Sports / The Prairie Fire / April 5, 2017

Spring preview of Knox Athletics


As spring sports come into full swing, the active Knox teams are beginning to shape their seasons through their wins and losses. While some are performing at very competitive levels, some of the spring teams continue to struggle. As we move further along into their seasons, it will be interesting to see whether the struggling squads can turn their seasons around, while others continue chasing their lofty goal of qualifying for the Midwest Conference tournament.


Men’s Baseball

At 7-6 so far this season including 2-2 in MWC play, Knox Baseball has been led by a lights-out starting rotation. Featuring senior Alec Jordan, sophomores Logan Thake and Stryker Davies as well as freshman Trevan Lowtharp, the pitching staff boasts a 3.25 ERA, compared to 6.30 last season. With the strong staff combined with the constant contributions from senior Drake Sykes and junior Matt McCaffrey, this team could make some noise in the MWC this season.

Junior Matt McCaffrey makes contact with a pitch against conference foe Grinnell College during a home game last season. McCaffrey was named an All-Conference team member a season ago and will look to continue helping the Knox team field a powerful offense. (TKS Archives)

Women’s Softball

Following up their 1-33 season a year ago, the Softball team did not wait long to notch their first win. However, the team has struggled this year as well with their record currently standing at 1-11. Senior stars Kaly Davidson and Chelsey Howard have carried the brunt of the offensive load so far, but will need more help from the younger members of the team if the team hopes to take a big step forward this year.


Men’s Tennis

The Men’s Tennis team just recently registered their first win of the season, defeating conference rival Ripon College 6-3. Sophomore Jeffrey Xue and freshman Jared Schwarz each managed to win both their singles game and their doubles game along with their partner. This victory, which improves the team’s record to 1-10, will hopefully serve as a confidence builder for this young squad as they look to surprise their rival conference opponents.


Track and Field

Now that the Track and Field team has returned to performing outdoors, they will look to carry the momentum they built up toward the end of their indoor season into their spring season. The team started off strong, with two performances at their most recent meet placing individual athletes in the top-ten of Knox’s all-time records. Senior Jessica Fritts managed a heave of 130’8” in the hammer throw, while sophomore Val Varanese posted a 100 meter dash time of :12.94 and 200 meter dash time of :28.53. This strong start bodes well for the team, as many athletes have a legitimate chance at pushing their way into the Knox record books.


Men’s Golf

After winning their team matchup against Spalding University 5-2, the Men’s Golf team struggled at their own hosted tournament, where they finished 17th out of 19 teams. In spite of this, the team’s strong close to last year’s spring season bodes well for marked improvement over the course of their schedule. Sophomores Duncan Wheeler and James Barrington will look to lead that resurgence.


Women’s Golf

Following a return to the Knox sports scene in the fall, the Women’s Golf team will continue to be made up of their two pioneering freshmen, Kailey Bruns and Samantha Nichols. Nichols, who hails from Waimea, Hawaii, hopes to continue piling up top-ten finishes and conference-wide recognition for her success. Bruns and Nichols will look to close the season strong to close out the return season with a bang.


Jonathan Schrag, Managing Editor
Jonathan Schrag is a junior majoring in Political Science and double minoring in Educational Policy Studies and History. He has been writing for TKS since Fall Term of his freshman year and has contributed to News, Sports and Discourse. He served as the Sports editor during his sophomore year and has won several awards from the Illinois Collegiate Press Association.

Tags:  alec jordan chelsey howard drake sykes duncan wheeler james barrington jared schwarz jeffrey xue jessica fritts Kailey Bruns kaly davidson knox baseball knox golf knox softball knox tennis logan thake matt mccaffrey Samantha Nichols spring athletics stryker davies track and field trevan lowtharp val varanese

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