Varsity Boys Baseball
The 2017 Randolph baseball team enters the season with high expectations after winning more games last season than any Raider team has done in school history. Randolph went 37-8 while advancing to the 5A quarter-finals of the state play-offs, won back-to-back Area Championships and finished the season with a #8 state ranking, the highest in school history. The Raiders return 8 of 9 starters from last season’s team graduating only 3 seniors: Ryan Hufford, Jack Plott and Powell Stockton. Hufford was 11-1 on the mound last season and Plott provided great leadership on and off the field as he was named a team captain and was the recipient of the Coach McGuffey Character and Leadership award.
The 2017 team will be led by three seniors: Carson Hall, Leighton Luther and Forrest Webber. Hall and Webber both became the first Randolph baseball players in school history to ever sign D1 scholarships in the fall. Hall signed with the University of Memphis and Webber with Tulane University. Luther is fighting hard to get back from ACL surgery in the fall so he can provide a spark in the line-up. Juniors Josh Hall, an Ole Miss commit, and Sam Kimel will anchor the top of the line-up offensively, as they have done for the past two years. Juniors Jackson Vest, Will Griffin and Colton Scoggins are all coming off great sophomore years on the varsity and will be counted on greatly to continue last year’s success. Juniors Brad Layton, Huston Morring, Wyatt Robinson and Crockett Worthington all have varsity experience from last season and will be counted on as well. Newcomers to the varsity who will add depth will be juniors Waggoner McCrary, Cole Greco, Parker Wilkerson, Van Dodgen and freshman Miles Butler. Also, Kohl Kraus, a junior who moved to Huntsville this summer, will be counted on to add depth to the pitching staff.
Varsity Boys Golf
The 2017 squad, while young and inexperienced, is a very exciting group full of potential. The Varsity Boys will compete in twelve matches and three tournaments this season.
Although we only have 2 Varsity Girls golfers, they will still play in matches and tournaments to prepare for post season as well as future seasons. Both the Boys’ and Girls’ teams are in developmental stages within their programs but the future is very bright. With the season just starting we are not sure who the starter will be for the Boys team but we do know that there will be strong competition for the Starting 5 spots. We have many returning players like Jackson Rogers, Mason Mulrooney, Fletcher Wilson, and Sarah Mixon that will have a great chance to compete this year. To go along with those veterans, we have added some young but experienced golfers (Charles Warren and Emma Benton) to the mix, and we expect them to step in right away and challenge for spots. It is entirely possible that any player on our boys’ roster can play well enough to earn their way in to one of the five starting positions. The coaches are very excited about every one of the individuals on the team and look forward to developing the Randolph Golf programs for the near future.
This year is a great opportunity for the Raider golfers to take the next step toward developing into a powerful program.
Varsity Boys Soccer
Expectations are always high for the Randolph boys’ soccer program and this year is no different. The team is young but loaded with talent. Two freshmen and seven sophomores make up more than half of the varsity roster this year. Freshman, Sean O’Hare, joined the varsity team last year and played a significant role in our run to the championship game last year. Sophomores, Parker League and Sam Hartley, were the team’s leading scorers last year and we expect them to continue their contributions. The team will have some solid senior leadership as well. Seniors Barrett Butler and Kevin Pirouzbakht are this year’s captains. These two know what it takes to lead this team to a championship. Barrett and Kevin were part of the 2015 state championship team and have played in two other championship games as well. This year’s schedule is going to be challenging but it will help them prepare for another possible run at a state championship. The team is playing five 7A teams and participating in the Southern Soccer Challenge, which always brings in top talent from across the nation. When the playoffs come around this team will be battle tested and ready.
Varsity Girls Soccer
This year’s team looks to get back on the path to the Final Four with eight returning starters led by Seniors Valeria Cowell, Walton Rogers and Abby Harper, the North Alabama Player of the year in 2015. Returning junior starter Skye Svehlak will lead the defense and will be joined on the field by Eve Schoenrock, one of the most versatile players on the team. Eve has committed to play soccer for Air Force Academy, while Skye continues her decision-making process on which school she will play for after graduation. The upper classman are leaders on the field, but the sophomores, freshman, and eight graders are excellent playmakers as well. Renae Washburn returns for her fourth year on the team even though she is only a sophomore. She has consistently been one of the top goal scorers for the team over the last two years.
The Raider’s schedule matches them against 6A and 7A schools from the state which will help prepare them for their goal of another Final Four appearance. The team will be appearing in the Capital City of Dreams tournament, the River City Tournament and will travel to the coast to play Gulf Shores High School as well. Locally, the Raiders will go up against out of area opponents Grissom, Huntsville, Bob Jones, Sparkman, Athens and Buckhorn. Our area schedule includes matches with Madison County, Madison Academy, and Westminster Christian.
As always, our expectations are high for the girls Raider Soccer Program. Go Raiders!
Varsity Girls Softball
The 2017 Varsity Softball Team is ready to take on the new season. Having graduated four seniors last year and having zero seniors this year, this will be a young team. We will be looking to returning juniors Katie Nordeman, Ashley Cate, Annie Gold, and Isabel Okinedo for team leadership. In addition to the juniors, there will be four sophomores, one freshman, and four 8th graders. We will rely on placement pitcher Katie Nordeman and fastballer Ashley Cate for their finesse and strength on the mound. Eighth grader catcher, Aubrie Lisenby, will return to continue her dominance on and behind the plate. Aubrie led the 2016 team in batting average and homeruns. Also, returning this year are sophomores Raychel Bellenfant, Xiara Banks, Emma Nordeman, Bess Martin, freshman Laura Kate Evans, and 8th graders Emma Gold and Eliana Horowitz. New to the team is 8th grader Isabella Payne.
With the move to 4A and a new region, the team will face some tough challenges. We are a young team, but through hard work on the field, we are ready to face these challenges. We have been working hard and setting new goals. Our focus this year is to not lose to Randolph. We will do our best to not be defeated by our own mistakes. Coach Darwin has a sign in her office that reads “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you don’t get it wrong!” We will be working hard to reach goals we have discussed as a team.
On April 24-26, Varsity Softball will host a middle school softball tournament at our field. We are scheduled to play Huntsville High on Friday, April 24. The proceeds from that game, as well as the proceeds from the middle school tournament, will be donated to benefit the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund at Huntsville Hospital. We are looking forward to contributing to MG Foundation and believe the tournament could possibly become an annual event.
Coaches Traci Darwin and Michael Cagle return to continue building a strong softball program. On February 27, we will host Athens Bible School for the first Varsity Softball game of the 2017 season. Join us at the Garth Softball Field and cheer on the 2017 Raiders!
Varsity Boys Tennis
The Raiders return three of six starters from the 2016 team that finished fourth in the 4A-5A division of the AHSAA State Tennis Tournament. Sean Davis, Tripp Slyman and Tanuj Alapati have been working very hard in the off-season and will again be counted on, along with seventh grader, Kaustubh Holcomb to make key contributions and lead the 2017 varsity team.
The varsity and junior varsity team line-ups will be determined by the ongoing challenge matches that are being played over the next two weeks. Raiders in the mix include (in alphabetical order): Jose Braulio, Ali Hassan, Grant Herr, Somil Joshi, Mahip Kalra, Evan Lake, Varun Nadella and Jed Rainey.
Challenges, Opportunities and Strengths:
- The Raiders expect to repeat as section champions but not without a fight from strong section foe, Saint John Paul II, which will be looking to win its first section title.
- The team has been invited to compete in the challenging Chattanooga Rotary Tennis Tournament in April.
- The varsity boys will go outside the section to gain challenging match experience from Altamont in Birmingham, a top team in the A-3A AHSAA division and powerhouse, Huntsville High.
- The Raiders have high expectations: win section and return to state to compete for a state title.
Outside the Lines:
In the fall, the girls’ and boys’ tennis programs coordinated with the Veterans of North Alabama Services Assistance Program, Inc. to provide basic items, to raise awareness about the needs of local veterans, and to honor those who have served our country. The varsity boys look to continue supporting VON-ASAP with another service project later this spring.
Varsity Girls Tennis
This year’s varsity girls’ tennis squad of 8 players from the of 8th, 9th, and 10th grades is a decidedly different one from last year’s team led by 4 seniors. Some young teams might be intimidated by the prospect of having to fill four of six singles positions and remaking the #1-#3 doubles teams, but not this spirited and competitive bunch. Looking to build a strong core for this and coming seasons, returning to varsity in their second years of starting player status will be sophomore Dani Dailey and 8th grader Ruby Krasnow, likely in the #2 and #1 singles spots respectively. Adding to the top 6 competitive lineup will be freshmen Annie Crain, Ji Soo Kim, and Lochlin Wessel. New to the varsity team and currently vying for the 6th active singles spot and possible doubles play are freshmen Evelyn Warren and sophomores Sarah Whelden Hall and Brooke Harmon.
These first weeks of the 2017 girls’ varsity tennis season have afforded players, new and returning, to opportunity to come together in this surprisingly temperate January and early February weather to see a lot of court time, to establish habits of more intense tennis-related strength and conditioning, and to concentrate effort and energy into drills further developing sound technical fundamentals. With a stealth quality, yet easily detectable desire to learn and improve as individuals and as a team, the girls are preparing for their opening interscholastic match at Decatur on February 22nd. The season’s goals for 2017 of this young team will be to leverage patience, depth of match play experience, conditioning, and tactical knowledge to compete and win the section and ultimately earn a berth to State in Mobile in late April. With such a talented, hardworking, and mutually supportive young group, Randolph Raiders Girls Varsity Tennis has a very bright 2017 season and future ahead.
Varsity Track and Field
Boys’ track and field graduated nine seniors last spring, and will be looking for new talent, especially in the sprints, to continue their success. The boys were runners’ up at Sectionals last year and finished 8th in 5A at State.
Girls’ track and field graduated four seniors last spring, but overall retained much of their talent. The girls won Sectionals last year and finished 6th in 5A State. Moving down to 4A this year will be a mixed bag, as several teams have moved up or down, creating a powerhouse division and section for Randolph. Randolph will look to its seniors, including Colin Quirk (relays and mid-distance), Thomas Beckman and Andrew Johnson (throws), and Madi Smith (sprints and hurdles), to provide leadership for its young team. The team adds depth with Faith Davis (high jump and hurdles), Kyle Hoyt (throws), Elizabeth Johnson (sprints and relays), Katey Ann Klingel (relays and mid-distance), Matthew Estopinal (distance), and a squadron of distance girls, including Zoe Evans, Katherine Hunter, and Caroline Stucky. The team will be traveling to several new meets this year and plans to kick off their season at the Aggieland Relays at Albertville HS on March 3rd.