Harding Athletic Highlights - September 15, 2023

Jason Embry
Varsity Boys Tennis Topples Lipscomb 5-0
The boys tennis team continue their winning streak, with victories over FRA and Lipscomb Academy this week. Walt Sanders is building on confidence with his win over LA, showing his first serves and consistency from the baseline. "Walt's ability to come into the net behind a strong approach shot is paying dividends," commented Coach Mac. Ricky Reynolds remain undefeated in conference play, winning both matches this week. His strong all-around court play has proven too much for both of his opponents. Bantly West also remains undefeated in conference play with a stellar win against a tough opponent at FRA and Lipscomb. "Bantly is proving to be a formidable opponent," said Coach Mac. "His powerful first serve and slice second serve is a staple to his success!" Christopher Topping and Sam Hamm are solidifying their dominance at the number one double position with wins against FRA and Lipscomb this week. They are a tough team to beat with their consistent groundstrokes and lightning fast reflexes at the net! Reed Pennington and Fletcher Brown made their debut at number two doubles with a win against Lipscomb. Reed and Fletcher played well to find a way around the crafty net play of Lipscomb to gain a win for the team! Drake Gambill and Ricky Reynolds competed in an exhibition doubles and won against Lipscomb Academy. Hayden Ligon won his exhibition singles match against FRA in fine fashion, winning 8-3. Hayden was consistent from the baseline and use his serve to his advantage. Mills Greene was nominated to the athletic "Spotlight" this week for his leardership on and off the court. The boys play again next week against Grace Christian, CPA and Poplar Grove.
Varsity Girls Cross-Country Finishes Third at the USN River Campus
The varsity girl's cross-country team took to the course at the USN River Campus on Thursday, September 14. Hilary Fremont once again led our team to the finish line. She finished in second place overall with a time of 13:38 in the 2-mile race. Eliza Gray Neal continues to shine in our meets. She finished in eighth place overall in a time of 13:54. Both of these girls set a new personal record with top ten finishes. We had two other girls that were able to set a new PR as well. Grace Thigpen finished her two miles in 14:38 and Annie Thurman finished her two miles in 15:03. Reese Borland rounded out our top five with a time of 16:46. Next Thursday, September 21 the Hawks will travel back to Vaughn's Gap for their last regular meet of the season at 4:30. Come out and support the girls!

6th Grade Football Outlast Knights in Double Overtime 14-6
The Harding 6th grade football team played a tremendous game against Pope Prep on Saturday 9/9.  The teams were evenly matched and the game was played mostly between the 30's for both teams.  Michael Holscher and Riley Husbands alternated at Quarterback and each had several good runs and passes.  Ben Drake had several catches as well.  Sam Tomicheck added multiple hard power runs, however the defense for both teams ultimately came up with key stops.  Defensively Harding played well and Campbell Evans, Parkes Holliman, James Held along with Michael Holscher and Riley Husbands had several tackles each. Regulation ended with a 0-0 score. 

The game went to overtime where the Knights scored on the first play from scrimmage to put Pope ahead 6-0.  Campbell Evans stopped the two point try.  The Hawks got their turn on offense and Wyatt Omary made a great catch on a pass from Michael Holscher to set up Sam Tomicheck for a tying score on 4th and goal from the 1! The extra point failed leaving the score 6-6 after the first overtime period.  In the second overtime period the Hawks were on offense first and Sam Tomicheck took over the game! He scored a touchdown on the second of two consecutive 5 yard runs.  Sam then powered his way to a successful two point try behind the blocking of Griffin Hassan, Campbell Evans, James Held and Ben Drake making the score Harding 14 Pope 6. The Harding defense stepped up once again and stopped the Knights for no gain on 4th down.  Final score: Harding 14 Pope Prep 6. The next game will be Tuesday 9/19 @ FRA.

Varsity Football Falls To Grace Christian 18-12
The Harding Academy varsity football team came into Thursday's game with Grace Christian Academy on a two game home winning streak. After surrendering the opening touchdown, Harding came back to tie the game, 6-6. It was a back and forth game through all 4 quarters, with Grace Christian ultimately prevailing, 18-12. 
Harding was led on offense by the power running of QB Landon Willis and tailback Eli Whelan. They combined for over 200 yards rushing on the day with Willis accounting for both of Harding's touchdowns. Whelan also anchored the defense from his middle linebacker position and Harding held strong in the defensive secondary against a very efficient passing attack from Grace Christian. Harding is back in action next Thursday (9/21) in the annual Spirit Game. The Hawks host Franklin Road Academy in the final home game of the season. The spirit game always brings a great crowd so come out and support the Hawks!! 

Harding Academy girls tennis has been off to a great start this season! We have had 3 great matches, with a very talented team this 2023 school year!

Varsity Girls Tennis is Off to a Great Start
Our first match was on 08/28 vs Battle Ground Academy. Harding took the win with a 4-1 victory over BGA. A great match was played by Hannah Sides, ending in a dominating win 8-1 at the #1 singles spot.
Our second match was on 09/07 vs St Cecilia Academy. Harding girls again took the victory with a 4-1 overall team score. Caroline Vrettos took a strong victory at #2 singles over a girl she had lost to last year. A strong mental win for Margaret Greathouse as she overcame trials with the wind, to come out on top at the #3 singles spot.
Harding girls played their third match on 09/08 vs USN. The girls played tough matches, with an eventual overall score of 2-3. Every match was close, as each player fought until the very last point. Louisa Smith and Olivia McCormack played closely the whole match against USN. They fought hard and pulled out the win with a score of 8-6. Karson Speyer and Riley Bertelli were down in their doubles match at the start, but they turned the momentum around to take the match to a tiebreaker! Each girl played a great match, and a lot of experience was learned from this matchup against USN.
We are proud of all our girls on Harding Varsity Tennis, and we look forward to great rest of the season with our great talented players.
Inspiring The Mind  •  Nurturing The Spirit