Spring Sports Preview


Grace Rome

Piper Track and Field team had their first meet on Friday, Mar. 25.

Alex Ivanuska, Sports Editor


This year’s Pirates’ baseball team has a lot of built up excitement around it. This year’s team is a lot younger than teams have been in the past, but head coach Daryl Graham still expects to remain competitive. 

“We expect to go out and compete,” Graham said. “We are going to have a very young group this year, a lot of them getting their very first varsity experience. I’m excited to see what they can do. At this level we expect you to come out and compete and do all the things that require no talent like hustle, communicate, listen and have fun.”

The Pirates lost to Paola in their first game of the season by a score of 11-7. The second game of the night was postponed due to lightning. Senior Ethan Walker has a much bigger role this year as a senior, rather than his past years as a player

As a senior, I just want to try and help out the younger guys as much as possible because we are a really young team and I just want to play hard and perform well,” Walker said.


The Lady Pirates’ Softball team looks to be very optimistic on this upcoming season. Head coach Stan McAfee has been impressed with many aspects of the team so far throughout their practices.

“I don’t have a history with the players, being the new head coach,” McAfee said. “I’ve been very impressed with a number of our players.  The senior players, Kaia Cordill, Raven Corlee and Ann Jennings, have stepped up and have been leading by example. The juniors and sophomores have all worked extremely hard and the freshmen, all 15 of them, have been very enthusiastic.  I won’t be surprised if a number of players have breakout seasons.  I  am looking forward to seeing how our pitching pans out as we have a number of talented freshmen pitchers.”

Many of the team members have personal and team goals they are looking to accomplish throughout the season to be successful. 

“Our team goals are to have a winning record and just be a good team, be good teammates to each other and play the hardest we can,” said sophomore Gabby Salazar.


Going into this track season, this year’s Pirates’ Track & Field team is already making history within the school. This is the largest team that the school has ever had.

This is head coach Josh Baxter’s 22nd year coaching track and his 18th year coaching at Piper. He is extremely excited for this season. 

I am more excited about this season than I have been in a few years,” Baxter said. “All the COVID-19 protocols during the 2021 season were tough on everyone and the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic. It feels great to get back to normal track and field and especially with a team this large and talented. This is the largest track and field team in school history and it’s fun to get to be a part of something historic like that.” 

The Pirates had their first meet on Mar. 25. In their first meet, the team took first place in eight events, second place in five events, and third place in eight events. For freshman Skyler Little, his goal for the season is to get better. 

“I want to get better on my form and get better at the events I started and have a good season,” Little said. “My main goal right now is to work on my 400 time.”

Girls Soccer

The Lady Pirates’ soccer team is looking to make improvements this season. For sophomore Ella Buff, it is all about just keeping a solid record this season

My expectations for the team this season is to maintain a solid record.” Buff said.

The Lady Pirates are currently 2-0 on the season with wins against Leavenworth and Turner. This year’s team is different from teams in the past with their lack of players. However Buff remains confident. 

“Our main setback this season is just a lack of players but I feel if we all play well while we are in and we stay in shape then we will be fine.” Buff said.

For Buff her personal goals for the season is all about gaining more confidence. 

My personal goal is to get more goals than I did last year and be less scared and shoot more.” To achieve these personal goals, Buff plans to work on her shot throughout the season and just getting more shots out each game.

Boys Golf

The Pirates’ men’s golf team also seems to be looking very hopeful for this upcoming spring season. Head coach Steve Pope is looking for his entire team to qualify for state. 

“For this season, the expectation is to qualify as a team,” Pope said “We haven’t qualified as a team for a long while. So that’s the goal this year, if not, we are going to try and get as many individuals as we can to qualify.” 

This golf season, there are only two seniors on the team. That means Senior Harrison Matlock has a big role to fill being one of those senior leaders on the team 

“There were two other seniors last year,” Matlock said. “This year I’m the only senior besides Eric but he has never played golf before so I am the only real senior leader on the team so it is a pretty big responsibility.”

Girls Swim

The Pirates Girls’ Swim team does not have as many swimmers this season as they have in the past, but that does not stop head coach Amy Bartlow from having an optimistic outlook on this upcoming season.

Team goals are to foster a cohesive team spirit, see individual times drop, and of course do well at state,” said Bartlow. We have less swimmers this season so we do not have as much depth.”

Barlow plans to prepare her team so they can perform to the best of their abilities. 

“My focus is to provide a blend of challenging workouts as well as focusing on fine tuning technique,” Bartlow said. “We now have two starting blocks so we are working to improve starts as well.”

Senior Olivia Kindle is going into this season looking to pick back up where she left off. Kindle’s main goal for the season is to go to state and make the podium.

 “I want to go to state and make qualifications for all the events,” Kindle said. “I also want to make the podium.”