Preps notebook: Seahawks dominating teams during win streak
photo by: File photo
Moments before the third match of the season, the Bishop Seabury boys soccer team gathered in the tunnel at Bishop Ward.
After two losses to open the season, the Seahawks were determined to change things up. In that moment, the team decided to put an end to losing. Since then, Bishop Seabury has rattled off nine consecutive wins and is tied for first in its region.
“We were all together as a team and we just established that we were done losing,” junior Freddy Comparato said. “We decided we were going to do everything we can to win, and we came together and did it.”
The Seahawks (9-2) have not lost since the first week of the season. What’s even more impressive is how much Bishop Seabury is overwhelming its opponents during this recent stretch.
Over this nine-game winning streak, the Seahawks have outscored opponents by a 45-5 margin. They have tallied at least two goals in every game this season, averaging 4.5 scores per match in 2018.
“The first two games, we were kind of garbage,” senior captain Tommy Warden said. “We were done with that. We all knew what we could do, because a lot of us are in club soccer.”
But this was all part of head coach Ivo Ivanov’s plan. It just happened to come one season early.
Bishop Seabury formed its boys soccer program four years ago, and Ivanov envisioned building it into a successful program by the fifth year. With the help of Joe Comparato, who coaches the junior high soccer program, Ivanov felt confident that Bishop Seabury could turn into a powerhouse.
And it’s all started to come into fruition one year earlier than expected.
“We have decided that this is going to be a soccer institution,” Ivanov said. “We want to turn this into a Lawrence soccer powerhouse. A lot of perfectionism and work goes into this. We have created a formidable team that can compete for many, many years.”
Bishop Seabury has a perfect mix of veterans and young talent to do some damage in the postseason this year.
Sophomore forward Harrison Hartzler leads the Seahawks with 18 goals, and he has notched three different hat tricks. Teams can’t focus only on Hartzler, however, because sophomore forward Evan McHenry has registered 11 scores.
As a freshman, McHenry scored 15 goals to help lift Bishop Seabury to a 7-7 record in 2017.
“Last year, we really relied on talent too much,” junior Sam Bayliss said. “This year, we are able to trust every single person that is on the field. When there is that kind of trust, you can feel confident giving the ball to anyone on the field.”
Nearly every player has played a part in this remarkable run. Nine of the team’s 11 players have scored a goal this season.
Warden is considered one of the fastest players in the area, and he wreaks havoc on the defensive end. Bayliss has shown versatility as a center back, demonstrating the ability to play all over the field.
Comparato, meanwhile, is the engine of the team and has made a number of plays possible as the team’s midfielder. Senior goalkeeper Chris Green recorded five consecutive shutouts during a stretch last month.
“We are like a Swiss army knife. You don’t know where it is going to come from,” Ivanov said. “I feel bad for the teams that have to deal with us.”
Bulldogs continue to roll
Baldwin began a crucial week with a 3-0 victory over Ottawa Monday at Liston Stadium.
The Bulldogs (9-4) will have two more home games this week, as they aim for a top seed in their region. It would be the first time BHS has hosted regionals in four years. Baldwin plays host to Tonganoxie Thursday and then welcomes Eudora for its final home match on Saturday.
Senior forward Matt Jackson leads the team with nine goals, though several players have contributed to this stellar season. Senior midfielder Dylan Jamison has four goals and six assists, while sophomore midfielder Grady McCune has three scores and four assists. Junior midfielder Tyler Wales has added two goals and four assists.
The defensive effort of seniors Jacob Bailey, Ezra Steinshouer and Jordan Barth have helped Baldwin record six shutouts this season, as well.
Former standouts shining in college
Several former city athletes have continued to have success at the next level.
Former Lawrence High linebacker Kieran Severa led the Drake University football team to a 41-9 road win over Jacksonville on Sept. 29. In the lopsided win, Severa paced the defense with eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery.
photo by: Nick Krug
Former Free State golfer Jack Junge, who used to be a golfer for Free State High School, lifted the Rockhurst men’s golf team to its first victory since 2011-12 on Sept. 30 at the Dan Salisbury Memorial in Springfield, Ill. Junge tied for eighth place in the event, and has posted a team-best scoring average of 75 through three tournaments.
Former Free State tennis standout Alexis Czapinski, a senior at Washburn University, teamed up with Logan Morrissey to notch a doubles crown at the ITA Central Regional Championships on Sept. 30.
City showdown rescheduled
Due to the high probability of inclement weather, the soccer match between Free State and Lawrence high was postponed.
The match, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at LHS. Entering the city showdown, the Lions boast a 5-5-2 record and the Firebirds are 4-5-1.