Spring sports practice sessions are under way at Washington High School with all four head coaches back in the mix for the 2013 season.
Games and meets are scheduled to begin next week.
Spring sports offered at Washington are boys and girls track and field, girls soccer, golf and baseball.
Chris Lanemann leads the Washington girls soccer program.
“We had about 43 girls out total,” Lanemann said. “Tryouts and the first week of practices went pretty well considering we had weather issues.”
Lanemann likes his team for the spring season.
“We lost a couple of kids from last year, but I think we will be just fine,” Lanemann said. “I’m expecting us to contend for the GAC Central crown and have a very nice record at the end of the season.”
Washington opens the girls soccer season with a GAC Central contest at Ft. Zumwalt North Friday with the junior varsity game starting at 5 p.m. followed by varsity action.
Scott Bray and the Washington baseball squad have held mostly indoor practices due to the weather conditions.
“Not being able to get outside very much has really hurt getting us into baseball mode,” Bray said. “Hitting and pitching should be on schedule, but going through defensive coverages in the gym can be trying at times.”
Washington plays next week in the Four Rivers Baseball Classic.
The Blue Jays are in Pool B with St. Clair and Festus. They host St. Clair Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Ronsick Field and visit Festus Tuesday, March 19.
Washington has a team with plenty of varsity experience.
“We return quite a few players with multiple years of experience on the varsity level and we have some younger players who will be pushing the older ones for spots,” Bray said. “We return 12 senior players this year, which is the most I’ve ever had.”
Bray likes the way his varsity team is coming together.
“I look for Jared Walde, Luke Hasenjaeger and Dilan Bollmann to lead us. Each one has their own way of doing that,” Bray said. “We’ve had some players work hard in the offseason and seem poised to make a big contribution this spring. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out.”
Tim Buschmann coaches the Washington golf squad.
The Blue Jays will play their home meets at Wolf Hollow Golf Club.
“The weather last year spoiled us. It’s been a tough start with weather conditions,” Buschmann said. “Thanks to everyone at Wolf Hollow for what they do for us free of charge. The course is in good shape. It held up well during the winter.”
Washington has 17 golfers in the program, including one girl, Aubree Kitchell.
Top varsity returners are junior Brad Carpenter, who tied for third place in Class 4 last year, two-time defending GAC North player of the year Mark Stahlhuth, a senior, and fellow senior Colbey Schuster, a state qualifier last season.
“Everyone looks rough and definitely in preseason form,” Buschmann said. “Hopefully the next few weeks bring better weather.”
Washington begins its golf season Wednesday, March 20, against Borgia and St. Clair at Wolf Hollow at 3:30 p.m.
Track and Field
Mike Olszowka is the head coach of the Washington boys and girls track and field program.
“Practices are starting to come along. Our girls numbers are up a little and the boys numbers are down a little,” Olszowka said. “As we are getting things rolling, we are realizing that what we have lost in numbers, we are making up for by having smaller size groups to work with. The teams have strong groups of returners, including state qualifiers, school record holders and GAC champions. We are going to depend on the older kids’ leadership throughout the season as we work to get the younger kids ready to make a contribution to the team.”
Washington opens its track and field season Tuesday, March 19, at the Pacific quad meet.
The team competes at the Washington University Invitational Saturday, March 23, at 9 a.m.