A Look at the Hawks’ Winter Sports

Danny Polk

As the cold front enters and the fall
season comes to a close, the Hawks
gear up and prepare for the winter
season’s work. No fall sports team had
a losing record, something the winter
sports will look to continue and improve
on.
Boys’ Basketball
The Hawks return an experienced
roster in head coach Darren Thornton’s
third season, along with top
scorer Jalen Elliot. Conference 20
doesn’t present the amount of quality
teams that last year’s Capital District
possessed. Hanover will play a
similar regular season schedule compared
to last year, but the postseason
alignment will be different. Jeremy
Osbourne takes the role of assistant
coach in his first year at Hanover.
In the Conference 20 kickoff tournament,
the Hawks’ youth was on
display as junior Cutch Ellis paced the
team with 28 points against Midlothian.
Elliot added 17, while the
Wade brothers – senior Jordan and
freshman Jason, both were in double
digits. The Hawks went on to defeat
Glen Allen in the tournament final
with a overtime win.
Girls’ Basketball
Michael Rohr enters his first season
as head coach. The team is young
with four freshman on the varsity
squad, but returns experienced seniors
Sarah Belcher and April Lankford
to the lineup.
The Hawks got off to a slow start
with an 87-37 loss to Midlothian, but
the underclassmen-heavy team can
only progress as the season goes on.
Belcher led the Hawks with 12 points
in the season opener.
Wrestling
Back for the Hawks is defending
state champion J.D. Gregory as well
as state finalist Corbin Allen.
In the Hopewell varsity invitational
Gregory and fellow junior TJ Allen
captured individual titles, while Gregory
was named Outstanding Wrestler
of the tournament. Tyler Flora and
Bishop Guempel both finished runner
up in their weight classes.
Next for the Hawks is the Richmond
Invitational and the Ironman in Ohio.
Indoor Track
The indoor track team looks to continue
where the cross country team
left off (state qualifiers). Anticipating
individual postseason runs will
be sophomore Leila Haynesworth, senior
pole vaulter Samantha Seymour,
and distance runners Annie Sadler
and Caleb Haneline, both seniors.
Boys’ Swimming
The boys’ swimming team is underclassmen
heavy with just three
seniors on the roster. Sophomores
Garrett Gauntt and Chandler Foster
will lead the Hawks in backstroke and
butterfly, respectively, while seniors
Lanning Blaser and Shane Henry will
swim freestyle. Eighth-grader Patrick
Townsend is ranked fifth in the country
in his age division for the 200m
butterfly, and joins the Hawks for exhibition
meets, but is not eligible to
compete as he would have to forfeit
a year of eligibility in order to do so.
Girls’ Swimming
Senior Sarah Browning recently
committed to swim next fall for Liberty
University. She, along with fellow
senior captain Katrina Gauntt
will lead the girls swim team. Browning
is the fourth-ranked swimmer
in the state for the 200m Individual
Medley and eighth in the 500m Freestyle.
Gauntt will look to guide the
team in the 100m butterfly.
Gymnastics
The gymnastics team returns seniors
Leah Kemler and Devin Ryan
and will also look to a group of underclassmen
led by Katelyn Gillis. The
Hawks placed second in a tri-meet
with Mills Godwin and Douglas Freeman
to start the season.

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