Winter Jags’ victories add to AHN spirit

Winter+Jags%27+victories+add+to+AHN+spirit

Sophomore Victoria Martinez shoots a free throw as teammates Amanda McWilliams and Brianna Wharton (23) prepare to grab the rebound during AHN's match-up against St. Pete Catholic on Spirit Night.

Mary Green, Editor in Chief

After a successful fall sports season, the Academy Jaguars look to stay on the prowl and continue this athletic achievement. The winter teams, basketball and soccer, have both started off the season hot and do not anticipate slowing down.

The Jaguar basketball team started the season undefeated with a 5-0 record. After a great summer preseason, the team carried their winning momentum into the current regular season. Though they play in one of Hillsborough County’s toughest districts, the Jag hoopsters have already accumulated several victories, including thrillers against Indian Rocks Christian and Academy at the Lakes.

In the latter game, senior guard Sarah Davis hit a three-point shot with less than ten seconds remaining in the game and sealed the deal by giving the team a lead they would not relinquish. Not only do the girls hope to beat district foes St. Pete Catholic and Tampa Catholic, but they also look to claim the district championship, a title they have not won since 2007. The Jaguars boast one of Academy’s best (and youngest) teams in recent years, so they will try to capitalize on their gold mine of talent and team cohesiveness.

Though faced with some new challenges, the AHN soccer team has also managed to overcome some of its obstacles and earn wins. The team is in the process of becoming acclimated with the style of new head coach Kareem Escayg, and many players have already adapted to his game management and strategy. The Jaguars opened the season with a 2-1 record with victories over Academy at the Lakes and Seffner Christian. Though they hit a bit of a rut after that strong start, the girls ended their two most recent games with ties against Indian Rocks Christian and Northside Christian. Just as the basketball team faces staunch district competition, the soccer team plays in a difficult district that includes contendors Clearwater Central Catholic and Berkeley Prep. Many young players make up this group, so the team looks to start a streak of many successful season with this talented unit.

On Spirit Night on Friday, December 3, the Jaguar basketball and soccer teams competed against St. Petersburg Catholic and Canterbury, respectively. Soccer lost its Spirit Night match-up against the Canterbury Cougars with a score of 3-4. Much can be said, though, about the team’s keeping the score close against this tough competitor. The basketball team suffered a heartbreaking defeat as well by a score of 42-39, their first loss of the season. However, the girls did a good job of staying in the game after senior guard Sarah Davis’s ankle injury in the first quarter, a blow to the team’s defensive front. The girls will look to avenge this loss on January 12, when they play the Barons for the second time in the season.