Four of the six Holy Innocent’s spring sports went into or continued postseason this week, though unfortunately good campaigns ended for two squads.
The boys’ tennis team went down last Thursday in the Elite 8, falling 3-0 to Stratford Academy. Coach Ashton Williams’ squad took second in area and topped Hebron Christian in the opening round of state before the quarterfinal blemish.
“To have made the Elite 8 with this team is special,” Williams said. “After starting last season 2-9, we have gone 19-6 in the last 25 matches.”
The team was led by No. 1 singles and Duke signee Garrett Johns who leaves with only one loss in his high school career. Touring the country over the summers, he also earned a spot in the main draw in last year’s BB&T Challenge in Atlanta.
Ryan Wood and Richard Johnston are the other two seniors; they depart as one of the top doubles’ teams in HIES history.
The girls’ team — after winning region for the second year in a row — fell in the opening round of state to Hebron Christian in a tight 3-2 match. Senior Morgan Jabaley occupied the No. 1 singles slot all season.
Things also came to a close in baseball, as the Bears dropped a 9-0, 6-0 doubleheader to Strong Rock Christian in the opening round of postseason. HI will graduate five – College of Charleston signee and ace pitcher Guillermo Granier, Dylan Jones, Brett Adams, Harrison Padgett and Will Rautenstrauch — all of whom made significant contributions.
In track, coach Stephen Jayaraj’s troops began their area meet Tuesday at Landmark Christian, and the competition concludes Thursday – also at Landmark.
Many local athletes stood out during the regular season. Jackie Addy took second in state last year in both the 800 and 1,600. Jada Farrell was also a silver medalist in the shot last year and is expected to contend once again.
Kourtney Buckner and Nick Gonzalez (sprints), William Welden and Aidan Zeissner (middle distance) and Brandon Sertl (3,200) are others expected to make it to state.
In lacrosse, both the girls and boys began postseason play this week. The girls go in with sophomore Annie Parker as their leading scorer. Parker has a strong upperclassman cast around her, including Kate Waters, Brooke Lindner, Emma Forrestal, and Abigail Pagano.
The boys have been led in scoring by senior Ryan Blasberg; classmates Graham Collins, Will Schoen, Will Ventulett and Will Harrell have also provided strong support.
On the links, both golf teams had area meets earlier this week. Elizabeth Dickson leads the girls’ team, while the boys – defending Class A and Private state champs – have been a ‘leadership by committee’ with Cannon Crane one of the many stars.
The girls’ soccer team faced Lakeview in the Elite 8 earlier this week; they advanced with a 3-1 win over Mt. Paran last Tuesday. Sophomore Caroline Belisle is the top scorer, while Rachel Suttle, Maddie Whitaker and Ellen Goetz have all starred defensively.
The boys finished at 11-6, narrowly missing a playoff berth.