The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Winter Sports Recap

How did the winter sports teams do at ROHS?

Being a student athlete is never an easy feat; the time, dedication, commitment, and mental toughness required to be part of a team can be brutal. Despite the hardships, being an athlete can be the most rewarding job. During the winter season, student athletes at ROHS compete during the holiday breaks, changing of the semesters, and often participating in overlapping seasons. ROHS has eight winter sports teams: boys basketball, girls basketball, boys bowling, girls bowling, boys wrestling, girls competitive cheer, boys swim and dive, boys ice hockey, and unified basketball. From highs and lows, winning seasons, and of course beating Berkley, let’s recap the seasons of the winter sport athletes.

Girls Basketball

Photo contributed by Cecilia Irwin

Girls basketball has always prided itself on not just its remarkable history but their tight-knit culture. This year was no different as the team notched another winning season. The girls were able to obtain the OAA White Division championship, going – – in the league, – – overall. On top of beating longtime rivals Berkley and Shrine, Coach Brian Sopata earned his 200th win as the varsity coach at ROHS. Senior captain Anna Waterstredt is proud of her team’s accomplishments this season.

“We already have a record that was better than last year, so as a team that’s really exciting to see our growth,” she said. “To see our hard work paying off is very exciting, especially getting some wins.” The girls basketball program is a highly respected group that has a record of generating success both on and off the court, using this season as proof of that accomplishment.

Boys Swim and Dive

Photo contributed by Max Podmokly

The boys swim and dive program prides itself in tradition. Whether that be the tight-knit group or the winning seasons, this year did not disappoint. Junior Max Podmokly used the word “exciting” to describe the season, being sure to note that the Ravens beat Berkley in an away meet.

“I think our season was great overall. We put in a lot of hard work and it’s nice to see it pay off,” he said. The team pulled off another big win against Romeo, capping their senior night off with a solid farewell to seniors Leo Savona and Owen Hayes. The team took home the league championship, defeating Clarkston and North Farmington to add another accolade to the team’s decorated history.

Boys Wrestling

Photo by Lilly Heline

The wrestling team has notched a historic season for the books, but it’s not specifically due to their playing abilities. The team has expanded to be more inclusive with the introduction of female wrestlers to the squad. They look to continue to expand their girls program, hopefully creating a team for itself.  Sophomore Ambrialla Shamoun has spearheaded these efforts, becoming the model for prospective female athletes.

“The goal next year is to have a girls wrestling club so that we can have an off season and we can get more girls to check the sport out, and also work on myself and work on what I can do to get better,” she said. Aside from that, the wrestlers have come together, becoming one supportive unit. The team camaraderie has become a strong focal point of the season, with every player taking part in uplifting their teammates.

Girls Bowling

Photo by Link Hesson-Reno

If you could describe a perfect season, the girls bowling team would be the perfect example. Going undefeated in the OAA Blue Division with a record of 8-0, the team came out on top in the conference for the first time in nine years. Sophomore Layla Prokurat has enjoyed this season, commending her team’s positive outlook.

“Everything has been going very nicely. Even when we lose, we don’t take it too hard cause we know we can come back from it. It’s been a really fun season,” she said. That’s not all though, as the team nearly missed out on a victory at the Tri-County Tournament, earning a second place finish. Being the highest the team has finished ever, the team has continued to make their mark on ROHS history.

Boys Ice Hockey

Photo by Sophie Matthews

The M-1 Griffins Unified Hockey team, consisting of members from Ferndale, Berkley, and Royal Oak High Schools, ended their season  16-8-0, 7-3-0  in the OAA Red Division. The team created a strong showing the entirety of their season, even earning recognition for their efforts by the MIHSHCA, peaking at 7th place ranking in Division I. The Griffins were a shining example of what teamwork and collaboration should look like, even if it’s uniting with our biggest rivals. Senior Logan Eland noted his excitement regarding the team’s two victories against Lake Orion, the team’s biggest rival. He said the Griffins hadn’t beaten the Dragons for a long time, making him feel very happy to be part of the team that got the job done.

Boys Basketball

Photo contributed by Eddie Skaleski

Boys basketball at ROHS is a fan-favorite, constantly drawing large crowds full of support. Being a large part of the student culture in the winter, the boys basketball team kept an exciting and fun atmosphere for all students to enjoy in the cold winter months. The team finished the season 9-12, 4-8 in the league. The boys were able to remain a close group, going through the ups and downs together. Senior captain Eddie Skaleski looked to take everything in and enjoy basketball while he still could.

“I’ve played basketball for so long, that’s all I think about. It’s going to be sad to end this season but it’s been a really fun ride,” he said. The team looks forward to continuing the legacy of this team, adding to the success they’ve already found.

Unified Basketball

Photo by Maggie Lynch

The Unified Basketball team is unlike any other program. The kindness, respect, and genuine love for the sport is what sets it apart from most, fostering a team that anyone would proudly boast about. Junior Autumn Norman was a valuable asset to the team this year, even making ten baskets to push her team to victory. Norman had nothing but wonderful things to say about her experience this season, citing her favorite part being able to just play basketball with her friends. In February, the team beat Berkley in a thrilling comeback game, truly placing the cherry on top of an already sweet season.

Boys Bowling

Photo by Link Hesson-Reno

 The boys bowling team completed a remarkable season, going 7-1 in the league. Overall, the team went 9-5, obtaining their first time clinching the title in more than eight years. Notably, senior Carter Harris bowled a 300, the first time in Royal Oak Schools history. Bowling a perfect score is one of the highest achievements a bowler can accomplish. Junior Grayson Merrick simply described the season as “great”, praising his teammates for their wonderful accomplishments and happy with how the season panned out.

Girls Competitive Cheer  

Photo contributed by Katie Beaulieu

In the fall, our cheer team is essential to game days. As the seasons change, the girls continue their hard work, this time bringing it to the mat. Competitive cheer consists of a variety of competitions that hosts an abundance of teams. Sometimes the girls are going up against 8 teams at once, displaying their abilities on a large stage. The team placed 5th in the OAA White Division, finishing the season much stronger than years prior. Having new coach Alex Zubke this season has truly turned around the energy in the program, inspiring the girls to do better. Senior Avery Keogh has been part of the team for four years and takes great pride in the growth of the cheer team.

“I’m sad to leave, but excited for what [the team] will do next year,” she said. The girls hope to break their goal of 700 points next season, being two points shy of that goal this year.

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About the Contributor
Sophie Matthews
Sophie Matthews, Co-Editor in Chief
Hello! My name is Sophie Matthews and I am a senior. It is my second year on staff, and I am the Co-Editor in Chief for the 2023-24 school year! I absolutely love the Acorn and everything it has to offer. My favorite aspect is getting to meet so many new people and hear about the amazing accomplishments of my peers! On the rare occasion of me not doing Acorn-related stuff, you can find me out on the golf course, playing soccer, binge-reading, listening to Harry Styles, or spending time with family and friends. I’m an avid hockey fan, and am absolutely obsessed with my cat Mouse. I am so lucky to be part of the Acorn’s 96th volume, and am extremely excited for what this year has to offer!

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