MAHOMET — Spring sports are in full swing, and all five programs are having success. Mahomet-Seymour baseball and softball are both well above .500 and both track programs have a good mix of talented seniors and rising underclassmen. Oh, and the M-S girls’ soccer team is probably the best in the area and is on pace to break the wins record.
As the calendar flips from April to May, that only means one thing: postseason. Here are five takeaways as the Bulldogs prepare for the stretch run.
1. Underclassmen stepping up for M-S boys’ track and field
Freshmen long-distance runners Joseph Scheele, Kyle Nofziger and Jonah Singer have all started to become steady contributors for M-S boys’ track and field coach Todd Lafond.
Nofziger, Scheele and Singer all had top-3 finishes at the Gene Ward Invitational last Friday.
But they’re not alone. Sophomore CJ Shoaf has been ever so consistent in the hurdles and the high jump With Nofziger, Scheele, Singer and Shoaf finding their groove, it adds so much more depth to M-S behind Hunter Hendershot and Mathias Powell, who are both former state champions.
2. With bats surging, spotlight shines on M-S pitching staff
Nic DiFilippo’s baseball team has started to swing some hot bats. Last time out, M-S crushed Rochester pitching to the tune of 12 runs.
In the last four games, M-S has scored 40 runs. Ten runs per game isn’t sustainable for the rest of the year, but it certainly puts a bigger emphasis on the M-S pitching.
Kyle Kinney has had his moments this year where he looks like an ace. The lefty has to take his pitching to another level down the stretch.
Same goes for Dawson Finch and Kobe Essien. Both have the stuff to shutdown nearly any offense, but they can get shelled occasionally.
Senior Ben Greenberger has been terrific in relief for DiFilippo and has asserted himself as a guy who can come in during a jam and get outs in a hurry. They’ll need more from their top four pitchers if they want to make a run in the upcoming Class 3A Regionals.
3. Newcomers making big contributions for Bulldog softball
Abi Akers, Sam Tamburo and Karley Yergler all weren’t on the M-S softball roster last year, but the trio has stepped up in a big way this season.
Tamburo has an electric bat and has been a game-changer at the top of the lineup. Yergler has stepped in the circle and been a rock-solid No. 2 pitcher and she’s started to really hit the ball hard. Akers didn’t start the season in the starting lineup, but she’s worked her way in there and had a three-hit game against Taylorville last week. Akers, Tamburo and Yergler have all been major keys to the M-S resurgence.
4. Sims, McGrath continue to shine on the track
Elizabeth Sims is short. Brisa McGrath is tall. Sims is a freshman. McGrath is a senior.
They certainly have their differences, but the duo has been terrific for the Mahomet-Seymour girls’ track and field team this year.
Sims and McGrath both can crush it in either the 1,600-meter dash or the 3,200-meter race, and could make a run for a spot at the state meet.
5. M-S girls’ soccer team flashing lockdown defense
The Bulldogs are a ridiculous 18-1 on the season, and they’re variety of capable scores have been a major talking point all year. They’ve got ridiculous offensive talent in the form of Maddy Wade, Cayla Koerner, Mackenzie Moore, Brea Benson, Haley Lester, Brea Benson, Brooke Benson and Nyah Biegler. But the Bulldogs’ defense has been absurdly good. No one can score on them. Goalkeeper Noelle Bailey has been awesome, and Maddie Louis and the rest of the crew just swarm teams all night long. In 19 games, M-S has allowed seven goals. No one has scored more than one goal against the Bulldogs in a single game.
They say defense wins championships, and M-S could add a lot of trophies to the case because of their suffocating defense.