Spring Has Sprung in Sports: A Preview of the Spring Season
Feb 6, 2023
With spring looming around the corner, comes the start of the spring athletic season. The eleven spring athletic teams have been working tirelessly to prepare for their upcoming seasons.
The girl’s soccer team has been preparing for the start of their season by hosting open gym practices and having off-season workouts. Senior captain Maja Applequist is anxiously awaiting the start of her final high school season. “This year we have a very large senior class, so there is great leadership and experience on the team. We hope that this experience will bring us more wins. Overall we should be a competitive team. We are looking forward to the season and the tough competition our conference brings,” said Applequist.
The boy’s baseball team has been preparing for the start of their season with bi-weekly hitting and throwing practice. Coach Mitch Stern comments on his expectations for the season. “My expectations for the team is the same every year………always give your best! We will be young and talented, I believe the players really have a passion and love for the game,” says Stern.
Similarly, girl’s softball has been completing outdoor open field and open-hitting workouts led by the team seniors. Varsity coach Christina Rosin, “We have a large returning senior class, who is very talented with a couple years of varsity experience under their belt, so we are hoping for another successful season. We have a more challenging schedule this year, and we hope to rise to the competition,” says Rosin.
From out in the field, to the clay courts boy’s tennis team has been hitting when they can outside of school. “I think the season could be very interesting. it’s hard to predict because half of our varsity squad graduated last year and we don’t have many seniors so the team is probably gonna be very young. I have heard that there are a couple promising freshmen but it’s really down to how much the team has improved over the offseason. Hopefully, one of our teams can make it to state,” says returning varsity senior Bryan Dao.
Heading to the indoor courts, the boy’s volleyball team is feeling well equipt heading into their season. “We are very excited to get the Boys Volleyball season started. We graduated most of our starting line-up so we will be looking for new players to step up and take on bigger roles. Our expectation, as always, is to compete. We are looking forward to our group of players working to improve individually and as a team every day,” says coach Andrew Roche. Team members have been practicing at open gyms and in their own individual club teams outside of school. Senior varsity player Jonah Micor is anticipating an eventful season. “I’m excited for my last season of volleyball at west. I think we have a solid team this year with some rising JV players and many returning varsity members. Open gyms have been every Monday and Thursday, giving a chance for everyone to get back on the court and also connect with some new players,” says Micor.
The boy’s gymnastics team is hoping for a promising turnout this year, especially from the freshman class. The team has been preparing for the start of their competitive season through open gym practices. “Our season is short so we do not have a lot of time to get to the competitive level we want to be at. But we are ready to go, the coaches are eager to be in the gym and the athletes are ready to be amazing. I look forward to seeing what this team does by the end of April and I am confident they will achieve all of their goals this season,” says Varsity coach Adrian Batista. Additionally, the team is hoping to make it back to the state final. “My expectations are that we will be good at all three levels. At the Varsity level, I feel we have a chance to win conference and hopefully be in the top 8 in the state and make it as a team. We did not make it last season as a team so I am hoping to change that this year. We have some motivated athletes but there are some injuries we will have to navigate through to find the success we want,” says Batista.
The start of the boy’s track and field is speeding up around the corner as the team has already competed in their first meet. Senior pole vaulting captain Sam Lee feels prepared for both the indoor and outdoor track season. “I think our team has a really good chance this year to go to state again. I also expect a bunch of school records to break,” says Lee.
Passing the baton over to the girls, whose track and field season follows behind the boys. With their first meet coming up next week, senior Heba Mathew has high hopes for the team. “I believe this season will consist of many girls hitting personal records especially because I witness many girls, on the distance team, working incredibly hard at practice, whether it’s by showing up to 6:15 AM practices or feeling completely depleted by the end of a workout,” says Mathew.
From on land to in the water, the boys’ and girls’ water polo teams have been conditioning for the season both in and out of the pool. Senior co-captain Caitriona Hermer can’t wait for the season to begin! “I have no doubt that this season is going to be a great season for these girls. Through the off-season, they have been working so hard by attending the drylands after school and open pools. I have already seen these girls drastically improve in the off-season, and I can’t wait for the season to start. Many goals have been made because of this such as beating GBN and GBS. Look out. As a senior, I wish this did not have to be my last season. The Niles West Girls Water Polo Team is more than a Team. We are a family,” says Hermer.
The boy’s water polo team is preparing for a bittersweet season. “The seasons going to be tough, having lost our head coach and losing the majority of the varsity at the end of last season, but the guys on the team have lots of passion and drive and it’s going to be lots of fun,” says senior captain Logan Bobiles.
Last but not least, from the Niles West pool to the North Branch River, you can find the bass fishing team out on the water. Assistant Coach Chris Barnett comments on his thoughts and expectations for the season. “The Niles West Bass Fishing Team will start preparing for the spring season in March. Once the local lakes unfreeze and the water starts to warm we can get out and practice for the IHSA sectional the first week of May. We have some experienced anglers returning from last year, as well as some promising newcomers. The team hopes to again qualify for the State Final. Anything less would be a disappointment,” says Barnett.
All in all, the spring teams are prepared to give it their all, meet individual goals and hope to break a school record or two. As the start of these seasons quickly approaches, be sure to support and cheer on the wolves in all their endeavors!