The varsity teams in the spring season obtained numerous titles and awards, which athletes have not been able to achieve in years at Naples High School. The season consisted of a variety of sports such as tennis, baseball, softball, lacrosse and track and field. These impressive accomplishments have left a huge imprint on the Golden Eagle legacy and will remain an inspiration to future sportsmen.
Varsity Girls Tennis
The varsity girls tennis team had one of the best seasons in years. After placing second in the district championship, the girls were able to compete with Barron Collier in the regional finals. The success was largely due to the teammates’ newfound confidence and strength in doubles games.
“You have to believe in yourself before you expect others to believe in you,” junior Ella Perry said. “The mental aspects of sports and life are just as important as the physical.”
Despite the loss of the regional title, the team will continue to work towards getting even further in the championship games. The positive attitude exemplified by every player served as a great reminder of the importance of perseverance in such a competitive sport. After nine years of not advancing to a finals regional competition, the tennis players are confident in their ability to continue this winning streak.
“We still lost, but we’re using that as motivation for next season,” Perry said. “We will be winning that trophy next year.”
Varsity Boys Tennis
The varsity boys tennis team is not an exception to the recurring victories in the spring sports season. The tennis players’ excellent playing allowed them to compete in the regional finals game on April 21.
Freshman Noah Kohn initially felt uneasy about participating in the competition, but his nerves soon subsided upon the start of the event.
“I have played tournaments before, so the actual tennis aspect felt pretty normal to me,” Kohn said.
Like the girls tennis team, the strong bond between the male athletes contributed to their triumphant season. The encouragement from all members prevented the players from becoming discouraged and unmotivated. Kohn explained the significance of the uplifting environment and the impact it had on their playing.
“I think it gave us the support and help we needed to finish the game,” Kohn said.
The varsity baseball team excelled through district and regional tournaments into the state semifinals during the recent spring season. After placing second in districts and seventh in the regional tournament, the team claimed their spot in the state Final Four. The baseball team would not let losing their district champion title deter them from advancing in future games.
“We had to get ready for our first game against Belin [Jesuit Preparatory School],” junior Reilly Witmer said. “We did what we have been doing all year at practice and just tried to get better.”
The practice was proven to be effective when the team beat the Jesuit Tigers in the regional quarterfinal match. This very crucial game marked the outcome of the players’ hard work throughout the season.
“We knew that we could win and that [is] all that mattered,” Witmer said. “We kept that mindset all the way through and it paid off.”
The varsity softball team had an impressive season, which included placing in the Final Four and competing in the state semi-final match. After becoming district champions and moving into regionals, the varsity team members had the opportunity to play in the state championship. This accomplishment has not been achieved since 2010.
“We all really wanted that state title and were ready to do the best that we possibly could,” freshman Isabela Carson said.
The optimism from every member played a huge part in advancing to more exclusive tournaments. Winning games against teams from Barron, Fort Myers and Pembroke Pines would not have been possible without the camaraderie between all softball players.
“I think that we were able to really have each other’s backs and bring a sense of excitement and a winning attitude to the field,” Carson said.
Varsity Boys Lacrosse
The boys varsity lacrosse team had an incredible season with wins against Fort Myers, Palmetto Ridge, Lely and Immokalee teams. Even though the outcome of the season was unexpected, the lacrosse players learned valuable lessons from their losses. The team faced many challenges due to injured players but overcame this through the persistence involved.
“We all had to move forward as a team and work that much harder,” freshman Will Runco said.
The relationship among teammates and motivation before games was an influential factor in the lacrosse members’ playing. Activities that led up to major competitions were just as impactful as the preparation that preceded the tournaments. The encouragement from teammates directly contributed to the performance of the athletes during the season.
“We would usually have music and all hype each other up pregame,” Runco said. “ It’s crucial to do this.”
Varsity Girls Lacrosse
The varsity girls lacrosse team had a record-breaking spring season, consisting of various accomplishments and titles. For the first time ever, the players made it into the state Final Four and competed in semi-finals. The girls became regional and district champions and continue to create an astonishing legacy for the community.
“They dedicated themselves to the goal of making history,” coach Jayson Saunders said.
The lacrosse players’ winning performance was made possible through the dedication demonstrated by every team member. The consistent practicing and training prepared the athletes for the upcoming spring season, and this strict regimen will continue to help the players succeed in future championships.
“They have to work significantly harder in the offseason in order to get better and to raise the bar for their expectations of themselves and the team as a whole,” Saunders said.
Varsity Track and Field
The varsity track and field team brought home a district champion title and went on to place in the top five for the FHSAA regional competition. These athletes placed in the top ten for various state events including the Girls High Jump, Girls 800 Meters, Girls 4 by 400 Relay, Boys Pole Vault, Boys High Jump and Boys 4 by 800 Relay. The members had to exert a great amount of effort in training in order to be fully prepared for such competitive tournaments.
“When you train in the offseason, you build a strong base for the mileage and the endurance that will come forth throughout the season,” sophomore Hector Toro said.
Track and field members plan to remain utilizing this discipline to improve their running ability. Additionally, the frequent practices and meets have brought teammates closer than ever before. The athletes continue to excitedly anticipate future spring training due to the previous friendships made.
“I look forward to this because these people aren’t just my teammates, but the people who have my back on any training or racing day,” Toro said.