Wando caps another outstanding spring sports season
By David Shelton
Mt. Pleasant – While the program may not have won as many state championships as they wanted, the 2015 spring sports season was a huge success for the athletes at Wando High School.
State titles in boys’ track, baseball and boys’ lacrosse highlighted the success this spring but Wando again proved competitive in every sport.
The state title in baseball was the first in school history and came with a group of 12 seniors who had been close before. Head coach Dirk Thomas credits his players for fighting the long fight and for staying focused.
“These 12 seniors have overcome so much and have battled together for so long. This win means a lot to us many different levels. This group stuck together,” said Thomas.
Senior production was just as important as senior leadership during the 2015 season. Pitcher/third baseman Owen Ravenel had his best prep season and was named the AAAA Player of the Year by the High School Sports Report. Ravenel was 6-0 with a 1.22 earned run average on the mound while hitting .370 with two homeruns and 19 RBI at the plate.
Senior catcher Noah LoCascio hit .310 with nine homeruns and 19 RBI and senior pitcher Jeff Gottesman was 7-2 with a save, posting a 1.12 earned run average. Another key senior was Harrison Smith, who won six games on the mound and hit .333. Smith pitched a complete game in Wando’s 6-4 title-clinching win over J.L. Mann. Senior second baseman Oliver Hill joins the trio above as AAAA all-state players.
Wando’s boys lacrosse team went undefeated on its way to its third state title. Senior Andrew Phelan scored four goals in the win, finishing his 2015 season with 48 goals and 43 assists. He was named the state player of the year by the High School Sports Report.
“It’s very special to see all of the hard work pay off for these guys,” said Wando coach Lance Renes, who was named the state coach of the year by the High School Sports Report. “The team set high goals and they never let up all season. To have the first undefeated season in school history, that’s really special for this team. I’m very proud of the way they played today and all season.”
The boys track team, coached by Kevin Shiver, used depth in a few events to capture the AAAA state championship in May.
Earning all-state honors from the team were Kenny Waring, Terrell Venning, Bailey Hart and Gauge Wood.
Rosa Marie Compton, who won two gold medals in the girls’ state track meet, was also named all-state by the HSSR.
Wando’s boys and girls soccer teams both played in the AAAA state finals and both lost to J.L. Mann in highly competitive and entertaining showdowns.
The Wando girls were seeking a seventh title in nine years but finished this season with a 19-3 record.
“It was a game where both teams had quality chances and it was hard-fought on both sides,” said coach Shannon Champ, who has won six state titles as Wando’s head coach. “They ended up with one more in the back of the net than we did. We left it all on the field. We had nothing left at the end. It could have gone either way. Both teams were quality soccer teams.”
The Wando boys were seeking their fourth title in the last five years but lost a heart-breaker, 1-0. Wando finished 25-2 this season.
“Time and time and time again, we had our chances, but if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net, you don’t win,” said Wando head coach Shilo Tisdale. “It’s a game of luck sometimes and they got the better end of it tonight. They were a good team. They got here so we knew it would be a challenge.”