the win.”

Indoor Track
Coach Snyder, an indoor track coach of 17 years, gave his point of view on the season. He tells me that he enjoys “all of the different events of the sport and I enjoy being around sports in general. I believe I can offer a lot of good information to the kids that come out for track and help them become better athletes.” He also enjoys that “there’s no excuses. In some sports if you have a bad day your teammates can pick you up and carry the load. In track, it’s you against the clock or tape measure.” When asked what he expected out of his team this season, he told me that he “I always want(s) each person to give their best effort and learn to be a competitor. Competition can bring out the best in anyone.” Despite the high standards set for the athletes participating in indoor track, like in any other sport, they will face a few challenges. Snyder tells me that “the main challenge is not having enough time to spend with each event and teach some of the more technical aspects of the event. The season is so short and with 80 people on the team, it’s difficult to spend time with everyone and get to know them.” While he tells me that their biggest competition this year will be North Point and Huntingtown, the team definitely has their advantages and strong points. “The girls and boys should be strong in the distance events. I think we have some younger athletes that can definitely contribute to the team”, Snyder tells me. Overall, through interviewing Coach Snyder, it’s evident that this team is definitely in it to win it, and is full of passion about their sport.

Ice Hockey
For hockey, I was unable to get in contact with Coach Bonnel; however, Bryson Spaulding, a hockey player of four years spoke to The Imprint about the season. His goals for the team and himself this season are “winning the State Championship, and the Chesapeake Cup.” In order for the team to achieve these goals, they have to overcome some challenges. He says that some things they’ll need to work on are, “Beating Huntingtown again, and winning some out of conference games.” Despite any challenges they may face, their strong points include “our defense and goalie” Spaulding tells us. Bryson says,” Our hockey team has a very good chance of going far this year. We need more student support.” When asked what he enjoys most about hockey, he says, “late nights with the boys on the team, being undefeated, and hopefully winning the cup.” Come and support Leonardtown’s amazing ice hockey team this season as they work to win the cup.

Coach Cummins could not be reached for comment;however, Garland Brooks was interviewed, who has been wrestling for 7 years. He says that what he enjoys most about wrestling is “The ability to win for yourself yet still help the team.” Garland says his goals for the team this season are to “Build each other up and get as many people as possible to be successful for SMAC Tournamnent.” While he says that the team’s strong point is experience, they have their challenges. Brooks says that those would be “staying strong both physically and mentally.” When asked if he had anything else to say, he says, “We are a young but strong team that needs to stay focused and reach our goals.”

Overall, I our athletics program is very strong this year, both physically and mentally. Our teams are strong as both individuals and as teams, and that’s key to success, being strong when you’re standing together, and being strong when you’re standing alone. All of our athletes and coaches seem very optimistic about this season, and we can’t wait to see what they can accomplish.

Special Thanks to
Mike Kaslik
Garland Brooks
Bryson Spaulding
Coach Doerrer
Coach Koehler
Coach Holland
Coach Snyder