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Teams seek new leaders for next year

Freshman+Brooke+Lierman+battles+for+the+ball+against+an+opponent+from+Incarnate+Word+Academy+on+April+13.+%E2%80%9CI+think+we+will+all+be+able+to+work+together+and+I+will+have+to+have+a+bigger+part+in+the+leadership+next+year%2C%E2%80%9D+Lierman+said.+Lierman+has+scored+12+goals+with+only+22+shots%2C+leading+the+team+in+shooting+percentage.+Photo+by+Tara+Stepanek
Freshman Brooke Lierman battles for the ball against an opponent from Incarnate Word Academy on April 13. “I think we will all be able to work together and I will have to have a bigger part in the leadership next year,” Lierman said. Lierman has scored 12 goals with only 22 shots, leading the team in shooting percentage. Photo by Tara Stepanek

Freshman Brooke Lierman battles for the ball against an opponent from Incarnate Word Academy on April 13. “I think we will all be able to work together and I will have to have a bigger part in the leadership next year,” Lierman said. Lierman has scored 12 goals with only 22 shots, leading the team in shooting percentage. Photo by Tara Stepanek

Freshman Brooke Lierman battles for the ball against an opponent from Incarnate Word Academy on April 13. “I think we will all be able to work together and I will have to have a bigger part in the leadership next year,” Lierman said. Lierman has scored 12 goals with only 22 shots, leading the team in shooting percentage. Photo by Tara Stepanek

Liad Lerner

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With graduation right around the corner, many coaches are figuring out how their teams are going to look next year without their seniors, and some teams will be losing a lot of talent.
“Elena Wilner and Rebecca Davis have been the one and two seeds since their freshman year,” girls tennis coach Lee Hayes said. “And they’ve had a lot of success, especially this year.”
Wilner and Davis, who placed fifth in the State doubles competition, are just two of the four seniors on the team who are graduating at the end of this year, leaving behind only a third of the team to return for next season: sophomore Zoe Hahn and freshman Michelle Korenfeld.
“We are losing the experience and confidence they brought to the team,” Korenfeld said. “Everyone is going to miss them and the energy they brought to every practice and match.”
Coach Hayes has a rebuilding season ahead of him but he is confident in the talent and leadership of Hahn and Korenfeld, and of junior Mallory Horn and sophomore Michelle Skroba.
“I will be captain with Mallory next year which is a big role,” Hahn said. “But I’m thankful for the model I got from Becca and Elena and I’ll try to follow in their footsteps.”
But tennis is just one of the many sports that are going to have to rebuild for next year. The boys soccer team is losing an All-State defender, a 2nd team All-State forward, an All-Conference goalie, and four additional starters. The girls lacrosse team is losing nine seniors, including Parkway Central’s all time leading scorer. Boys cross country is losing four runners, including one who set the school record for the course and placed 7th at State.
“Losing them is going to impact us a lot,” lacrosse player Molly Wesolich said. “We are losing a lot of great talent and some of us, including myself, are going to have to step up.”
With a school record 99 goals and counting, losing senior Jessie Piles will definitely be a big blow to the girls lacrosse team next year, but the team is not as centered around her as it once was. Last year, Piles scored 50 percent of the team’s goals and did so from the midfield position. Only six individual players scored the entire season. This year she has been playing on offense but has scored less than a third of the team’s goals, and already ten players have scored.
“Last year Jessie was our go-to goal scorer,” girls lacrosse coach Beth Karfs said. “But this year we’ve gotten better at team play and we are comfortable scoring with multiple people.”
Wesolich, a sophomore, along with freshman Brooke Lierman are two stand-out young players that the team can build around. The midfield pair have scored a combined 27 goals and nine assists and Wesolich leads the team with ten caused turnovers and seven interceptions.
“Brooke and Molly are already so skilled and act like upperclassmen,” Piles said. “It will be easy for them to take on a bigger leadership role in the coming years.”
The boys cross country team faces a similar challenge in that their fastest runner is also graduating. Senior Charlie McIntyre set a school record of 15:44.60 at McNair Park on Oct. 8, and he placed seventh in the State Championship race on Nov. 5.
“Charlie really showed what it’s like to be a quality runner with the time and effort he put in,” boys cross country coach Brian Guilfoyle said. “He gave his all every practice and he performed well at meets. He led by demonstration.”
Guilfoyle is expecting junior Colby Powell and sophomore Andrew Richardet to step up as captains next year and help lead a very deep and talented squad of freshmen.
“I have always given the new and flourishing athletes advice, but I will have to work on being here for my team every day,” Powell said.
The boys soccer team is graduating multiple players in multiple positions, but what might hit them hardest is the loss of senior goalie Job Thomasson. Thomasson was second in the conference in goals allowed per game (1.08) and in save percentage (.807) of goalies who played at least five games.
Boys soccer coach Brian Adam has high praise for last season’s Varsity backup goalie, junior Ryan Ellinger, who did not let up a single goal in the 140 minutes he played. But Ellinger will need more experience in goal if he hopes to replicate senior Job Thomasson’s form.
“The biggest thing I can do is be stronger on the goal line,” Ellinger said. “All confidence and leadership stems from that, so if I can step up my shot blocking game, then my leadership and shot-calling improves a step as well.”
Competing with Ellinger for the starting spot are multiple goalies from the JV and freshman teams including a few who joined club teams in the offseason and have improved a lot since the fall season.
“We have numerous contenders for goalie,” Adam said. “It’s not as clear-cut as it has been in the past, which is good because I really value competition at every position.”
Once the goalie position is settled, Ellinger believes that the strong and experienced midfield pair of juniors Cam Baird and Agustin Barcellona, along the continued solidarity of junior defender Nick Buerk will create a strong backbone for the team to build off of next year.

Freshman Brooke Lierman battles for the ball against an opponent from Incarnate Word Academy on April 13. “I think we will all be able to work together and I will have to have a bigger part in the leadership next year,” Lierman said. Lierman has scored 12 goals with only 22 shots, leading the team in shooting percentage. Photo by Tara Stepanek

Freshman Brooke Lierman battles for the ball against an opponent from Incarnate Word Academy on April 13. “I think we will all be able to work together and I will have to have a bigger part in the leadership next year,” Lierman said. Lierman has scored 12 goals with only 22 shots, leading the team in shooting percentage. Photo by Tara Stepanek

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Teams seek new leaders for next year