Spring Sports in its Last Stretch
With spring in full swing, spring sports are coming closer to an official end to the regular season. Many teams are now hoping that they will be able to play more games in conference tournament play and hopefully in the state playoffs.
The North Carolina Leadership Academy’s varsity girls soccer team has had a terrific season. They have dominated many of the teams that have come against them. The girls are 7-2 on the season and 2-1 in conference play. The team is currently second in the Northwest Piedmont 1A conference. They are one win behind number one Bishop McGuinness High School.
“Out of all the teams I’ve been on, my soccer this year has been the closest. Everyone is so nice and I’ve genuinely enjoyed getting to know each and everyone of them. I’m going to miss bus rides, team bonding before practice and having dinner after games,” said senior Jaiden Truhe.
Some notable wins from the team include a 9-0 win against Bethany, a 6-0 win against North Stokes and so many more. “I am incredibly happy with the way that this team has come together and become a family. Close relationships build the strongest teams. I feel like one of our greatest strengths is that we all support one another in good times and bad,” said Head Coach Joshua West.
Coach West goes on to say that he believes the team is doing a really good job at playing together, but believes they can do more to improve. “One thing that we need to improve is our speed of play. To beat the good teams out there and compete at the highest level, you have to play smart and fast. Coach Mackay and I stress this in training every day; combination play, overlapping runs, playing to space–these are things that create goals. Even the best players cannot take on multiple defenders and score when they are organized and balanced,” said Coach West.
The two team captains on the team are senior Jaiden Truhe and senior Juliana Peters, who have both stepped up and have become two tremendous leaders.
“It has been so wonderful to see our team grow as individuals but also in our ability to work together as a unit. We are at a point in our season when what we have been practicing is showing up in how we play our games. I’m so proud of us,” said senior Jaiden Truhe.
The softball team is also preparing to wrap up the season, with senior night being on Friday, Apr. 29. The team is 7-9 and 1-3 in conference play. The team is currently third in the Northwest 1A conference.
“We’re extremely happy with how far the team has come since the beginning of the season. They’ve all improved in one way or another and have played with great confidence. Our main focus for the remainder of the season is to compete. No matter who our opponent or if they’ve beaten us before, we plan to compete in each game and make some noise down the stretch,” said Head Coach Gabby Oglesby.
There are multiple underclassmen leading the team in stats this season. Freshman Ali Faenza is leading the team in homeruns, batting average and on base average. Freshman Alyssa Hopkins leads the team in stolen bases. Freshman Ashlyn Koeber is leading the team with the best earned run average.
“Each player has stood out in their own way and has had breakout moments. Alyssa Hopkins in particular has broken out of her shell and really shined consistently in the last few games. As a freshman, she has so much potential, and we’ve started to see a lot of that come out. We’re excited about her future with the program,” said Head Coach Gabby.
With the season coming to an end, it also means the end of senior Jadyn Dewald’s time playing softball at the NCLA. “I am going to miss the conversations and singing on the bus to away games,” said senior Jadyn Dewald.
The NCLA’s first Division team manager
In the fall of this upcoming school year, NCLA senior Scott Stanley will have a unique opportunity to be a part of the NC State football team. Although not as a player, Stanley has secured a spot on the team’s managing staff, and will work with the team all season doing tasks behind the scenes. Duties like fitting jerseys to shoulder pads on game day, moving and setting up equipment, as well as doing all he can to allow the players to perform to the best of their abilities.
Over Spring Break, Stanley got a taste of what he will be doing once the season begins in August. Traveling to Raleigh for a spring game on Saturday, he was able to get experience as to what he will be doing once he moves in on campus.
“I was restless all night, but when I woke up at 7 A.M., I was like a little boy on Christmas morning,” said Stanley.
Within minutes of arriving at the stadium, Scott parked beside the starting quarterback for the Wolfpack, Devin Leary, who welcomed him kindly.
“I would like to think Devin and I became immediate best friends, but he just doesn’t know it yet,” he said jokingly.
After his run in with Leary, Stanley got to work by checking into the Murphy center and eventually the locker room where his first objective was putting the game jerseys onto the shoulder pads for players.
“Out of all the managers on their first days, I was probably the best one at fitting the jersey’s over the pads. Maybe even quicker than the actual equipment managers,” Stanley claims.
Continuing with more game day preparation, Stanley eventually ate with the team and staff at a catered lunch before watching the spring scrimmage.
“Since I’m still not a student, I wasn’t allowed on the field during the game, however I was able to get on it before and after in order to break things down and help clean up,” he explained.
The workday only lasted around five hours for Stanley, however this will become a daily occurrence for the rising NC State student who will be a full time manager for the team this coming August. As part of his responsibilities, Stanley will be able to fly with the team on away trips, workout using the football weight room equipment, and have access to other player and personnel benefits most dream of.
“I would say my favorite part of the day was just interacting with the players and getting to know each of them individually,” said Stanley, who grew up a lifelong Wolfpack fan.
The first basketball championship championship was in 1947 and the Philadelphia Warriors beat the Chicago Stags for the championship. Since then the NBA championship has evolved into a global event that millions tune into to see. Both the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have won 17 NBA championships which is tied for the most in history. There are 11 teams that have never won a NBA championship and they are the Pacers, Hornets, Nets, Grizzlies, Jazz, Suns, Pelicans, Clippers, Nuggets, Magic and the Timberwolves. The player that has won the most NBA championships is Bill Russel who won 11 championships in 13 years. There is so much history in the NBA playoffs and championship.
Each conference has eight teams representing their prospective conference; the one through eight seeds for the West is in order, the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and New Orleans Pelicans. The Eastern conference one through eight seeds are in order: the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets, and the Atlanta Hawks. This is a stacked playoff with many teams that are in contention for the championship.
NCLA students have many opinions on the NBA Championships, “The New Orleans Pelicans are going to clutch their series against the Suns, but if they lose then the Philadelphia 76ers will win the Championship,” said junior Cade Shoemaker
“The Golden State Warriors will win it all,” said Nicholas Hurst.
This is shaping up to be a fun playoffs but there can only be one champion.