Track and Field season kicks off


Chloe Wolf/FHS Press Archives

Then-freshman James Couch races against Aquinas Academy athletes during a home meet last season against both Aquinas Academy and Beaver Falls on March 26, 2021.

Spring is right around the corner, which means that the track and field season is also getting picked back up for the post-winter warm weather. The team left off last May of 2021 with what was quite a successful season for the boys and girls both. The girls had an overall record of 5-2, and boys went 3-3. The team had an abundance of collective accomplishments as well as individual records. 

Towards the end of the ‘21 season, on April 28, the track and field team traveled to the Beaver County Invitational. Then juniors Jay Hessler and Renae Mohrbacher, as well as alum Garrett Paxton, were the top performers. Many members from the team qualified to participate in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) competition that took place May 19.

Although the team lost a variety of hard working seniors like Paxton, Gianni Gagliardi, Alexis Surenda, Bailey Roberts and Logan Shaffer, they also have many returners coming back this season. Juniors Julia Mohrbacher and Jersee Melvin were track members that qualified for the WPIAL competition. Last year, the coaching staff consisted of head coach Mr. Thomas Hickey and Mr. David Badamo. The same coaches are returning this season to help out and guide the thriving track and field team. Next season, Hickey’s position will need to be filled because he plans on retiring. Freedom High School chemistry teacher Ms. Debrah Evans is also returning for her second year of coaching the team after she was hired last year. Miranda Lasher is also coaching for her first year this season as well.

Over the month of February, practices were held at the track, but were not mandatory. Participants who attended got a bit of pre-season conditioning to help them get prepared. The mandatory practices began on Monday, March 7 to kick off the official season.

 “It was a good practice, we stretched, ran two miles and did an ab workout,” junior Sydney Beringer said.

The track and field team took on their first opponent on Tuesday, March 22, which was an away meet. At the meet, the team competed against Central Valley and South Side. Freedom’s first home meet was held later that week on Friday, March 25, where they went up against Rochester and Beaver Falls. 

There will be quite a few schools in close proximity that the Freedom track and field team are scheduled to have meets with. A notable meet to attend is the first one on the schedule. Rochester and Beaver Falls are right down the road and are often big competitors with Freedom in various sports. 

Many of the athletes have a positive outlook on the season and are hoping that COVID-19 will not affect this season in the same way it has impacted previous seasons. They are optimistic that a great season will be achieved with the hard work and dedication members plan on putting in. Every year, the track and field team never fails to work hard and come home from meets feeling proud.

“I think that this season will be different because people will have more motivation since we are finally coming out of the COVID-19 season. I also think that we can perform well like the team did last year,” senior Renae Mohrbacher said.