Dunlap fall sports wrap-up

Adam Larck
Matt Weber runs at the boys cross country State finals. The cross country teams had one of the most successful postseasons this fall for Dunlap, taking both teams to State.

While fall is still in full swing, the fall sports season is coming to a close at Dunlap.

Some teams had successful postseason runs, while others wish they could have gone a few more rounds.

Recaps from each season can be seen below.

Girls Swimming

The Eagles accomplished a first for the team this season: winning a Sectional title.

The team had 278 points at the East Moline Sectionals, 50 points more than Sterling.

Dunlap also advanced three swimmers and two teams to the State prelims from the Sectionals, the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, Danel Voorhees in the 100 butterfly, Alaina Potts in the 100 breaststroke and Kaylie Noll in the 500 freestyle.

While none of the swimmers advanced to the State finals, Voorhees was .22 seconds away from qualifying with the 13th-best overall time of 57:19.

Before the Sectionals, the Eagles won their fourth conference title in five years Oct. 29 at Pekin.

The team finished with 425 points overall, almost 100 ahead of second.

Potts, Noll, Voorhees and Caitlin Ahern took first place in individual events, while the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay teams took first as well.

The team went 9-2 in dual meets.

Football

In his third year as head coach, Brett Cazalet again led Dunlap to a winning season and playoff berth.

However, like the last two seasons he Eagles saw a first-round exit from the tourney.

Dunlap started off with three straight wins on the road, including beating Illinois Valley Central and conference opponent Morton.

The first loss of the season would come during the Eagles’ home opener to Washington, who also eliminated Dunlap from postseason play.

In both games, the Eagles stayed close before the Panthers pulled away in the second half.

Sept. 23 would see Metamora also take care of Dunlap on the road before the Eagles won three straight against East Peoria, Limestone and Pekin.

The Eagles faced five teams who made it into postseason play, with Washington making it to the quarterfinal round.

The team finished 6-4 overall, and 4-3 in the Mid-Illini Conference.

Volleyball

In her second year, coach Jennifer Bartlett almost earned her first regional title at Dunlap.

The Eagles, which were 20-12 overall and 7-6 in conference, hosted the IHSA Regionals at home against IVC, beating them in two sets.

Two days later, on Oct. 27, the Eagles led Rock Island in both sets in the Regional championships, but would eventually lose the match, 25-23, 25-23.

Boys Soccer

After a substandard season last year, the boys soccer team achieved at least one goal this year.

“I gave the guys a goal before the season, because Notre Dame was off the schedule this year, and they were upset,” coach Allan Hansen said. “I was like, ‘Well, make it a goal to meet them in the playoffs.’ That was our goal, and we got the opportunity. They needed to make a mental decision to fight for that opportunity.”

The Eagles faced Notre Dame in the Regional championships, falling, 7-0.

To face them, Dunlap beat a Richwoods team at Dunlap, 1-0.

The Eagles finished the season 13-9-1 overall and tied with Metamora for second in the conference at 5-2.

Girls Tennis

The tennis team continued a long-standing tradition by sending the doubles pair of Molly Mathes and Mallory Horton to the State tournament.

“We’ve had a team every year since ’91,” coach Pat Gornik said during Sectional action. “It was the only year that

Dunlap hasn’t sent a girl to State. In the 25 or so odd years we’ve had somebody. We’re continuing the tradition, which is a good thing.”

The duo finished third in the Sectionals, at Richwoods High School, before being knocked out in the first round of the state tournament by a pair from Cary-Grove.

In the conference tournament, the Eagles took third overall. No player finished lower than fourth at the tournament.

The Eagles finished 4-2 in the conference.

Boys Golf

Matt Lavery was the lone representative at State this year for the boys golf team.

After the team advanced from the Geneseo Regionals, only Lavery made State by shooting a 71.

Senior Jake Schneider was a stroke away from making the State tourney.

At State, Lavery shot a 168 to tie for 61st.

Schneider took medalist honors and first overall at the conference meet, shooting a 71.

The Eagles finished fifth as a team at the tourney.

The team finished 4-3 in the conference.

Girls Golf

Lexi Hammerton took 23rd-place at the State tournament for the girls team.

While the team did not advance at Regionals, Hammerton, Megan Reed and Jessica Brix all did.

However, Hammerton’s 81 was the only Eagle score low enough to advance to State in Decatur.

At State, she shot a 163 overall.

The Eagles shot a season-low score of 360 at the conference tournament, which helped them earn third place.

Hammerton shot a meet-low 75.

Cross Country

For the first time since going to Class AA, the boys and girls cross country teams both made it to State.

The boys, led by a 39th-place finish by Zack Plank, took 14th overall.

“I ran probably the same race I’ve ran every year, it’s just a different field of competitors,” the junior said after the final run of the season. “It’s definitely faster than I thought it was going to be.”

Meanwhile, the girls finished 20th overall. Leah Brooks took 35th in the field.

“She gave everything she had,” coach Joe Wenskus said. “She kept this together to get the whole team here. That was her emphasis this year, but that’s Leah. She’s going to be that way as a person and she stayed true to that. She worked with the girls and got them here.”

Brooks, a senior, has verbally committed to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to run cross country and track.

At the conference meet, the boys team took first-place with a score of 64, while the girls took second-place with a score of 61.

Plank finished third overall for the boys, while Brooks took first for the girls.