Highlands Middle and High School sports are in full swing and student athletes are hitting the field, court, trail, pool, and course getting set for competition later this month.
Some sports making a comeback are HS and MS cross country, MS swimming, and HS girls golf. Athletic Director Brett Lamb said there are additional sports this because of high-student interest.
“We know the additions will be a work in progress, but numbers have been good so far,” said Lamb.
Lamb added that creating the additional teams was not a huge burden on School resources.
“Cross country, swimming, and golf do not require a great deal of funds,” said Lamb. “Booster club has helped with offsetting some additional costs, and a great community that supports our kids like Highlands Rec Park for swim and Highlands Country Club for golf.”
Girls golf starts their season on Aug. 20, but the team began practicing on Monday at Highlands Country Club. Coach Brian Stiehler said he is looking forward to what this season brings.
“I have a great group that is eager to play, and I’m looking forward to encouraging them on a game they can play their whole life,” he said. “I’m excited to see them play well and have fun.”
Newcomer to the Highlands School athletic scene is Social Studies Teacher Caleb Brown who is also taking the helm of boys varsity soccer team.
“I’m looking forward to it, they have great attitudes and I have high expectations,” said Brown. “We’re a younger team, so there’s room to grow and develop.”
Brown, who came from Columbia, S.C. to teach at Highlands, said he’s always had a passion for soccer, and this is another way to interact with the students outside of the classroom.
Girls varsity and JV volleyball teams were on the court Monday and Head Coach Katy Postell said things are looking good moving forward.
“We’ve got leaders like Kedra McCall, Jeslyn Head, and Jordan Carrier coming back, and we’ve got 10 new players, 7 who have never played before,” said Postell. “And the new players are catching on beautifully.”
Postell added that the girls were not required to adhere to any physical regiment over the summer. Most of them spent summer’s in a gym playing other travel and camp sports, so there was no need to double-up.
“Honestly, both teams are looking so good,” she said. “We’re already in better shape than we were at this time last year.”
Highlands girls varsity golf competes at HCC against Franklin on Aug. 20.
Highlands varsity soccer plays East Henderson at 6 p.m. at home on Aug. 19.
Highlands varsity volleyball plays at 5 p.m. away against Hayesville on Aug. 20.
Article and Photos by Brian O’Shea
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