The first wave of Dexter athletics are coming to a close, and every team sure made the most of it
By Mitchell Sterlitz and kellen porter
There were high hopes for the volleyball team coming into this season with the talented junior and senior class. The team was led by junior Taylor Venuto and senior Alexa Bell, two strong role models for the volleyball program. Throughout the season, the team was dominant in tournaments and regular season games, finishing with an overall record of 33-12.
“We played hard until the very last point. I am so proud of my girls,” said sophomore Quinn LaFontaine.
The team expected to be district champs but things did not go as planned. They were unfortunately eliminated on the first day of districts by Skyline, getting reverse swept after being up two sets to none.
The men’s tennis team this year was able to accomplish more than expected with such a young team, led by sophomore captains Jared Enciso and Nate Kniesteadt.
“The season went pretty well overall, but there is still definitely room for improvement,” said sophomore Dane Wiegers.
During the season the team had a record of 5-6, which is very impressive given that this year was considered a learning experience for the young team. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep up with some of the more established high school tennis programs and ended up being eliminated on the first day of districts.
The Dexter Equestrian team made it to states for the first time in thirteen years. The team was led by seniors Jim Rodgers and Deirdre McCarter that pushed the team to this appearance at states. Overall the team placed tenth in the state, surpassing any goal they set for themselves this season.
“I think [the season] was pretty successful overall considering we made it to states which hasn’t been done in a while,” said sophomore Savannah Parpan.
Men’s Cross Country
The men’s cross country team finished their season on a high note placing 4th at regionals as a team, just one place short of taking the whole team to the state meet. Nathan Larson, placing 15th at regionals, was the only runner from Dexter to make it to states which is exceptionally impressive, even more so because he’s only a sophomore.
“It was a lot of fun to run with a great group of guys this season,” sophomore Austin Zeglis said. “We had one guy make it through to states this year and we’re definitely aiming to have more in the race next year.”
A new coach brought new ideals and real hope to the Dexter football program. People started to talk and many believed the football team would have been able to win a game this season. Unfortunately they were unable to complete this goal for many reasons.
“The season didn’t go as planned but to rebuild you have to tear it down first,” said junior Andy Durand.
The team was ailed by issues that included a struggling offense which was not able to carry Dexter to a victory, and a small pool of athletes to play for the team. On a high note, there was some progress as the team doubled their total points from last season. This was definitely a major progression for the team and the team is starting to show real promise.
Women’s Cross Country
The women’s cross country gave it their all this season and wrapped up their last race at regionals. The team came close to having runners make it to states, with senior Dani Waidley taking 20th in the regional meet. To qualify for states she would’ve had to place 15th or higher, leaving her just five places off the mark.
“Heat was a problem for us because most of the races were insanely hot. Because of that, we weren’t able to run our best times at the meets. Overall it was fun to run as a team,” said sophomore Kara O’Day.
Men’s Water Polo
After the loss of ten seniors going into this season, the men’s water polo team was left with a very young squad, consisting of only two seniors on the roster. Unfortunately, halfway through the season, senior Stephen Sterlitz’ water polo career was abruptly ended due to a severe injury.
After this deep loss of talent it was up to solo senior Drew Golin to lead the team. The water polo team ended up with a record of 18-20 and finished second in districts. They defeated Huron in the semi-finals only to be dominated in the finals by Skyline, the powerhouse of the district. The team’s season ended sooner than expected when Seaholm knocked them out in regionals.
The women’s swim team was an absolute powerhouse this year, blowing by all competition and blazing a path directly to states.
The swim team cruised through most regular season meets, blowing all opponents out of the water. They also reached a goal of theirs two decades in the making.
“We achieved a lot in our season including winning SEC’s for the 20th year in a row,” said sophomore Alyssa Frost. This just proves how utterly dominant the program is. Now they are setting their sights on winning a state title, and nothing will stand in their way.
Dexter Field Hockey has had the most successful season in the history of their program this past year. With the addition of two freshman, Kylee Niswonger and Abby Tamer, the team showed that they hardly felt the loss of eight seniors in last year’s class.
The team paved an easy road to the playoffs because of their high ranking they earned from their regular season record– they were ranked as the third best team in Division 1. After beating Chelsea, Skyline, and Pioneer in playoffs, Dexter Field Hockey was able to earn a spot in the state championship game. Beating Pioneer was a huge success for Dexter, considering Pioneer had won the Division 1 state title for four consecutive years.
In the state championship game, Dexter lost against Huron with a final score of 2-1. Many players were heartbroken after the loss, but the team plans to come back stronger next year with the goal of winning states taking top priority.