By Zach Kersh
Fall sports have kicked off in full swing. Even with heartbreaking ends and surprising finales, last season is in the past. It’s a new school year, a new season, and a new chance for students to redefine themselves as athletes. How will Glenelg’s fall sports’ teams compare to the previous year?
Prediction: 13-1 Result: State Champions Key Players: Drew Sotka, Kyle Dry, Trisden Bovello, Niko Garbis, Adrian Russell
Football has been and remains the pinnacle of Glenelg sports. Last year’s states run was incredible and repeatable. “We’re winning states this year,” starting Junior Wide Receiver Robbie Tolbert emphasized. “We’re not going to let ourselves lose again, I’m not and I know everyone else will be doing the same; leaving it all on the field, every game.” The boys are hungry, not just to be the best, but to win it all. The team is much more serious about winning as well. “Last year we took a lot of breaks in practice, but with Coach Cullen, practices are more strict and there are actual time schedules.” Though the boys are thirsty and angry, the loss of star Seniors Wande Owens and Sam Alshiemer may affect the team’s success. “They kind of carried the team last year,” starting Junior Niko Garbis exclaimed. “This year everyone has to do their own part and step up in order to win every game.” Losing key players always affects the overall team. However, as long as each player stays locked in within his respective role, you can expect another banner by the end of the season.
Prediction: 13-1 Result: State Champions Key Players: Maddie Myers, Alyssa Kelly, Gracen Alsheimer
Volleyball at Glenelg is always incredibly interesting to watch. Last year was a near-perfect season, with the girls just missing out on that state’s hardware. Among the most pivotal players is Senior Maddie Myers. Myers is coming off a fantastic season. As a junior, she was named to first team All-County and is committed to Palm Beach Atlantic University. “Losing states last year was a heartbreak for all of us, but it drove us to work harder,” she relates. The team has been holding numerous captains’ practices in order to win one more important game than last year. In addition to hard work, the team relies on other things for success. Myers explains, “Energy is a huge factor in our success. If we have a lot of energy and the audience does too we play our best games. We’ll play our hearts out, compete with no hesitations, and have fun.” You can be sure to see many fans at volleyball games throughout the season. Ask anyone who has gone to a volleyball game, and they’ll be sure to tell you how electrifying the entire gym is.
Prediction: 4-10-1 Result: 1 Playoff Win Key Players: Evan Mavronis, Nathan Curtis, JT Shatzer
Last year, soccer had an extremely upsetting season. The team went 0-15-0 and were for the most part laughed at. For such a popular sport, how did the team manage to be so unsuccessful? “I felt like we gave up when times got tough instead of working harder,” Senior Captain Evan Mavronis explains. The team believes that hard work can propel them to a more successful season. In addition, Senior Captain Nate Curtis builds, “I feel like it had nothing to do with talent or skill, our mentality was just poor. If you look at our roster this year there’s not much that has changed, but I feel that this year’s team is completely different.” The Gladiators started the season with a win, but have since seen four losses and two ties. In order to not fall into the same defeated pattern as last year Curtis emphasizes, “This year we will never give up no matter our record or the score. We’re all very positive and a great group of players that will support each other no matter what.” With a completely different mindset, the team is confident they can take a huge step forward from last year. “It’s not about our record last year, but what we can learn and improve based off of the reasons for our record,” Mavronis concludes. Following Glenelg boys soccer should definitely be exciting as they attempt a comeback season.
Prediction: 9-6-0 Result: 2 Playoff Wins Key Players: Hallie Koele, Brianna Werner
Girls soccer was average last year. Their record was 6-9-1 and they exited in the first round of playoffs. However, like the boys, the girls expect to surprise many people this year. “The team this year has more confidence and belief in ourselves that we can succeed,” Senior Captain Hallie Koele explains. “Being able to practice so hard and have that be portrayed on the field helps the team realize that we can actually win and helps us gain more confidence.” The team seems to be building more chemistry as the season goes on. “Knowing how everyone plays helps the team be aware of when to check or be ready to shoot,” Koele relates. “[It] further helps us understand each other and leads us to scoring more goals.” So far, the Gladiators have scored a ridiculous twenty goals in their first six games, but only have a record of 3-3. Defense might be the key to success for the Gladiators, seeing that scoring does not seem to be an issue. If the Gladiators manage to improve on their defense, there is a belief that they have the potential to make a deep playoff run.
Prediction: 5-9 Result: 1 Playoff Win Key Players: Chloe Birckhead, Sarah Kang, Ashley O’Bryne, Grace Meissner
This season could go a number of ways for the field hockey team. Since last year, the Gladiators had ten seniors graduate, most of which were starters. Also, three time All-County senior Kathryn Hoffman tore her ACL before the season began. With many seniors and key players gone, the team is younger compared to other years. However, Coach Nikki Trunzo hasn’t changed the team’s focus. “The goal is a state championship. That’s what it’s always been since I’ve been coaching here and that’s what it will always be.” Younger players need to play with high intensities in order for the team to see success. “It is really important for the returnees to step up because we all have big shoes to fill,” Junior Captain Chloe Birckhead emphasized. “Although most of this year’s starters have never started before, everyone is working hard to continue for our program to grow.” A state semi-finals loss may be what the team will use to keep them hustling. “It was heartbreaking. It sucked but we’re not going to forget it,” Birckhead states. It will be exciting to see how the season goes, especially compared to other strong Howard County field hockey teams such as Marriotts Ridge, River Hill, and Mt. Hebron.
Key Runners: Matthew Finnan, Dylan Jock
Cross Country might be overlooked, but the athletes work just as hard as others. Running is more than just moving your legs. “You have to train since the beginning of the summer to build aerobic capacity,” Junior Matthew Finnan explains. “You have to have a good work ethic and make sure not to slack at all.” Many people don’t like running. They find it boring or just exhausting. “I love running. I think it’s because of how simple it is. It makes me free and relaxed,” Finnan says. For some people running just isn’t their thing, but for others, it’s their favorite sport. Finnan expects Glenelg to do well this year. “We’re a small school in the county but we usually finish around fifth in meets. We normally make it to states though for 2a schools.” Many schools in Howard County have good cross country teams. However, with the divisions being changed, Glenelg has a good shot at winning states this year.
Key Golfers: Caleb Taylor, Ally Abruscato, Roggen King
Glenelg golf has recently been causing commotion. The high amount of success from both male and female golfers has shown that golf is not just a male sport. Caleb Taylor is at the top of his game this season. Throughout the season, Taylor has averaged 24.9 in nine hole matches, which is second in the county. Taylor, a Junior at Glenelg, attributes his success to his focus. “You can’t let one thing get you too high or too low in a round,” he says. “I think this has helped me become the best in the county by keeping me in the moment and my mind clear.” Remaining focused is second in importance to skill when golfing. Ally Abruscato, a Junior at Glenelg, is averaging 17.0 in nine hole matches, which is sixth in the county. Abrsucato agrees with Caleb’s opinion on focus. “It’s a mental game. If you aren’t focused you can just fall apart,” she says. Golf isn’t a fast paced game, so taking one’s time to play as good as you can is extremely important. Clearly, Taylor and Abrsucato aren’t struggling to remain focused, with Taylor ranked first in the county and Abrsucato ranked fifth, in their respective genders.
Key Dancers: Nicole Zhand, Lauren Wright, Bella Galgano
Glenelg’s arts department is one of the most decorated in the nation. This year is no different than the rest. With a young team made up of many juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, you can expect an interesting and entertaining team this year. Line officer Bella Galgano explains, “We struggled at first after taking on a lot of freshmen, but we have taken the time to build and grow as a team and everyone individually and as a team is progressing so much.” Like any other sport, it takes time for a team to develop chemistry, especially since timing is everything in dance. Last year, the team competed in two competitions, placing first in jazz hip hop and lyrical, and second in total package. With the pep rally coming up, the dance team’s hard work will be on full display for all students for the first time this year.
Key Cheerers: Jillian Rianhard, Demi Spiropolas, Jessica Stiller, Allie Gorsuch
Glenelg’s cheer team follows the school’s tradition of quality arts. Each football game, you can be sure to see the cheer team bringing an insane amount of energy to the colosseum, which translates to the student section and parents. Many people forget that the cheer team does more than make football games more enjoyable. The Glenelg team competes in about four competitions, in addition to regionals or states. “Last year we did not place very well,” Glenelg Junior Jessica Stiller says. “This season we are working much harder with more intense practices and significant improvements every day.” Not just the work ethic has changed. “With a new coach she’s really pushing us this year,” Glenelg Junior Nikki Wildy says. “She used to coach an all star team, then River Hill. She’s also a Glenelg alumni so she’s very invested in us winning and doing well.” With coach Katie Carpenter, it will be interesting to see the direction the new coach takes the team in. However, with her accolades and the team’s more intense attitude, we expect the team to perform even better than last year.
Some may say that as the first sports season for the school year, fall sports are the most exciting. Whether it is football, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, or cross country, each sport is exciting to someone. It’s always important to support and have pride in your school, so be sure to watch a different sport than you normally do every once in a while. Good luck to each sport this season, and of course: GO BIG RED!