A look ahead to spring sports
As winter sports wrap up some successful seasons, spring sports are gearing up. There are a lot of things to look forward to for sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse, and more.
The boys baseball team hit a home run last season. The baseball team came out on top in the O.C.Cs, with an overall record of 23 wins and 7 losses. The Panthers were also voted as the number one Seed in the central district. Although this is a great way to start the upcoming season, there is still plenty of room for improvement. The players got an early start with practices in the summer.
“Preparation for 2017 started this past summer with players working on their individual skills, getting bigger, faster and stronger and developing a positive culture in our program” Coach Chris Fugitt explained what he plans to do in order to prepare his players for the 2017 season.
“We are looking at improving our base running, improving our outfield play, and developing a deeper pitching staff” he said.
Along with competing once again for the title of O.C.C championship, Fugitt said, “I look forward to competing against some of the best of the best in central Ohio.”
The softball team had similar success last season, with a win in the sectional competition. In addition, Sophomore Tegan Cortelletti was awarded first team All O.C.C and Senior Jessica Cox was recognized as a honorable mention All O.C.C. Coach Shawn Papp explained that he wants to build on the success of the team in the 2017 season.
“We hope to build on last season’s success” Papp said. “We just want to make sure that we are competing in every game, being aggressive at the plate and playing sound defense.”
Papp and the girls are looking forward to competing in a new league as well. This will provide new opponents for the Panthers, as well as new challenges. In order to prepare to face these challenges, the team will practice six days a week, although a lot of the players compete and refine their skills all year round. Papp stated that he wants to focus on the fundamentals of softball in addition to playing as a team.
“We work on team chemistry and accountability” he said.
Both the girls and boys track had good seasons as well last spring. The girls took home the first Girls Track and Field O.C.C win in Darby’s history, and the boys were also O.C.C Cardinal champions. In addition to the big team wins, Cannon Riddle placed fifth at the state competition after jumping six feet seven inches. Both teams look forward to continuing the successes of last season.
Boys’ coach Matthew Fox explained how he and the assistant coaches plan to get the boys ready for the upcoming season.
“My assistant coaches do an unbelievable job in putting together programs to allow each athlete to grow. Every athlete will set goals, learn how to work towards those goals, and ultimately set the bar even higher when they make breakthroughs.” Fox continued, “Track is a really great sport to watch student-athletes grow in multiple areas of their lives.”
Fox also said that they want to make the environment competitive and fun and build on the success of each day. The coaching staff looks forward to the younger players stepping up.
“We look forward to our younger guys to fill spots left by last year great senior class [and] to continue to develop our depth, toughness, and effort” Fox said.
As for the girls, Coach Don Seymour looks forward to the excitement of a new season as usual. Many of the lady Panthers competed in Indoor Track and Field and took part in off-season conditioning.
“We would like to defend our League title and compete for a district championship as well” Seymour said.
Other spring sports will include boys tennis and girls and boys lacrosse. All of the Panther athletes look forward to the upcoming season and improving their skills.