Pratt: Taking a look back on the 2015 spring sports season

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By Elliott Pratt

It’s been nearly a month since the spring sports season concluded. Now that I’ve been in the area for a few months with an entire season under my belt, I’ve caught my breath from bouncing around to each high school trying to take in every sport. There isn’t a full year-in-review analysis from the 2014-15 athletics season, but here’s a few things I learned from a busy year in spring sports.

It ain’t over till it’s over:

Standing on the field after the Region 8 baseball tournament final, long-time assistant coach Dave Watkins spoke about how no one believed South Oldham would make it out of the districts.

“You couldn’t find three people in Oldham County that thought we would get out the districts,” Watkins said.

Label me a fool. After the way South ended its season I didn’t think there was a chance they’d make it past North Oldham (more on the Mustangs later). The Dragons had lost their last four games and were down to about two reliable pitchers. They even brought Blake Bisig in for a go on the mound, who hadn’t pitched since Little League.

They looked like a team that was finished, mentally on summer break. But postseason does some crazy things. When you’re facing a one-and-done situation, everything changes. South turned things around at the perfect time to win the district tournament and made it to the regional final against Collins. However, South has never made it past that point and nothing changed this year. Nonetheless, South proved nothing is ever over.

North’s big season cut short:

Watkins also put the win over North as arguably the biggest win in South Oldham baseball history, which speaks volumes for how far the Mustangs have come. North went 23-5 and maintained a top 25 ranking in the state throughout the year, finishing at No. 13.

But none of the accomplishments in the regular season matter when it comes down to a single game that decides a season, But losing one game that ends it all shouldn’t define the season either. In a way-to-early prediction, it may be tough to duplicate the success from 2015, but now the Mustangs know what that success tastes like and they’ve arrived.

You were heard, Lady Mustangs:

Before the season started, I asked North Oldham’s three softball seniors what their main goal was for this year. “Be heard. Make a statement,” was the theme.

Mission accomplished.

North reached the 20-win mark, won a regional tournament game for the first time and earned wins against programs like Ballard and county rival Oldham County, which they hadn’t beaten in five seasons. They were definitely heard, and this taste of success will only feed into next season. They’ll return their entire infield led by Erin Parker at second base.

North will feel its biggest void left by senior pitcher Sam Maiocco, but seventh-grader Madisyn Eads held her own in times of relief and should have no trouble leading in the circle next year.

Lacrosse still growing:

All three boys lacrosse teams had first year head coaches and Oldham County’s girls’ team celebrated its inaugural season. North girls won the district and held its own against Ballard in the state quarterfinals and South boys did the same. The Lady Dragons made noise at the Braveheart Tournament at Sacred Heart and featured the school’s first All-State player with sophomore Caleigh Spoon.

Several student athletes signing to play lacrosse collegiately and the interest is picking up rapidly. It will be a while before the county can earn wins against the powerhouse lacrosse programs out of Louisville, but the sport showed this season that it’s making proper strides towards that goal.

Mustangs track and field ran the show:

State championships aren’t easy. Back-to-back state championships are tougher. North Oldham’s crop of talent in track and field the past two years have been dominantly better than any other team they ran against. To make things even better, North Oldham Middle School boys’ team just won state and the girls team finished fourth. North may not three-peat, but there’s a few more trophies in its future.

Many teams and other athletes accomplished great things as well with North boys’ tennis team winning first ever regional, Cole Dowdy’s state title in the 3,200 run for South, the progressing success of lacrossee in the county and many more. With how the spring wrapped up, I can’t wait for the August.