Senior Patrick Talamantes drops his bat and runs to first base, while the ball soars out of the park.
This was Talamantes’s second baseball game in his life, and he hit Country Day’s first out-of-the-park home run.
“It was my third time at bat,” Talamantes said. “The first two times I was making some silly mistakes because I didn’t know the rules, but this time I wanted to prove myself. When I swung, it felt right and the ball launched.”
When Talamantes found out that he had hit the team’s first out-of-the-park home run, he couldn’t believe it.
“I had to check with a couple of people,” he said.
“There have been so many great athletes on the baseball team that I couldn’t believe it was the first one.”
His teammates were also shocked.
“When (Talamantes) came into the dugout, we all cheered,” sophomore Jake Sands said.
“Some of us ran out onto the field and high-fived him,” junior Dominic Stephen said.
Coach Chris Millsback said that despite Talamantes never playing before, he is a natural athlete.
“(Talamantes) has a really nice swing and is very balanced. He also has excellent hand-eye coordination,” Millsback said.
Other team members, however, aren’t doing so well.
“We make too many bad decisions during the game, like not moving fast enough,” freshman David Boley said.
“(Pitcher Ethan Ham’s) arm gets tired so we can’t have him pitch every game.”
Millsback said that the team would be stronger if their pitching improved.
“We’ve really struggled with our pitching,” Millsback said.
The team ends the lacklaster season with a blowout against Lutheran High School, winning 16-6.
Freshman Natalie Brown’s high-school soccer career began when coach George Champayne selected her as co-captain of the girls’ soccer team.
Brown, center halfback (mid), has been playing soccer for eight years, but started playing for the school only last year.
“She knows the game of soccer, she’s highly skilled in the game and she’s the best soccer player on my team,” Champayne said.
When Brown found out she was going to be co-captain, she said she was surprised and excited, but also uncomfortable.
“I feel out of place when I tell upperclassmen what to do,” Brown said.
But sophomore Emma Belliveau said she shouldn’t feel that way.
“Natalie is obviously good,” Belliveau said. “And it’s great that we have her because we have a more solid offense and aggressive edge than we have had.”
On the field, Brown has a great personality and is not afraid to take the shot and go for the goal, according to Champayne.
“She has one of the best attitudes, and she never gets frustrated at the game,” Champayne said.
When off the field, Brown said her perspective is different now that she is co-captain. Sitting on the bench, she is focused and paying attention to every detail, allowing her to understand how the team works together.
“We have a lot of young players on the team,” Champayne said, “and when the team is really young, it becomes about team building.”
The girls are also trying to overcome the small number of players.
The girls are averaging only 12 players per game, and 11 are needed to field a team. This leaves only one sub on the bench.
The team lost its last game against Western Sierra on May 1, but according to sophomore Maddy Judd, the refs blew the game for Country Day.
The last goal scored by Western Sierra, Judd said, was offside, but the ref didn’t see it.
“When the other team made the goal, coach George was trying to tell the ref because there was still time for the ref to take the goal away from them,” Judd said. “But the ref kept saying he would talk to George after the game. By then, it’s too late to take the goal away, and the ref admitted that he had made a mistake.”
Although the team is unhappy with the 0-9 record this season, they still remain positive, according to Brown.
“We have spirit, and when we score, it feels like we’ve won the game,” Brown said.
— Daniel Hernried
This year’s golf team is comprised mainly of underclassmen—only two seniors, Eric Hilton and Garrett Kaighn, are on the team.
Nevertheless, the team as a whole finished the season in second place and will move on to sectionals on May 5.
Three players are in the league’s top six—Hilton is in fourth place, Kaighn is in fifth, and freshman Zane Jakobs is in sixth—and they will all be first team all-league.
This “solid core” of the team is the reason for its success, coach Greg Kaighn said.
“We’ve had a very solid year,” he said. “The seniors have performed extremely well, and Zane is a very talented freshman.
“We are very good for such a young team.”
Jakobs feels especially excited about the season because of his sixth-place ranking.
“I’m surprised I’m in the top 10 as a freshman,” Jakobs said. “Hopefully, next year I can push for a top three position.
“I can hit the ball farther than the (Professional Golf Association) tour average, and I think having that distance is an advantage because it allows me to play shorter clubs off the tee for more accuracy.”
Sophomore Manson Tung is also pleased with his performance so far.
“Last year, I was backup starter because we had so many seniors,” he said. “Now, I’m the sixth-seeded starter.
“(In the beginning of the year), the pro we were working with kept telling me I was going to be the ‘dark horse.’ He came back and watched me later and told me he had been right.”
On the other hand, Kaighn feels that he hasn’t played as well as he expected.
“I tend to not do well in matches,” he said. “Golf is a four-hour match where you are only hitting the ball for about 10 minutes and thinking about all that you’ve done wrong the rest of the time.
“It gets to you.”
In the second-to-last match, Country Day placed fourth in the six-team league.
“What killed us was the guys on the back of the team who didn’t have good rounds,” Hilton said. “Even five strokes can make the difference between first and fifth place.”
In the last match, however, the team bounced back to second place.
Tung said that one of the weakest aspects of the team is the other activities many members are involved in.
“We’re all kind of spread a bit thin,” he said.
Sophomore Brad Petchauer and Kaighn said the team needs to work on consistency.
“We all hit well on the driving range,” Petchauer said. “We can do really well, but it comes after (long intervals).”
Personally, Tung says he could work most on consistency when chipping. “When I do it well, it’s really, really good,” he said. “But when I don’t do it well, it sucks—the ball will go in a completely wrong direction.”