The spring is by far Pace’s busiest sports season with seven different sports and 19 teams.
Baseball: The baseball team is loaded with talent this season, including MLB prospect and Vanderbilt commit, junior RJ Austin. Austin’s incredible talent including his 94 mph fastball has attracted MLB scouts to come out to Pace’s games. Alongside Austin are his junior classmates Lawrence “Deuce” Jordan, Michael Lynch and Jae Williams; all have had outstanding seasons so far.
The team also has a very strong group of seniors: Gus Thomas, Noah Bennett, Jayden Thomas and Charlie Janko. They have done an excellent job leading the team thus far. The strong group of juniors and leadership from the seniors has led the team to a record of 3-0-1. On Feb. 23, the team had a major 3-2 win against local rival Westminster, highlighted by a two-run home run by Austin. “We have a lot of talent this year and our ultimate goal is to win state,” said Gus Thomas.
Gymnastics: The gymnastics team this season is led by four strong seniors, Casey Shoulberg, Eve Kogon, Maggie Jenkins and Hayley Cavinder, all long time members of the team. “I’m looking forward to my senior season and getting to compete because this is my last time ever competing in gymnastics,” said Kogon. They also have star freshman Gabby Mautner who competes all year round and has already done very well. The Knights look forward to a great season where their main goal is to defeat their rival Westminster.
Boys Lacrosse: The lacrosse team this year is off to a great start going 4-0 before spring break. They have a talented offense led by senior George Creasman, senior Steven Morrisroe, junior Jason Tapper and sophomore Niko Karetsos. Karetsos already has more than 30 points this season. The defense is led by Niko Karetsos’ brother, senior Evan Karetsos, along with senior Tripp Trimble.
The defense has done an amazing job so far, only allowing 10 goals so far this season. Freshman Alex Trujillo has stepped up in a big way for the Knights, making countless saves each game. The team has hopes to go far in the playoffs this year. “I have played Pace lacrosse for a long time and I really hope to end my career with a bang,” said Trimble.
Girls Lacrosse: The girls lacrosse team has already felt the effects of COVID-19, having one early game cancelled. “COVID-19 adds adjustments, but we are grateful for the opportunity to compete, and as long as we continue to have that opportunity, the little added hurdles are welcomed,” said Head Coach Kelsea Ayers. The team is loaded with young talent, so they should continue to get better as the year progresses. “We are a month in and we are already a completely different team than we were on the first day” said Ayers. The team beat Decatur in a nail biter 17-16 in their first game. The team hopes to continue to improve in order to achieve their three main goals: win region, beat Lovett/Westminster and play in May.
Boys Soccer: The boys soccer team is another team this season that has their eyes on a state championship. The team had a strong start, going 4-0, blowing through their first four matchups. The team had a tough game against rival Westminster, losing 0-2. The loss only pushed them harder. Their schedule is loaded with talented schools such as Lambert High School, McIntosh High School and Lovett. This rigorous schedule will prepare them well for April when they start their journey to a state championship.
Girls Soccer: The girls soccer team this year is led by a strong group of juniors who look to lead the team this season. Junior Marielle Frooman has been a wall for the Knights, making countless saves and keeping the girls close in all their games. Two key players, juniors Megan Hardesty and Morgan Neill, joined the team once they wrapped up their basketball season in the first round of the playoffs. The team has a tough stretch of games to end the season, playing Marist, Woodward and Lovett. The team hopes to continue to improve throughout the season so they are prepared for this tough finish.
Boys Tennis: The boys tennis team is off to a great start so far, going 4-2 with their only two losses coming from big public schools. The significant win of their season so far was their 3-2 defeat of 5A Marist High School. The team has high expectations for themselves as they are still defending their state title from two years ago due to the cancellation of last year’s season. “It would be really cool to end high school with one more state championship,” said senior Matt Genser.
Girls Tennis: The girls tennis team also hit the ground running this season, winning four of their first five matches. They only lost a total of three matches. The team is led by twin seniors Grace and Sidney Funston who have been on the team since freshman year. The girls also won the title in 2019, meaning they, too, are trying to defend their title this year.
Track and Field: Considering many of the members of the cross country team also are on the track team, they have a major chip on their shoulder this season after not placing where they wanted to at the state cross country meet. Twin juniors Edward and George Blaha are looking to break records in many events, including the ones they already own. The girls track team is also led by a cross country star, junior Laura Arenth, who looks to dominate the long distance events this spring.
The team also has a strong group of athletes competing in the field events. Junior Xavier Agostino in particular had an excellent season last year throwing the shot put for the Knights, and looks to build on his numbers this season. This loaded team hopes to outcompete rivals Westminster and Lovett come this April.
Golf: The boys and girls golf teams have not had any matches yet this season, but continued to practice their skills over spring break so they come back sharp and ready to go.
Top Photo: The Pace dugout celebrates after RJ Austin’s two-run dinger late in the game against Westminster on Feb. 23. Photo: Fred Assaf.