Conard Spring Sports Season: A Curtain Call
By: Noah White
The birds are chirping, the weather is warming, and just as every year, Conard spring sports are back! After a 2021 spring sports season which included limited spectators and rescheduled matches, spring sports have returned in full swing. A season which signifies the closing of a lengthy and tiring academic year is currently fostering ten different teams all experiencing some level of success. To go along with the early season success of the spring programs, the winter programs also finished since our last published issue with two teams competing in state semifinals or farther. Here is a recounting of closing of the winter athletics season and an update on the current state of Conard spring athletics.
When the Courant’s last issue was published the Conard Boys Hockey team was hovering slightly below .500 with a seemingly impossible path to even making it past the second round of the playoffs. Then, after a dominating performance against cross-town rival Hall, something seemed to change. After ending the regular season with only one loss in seven games they entered the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the state. In a run that featured a win over the top seed in the bracket (EO Smith) the Boys Hockey team made their way to the state finals which they ultimately lost to Newington 3-1. The Boys Basketball team was similarly successful. After an 18-2 regular season and a semifinals run in the CCC conference tournament the boys basketball team, led by all-state sophomore Riley Fox, made their way all the way to state semifinals. Also notably, the Conard-Hall Warchiefs made state quarterfinals and CCC conference finals along with having three players named to the all-conference team(Bridget Mcgann, Ana Haubrich, and Anna Kahl). All three of these teams experienced postseason success within their respective sports that Conard had not seen since the turn of the century. Applause to the Conard athletes who assisted in these feats.
Conard Boys Hockey celebrating after advancing to the state finals
Now onto the spring sports seasons which are underway:
Both the Conard Baseball and Softball teams have already competed in at least eight matches so far this season with still a lot of competitions to be held. The baseball team, featuring seniors Nick Kane and Michael Weiss, currently holds a 6-3 record featuring wins over Glastonbury, Plainsville, and Farmington among others. They still have twelve games remaining in their regular season schedule including a matchup against Hall. The softball team experienced a slow start but is quickly pulling back towards .500. With a roster led by four seniors currently committed to continue their softball careers at the collegiate level, the Conard Softball team currently sits at 4-5. Although not necessarily what they may hope for, all four wins have come by at least 16 runs meaning there is clearly an ability for this team to continue their upward trajectory for the rest of the year.
Another staple of the spring sports season is also underway as both the girls and boys Lacrosse teams have been competing against the best competition in the state. The Girls Lacrosse team, as of printing, holds a 3-2 record with losses to Cheshire and Newtown, both ranked towards the top in the state. Their schedule features another eleven matches as they hope to continue the success they’ve had thus far as the second ranked team in the Central Connecticut North League. The Boys Lacrosse team has been similarly successful so far this season while currently holding a 5-3 record. This team is led by a substantial number of seniors including Harrison Sweeney, Brayden Grainger, and John Schulz who are all committed to play in college. All three losses have come to teams with strong winning records and their record also includes wins over solid Wethersfield and Farmington teams. They, similar to the girls team, still have a month of the season remaining along with possible playoff opportunities.
The Boys Volleyball team has arguably been one of the most successful Conard spring programs for the past few years and are off to another solid start. With a 3-3 record through their first six matches with a win over Farmington and close losses to South Windsor and Southington, the team is heading into an easier stretch prior to a massive matchup with second-ranked Glastonbury. Captained by Hugh Baldwin, Danny Gallagher, and Aidan Buyak they hope to continue the success of the past two seasons in which they finished in state quarterfinals. The Girls Golf team also has begun the season 2-1 with a two stroke loss to Simsbury and wins over Avon and Manchester. In the span of four weeks they will have twelve matches along with CIAC and conference championships.
Captain Aidan Buyak taking a swing
To close out this documentation of the spring sports it is important to address both the tennis teams and the track and field teams. Currently the Girls Tennis team is 2-2 with wins over Bristol Central and EO Smith. They still have nine remaining matches along with both individual and tournament state competitions. The Boys Tennis team is 6-1, as of printing, with their only loss coming to Enfield. Both the Girls and Boys tennis are no-cut sports which means that their programs naturally have a lot of participants. It is important to note that the varsity tennis teams are exclusive and competitive so not everyone who makes the program competes on these teams. The Track and Field programs function similarly as no-cut sports as well. Both Track and Field teams have relatively no publicized statistical information currently available but that is due to having only competed in 3 meets to this point. As their seasons go along information will become more and more available to be addressed.
This Conard Athletics year has been long and featured a variety of difficulties to this point. After two seasons which experienced some form of encroachment and limitations, this spring season represents what seems like the final step towards previous times. With virtually no limitations on attendance or masking policies in place this spring sports season, everything seems to be back in place as it was before. Some of these athletes currently competing didn’t have a relatively normal season since their freshman years or have not had a normal spring season to this point. It is great for the spring sports season to be back to normal and all Conard athletes should be applauded for what they’ve done to get to this point. Best of luck to the spring athletes and thank you to all Conard athletes!