This spring, there are many senior athletes participating in Pinewood’s four spring sports. The baseball team, which has had much success this season, has a total of nine seniors. Captains Bo Fick, Jackson Haun, Casey Bates, and Jack Ahrens, along with seniors Connor Riches, Sean Murphy, Jaeden Bailey, Austin Wong, and Vikram Bharati are enjoying the extra responsibility of leadership that accompanies being the oldest players on the team. Many of these seniors have been members of the baseball team since their freshman year at Pinewood.
“Seniors generally have the most experience on the field because they have had four years to improve and learn from their mistakes; this makes it their duty to pass along the information to the younger guys,” Haun said.
The close relationships that the seniors have with the baseball coaches create a rare atmosphere and result in an extremely tight-knit team. Win or lose, the team finds ways to improve based on their previous game.
“I’m always impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that they play with. Each one of our seniors has unique leadership qualities,” baseball coach Casey Rowe said of the seniors.
It will be hard to imagine the team next year without all of these outstanding players. Each of these seniors is a key part of the baseball team; they are hard workers, skilled athletes, and amazing teammates, who will miss many different aspects of the team when they leave Pinewood next year. Haun reflects upon how his senior teammates would pass time during the long trips to baseball games.
“We would spend the drive singing at the top of our lungs, forgetting about the tests we bombed that day, and looking forward to being able to go out and compete as a team and as a family,” Haun said.
Pinewood sports allow athletes to make connections that will last a lifetime.
“The bonds I have made through sports at Pinewood have been undeniably the greatest aspect of being here . . . the sentimental value that baseball holds surpasses all of the tangibles that come with the sport and that is truly special,” Haun said.
Similarly, the swim team has a few seniors this season – Anne Blotter, Hannah Riches, and Maia Peterson – who each bring their own unique contributions to the team. Sophomore Natasha Thompson has enjoyed learning from her senior teammates.
“The seniors are great role models for all the younger girls on the team and they help us by giving us tips through their years of experience . . . they are really fun to be around,” Thompson said.
Being a senior on a sports team at Pinewood allows for a great leadership opportunity; it is a chance to set an example of what it means to meet and exceed the expectations of coaches and teammates, while still enjoying the experience of playing a sport.
“Leaders are examples of being the best teammate you can be and giving everything you’ve got and I see that in almost everyone everyday,” Peterson said.
Coach Theresa Maksim has left a lasting impact on the senior swimmers. She brings a certain level of intensity to each practice and meet, while maintaining a comfortable and fun atmosphere. During this spring season, many swimmers are breaking their personal records as more skills are developed on the team.
“It has been one of the greatest parts of high school for me. You can never leave practice in a bad mood – exhausted perhaps – but never unhappy,” said Peterson.