From Conference Championships to Regionals to State Finals, OH girls’ sports teams are breaking records and making school history.
Girls’ fall sports here at OH are ending soon, but they have had a remarkable season so far. Highlights include golf winning Conference and Regionals for the first time in school history, swim going to Conference, and sophomore Savannah Millard going to State Finals for tennis.
“We’ve had some immense success,” explained Varsity volleyball coach Gary Mosley. “We only set one goal at the beginning of the season and that was a top-four seed, and we’re number three.”
Girls’ sports this fall have shattered records and accomplished goals never reached before at OHS. Both individuals and teams are bringing attention to their sports and making names for themselves here at the school.
“Our biggest accomplishment was when we went to Conference and won 3rd place,” said senior Scarlett Lane, who played on the second doubles team for Varsity tennis, “especially since it was both of ours first year on Varsity.”
All across the board, girls’ sports are reaching a new high and continue to see improvement throughout their seasons. The OH girls’ cross country team demonstrated their strength when they placed at regionals and advanced to higher competition.
“My team did really well, we qualified for sectionals,” illustrated cross country runner junior Lucy Cler, “this year we’re doing a better job of running and racing as a team.”
Although these student-athletes have had immense success, they continue to struggle with attention here at the school. Often, girls’ sports are not at the forefront of athletics in many students’ minds, especially during the fall season.
“I definitely think [girls’ tennis] is [a sport] that people don’t know as much because our season is so early in the year,” said Lane, “especially since boys are at the end of the year, I think it is a bigger deal.”
Many student-athletes believe the same thing about their sports, especially those during the fall which are often overshadowed by football season.
“I think [cross country is] kind of a less popular sport and I think that’s because a lot of people don’t understand what it is,” continued Cler. “People know what track is but they don’t always know what cross country is.”
OH’s athletics department has attempted to lessen this issue by encouraging the school community to support all sports, regardless of how popular they are. By doing this, they hope to bring more attention to lesser-known sports so that athletes can get the credit they deserve.
“In our athletic department we have worked hard with our coaches and student-athletes to get everyone to be ‘Panthers Together,’” explained Athletic Director Darren Howard. “So that we are all pulling for each other and not just being overfocused in our own sports.”
Many girls had also taken their publicity into their own hands, using different techniques and strategies to bring more attention to their sport. This saw success, as many athletes felt that they are more popular now at OH.
“I think we improved it this year because we started an Instagram account,” said Lane. “It helped get more engagement to tell people more about like ‘this is what we are doing.’”
Students have also expressed interest in school-wide updates on the accomplishments of their sports teams. They hope that this will encourage students to get involved in supporting more niche teams while also bringing the school together as a whole. A current information system is the school’s athletic website, which provides records for all sports at OH.
“I wish they did actual school announcements in the morning saying ‘this is what’s going on’ because unless you have some friends on the team you have no idea what’s going on with them,” explained Lane.
In the end, girls’ fall sports have shown immense improvement this year and have a very bright future ahead of them.
“They’re just starting to come together and they’re starting to gel and they’re starting to believe” noted Mosley. “It’s just fun to watch that all come together and be a part of it.”
Especially for graduating seniors, the fall season has made their year one to remember. Many expressed the love they have for their teams and coaches as well as the hopes they have for even more success in the future.
“It was a very fun experience and a great way to spend four years,” said Lane.
My name is Sasha Pankuch and I am a junior here at OHS. This is my first year with 42Fifty too. I am very involved here at OHS; I am on the board of Student Council, I play the saxophone in the Panther Marching Band, and am a member of multiple honors societies!