Spring Sports Previews

Soccer

The girls’ soccer team looks to keep the winning tradition alive after going 14-7 last year. The Chargers look to add new faces coupled with veteran leadership in order to be successful.

The Chargers will have to weather a difficult schedule this year, especially in conference, where they face Cardinal Gibbons and defending state champion Chapel Hill.

Northwood will be led by seniors Kellsie Weiss, Sophia Pearce and Jamie Palermo, an Appalachian State commit.

The Chargers are very optimistic to start out the season and are poised to make a run in the playoffs this year.

“We’ve only been to the third round since I’ve been here- I hope we can make it farther this year,” Palermo said. “This is my senior year, and even though I’m going to play in college, I want to make this season one to remember.”

Track and Field

Northwood’s track and field team is looking to step up their game and improve throughout the season. Promising athletes on the team (both discus throwers and runners) include Tristan Cochran, Max Kerscher, Cris Kessler, Imoh Udoh, Jack Maynard, Nitrel Evans, Noble LaRocco Masi and Armani Baldwin.

The track team looks to improve daily in order to reach their goals and conquer teams previously mentioned.

Last year, the team’s 4 x 800-meter relay group performed exceptionally well and even managed to compete at the state level.

Baseball

Northwood’s baseball team is looking to improve on its 11-11 record from last year. The team has seven starters returning, and they are confident and eager for a conference title.

The Chargers are looking to replace a large number of hits from recent graduate Trevor Hackney and many innings pitched from recent graduate Garrett Scott. Northwood is also looking for leaders to step up.

“The seniors need to step up and lead this team because there are not as many of us as past years,” senior Peyton Walker said.

The Chargers have a tough schedule this year, especially in conference, where they look to avenge losses from last season against Chapel Hill, Cardinal Gibbons and Conference champion Orange.

Golf

The Northwood golf team is looking to improve on last year’s season.

The Chargers have a tough conference schedule this year. The players look forward to being competitive in conference, but they know a championship is not realistic.

“If we take care of business with the conference matches against the lower tier teams, I feel like we could compete well with Chapel Hill and Cardinal Gibbons,” junior Coleman Brann said.

The seasoned veterans on the golf team know what it will take for this season to go as planned.

“Everyone on this team needs to be focused in practices,” Brann said.

Softball

Northwood softball enters the 2015 season with plenty of veteran experience; notably, the Chargers return five all-state players including senior Alexa Bernard, juniors Anna Jasper and Mckenzie Allgood and sophomores Carson Shaner and Ally McKee.

Having the same group as last year, the Chargers look to make strides. According to junior Kayli Blankenship, the group looks to have improved mental approaches to the game.

“We will be a much better team because everyone has another year of experience under their belt,” Blankenship said.

In order to make a deep run, Northwood will have to make it through Orange. In most years, the Orange game determines who will be conference champions.

Lacrosse

After an 8-8 season last year, the lacrosse team looks to continue its recent success. The Chargers set a record for wins last year with eight. If the Chargers are going to win this year, they have to replace Wesley Meyer, who was a big part of the Chargers’ offense last season.

Juniors Cole Walker and Jacob Bass look to replace the scoring that left with Meyer.

“Everyone has to step up, but most importantly attackers Cole Walker and Jacob Bass,” senior James Emmerling said.

Despite an inexperienced offensive group, the Chargers return all but one starter on defense. The Chargers’ defense looks to anchor the team until the offense gets on track.

“We only lost one defender who started last year in Jack Teague, so we should be strong,” sophomore Wesley Roberson said.

Tennis

Northwood boys’ tennis looks to improve on last year’s 7-8 record. Tennis finished 6th in the conference last year. The Chargers have to replace Zafer Estill, who was all conference last year. The Chargers have a fresh start with a few returning players and new coach, John Delafield.

“He cares a lot and is very intense,” junior Sean King said. “He focuses more on strength and conditioning.”

According to many players, last years’ team lacked a balance between work and play.

“We need to be more serious this year and know when to have fun and when it is time to work hard,” King said.

— Compiled by Adrianne Cleven, Jailen Leach and Jacob Sipe 

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