By Elizabeth Bobr
The winter sports season at Walled Lake Central fired up at the beginning of November. Holding tryouts and filling rosters were: women’s basketball, bowling, gymnastics, poms, cheerleading, ice hockey, and figure skating; men’s swim and dive, ice hockey, basketball, and wrestling; and men’s and women’s ski.
Men’s basketball found out who made the team on November 18. All practices are held at the WLC Gym. In the previous season, the men finished the season with a 20-4 record. They also defeated WLN and WLW, and became city, and district champs. The most successful thing that the men achieved last year was winning districts. The team did lose at regionals last year, but the guys are ready to win this year. Dylan Hudspeth, senior, said, “It’s going to be so fun, I can’t wait to go started. I am looking forward to getting to know the new guys.” The team has a lot of great players who are led by great captains and coaches. The men are hoping to win as many games as possible.
The women’s basketball program is made up of a freshman, junior varsity, and varsity team. All three teams are led by Robert Schopf, an English teacher at WLC. The varsity team during the 2015-2016 season lost a majority of their games, but the girls on the team did not let their losses stop them. The varsity team of the 2016-2017 season is back and ready to win, the girls are uniting together to kick some butt. Their first practice was November 11, and their practice days vary. Sophomore Olivia Emert, who is on varsity, said, “Even though we lost a lot, the seniors took the younger teammates under their wing and helped get us all through the season.”
Men’s Swim and Dive
The men’s swim team started their first practice on November 21, and all practices are held at the WLC pool. The team had a good turnout at states last year and overall they bonded really well as a team. “We all get along really well and i’m excited to see what the new season has in store for us,” said sophomore Andrew Gourov. Last season the team finished with 5 wins and 2 losses and sent eight swimmers to the MHSAA Division one State Meet. The 400-yard freestyle relay record was reset by junior Cameron Whitfield, senior Brett Strongman, sophomore Ian Allen, and senior Josh Pascua.
Men’s wrestling has started its new season November 14. The team did not make it to states last year but four individuals did end up going. Graduate Haydn Kinjorski and Kaleb Marion; senior Ben Freeman; junior Nick Freeman were all at states and Ben was the champion. This year the men are ready to make it to the top. Ben Freeman, senior, says, “We are one big family”.Even though Freeman was injured, he is ready to make sure that doesn’t happen again. The men are ready to work hard so that they can make it to the top this season.
Men’s Ice Hockey
The men’s hockey team was off to a rough start when the team could not find enough players for the junior varsity/varsity teams. This year, WLC will not have an ice hockey team. “Unfortunately, there were not enough players to start a team this year,” said Evan Arnold who played on the team last year. It is very sad that Walled Lake Central will not be having a hockey team this year. “I am so upset and angry about WLC not having a hockey team. I was really looking forward to a new season with the guys,” said senior Matt Gannon.
Women’s Ice Hockey
Women’s ice hockey is ready to work hard and prepare for all of their upcoming games. Last year, the team won the title of state champs and all of the team members were very proud of themselves. Senior Summer Lines said, “We worked really hard as a team and that helped us come out on top, it helps to win when everyone is close with each other” This is a combined team with WLN and WLW. There’s only one person on the team that goes to central which is Summer.
The deadline for being able to join the women’s varsity figure skating team was November 11. The team practices at the Lakeland Arena and start competing in December. The women made it to states last year, and there weren’t very many failures in the previous season. Junior Michaela Sumner said, “It’s a great way to meet new friends because students from different schools are on the team so you get to meet lots of different people.” The team is combined with the other walled lake schools like WLN and WLW. Michaela is the sole skater from Central.
The women’s competitive cheerleading team started their season November 10. Last year was not the best year for the team, but the members this year are already starting the season off great. Senior Jasmine Marlow said, “Our first competition is December 17 and the team is ready to win. I would like the team to condition better because lately everyone has been getting injured. I want to prevent injuries to make this team better.” The women have bonded as a family, after spending a lot of time together playing games at cheer camp, and they are ready to put their skills together and rise to the top at competitions.
The poms team is a year-round sport, but the auditions are in March and all practices are held at WLC. Last year, the women of poms placed 2nd in one competition and 2 times they placed in 3rd. Paige Meyer, sophomore, said, “One of my successes this year was becoming a better overall dancer. I learned and improved a lot, I also worked really hard on my weaknesses. I love my team so much! We’re like a family, we always want the best for each other.” The team is working together very hard to get their routines perfected for upcoming competitions.
Men’s and Women’s Ski
The WLC ski team has their first practice on November 21. They are planning on doing their conditioning at WLC and then heading to Alpine Valley for some shredding. The team has been working on setting team goals and they’ve been doing some team bonding during the optional conditioning practices. Last year, the team placed 6th at regionals out of 14 schools. “We pushed ourselves really hard and even though we did not do the best that we could, the team did not give up,” said sophomore Isabelle Avery.
Varsity gymnastics kicked off the beginning of their season on November 2 and have practice everyday except for Thursdays and Sundays. They practice at The Sports Club of West Bloomfield on Mondays and at WLC the rest of the week. The team is led by Coach Kayla Waterman and Coach Taylor Meredyk who are both very dedicated to the team and come to WLC after their day jobs to make sure that all of the girls get the best training that they can possibly get.
During the previous season, a couple of the girls placed high at competitions like Marie Getzen, graduate from WLC, who placed at regionals and went to states for vault along with her teammate Izzy Buttazzoni, who graduated from WLC last year. Sophomore Megan Coden, placed 4th on floor D3 regionals and senior Delaney Gawenda, placed 8th. Coden had advice for all of the rookie gymnasts.“You can accomplish so much more than you think when you set goals and work hard to achieve them. The best part of being on the team is having fun and making memories with your teammates,” she said.
The JV and varsity bowling teams hosted tryouts on November 13, and plan to practicing two times a week at Wonderland Lanes. The teams, led by Ron Arnoldi, a dedicated coach who is the parent of two bowlers, has worked very well together the previous season. There were a couple of teammates who had never bowled competitively before and had a bit of a hard time reaching the level of experience that the other girls had. Sophomore Molly Kobel, a varsity bowler, explained she wished that last year she “ had been less concerned with what [her] score was and more focused on just being part of the team and enjoying that”.