Spring sports underway at North High School

With spring officially beginning on Mar. 20, spring sports are finally in season! Track and field, softball, baseball, girls’ soccer, girls’ tennis, and boys’ golf begin this not-so-Spring season. All of the sports have officially started and athletes are excited to be practicing with their teammates.
Math teacher Keith Lehman is in his third year being head coach for the girl’s track and field. This is his third year being head coach, but overall his ninth year coaching girl’s track and field at North. “Last year was extremely successful. Individually, we had a number of athletes break school records in both individual and relay events. We also had a number of champions and place winners both at EDC and state,” said Lehman. In 2022 our girl’s track placed sixth overall at state. They had a great season last year, but graduated Anna Lein and Elle Sondag, who are still running. They are both running at the University of Minnesota and UND.
Coach Lehman said, “It has been very exciting to have a lot of returning team members, but we also have a lot of new athletes who are eager to try something new. I look forward to our returning team members improving their performances and for our new athletes to have success in their first competitions.”
Gary Mailloux has been the head coach of the boy’s track and field team at North for 53 seasons. Last year the boys placed seventh in the EDC Regional Meet.. Coach Mailloux said, “The coaching staff has been very pleased with the numbers we have to work with, and are especially appreciative of the day-to-day readiness and work ethic shown by the boys. When we do eventually get outdoors to compete, we believe there is a much improved Spartan Track & Field team.” The athletes are fairly distributed evenly between the four grades, adding up to around 90 boys participating in track.
Softball is determined to work hard and reach their goal of going to state this year. Last year they ended the season in their EDC tournament, and did not end up going to state. Taylor Ludlum is in her fourth year as head coach at North. She first started coaching girl’s softball in 2020, but the season was canceled due to Covid. Ludlum played at Aurora University in Illinois, then coached at her college as a volunteer, and for a travel team in Chicago. Coach Ludlum said, “It is a really fun group of girls who love the game of softball, so they make it really easy to come and coach everyday.”
Science teacher Nathan Walsh has a lot of experience coaching baseball. He has been coaching for eleven years, the last four at North. He also coaches Fargo Post 2 baseball. Last year North finished third in EDC, and finished 14-9, making it to state for the first time since 2018.
“(I am looking forward to) the opportunity to get outside and have our players compete and enjoy the game,” said Walsh.
Going into his sixth year coaching here at North, soccer coach Hunter Brekke, has been coaching for eight years. They ended their last season just missing out on state. But it was still a good season. “(Last year) we had our most productive scoring season since I have been the coach,” said Brekke.
He is looking forward to continuing the growth as a soccer team and putting in a lot of hard work, in order to be able to watch it pay off on the field.
Head girls’ tennis coach Steven Saville has been coaching girls’ tennis for sixteen years, eleven as the head coach. The girls placed sixth at state last year, with a doubles team, 2022 graduates Erika Spanjer and Lainy Lutunski winning the EDC doubles title. The overall team placed fourth in EDC. The girls will be competing for many open varsity spots to fill last year’s seniors spots.
“We always have a great group of competitors and it’s always fun to watch them improve and enjoy tennis,” Coach Saville said.
Science teacher Mike Dobberstein is going into his ninth year as head golf coach at North. In 2022, the boys placed fourth overall at state. 2022 graduate Landon Olson finished in the top three individually.
Coach Dobberstein is looking forward to the season. “Just being outside and being around the team. I really enjoy even to start practices and work on different skills with the players. It’s fun to build relationships and then talk a little bit about golf,” he said.
Even though spring is taking its sweet, sweet time to actually be here, the sports aren’t wasting any time. Athletes have been forced indoors while the mountains of snow melt and soak into the dirt. Nonetheless, students are still excited about this year’s spring sports season.