AHS Fall Sports: Fall First-Team Athletes React to Being First-Team

Addrian Mendoza, Reporter

 

Numerous students achieved first-team status during the Fall of 2021.

 

Earning the first-team name means that the athlete in whatever sport they participated in the Classic 8 Conference was thought as the highest quality, essentially determined on character and overall athletic quality/success.

 

Students named to the first team in their respective sports are 

Girl’s Cross Country: Libby Ray and Anne Straka 

Field Hockey: Shannon Dwyer and Marina Evert 

Girl’s Golf: Kaitlyn Amtmann and Lauren Peterson

Girl’s Swim & Dive: Sydney Nelson, Campbell Stoll, Peyton Drexler, Hailey Tierney, Francesca Smith, Danielle Stemper, and Isabella Drake

Girl’s Tennis: Olvia Schneider, Hannah Cady, and Jane Berglin 

Boy’s Cross Country: Charlie Wesley for Track. Joey Okla, Nick Blatnik, Alijah Maher-Parr, Charlie Smith, Connor Borkowic, and Rylee Klosinski, all for Football. Enzo Bova, Luke Behringer, Alex Deubel, and Nathaniel Moore for Boy’s Soccer. And finally Sam Polentini for Volleyball.

 

Francesca Smith from Swim and Dive says she is happy she reached the top level.

 

Smith is grateful that her team had made it to the State Meet and later ended up in second place. 

 

Smith says, “I am confident that we will beat Brookfield East next season and take home the state title. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to swimming D1 at the University of Missouri after high school.”

 

Okla was enlightened to hear the news. It was not expected but it was a goal that was  “aimed for.”

 

Okla’s favorite part was every single Friday night.  “Being able to be out on that field with my best friends is one of the best feelings and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.” 

 

Okla also said he could not thank his teammate enough for helping him get to where he is now.

 

Polentini said it was cool to see his name on the first team list, especially after being an Honorable Mention in the past. 

 

Polentini said he is proud that his hard work had paid off. “At the end of the day it’s just an award and I don’t consider myself a better player now than I was before just because I got first team.”

 

Polentini says his favorite part of the volleyball season was winning their underdog match against Catholic Memorial High School at the State Tournament. The huge crowd of supporters “really energized” them and “gave them something to play for.”

 

Polentini says he was content with ending up with an undefeated record at home against multiple top 10 teams.

 

Polentini says, “To any younger athletes playing a team sport, don’t perform well during the season just in hopes of getting first or second team. Being a better teammate is a much bigger accomplishment than being a better player.”

 

Ray says she was excited that she was first out of all her teammates in Cross Country. She was proud that her hard work had paid off. “It was an amazing feeling,” Ray said. She says she wishes she could “relive” the moment when all her friends had congratulated her.

 

Ray’s favorite part of the season was being with her support team every step of the way. They helped “shape” the runner she is today. She thanks them every day for what they did and still do.

 

Ray says, “Don’t ever give up on your dreams, you can achieve things you wouldn’t even imagine.”


Ray had previously been injured due to a stress fracture. “I was so nervous that I would never be good again or succeed like did in previous years. I trained so hard never gave up.”

 

Ray says, “…and I get the honor to say I’m first-team all-conference.”

 

Peterson views being all-conference for gold as a big achievement, especially after her previous 3 years. 

 

Peterson is proud that she was able to maintain a strong golf game consistently throughout the conference season. 

 

Peterson’s favorite part of the season not only getting first-team all-conference but also winning the conference championship as an individual and as a team as well.

 

Peterson says, “It was really fun to see the whole team come together and see our hard work pay off.”

 

Charlie Smith from Football said he felt the great honor of achieving the first team. Charlie Smith then credited his teammates by saying, “… and I could not have done it without my teammates.”

 

Charlie Smith’s favorite moments too were the memories created on and off the field.

 

Charlie Smith says, “Arrowhead is the best of the best. If you are thinking about playing sports, you should do it.”

 

Stemper said withholding this name gave her the confidence to keep doing what she is doing.

 

Stemper’s favorite part of the season was the lead-up to sectionals and the state tournament. Stemper says, “it’s the time where the team shrinks a bit, and while I do love every single person on the team, the team shortens down and you create this bond with the people training with you for the next 3-4 weeks. I’m excited to do it again next year!”

 

Amtmann recognized that her hard work had paid off once she found out she was all-conference in golf.

 

 During Amtmann’s Freshman year, she had been an Honorable Mention. In her Sophomore year, she had made the Second Team.

 

Amtmann said, “Being one of the best golfers at the conference is an amazing achievement.”

 

Amtmann truly believes that putting in the hard work during the season can improve your performance over the years.

 

Amtmann’s favorite part of the Girl’s Golf Season was seeing herself gather more friends.

 

Amtmann said, “I spend two to four hours playing with girls from different teams so I have been able to create good friendships with these girls. These friendships on and off the course really make the season enjoyable.”

 

Blatnik was both excited and happy that he had accomplished making it first team after all the work he had put in over the years.

 

Blatnik’s favorite part of the season was the “family-like” bonding that his teammates had on and off the field.

 

Blatnik says, “To any underclassman, no matter what sport you play, don’t take any game, practice, workout, or meeting for granted. You will miss it when it’s over.”