Spring sports teams promise another successful season

New spring season looks optimistic across the board


Katherine Williams

Several athletes prepare for their respective spring sports. On the front row is Maddie Dean, swim; Anna Chieu, soccer; Ashley Wildeman, track; and Karly Johnson, softball. On the back row are Hank Dobson, baseball; Jack Malin, golf; and Kanak Masten, tennis.

By Cooper Wright, Staff Writer

The spring sports season features different expectations and goals for teams as some look to reload and others aim for state championships. While new players will contribute, veterans are looking to close out their LHS careers with strong performances.


The baseball team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last year, but looks to use that as fuel for this year. The team returns several senior starters, including first baseman and pitcher Hank Dobson.

“It’s a new senior class, and we have some experience, but not a lot so the key will be figuring out our pitching staff,” Dobson said.

The Lions annually face one of the toughest schedules in the state with stiff competition in and out of the Sunflower League. Despite this, Dobson remains confident that the team may surprise some people and be successful.

“We’ve got a lot of talent, and we’ll definitely win some games,” Dobson said.


The softball team also looks to replace key starters from last year with promising young talent. Junior Karly Johnson, who is an Emporia State commit, will lead the way for the Lions from the shortstop position.

“I’m looking forward to having new faces on varsity and having new connections with new teammates as well as the old one’s I’ve had with returning varsity players,” Johnson said.

Reloading the starting line up will be a challenge and a key for the Lions this spring.

“We lost Zoe Brewer and Morgan Husman, which is our pitcher and catcher duo, and so now we have to find a new pitcher/catcher duo and that is going to be a key this year,” Johnson said.


The girls swimming team comes into 2019 with high expectations after coming off a fourth-place finish at state last year. A senior leader who will certainly help the Lions is Maddie Dean, who has committed to Southern Connecticut State for swimming.

“[Our team goal] is definitely second at state and maybe we can win league,” Dean said.

A strong senior class will lead the team, but talented underclassmen determine how good this team ultimately is.

“We’ve got two new freshmen coming in that will definitely be point scorers at state, and there’s a lot of seniors, so we really want to do well in our last year,” Dean said.

The senior class on this team has seen improvement every year and is optimistic that this year they will go out with a bang.

“I think we can do really well at state, and this will be our best year yet,” Dean said.


Expectations are as high for the boys tennis team as they have been for awhile. After placing 12th and only sending one doubles team to state last year, the Lions look to do much better in 2019.

“We have many more players this year than last year, and we also have a stronger group of players,” junior Kanak Masten said.

Masten also looks to improve on last season’s strong finish after placing ninth in doubles at state.

“My goal this year is to finish top five in the state for doubles,” Masten said.


The boys golf team will look to reload this year after losing most of its varsity lineup from the previous season.

The team returns senior Ross Brungardt and junior Jack Malin but will have to replace the rest of the varsity spots. While some will be playing in varsity tournaments for the first time, Malin has hope the transition will be smooth.

“I remember when I was new, I was accepted right into the team, so I think we can accept the newcomers and help improve their scores right away,” Malin said.

The team will also feature a new coach in Steve Rampy after long-time golf coach Dirk Wedd retired last year

“I’m looking forward to playing some golf with my friends and getting out there and improving my game as well as seeing how everything will change under Coach Rampy,” Malin said.


The girls track team’s goals are sky high once again. After bringing back a state championship last year, the team returns almost everybody that was a state qualifier in 2018 but will have a different mindset this year.

“This year is different because we are state champions now so we have pressure on us to keep getting first in everything,” junior Asjah Harris said.

Harris who was a key piece in the 4×100 team that brought home first at state this year has even higher goals for herself this season.

“I want to get first in the 200 [at state] and then I want to get first in the 4×100 at state again,” Harris said.

With almost all state qualifiers returning and experience from last year, the team will certainly be a contender for the state title once again.


The girls soccer team will look upon young talent to mix with experience in 2019 as they hope to improve off of last year. The Lions will be led by two Baker commits in senior forward Anna Chieu and junior center back Banner Williams.

“We graduated a lot of seniors, so we have a pretty young team this year, but everyone is hard working so I’m excited for the season,” Chieu said.

After many freshman last year got significant playing time, the Lions will expect them to take a step forward this season as Chieu has high expectations for all her teammates.

“I expect all the girls to work hard and never give up,” Chieu said.