August 22, 2012 - The first full week of practice is done for three Clarkston teams as they head into they first round of competitions for the fall season.
Sean McNeil prepares for the new season during last Friday’s practice. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
Spikers come back from last year's Final Four finish with excitement as they headed into the Fenton Quad on Monday, the Mercy Showcase on Wednesday and a tournament in Marysville on Friday.
"The Mercy Showcase is pretty much all the top teams in the state," said Clarkston Girls Varsity Volleyball Coach Kelly Avenall, adding Lake Orion, last year's state champions Rockford, Marian, Mercy and Dakota will be there. "It will be a good test for us."
Junior Brianna Frakes is looking forward to it.
"There is a lot of competition," she added. "We will see where we stand with everyone."
The girls competed in the Marysville tournament last year and took home first place.
"I wanted to go again to see if we could defend our title," said Avenall. "It is a less intense tournament but good for the end of the week."
Swimmers also begin their season this week when they host Lake Orion on Thursday at 6 p.m.
The Clarkston Girls Swim and Dive team is looking forward to it and not because of the rivalry traditionally linking the the Wolves and Dragons.
"We absolutely love the Lake Orion team," said senior captain Kady O'Connell.
"They cheer us on and we cheer them on," smiled Rachel Linton, another senior captain.
Taylor Tekiele, the third senior captain, explained the closeness between the two teams is not only in comradity but friendship. One of the swimmers on the Clarkston team lost her mom to cancer and Lake Orion wore pink caps.
"We walked into their pool and they decked it out in pink," O'Connell added.
Coach Kenwyn Chock added the crossover meet will be fun and strengths going into the first meet is their returners and their newest swimmers who have been swimming with the SeaWolves program.
The Wolves of the boys varsity tennis team head to Stoney Creek for a match on Wednesday and a tournament in Grand Blanc on Saturday.
"We will see some challenging opponents this season," said Coach Chas Claus. "Stoney Creek is primarily a good team. They will be a good opening test for us. The tournament on Saturday will be elite competition as well. I like to open with strong opponents that way when we get to the league calendar we aren't surprised by the quality of play. We will have played some tougher matches by then."
Junior Matt Dahl added Grand Blanc will be a good test especially when most of the team graduated last year.
Look for previews on your fall teams in future editions.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.