Spring Into Playoffs


Natalie Zur

Both the boys and girls varsity soccer teams defeated W-L and won the conference finals

Topher Wagner, Sentry Staff Reporter

For the average student, spring can be a stressful time. With Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, field trips and final testing, many are up to their eyeballs in work. Staying dedicated to school and class work is one thing, but being dedicated to a sport at the same time is another thing altogether. Balancing important tests and projects becomes even harder this time of the year for student athletes, with the start of the playoffs. Players and teams compete and work hard all year, and the playoffs is where these individuals can finally show their true skill when it really matters. For seniors, it is likely their last opportunity to play the sport that they love and go out as champions.

Lacrosse is a major part of the Yorktown athletic department, as both the boy’s and girl’s teams had high aspirations for the playoffs. On the girl’s side, a solid season of ten wins and eight losses led to anticipation for the playoffs, especially for the team’s veteran seniors.

“We went to the first round of regions last year and we definitely have the time and potential to go further. We will have to come together as a team and really stay focused even as the season is ending,” said senior Emma Thurman.

Winning the conference championship proved to be difficult, with a loss against Langley High School in the semifinals; however, an upset over Battlefield propelled the team to the regional quarterfinals against Woodson High School. Even though they couldn’t pull off the win, a winning record on the season and several wins in the playoffs proved to make it a success.

“As a senior, I hope that I’ve helped the team and led as a captain,” said Thurman.

The boy’s lacrosse team is very similar, with senior leadership pushing the motivation behind postseason success.

“This team has a bond mentally and physically like I’ve never seen before. To play up to our potential and win states, we will need to play the best lacrosse day in and day out,” said sophomore Briggs Coyle.

After beating Madison High School in the semifinals, the boys fell to Langley in the conference tournament. A strong performance vs. Osbourn Park to keep their season alive led to a second round matchup vs. Robinson High School. Unfortunately the boy’s fell, yet a successful season by many experienced seniors has wrapped up the season on an overall positive note.

One of the lesser known sports is boy’s and girl’s crew. Although it may not draw the highest crowds as other sporting events, it is arguably the most time-consuming sporting event, with the season running from November to June. As the season comes to a close, one of the last major regattas was the Stotesbury Cup. After putting in so much hard work, all of the boats had high expectations for the postseason.

Being on one of the top boy’s boats, junior Jamie Ehlers has rowed with many current seniors throughout his tenure on the crew team. Although their boat missed the cut for Nationals by one place at the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association (VASRA) Championship, he believes the seniors have had a substantial impact on leading the team leading into the final regatta.

“They bring a lot of experience and speed to our 1v. Since they’re seniors, they have rowed more seasons and have a lot more speed than Mark [Love] and I. They also lead the team for the most part by motivating and critiquing others on the team,” said Ehlers.

Although the boy’s 1v’s season ended at Stotesbury, the girl’s lightweight eight crew finished well enough to qualify for the 2016 Scholastic Rowing Association of America (SRAA) National Championships Regatta in Zanesville,  Ohio. This strong crew will look to cement their legacy with a strong finish over the weekend of May 27-29.

Two sport athletes are well off in terms of chances to prove themselves when it matters most. As a senior, Daniel Debutts has developed into a leader not only for the basketball team, but also for the soccer squad. Following his basketball season, the soccer team is looking to send him off with a run in the playoffs.

“I think if we get out on the field and play as one unit, step forward offensively and shift properly defensively we’ll have a good chance to win some games. This team has got more talent then we are given credit for,” said Debutts.

Debutts and the rest of the varsity team followed up a thrilling win over Madison at home in the first round, by beating Washington-Lee High School 3-2 to make it to the conference final. By avenging their loss from earlier this season, the team was confident for the conference championship vs. Langley High School. By beating them 2-1, varsity soccer clinched the conference championship and go into the regional playoffs with high aspirations.

“Get another shot at WL, and then finally get a shot to win the conference. We know we can do it. We just have to play to our strengths,” said Debutts.

On the other side of the ball, the girl’s team came up with a huge triple overtime win over Langley to send them to the conference semifinals. In the semifinals, the girls also finished off W-L 1-0 to advance to the conference championship vs. Madison. The girls also won the championship by avenging their loss from earlier this season against Madison and look to continue their run in the regional playoffs. With both boy’s and girl’s teams winning their respective conference championships, it’s clear who has the best soccer program in Arlington.

As the school year comes to an end, it’s not only a time for tests and finals, but for student athletes to prove themselves by making a run in the playoffs. For seniors, it represents what could be the last time to compete in their sports and go out on top for their careers. All the hard work, practice, and dedication put forth throughout a team’s season culminates as they attempt to win a championship.