Last year, Mountain Brook finished spring with four state championships. This spring, every team is trying to do the same, with many new sports starting in the last few months.
The girls’ tennis team has started the 2012 season as the defending state champions. Sarah Bowron and Carlee Petro lead the Lady Spartans, and Farris Ann Luce and Bowron are team captains. The team had no trouble with the early part of their schedule, going 5-0 including victories over Vestavia and Spain Park.
The boys‘ tennis team is led by a talented senior class, including Trey Carter, who has committed to play for North Carolina State University next year. Senior Eric Buchalter teams up with Carter to form a fearsome doubles team. Carter and senior Nelson Jetmundsen are team captains. The boys also started the season strong with the exception of a tough loss to rival Vestavia, who won the state title last year.
The tennis teams also hosted the third MB Kids Clinic and had more than 30 kids from the community attended. Team members ran the clinic and head coach Susan Farlow called it “a huge success.”
The strong Spartan track program is looking good once again this season. On the girls’ side, multiple girls lead the team in many events, including sophomore Rachael Reddy in the 800, senior Elizabeth Coleman in the pole vault, freshman Julia Leonard in the high jump and a strong group of distance runners.
The boys lost their fastest runner, Charlie Forbes, to an unfortunate ligament injury in his ankle. However, the distance runners are setting rare times, even sometimes placing four boys under 4:30 in the mile. Junior Payton Ballard dominates distance events, running miles around 4:20 and leading the 4x400 relay. Some football players are still recovering from injuries, so the boys team looks to pick up steam as they head further into the season.
Baseball and Softball
The baseball team has started the season strong, including wins over Hewitt-Trussville, John Carroll and Homewood. Senior pitcher Miller Bonds has signed to play with Charleston Southern next year.
The softball team has beaten several teams to begin the season, including a 13-0 shutout over John Carroll and a 14-6 beat-down of Homewood.
The boys’ soccer team is in a season of reloading after losing Nathan Diehl, who is on scholarship at the University of North Carolina. Senior Michael Waldrum, a two-time team captain, plays striker and occasionally goalie and recently recorded his 100th varsity appearance. However, head coach Joe Webb has had a memorable year already, achieving his 300th win as the Spartans coach against Pelham.
“The game did not really feel too different from the others,” Webb said. “It is still a lot of fun to be involved with the team.”
The Lady Spartans have also started the season strong with a few big wins, including one over rival Vestavia. Juniors Kayla Dowler and Liz Moore, at striker and goalkeeper, respectively, lead the team. Dowler scored a hat trick against Altamont.
“Kayla has been a great addition,” head coach Scott Flowers said. “She is the team’s leading scorer at the moment. Liz has been fantastic in goal.”
As golf season begins, the girls are trying to defend their state championship and the boys are shooting for success. Dalton Skinner, who will play golf next year at Montevallo, leads the boys team, consistently shooting rounds in the low 70s. Head coach Benny Eaves called Skinner the most consistent player on the team. Behind Skinner is a young team who are trying to find their identity as the season progresses. The girls are led by Carolyn and Meg McCalley, who helped the team finish third in the Auburn Tournament.
Also worth noting is the success of the wrestling team at the state championship two months ago. Gene Thagard, Thomas Thagard, Sam Bridell and Alex DeVilliers all placed at state.