Notable alumni making it big

John Proctor

With the return of school comes the return of Friday night lights, or more commonly known as high school football. The smell of hot dogs and burgers and French fries, the sounds of blaring band music, cheering fans, the clashing of helmets and pads and 300 pound linemen trampling across the line of scrimmage all fill the cool autumn air. One cannot help but to feel at home as these stimulations of the senses send the mind spiraling back to successful seasons of past.

        For HHS the minds immediately go back to the glory days of Sam Rogers or maybe even Josh Wells for those that have been around longer. Separated by a year, these two never actually took the field together. However, both molded HHS football into the successful organization that it is today.

        The school itself opened in 2003, so of course the beginning was going to be a little rocky for the team. In the first season of its existence the Hawks won only one game, failing to make the playoffs. In 2004 entered Wells, completely taking the reins of the subpar program and running with them. Immediately he stood out, not just because of his 6’6” stature, but because the kid was good. Really good. In four years at HHS, Wells accumulated over 4,900 total yards and 33 touchdowns at quarterback. Most importantly he transformed this once struggling program into a competitive playoff team. He would eventually go on to make the NFL.

HHS had a big void to fill at quarterback with Wells gone. Many thought the Hawks would go back to the struggling program that it was before Wells, because honestly filling the shoes of a future NFL player is next to impossible. That is, for everyone but Sam Rogers.

        In Rogers’ first year he took the Hawks to the state semifinals, where they almost beat state powerhouse Phoebus High School out of Hampton. Phoebus was the defending state champion and on a 28 game winning streak. Needless to say HHS was about a 40 point underdog. Behind the leadership of Rogers, a freshman, they led the game until there was less than a minute to go, losing by a score of 10 to seven.

        Much like in this game, Rogers has always been a bit of an underdog in others’ eyes. He is smaller than most colleges prefer. Standing only at 5’10” he had some trouble getting big schools to recruit him despite his talent. Eventually Frank and Shane Beamer, coaches at Virginia Tech, told him he could walk on and try and compete for playing time. Rogers has always been a bit of an underdog in others’ eyes, but never his own.

“All I ever really wanted was an opportunity and that’s what they gave me. I know my expectations of myself will always be higher than the people who doubt me, but my biggest motivation is just trying to maximize my potential. At the end of the day, if I do that, it’s impossible to have regrets,” Rogers said.

        Entering his senior year Rogers is now a four year starter, a two year captain, and was put on scholarship almost immediately after arriving at Tech. His determination along with Wells’ determination is what best defines HHS football.

They branded a tradition of determination and perseverance into the identity of this program forever.

Athletes of the Month

JD

Jeremy Davis

Senior track star Jeremy Davis is
looking promising for a state title
going into the postseason. He has
already qualified for states in three
events, triple jump, long jump and
110 meter hurdles. The tournaments
haven’t even started.
In two of those three events Davis
set school records. He broke his
own record in the triple jump by
setting a mark of 47 feet, 7.25 inches.
In the 110 meter hurdles Davis
crushed the competition with a
time of 14.84 seconds.
The senior will attend college
next year for triple jump.
“I cannot wait to start the
next chapter of my track career,”
Davis said.

CF

Catherine Fisher

She’s the face of the franchise.
Catherine Fisher, a senior and
four year starter on the varsity
field hockey team is a big reason
as to why they’re advancing
to the regional tournament this
year.
Fisher, who was primarily a
goal scorer for the Hawks last season
has taken the role as more of
a facilitator this season.
Fisher leads the team in assists
with 21, to go along with the 30
goals she’s scored this year.
“My favorite moment from
this season was beating Lee Davis.
Our whole team is very familiar
with a lot of their players and it
made it a lot more special than
just any other win,” Fisher said.

 

Postseason hopes for spring sports

Willie Sadler

As the school year and regular season
come to an end, athletes at Hanover turn
their focus to post-season competition.
This year, HHS has a few teams with
pretty good chances of bringing home a
state title.
One of these teams is boys soccer.
With a team mainly composed of upperclassmen,
they definitely have the experience
to make a deep post-season run.
They also have been playing together for
a few years too, so chemistry is another
attribute that will certainly help them
out in playoff play. With these two factors
plus all their talent-combined, this
is a team that has a chance to bring back
a state title to Hanover.
However, this is also a team that has
had some problems in the regular season.
Having a tough time shooting this
year, they have lost to some teams that
they should have been able to beat. One
of these coming from conference foe
Midlothian. What this team needs to
do to be able to make it to the state title
game is to play the sides of the field better
and get more shots on goal.
As for the girls, they have been doing
well this season. With a key victory
against Midlothian, they are gaining momentum
at the right time. Furthermore,
their only loss is against Atlee, who has
seen success throughout the entire season.
If they continue to keep up the way
they are playing they too have a chance
to make it far into post-season play.
One team that has an almost guaranteed
pathway to the state title game
is boys lacrosse. They have been dominating
the scene all year long. Although
they did have a hiccup against Atlee and
lost a game they probably should have
won, they are in a good position to make
a run at the state title.
Girls lacrosse has had a seasons full
of ups and downs. They seem to be in
a pattern of winning a game and then
losing a game. They just cannot find any
consistency. That will be the key for
them if they want to do well outside of
the regular season. If they can get on a
winning streak, they will definitely see
some success after the regular season.
Both of the Hanover’s tennis teams
have a shot at being competitive in the
post season if they can keep up what
they have been doing all year. Especially
the boys, who are kind of an underdog
story, as they were mostly overlooked
and doubted coming into this season.
The girls have been a team to beat all
season, so they just need to stay composed.
“This season has gone well and now
I am excited to compete in the post-season.
The team has been looking good in
practice and I think that we are ready to
show off how well we can really play,”
Sophomore Turner Cole said.
Baseball is a team that has seen a lot
of success at the state level in the past.
This year, they have a chance to see
some more if they can play well in the
post-season. A team composed of mostly
upperclassmen, six of which who are going
on to play at college, they have all
the ingredients needed to win a state
championship.
Softball has been dominant all season
long. They should be one of the last
teams to exit the playoffs. As long as they
can keep their level of play and momentum
up, they won’t have any hiccups.
Track has a chance at sending many
athletes to regionals and states. The team
also has an opportunity to have some
state champions if all goes well in the
girls pole vault and boys long and triple
jump.

Chance at state title for girls tennis

Zach Palmer

June 11. It’s the day all high school the Month
teams wish to be playing, with the same
goal in mind: a state championship.
And after making a state championship
appearance last season, it looks like
the girl’s tennis team at HHS is taking
the same route this year.
This year’s team is 15-1 clinching
the top seed and home court advantage
throughout the conference tournament.
“What makes this team different
from last year is our depth. I don’t think
the bottom of the lineup last year is as
strong as it has been this season. The Kazelskis
twins have been a big part of our
lineup for us all season. Morgan hasn’t
lost a match all year at the five spot,” Assistant
Coach Phil Hein said.
Undoubtedly, this team works harder
than any team in the state. If one were to
glance at one of their practices, it would
be different than they expected. There’s
no time set aside to play around and socialize
with friends. Its constant drilling
and running, one similar to a college
practice.
“Our practices are insane. Our coaches
make us run a ton especially if we’re
fooling around. They get mad when we
take longer than two minutes for a water
break,” sophomore Mattie Moon said.
Aside from what the records show
and practice routines, this isn’t a powerhouse
team that has a dominant top
player. They win matches relying on the
depth of their starting six. This Hawks
starting lineup is comprised of three
sophomores, two freshman and a senior.
The depth, that they hoped would be
there against Midlothian, didn’t step up.
The Trojans ousted the Hawks 7-2 in a
match that was over before doubles play
even got going.
“The match was a lot better than
what the score said. We lost 7-2, but had
a bunch of matches that could’ve been
ours that just happened to swing Midlothian’s
way,” Hein said.
Caroline Hare, the one seed for the
Hawks split the first two sets before falling
in a tightly contested 3rd set 3-6, 7-6,
7-5.
“In order to beat Midlo, we need to
be a more consistent team. We were
missing a lot of shots we are typically
able to make and that was the difference
the first time around,” Head Coach
Lindsay Hein said.
This team has all the pieces they need
to bring home a state title, now it’s just
about putting those pieces together at
the right time.
Regardless of if they’re able to bring
home a state championship or not this
year, you can expect to see them punching
a ticket to the state tournament in the
upcoming years based on their depth.
“We’re starting to act more like a
team and not as ourselves individually
which is a big step in suceeding on the
court,” Assistant Coach Hein said.

MENS LAX SHOCKING STATE

Jack Proctor

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The boys HHS lacrosse team beats E.C Glass High School 19-12. Photo by Candid Color

Three years ago HHS did not
even have an official mens lacrosse
team. The club that existed had
only been around for a couple of
years. There were barely enough
players to field a team. The sport
was completely new to the area.
Three years later, present day, the
Hawks are ranked as a top 15 team
in the state.
Hanover’s success has come as a
big surprise to the state, but not to
the team. Led by a talented group
of seniors, there was no doubt at
the beginning of the year that
this could be a dream season. The
dream has become a reality.
The Hawks have just one loss
to their name in ten games played.
Not only have they been winning,
they have been destroying opponents
with their closest game having
a four goal gap. The four goal
win was against a bitter rival and
last year’s state runner up, Atlee
High School.
Before the start of this season
HHS had never beaten the Raiders
of Atlee High School. Last year,
the Raiders trumped the Hawks
outscoring them 28 goals to 11
goals in two games. In the second
game the Raiders won by 13 goals,
19 to six. This year, the story came
out a little different.
In game one of this clash of
county foes, the Hawks dominated
possession, on defense and on
ground balls. Considering Atlee’s
reputation as a state powerhouse,
that is a remarkable feat and one
that came as a shock to the rest of
the state. Not only that, the Hawks
went up to Charlottesville and destroyed
state powerhouse Western
Albermarle by a score of 16 to
eight.
All of this has been possible due
to the play and leadership coming
from a group of seniors that
have been playing together since
elementary school. Hunter Bellows,
one of the best midfielders
in the area, will attend Messiah
College in Pennsylvania for lacrosse.
Along with him, three others
will attend college for lacrosse.
Defender, Christian Wayne, midfielder,
Tyler Flora and attack,
Colin Disesa will all be suiting up
for Randolph Macon College in the
spring of 2017.
“I’m very excited to be playing
in college because I get to see all of
the work and time I’ve put in over
the years pay off. It’s always been
a goal of mine to become a college
lacrosse player,” Bellows said.
Although these seniors are excited
for the next chapter in their
life, they are fixed on bringing
home the state championship for
the time being. Until the last whistle
blows, until the ultimate end to
their high school careers, they and
the whole team will be bringing
everything that they have.
“It would be great [to win the
state championship]. It would be a
great way to end our high school
careers. We just need to win each
game, one by one,” Disesa said.
It would be unbelievable for
these talented seniors and even
better friends to end four special
years together with a state ring.
There is no doubt that they have
the talent. There is no doubt that
they have the willpower. Now it
is just a matter of going out there
and getting the job done.

Athletes of the month

9

Rachel Andrzjewski

Freshman Rachel Andrzjewski
and has taken the whole school by
surprise. Andrzjewski, a starting
forward on the girls soccer team
has 12 goals through just 5 games.
Andrzjewski might be what this
girls soccer team needed just at the
right time.
After struggling for the past few
years, the girls soccer team has
started this year hot, with a record
of 5-0-1.
If the team can keep up their
offensive efficiency headlined by
Andrzjewski, they have an opportunity
to make a deep postseason
run.
“I really enjoy playing with my
teammates, because we get along
so well and have great talent,” Andrzjewski
said.

10

Grey Lyttle

Senior Grey Lyttle’s high school
career has been decorated with
many accolades so far. This year
has not been much different. Being
the leading pitcher, he has helped
the Hawks to a record of 9-1.
So far, he has not allowed a
single run and the Hawks are 5-0
with him on the mound. Pitching
isn’t the only thing the High Point
commit can do though. He has totaled
24 RBIs on 12 for 27 hitting.
These performances are a large
reason for the success the baseball
team is seeing this year.
“I really try to make the most of
my at bats by taking it one pitch
at a time. When I’m on the mound
I try to get ahead in the count to
where I can control the hitter,”
Lyttle said.

Baseball wins two big games back-to-back

Willie Sadler

Hawks baseball had back-to-back
games on the 15 and 16. The first was
against rival Atlee, then the next day
they faced St. Johns from Maryland.
The Hawks came out with a win in
both contests, improving their record
to 9-1.
The stage was set at Hanover on a
Friday night for the much anticipated
match-up between rivals Hanover
and Atlee. With Atlee hitting first,
they got off to a good start; scoring
one run. When the Hawks came up to
the plate, they answered back, scoring
one run of their own.
Neither teams were able to get a
run in innings two, three and four. In
the fifth inning, Atlee was able to get
a run bringing the score to two to one.
With Hanover not answering with a
run of their own, it was looking like
Atlee might be able to pull away and
secure the win. Atlee scored one
more run in the sixth inning, but then
Hanover caught back up to Atlee with
two runs, evening out the score.
With the score at three all going
into the last inning, the game was
set to have a close finish. The Raiders
certainly felt the pressure and did
not score when they were up to bat.
This left the Hawks a chance to close
out the game and come out on top between
the rivals.
The Hawks capitalized on this by
taking a different approach. They
drew a lot of balls and ran the bases
smartly on Atlee’s errors. This eventually
allowed the Hawks to score on
an overthrow by Atlee, giving Hanover
the win in the first match-up of
the year between the rivals.
Coming off this big win, Hanover
was hungry for another when they
faced St. Johns the day after Atlee.
The Hawks, feeling some fatigue from
their previous game, did not get off
to a great start. Going into the fourth
inning, Hanover was trailing four to
nothing.
They captured a run in the fourth
inning and started their comeback.
Holding St. Johns to zero runs in the
fifth inning, they tied up the game
at four all. The score stayed this way
into the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Hawks strung together a few hits
to load the bases. This is when senior
Grey Lyttle stepped up to the plate
and did something he’s already done
4 times this year. Hit a homerun. This
time, it was a grandslam, that allowed
the Hawks to walk off with a win.
“My mindset going into the at bat
was to hit a pop fly into the outfield
to score the run. I knew the game was
over when I made contact with the
ball and saw it fly into the outfield,”
Lyttle said.