Fall Sports Wrap-up

Anya Aulbach, Reporter

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14479745_1167723433298346_8174384950230111984_n14721623_1178129498924406_8039874656991009414_n14355643_1153180464752643_1154586568715336393_n13987530_1109030112501012_7485621099876478572_o14691303_1178827078854648_1438262829508472807_o14520425_1161067980630558_7910497238732653131_n14523078_1161068330630523_6666665174605778108_n14522698_1168831343187555_686329863257888996_nAs the the leaves begin to change colors, and the weather becomes colder, another season of Blackford High School Athletics comes to an end. For many athletes, the football was thrown for the last time. They scored their final goal. They ran their final mile, served their final ball, hit par one last time. The fall season was not a winning one, record-wise, for Blackford High School, but Blackford Athletes won in other ways.

“For me, the funnest part about running cross country is running with the team. We all get along well and even though it’s a team sport, I run my best when my team is pushing me,” said freshman cross country runner Natalie Thurman. Thurman explained that running is a great way to bond with your teammates. “When you spend as much time together running as we do, you get really close.” The team was very successful this season, with four team members moving onto regionals. “Being able to compete at semi-state as a freshman was very exciting,”Thurman explained. “Having my team behind me and the others was so empowering.” This team not only had a successful season on record, but learned so much about the importance of hard work and team bonds.

“We got better, every single week. And we may not have won, but we learned that hard work was necessary to get anywhere,” commented sophomore football player, Terrence Wilson. Under new coach, Randy Sehy, the team learned all about what hard work and perseverance can do for a team. “The hard work payed off, because we won the first sectional game, which was really exciting,” Wilson said. The team finished the season with a record of 1-10, and the understanding that hard work pays off.

The girls soccer team is no stranger to hard work. “In practice we were always working. Coach always expected 110%, and that’s what we always tried to give,” explained freshman girls soccer player, Cameron Hall. “Our biggest issue was that in the beginning of the season, we couldn’t connect as a team. But when we finally started to communicate and connect, we were successful,” Hall said. Coach Michelle Gross, who has coached the Lady Bruins for eleven seasons had preached to the team all season about how teamwork was the only way to win a game. The girls finally took the words to heart and finished the season 2-7-5. “My best memories of this season are when the whole team is together, getting along, having fun. I learned how important a team is and I wouldn’t trade those girls for the world,” Hall muses.

The boys soccer team had a similar revelation. The team, under Coach Brad Batman, achieved their first win in two seasons, due to their communication and teamwork. “I think in the next few seasons, if we continue with the communication we were developing this season, we’ll have a great shot.” commented freshman soccer player, Braydon Kunz. The team, aside from learning the importance of teamwork and communication, learned that with perseverance, anything is possible. “We may’ve only had one win, and it was a long time coming. But we did it, and that took all of us working together and not giving up. The way we played has me very excited for the seasons to come.” Kunz explained. The boys finished their season with a record of 1-12-2, but their major victories lie in the experience they acquired this season. The future is bright for this young team, who had no seniors this season.

The volleyball team learned about the importance of teamwork as well this season. “We didn’t win a game all season, and then finally, we started communicating, and we won a game,” commented Tori Baker, sophomore on the volleyball team. According to Baker, the team did a lot of bonding outside of practice to help their teamwork and communication skills. “One day, we all went to the Barking Cow in Gaston and we just sat and ate ice cream and talked for hours. It was so much fun,” Baker explained. Coach Melissa Antrim has been with the Lady Bruins for two seasons now, and expects her team to communicate on and off the court. “I think when it comes down to it, communication is the most important thing when playing a game, no matter the sport. If you don’t communicate, you cannot win,” Baker said. Baker, who received an All CIC Honorable Mention, and the rest of the Lady Bruins ended their season earlier this month, with a record of 1-27, but the Lady Bruins know they have what it takes to make their team successful in the future. “It comes down our commitment to the game and to each other as a team, and if we can get that down, we’ll be just fine,” said Baker.

Of course, Baker wasn’t  the only Blackford athlete to receive an All CIC Honorable Mention. Taylor Mink, senior on the Girls Golf Team, also acquired the title. The lady bruins golf team suffered this year, with only four members, three of which had never played before. However the team still pulled off a victory and finished with a 1-7 record under Coach Aubrey Watt.

The boys tennis team also suffered this year, losing their coach about a quarter into the season. However, the Bruins didn’t let this deter them, and came out with the most successful season of all the fall sports. The tennis team had a record of 7-12. The Bruins, coached by Brandon Schuller, more than tripled their win count from previous seasons. “I enjoyed playing tennis so much, especially when we won. The team was full of just a great group of guys and I’m really going to miss it,” commented freshman tennis player Keenan Hall. “I originally played just because I thought it was something I could maybe do and be okay at, but it turned into a sport that I loved. And I think the rest of the team feels pretty similarly.”

Though no teams had a winning record this season, their victories lied in the lessons they learned. They learned about teamwork, communication, hard work,and the importance of not giving up. And that is a lesson all of us could stand to learn, as the Bruins continue to improve everyday. For some Bruins, this fall sports season was their last season in a bruin uniform. For some it was the first. But for all, it was an unforgettable season, and one that will no doubt prepare the bruins for a successful road ahead.

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