Spring sports season in review


Senior Captain Max Finkelstein finishing his swing during a 4-1 victory over Kentridge at T-Mobile park. (Courtesy of Quinton Brewster)

James Liska, Sports Editor


This season, the young baseball team had a slow start, but managed to turn the season around into a winning one, finishing with an 8-7 record in league play and a 12-12 overall record. The Beavers fought hard in the playoffs, winning a lightning delayed thriller against Chief Sealth but ultimately fell to strong West Seattle and Eastside Catholic teams.
Senior captain and shortstop Max Finkelstein had this to say about the team’s turnaround.
“We started off pretty weak, we were 1-5 to start,” said Finkelstein. “Not enough people were taking it seriously, but a lot of guys stepped up and started working a lot harder in practice and we started performing well in games.”
Finkelstein’s teammate of over a decade, senior first baseman Ike McMillen, agreed with his sentiment about disciplined practices.
“After our slow start, we really cleaned up a lot of the small mistakes and miscues,” said McMillen. “The little things add up in baseball, so we started winning by one instead of losing by one.”
The Beavers baseball team also had the opportunity to play in the annual High School Baseball Classic at T-Mobile park. Wearing shirts that said “Thanks Bob”, in honor of the late Bob Hellinger, a Mariners executive who advocated for the event, the Beavers beat Kentridge 4-1. Junior outfielder Chase Edwards said that playing at T-Mobile park was one of the most memorable experiences from the season.
“It’s a really cool experience,” said Edwards. “The field is so high-quality, and the stadium atmosphere makes you feel like one of the big leaguers.”


The boys’ and girls’ tennis team is characterized by its close-knit community and fun team atmosphere. The boys ended the regular season with an overall record of 8-5, while the girls went 3-10. Twelve players participated in the Metro tournament, and senior Silas Healey qualified for the state competition.
According to senior Lauren Oboy, the team has improved greatly throughout the season. “One thing that has worked well for the team is that we support each other throughout the matches and we work together to really be unified throughout the season.”
Junior John O’Neill explained how the team dynamic progressed over the season.
“The team had a lot of good times. I think that we as a team have become a lot closer and I think that our relationship with the coach helped a lot. We all love to just kind of goof off but also can take it seriously when necessary,” said O’Neill.
In addition to losing 16 seniors, the team will face the additional challenge of losing their coach next year.
“Next year is going to be a bit rough because we’re losing our coach,” said O’Neill. “But I expect us to work through it and keep our heads high, and remember the lessons that our current coach taught us as we go forward.”
Oboy summarized her experience on the tennis team as follows: “The tennis team is a great place to not only meet people but also work together as a team and develop skills such as leadership, teamwork and perseverance. The Ballard tennis team is just very special and fun.”

Fastpitch Softball

The Beavers’ fastpitch softball team put up an impressive regular season, ending with a 17-4 overall record.
Junior captain and utility player Addy Wynkoop credits the team’s success to a strong sense of community within the team.
“We’ve been really supportive of each other, and were always energized and loud in the dugout,” said Wynkoop. “Having energy consistently throughout the games has helped us win.”
According to Wynkoop, one of the most memorable moments from the season happened in an early season game against Monroe, the team that knocked them out of the state tournament last year.
“The lead had been fluctuating all game, but we were down by three runs in the bottom of the seventh,” said Wynkoop. “I hit in two RBIs, and then Katie came up and hit a walkoff and everybody stormed the field. That was really exciting.”
Wynkoop has high expectations of the team for the upcoming seasons.
“We have a lot of strong underclassman talent that is going to really help us, and we only have two seniors this year,” said Wynkoop. “Although our seniors are important players, our younger players are going to step up, so it’s going to be a really exciting next couple of years.”
Freshman catcher Katie Davis, the same Katie who hit the walkoff, said that the team’s success has been a product of good in-game communication and teamwork.

Boys Soccer

The boys soccer team has had a strong season, finishing the regular season with a 9-5-4 overall record. Led by senior captains Jacob Watson and Gray Levasseur, the team made their first state playoff berth since 2014.
Levasseur said that the season was successful overall. “We definitely should’ve won some games that we lost, but it’s been a good season,” said Levasseur. “And we’re on a roll right now, we’ve won four straight heading into state.”
Watson agreed that the season was an overall success, but contained some adversity.
“Once we started losing, it was hard to get back on track,” said Watson. “It was like we all were blaming something or someone. Once we stopped doing that we were a lot more successful, but it definitely took a minute for us to get in the groove.”
The team has a massive senior class of eighteen. Late in the season, Levasseur has noticed an extra intensity among the graduating players.
“This being the last season that a lot of guys on the team will play, there’s been a lot of passion and drive to keep going and get more games,” said Levasseur.
To earn their spot in the state tournament, the Beavers won four games and lost one, including a 7-1 victory over Roosevelt and a redemption win against Chief Sealth, the only team to beat them in the 3A metro playoffs.
The Beavers are off to a great start in the state tournament with a first-round 5-0 win over Kent Meridian, and a second round 3-0 win over Shorewood.


The boys’ lacrosse team had an outstanding regular season and won the metro league public school championship. Led by senior captains Aidan Bernard, Quinton Brewster and Cody Lavin, the team finished the season with a 10-6 record.
According to Bernard, the team’s success stems from a high level of player buy-in into the team’s philosophy.
“Everyone shows up to practice ready to work, and everyone shows up to games ready to play,” said Bernard.
Bernard said that the team’s frequent conditioning heavy practices have resulted in overall improvement in the team, and ultimately helped them win.
“Later in the season we were working better as a team, and playing better as a cohesive unit,” said Bernard. “Everyone’s individual skills have improved and we’re a lot more conditioned.”
Junior Luke Berard has high expectations for the team in the future.
“We’re going to get better; we have a solid pipeline from the props, which is basically little league lacrosse, and solid underclassman talent,” said Berard.
The girl’s lacrosse team struggled in the regular season, but managed to pull off big wins against Ingraham and Nathan Hale.
Senior captain Louise Whitman said that despite losing most of their games, the team remained in high spirits.
“The team was closer than it had been in a really long time, and people were just really happy to be together,” said Whitman.
Whitman said that time spent together outside of practice have helped to develop team connection. “We spend a lot of time together outside of practice doing things like team dinners and lunches, so we’ve gotten really close mostly through shared experiences,” said Whitman. “We’re just a group of people that enjoy each other.”
While their record might not accurately represent it, the girl’s lacrosse team played hard against many strong opponents.
“We played against a lot of really good teams, and when we played well against those teams it felt rewarding even when we lost,” said Whitman.

Track and field

With a combined roster of over 150 participants, the boys’ and girls’ track and field team is the largest sport in Ballard athletics.
According to senior captain David Payne, the track season was one of consistent week by week improvement and time drops.
“We’ve improved immensely with our times,” said Payne. “One great thing about track is that you can see your improvement with each time and each meet, and everyone has done a great job with setting personal records and season records.”
Payne attributes the team’s improvements to their hard work in practice.
“Practices usually start at around four in the commons where our head coach gives announcements and sets the day’s workout, then the two teams, sprinters and distance, break off for warmups and run the main workout,” said Payne. “It can be difficult to organize such a large team through practice, but as the season progressed practices became more efficient and we got better.”
Payne described the motivation he felt as a freshman starting out four years ago.
”I started track just three weeks before Covid hit, and that senior group back then had a big impact on me even though I only worked with them for three weeks before everything shut down.”
That group included some of the fastest runners in Ballard history, who set goals for themselves and were dedicated to the sport, which motivated Payne to do the same.
“This wasn’t just some sport I was doing to have another sport, this was my main focus and they made me appreciate it.”
Now, as one of the leaders on the team, Payne says that he hopes he’s made a similar impact on some of his younger teammates.
“I’m looking forward to coming back here for some meets to show my Ballard pride,” said Payne. “I think the team has a bright future.”