The student voice of St. George's Independent School.

The Lodge

The student voice of St. George's Independent School.

The Lodge

The student voice of St. George's Independent School.

The Lodge

It’s a Great Day to be a Gryphon

The Successes of Fall Gryphon Athletics

A chill in the air has arrived as the weather drops to below 65° Fahrenheit, and it also signifies the end of Fall sports. 2023 has been a very successful year for fall Gryphon athletics with nearly every team participating at state competitions this year.

Varsity volleyball and soccer both got runner-up in the state championships, varsity girls golf and girls cross country attended the state competition, and one member each from the boys golf and boys cross country also attended their respective competitions.

Senior Kiki Finneran embodies hype during the THSAA volleyball championship game in Murfreesboro on Thursday, October 19, 2023. (Photo: Sienna Lightman)

When asked what the tournament felt like, volleyball senior player, Taylor Crutcher, said, ”It was truly a different experience. I’ve never done anything like that.”

Midway through October, the volleyball team went to Murfreesboro to compete in the state tournament. Playing four different teams before finally getting a ticket to the championship, the Gryphons were now set to face the Providence Christian School Lions.

It was bound to be a tough game, but the team found support in the student section who got on an early morning bus to fill the stands with red and gold.

“The student section was so loud. They had spotlights on us. It was kind of like a college game,” Crutcher remarked.

It was a long and difficult game after a tiring week, and in the fourth set, the gryphons ultimately lost to the lions.

Crutcher was disappointed at losing when the team was so close to a state championship but accepted the loss with grace. “We didn’t win, but we still put [in] our all and sometimes you don’t always win everything, but that’s ok,” said Crutcher.

The girls soccer team also had their shot at state this year after beating Silverdale 2-1 in the semi-final match. But when it came down to the championship, the Gryphons lost to Evangelical Christian School.
When asked how being in the championship felt, sophomore Arabella Larson said, “Starters were probably a little nervous, but we all were mostly just excited to be there.”

Senior captain Batie Casey described the experience as a little shocking, especially since the team is so young this year. Casey attributed a good portion of the success this year to her coaches, Mr. Nick and Tony Whicker.

“The Whickers are… the best coaches ever… They definitely push us to be the best players we can be and the best team we can be but with such a positive attitude.”

Casey also is grateful for her teammates.

“Thank you to my teammates for putting your all out there and giving it your all…all the time and making this my best senior season,” said Casey.

The girls’ cross country team also attended a state tournament together for the first time in several years. While individual students have attended the competition the entire team was eligible to race this year.

Junior Mary Frances Forbes places in the top 25 this year. She says, “I really felt very honored to have run my best out there.”

This year, the cross country team was running up to six days a week to prepare for their competitions. Their hard work did not go unrewarded due to a new coach, Ms. Emma Dixon. “She has been like the most supportive coach that I’ve ever had… She wrote us notes… She had us supporting each other as well,” Forbes comments.

Senior Chase Cavitch was captain of the boys’ cross country team this year and was the only member of the boys’ team to run in the state race. Not terribly proud of his results, he is able to remain positive saying, ”It wasn’t what I was hoping for. But…I had a good time along the way.”

Fall sports could not have occurred this year without the new athletic director, Mrs. Michelle York. Her work is all behind the scenes, and she describes her work life as different from coaching.

“I view [my job] as coaching the coaches and so just finding ways to serve the teams and be supportive,” explained York.

Mrs. York is incredibly appreciative of not only the athletes but the entire school community saying, “I just can’t state how proud I am of the hard work… that’s been put in not only by the individuals but also by the support of the community… It’s not only the talent on the field But it’s the coaching staff, it’s the supportive parents, it’s the student sections that showed up and were so awesome… the entire fall. I just really look forward to seeing that… move into the winter and into the spring seasons, and I think it’s just going to be a great year.”

A common motto said around school is, “It’s a great day to be a gryphon,” and gryphon success has been seen through competition in the athletic department. Let’s carry the fall accomplishments into winter and attend more state championships.

*This story is part of a series. The next installment will focus on arts at the state level.

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