Wando rolling in success during fall campaign
By David Shelton
Mt. Pleasant – Those who may have predicted a rebuilding season for the Wando High volleyball team in 2015 were sorely mistaken. Never bet against a proven coach and an established program, and never doubt the hunger of a new crop of Warriors.
Wando coach Alexis Glover, the winningest coach in state history, has once again put together one of the top teams in class AAAA. The Warriors may, or may not, repeat as AAAA state champions but they won’t go down without a fight.
With a handful of regular season games, plus the Wando Invitational tournament, left on the schedule, Wando sports an impressive 25-5 record overall. The Warriors competed in two prestigious tournaments in recent weeks, taking the Silver Bracket championship in both the Tournament of Champions at Dorman High School and the A5 Invitational in Atlanta, Georgia.
Earlier this season, Glover described the team as a work in progress but one with great potential.
“Our expectations never change here,” Glover said. “We like to believe that we can be successful, regardless of the experience level. We have a very hard working, dedicated group of girls. They want to win and they expect to win but they understand how much work it takes to win.
“What we need is time on the court together. They all know how to play but it’s a new group in terms of them being on the floor together. I think we’ll be a team that improves as we play more.”
Pretty good crystal ball, huh?
Wando will likely roll through the region 7-AAAA slate of games, already off to a 6-0 start in league play.
This year’s team is quite balanced with production from several players. Sophomore Lexi Hellberg leads the team with 148 kills while contributing defensively with 214 digs. Sophomore Keeghan Andrews adds 144 kills and 132 defensive digs while junior Sydney DeJong has 143 kills and leads the team with 95 total blocks.
Junior middle Katie Jacques – a Marshall commitment – has 97 kills with 59 total blocks and senior Meagan Kimbrell has 105 kills to go with 185 digs. Sophomore Brooke Medders leads the team defensively with 258 digs and sophomore setter Karen Majewski, in her first season as the floor leader, has 553 assists and 193 digs.
Wando’s boys and girls swim teams recently captured region 7-AAAA championships and head to the October 10th AAAA state meet with high expectations as well.
Also expected to compete at the state level in November are the boys and girls cross country teams. Both are favored to win region titles in the coming weeks.
Heading up the boys team are Bradley Sanders, Patrick Spychalski, Tedros Eckstein, Collin Casey and Jarrod Bohr.
Leading the effort on the girls side are Lily Heinold, Meagan Carraway, Jamie Kase, Katherine Lewis, Madison Paraskeva and Emma Santor.
Wando’s football team has struggled to a 1-4 start but looks forward to making a run at the region 7-AAAA title. The Warriors played their final non-region game against Bluffton on October 2nd.
Leaders offensively so far have been senior quarterback Bailey Hart, senior running back Kevin Brown and junior receiver Ortre Smith. Hart has passed for 1,311 yards and 11 touchdowns in five games. Brown has rushed for 864 yards and eight scores while Smith is among the leading receivers in the state with 41 receptions for 684 yards and nine touchdowns.
Defensively, senior linebacker Colton Feinberg has 52 total tackles. Defensive backs Michael Vardzel and Stephen Barrera have 45 and 44 hits, respectively.