Tag Archives: Athletics

Swimming and Diving Teams Successful Thanks to Hard Work and Leadership

By Amelia Chen

Despite thunderstorms at the beginning of the season, Oak Hall’s varsity swimming and diving teams have competed in quite a few meets, leading to personal records and overall victories. In fact, both teams won meets against Columbia High School and rival St. Francis Catholic.

The meet against Columbia was especially significant because it was the first meet that was not cancelled due to thunderstorms. The Eagles are successful this season thanks to the encouragement from each other and the number of swimmers and divers that joined the team.

Senior captain Tim Aliyanoy prepares for his race
Photo courtesy of Dr. Dean White

The factor that makes the swim teams so special and different is that the athletes are a diverse group of students, as the teams are made up of students in sixth through 12th grade. Although it could be easy for clashing to happen within these age ranges, the teams mesh very well. “I think it’s what makes our team special compared to a lot of those other teams in town where they only have high schoolers,” said Swimming and Diving Coach, Quinn Bohan.

The success of this season doesn’t just come from individual talent, but also teamwork. Although swimming and diving is considered to be an individual sport, the support of teammates help motivate each other. “Encouragement from your teammates really help you push for that new time [and] you want to win for your team, not just for yourself which [encourages you],” said freshman swimmer Stacey Aliyanaya.

Freshman Raigan Trefzger focuses on her next race
Photo courtesy of SWI

As much as encouragement plays into making each other better, practice helps immensely with the hard work they put in. They are especially working hard now that the district and regional meet is around the corner. “We tend to typically have 14 to 15 [athletes] make it to the regional meet,” Bohan said.

Not only do the teams have incredible teamwork and grit, but they also have great leadership through their captains with Katelyn Berthy and Lisa Aliyanaya on the girls team and Tim Aliyanoy and Aneesh Gogieni for the boys team. Overall, the swimming and diving teams gain success from supporting each other, the dedicated leadership, and hard work.

Oak Hall, along with P.K. Yonge and St. Francis are hosting the district meet on Oct. 25 at Northeast Pool. Swimming starts at 9 a.m.

If the MLB Playoffs Started Today

By Brody Beaupre

When most people think about October one word comes to mind: Halloween. Unless, of course, your favorite Major League Baseball (MLB) team is in the playoffs. October was not only made for ghosts and ghouls, but for homeruns and high scoring games. In the 2022 postseason, there are bound to be many great matchups and upsets.

The Good, the Bad, and the Angels

This season has been full of some very high highs, and some very (very) low lows. There are many examples of this throughout the baseball season, but my personal favorites are the Angels and the Braves. First the good, a.k.a. the Braves. The Atlanta Braves went on one of the hottest winning streaks in baseball this year. The team won 14 straight games. This streak, which started June 1 and ended June 15, was one of the main reasons the Braves are in the playoffs. For a large part of the season, the Braves have been two to four games behind the New York Mets for the Divisional Series spot but were able to make a good run for the Wild Card spots. The younger team led by head coach Brian Snitker has a very solid chance at the NLCS, if not the World Series. Now for the not so good, a.k.a. the Angels. The Los Angeles Angels went on one of the worst losing streaks in the MLB this year. A straight 14 games without a win. This is oddly ironic, because two of the biggest names in baseball are on the Angels. This would be Mike Trout (#27) and Shohei Ohtani (#17). Mike Trout has been on the cover of many MLB video games, and Ohtani was recently the cover of “MLB The Show ‘22”. Unfortunately, the superstars could not save the team from a very low spot in the rankings. 

If the postseason started today:

Brody’s Official First Round Predictions:

All of the teams in the playoffs this year have the ability to beat their opponent but there can only be one winner. 

Seattle Mariners @ Cleveland Guardians – Seattle
Seattle has not seen the playoffs since 2001 and now that they have a shot, I believe that they will claw and fight for the series win.

Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays – Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is starting to spread its wings as an organization. They have good pitching and some quality hitters, whereas Toronto is lacking in the quality pitching department.

Philadelphia Phillies @ St. Louis Cardinals – St. Louis
If I pick Philadelphia, there’s a high chance Ms. Alvarez will fail me (kidding…kind of). St. Louis has star catcher Yadier Molina and designated hitter Albert Pujols, both of whom are retiring after this season. They will have extra incentive to go all the way as one final hurrah.   

San Diego Padres @ Atlanta Braves – Atlanta
Atlanta is coming off a World Series win in 2021 so the extra motivation is there for the Braves to go back-to-back.

OHS Football Continues Impressive Season

By Ryan McKinney

This week marks the halfway point of the Oak Hall Eagles football season as the team continues to steam roll opponents. The Eagles have played in four games so far and have been unstoppable as the team is undefeated. 

The first game, aptly named the Kickoff Classic, came against a much larger P.K Yonge team. On the first play of the game P.K.’s running back broke loose for 20-plus yards. The Eagles got a sack on the very next play thanks to sophomore Tommy Weber, who also made his football debut in this game. “That was the perfect timing to jump the line and I just got to the quarterback as fast as possible,” Weber said. Oak Hall added a few touchdowns to pull out the close win. 

The next game was at home against Saint Joseph Academy and was delayed for a few hours due to thunderstorms. Once the game actually began, the only important play came from sophomore Briggs Copeland. While on offense, he broke free and gained speed passing everybody on the field and got the big rushing touchdown to give Oak Hall the win. 

Sophomore Briggs Copeland, #24, waits for the snap

The next home game, against Bishop Snyder, was supposedly going to be the toughest matchup for the Eagles this year. This was not the case, as Oak Hall scored touchdowns left and right including touchdown catches from senior Neil Ruth and junior Carter Dykes, and touchdown rushes from sophomore Dakota Brower and junior Abram Jerkins. Ruth’s touchdown was such an amazing catch that it won WCJB’s “All Area Play of the Week”. Overall, Oak Hall handled business against Bishop Snyder and won 49-12. 

The most recent game was away against Seven Rivers where our Eagles had a field day in the Warriors stadium. The most highlighted player in this game, in my opinion, is Copeland as he had nine carries for 109 yards, averaging 12 yards per carry. These stats are amazing, but along with the aforementioned stats, he also capped off his performance with four rushing touchdowns, including one for 49 yards. Overall, the Eagles played great and got the away win 48-21. There isn’t a hidden secret to the Eagles’s success, however. It all comes down to fundamentals and coaching. “Our coaches really know what they’re doing,” mentioned Copeland.

The Eagles face five more teams in the regular season, including four road games and one home game. The final home game on Oct. 21 is not only the Homecoming game, the game where we recognize our football and cheerleading seniors, but it’s also against rival St. Francis. 

Go Eagles!

Photo by Evelyn Baker-Moore for the Aerie

Girls Basketball Team Heads into Playoffs

By Aiden Wacksman

After facing a COVID-19 outbreak in January, the Oak Hall varsity girls basketball team has rebounded by winning five of its last six games. 

The team’s first encounter with COVID-19 occurred on Jan. 6 when one player became ill. Just four days later, seven team members also fell ill, and two days after, Head Coach Eric Ringdahl tested positive for the virus. Games were cancelled and the team did not play again until Jan. 20 when it faced the Saint Francis Catholic Wolves. 

“Seven of my 11 players got sick,” Ringdahl said. Any games that were planned to take place at this time were cancelled. This was not the first time, however, that Ringdahl had games called off due to COVID-19 this season. Virus outbreaks on other teams led to several cancellations of the Eagles’ games. “It sucks to cancel games…,” Ringdahl noted. 

The team, however, faced adversity and re-emerged from the virus outbreak with conviction. It managed to outscore its next two opponents, the Wolves and Gainesville Christian Community School, by a combined score of 119-22. The Eagles then faced Eastside and St. John’s Country Day and won both games by scores of 43-38 and 43-33, respectively. The Eagles closed out the regular season with a record of 10-3. 

Ringdahl believes the team has improved in many ways since its 5-3 start to the season. “We have boxed out better and therefore we have become a better defensive team,” he said. Seniors AnnaBeth Dyrkolbotn and Tyla Young have especially stepped up this season. “Our two seniors continue to improve their games and, in many ways, provide fire and leadership,” Ringdahl stated. 

The Eagles played in the 2A District 4 tournament. Thanks to a 48-20 victory against First Coast Christian in the first round, the team clinched a spot in the 2A State Tournament. Its first game is against the 2A District 1 champs Munroe Bobcats at Munroe on Feb. 10.