Recap on fall sports

The fall sports season came and went quickly with many ups and downs for several DHS teams as they competed in the midst of changes and uncertainties. Boys soccer, girls swimming, cross country, boys tennis, pom, volleyball, and girls golf all continued to compete throughout the fall despite coronavirus challenges. 

The boys soccer season began with a tie against Traverse City Central and ended with a loss against Traverse City West in the SVL tournament. Although the season had some tumultuous times, they were able to use their chemistry to their advantage in the end.

“I felt like we had our ups and downs for sure, at the beginning of the season we went in feeling really good, and then we had a really bad rough moment, if I’m being honest, but towards the end we started really coming together,” senior Max Doty said.

Girls swim will end their season at the Division 2 state meet in Grand Rapids, which was rescheduled from Nov. 21 to Dec. 23. Throughout the season, they adapted to new norms regarding meets and were able to establish a 6-1 season record, finishing second at the SVL championship. 

“Our team has been through many changes because of COVID,” senior Kaylee Jackson said. “We have a wonderful new head coach, Claire Fries, who has done an amazing job coaching our team. Practices have been very different than last year’s, with only four people swimming per lane due to social distancing. Meets have also been different this year since our whole team could not compete together for most of them.”

The team was able to overcome these challenges very well, and become closer as a team because of it. 

“As a whole, the team did extremely well, especially given the circumstances that we were in,” Jackson said. “We have a large group of talented girls who swam very fast this year and were tough competitors against other schools.”

Cross country concluded their season at the Division 1 state meet on Nov. 6, with the girls team finishing twenty-fourth overall, and senior Josiah Burr finishing in seventy-fifth place competing as an individual. Freshman Katie Watkins was the highest female scorer for DHS, placing eighty-fifth overall. Throughout their season, they were able to become a very close and successful team, and are looking forward to their next season, as none of the members will be graduating this year.

“Throughout the season we did really well, we were a really strong team this year, and none of us were seniors this year, so next year we can come back even faster,” Watkins said.

Boys tennis competed at the SVL championship, winning the title for the sixteenth year in a row. They then moved on as a team to compete in the state tournament, where they fell short of their goal to win state after losing their quarter-final match to Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central. 

“We set out on a goal to win a state championship at the beginning of the season which seemed a little lofty at first but by the end of the season seemed like a legitimate possibility,” senior Gavin Killmaster said. “We improved so much this season and there is no doubt in my mind that these younger guys will win states in the future.”

The team had to adapt and overcome obstacles from the beginning of their season in order to have a strong finish. 

“It was very interesting adapting to all the new rules and protocols but I think our team did extremely well at it,” Killmaster said. “I always praised ‘control the controllables’ and that is exactly what the team did. Also, I think our team has to thank Coach Schwartzkopf for his dedication to making this season run unbelievably smoothly.”

Volleyball finished their successful 13-7 season with a loss in district quarter semi-finals to Mount Pleasant on Nov. 2. On top of the challenges that most teams faced throughout the season, this team encountered some additional obstacles at the beginning of their season. 

“This season was very different from past seasons; we were a very young group and we graduated most of the varsity team last year so we were sort of starting fresh,” junior Abby Rey said. “We also got a new coach this year, so obviously there was a different dynamic there, and the beginning of our season was outside on the baseball fields, which is not exactly what you expect for volleyball.”

Pom ended their fall season by finishing fifth in their high-kick competition, after a tumultuous beginning to the season. Pom typically performs on the sidelines and at halftime of football games in their fall season before attending competitions in their winter season. 

“At the beginning of the season we didn’t know if we would even be able to perform at the games, but thankfully by the end of the season we were able to,” said junior Brooke Seymour. 

Pom was able to perform at a total of three games, far less than the usual amount they would attend in previous seasons. However, they cherished the time that they were able to spend performing together. 

“I think for me the highlight of our season was the first game that we were able to perform at which also happened to be senior night this year,” Seymour said. “It was super special because we didn’t know how many more games we would be able to perform at so we just cherished it so much and had a great time.”

The fall sports season, although being very different from previous years, was a testament to the fact that perseverance and teamwork are key in overcoming challenges.

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Chloe Stafford

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