Titles in the balance for Wolverine teams
Like no other sports season, the spring schedule seems to fly by. March is spent waiting for the snow to melt on the Tahoe-Truckee High School fields and track. April seems to fly by with the Spring Break holiday. Finally comes the first few weeks of May, when fans can actually sit back and take in some action.
Despite the usual handicaps of not having outdoor practices until late March and few home appearances, the Wolverine athletic program is enjoying a highly successful spring. By my account, five of the seven Truckee varsity teams competing this spring will either contend for the state title or will drastically impact the state championship.
The only sports where Truckee will be a non-factor at the championship will be in boys’ track and field and boys’ swimming. The other five teams – baseball, softball, girls’ track and field, girls’ swimming and boys’ golf – all have to potential to win a state title.
As the spring season winds down, here are a few casual observations on some of the Wolverine squads as they enter “crunch time.”
Baseball – Watching the Wolverine nine play ball reminds me a bit of the “Billy Ball” era of the Oakland A’s. Although baseball isn’t considered a “contact” sport, Truckee has imparted a physical style of play on its opponents this season. As Jason Shelton said after banging into the Battle Mountain catcher to score a run, “It’s half my plate, too.”
I’m confident Truckee can at least split with North Tahoe Saturday and host the Division I playoffs for one main reason – revenge. There are too many players on this year’s team who experienced the loss to the Lakers last season that knocked Truckee out of the state playoffs.
Josh Lawrence succinctly summed up the difference between last year’s team which didn’t make the playoffs versus this year’s team which is undefeated in league play.
“Last year, we would go out to play; this year, we go out to win,” he said.
Softball – Things have been falling the right way for the Wolverine softball team this spring, including the coin toss to determine the site of the Division I playoffs should Truckee and Spring Creek tie atop the league standings. A sweep of North Tahoe tomorrow gives the Wolverines a share of the league title – their first in school history.
Perhaps more than any other player, coach or parent, I’m hoping Truckee can sweep North Tahoe and host the Division I tourney. It’s a lot easier to walk to the Wolverine softball field than it is to drive to Spring Creek.
Boys’ golf – Despite not being able to practice on its home course at Northstar until last week, the Wolverine golf team has stealthly risen in the standings to second place in Division I. I’m looking forward to seeing the team at its only home tournament May 16. A win that day could potentially give the Wolverines the league title.
Erick Studenicka is the sports writer for the Sierra Sun.
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The Barracuda Championship is set to tee off next week, bringing PGA golfers to Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course for the second year in a row.