Described by his lacrosse coach Aaron Hemler as a “relentless defender,” Mason Talarczyk began playing lacrosse in eighth grade. Hemler first met the senior captain his sophomore year when he began playing for Oakwood High School. He says Talarczyk’s “stick skills and knowledge of the game improved every season.”
“Mason leads by example on defense and shows younger players how to play on-ball defense. As a coach, I hope the other players on the team pick up on his willingness to take on a tough match-up and give it 100% effort,” Hemler said.
Talarczyk described his play as “fast and aggressive.”
“I would say my strengths in my sports are awareness and aggression. Football and lacrosse are both physical sports and you ‘gotta’ have a little fire in you to play them,” Talarczyk said.
Hemler says he saw that “fire” in Talarczyk also.
“The main memory of Mason was how he rose to face challenges. Mason never backed away from a tough situation or match up, he always wanted to cover the opponent’s best player,” Hemler said.
As he heads to the University of Cincinnati next year, Talarczyk will take with him lessons learned through sports.
“Sports have taught me many things such as the lessons of hard work and perseverance that I will use for the rest of my life.”
Crediting sports with “invaluable lessons” she says helped her grow as a person, Lauren Jacomet hopes one day to “pass on” what she learned.
“I definitely want to play in some leagues in college or after college but most of all I would absolutely love to be a softball coach in the future for a kids league. Most of my favorite coaches have been from my baseball and softball teams and I would love to pass on what they taught me to someone else.”
Jacomet began playing baseball in the second grade. Four years later, she was one of “two or three girls in the whole league.” She started playing softball in junior high and played for six years.
“I decided to stick with sports into high school because sports have always been, since I started playing them in first grade, a place where I get to meet new people, make new life-long friends, have fun, learn something new, de-stress and face challenges that I can overcome. Sports help me learn how to be a hard worker, not give up when things get tough, be responsible and self-reliant, how to work with others, how to be a good teammate, and so, so, so much more.”
Coach Ronni Rush says Jacomet contributed to her teammates also.
“LJ is what every coach wishes they had on their team. She is responsible, caring, hardworking and a great teammate. LJ is always encouraging others, cheering on her teammates and doing what is best for her team. I could not ask for a better role model for my younger athletes,” Rush said.
During Jacomet’s senior season, her position was changed. Coach Rush moved Jacomet to the pitcher’s mound. Rush says Jacomet gave it her all and didn’t complain. Jacomet says she wasn’t always happy with her play but tried to keep her head up and do her best. In face, one of her favorite highlights came at that position.
“My favorite highlight of this season was catching a line drive right to me at the pitcher's mound. I stuck my glove out, honestly, more in instinctive self-defense rather than skill. I caught it at the tip of my glove. I was SO excited and surprised that I had caught it that I just froze for a solid five seconds along with the rest of the people watching. Then, I shot my hand into the air and said ‘wahoo!’ Everyone laughed and cheered and afterward, the umpire said to me ‘I thought you were dead.’”
Coach Rush remembers that play as well.
“At first she didn't realize she had caught it and when she did, she got the biggest smile and did a sort of karate kick in the air and cheered. LJ is always making our games fun and her personality is the best!”
A winning attitude, a competitive spirit and dedication to her teammates, Maggie Heid is a well-rounded student-athlete and her coach says she’s a great example for others.
“Maggie is a captain on our team and a role model for our younger athletes. Maggie is always willing to help others when and where she can and doing what she can to better herself for the team. She is also one of our biggest cheerleaders, always supporting her teammates and picking them up when they need it,” Varsity Softball Coach Ronnie Rush said.
Heid first picked up a bat when she was three, beginning her rookie t-ball season. She continued playing through the second grade but then moved to season. It wasn’t until high school she returned to softball. She says coming back to the sport was one of the best decisions she ever made.
“It is definitely safe to say that I have played my fair share of sports throughout my lifetime! I have played basketball, soccer, softball, golf, and I was on the swim team when I was little. Sports have always been my escape, my outlet, and a huge part of who I am,” Heid said.
Coach Rush describes Heid as “a blast to coach” due in part to her “great bubbly personality that just draws people in.” Not surprising when asked about highlights of her sports’ career, it’s people that jump to the top of the list for Heid.
“Honestly, my highlights from my high school sports are the relationships I have formed with my teammates and coaches. Each and every practice, game and memory I had with them was a highlight for me,” Heid said.
While her high school sports career is coming to an end, she’s not done with sports.
“Sports will have to fit into my future no matter what, I don't know what I would do without them! I plan to join intramural teams in college and might consider playing a club sport or two if I can. As for life after college, I’m actually considering a minor in coaching, so I really hope to be able to coach for a high school team wherever I end up. I feel like I have so much to pass on from all of the amazing things I have learned from my coaches here at Oakwood, and I think it would be so rewarding,” Heid said.
And coaching is already starting, as she took this opportunity to share some advice with younger players.
“If you are little girl and are reading this don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! Start early, work hard, and follow your dreams! Be proud to play like a girl. We’re the best.”
A leader both on and off the field, Logan Coon is hoping the end of the spring season won’t be the end of his days playing lacrosse. The OHS senior who describes his play and “assertive and energetic” is hoping to play lacrosse at Muskingum University next year.
Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Coach Aaron Hemler has known Coon for four years. Now as a team captain, he says Coon contributes great leadership to the team.
“Logan leads by example during practice and games to set the standard for what we expect out of both his position group and the team as a whole. He's a responsible individual who always tries to make the best of situations,” Hemler said.
Coon started playing lacrosse in seventh grade. He has also played soccer, baseball, basketball, ran cross country and swam. He says he stuck with lacrosse after he “met a lot of new friends” and realized it was the sport for him.
Hemler says he and the entire coaching staff have enjoyed “watching Logan's game, maturity and leadership evolve throughout his career.”
“The coaching staff feels very lucky to have a player and person like Logan on the team, he represents Oakwood and Oakwood Lacrosse very well.”
Athlete of the Month: Keaton Seim
“Hands down, Keaton is one of the best captains I have had on the wrestling team since I have been coaching. He is actively engaged during practice pushing everyone to be the best they can be. He always takes time to show younger guys how to do certain moves or helps them understand why we are doing certain things.”
- Nick Berger, Varsity Wrestling Coach
When did you begin wrestling?
I began wrestling around 3rd grade after my Dad made me try it after quitting the basketball team.
What other sports have you played?
I’ve played football, basketball, baseball, track, swimming and lacrosse.
How would you describe how you feel when you are competing?
I feel highly competitive and focused when I’m competing, and I’m generally in a good mood.
Why did you stick with sports in high school?
I stuck with sports because some of my closest friends play sports with me and playing sports became such an important part of my life that nothing could fill the void.
How would you describe your play?
I’d describe my play as intense and meticulous; I’m always trying to outthink my opponents and play into their weaknesses and my strengths.
What would you say are your strengths?
My strength would have to be technique and game knowledge. I know where I have to be at all times and what I need to do from that position.
What are your highlights in your high school sports career?
Some highlights of mine were making it to District wrestling tournament junior year, being recognized as a special mention for the 2020 Greater Miami Valley All Area Division 2 Wrestling Team junior year and beating CJ in the team state duals junior year.
How do you see wrestling fitting into your future?
I see wrestling fitting into my future by teaching me values such as working hard and not giving up, which will aid me in life. I also see myself becoming a wrestling coach at a high school once I am out of college.
Athlete of the Month: Margie Conrath
“Margie embodies the toughness, competitiveness and selflessness that all of our athletes should strive toward. Margie suffered a season-ending injury early on in the 2019 - 2020 season. She still came to every practice, shoot around and game. On top of that, she worked tirelessly to rehabilitate and prepare for return this season. Her dedication to the team and program became very clear during that time. Margie is extremely resilient. She refuses to allow setbacks to distract her from working towards her goals.”
- Matt Salyer, Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach
When did you start playing basketball?
I started playing basketball in Preschool.
What other sports have you played?
I have played soccer, football, volleyball and baseball, as well.
Why did you stick with your sports in high school?
I stuck with basketball and soccer throughout high school because both teams were so close and we grew so much on and off the court/field.
How would you describe your play?
I would describe my play as giving it 110% no matter how things were going.
What would you say are your strengths?
My strengths in basketball are my willingness to do what's best for my team and doing whatever it takes to win.
What are your highlights in your high school sports career?
Highlights of high school sports would probably be making history in soccer by going to regionals and beating Alter to get there. In basketball, it would probably be scoring 27 on Fenwick as a sophomore, as well as beating them in tournament my freshman year.
How do you see sports fitting into your future?
I see myself being a basketball coach in the future as well as using it as an activity to do in college on a club team.
While some people turn to meditation or yoga to deal with stress, our Athlete of the Month turns to soccer.
“Playing soccer is the ultimate escape from any stresses that may come up in life. When on the field, all I want to do is win, and everything else just goes away. Playing a competitive game under the lights of Lane Stadium is one of the most exhilarating experiences a high school athlete can have,” Athlete of the Month Lochlan Hendrix said.
Hendrix has been playing soccer since he was 5 when his mom introduced him to the sport. He’s been playing for OHS for fur years.
“During his freshman year, Lochlan was not originally added to the varsity team. He did not complain or let that decision affect his play. By the second game, he was starting for varsity,” Boys’ Varsity Soccer Coach Kyle Duwel said.
Hendrix describes himself as competitive and willing to do “whatever it takes to win,” including becoming a defender for OHS. Duwel says as center back, Lochlan has set school records for least amount of goals scored against.
“There is no worse feeling in sports than losing, so I focus my play on doing whatever it takes to avoid this. This often involves extending out of my comfort zone. When I entered the program as a freshman, I never saw myself as a defender, but as the role opened up, I gladly accepted it because I felt I would be able to help my team most from this position,” Hendrix said.
And that help has been seen throughout this winning season, one Hendrix says he won’t forget.
“My biggest highlight of high school soccer has certainly been this year. Being a part of the first Oakwood team to win SWBL since the ‘90s is something I will never forget. Additionally, senior night this year against Carroll was one of the most memorable nights of my high school experience. Overall, my senior year has been one I will never forget and one I feel will leave a lasting impact on the program as a whole.”
From team mascot to OHSAA State Champion, our Athlete of the Month has come a long with OHS tennis, just ask Coach Kim Gilbert.
“I have known Natalie Connelly since 2008 when she was our OHS tennis mascot. Her sister Meagan also was a state qualifier in doubles and her brother Louis played for the boys' team,” Gilbert said.
And with all of those tennis experiences, her biggest highlight came this year, winning the OHSAA Division II State Doubles Championship with partner Sarah Hall.
“This year upon winning the state doubles title, Natalie appeared to be calm and relaxed, again with a smile on her face during the final match. After match point, she literally started crying tears of joy thanking her coach, partner, parents, pros, etc. No one would have ever known the internal pressure she was experiencing. The tears represented the release, gratitude, and overall exhaustion that tennis players face in the match of their lives,” Gilbert said.
Connelly says in a typical match she doesn’t consider herself “very focused.” She says she “just plays.” Gilbert agrees, describing Connelly as a “relaxed tennis player displaying the best sportsmanship in the state. She always smiles and taps her racquet whenever her opponent wins the point.”
Coach Gilbert says Connelly isn’t just a winner on the court but in school as well.
“Natalie is the nicest and one of the smartest athletes I have ever coached. She has been an intricate part of Academic Decathalon and is in NHS. She was kind enough last year to tutor one of my English students in math during her study hall. She is indeed an all-around winner!”
This month’s Athlete of the Month has been playing her sport since she was four years old and says while she has also played basketball, tennis and run track, she can’t imagine life without soccer.
“I’ve always played soccer and I can’t imagine not playing,” Athlete of the Month Riley Beam said.
Girls’ varsity soccer coach Ryan Connelly says Beam brings a “good sense of humor” and a positive attitude to the team.
“Simultaneously, she is an intense and competitive athlete. These are not always qualities that go together. In this regard, she is someone who I deeply admire and respect as both a player and person. She is a role model to her peers in this regard,” Connelly said.
Beam says she looks forward to the competition of soccer.
“I always give my best effort despite the difficulty of the game. I am incredibly competitive, aggressive and I don’t like losing,” Beam said.
One of Beam’s best soccer memories demonstrates that competitive spirit.
“I scored a tying goal against Wyoming with seconds left that lead us to a win and got us to the district finals,” Beam said.
Coach Connelly says Beam is also a “very coachable player.”
“After a game where she was not having as much success finding the back of the net, we talked about ways for her to improve going into the next game. She scored in the first 10 minutes of the next match. This is one of many instances in which Riley has impressed me and led her teammates to success throughout the season thus far. She is an awesome player to coach, a great teammate and a good person.”
Oakwood High School boys’ varsity golf is headed to post-season play with a strong team including this month’s Athlete of the Month, Jonah Cunningham.
Cunningham has been playing golf since the sixth grade. He says in addition to golf, he has played football, basketball, baseball, hockey, swimming and soccer. It’s golf and baseball he has continued through high school.
“Golf is different from other sports in various ways and one of those ways is without a doubt the game's ability to aid its younger players. Golf provides a great way to build social skills and eventually network (e.g. meet new people through corporate outings, etc.). Golf is also an extremely mental sport and tests a player's ability to persevere through and overcome hardships; a valuable life skill for anybody. I will certainly play golf for as long as I possibly can,” Cunningham said.
Boys’ varsity golf coach Jen Lohmeyer says Cunningham is a leader on this year’s team.
“He conducts himself well on the golf course no matter whether he made a birdie or a bogey on a hole. Jonah is a consistent player whose score has counted in all our matches and tournaments,” Lohmeyer said.
Lohmeyer says a perfect example is how Cunningham compliments his opponent at the end of a match or tournament.
“He always says, ‘Good playing with you,’” Lohmeyer said.
According to his coach, Cunningham is a hard worker and had spent his summer working on his game. And while he and the team have had a solid season, including an 18th straight SWBL title for OHS, Cunningham is still working harder.
“My performance this year has not lived up to my expectations until recently. While playing, I would consider my strong suits to be my short game, ability to scramble, and ability overcome adversity on the course. I also play rather quickly and try not to overthink things,” Cunningham said.
And speaking of thinking…
“When I am participating in my sport, I block out any external thoughts and immerse myself in the game. I love it,” Cunningham said.
With 12 years of cheerleading to her credit, Julianna Hoffman, this month’s Athlete of the Month, can easily explain why she loves this sport.
“When I am in my uniform, I am so proud. I love representing Oakwood and my high school. I also love the competition of tumbling with my team against the cheerleaders from other schools and the intense competition of tryouts when they come around every year,” Hoffman said.
Coach Kathy Barlow agrees with Hoffman about her love for her school.
“Julianna exudes school spirit and never misses a chance to cheer on her fellow Lumberjacks!” Barlow said.
Hoffman began cheering when she was in kindergarten with competition cheer. She has also played soccer and lacrosse, swam, ran track, and taken gymnastics, ballet, and tumbling classes.
“I chose to cheer because it is what makes me the happiest. I love every girl I cheer with and it is like my second family. I also love dancing and tumbling, it is one of my favorite things to do and going out on the floor with a new dance is something that makes me so proud because we work so hard on those dances and routines,” Hoffman said.
That strong work ethic makes Hoffman a good role model for her teammates according to Coach Barlow.
“Jules always has a positive attitude and doesn’t shy away from putting in extra time and hard work. She set the bar high for her teammates. Her passion and dedication to cheer is her strength. All who know her know she is proud to be an Oakwood Cheerleader” Barlow said.
As her cheer career comes to an end, Hoffman says she doesn’t plan to cheer in college but does see the possibility for cheer being in her future.
“My love for the sport will never die and I will miss it so much next year.”
With many wins and titles to his name, this month’s Athlete of the Month has certainly made a name for himself in the Oakwood record books. And it doesn’t look like AJ Lewandowski is done yet.
Lewandowski began wrestling in elementary school when his gym teacher convinced him to try out. He says since the fourth grade, he has “loved the sport of wrestling.”
“When I am wrestling, all of my worries go out the door and I am focused on the match I'm in and have a sense of tunnel vision. It also makes me exhilarated because I have met many new friends through the sport. I also enjoy the feeling of getting your hand raised at the end of the match after you put in all the hard work and preparation,” Lewandowski said.
Coach Nick Berger has known Lewandowski since he was in the seventh grade.
“AJ is a tough wrestler. He is strong and he has developed a group of moves that are doing well for him. What I really like about AJ is that he is constantly working and chaining moves together during his matches. He doesn’t slow down and he tries to capitalize in every position no matter what the situation is,” Berger said.
Berger says Lewandowski is a tough competitor and serves as a positive role model for the younger members of the OHS wrestling team. One of Berger’s favorite memories of his team leader demonstrates the senior’s competitive nature.
“One of my favorite memories was at last year’s District tournament at Wilmington. It was AJ’s consolation semi-finals match and he needed a win to qualify for the State Tournament. He was wrestling a tough Urbana wrestler who placed ahead of him the previous week at Sectionals. AJ wrestled determined and ended-up winning. It was awesome to experience the joy, excitement and his hard work paying off as AJ reached one of his goals,” Berger said.
Basketball has been a part of Oakwood High School senior Darren Rubin’s life since he was just two years old. It’s no surprise then what he sees as his strength in his favorite sport.
“My experience. I’ve played in a lot of games,” Rubin said.
OHS Boys’ Varsity Head Coach Paul Stone has known Rubin since his player was in third grade. He says the senior, who’s headed to Denison University next year, is a hard worker who “leads by example.”
“He’s one of the best to ever play basketball at Oakwood. He has no weaknesses and can shoot it from anywhere on the floor. He has broken so many records, I can't count them all. He will end up being the highest scoring player in Oakwood history,” Stone said.
Rubin says he’s always loved basketball, that’s why he’s stuck with the sport. And when he’s playing, he feels “comfortable.”
“It’s hard to put into words, I just feel comfortable and in the zone,” Rubin said.
While his favorite memories are “beating Franklin and Brookville at home by double digits last season,” he’s ready to make more memories this year.
“It’s time to cut down the nets.”
The saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun.” For Oakwood High School junior Paige Reymann the statement holds true when she’s in the pool.
“When I am swimming, I feel like time moves faster. One hour in the pool feels like 15 minutes have gone by,” Reymann said.
Reymann started swimming when she was six years old. She now represents OHS as a member of the school team. She says swimming for OHS provides her a great balance in the sport she loves.
“I love working out and the swim team has a great mix of competitiveness with fun,” Reymann said.
Coach Audrey Martin describes Reymann as a “hard worker with a positive attitude.” Martin says Reymann is a good role model for her teammates.
“Paige balances school work, swimming, rowing and college preparations with grace. She communicates often with me about her schedule and is always willing to be flexible with her schedule to make everything work. Her drive, dedication and attitude are all things other athletes and students should aim to achieve,” Martin said.
As for her plans for the future, Reymann doesn’t know for sure how swimming will be a part of her life but she plans to be in the pool.
“I will definitely continue swimming after high school, most likely not competitively but swimming is something I will try to always hold onto.”
After a season-ending injury her junior year, Oakwood High School senior Kylie Foos is “thankful” to be on the court again. Coach Matt Salyer says Foos’ determination to get back in the game is why she’s a role model for her teammates.
“Kylie has experienced multiple injuries during her high school career, including a severe concussion. She consistently worked with the trainers and physical therapists to return to play. Her display of resiliency is a great example for other players and students to follow,” Salyer said.
Foos began playing basketball in kindergarten. While she played golf for OHS her freshman and sophomore years, its basketball she kept playing.
“I fell in love with the game and the relationships I built with my teammates so I wanted to continue,” Foos said.
Foos describes herself “as a physical, defensive-minded player” who likes to share the ball with her teammates. And it’s being with her teammates that helped create one of her favorite basketball memories.
“My favorite memory is my sophomore year, winning our first tournament game and being able to spend time with my teammates, making memories that will last a lifetime,” Foos said.
For Coach Salyer, who says Foos plays “with maximum effort,” his favorite memory happened this year when Foos signed to continue her academic and basketball career at Wittenberg University.
“(Kylie) was surrounded by the support of family, teammates and friends. The event was memorable because it showed hard work pays off and we have multiple people helping us achieve our goals,” Salyer said.
After making it to the State Championship as a freshman and just missing the podium, sophomore Sam Campbell is determined to made his second year swimming for Oakwood High School even more memorable.
“This year, I plan on coming back and doing even better,” Campbell said.
Coach Audrey Martin, who describes Campbell as a “dedicated and hard working athlete with a humble attitude,” says this month’s Athlete of the Month works to improve himself and the team as a whole.
“Sam's speed earns the team points at meets, but he contributes much more than that. He encourages his teammates to do their best at meets, and asks good questions about how he can continue to get even better,” Martin said.
Backstroke and distance freestyle are Campbell’s strengths. He says he never stops working to improve all of his strokes and hopes to swim at the collegiate level after high school. Coach Martin sees his work ethic as a great example for others.
“Sam is a perfect example of what happens when you work hard. His skill improves every year, but he never accepts that as enough. He continues to work and expect the best from himself. His dedication and attitude make Sam coachable and respectable - two things all athletes and students should strive to be,” Martin said.
While she wrapped up her final season of high school volleyball and has just one more season of high school lacrosse, senior Anna Millard isn’t planning to say goodbye to her favorite sports just yet. After years playing competitively, she hopes to continue playing club sports, coaching a younger team or becoming an official. She says she plans to keep sports in her life.
“Competing in sports is my favorite thing. Before a game starts, I get so nervous but once it begins, I feel like I’m in the right place. My heart races and my mind narrows on the game,” Millard said.
Varsity Volleyball Coach Jill Howard says Millard’s focus made her a positive leader on the team and helped others.
“She had a touch on every play and vocally led the team. She was helpful to keep the team focused and help put hitters in situations to be successful. And she always stayed positive toward the team. I was so proud of her style of play,” Howard said.
Millard agrees her communication skills helped her lead the volleyball team this season.
“I made sure I vocalized what I was doing and asked the same from my team. It not only helped our play but helped us understand each other better. I promoted my strength through my maturity. Maturity is something my coach emphasized and I used it in my play, especially when my team was down. It takes one person to bring it back and one of my strengths is being able to do that,” Millard said.
In the spring, you’ll find Millard on the lacrosse field, once again leading the team. As a junior, Millard received the MVP award and was the team’s leading scorer with 51 goals.
Kyle Lethander is making his mark on running at Oakwood High School and in the state of Ohio. Qualifying for the State cross country meet three times and the State track meet two times, so far, Coach Dan Flaute says Lethander will go down as “one of the best distance runners in school history.”
Lethander began running cross country and track as a seventh grader at Oakwood Junior High. He says once he started running, he quit playing other sports.
“I quickly grew to enjoy running and racing. I started training year-round after my freshman high school cross country season,” Lethander said.
This past season, his training schedule became more challenging but Coach Flaute says it didn’t stop this top-notch athlete.
“What stands out about Kyle is the level of work he puts in. This past season, he's been taking college classes, which often required him to practice very early in the morning or late at night, and he never missed a workout,” Flaute said.
Lethander is looking ahead to what happens after high school. He says running will be a part of his future.
“I am now exploring opportunities for running in college and am currently in contact with a couple of coaches. Whether or not I run on a team, I plan on continuing to train for competition, be it on the course, the track, or the road.”
While fairly new to the Oakwood High School soccer program, senior Mark Kujawa has made quite an impact on his team and the school.
“Mark came into Oakwood at a time when we only had two goalkeepers in the entire program. He has greatly contributed to the team’s success since he moved into Oakwood [prior to his junior year,]” Boys’ Varsity Soccer Coach Kyle Duwel said.
As a junior, Kujawa made a mark for himself on the field. He was named 2nd Team Miami Valley South and 2nd Team SWBL. Coach Duwel says off the field, the OHS senior also made the adjustment to a new school look easy.
“Not only did Mark make a seamless move on the soccer field, but also in school and academically. Mark has shown that through good character, one can quickly assimilate into a different high school culture,” Duwel said.
Kujawa says he has “high expectations” for himself and considers his leadership and communication skills to be his strengths.
“Every time I step onto the field whether it’s a practice or game, I become focused and always put forth my best effort,” Kujawa said.
He also knows soccer is a team sport and credits his “awesome defense” with helping him achieve a school record for goals conceded. And the gratitude doesn’t stop there.
“I also just wanted to thank my coaches for supporting and believing me.
Sophomore Grace Hartman started running track in the seventh grade. The following year, she gave cross country a try. She says at the time, she couldn’t imagine what running would mean to her now.
“When I started running a few years ago, I struggled to run two miles. I would have never believed I would become a distance runner! I love this sport. I’ve also made so many great friends and so many unforgettable memories,” Hartman said
Varsity Cross Country Coach Dan Flaute says he sees Hartman making more memories and a big impact.
“Grace has the potential to be only the second State cross country champion in school history and to be one of the best runners in the nation by the time she graduates,” Flaute said.
Hartman describes her running as “tactical.” She admits she is “really nervous” before a race but “energized and excited” once the gun goes off.
“Though I am not one to shy away from taking the lead from the gun, I have learned in the more competitive races to hang on to people longer so I have more energy to pass and get a better place toward the end of the race. I’ve also learned when to back off and when to go hard. I had a few mistakes last year when I went out too fast and really regretted it in the last mile, so I learned a lot from those experiences,” Hartman said.
Coach Flaute describes Hartman as “fearless.”
“She'll challenge some of the best runners in the country without hesitation. She is a great role model for her teammates as she has a work ethic that matches her talent,” Flaute said.
Hartman hopes to continue running after high school and beyond.
“In the future, I would love to run in college. We will see what happens from there! I definitely want to run the rest of my life, regardless of the level of competition. Running is an awesome sport to try out and it makes you feel so good!”
While R.C. Cosler has been playing golf since he was eight years old, he doesn’t plan on giving up the sport anytime soon.
“Golf is a great sport for networking. It is a sport that you can play for the rest of your life,” Cosler said.
The Oakwood High School senior says baseball was his first love and he played until sophomore year. That same year was when OHS Golf Coach Jen Lohmeyer recognized Cosler as a determined golfer with a strong work ethic.
“In 2017, I saw him (as a sophomore) three putt his last hole on the last day of tryouts. He knew he would not make varsity with that score. I saw how devastated he was, but he took that as a challenge and ended up as the most improved player at the end of the season, plus he earned a varsity letter. He came back and didn't give up,” Lohmeyer said.
Cosler says he would describe his play as “aggressive and fearless.” Lohmeyer adds “confident.”
As a team captain, Cosler serves as a leader and role model for his teammates but it’s what they do for him he wants to recognize.
“I would like to thank everyone on my team for being the greatest people I know. I would also like to thank my mother, stepdad and grandparents for putting in so much effort for me to be the golfer I am today,” Cosler said.
For senior defender Elizabeth Grant, the beginning of high school brought some big decisions. One of those choices was whether to play soccer, run cross country or try to do both sports. Grant says the answer came pretty quickly.
“Once I went to my first high school open-field soccer practice, I knew I wanted to play soccer and only soccer,” Grant said.
Now in her final season playing for Oakwood High School, Grant is still enjoying her chosen sport.
“When I am playing in a soccer game there is no other feeling like it. Whether under the lights at night or during a cold fall day, the adrenaline I get from playing in a soccer game is the best feeling!”
Grant describes her play as “aggressive and full of energy,” which she shares with her teammates as a two-time team captain. While her defensive skills get her noticed on the field, it’s the lessons she says she’ll take with her in life that are most beneficial.
“The most important lesson I learned from playing soccer and which I practice in everything I do, is to always do my personal best and act with integrity. This is a minimum of what my family expects of me and what I demand of myself. I will continue to do my very best as I become an adult, to conduct myself with high moral standards, always taking the lead, and act with integrity.”