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Senior Success in Fall Sports

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

by REGAN WINBUN - November 19, 2020 - While there have been obstacles this school year for many, the success of fall sports has been a true highlight. WHS senior athletes reflect on their favorite memories and the changes that allowed for their success this fall season.

Some of the Rocks' football seniors celebrate together after becoming conference champions - photo by CARSON VOORHIS

WESTFIELD Ind. (October 2020) - These unprecedented times have led to unprecedented success for Westfield High School fall athletics. Months ago, these senior athletes were unsure if they were going to even have their last high school season and now, they are making sports history at WHS.

Many changes have arisen this year, but some have led to the success of our winning sports teams. Westfield athletes have persevered through so many challenges this season alone, which has unified many teams.

With the promise of only uncertainty, these athletes are determined to make their senior seasons their best one yet. The uncertainty and challenges seemed only to feed their drive to win, leading to success unheard of for years in this city.

Girls' volleyball team huddles up to cheer before an exciting set - photo by ELLARY DETAMORE.

From volleyball to soccer to football, WHS athletes have defeated crowned, successful programs like Brownsburg and Carmel. Both boys' and girls' soccer defeated Carmel in the first round of sectionals, knocking them out of the race to state, while the football team defeated Brownsburg in an exhilarating overtime game, solidifying a spot in the top five 6A teams in the state. Volleyball followed in the footsteps of our soccer teams, destroying Carmel in just four sets in the sectional.

Carmel has been viewed as the dominant force in high school athletics in the state, so defeating them in volleyball and soccer cast a spotlight on the seniors and the hard work they put into earning WHS success and respect.

Carson Voorhis makes an incredible tackle against Cathedral in the Rocks' opening game - photo by CARSON VOORHIS

“My favorite moment of this football season was beating Brownsburg in overtime and becoming conference champions. That was something that has only happened once in the history of this school, which made our senior class feel special and gave us hope that we had the ability to do something great.” -Carson Voorhis (12), Football

The football team is outdoing themselves every Friday night with an 11-1 record and earning the title of the Hoosier Crossroads Conference Champions, Sectional and Regional Champions. As of now, Rocks' Football is ranked #2 in the state, just below the national ranked Center Grove. The team’s success is only expected to continue as they work this weekend in Semi-State at Merrillville and toward Westfield’s second state title since 2016.

The hard work the boys have put in is showing both on and off the field, as the seniors explain.

“Something that is different this year is that everyone is playing for each other. There is no one on the team that is complaining about playing time or fighting with the coaches like in previous years. We are a family and I don’t think anything can separate us. I would say the most exciting moment this year for me is when we beat Brownsburg in overtime. That’s when I knew we had something special and that we can beat anyone if we play for our brothers and play as a whole.” -Zander Nguyen (12), Westfield, Football

Mason Piening makes the perfect catch to lead the Rocks to another victory - photo by KYLE ATKISSON.

Westfield Boys' Cross Country seniors made many strides for their team. The boys' team has an 85-31 record, with many seniors (Kyler Koning, Tyler Smith, Jacob Beene, Emerson Bostic) making All-Sectional, and seniors Robby Bogdajewicz, Liam Kelly, Kyler Koning, Justin Santiago and Tyler Smith making Academic All-State. Two runners, junior Kai Connor (all-conference too) and senior Jacob Beene made an appearance at the state meet.

“We have gone through a lot, but as a team, we have gotten through all of our difficulties and became really tightly bonded because of it.” -Lincoln Strong (12), Cross Country

“My favorite part of the season is just knowing that my teammates are there. With Corona nothing is for certain, but I know for certain that my teammates are there.” -Evan Rink (12), Westfield, Cross Country

Senior boys cross country runners make a powerful start to their race - photo by TYLER SMITH

“The way the cross country team does captains, it is just all of the seniors, so the seniors have really been put into a leadership position. I have had a really good time being a mentor to all the younger kids and talking with them .” -Tyler Smith (12), Cross Country

“Our team has also had to adapt to having fewer racing opportunities since some meets were canceled or only a specific amount of athletes could compete. Though this was disappointing, our coaches were able to create more racing opportunities for us.” -Sophia Brown (12), Cross Country

All of the seniors pictured together, from a distance - photo by DAVE TAKAOSHI of Line 11 Photography.

Westfield Girls' Cross Country had many changes made this year, but these only allowed them to thrive together. The girls pushed themselves to new lengths and set multiple personal records throughout the season. For the first time, the Regional line up for WHS was entirely all seniors, making a lasting memory on their last season. The girls were able to advance to semi-state, where they worked together to compete to their best abilities, narrowly missing qualification for the state meet.

“The most exciting part for me and a lot of my teammates was setting our personal records. I think just about everyone got a 5k PR (personal record) this season! Since we had to train on our own for the first half of the summer, I think everyone trained very hard which definitely paid off. Especially with it being my senior year, I wanted to do whatever I could to end my cross country season on a good note, because any day could have been our last one. Thankfully, we were able to get all of our meets and practices in, which is such a blessing!”-Isabella Bishop (12), Cross Country

Seniors Isabella Bishop and Sophia Brown lead the pack for Westfield cross country - photo by ISABELLA BISHOP.

The Westfield High School ladies’ golf team once again made it to the state tournament sending their 2021 senior to state for the first time in her golf career, ending their season with an incredible fifth-place finish in the state championship. This program seems to excel every year creating quite the legacy at WHS.

“The most exciting part about the season was placing first at regionals and advancing to state. It was my first state competition and it was a very cool experience. It was a great way to end my senior year.” -Cate Jensen (12), Golf

Cate Jensen holds her trophy high after an incredible day of golf.

A powerful boys’ tennis duo is right behind her, working their way up the ladder to state. They are the first to make it out of sectionals in years, spiking excitement for the tennis team. The future of tennis looks bright with the young team.

“It was a great feeling knowing that we were one of the only people in Westfield tennis history to do that [become conference champions] but knew the road ahead wouldn't be easy. The most exciting thing from this tennis season was when Brett and I won back to back third set matches against Brownsburg and Brebeuf to help out the team win both matches 3-2. In both matches, we were down in the third set and rallied at the end to get a close victory. The thrill at the end of the close matches where you have your entire team cheering for you is what I will miss. The guys on the team are so supportive and I couldn't ask for better teammates. I am going to miss the competitiveness of the sport and all the good memories created with my teammates on and off the court.” Christian Emigh (12), Tennis

Senior Quentin Markle had his eye on the prize during an intense match - photo by MADISON NIEHAUS.

“Christian and I have only been playing together since this year, and I would say that Christian is amazing when it comes to serving. He has an amazing serve and I am good at the net, so it makes it easy for him to win points when he is serving. This season was very unique because of the fact that in my high school career, I have never had any of my teammates make it out of sectional, so it is kind of unique that I have achieved this.” -Brett Barnes (11), Tennis

The Westfield High School ladies’ Volleyball team ended their season with a 21-8 record. Senior Sarah Weglarz passed the 2,000 assist mark to end her high school career. Not far behind her is Senior Kenzie Daffinee, an Indiana University commit, passing the 1,000 kill mark. The team finished 2nd in the Conference, ending their season in the second round to #1 in the state Hamilton Southeastern team.

“We took the first set from Carmel and they took the second. The third set was a nail-biter, and the score ended up being 30-28. We finished strong in the fourth set and took the game from Carmel. It was so exciting to see all of our hard work pay off. The game was very stressful at some points, but it was such a great feeling after we won. There were two weeks in a row where we had three games, then a weekend tournament got canceled or changed. It was stressful at times trying to figure everything out, but in the end we are grateful that we ended up having a full season, and that we were able to be one of the only teams that did not have to quarantine.” -Mairin McAndrews (12), Volleyball

“The most exciting moment from this season was our last home game at Westfield. We beat Fishers in four sets. Collectively, it was one of the best games we played all season. It was emotional for us 11 seniors because it was our last time ever on Westfield’s court. Thankfully, Westfield volleyball never had to shut down for two weeks, as other teams did. We had an entire season with a 21-8 record.” -Ellary Detamore (12), Volleyball

Lauren Hamlet controlled the ball through a close sectional game against Carmel - photo by LAUREN HAMLET.

The Lady Rocks Soccer team ended their season with a 6-7-2 record. The team tied the State runner-up when they played and beat Hamilton Southeastern, one of their biggest competitors. The team had a show stopping season that left everyone speechless. Several seniors have been playing together for years on this team making the end emotional yet rewarding.

“The most exciting part of the season was definitely beating Carmel in sectionals. It was a big moment for Westfield.” -Kirsten Kratz (12), Soccer

The boys’ soccer team was hand-in-hand with the ladies’ team, making incredible progress and records. They had a 10-4-2 record and ended 4th in the HCC. The boys’ were the 2020 Sectional Champions and 2020 Regional Semi-Finalists. Senior David Green made 1st Team, making him eligible for All-State status. Senior Ellis Douthit made Top Team, he was eligible for All-State as well. The ISCA Academic All-State seniors included Alex Coulombe, Ellis Douthit, Ryan Fingers, Will Lilegdon, Collin Marris, Drew Scanlon, and Ben Wallace.

Some of the boys’ soccer teammates pose in celebration after an exhilarating win - photo provided by MADISON NIEHAUS

“I feel like we’ve been going at it with a different mentality and we’ve been playing better, because of the coaches pushing us harder than usual and just staying focused.” -Collin Marris (12), Soccer

“We had to take a bit of a break because of quarantine and keeping everybody safe. I think during that time, we had a lot of time to focus on our season and have a correct mindset going into being the best players we could be. My favorite part was kind of celebrating every small victory that we have. We are taking each game one game at a time, celebrating each of those, and then getting our heads right for the next game.” -Will Lilegdon (12), Soccer

Although Covid-19 has put a strain on the big senior year for many, it has not dampened the successes of these resilient WHS senior athletes and teams. The Student Body of WHS is proud to be called Shamrocks and still wants the “banner." It has been recently announced that WHS is in contention for the famous Banner Award by Wish TV channel 8.

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