by Jefferson Freeman
Orcas High School student
The spring season is upon us and with that comes fresh sports at Orcas Island High School. The Vikings will send out three squads repping the blue and white this season: baseball, softball and golf will all be competing for playoff spots and beyond in 2022. I had a chance to talk with the coaches of all three programs about what they see in the near future of their program, starting with the newest addition to the Orcas Island High School coaching staff: softball coach Lily Rodgers.
Rodgers is a Viking alumna and first-year coach. She showed a lot of excitement about moving forward with a young program. As she said herself there are six players who have never played before and are learning the game every day. And she was excited about this opportunity to teach and share the game that she loves with more people. Even with this young roster Rodgers truly has faith that they can win some games this season. Citing hard work, perseverance and the large growth seen in a short time there is plenty of reason to believe this is a team on the rise.
With only one more year of experience as a Viking head coach under his belt, Eli Sanders has justifiably high expectations for this group of guys. Even after the losses of four key seniors he has plenty of reason to believe they will be able to follow up on the successful culture established by soccer and basketball previously this year. Sanders was excited for the size of this year’s squad as the number of players hovers around 25, saying that with numbers like this the starting lineup will truly be the best of the best and talented players will be coming off the bench. A new season will provide a new test for this team who played a COVID shortened year last season and keeping up with performance levels and health will be a new challenge in the longer season.
Sanders truly believes that this is a group of hard workers are in a great position to make it to play-offs and potentially make a deep run. The last thing that Sanders mentioned was how this is more than a game, this is an opportunity to teach young men how to challenge themselves, to be a gentleman and become the best possible versions of themselves.
Ryan Kennedy, or as the students know him, Mr. Kennedy, will be returning to the golf team after a successful 2021 season with many returning players and a swath of new golfers excited to learn the game. This combination makes in the words of Coach Kennedy “a great team.” Kennedy was delighted with the rate of growth he had seen already in his team both in the veterans and the new players who were picking up a club for the first time. This team has a great season ahead of them in all aspects of the game. And even some championship aspirations.
All scheduling info can be found at www.orcasvikings.com. Baseball’s first game is March 16 at Mariner. There will be a doubleheader on Saturday and the team will also be playing on Wednesday at Anacortes. The first home action for the Vikings will be March 19 as Overlake will make the trip to the island for baseball. Softball won’t get to play at home until March 25 against Darrington.