Dillon McNeil takes a look at this season’s spring sports and their stars.
TRACK & FIELD
Notoriously successful, Central Catholic track and field performed well last year at districts before not quite living up to their own expectations in the state meet. Districts saw the girls win the team competition behind strong performances in the 400 meter dash from Malika Washington, Anna Laber, and Olivia Gabriel, and additionally solid production in the shot put and javelin events from Jada Pierce. The boys team also did well, with wins from Will Mundy in the 300 meter hurdles and Christopher Oden-Orr in the 100 meter dash. Unfortunately, Gabriel and Oden-Orr graduated last spring, but the track team can count on great performances from Seniors Washington and Laber in the 400 meter, Junior Mundy in the 300 meter hurdles, and Junior Pierce in shot put and javelin. In other events, Junior Vincenzo Logan will aim for another podium finish at state in the triple jump, Senior Parker Mann will be a force to be reckoned with in both sprinting and jumping events, and Junior Austin Hill will look to turn heads in the 400 meter dash. The boys distance team will try to follow up their fifth consecutive state title in cross country, and Junior Eric Brecht is confident about the upcoming season, predicting “multiple podium finishes.” The girls distance team will be counting on strong performances from freshman phenom Amara Christensen and Juniors Gabby Horne, Sydney Fisher, and Emma Pitzer. The track and field team is working hard in preparation for the season, and Jada Pierce is counting on the squad’s strength in numbers, pointing to the importance of “maintaining the numbers we’ve had” at preseason workouts. Central Catholic track meets are on Wednesdays at various locations in the Mt. Hood Conference, and the state meet will be at University of Oregon in May.
The baseball team will look to build on a strong finish in the 2016 season, losing a heartbreaking playoff game to the heavily favored Lincoln Cardinals, 2-1. After graduating only two starters, the Rams are looking forward to the return of key players like senior shortstop Cade O’Toole and senior pitcher John Hallman, and will also receive contributions from sophomore transfers Patrick Muskat, from Catlin Gabel, and Sam Winter, from Sunset. CC Baseball also has a new face leading the program, head coach Brian Grant. Acting as varsity pitching coach the last two years, Coach Grant brings vast knowledge and experience to the Rams, having pitched professionally in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. The team has high hopes, and one of their goals is to win the Mt. Hood Conference. They are back for the 2017 season with valuable experience after learning the lessons of a young team. The Rams are ready for the challenge of the competitive Mt. Hood Conference, and will be following the fearless leadership and confidence of O’Toole: “We want to put it all together… we expect to win.” The baseball team plays on weeknights at 7, and their home field is Walker Stadium.
CC Girls Lacrosse will look to follow up an awesome season last year in which they won the most games in school history. Though the team will need to rebound after the loss of multiple seniors from last season’s starting lineup, multiple other teams in the state also lost notable senior talent from last year, opening the door for the Rams to build on last year’s performance. They will be carried by sophomore sensation Ella Burgess, the team’s leading scorer in 2016 as a freshman, and senior Molly McMullen, among others. In addition to these two, the girls lacrosse team welcomes multiple promising freshmen who will assist in accomplishing the team’s goal for the 2017 season, to set another Central Catholic record for wins. A newly established program at Central, the girls lacrosse team also has the important goal of promoting the sport and getting more girls interested in the team, and as McMullen says, while winning is important, another considerable aspect of this upcoming season is “getting girls more involved in lacrosse.” The girls lacrosse team plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with home games at Delta Park.
The CC boys lacrosse team is looking strong this year after a productive season in 2016. With a new coach at the helm and many young players in varsity roles, last season was a process of learning how to “mesh together,” Senior Midfielder Eric Pence told The Rampart. In the playoffs, the Rams travelled to face top-ranked Summit High School in Bend in the first round. Predicted to be blown out by the first-seeded team, the Rams defied expectations, tying the game at nine goals apiece with 2:37 left before losing 14-9. This year, the Rams are hoping for an improvement on 2016’s promising season. Pence is counting on a strong preseason showing, along with returning players like junior Ronan Dooney and senior Bobby Burgess to help the lax team finish in the top four of the state. “We have high expectations… we’re looking good for the season and we’re going to start out strong because we’re putting in work early,” senior Pence explained. The boys lacrosse team plays on weeknights at 7:00, and their home field is Delta Park.
After a successful season in 2016, the girls golf squad looks to follow it up with another strong performance this year. The 2016 team saw two girls compete in the state tournament, Ashley Laber and Allie Slingsby. Though the Rams lost Laber, who graduated last year, Slingsby is back for her senior year and hopes to ride the momentum from last season into a successful senior campaign. This year, they hope to compete with Clackamas for the Mt. Hood Conference title, and as Senior Quinn Ryan told The Rampart, they look forward to having a good season as a team, and hope to “make it to state altogether.” Golf tournaments are often during school hours at various courses around the greater Portland area.
The boys golf team will look to follow up a solid performance last season that saw them consistently finishing in the top two of the Mt. Hood Conference and performing well in the state tournament. This year, the Rams face the daunting task of replacing last year’s stud seniors Liam Farrell and Christopher Bright. The graduations of Farrell and Bright provide a difficult undertaking for the team, but the boys hope to receive contributions from Junior Charlie Meade and up-and-coming Sophomore Logan Kelly. Looking at the upcoming season and beyond, the golf program has high expectations for the future. The freshman class looks promising, as Meade noted to The Rampart: “We’re hoping there’s going to be some new talent coming to the golf team.” This year, the boys are working toward another appearance in the state tournament, where Meade hope the Rams will finish “at least fourth.” Golf tournaments are often during school hours at various courses around the greater Portland area.
Girls tennis hopes to build off of a productive 2016 season that saw the Rams with great performances in both singles and doubles competition. The stellar duo of Luca Breslau and Catherine Johnson won a district title in doubles competition while Valerie Truong carried the Rams in singles matches. Though they lost a few seniors from last year’s team, the girls are looking forward to another successful season. Seniors Breslau and Johnson are hoping for a better finish at the state tournament, where they were defeated in the second round last year by a pair from Jesuit. The team has high expectations for 2017. “We hope to win the district championship and go back to state,” Breslau told The Rampart. It’s safe to say the Rams will be back with a vengeance on the tennis court. Girls tennis matches are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00.
The boys tennis team has high expectations this year following their win in the Mt. Hood Conference tournament last season. Though the boys didn’t perform as well as they expected in the State competition, then-Junior Joey Schwartz reached the quarterfinals. Led by Senior Schwartz, commonly known around the tennis program as “The Messiah,” the Rams are back with a vengeance, having only lost one senior from the 2016 team. The squad will look to compete once again for a conference title, but with a new coach at the helm, as Mr. Paul Wallulis has stepped in to coach this talented team. Junior Daniel Pouch described last year as “rare,” and predicts that the Rams will be “hard to beat this year.” With Schwartz, Pouch, and Juniors Max Diess and Grayson Robbins, the 2017 boys tennis team will be fun to watch. Boys tennis matches are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00. #CCTennisVibes