For a second consecutive year, Hockaday’s Varsity Golf team pulled out of the SPC championships victorious.
The team of one senior, junior, sophomore and freshman was tightly knit and brought home Hockaday Golf’s first championship trophy this spring.
“Golf, I think, will be the most interesting it has been in a long time,” said Assistant Coach Rod Skaife before the tournament. “There are about five teams that are really close. Any of them could win and any one could come fifth.”
In the first day of competing, Hockaday’s team took the lead and was able to focus on practicing their skills.
“Our third scorer had her best two rounds ever,” Skaife said.
Since SPC score regulations only count the top three scores each day, Hockaday’s top three players had to be at their best.
“The closeness of our team, and [the girls] knowing what they needed to do was a benefit for us,” Skaife said.
After two months of lifting weights, endless laps around the track and hundreds of ab workouts, the Hockaday track team competed against the best private schools in the southwest at the SPC meet held at the Trinity Valley School. They clinched third place.
“I was very proud of everyone, and it was a really tough year,” senior captain Erin Turner said. “All the times got faster for all the schools, and it was a lot more competitive. But I think we did well.”
The coaches worked closely with all the new athletes on the team, who were not yet accustomed to the intense workouts and lengthy meets. Even as it became evident that that Hockaday would not walk away with the win for a second consecutive year, the girls joined together for one last time to cheer exuberantly in support of their teammates.
“I think the SPC team was really good,” Head Coach LaBoris Bean said. “We have some work to do, but there’s a lot of potential, and in time, I think we can become one of the greatest for the next three years.”
Heading into SPC, Varsity Lacrosse Coach Elia Kochan was looking forward to a successful outcome.
“The team has had really good chemistry,” said Kochan, commenting on the girls’ hard work ethic and team bonding events.
With the new addition of strength training by Coach Jenny Francuski, the girls have increased their power and endurance throughout the year.
Kochan said that the athletes were “self-motivated and were ready to go out and show everyone all the hard work they have been doing all year.”
During the first game at SPC in Ft. Worth, the girls started out very motivated, said Kochan. But by the second game, the girls became mentally exhausted and suffered a loss to Episcopal High School from Houston. The defeat knocked the Hockaday team out of contention for the finals.
The following day the lacrosse players bounced back and were able to defeat ESD for the third time and claimed third place overall at SPC.
Kochan said she that hoped the that the girls would “take SPC as a lesson” in preparing for the state tournament on May 13-14 by focusing on their mental toughness.
The team succeeded in winning first place at the State Championship. In their final game, they defeated St. John’s Episcopal School 19-18 in the second period of overtime.
Although they started off their matches as the eighth seed, the Hockaday softball team fought spiritedly throughout their three matches to achieve fourth place at SPC.
After losing to ESD the week before, the girls were motivated for redemption. This became evident in their play, which included multiple double plays and a higher level of athleticism, said head coach Ashton McBride.
“We had to fight hard in quite a few of our games, which I believe taught the girls to stay tough and never give up,” McBride said.
The girls rebounded after losing sophomore Lindsey, one of their starting players, due to a concussion the week before SPC. Each girl stepped up to the plate to take on the extra responsibility. Along with team dynamics, their skills improved drastically from the beginning of the season, McBride said. A week before, the Hockaday softball team had lost to ESD 20-15. But they fought back for a 8-7 defeat at SPC.
“They are a very tight knit group of girls who knew that they were the underdogs, and that pushed them even more” McBride said. “I can only imagine how much better they are going to get.”
Up 2-0 after winning both doubles matches against All Saints, the Hockaday Varsity Tennis team stood poised to take a third straight SPC Championship. The team wasn’t able, however, to clinch a third match and ended up losing to the Saints 3-2. They took second place.
“I think we were ready to win, we just didn’t make it happen,” Head Coach Carol Thumlert said. “They were a very good team.”
Junior Mason, last year’s Most Valuable Player, was benched to recover from knee surgery. The team suffered other smaller setbacks as well.
“Hopefully next year we’ll be rehabbed through all our injuries. I think a lot of the younger girls are fueled with some focus to really get the job done next year,” Thumlert said. “It was nice to see the underclassman step up and get excited to get [the championship] back.”
Before SPC, the team focused on their doubles strategy, and their new “mental muscles” proved beneficial in the two doubles wins.
“We really came together as a group, and we had fun,” Thumlert said. “Everything worked as planned. We just didn’t finish where we wanted.”
Back from a year off, the re-formed crew team under Crew Coach Nick Harding focused on “rebuilding the program.”
On April 28, the team participated in the Texas Rowing Championships in Austin. Two boats made it to the finals, and the others missed qualication by mere seconds. After starting the year as a new team, Harding said that the results were “quite pleasing.”
One of the most challenging parts of restarting the crew program this year, Harding said, has been trying to help the girls establish a balance between rowing and their other extracurricular activities.
“Rowing is an all or nothing venture,” said Harding. To him, one of the most important goals for rebuilding the crew program at Hockaday is to develop a new “culture” surrounding crew—one that emphasizes the importance of rowing all year around in order to remain competitive with other teams.