Spring sports preview


Logan Connor, Feature Editor


After a much improved season highlighted with a win over the top team in the state, the baseball team looks to improve even more in the 2023 spring season. 

The 2022 squad was full of senior leadership and rising sophomore stars. But with the turn of the calendar, there is a lack of seniors with only four players in the class. With the lack of seniors comes an abundance of juniors who led the team in many statistical categories last year.

“Our best arms last year were sophomores,” junior Brendan Bailey, pitcher, said. “We were all really young last year with not a ton of experience playing varsity baseball. We had hard times adjusting at times last year, but now we’re upperclassmen; we don’t have time to adjust. The pressure builds not only to perform but also to be role models for the younger guys.”

Highlighting the talented junior class is RHP Micah Vessely. Vessely spent his freshman season at county foe Greenwood Christian Academy and transferred to GHS before the 2021-22 school year. Adjusting to a new school is already challenging, but a new athletic program adds to the difficulties. 

“It was a rough process at first,” Vessely said. “Coming to a new school after spending almost your whole life at your old one is a scary thing. Luckily, I was friends with a lot of guys before coming here whether it was playing with them in the summer or hanging out with some mutual friends. Greenwood welcomed me with open arms, and the baseball program has been nothing but a great time. I’m really excited too because we play them in the County tournament so it should be fun”.

Last spring ended in a 21-3 loss against Class 4A No. 1 Center Grove. The summer, fall and now winter workouts have focused on improving skills that the coaching staff and players feel like they could have done better to achieve their goals of winning a Sectional. 

“It was a hard loss for us,” junior Landen Smith, infielder, said. “We were in it at the beginning, but we had too many errors, and we kind of fell apart as the game went on. We worked a lot on the basics really; throwing and fielding killed us against (Center Grove), and stopping those basic mistakes will improve our record as a whole.”

The squad hopes to continue to turn the narrative of GHS baseball around. The past 3-4 seasons have been a low point in the history of the program, and players are working to earn the respect of peers and opposing teams.

“We are tired of people looking at their schedule and seeing us as an easy win,” Bailey said. “Teams have the right to do so, though, since we haven’t really been much of a challenge recently. The only way for us to change that is to win more games and just straight up start playing better. That’s been driving us in the weightroom and on the field.”

The Woodmen baseball team opens their season at home on March 29th against Delta at 6 p.m. 


GHS softball has been disappointed in a way over the past few seasons. Underperforming and untimely mental mistakes have been a common theme across the diamond sports. 

Over the offseason, a focus for the softball team has been working on the basics in fielding. Softball is a sport that focuses on the basics and fundamentals more than anything else. 

“We do a lot of bucket drills on the field,” junior Courtney Hankenhoff, pitcher, said. “Bucket drills are really simple drills where the coaches just roll us balls and we work on staying down through the ball and keeping a low center of gravity. Working muscle memory form wise and repeating reps is really important.”

Hitting is the part of the game that the Woodmen struggle in the most. Pitching and fielding are strong suits, and focusing on the offensive side has taken the front seat to defense.

“We do a ton of tee drills compared to other things,” Hankenhoff said. “Inside outside, high lows, some Happy Gilmore to help with creating momentum and having a strong swing. Hitting off the machine helps us with timing and hitting off of faster throwers, too.”

Woodmen softball will play their first game at home against Indian Creek on April 3rd at 5:30 p.m.

Boys Golf

Golf is not as popular among students, and attending matches is unheard of. But to the surprise of many, golf is one of the more successful sports at GHS.

Senior Conner Chase has been part of the program since his freshman year. Since then, there has been an abundance of success within the program in tournaments from County to State tournaments. 

“We’re actually one of the more successful programs recently. Basketball had the Sectional win in 2020 and track last year, but other than those couple of teams, we consistently place high in matches and tournaments. It doesn’t really get out to students or staff because golf isn’t really one of those sports where students come out to the course. Definitely won’t see any student sections out there, but we still have a lot of success. I’d say we were probably two shots away from Semi-State last year.”

Those who do participate fall in love with the game and spend hours upon hours working on their craft.

“Golf is probably the hardest sport mechanically and mentally,” Chase said. “Having a good swing and hitting the ball well is possibly one of the hardest things to do in sports along with hitting a baseball. Putting is extremely difficult as well with reading greens and ensuring you hit it at the right speed and pace.”

The team lost two players to graduation this season in Elijah Poe and Jackson Watkins. Watkins is now playing at the University of Indianapolis.

“Losing those two guys was tough for us,” Chase said. “They were probably our two best golfers and having them out of the lineup will probably drop us a few tournament points and solo competition points. But we have a lot of talented guys coming out this year and a really good sophomore in Jahlen.”

Boys golf will go to the Edinburgh Invitational on April 1st teeing off at 10 a.m.


The track and field team saw an advancement in success during the 2022 spring season. Specifically, the girls team sent four athletes to the State championships. 

With the turn of the calendar, the 2023 roster lost three of their Top 10 individual scorers, including the 2022 4th place finisher in the high jump, but this loss has not set back the team.

“Our mindsets won’t change,” sophomore Emma Gardner, thrower, said. “We’ve been working to get back, and we will get back. Losing one of our better athletes hurts us points wise, but our individual and team goals will not change. We have a talented group of underclassmen and really good upperclassmen leadership to get us through the long season.”

Having senior leadership in track and field specifically is important to push young teammates to get through the long and grueling meets and even longer season. 

“The wear and tear on our bodies is really mentally destroying at times,” junior Kobe Kiethley, thrower, said. “I’m just a thrower, I don’t do the running and sprinting, and my body gets torn apart. The distance runners especially are just so mentally tough and having the older guys leading them like Stuart (Luhigo) and even (Jordan) Bonser. The young guys are really good, too. It’s like they’re machines and feel nothing at times.”

The young talent has taken over the record boards in the weightroom. Sophomore Will Riley looks to take his record-breaking 40 yard dash time to the sprint blocks on the track.

“My goal for this season is to break the 100 meter and 200 meter school records. I want to break them both and then also win the Sectional and make a run in the playoffs,” Riley said.

Fine-tuning things like form and fundamentals may not seem like much to non-athletes, but in the offseason, those are the biggest focuses. 

“My biggest thing this summer and winter has been working on practicing and improving my form. Perfecting my form and having an even better start than I already have is gonna be the biggest thing for me going forward,” Riley said.

Working out as a team over the offseason is important not only for improving skill but also bringing teams together over brutal workouts.

“The biggest challenges as a team have been summer and winter workouts specifically. We’ve been doing a ton of conditioning and weight lifting with Watson. Being in the weight room brings us and other athletes together as a whole,” Riley said.

The track and field team will go to Franklin Central to compete on April 6th at 5:30 p.m.

Girls Tennis

The girls tennis team took a hit over the summer losing their talented 2022 senior class. But the goals this season have not changed.  

“We lost Sophia, and she was one of our better players,” junior Maggie Boyce said. “She gave us a push on the court and leadership wise; she was always pushing us to be our best. We will miss having her, Marissa, Xiomara and Mary being around leading the team. But our group of seniors now are just as good at leading the team.”

Coach Jeremy Runge took the backseat from the girls team and is the Head Coach of the boys team. He still enjoys being around the team and pushing them to be their best.

“I am no longer really coaching them whether it’s head or assistant coach. I just kind of help get them supplies since Mr. Campbell took over. I’ve basically just been the in-between man getting a smooth transition. I also help set up camps and stuff for the little kids,” Coach Runge said.

Along with coaching tennis, Coach Runge has taken his duties beyond the norms and has begun to participate in after-school workouts with strength coach Jerrod Watson. 

“So I started going in the winter after the season was over. Basically, I wanted to keep my guys accountable. If I can be there at my age and workout and get work in, they can too. It’s something we have always believed in. When Sutton was coaching with me, he would run with the guys too, and it’s just a way to keep everyone on the same level and working. It’s also a good workout for me to stay young and in shape at my age.”

The team had a down year of sorts last season and is looking forward to bouncing back with hopes of winning the Sectional and making a deep run into the State playoffs. There has been no lack of hard work and effort during the offseason to prepare themselves for the spring.

“We didn’t get to where we wanted to be and hoped to be last spring,” Boyce said. “We left with a bad taste in our mouths, and we really hope to get back into the running for the Sectional. We worked hard all offseason and have been pushing closer and closer to that goal. The common goal of winning has brought us all together and built our bond as a team.”

The girls tennis team opens play at home against Roncalli on April 3rd at 5 p.m.