As the weather warms and the snow melts away Heritage spring sports will begin their grind towards the upcoming season. Spring sports that are beginning early season practices and workouts include golf, softball, track, and baseball. All the sports teams have high hopes as well as expectations. Each will be striving towards conference championships and further more, section titles. All the teams are antsy to get back to work.
The Heritage golf team is leaving a disappointing 2014 season behind. With the loss of only two seniors, they will be striving for that coveted conference championship. Key returners include senior Jake Vanhorn, and Juniors Tiler Hershberger and Justin Griebel. The golf team has recently began workouts and are hoping to be doing full course practices by the week following spring break.
The Heritage softball team lost to Norwell in their final game last year. Overall they had a quality season but will look to go even farther this year. They lost a few key seniors, including Jenny Dowler. Key returners include seniors Kamio Gilreath, Kendall Knapke, Lauren Wherry, and junior Emma Fifer. They too will be looking for a conference championship, but also looking past that in hopes of winning a sectional championship. Emma Fifer will be a key player in the Lady Patriots lineup and had this to say about her expectations of the upcoming season,” We no doubt have some tough games ahead, but we have a talented team and we expect a lot on the season. If we work hard then I believe we will no doubt succeed.”
The boys’ and girls’ track teams have begun their preseason workouts and have some high potential athletes. The boys’ track team lost stud seniors Aaron Horne and Conner Bleeke but are hoping to make up those losses with a few key returners including sophomore Jeshua Foster, junior Justyn Hart, and seniors Taylen Melcher and Garrett Ritchie. If all goes well for these speedsters, the Heritage track team will have a bright season.
The girls’ track team had an excellent year last year and will no doubt build on that this year. They will be returning multiple standouts from last year including senior Karson Gardner and Sophomore Brena Chacon. It will be a tough task to replace seniors Bianca Suarez, Alysha Brunton, and Kari Smith but the team seems up to it and will continue working out and pushing themselves until the season begins.
Baseball may have had the best season of all Heritage teams last year. They ended their season in devastating fashion as they lost in their sectional game to rival Norwell. The Patriots lost a star in Cole Geradot who has moved on to college ball. Yet the expectations remain extremely high as they will be returning their star-studded pitching staff. They have two of the best pitchers in the area with Branson Dossen and IU commit Andrew Saalfrank. They will also be returning a very important bat in junior Billy Lomow. The Patriots’ baseball team will have loads of pressure on themselves. The question remains: will they yield a stellar season? Junior Andrew Saalfrank stated this on the upcoming season, “This year our goals are extremely high. If we can overcome a few obstacles we can do great things. It’s a matter of how hard we push ourselves.”