Spring high school sports preview
Teams chasing big goals as season picks up steamThe spring high school sports season is upon us, and with it comes the unmistakable sounds of aluminum bats pinging baseballs and softballs, tennis shoes squeaking on courts and swimmers breaking the plane of a perfectly glassy pool.
Here’s what to expect from the teams at La Jolla High School, La Jolla Country Day and The Bishop’s School.
BaseballLa Jolla High School has a somewhat young roster, but could compete for Western League and CIF San Diego Section Division III titles based on the experience it returns.
The Vikings are an easy pick to win any time senior Patrick Christensen takes the mound. He is 17-6 with a 2.20 ERA and 129 strikeouts over the last two years. Senior center fielder and leadoff man Robbie Beathard is a leader offensively and defensively. Senior first baseman and cleanup hitter Kyle Zimmer and junior shortstop and No. 3 batter Zac Zlatic should also be key.
La Jolla Country Day finished second in the Coastal League South last year, and even with just three returning starters, expects to be able to repeat that feat or do more.
The Torreys will look to No. 3 hitter Derek Hatfield and cleanup man Ben Sweeney to spark the offense, and first baseman J.T. Kelley will anchor a solid defense. Country Day expects to use eight different pitchers, and its success will depend on the development of the pitching staff, coach John Edman said.
The Bishop’s School is also short on experience, but could improve on last year’s 12-11 record if some things fall into place. Coach Al Gomez will look to catcher Cade Sears and outfielder Sam Breier, both returning all-league players, to lead the team. Pitcher Demian Tschirn and shortstop/leadoff hitter Chris Ludwig are also key returning players.
SoftballLa Jolla High School has just one senior (shortstop/ pitcher Alyssa Taylor) and no juniors, so inexperience could be an issue for the Vikings this season.
The Bishop’s School went 17-6 last year and advanced to the playoff semifinals. They have a new coach in Jim Buechler and just two seniors, so there could be a period of adjustment required as well.
La Jolla Country Day is hoping for a better season this spring after missing the playoffs last year. With four seniors - Carly Murk, Patricia Flathers, Taylor Bornemann and Brittany Dawson - that should be an attainable goal.
SwimmingThe Bishop’s School’s boys’ team expects to be improved over last year, and will lean on seniors Henry Clausner (sprint freestyle, breaststroke) and Jihoon Yoon (individual medley, breaststroke). Sophomores Donald Dean and Liam Devine, and freshmen Adrian Kaku, Jonathan Lin, Ben Beatty and Guillem Arlandez will also be counted on for contributions.
The Knights’ girls’ team will be young and inexperienced after graduating three CIF qualifiers. Freshman Allison Rhodes (IM, freestyle), Alexandra Rhodes (butterfly, freestyle) and Alexandra Levine (IM, backstroke) will be asked to fill the shoes of the Knights’ graduated seniors.
Sophomore Alexandra Trifunovic should be solid again in the IM, freestyle and backstroke, and senior Kelly Janus could stand out in the sprint freestyles and butterfly.
Girls’ lacrosseThe Bishop’s School is seeking a second straight Coastal League championship, and with eight seniors returning from a 12-7-1 team, that could be a realistic goal. Senior Ali Bishop will anchor the midfield, and junior Camilla Johnston should be the Knights’ top defender. Senior Jameson Kearney and juniors Sophia Muller and Hillary Halter should also be key cogs.
La Jolla Country Day is expecting big things this season. The Torreys’ scoring efforts should be led by Roya Bagheri, Liv Hipkins and Veronica Lee. Jodi Morris could anchor the midfield, and Ariana Elegado and Supreeta Anand will be counted on for defensive contributions. Country Day will also seek big contributions from goalie Stephanie Rothenburg.
Boys’ lacrosseLa Jolla Country Day is hoping to improve on a 2-13 season last year. The Torreys will be leaning on junior midfielder Jason McCallum to serve as the point guard for the offense. Junior Jake Hamilton gives Country Day great size and a good stick at attack.
Boys’ tennisLa Jolla Country Day is expected to be strong again, and will count on sophomores Daniel Faeirman and Warren Wood to be among its top players. Senior captain Sean Taylor and junior Max Ferre should also make big impacts.
Sports schedules are onlineSpring sports schedules are posted on the school’s Web sites.
La Jolla Country Day
www.ljcds.orgLa Jolla High School
The Bishop’s School