Spring Sports Round Up

Jesse Conen

Boys’ Lacrosse:

On a hot Tuesday afternoon in May, Coach Begier’s boys lacrosse team arrived at Penncrest looking to secure their first victory at states since the championship run in 2015. After a long and challenging season that saw ups and downs for the senior-heavy squad, Tuesday’s victory over District 3’s Hempfield was a breeze in comparison. Going down 1-0 early, the Raiders stormed back with 14 unanswered goals, five of which came off the end of a Jackson Birtwistle shot. Birtwistle, the star junior that will continue his lacrosse career at Marquette following high school, leads the potent Radnor attacking line that also includes seniors Drew Brown and John Austen.

The 17-6 Raiders finished third at the District One Championship, defeating top-seeded Springfield in the third-place playoff game by one goal. Anchored by the goaltending of Archer Darrach and defense of Ryan Bernicker,Grant Pierce, Cole Schwartz, and Kieran Sheridan, Radnor has only allowed 146 goalsa seemingly large number until you consider the fact that the team has scored nearly 100 more at 245 goals. That large goal scoring tally is also thanks to the multi-faceted game of the team’s midfielders, a force led by seniors David Azzarano, Jack Dooley, and Ethan Ott, with help from junior Jaden Goldstein and sophomore Damien Ramondo.

An easy win in the quarterfinal over Mt Lebanon 13-4 means that this year’s team has already outdone the past couple of seasons for the program and will look to continue the success on Tuesday. RALA’s next matchup is against the District 1 champions in Conestoga, a team that has swept the Raiders for the season so far. Despite a gallant effort, Radnor fell to Conestoga 8-7 who will move on to the state final.

Girls’ Lacrosse:

After a rain-induced three-day wait, Norlax finally were able to play their first-round match of states against the District 11 Champs Parkland, and did not disappoint. In a 15-3 thrashing, senior and Lehigh lacrosse commit Cate Cox scored three goals and added three assists, in a great performance three days in the making. Sophomores Tori DiCarlo, Cierra Hopson, and Sarah Nelson all scored twice each with Princeton commit junior Ellie Mueller also nabbing two. The offensive explosion was not enough to stop the District One first seeded Harriton just a day late however, as the rain delays finally caught up and left the team tired. The 13-7 loss kicked the team from state title contention, ending another fantastic season from one of Radnor’s most consistent programs. Beating Harriton 23-11 during the regular season, the only team to do so, it begs the obvious question that if well-rested, could the girls have won? All things considered, the season was highly successful and with only three seniors leaving, the team is looking to make another sizable impact on PIAA next year.

Baseball:

After coaching Marple to a state championship last year, Mark Jordan returned to Radnor in order to take the team to the next level. While the end-of-season result was not what the senior-heavy squad was hoping for, the Radnor Raiders were able to nab a competitive district tournament berth while having a decent record at 8-8. Senior George Hoysgaard led the way with a .382 BA and 5 home runs, which helped contribute to his 1.198 OPS, a remarkable statline for the catcher’s final season. Ben Karnavas, Nick Scheri, and Sunny Kwon also hit above .300 on the season, with seniors Doug Campbell and Seamus Kennedy also finding ways to contribute significantly. Pitching-wise, the team was led by senior ace Matt Cohen who pitched a 1.89 ERA on 29.2 IP, while only walking 6 batters all year. Junior Sam Dillela and sophomores James Sweet and Owen Lewandowski also played a huge role in the team’s pitching rotation, providing the team much-needed depth at the position. After a close 3-1 loss to Chichester at the hands of some questionable fielding, the Raiders’ baseball team can look back at their first season with Coach Jordan as a positive, with only room for improvement heading into next year.

Softball:

The Raiders softball team had its ups and downs this season but ended up finishing just outside of the top 16, which would have given them a Districts qualifying berth. Stellar senior Audrey Rosenblum won Main Line Girl’s Athlete of the Week during the season and led the team at shortstop notching up a .364 BA and a 1.035 OP—enough to earn First-Team All-Central League Honors. Senior leadership from captains Rosenblum, Sophia Royle, and Tess Massaro helped the team enjoy some nice victories, including a 5-4 Senior Night win over Strath Haven that saw Massaro hit a walk-off single. Solid pitching from sophomore pitcher Lilah Demmy was crucial to the team’s depth and success this year, and her arm will anchor the team for the next two years of the program. Although the team did not have the greatest record at 5-15, key victories and great performances by the leaving seniors made this year’s softball team successful.

Individual Sports:

The Radnor Boys Tennis team is largely unchanged from last year, with the top three singles players remaining intact. The tremendous play of junior Max Safanov, sophomore Garrett Spillerman, and junior Alex Weiss led the team to Central League championship and an appearance in the state final, where the team’s memorable season finally came to an end against Great Valley. The state runner-ups were also anchored by a core group of seniors that held down the varsity doubles positions, with the tandem duo of Luigi Giaccomuci and Ethan Le, as well as the pairing of Colton Markowitz and Ryan Klein, able to contribute greatly to the team’s playoff success. With the team maintaining its four best players going into next season, the only direction the Radnor Boys tennis team can go is up.

On a Friday afternoon at Shippensburg High School, the Radnor Boy’s 4x800m relay team nearly missed qualification for the final. The team had at one point during the season possessed a top ten time in the country, and a casual run for them almost turned complacent, qualifying by a mere one placement. “Even though we qualified we ran poorly,” said sophomore Chris Belz of the first run, optimistically acknowledging “[the team] still had the pieces to make a run for a medal and had nothing to lose.” The next day, the foursome lined up as the twelfth seed and rebounded from the near disappointment to deliver one of the best runs in school history. Shattering the school record by 8 seconds, the team of Belz, Frank Brown, Luke O’Malley, and Ethan Zeh delivered a state runner-up time of 7:43.48 that saw them claim the fourth best high school time in the nation. Senior Zeh, who will continue his track career at Virginia next fall, also managed a podium finish in the individual 800m with a time of 1:54.76, good enough for fourth place and a successful end to his career at Radnor.

On the girl’s side, junior Keara Seasholtz finished second in the individual 800m run with a time of 2:10.06, which earned her second place at the state championships at Shippensburg. Seasholtz’s performance improved from her last state outing, improving her overall time by 3 seconds as well as three placements in the state finishers (5th to 2nd).