Randolph Varsity Spring teams are already well underway with practices and strength training. Spring season opening games begin this week. The Raiders are all looking towards another great season. Be sure to check the schedules and come out and support your teams! #RaiseTheR
One phrase comes to mind when thinking about the 2021 Randolph Raiders baseball season: overcoming adversity. “We’ve got to be ready for everything this year: players being out of the lineup because of being quarantined, coaches being quarantined, players getting injured. We’ve got to be ready for it all,” says Coach Flowers. In a regular year, the Raiders would already be trying to overcome losing nine seniors off last year’s team. Throw in a pandemic, and it creates even more adversity to overcome. “We are ready for the challenge though. The players have been working hard this whole off-season preparing for this year. We know the challenges that are ahead of us and we are ready and willing to meet them head-on,” continued Flowers.
On the mound this year, the Raiders will be lead by junior Frederick Wessel, sophomore Alex Roberson, and senior Pierson Burbach. Wessel has been preparing to lead the staff for two years now. He has been the number three behind two solid pitchers his freshman and sophomore seasons. In 2019 Wessel threw in 23 innings, recorded 24 strikeouts, and walked 12. He has shown tremendous gains in his control and pitch-ability, and the Raiders are counting on him to lead this year’s staff. Roberson comes off an impressive freshman season in which he went 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. In 9 innings of work, he struck out 14 and only walked 6. Burbach did not see any action last year due to an injury and a shortened season. However, his sophomore year was his breakout season. Burbach led the team in 2019 out of the bullpen with 10.2 innings pitched and a paltry 1.21 WHIP. Another arm the Raiders are excited about is sophomore Andrew Hunter. Andrew Hunter lead the JV team last year with an 0.00 ERA over 10 innings pitched. He went 2-0 while fanning 17 and only walking 6. Look for him to get significant time on the mound for the Raiders this year. Providing bullpen depth will be senior Sam Hunter, juniors John Michael Schmitz, Griffin Kennamer, and Garrett Day, and sophomores Jack Sanders, Thomas Kruza, and Jimmy Bailey.
The infield returns the most starters from last year. Frederick Wessel will be the mainstay at shortstop this year for the Raiders. Wessel lead the team in most offensive categories last year including OPS (1.286), slugging (.760), on-base percentage (.526), homeruns (3), and RBI (15). He will be at the top of the lineup this year setting the table for the Raiders. Alex Roberson will be on the hot corner this year for the Raiders. Last year as a freshman, Roberson hit in the middle of the Raider lineup that was very talented. In 40 plate appearances, Roberson hit .333 with 1 HR and 9 RBI. He also flashed good leather by fielding .970. The other two positions on the infield still have not been determined. At second base there will be a fight between Andrew Hunter, Jack Sanders, and Thomas Kruza. Each of them played significant innings for the JV team last year, and with Wessel and Roberson being top pitchers, there will be plenty of opportunity to see who wins the spot this year. At first base senior Sam Hunter and sophomore George Jennings will be vying for the starting position. Hunter returns to the baseball team this year after a one year hiatus. He is coming off a knee injury suffered during football season, but he is eager to end his senior year on a high note. Providing infield depth will be sophomore Jimmy Bailey and freshman Andrew Smith.
The outfield will see a whole new cast this year. Junior Garrett Day will be patrolling center field this year for the Raiders. Day is a newcomer to Randolph and is one of the best hitters in the area. Look for him to bat in the middle of the Raider lineup. Senior Pierson Burbach will be in one corner outfield position and junior Griffin Kennamer will be at the other. Kennamer is in his first year of eligibility and has had great seasons in football and basketball already. Providing outfield depth for the Raiders will be freshmen Thomas vonAhlefeld, Dane Miller, Davis Killingsworth, and James Halsey. Look for one or two of these guys to get a shot when Burbach pitches.
Junior John Michael Schmitz will be behind the plate for the Raiders this year for the majority of the time. Schmitz won the job last year and will provide much needed experience and leadership of the pitching staff and defense. Schmitz fielded 1.000 last year and has flashed a much better bat this year. Look for him to bat somewhere in the middle of the Raiders lineup. Sophomore Conner Goodson will be providing back-up duties this year for the Raiders, but will see plenty of action.
The Raiders will throw their first pitch of the season Monday, February 15 at home against Whitesburg Christian Academy in a doubleheader that begins at 11:00.
The Randolph golf program will begin the 2021 season under new head coach Carol Steinert. While the 2020 season was cut short due to Covid-19, we are excited to start a new season with several key players returning on both the boys and girls teams. The girls team, lead by Junior Bella Duesing, will be defending their 2019 State Championship, while the boys team will be in the mix to advance to the State Tournament this year.
We have a very young boys team but also very experienced. Lead by returning sophomores Luke Lunsford and Evan Brown, we will have a lot of help from freshmen Drew Dodgen and Bobby Bailey. 8th grader, Andrew Hinson, will be a big addition to this year’s team having a lot of experience playing in junior tournaments around the state. Other team members that will be contributors this season are Ben Shannon, Harrison Word, John Schloss and Theo Reischauer. The boys team begins play on March 16th in a match vs Westminster Christian.
The girls team will begin the year on March 8-9 playing in the Hoover March Madness Tournament. This tournament will be a big test for our team to start the season, playing against a field of 20 teams from around the state. Bella Duesing has emerged as one of the top players in the state in all classifications. Two returning players from last year’s team, sophomore Lucy Sinclair and freshman Charlotte Brinkley will bring the experience we need, while new addition 8th grader Kaitlyn Cheatham will help us to be competitive.
Raiders coaching staff are all returning but we have made few adjustments and one new addition. Coach Moore, now entering his 5th season with the team, will take on the Head Coaching role while Coach Tomlinson, entering his 10th season, will serve as the program lead. Coach Katamba is also returning for his 10th season. We are excited to bring on Bennett Smith to the coaching staff. Bennett is a lifelong club and high school soccer player and brings a lot of energy and knowledge to our program.
The Raider’s kickoff the season this Friday at the Falcon Fest Tournament played at the Merrimack Soccer Complex. They will play New Hope on Friday at 5:30 and Boaz on Saturday at 1:00. Follow all the action for Varsity Boys soccer on Instagram randolphvarsitysoccer and Twitter VBRaiderSoccer.
2020 may be behind us and the pandemic continues to present challenges, but the Randolph Lady Raiders soccer program is adapting to adversity and prepared for the challenges of the 2021 season. The girls are preparing to build on the lessons learned from last year’s abbreviated season and stepping into the spring with a renewed focus. The coaching staff is motivated and prepared to work with such an excellent core group of players. We again have a young, fast, and talented team with some core upper classman leadership. Our varsity team will have experience of our Seniors, Sara Kate Childs and Emma Hudson, and our Junior Cat Riveria, who bring their mentorship and technical skills to the forefront.
The rest of the team are made up of veteran underclassmen including Sophomores Megan Childs, Madison DeOrio, Sara Kate Mitchell and May May Park, and Freshmen, Abby Foy and Emily Zing, as well as a new group of quality eighth grade players all stepping up to join the team! The pool of middle school players is again solid and provides the foundation for the future from which the program will continue to grow.
The program is again led by Head Coach Christy Copeland. Coach Copeland will be joined by Assistant Varsity Coaches Nick Smith and Rebecca Copeland, and Coach Derek Baudy returns to lead the Middle School Team.
This team is young and being led by a set of veteran players, all of which understand about hard work and determination (attitude and effort!), and Randolph has a group of young ladies who understand that working together will accomplish more than any one of them in isolation. Regardless of what adversity the team faces this season, the coaching staff could not be more confident in their ability to be successful. We are prepared and we are Randolph Strong! Go Raiders!
After the 2020 Covid19 hiatus, the Randolph Raiders Softball Team returns to the field ready to play. In addition to the Varsity Softball team, we are introducing a Middle School team. This year looks to be a great year for Randolph Softball. Coach Traci Darwin, Coach Michael Cagle, Coach Adam Boothe, Coach Sanders Clayton would like to welcome our new Middle School Head Coach, Matthew Tucker and the new Middle School Team.
Randolph Varsity Softball returns with a solid team. Last year ended abruptly, but in six games, we earned two no-hitters and a perfect game from Gracie Boothe ‘22 on the mound and Eliana Horowitz ’21 behind the plate, the players were gaining momentum to become a real contender. Joanna Vega ’23 will rotate pitching starts with Gracie Boothe. Most of the starters return this season. Emma Gold ’21 will be a force at 1st base. Anna Cate Goodson ’22, Eliza McCrary ‘25, Joanna Vega ‘23 will return to the infield with more experience. Returning to the the Outfield, Phoebe Duncan ’22, Melissa Amador-Mateos ’23, Gracie Vaneck ’25. Newcomers to the team are Ashlyn Hafley ’24, Sarah Max Price ’24, Cara DeJesus ’26, and Sayaka Ozaki ’23.
With all the new players, Randolph Middle School Softball is focused on learning the mechanics and fundamentals of the game. Lily Kate Swoboda ’25 and Scarlett James ’25 are leading the team from the mound. They just started pitching and are improving each practice. Ryann Bulger ‘25 will be behind the plate. The rest of the team is still learning positions. Campbell Click ‘26, Lainey Davenport ’26, Maddox Killingsworth ’26, Lauren Horowitz ’26, Sophia James ’26, Laurel Schmitz ’26, Taylor Tessmann ’26, Madison Moore ’25, and Erin Ghaleb ’25 will make an impact at their respective positions on the field.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
“Realize this: We aren’t going to be perfect with our outcomes/results, in this game of failure we call softball. However, every time you are in a pressure situation it’s a chance to prove that you’re in the “perfect” frame of mind. The “success” and “failure” comes from being in the right frame of mind and giving yourself a chance to have success when the big moment comes; it doesn’t always necessarily come with the outcome, despite what all eyes watching might think. Results will come once the frame of mind has been altered.” –Amanda Scarborough
Raiders first game will be at Home on Feb 22, 5:00 against Lee High School. The Middle School has their first home game against DAR on Thursday, March 4 at 4:00pm. The schedule is available for MS Softball and Varsity Softball online.
The Raider Tennis team will be filled with a wealth of youth this year. Returning 8th graders Paul Lee and Nathan Beck will lean on their experiences last year having both won matches at the Varsity level. The team will add 8th grader John Parker Christopher, as well as 7th graders Jazz Dhaliwal, Charlie Hubbard, Fawad Ismail, Andy Jia, Sebastian Kusserow, and Rudhra Patel. The guys have had a strong start to the season and are working hard to prepare for our first match February 16 against Whitesburg Christian Academy. This is a very coachable group with a lot of potential to grow and improve. It looks to be a very fun year on the courts. The future is bright for boys tennis!
Randolph Girls Tennis team is looking forward to a great season. We have 5 returning players and 3 new additions.
Our team members are Olivia Bailey, Hannon Bulger, Ridley Fann, Carly Jia, Emma Skinner, Lydia Slocum, Lova Stenberg and Megan Tao
Raiders open up the season on Feb 10 at ACA against New Hope at 4:00.
Track and Field
Last year the Randolph Raiders Outdoor Track and Field season was abruptly cut short after only two meets. It would be an understatement to say that much was left on the table with how competitive both the girls and boys Randolph track and field teams were. The pandemic shut down definitely made the Raiders hungry for a chance to be able to redeem what they tried to accomplish last year. The girls’ team will be led by seniors Emma Hudson, Anahita Maleknia, and Sophia White. The boys’ team will be led by seniors Drew Stanley and Kelly Hay among many others.
Both teams will be striving for a Sectional Championship (April 23-24) at James Clemens high school and individual successes at the State Championships level down in Gulf Shores, AL on (April 29-May 1). The teams’ section (comprised of Brooks, Cherokee County, Danville, DAR, Elkmont, Good Hope, Fairview, Hokes Bluff, Madison Academy, North Jackson, Oneonta, Priceville, Randolph, Rogers, St. John Paul II Catholic, West Limestone, and West Morgan) is very competitive, so the road to state will require a high level of dedication!
The program is very diverse in that fact that we have many young athletes as well as many seasoned athletes. Both teams have lofty goals and with the mix of talent and hard work, we believe they are achievable.
The Raiders’ first Varsity OTF meet will be the “Early Bird Invitational” at James Clemons High School on February 27th.