2022 spring sports overview


With 13 varsity teams competing simultaneously during the spring, the spring sports season is a busy time for Westminster athletes. There is always something going on, whether it be a track meet, a tennis match, or a soccer game. More often than not, those matches, meets, and games end in Westminster victories. The wildcats have especially strong spring sports with five of our ten state championships from last year coming in the spring.

“I think Westminster has a very good chance of winning three or four more state championships this spring,” said Westminster athletic director Tim Downes. “Winning ten last year in total was a little higher than usual, but I think we could do it again.”

In the quest for improvement and wins, the teams battle inconsistent weather throughout the spring season. It can storm one day, and be 85 degrees and sunny the next. Crew in particular struggles with weather conditions because they practice on the Chattahoochee river. Dr. Darlak, Mr. Griest, and Mr. Kazlow have coached the Westminster crew team through regatta competitions up and down the East coast this season. The crew cats have enlisted a strict training regime, including running, erging (using a rowing machine), and strength training on days when they are not out in the river. You can catch them in Philadelphia in May, the weekend before exams for the Stotesbury Cup.

On the field, Westminster’s varsity girls lacrosse team, led by head coach Katie Trainor and assistant coach Brooks Batcheller, are heading into the playoffs with a great season under their belts. With 12 wins against rivals such as Wesleyan, Pace, and Lovett, and only two losses, they are going to be a team to watch in the upcoming state tournament. The Laxcats lone senior, Ava Wagner, has done a fantastic job bringing the girls across all grade levels together, to form a team that loves spending time together, on and off the field.

Inside the gymnasium, the Westminster gymnastics team recently competed against North Atlanta, Carrollton, and Lassiter on Senior Night. The Gymcat’s two seniors, Peyton Townsend and Caroline Blakenbecler, are this year’s captains, and they have excelled in leading the team and performing all season. Townsend and Blankenbecler both did well on Senior Night, with Townsend showing off her skills on beam, while Blankenbecler had a strong performance on bars.

“The captains have done a really great job of leading and motivating the team this year,” said sophomore Audrey Anderson. “Losing Caroline and Peyton next year will hit us hard, but I am confident that our juniors will lead us to another strong season like we are having this year.”

The Gymcats placed fourth in the state tournament last year, and are currently expected to place in the top three, if not win state this year.

The Westminster boys and girls golf teams have been out on the course every day for the past few months, preparing for the state tournament. In the spring of 2021, the boys won state and the girls placed fourth, and they are confident that they can both improve from last year.

“We know with continued hard work we can place high in, or even win, the state tournament this year,” said sophomore Mary Katherine Boller.

The Westminster baseball team, coached by Chad Laney, is also working hard this spring. They have faced considerable competition and boast a record of 10-10 as of April 18. The batcats are ranked third in their region and will advance to the playoffs, but will have to fight through some tough games to advance.

The Westminster boys and girls tennis teams have focused this year on refining their lineups, to make sure they are in the best place possible to repeat their state championship titles from last year.

“We won all of our region matches last week, so we’re ranked the number one seed going into state,” said boys’ coach Ralph Geeza. “At this point, we’re just taking it one match at a time. We take nothing for granted, and though we’re highly motivated to win a state championship all we can do right now is take it one match at a time.” 

Through a trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee the boys team has been able to become extra close this year.  

“We have a really tight-knit community of players, and we’re really looking forward to state,” said sophomore Charlie Burdell.  “We want to defend our title from last year, and we certainly have the skill to do so.” 

Out on the field, led by head coach Scott Snyder and assistant coaches Daniel Searl and Gerry Romberg, the varsity boys soccer team has been working hard since January, training and practicing tirelessly. Thee boys aimed to make it to the state championship like last year, doing well, with nine wins, seven losses, and three ties. Seniors Edward Rendle, Will Quigley, and Alex Lee, were on the state championship winning team freshman year, and sophomore Chad Gilbert hopes they can leave Westminster with another state title under their belts.

“I’m really excited for the next few weeks of games, and I really hope we can make it all the way to the state championship, especially for the seniors,” said Gilbert. “I think it would be really great for them to go out with the state title.”

Unfortunately, the boys lost in the semifinal round of the state playoffs, but capped off their season with a phenomenal run in the 3AAA playoffs.

The girls soccer team, coached by Sharan Loghran, has a fabulous record of 16-1.  They began the playoffs ranked first in their region, and have mercy ruled their first opponents in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The team has traveled for games in the past, but this year they got to meet teams from Alabama and Oklahoma in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Players were able to bond during a well deserved off day of sun, sand, and waves on beautiful Alabama beaches. The girls recently won the 3AAA state championship, securing their fifth state championship in a row.

On the track, the girls and boys track and field teams are currently ranked first in the 3A category.  The girls were state runners-up last year, and hope to cinch the number one spot this season. Meanwhile, the boys have won the past four state championships and aim to continue their winning legacy.

Senior Matthew Fernando of the Westminster boys track team will be attending The University of Pennsylvania in the fall to run cross country and track. At Westminster, Fernando competes in the 800m and 1600m. The current 1600m record is 4 minutes 10 seconds, held by Eric O’Brien, class of 1992.

“I know I can break the 1600 record,” said Fernando. “I think I’ll break it at state this year. I know it’s going to be tough, but I also know I can do it.”

Ferndando embodies the spirit of wildcat athletes heading into the final rounds of state playoffs this spring. The Westminster spring athletes have a determination to succeed and make a mark on our school’s athletics.