Previewing Spring Sports

Pitcher+Alexis+Slater+was+The+Daily+Heralds+2021+Softball+Player+of+the+Year.

Dale Slater

Pitcher Alexis Slater was The Daily Herald’s 2021 Softball Player of the Year.

Aaron Ton (he/him) 10th Grade, Section Editor (Sports)

Mariner Track & Field 2021. Photo by Zakiya Nunez.

TRACK & FIELD

Head Coach Dave Mcfadden is ready for another track season and he thinks the team can perform despite the struggles that came from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a lot of new people who have little experience due to the lack of track seasons and fitness, but we’ve got some talent in returning athletes that have put in work in the offseason,” Mcfadden said. “We’ve got to approach this season with a different kind of thinking.”

Jaquan Means, a junior, could be a potential state qualifier. A dedicated and talented athlete, Means has prepared to compete at his best this season. He ran the 4th fastest 100-meter dash in Wesco 4A last year, as well as a 36.5 second open 300-meter dash.

“His open 300 is 11 seconds faster than when he was a freshman; he’s ready to run a personal best in the 300-meter hurdles,” Mcfadden said.

Other boys to look out for this season are Wesco 4A’s 4th-ranked 800-meter runner, senior Dominic Cruz-Estrada, along with 300-meter hurdles and 400-meter runner, senior Un Wally.

Ava Rudberg, a senior, is ranked third in Wesco 4A for javelin. Mariner’s record holder for the event set it last year with an impressive throw of 104’0.

“She’s just been getting better,” Mcfadden said. “When she starts to get consistency, she does so well.”

Other girls to look out for this season are Wesco 4A’s 4th-ranked triple jumper and tied 7th-ranked long jumper, sophomore Tegan Ramey, as well as Wesco 4A’s 6th-ranked long jumper and 17th-ranked 100m runner, junior Angela Rodriguez-Frias.

SOFTBALL

2022 looks to be a promising year for Mariner softball. Following a breakout 2021 season that saw the Marauders win as many games in one season as they did in the previous eight combined, the playoffs don’t look very far out of reach for the team.

“Compared to last year, we look a lot more unified,” Coach Nathan Beachy said. “Our skill is more level and we have more equal talent, which will be good for us.”

Despite the competitive Wesco 4A division the Marauders are in, Beachy thinks the team is strong enough to make the playoffs.

“We’re pretty optimistic. We’ve got a pretty good enough core to get into the playoffs. There are some tough teams, but we’ve just got to be better than one,” Beachy said.

Beachy, who was the Daily Herald’s 2021 All-Area High School Softball Team’s Coach of the Year, sees huge potential in his team.

“This is one of the best rosters I’ve ever had. Out of the 20 years and the different levels I’ve coached, this team has the best pitcher I’ve ever had, and some of the best hitters I’ve ever seen.

The Daily Herald’s 2021 Softball Player of the Year, Alexis Slater, is a senior pitcher and the core of the team. The strikeout machine had an impressive junior year and looks to achieve even more in her senior year.

If everything can click right in this team, we should be in for a historic year of Mariner softball.

“If our juniors like Danika Molisani and Blythe Gorham can have big offensive seasons, and some of our younger girls like Sammie Bruton and Bella Torres can perform,” Beachy said. “Then we’ve got a good shot at the playoffs.”

SOCCER

The abundance of seniors on the varsity team brings a lot of experience heading into the season. Coach Henry Busch thinks that they can lead the team to a successful season.

“I think we can have a really good team,” Busch said. “We could be really successful.”

Defender Eduardo Rocha-Bernal, forward Amadou Jadama, and midfielder/defender Hailu Tesfaye are three seniors that Busch thinks are key parts of the team.

“We’ve got a lot of good seniors and they’ll bring the team experience when playing,” Busch said. “Eduardo has played varsity for 4 years, so I expect him to do well. Amadou had a great last season and we’re looking to improve on that. Hailu also had a great last season. He was voted into the All-Wesco second team last year.”

GIRLS TENNIS

2022 yields a good turnout for the Mariner’s girls tennis team, with over 30 students on the roster.

“The energy’s really good,” Coach Abarro said. “The girls are pretty energetic, loud, and cheery.”

Jasmine Nguyen and Elora Kim are two tennis players that have the potential to progress beyond the regular season, both of which work very hard during practice and have a great competitive spirit.

GOLF

Senior Michael Fregon and junior Landon Manoppo are two golfers that are looking to have a promising season. The Boys Golf coach, Dustin Weld, has seen a lot of their offseason work pay off in these first weeks.

“They have a dedication to the game,” Weld said. “They practiced in the offseason, and we’re seeing the results.”

The team has had positivity and optimism circulating among the athletes.

“The kids are excited; there’s been a lot of interest,” Weld said. “They’re asking a lot of good questions about how to improve.”

When asked about how much Fregon and Manoppo could achieve this season, Weld seemed confident about what they can do.

“If they play their best, they’ve got an outside shot at making it to state,” he said.

Girls Golf also has a promising athlete in junior Serena Fregon.

“She’s doing really well,” Coach Jennifer Hampton said. “I think she’ll qualify for districts, maybe even state.”

Two new players, Cindy Sun and Leslie Flores-Ruiz, have also shown potential.

“They’re brand new but doing well,” Hampton said. “We’re looking good in the weeks we’ve had so far.”