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Now serving spring sports

Daylight savings time will come earlier than usual this year, and what better way to celebratey than to dive right into the spring high school sports seasons? Baseball and softball, track and swimming, tennis and golf, and other sports like lacrosse and volleyball will be heating up as our focus shifts to outdoor activities. As these sports take over our diamonds, fields, tracks, pools, courts and gyms, here’s what to expect from La Jolla’s three high schools this season.

Baseball

La Jolla High School had a young team last year that wasn’t particularly happy with its .500 record, but the good news is that the Vikings graduated just two seniors. They return a strong corps of pitchers and position players and should be improved, coach Gary Frank said.

Billy Bright returns to anchor the pitching staff and play a solid center field. He is one of four Vikings pitchers - including Casey Richmond, Wyatt Hoff and Rob Sprong - who had an ERA under 4.00 last year.

Senior second baseman Jack Peterson anchors the defense and is also a good on-base man (.415 OBP last year), and Trent Jemmett provides a good glove at shortstop. Catcher Zach Tonks hit nearly .300 last season and sprays the ball to all fields. Franks believes the Vikings have the talent to compete with league powers Mission Bay and University City.

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The Bishop’s School expects to be competitive coming off a 16-11 season, and that has a lot to do with the fact that it returns two first-team All-Coastal League South players in Colin Walsh and Patrick Swan.

Walsh, the Knights’ shortstop, batted .486 with six home runs and 19 RBIs last season, and played well enough over the summer to attract attention from Stanford, Rice and Brown. Swan was a perfect 6-0 with a 3.39 ERA. Tommy Wornham, a second-team all-league player last year, and Nick Cox, a third-year starter at second base, could be solid contributors. Other key players include Tim Costello, Raj Dharmapal and Cade Sears.

La Jolla Country Day went 16-12 last season, and coach John Edman is confident entering 2007 because his pitching staff returns two hurlers who earned 14 of those wins, Zack Kusnir and Greg Wisenberg. Kyle Reese and John Kennedy will add depth to the rotation.

The Torreys have five returning position players, and that group totaled 15 home runs last season. Cather Mike McKenna drove in 20 runs last year, and most of the pitching staff helped themselves: Kusnir (23), Wisenberg (25) and Reese (21) combined for nearly 70 RBIs, so run production shouldn’t be a problem.

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Softball

The Bishop’s School graduated five seniors from a team that went 12-8 last year and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs. The Knights plan to field eight freshmen, so expect them to look a bit green at times.

Natalie Carmada returns to the pitcher’s circle after a freshman season in which she was named to the first-team All-Coastal League squad, giveing Bishop’s an immediate advantage. The Knights are also looking for contributions from outfielder Linnea Abeyta, infielder Michelle Brunker and utility player Brittany Allen.

La Jolla Country Day graduated standout pitcher Ally Berenter, but that doesn’t mean the Torreys will be down and out. They hope to improve upon their 13-11 season of a year ago, and much of that starts with Berenter’s younger sister, Sammy Berenter. Country Day’s junior shortstop is a two-time all-league player and last year led the team in batting average, doubles and fielding percentage.

The Torreys are also excited about the arrival of transfer pitcher Brittany Dawson.

La Jolla High School has a new coach in Ken Davis, and is hoping to improve on its 10-13 record from last year. The Vikings’ roster lists just two seniors, so it could be a bit of an adjustment year for La Jolla.

Track

La Jolla High School’s girls team has a shot at repeating as Western League champions, coach Roger Karnopp believes, and that has a lot to do with the team’s depth.

Senior Dana Hoolko is the defending CIF-San Diego Section Division II champion and a returning state qualifier in the pole vault, and sophomore Tess Plant-Thomas returns after placing fourth in CIF in the 800 meters last year.

Sophomore Nihal Kayali is the team’s top 1,600 meter runner, and senior Margot Hedlin will anchor the 3,200 squad. Junior Gina Schumacher is an accomplished sprinter.

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La Jolla Country Day consistently fields strong boys and girls teams, and this year should be no different.

Among the top athletes on the girls team are senior distance runner Lauren Pischel, junior hurdler Jamesha Townsend and sophomore pole vaulter Patricia Dacker. On the boys side, seniors Alex Maire (sprints and jumps) and Steven Midgal (distance) should contribute in a big way.

Swimming

The boys team from The Bishop’s School isn’t deep enough to compete for a league title, but the Knights have some solid individual performers. Seniors Kevin May and Alex Pulido lead the group, and sophomores Scott Siegel and Billy Tifft are expected to be key contributors.

The Knights’ girls team could compete at the CIF level. Ellie Elgamel is a returning CIF winner in the 100-meter butterfly, while Noel Elgamel should contribute in the 500 freesytle and big things are expected of Andrea Basaraba in the 100 backstroke.

Boys volleyball

The Bishop’s School has expectations of success in a wide-open league. Captains Chandler Frost and Wheeler Hadden lead a talented group that includes middles David Stotlemyre and Marshall Anderson as well as back row specialists Peter Semmer and Trevor Sinclair.

Boys tennis

La Jolla Country Day is deep but not experienced, so will need to gain some match toughness quickly if it hopes to advance to the section finals again. The Torreys will be led by Stanford-bound singles player Greg Hirshman, senior Matt Mulligan and junior Marius Migdalski. Country Day also is looking for contributions from juniors Eddie Vaisberg and Zach Ritchken as well as senior John Goodman.

The Bishop’s School seeks success in 2007 with a talented and deep lineup. Senior Scotty Rogers will play No. 1 singles or doubles, and other returning players expected to contribute include senior Michael Campbell, junior Vasu Prathipati, senior Dave Casey and senior David Ruelas. Freshmen Armen Abagayan and Robert Xie also carry lofty expectations.

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Boys lacrosse

La Jolla High School struggled to a 5-13 record last season, but the Vikings think they can be significantly better this year, possibly making a big enough turnaround to challenge for a league title.

The Vikings didn’t graduate any players from 2006, so are hoping experience pays off. Senior David Ginsberg has played very well in goal, and seniors Tobias Felbeck and Marc Tibbs should dominate the midfield. Senior attack David Gardner is the team’s leading scoring threat. Senior Jeremy Gentile is a shutdown defender at the long stick midfielder position, while junior Tony Sandoval is the Vikings’ top back line player.

The Bishop’s School went 10-10 in 2006 and has higher expectations this year. Seniors Scott Bollert and Nick Haeling will anchor the defense, while senior Will Geier and junior Tighe Thomas lead the midfield. Senior attack Dillon DuPont, junior attack Conner Thomas and sophomore goalie Jack Kelley will also be counted on to contribute.

La Jolla Country Day won just one game last year, and will count on its freshman class to help build a winning tradition starting this spring. Among the Torreys’ key players this year will be senior defender Collin Tuck and senior midfielder Jon Volfson.

Girls lacrosse

The Bishop’s School went .500 last year, but should be more competitive this season thanks to a large group of steadily improving seniors. Riley Sexton and Daryl Griglak were all-league selections at midfield last year, and attack Claire Halter returns after an injury-plagued season. Nicole Ballon-Landa, Chelsea Allen, Kate Bell and Jacqueline Rhodes are also expected to make contributions.

La Jolla Country Day expects to run a more sophisticated offense in the second year of its lacrosse existence. The Torreys will look tomidfielders Alex Kusnir, Caitlin Bonacci and Alyssa Newman to anchor that effort. They also expect a solid performance from sophomore midfielder Sierra Ferreira, whose soccer skills should translate well to lacrosse.

butterfly, while Noel Elgamel should contribute in the 500 freestyle and big things are expected of Andrea Basaraba in the 100 backstroke.

Boys volleyball

The Bishop’s School has expectations of success in a wide-open league. Captains Chandler Frost and Wheeler Hadden lead a talented group that includes middles David Stotlemyre and Marshall Anderson as well as back row specialists Peter Semmer and Trevor Sinclair.

Boys tennis

La Jolla Country Day is deep but not experienced, so will need to gain some match toughness quickly if it hopes to advance to the section finals again. The Torreys will be led by Stanford-bound singles player Greg Hirshman, senior Matt Mulligan and junior Marius Migdalski. Country Day also is looking for contributions from juniors Eddie Vaisberg and Zach Ritchken as well as senior John Goodman.

The Bishop’s School seeks success in 2007 with a talented and deep lineup. Senior Scotty Rogers will play No. 1 singles or doubles, and other returning players expected to contribute include senior Michael Campbell, junior Vasu Prathipati, senior Dave Casey and senior David Ruelas. Freshmen Armen Abagayan and Robert Xie also carry lofty expectations.

Boys lacrosse

La Jolla High School struggled to a 5-13 record last season, but the Vikings think they can be significantly better this year, possibly making a big enough turnaround to challenge for a league title.

The Vikings didn’t graduate any players from 2006, so are hoping experience pays off. Senior David Ginsberg has played very well in goal, and seniors Tobias Felbeck and Marc Tibbs should dominate the midfield. Senior attack David Gardner is the team’s leading scoring threat. Senior Jeremy Gentile is a shutdown defender at the long stick midfielder position, while junior Tony Sandoval is the Vikings’ top back line player.

The Bishop’s School went 10-10 in 2006, and has higher expectations this year. Seniors Scott Bollert and Nick Haeling will anchor the defense, while senior Will Geier and junior Tighe Thomas lead the midfield. Senior attack Dillon DuPont, junior attack Conner Thomas and sophomore goalie Jack Kelley will also be counted on to contribute.

La Jolla Country Day won just one game last year, and will count on its freshman class to help build a winning tradition starting this spring. Among the Torreys’ key players this year will be senior defender Collin Tuck and senior midfielder Jon Volfson.

Girls lacrosse

The Bishop’s School went .500 last year, but should be more competitive this season thanks to a large group of steadily improving seniors. Riley Sexton and Daryl Griglak were all-league selections at midfield last year, and attack Claire Halter returns after an injury-plagued season. Nicole Ballon-Landa, Chelsea Allen, Kate Bell and Jacqueline Rhodes are also expected to make contributions.

La Jolla Country Day expects to run a more sophisticated offense in the second year of its lacrosse existence. The Torreys will look to midfielders Alex Kusnir, Caitlin Bonacci and Alyssa Newman to anchor that effort. They also expect a solid performance from sophomore midfielder Sierra Ferreira, whose soccer skills should translate well to lactrosse.