As Sports Move Back Outdoors, Talawanda’s Success Continues

As Sports Move Back Outdoors, Talawnada’s Success Continues

By Luke West Poley

A pandemic could not slow down the start for any of Talawanda’s spring sports teams, with historic seasons for a number of groups. As it stands, all Talawanda’s teams currently competing have winning records. This is an unprecedented feat for the teams that had not competed in nearly two years coming into this season.

The baseball team came out of the gate quick, with wins in their first four regular season matchups, outsourcing their opponents across that stretch 28-4. The team currently sits at 8-4, with two big games tonight at SWOC leader Harrison, a team in which the Brave dropped an extra innings battle to earlier in the season. One of the games tonight is a partial make up game from earlier in the year with the Brave trailing in the fifth. The eyes are set on a conference championship for the baseball team, and they are certainly attracting many eyes from around the region as well. One recent follower has been Chatterbox Sports’ Reid Maus, who said of Talawanda’s junior ace Brennyn Bell-Bucher on Twitter last week “Bell-Bucher can sling the pigskin. 20 innings pitched. 29 Ks. One earned run.” With Bell-Bucher on the mound, there is belief that the Brave can beat almost any team they are pitted against.

The tennis team sits at 5-4 on the year, however a deeper dive into their schedule makes that record look even more impressive. 3 of the Brave’s losses have come to much larger schools out of the Great Miami Conference, and the team is undefeated in conference, including 2 sweeps over Edgewood and Northwest. The team is eyeing yet another conference championship, a win which would extend the Brave’s streak to four in a row and five of the last six. The team only has one conference opponent in the Ross Rams left on the schedule before a slate of non-conference matches to ready them for postseason action.

The softball team started off strong, beginning on opening day with a 3-0 win over  perennial power Mount Notre Dame. The team ripped through non-conference action prior to SWOC play, enacting run rules on 5 opponents in a row at one point in the season. After 2 wins to begin their conference season, the team has struggled as of late, currently riding a 3 game losing streak. The adversity for the Brave has come out of a team that has become accustomed to scoring over ten runs per game. When the bats have struggled for the Brave, their results have shown it. There is much time to catch up, however. With three conference games on the schedule, one with Harrison and two with Edgewood, scheduled for this week. The Brave are still in the mix of a tight race with Harrison and Ross atop the SWOC standings.

Since its original inception, there has been yearly improvement within the Talawanda lacrosse program. There were some questions heading into this year, however, with the team experiencing its first coaching change in its history. While this could’ve caused a stumble to start the year, newly appointed head coach Emily Dreisbach led the team to their best start ever. 5-1 in their first six games, the team played with more confidence than ever before. They could now be competitive with the traditional powers of the area, and it showed. Despite dropping a 10-9 overtime loss to Seven Hills after a historic win at Beavercreek, the team beat an Archbishop McNicholas team that had blown them out two years ago by returning the favor, with a 19-7 thrashing of the rockets. The team is quickly turning themselves into one of the most respected up and coming programs in southwest Ohio.

Both track teams are contenders for a SWOC crown this season. For the girls, it could be a fourth straight championship. They are led by junior Hannah Lippincott, who holds the top times in the SWOC in both the 1600 and 800. Maddy Iden also is the conference leader in the 3200. The 4×800 relay team for the Brave also is favored to win the conference. Stacked across the distance events, the field is also a strong point for the Brave, with Hannah Hoblitzell sitting at second in the conference in the shot put, Haley O’Brien second in the high jump, and Olivia Andrews and Megan Minelli tied for second in the pole vault. On the boys side, they are seeking their first conference championship since the SWOC’s formation. They also are the SWOC leader in the distance events, with indoor nationals placer Kiefer Bell leading the conference in the 400, 800, and 1600. Logan Murray also leads in the 3200. In the field, sophomore Henry Hoblitzell is tied for first in the conference with his 13 foot pole vault, and Thomas Hickman is first in the discus throw and shot put. The relay teams are also dominating for the Brave with the 4×200, 4×400, and 4×800 all leading the conference with their efforts. Many of the Brave’s athletes’ eyes are even looking past the conference meet, with many looking to qualify for regionals and states.

Photo Cred:  Justin Beckner