By Darrian Pickett
Viva Loudoun College Intern
Leesburg (May 20, 2014) – In the fall of 2010 Tuscarora High School opened it’s doors for the first time to three classes. While some students were planning to finish their high school careers at Tuscarora, the Class of 2014 had just started their high school experience, as the first freshman class at Tuscarora. Now almost four years later, weeks before graduation, the Class of 2014 is leaving their mark on Tuscarora, both academically and athletically.
On May 19, Tuscarora hosted their Senior Night for spring sports. Most of the seniors had been a part of the Huskies athletic program for all four years and others have only been a part of Tuscarora athletics for a short time.
Tuscarora softball, baseball, girl’s soccer, and boy’s soccer led all the varsity games throughout the night and were able to secure wins against Potomac Falls for the seniors last home game of the regular season.
This year’s varsity baseball team is graduating 10 seniors. All of the seniors have been involved with the baseball program throughout their high school careers, either playing on the JV team before being moving up to varsity or playing on the varsity team for all four years.
Seniors Gavin Wall (pitcher) and Brady Kaplan (catcher) have played varsity baseball all four years.
When asked how his time on varsity has helped him grow as a player from his freshman year until now Wall said, “I’d say a major increase [in being comfortable] on the mound. Early in my career I would get extremely amped up before starts; now I’m much more calm and confident.”
For Kaplan the most important part of this senior season was playing with the nine other seniors for the duration of his high school career.
“We’ve come a long way and it’s awesome to see, and the importance of being a senior to our team is to make sure everyone stays focused and is on the same page. The value for each game this season was one game at a time, and to cherish every at bat we had and make it count,” said Kaplan.
The advice Kaplan and Wall would give to the players that will remain next year is to play every game like its your last and to use this season as a building block for next season.
The Huskies beat Potomac Falls, 3-2.
Tuscarora varsity softball is losing six seniors this year who were all a part of the varsity team for all four years of their high school careers.
Seniors Jami Adler (first base) and Tori Richardson (second base) had a few things to say about their senior season.
According to Richardson and Adler the most memorable part about their four years on varsity was their teammates and the bond that they had formed.
Richardson said, “they helped make every day fun. They are some of my closest friends. We’re truly a family.”
Adler said “we have truly embodied the meaning of working together as a team, and I couldn’t be more proud of that. Everything that we have accomplished this season has been through each other with the help of our coaches. ”
According to varsity softball coach, Megan Smith, the Class of 2014 is a big part of the success that the program has had over the years.
“This year’s seniors is a very special group. We’ve had almost all of them for all four years. It’s been really neat to watch them grow and develop; not just as players on the field, but as young ladies off the field. They are the program; they’ve helped us start it front the foundation. They were our first freshman group that we had, so they bought in right away. Once they leave, they’ll leave a legacy for our program forever,” Smith said.
The Huskies won 14-2 with Adler hitting two home runs!
Tuscarora girl’s soccer program has improved each year since it’s start in 2010. With the team only graduating three players, this year’s group of seniors is small in numbers, but they have made an impact on the program, their coach, and their teammates.
Girl’s varsity soccer coach, Nicole Brower, said “they are fantastic. All three are just model players. They are captains of the team, really responsible, besides the fact that they are excellent soccer players. They made it really easy for me to come in as a coach last year. The girls nominated them, unanimously to be team captains, and I see the other girls going to them if they have questions. They do a good job of portraying how to approach varsity soccer.”
For senior, Lauren Herbine (center back), the most memorable part about playing varsity soccer is the friends she’s made throughout her time on the team from the older girls she met her freshman year, the current underclassmen, and the coaching staff.
The best advice Herbine could give players that remain on the team after this year was “to push themselves and the team to go far, because they are an amazing groups of girls. Have fun and truly enjoy the experience.”
The Huskies won 4-0 to finish the regular season 10-2-3
The boy’s varsity soccer program has been successful since the start of the program in 2010.
Seniors Spencer Hayes (center midfield) and Brandon Grueso (right back), along with others, have been playing on the varsity team for all four years of their careers.
Brandon Grueso said “as a freshman I was a little anxious, but I think I matured a lot more and got used to the pace of the game over time. I feel more comfortable now.”
According to Grueso, the most memorable part of the season was the team’s 1-0 victory against Loudoun County.
“They were one of the strongest teams we played,” said Grueso.
Spencer Hayes offers his advice to the remaining players on the team.
Hayes said, “set your goals high and never detour from working towards them, and be as coachable as possible.”
For Hayes, the most memorable part of his career would be “playing for a team that always finds success no matter the circumstances. Along with making the friendships that last on and off the field.”
The Huskies won 3-0 to finish the regular season 13-3-0
Tuscarora’s varsity softball, baseball, and soccer team’s seniors will attempt to continue their careers during the playoffs starting later this week.
Darrian Pickett is a graduate of Tuscarora High School where she was a standout athlete and she will be the sports editor and managing editor for the student publication at the UVA-Wise next year.