Tag Archives: eagles athletics

OHS Winter Sports Preview Season

By Tori Kitchens

As the end of January approaches, the athletes who play winter sports are gearing up for post season play. 

Girls’ Basketball

The girls’ basketball program finished their season 14-7 going an impressive 5-0 in district play. “This is definitely one of the better seasons we have had in several years playing basketball,” senior point guard Kate Pickens noted. Pickens admits that there are some games the team should have won, however, the team has done a remarkable job playing as one. “When we play together ‘as a hand and not five fingers,’ as Coach Ringdahl likes to say, there is no telling what we can accomplish.”

Leading the team in both points and assists, Pickens intends to make the most of her final playoff run. “As long as we put our best foot forward and give it our best shot, I will be more than happy with the results of my last season,” Pickens acknowledged, “but if we have the opportunity to keep winning, I absolutely want to take advantage of it.” 

The Lady Eagles are going into the post season off a senior night win at home against Eastside 32-27. The team begin their run with a bye and will play the winner of Countryside Christian and Redeemer Christian on Wednesday.

Boys’ Basketball

Oak Hall’s boys’ basketball team has had a very successful season. Finishing their regular season with one of the highest win percentages in program history, the team went 14-4 and 6-0 in district play. They have two more regular season games against Lafayette and Dixie County before beginning their post season run next week. “It truly means a lot to play together with my boys in the big moments and I just hope we can build up the chemistry to push us through this post season,” junior guard Ryan McKinney stated.

The records they broke and the successes they reached in the regular season has given the eagles a first-round bye in the post season. “I truly believe that we can make it far this year as this is the most united and connected team we’ve had in a while,” McKinney affirmed. 

The team is expected to make a great run this post season. “I’m expecting us to at least make it to the district championship for sure,” McKinney continued, “but if we end up winning, which I think we are capable of, then I believe we can make a solid run at states this year if we compete at our full potential.”

Girls’ Soccer

After a difficult regular season, the girls’ soccer team enters the post season with nothing but positivity. “It’s been a challenging season, but we have grown a lot as a team and have persevered through a lot,” senior midfield Zahra Sims described. 

The Lady Eagles opened their post season on Thursday, defeating St. Francis at Lafayette 4-1. “I think that that was one of the best games that we’ve played,” Sims added. “We had great communication, and it shows how far attitude and effort can go.” 

The team will travel back to Lafayette on Monday to compete against the Lady Hornets in their home stadium. “I am looking forward to finishing out the season on a good note and leaving OHS soccer with a positive legacy,” Sims stated.

Boys’ Soccer

At the start of their season, the boys’ soccer program welcomed OHS faculty member Andy Westfall as their head coach. “While I always want a winning season and want to build a better program, my daily goals are more about effective training sessions,” Coach Westfall noted. The eagles’ training strong practices paid off as the team started off 6-0 and finished their regular season 9-4. 

The boys will start their playoff run Tuesday against Lafayette. The eagles played the Hornets twice during the regular season and game up just short both times. Regardless, the team intends to make a significant showing this post season. “I think we are in a good place on all accounts, and I am proud of the effort the players have put in so far to put us in a good position to make it through District play,” Coach Westfall contended.

Traditional Competitive Cheerleading

For the first time in its 5-year history, the Competitive Cheerleading squad is competing in the Extra Large Non-Tumbling division. With 22 girls on the floor, most being rookies, the team has had to work even harder to fine tune and perfect their routine. 

The eagles made an impressive showing at their regional competition at West Nassau in Callahan on January 14. The team received their highest raw score ever and qualified for the state semi-finals. “It’s been a challenging season because we are putting a harder routine on the floor than we have ever attempted before and over half of our team has never cheered competitively before,” head Coach Kelley Thorp admitted, “so there has been a big learning curve to overcome.”

Going into state competition, the team hopes to hit a zero-deduction routine in order to take a spot in the final round. 

Gameday Competitive Cheerleading

Not only are the members of the cheer program preparing for state competition, but they are also working hard to prepare for Nationals! 

With a smaller squad of 15, the team has been very successful. At their Universal Cheer Association (UCA) regional competition in the beginning of December, the eagles shocked everyone by placing second with a very high score at their first ever Gameday-styled competition. “It’s been a fun and rewarding season,” head coach Kelley Thorp recounted. “With a small team made up [of] predominately veteran cheerleaders, it has been fun to put together a routine in a genre of cheer we have never done before.” 

The team will travel to Orlando next Thursday to compete at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. 

Boys Lacrosse: Solo Loss Amps Up Motivation Leading into District Tournament

By Shailey Klein

The varsity boys lacrosse team is wrapping up a dominant regular season and riding commanding momentum into the postseason. Entering the district tournament as the top seed, the Eagles have its sights set high on a deep playoff run.

The Eagles finished the regular season 11-1 with a lone loss to Florida’s No. 1 ranked and the country’s No. 4 ranked Ponte Vedra Sharks (15-0). Going into the Top Ten matchup between two powerhouse boys lacrosse programs in Florida on Friday, the stage was set for a memorable evening, no matter the victor. The Eagles and Sharks entered the matchup with nearly identical scoring averages of 13.8 and 13.1, respectively. Additionally, nearly all games against common opponents resulted in scores within a few goals of each other, showcasing the similarities between the two squads.

Before the first whistle even blew for the opening faceoff, the matchup featured good-natured Twitter banter between @PVSharksLax1 and @OakHallLacrosse. There was electricity in the air pregame as both teams brought an elevated level of energy and intensity to the field. 

The Sharks opened the game with two goals, but it didn’t take long for junior midfielder Michael Moreschi and sophomore attacker Luke Staab to match the score with two goals before the end of the first quarter. Moreschi tallied another goal to give the Eagles a 3-2 advantage and their first lead of the game. The Sharks quickly responded with another goal to make it 3-3 going into halftime.

Senior Ben Moraski got the second half rolling for the Eagles with a quick goal assisted by freshman Andrew Jimenez. Junior Josh Raymond stretched Oak Hall’s lead to 5-3 with another goal in the third quarter. That would be the end of the Eagles’ scoring for the night, as Ponte Vedra went on to score three unanswered goals to seal the game. The Eagles fought until the final horn went off and the scoreboard flashed 6-5 in favor of the Sharks. Emotion flooded the field after both teams gave it their all.

The Sharks brought an elite defense to the table, forcing the Eagles to learn how to play tough under pressure in a close game. “I think the game showed who could play and step up when it comes down to the wire,” Moraski stated. “It was truly a battle of who makes the least mistakes,” he added. 

Senior Ben Moraski looks for an open player in front of the goal

Being able to face a team like Ponte Vedra definitely prepared the Eagles for postseason competition. “We knew that they were one of the best teams in the state, so if we could matchup against them, then it would really show us how much of a shot we have at making it far in the postseason,” Moraski commented. The Sharks are in Class 2A, while the Eagles are in 1A, meaning the teams won’t face each other in the playoffs. 

The Eagles begin district play at Menendez this week. With a first round bye, the Eagles will face the winner of Matanzas and Santa Fe in the semifinals on April 14 at 7:30 p.m. The district championship is on April 16 at 7:30 p.m.

The Eagles are taking the playoffs one game at a time. Currently ranked No. 2 in Class 1A, the Eagles see No. 1 Saint Andrew’s as one of the toughest teams to beat in the classification. “They have a stacked defense and a really good face off guy,” mentioned Moraski. 

All four seniors on the boys lacrosse team have signed to play collegiate lacrosse at the next level. Division I St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia is welcoming goalie Shayne Ryan for the 2022 season. Attacker Ben Moraski and defender Jacob Limon will be playing at Division II Flagler College and attacker Rocco Falisi will be playing at Division II Florida Southern College. The Eagles showcase plenty of young talent, allowing the sustainability of a successful program for years to come.

Girls Lacrosse: District Tournament Preview

By Sarah Rosenberg  

After a long season of ups and downs, the Oak Hall girls lacrosse team enters the home stretch of the season as the team prepares for the first round of districts today. Playing a team sport during a pandemic presented its challenges, but nothing this team couldn’t handle. Over the Easter weekend, head coach Darren Johnson and his daughter were contact traced and quarantined, uncertain when they would be able to return. Thankfully, they both tested negative and are symptom-free just in time for the district tournament.

Senior Sophie Miller looks for an open teammate

The team is 7-4 with only one loss in their district against St. Augustine very early in the season. Oak Hall is seeded second in the district, which gives the team a bye in the first round. The Lady Eagles are playing Menendez tonight in St. Augustine. The winner of this game will advance to district finals on Thursday. “We’ve worked so hard to get to this point in the season and we’re taking each game one at a time. Being a young team, we have a lot to prove, and everybody is looking forward to a potential rematch against St. Augustine for the championship,” said senior captain Shailey Klein. Good luck!

Senior Spotlight: Jacob Limon

In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior athletes, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

Jacob Limon is a member of Oak Hall’s varsity boys lacrosse team!

By Avery Broom

A: Advice you would give your freshman self? Work harder now so you can relax more later.
B: Best pre-game meal? Oatmeal and egg whites.
C: Coach’s best words of advice? Never be satisfied.
D: Favorite dessert? Key lime pie.
E: Typical evening plans post-game? Go to chipotle and take a bath.
F: Favorite high school athletic moment? Beating Buchholz sophomore year for district championship.
G: Goals for your senior season? Win a state championship.
H: Hoping to attend which college? Flagler.
I: Interesting thing about you besides lacrosse? Um.. I’ve had 14 injuries since eighth grade.
J: Favorite joke? What do you call a fish with no eye? A fsh.
K: Keys to maintaining homework? Make a list and set aside time to actually get it done.
L: Least favorite practice drill? Least favorite practice drill is probably wallball.
M: Music you listen to? Rock music.
N: Netflix or Hulu? Hulu.
O: Outside hobbies other than lacrosse? Lifting weights.
P: Preparations for a big game include? Drinking a lot of water and caffeine.
Q: Question you would ask your future self? Did we accomplish the goals that we set before?
R: Would you rather play in the heat or cold? The heat.
S: What would your senior superlative be? Most likely to do steroids.
T: Favorite TV show? Family Guy.
U: Most underrated position? LSM. [What?] LSM. [What is that?] Long stick middie.
V: Favorite vacation spot? The mountains.
W: Do you wish to play lacrosse in college? Yeah.
X: Any X-Rays? Yes. [How many?] Um. Anywhere between 10 or 20.
Y: What is your impact on younger athletes on the team? Make them tougher.
Z: Favorite zoo animal? Silverback gorilla.

Senior Spotlight: Sarah Rosenberg

In an effort to make this year special for Oak Hall’s senior athletes, we created A-Z questions for them to answer. We hope you enjoy!

Sarah Rosenberg is a member of Oak Hall’s varsity girls track & field team!

By Kaylee Rowe

A: Advice you’d give your freshman-self? It goes by pretty quick, so enjoy every moment.
B: Best pre-meet meal? Egg-whites
C: Coaches best word of advice? Run hard, turn left.
D: Favorite dessert? Pizookie
E: Most entertaining practice? Any practice Coach Al brings his kids to.
F: Favorite high school athletic moment? Winning state in 9th grade.
G: Goals for your senior season? Have fun and enjoy it.
H: Hoping to attend which college? I don’t know.
I: Interesting thing about you away from track? I’m really into politics.
J: Favorite jersey number? 3.
K: Keys to maintaining homework? If I knew, I would tell you!
L: least favorite practice drill? Anything that involves long distance.
M: Music you listen to? Anything.
N: Netflix or Hulu? Netflix.
O: Outside hobbies besides track? Tanning.
P: Preparations for a big meet include? Getting a lot of sleep.
Q: Question you’d ask your future self? If I’m still running?
R: Most relaxing part of your day? Going to sleep.
S: If you had any superpower, what would it be? Being invisible.
T: Favorite TV show? Criminal Minds.
U: Most underrated part of track? Being with the girls and enjoying workouts.
V: Favorite vacation spot? Alaska.
W: What does it mean to be an Eagle? Working hard and doing our best.
X: Any X-Rays? Lots.
Y: Your impact to younger athletes on the team? Trying to be a good role model and encourage them to love the sport as much as I do.
Z: Favorite Zoo animal? Giraffes.