Fall sports collection
November 28, 2022
Beginning practices over the summer, many school teams prepared for the 2022 fall sports season. Football, golf, swim, bowling and volleyball all put in many hours of practice, leading to successful seasons. Football went to the first round of playoffs, and girls swim, girls volleyball, and girls golf all took on district level competition. Most notably, both the boys golf team, football team and girls volleyball team defeated the Lake Mary rival team, which brought about a new wave of school spirit.
Bowling strikes up fun
Sharing laughs, hanging with friends, and having fun are attributes that make up memorable moments. With a healthy dose of lanes and pins, these attributes can be found in the boys’ and girls’ bowling teams. The small size of the team doubles as the ideal size to build community.
Bowling is often overlooked in the wide range of fall sports to draw in crowds. Despite a limited student section, bowling matches and tournaments still manage to pack a lot of enjoyment, even though that enjoyment is more so felt within the team itself.
“My favorite thing about bowling is the fact that other teams cheer for each other 24/7 and we only cheer when we do terrible,” senior Natalie Gutierrez said. “Also the fact that it’s only five of us and we still have a blast.”
To improve their skills, the teams hold regular practices from 3:30 to 5:00 at Airport Lanes. These practices are crucial to growing both the players’ bonds and skills.
“When we get there, we bowl one game, then the coach goes over some skills we can work on, and then we bowl more practice games and learn more from those,” senior Soor Hansalia said. “I like how the practices help me be able to build new relationships with my teammates and to get better at bowling.”
The teams both compete in matches around the county and outside, facing competitors such as Lake Mary and Lyman. Along the way, the team is able to learn from their mistakes and carry those improvements into practice and beyond.
“This season I’ve done okay,” Gutierrez said. “I have my good days and my bad days but I’m definitely improving, and I plan to continue being a happy face for the team.”
With a little over half of the season still left to practice and improve, the teams are bound to continue their pursuit of success and have fun while doing it.
“I felt that I could build a strong team and I have always enjoyed bowling,” bowling coach Sonia Lenhof said. “I want to continue to work with the teams to improve their records.”
A rivalry beyond football
Although it’s been a challenging season with many cancellations due to the weather, the team continues to strive for excellence.” — Gabe Zornick
Although it’s been a challenging season with many cancellations due to the weather, the team continues to strive for excellence.”
— Gabe Zornick
With the onslaught of this year’s “Break” Mary rivalry week, the boys varsity golf team was able to win a significant match against Lake Mary High School, as the team beat the previous 3A state title-holders, making them undefeated this season. In similar spirits, the girls varsity golf team has continually won their golf matches, lengthening their season in hopes of making school history.
On Sept. 6, the boys varsity golf team traveled to Alaqua Lakes to play Lake Mary High School and, with a score of 166 to 176, the team won after five holes in a match that was canceled early due to rain. This ten stroke win in a rivalry game provided the school with the motivation to head into “Break” Mary Week with high hopes.
“The win against Lake Mary felt great and was undoubtedly the top win of our season,” senior Luke Roberts said. “We were all very motivated and wanted to prove ourselves as a squad, especially given that they have some really solid players. It’s always nice to show that the rivalry between the two schools expands beyond football.”
Roberts, having the second best score of the match with 41 strokes, was able to continue to qualify to play in the team’s next match against Winter Springs High School. Alongside the rest of his team, the boys were able to crush the Bears 169 to 216 on Sept. 13.
“The match was really fun,” Roberts said. “I definitely didn’t have my best game today and wish I could have some shots back, but what matters is that we played good enough to win as a team, and I played good enough to contribute to that win, even if things didn’t always go to plan. The match definitely gives everyone insight on what they have to get better at moving forward.”
As the boys team continues to dominate this season, the girls varsity golf team has also shown major victories throughout the season both on and off the golf course, after their win over Winter Springs High School.
“The match I played today went really well,” senior Hannah Williams said. “It was a pretty slow-paced match, but our win clearly shows that we’re excelling this season. I am really looking forward to working hard to keep the winning streak alive, and to have a fun season now that we know that we are capable of winning each match.”
Even though the girls team has been undefeated this season, the weather has created a significant obstacle that has disrupted their season.
“The team has done well this season,” varsity girls golf coach Gabe Zornick said. “Although it’s been a challenging season with many cancellations due to the weather, the team continues to strive for excellence. We have won the two matches we have had and we hope to have another undefeated season.”
Despite these setbacks, both of the varsity golf teams have been able to persevere and maintain an undefeated season.
“I definitely look forward to building off of what we have been doing to set higher individual standards for ourselves, while also continuing the team standard for winning,” Roberts said. “Every match brings about new sense of possibility and optimism and when I play well, the goal is to repeat it the best I can and when I struggle, I can leave knowing what I have to work on moving forward in order to further myself as a golfer and contribute to our team goal of winning every match we play.”
Breaking Lake Mary: history made
Torrential downpour and blaring heat, field underwater and a weekend game; the varsity football team persevered through the multitude of obstacles and took home the Mayor’s Cup in a long anticipated rivalry game on Sept. 17. After being postponed to the weekend because of weather difficulties, the team defeated Lake Mary High School by one point, ending with a final score of 22 to 21.
Heading into the game with a week full of spirit and a rambunctious student section behind them, the team looked forward to getting their chance to take on Lake Mary, and despite the 100% chance of rain that began an hour before kick-off and the postpone to the next morning, the energy that the Patriots brought was indisputably high.
“As a team, we were already really amped up about the game and were ready to get out there that night, and by rescheduling it it kind of made us more eager and helped us be ready the next day,” senior quarterback and captain Braxton Woodson said.
This match-up is a rivalry that has lasted decades and, although Woodson was leading a team that had not beat Lake Mary in seven years, the team overcame all odds to earn the win.
“My mindset was to win the game by any means necessary,” Woodson said. “For the past seven years, they have beaten us and we couldn’t let it continue. This attitude was something that I have been stressing for weeks leading up to the game, and it worked. My teammates knew what our goal was and worked hard to achieve it.”
Although the game was close the entire time, senior and University of Central Florida commit Andrew Harris helped secure the win late in the game.
“When Andrew Harris got the pick-six in the fourth quarter, that kind of brought a spark of energy throughout the team and helped motivate us to the win,” Woodson said. “After that, I scored a touchdown on a five-yard run late in the fourth quarter and a two-point conversion to put us on top, but we were only able to win because of the effort that the entire team put in.”
Although exciting the entire time, once the game “turned tides” in the Patriot’s favor, the Patriot Pride student section got even more charged.
“It was electric,” senior Eric Entrekin said. “From Friday night to Saturday morning, the student section showed out, and right before Braxton scored, the student section got quiet because there was so much on the line. When he scored the two-point conversion, everyone went absolutely crazy.”
The recent hype and continued win-streak that the team has received is largely due to the spirit that the players themselves have brought.
“This game just really shows the kind of kids we have in our program,” assistant coach Mike Mitchell said. “Since our loss early in the season against Oviedo, we have been able to work out the kinks and really just show how competitive our team is. They are just a very special group and I can’t wait to see how the rest of this season plays out.”
Coming off of the high of winning one of the most important games of the season, the team focuses on continuing their win-streak and making it to the postseason.
“This win means everything to me,” Woodson said. “The football team has been working so hard over the summer and we were just glad that we went out there and proved that we are better than those guys. This game really gave our team a lot of confidence. We feel like we can compete with the best of the best and finish the season strong, especially in the upcoming playoffs.”
Girls’ volleyball dominates districts
On the week of Oct. 17, the girls varsity volleyball team prepared for a series of games that would aid in their journey to possibly win the 2022 Girls Volleyball District Tournament. These matches required the girls to be both mentally and physically prepared to compete with others with the same passion for volleyball. The team polished their skills by practicing everyday after school leading up to their game.
Properly preparing for these games allowed for the team to advance in the tournament. This would put them in a place to play against the Apopka blue darters in an extreme match that would assist them to move forward in the competition.
“I mostly prepared by staying calm and just having fun in the locker room, but as soon as we stepped on the court, we had to be serious,” senior Lana Maluda said. “We had to get all of the nerves and jitters out before we started playing.”
In the blowout game against Apopka High School, the Patriots won all three sets which moved their ranking up in the girls volleyball state tournament. The relationship that the girls have with one another played a huge role in helping them to win the games.
“I feel like we all have really good chemistry and have a lot of fun on and off the court,” junior Samantha Bowron said. “I think that playing all the way around on offense and defense helps contribute because I know that as long as I’m in I will put all my effort.”
By maintaining these bonds, the team allowed them to be ranked fourth in the 7A district, which calls for the whole team to be engaged to advance higher in the region. Not only did the Patriots take on the Blue Darters this week, but they also went head to head with the East Ridge Knights.
“I feel like I contribute to the team with my leadership,” senior Sarah Gooch said. “Just always being encouraging and being there when anybody needs me.”
Having someone lead the team to success was crucial in beating East Ridge 3-0, giving the Patriots the title of district champions.
“I was so proud of the girls, we minimized the mistakes on our side of the net and had high energy throughout the match,” assistant varsity coach Madison Milo said. “I am excited that we got to move onto regionals and can not wait to see how far this group of girls go.”
Girls swimming take the cake at SAC championship
On Oct.7, the Lake Brantley Girls swimming team competed in the SAC Championship and fought hard to clinch the number one spot. The girls swam like fish to out pace their competitors. The overall win boosted morale and spirits for the continuation of the season.
“Winning this meet gave us confidence as a whole team knowing that we could do well in future meets,” said Senior Paula Garcia. “Winning was a rewarding feeling knowing that the long hours and hard work we put into swimming paid off.”
But a win doesn’t come easy. Each competition is sure to have ups and downs. The girls swim team had to overcome challenges and a battle with their minds.
“A challenge we had to overcome is to put aside how nervous we were and to just try our best,” said Senior Raegan Jones.
As old members of the team, the seniors are to work to teach the ways of the team to younger members.
“We practiced everyday to get ready for the meet,” freshman Marilyn Truong said. “One of the challenges that everyone had to overcome was probably getting into the right mindset.”
But living in Florida provided some other challenges: the weather. Swimming outside in a pool is less than ideal during storm season. Inclement weather poses a major threat to the safety of swim team members.
“Although this season has been tough due to harsh weather, we have managed to do very well despite all the canceled practices,” Garcia said. “A big challenge we had to overcome was wishing to do well although we had so many canceled practices due to the harsh weather.”
The girls team battled through their challenges and came out victorious. They earned 2nd place in districts, which means they are heading to the regional championships. The swim team is bringing in titles like clockwork.
“It felt unbelievable that the team had accomplished so much to win,” said Truong.
Despite the accomplishments of the girls on the swim team, they are not recognized as much as other sports.
“It is important that girls swim receives more support because it would be awesome for more people to come to our swim meets and if we got more recognition from the school,” said Garcia. “It is an amazing to feel the cheers of all our teammates and we would really appreciate it if more people could come support us to build better sportsmanship as a whole team together.”
Girls golf goes to regionals
On Monday Oct. 24, the girls golf team placed second in a match that qualified them for regionals. After a season of hard work and dedication, the girls effort has paid off, as they advance further than they were able to last season.
“We were pretty happy actually, we got really close last year, but I’m glad to have made it our senior year,” senior Sieana Banangada said.
The girls on the golf team have worked diligently throughout the season to perfect their skills to help them make it to regionals. On an individual level, members of the golf team have pushed themselves to move their team forward.
“My most recent match did not go the way I wanted to, but I still managed to shoot a low enough score to help my team make it to regionals,” senior Hannah Williams said.
This season has led the girls golf team to face a series of obstacles in regard to weather conditions. Inclimate weather brought by Floridian climate, along with September’s arrival of Hurricane Ian left the girls on the team with many canceled games and practices.
“September basically was rained out with the hurricane and everything before that. We only got a total of five matches in —we had ten scheduled— so it’s a little tricky,” girls golf coach Jacob Zornik said.
Despite the challenges posed by Florida’s weather, the girls golf team continues to thrive. As a whole, the season has been going well for the girls.
“The season has gone great. We are undefeated and we’ve had so much,” Williams said.
Held at Hawkstone Country Club in Gainesville, Florida, the girls prepare to venture out for their competition. Together, the team practices for their match as anticipation for regionals rises. As the girls move closer to their regional match, they continue to practice their skills to bring home a win.
“They just come to practice everyday working on the little things that need to work on, playing holes and doing what they need to do,” Zornik said.
The regional match brings together the best golf teams around the state. The girls have worked meticulously to perform well against their competition.
“I feel good, I’m happy for the team. I’m proud of them and I hope that they just enjoy the moment tomorrow,” Zornik said.