Maverick SPC Trifecta

Sam Chambers
The Mavericks made it to the winner’s circle three times on SPC Saturday. Girls’ Lacrosse, Softball, and Track and Field ran away from the field with three titles on Derby day. Boys’ Lacrosse finished 3rd, followed by Baseball and Boys’ Tennis at 4th, Boy’s Track and Field at 6th, Girls’ Tennis at 7th, and Boys’ and Girls’ Golf following the pack.
While many sports fans waited for the run for the roses in Lexington, Kentucky, Maverick fans covered the grounds of St. John’s, Episcopal, Houston Christian, Memorial Park, and Rice University, joining to cheer on their teams in scarlet and black. Towards the end of the last SPC event, Track and Field’s 4 x 400 meter relay, a tight knit weave of athletes, teams, and fans crowded the rails to witness Jackie Modesett ’13 break the tape with a first place finish, giving St. John’s its 21st SPC Girls’ Track and Field title. With only a 4.5 point lead over Episcopal going into the final relay, Stephanie Guo ’13 exploded from the blocks, handing off to Abby Avery ’14. Sam Night ’13 took the third leg, and Modesett brought the baton home in her last run as a Maverick.
“You don’t feel closer to a group of girls than the relay team,” said Avery. “Your team is counting on you to get the baton around the track.”
“I think the thing for T&F is that you spend so much time in practice all year and for four years for some, and it comes down to the 14 seconds or the 52 seconds or the 4 minutes, but really what you remember is what got the kids there and the fun and effort of everyone along the way for all those hours and years - not just the final performance,” said Head Track and Field Coach Richie Mercado ’79. “That is where the great performances began and that was the most rewarding thing!”
For Girls’ Lacrosse, winning their third consecutive SPC title and 19th overall State/SPC championship hours earlier (11-4 over Hockaday), victory was about the process at the sub-varsity level, including an annual spring break trip.
 “The spring break JV and Varsity team compete as one, representing SJS with pride,” said Head Coach Angie Kensinger. “We seek out the best competition possible, which prepares us well for our return to the Lone Star State!”

Co-captain Lauren Resnick’s ’13 journey to the podium began well before Saturday. In her freshman year she began on JV2 and was moved up to JV1. As a sophomore she started on JV1 and was moved up to Varsity. Also a standout volleyball player, Lauren focused on strength and conditioning with Coach Campbell in the winter season.
“I asked coaches what to do, and I did what they told me to and I got better,” said Resnick, who holds the JV tournament fastest shot record of 63 mph.
Maverick Softball’s intent this season was to be ready to win a championship. Midway through the day between the last horn of the lacrosse game and the final gun for track and field, Maverick Softball was knotted up with EHS 1-1 at the top of the 6th inning in the championship game. Facing perennial champions Episcopal in their own back yard, the Mavericks were ready bust out of the gates for their first title since 1996.
The only hits of the game at that point came from second inning home runs from each team’s five hole hitters, including one from pitcher Anna Brooks “AB” Pacha ’16, who had 29 K’s on the weekend . Co-captain Anna Cain ’13 broke the gridlock with a single through the middle and followed it with a steal to second. Carson Black ’13 bunted and was hit by the throw to first while Cain rounded third and scored the go ahead run. Jessica Vlasek’16 singled, and, after a passed throw to first, the Mavericks had runners on 2nd and 3rd. Co-captain Meredith Lloyd ’14 then got walked to load the bases. Co-captain Paige Killelea’13, who was responsible for the Friday semi-final win on the mound (striking out 9 Falcons), sent a blooper to the outfield and 2 more runs scored to give the Mavericks a 4-1 lead. Tanvi Varadhachary ’15 batted in Killelea with a double to extend the lead to 5-1 and Sarah Gow ’14 finished the offensive barrage with the 6th hit in the 6th and a 7-1 lead. With the red-clad crowd chanting “AB” in the bottom of the 7th, the pitcher and her defense held the lead that would deliver them a title long in the works.
“It feels tremendous,” said Head Coach Dan Muschalik. “We’ve been waiting a long time for this.   Out motto has been ‘whatever it takes,’ and they showed it this weekend. This year they worked hard from Day One.  The schedule was ramped up as the team faced some of the top public schools in the area.”
“We knew we could win,” said Cain. “We worked hard every day.”
Boys’ Lacrosse had destination Dallas/Plano on their mind for the State finals, but after winning their Super Regional first round game against Austin High, the Mavericks ran into North #1 Highland Park Scots. After shutting out the Scots in the 4th and putting up 43 shots on the day, St. John’s could not get the ball past HP’s goalie who had 26 saves. St. John’s finished 3rd in SPC and 6th overall in the State polls, but received the biggest lacrosse trophy in Texas by winning the Bob Patterson Sportsmanship Award, given by the SWLOA to the team which shows “sportsmanship, quality of play, respect for the game’s character, and the honor they bring to the sport.”
“We played the game the right way,” said co-captain Jonathan Newar ’13. “We were tough and we played fair.”
Baseball had one of their top finishes in years (4th) beating North #1 seed All Saints in opening round.
“We had good season,” said co-captain Chris Farish ’13. “We didn’t win but we’re proud of making D1. It’s an exciting time for the program.”
“Our chemistry was so good,” said Christian Segner ’13.   “Being on the baseball team was one of the most special experiences for me at St. John’s.”
Boys’ Tennis also finished 4th, due in part to the way the team chose to line up against their first opponent ESD. While Xavier Gonzalez ’13 easily won his number one singles match, Head Coach Steve Gleaves moved his other top single players to doubles to take the win.
“You never know what the other team is going to do; but we guessed right, and all of our guys played well enough to get to the right side of the bracket,” said Gleaves.”
“We really went after it and we did not get upset,” said Billy Guo ’15.Eric Gao ’16 and I played our game…serve and volley.”
“We both have been playing for a long time, and we have been training all month for this scenario,” said Gao.  
Boys’ Track and Field finished 6th followed by Girls’ Tennis at 7th, Girls’ Golf at 10th, and Boys’ Golf at 16th.
But before the Spring season winds completely down, the Mavericks have one more run for the roses. As Girls’ Lacrosse prepares for State this weekend, odds are on them to take their 20th title. For Resnick, that challenge remains all about the routine that got her to this point.
“It’s about training, passing, catching, getting back in shape and getting the basics down to be ready to go win state.”
Sam Chambers - Athletic News

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