The Glenvar baseball team will open the spring sports season for GHS when the Highlanders travel to Martinsville Monday. Glenvar has a softball game and two tennis matches next Tuesday as spring sports begin for real.
There’s some old faces and some new on the sidelines at Glenvar this year, as the Highlanders welcome new coaches for baseball and both soccer teams. Here’s a rundown of how the teams look for their openers in the next week.
Ben Amos replaces Billy Wells as the skipper for the Glenvar baseball team. Those are big shoes to fill, as Wells was not only a good pitcher as a student at Glenvar but a Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Famer as a coach.
“I’m looking forward to continuing the success at Glenvar,” said Amos, who played for William Byrd and Roanoke College and has been an assistant under Wells. He’ll be assisted by Cameron Holshouser, another Glenvar grad who was a teammate of Amos’ at RC under Larry Wood, another former Glenvar coach and S-R Baseball Hall of Famer.
This program has a history of success, as you might gather. The Highlanders won Conference 38 every year since the VHSL went to conference play in 2013. The Highlanders made it to the 2A state championship game in 2013.
Last year’s team finished 19-5, one win away from a trip to the state tournament. Glenvar graduated five solid seniors, including Zach Duncan, who won 29 games on the mound in a Glenvar uniform.
The cupboard is far from bare, as Glenvar returns two solid pitchers in seniors Matthew Pulliam and Austin Meadows. Other seniors are Brayden Smith, Jacob Mullins, Alec Thompson and RJ Rorrer.
“We look to continue to build a successful program, while raising mature, respectful, and humble adults in 2017,” said Amos.
Glenvar softball coach Rick Street inherited an experienced group in 2015, but this year it’s time to rebuild.
After going 20-5 and reaching the state semifinal last year the Highlanders graduated eight girls who were the heart of the program the past three years, including including pitcher O.C. Ward, catcher Amber Smith, slugging firstbaseman Haley Green, shortstop Courtney Herron, centerfielder Kayla Mims, rightfielder Blayre Grice and reserves Jordan Forster and Katie Waldrond. Street will be looking to replace six in the starting lineup when the season opens next Tuesday in Christiansburg.
Returning seniors include Emily Teaford, Kaley Williams, Adri Teaford and Emily Anderson. Emily Teaford can pitch and she’s the top returning hitter after posting a .373 average last year with 18 runs batted in and 23 runds scored. Williams, who also pitches, hit .333 and McKenna Jarvis started every game at third as a freshman.
Street will look to freshman Abby Schoonover to join the pitching staff and she’s one of three freshmen on the varsity. Look for the Highlanders to improve as the season progresses in the tough Three Rivers District and Conference 38.
The Glenvar boys and girls both have new soccer coaches this year. The Highlanders will open the season on March 16 with a girls-boys doubleheader at Northside.
Aaron Curfiss is the new boys coach. He has six returning seniors in a lineup full of freshmen.
“It looks to be an exciting year for a young team,” he said.
Gary Adams is the new coach of the girls’ team, and he’ll be assisted by Anotidaishe “Jonty” Chimbera. Glenvar returns standout defender Kelci Horner, who will play at Emory & Henry next year, and defender Elizabeth Skoff, who is a captain along with Kailee Sesler and Bailey Bennett.
“It’s too early to tell, but we have a chance to be pretty good,” said Adams.
The Glenvar tennis teams will take the court for their season openers next Tuesday, March 14, against Northside. The boys will be home and the girls will play at Walrond Park against the Vikings.
Mark Rohrback returns as boys coach and has returning starters Freddy Eichelman, Adonis Rose and Zach Chittum. Eichelman played second singles in 2016, Rose was at three and Chittum was at five, and all three played doubles as well.
“I’m counting on these three guys to be leaders for us this year, and so far they are doing a great job in practice,” said Rohrback.
Rounding out this year’s lineup are returners from last year’s squad Nick Deaton, Richard Burton, Garrett Howell, and Brandon Pugh, all sophomores. Newcomers to the team who will be looking to contribute are freshman Noah Benn and Rafid Mirza.
“I feel confident that we will have another successful season, and look forward to working with this outstanding group of young men this spring,” said Rohrback.
Katie Benson returns to coach the girls. She returns seniors Kara Wright, Riley Ginger, Jordan Downing, and Emily Yando.
“I’m looking to them to help lead the team and get key wins for us,” said Benson. “I have several new players this year who are already showing a lot of potential. I’m excited to see how our season plays out.”