Pace Athletics has had an outstanding winter season so far this year with the wrestling, swimming and diving, and both varsity basketball teams performing well. The wrestling team has been led by talented Seniors Alex Stephens and Wheeler Earnest with many formidable underclassmen such as sophmores Keith Tremege, Bobby Stonecipher, and Michael Sloman. While the wrestling team has struggled to win matches on the team level due to the small size of their team, they have had success individually and are looking to make a strong run at both the area and state meets.
Swimming and diving has also had an impressive year with many newcomers and strong senior leadership. Senior Grace Butler leads the well-balanced team as its captain, and underclassmen such as freshman Harrison Moncino have added a new spark to the team. Moncino, a diver for the team, has been shattering Pace diving records at a remarkable pace, and what’s most exciting is that he has three more years to break even more records. At the North Georgia Regional Swimming and Diving Championships held Jan. 20-21, the girls team finished 2nd, the boys team finished 8th and the team took 5th overall out of 21 teams. Now the swimming team will takes its best swimmers to compete in the state meet on Feb. 10-11.
Both the boys and girls varsity basketball teams have had solid performances thus far, even with the high expectations coming off such successful seasons last year. The boys team struggled at first because of a difficult opening schedule. “It was challenging. We had a lot of new faces and we had to adjust,” said senior captain Allen Swan. After that difficult opening, though, the team is starting to play much better and have opened up region play with a 3-1 region record. “We are starting to click a little now,” said sophmore Nathan Sokolic.
After making it to the state championship and losing valuable senior players, the girls basketball team has continued to play at a high level this year. Senior captain and Vanderbilt University commit Morgan Batey said, “We have done well so far. We have beaten the teams we need to beat.” Now the girls team enters region play knowing they will be playing in one of the hardest regions in the state with perrenial powerhouse Wesleyan. Morgan said, “Coming into region play we need to step up our game.” In all of the winter sports (besides the swim team which already did well at region), Pace teams are poised to excel in the region and state tournaments, meets, or games that are still to come.
By James Walsh, Staff Writer ’12