Fall athletics kick off
An update on boy's and girl's water polo, volleyball, and boy's and girl's cross country, along with a look into exciting recent events in girl's and boy's soccer, and football
September 20, 2018
In Lincoln’s sesquicentennial year, the volleyball, football, cross country and water polo teams are hoping to add to the celebration this upcoming season.
Consecutive reigning PIL champions, the volleyball team has its eyes on claiming the league once again. Led by senior and University of Portland commit Grace Zilbert, the team is planning on last year’s playoff success to carry over this year.
“We’re thrilled to work towards winning league and attempt to go farther in state this year,” said Zilbert.
Under head coach Stephen Stone, be on the lookout for another big year from volleyball.
Boys water polo is also aiming high.
“We hope to make it to the playoffs and state, from there we’ll see what happens,” said Sam Guy, a senior and returning varsity athlete.
The team won its first league game versus Aloha 11-3 and is off to a strong start.
Girls water polo has also set their sights on victory. “We’re trying to get first in state, we’re going to be first in Metro League,” says senior Natalie Brauser.
While the team lost 8 players this year, they have three strong returning senior players: Lilly Graham, Mia Tovar and Brauser. Team leaders believe their biggest competition will be Newberg High School.
Cardinal cross country competitors are consistently among the elite runners in the state. Last year several seniors departed from the boys team, leaving the team to a number of
“This year, they will claw and fight and struggle,” says co-head coach Suzanne Parry, currently in her 15th year of coaching.
Despite graduating a number of their most experienced runners, 6 year co-head coach Eric Dettman doesn’t see it negatively.
“From a talent level, it is there,” says Dettman. “They get out there and attack, which isn’t something you can really coach.”
The girls cross country team continues to be strong.
“If they work hard and dedicate themselves, the girls’ team is at a place to place very high in state… they’re in contention to be the best team,” says Dettman.
Female cornerback breaks new ground
Lucie Nicholson walked onto the field for summer football practice. She noticed immediately that she was the only girl.
This is Nicholson’s first year playing football. She has tried martial arts, horseback riding and some other individual sports but no team sports. Her step-father was a defensive end and his stories about football encouraged her to try out this year. Nicholson is a cornerback and played against Southridge.
“It’s something that’s very possible,” says head football coach Jeremy Johnson, about girls and boys playing football together. “It’s not surprising to me … it doesn’t happen a ton but it’s been happening.”
Nicholson enjoys playing with the boys on the team so far and says the other players are “very nice.”
Johnson says other players on the team have been “responding well” to the idea of a girl playing next to them. “They know that [Nicholson’s] out there working just as hard as they are and just as hard as she can to be a better football player.”
Nicholson believes it would be fun if other girls would join the football team.
Johnson is “all for it” if other girls want to join.
“We need the team to be bigger,” says senior Grant Miller. “Nothing’s really changed [since Lucie joined], we still approach things the same way.” He also believed it’s fine if other girls want to join the team.
“It’s overall a really good experience,” Nicholson says.
Girls soccer expands to biggest ever
After the girls’ soccer team’s deep playoff run last year, the program returns this season with four teams for the first time in Lincoln history.
The increased size of the program opens up the opportunity for more girls to play.
“It’s really exciting to have so many athletes get to play for their school,” said Lincoln’s athletic director Jessica Russell.
According to varsity player Gwynn Llewelyn, having four teams “gives [opportunities] to girls who would otherwise have been cut.”
However, having four teams affects the workload of the athletic department. Russell said that it definitely makes her job more difficult. The Lincoln community is “so short on fields, especially turf fields,” and good referees are also difficult to find.
Even with the added stress, Russell wants the program to continue to have four teams. As long as there are “four teams worth of girls who want to play and we have enough fields… there is really no reason we shouldn’t.”
In general, according to Russell, it is the athletic department’s role to “create opportunities for as many students as we have” that are interested in playing soccer or any other sports.
Boys soccer cuts create “competitive” team
Heading into the 2018-2019 soccer season, the boys’ soccer team tryouts were packed. A staggering 108 student-athletes signed up to prove their skills in front of head coach Pablo Dipascuale. 35 of the 108 students (roughly 32 percent) who tried out did not make one of Lincoln’s four teams.
Wyatt Jenkerson is going into his third season as a varsity soccer player and said, “it creates an environment that’s very competitive because everyone knows that spots are limited on the program. Especially for freshman who are trying out for the first time with the coaching staff that doesn’t know them.”
“We look for a combination of dedication, effort, commitment, work ethic, fitness, skill level and buy-in to the team-centered culture we are trying to foster in the men’s soccer program,” said Dipascuale.