By John D'Onofrio
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
You have to like what you see so far this spring if you’re a Lockport High School fan.
The Lions’ baseball, softball and track teams have all started their spring Niagara Frontier League slates undefeated, as rain postpones games for the next couple of days.
Head coach Julie Kwoka’s Lady Lions softball team has been perfect in the NFL at 2-0 and against non-league opponents (5-0 overall). Monday’s highly-anticipated match-up at rival Kenmore West was postponed until Friday.
Senior ace Kassidy McFall has been strong in Lockport’s first five contests.
“She’s done nice job so far. She’s moving the ball around pretty well and we’re playing good defense behind her, especially our shortstop Patti Burdick, who’s made nice defensive plays.”
Coupled with strong defense has been timely blue and gold hitting.
“We’ve gotten some big hits from some of our big hitters,” Kwoka said. “We’re working hard to do the every day things right — good defense, hitting, smart base running, timely hitting — every day.”
In addition to solid starts from her experienced starting line-up, Kwoka said she likes what she sees so far in her younger players, who have been making the most of their time on the field.
“Everybody’s working hard and learning new positions. The younger kids know their job is to listen and learn and watch the kids in front of them,” Kwoka said.
“At the same time, our older girls are doing a nice job of taking the younger players under their wing. Nora Passuite has been doing a nice job working with Kelly Anderson behind the plate.
Meanwhile, the young baseball Lions are making a lot of noise with their 2-0 league start.
“I’m very pleased with the guys and how hard they’re all working,” Styrzo said. “We’re a young team and we seem to be jelling nicely.”
The Lions (3-1-2 overall) got strong starts on the hill in their league openers from Rob Arlington and Casey Domski in their wins last week.
At the plate, the Lions have been led so far by Arlington and sophomore third baseman Charlie Sobieraski, but have been solid one through nine in the line-up.
“I’ve got an all-sophomore infield starting and they all come from good stock,” Styrzo said.
Next up, the Lions are scheduled to play at Lewiston-Porter at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the LHS track Lions have opened with a league win over Niagara-Wheatfield and a strong showing at last weekend’s Webster Invitational in Rochester.
Head coach Miles Patterson’s team has been led early by junior sensation Alex Reid, a tri-individual winner against the Falcons and in Rochester.
Not only has Reid been unbeatable in the 100 and 200-yard dashes and the long jump, he’s part of an impressive 400 relay quartet, along with seniors Ezra Nwachukwu, Tyler Chapman and junior roadrunner Josh Beshaw.
Tommy Furlong has been a top-finisher in the shot and discus, while Bubba Ralyea and Josh Steinman have both looked good in the pole vault. Mike Feeney continues to look strong in the long distance events and along with Mitch Loiacano, Dan Jones and Matt Kaczmarek, is undefeated in the 3,200.
The defending NFL-champion Lady Lions are also fast, with the 400 relay team of Nataleigh Simmons, Kailyn Szymanski, Deja Wroten and Faith Heal still unbeaten.
Megan Evans has been solid in the pole vault, Elizabeth Ellis in the long jump and both Rachel Williams and Keeley Ralyea in the shot put and discus.
Kailyn Szymanski and Abbey Lang have also gotten off to good starts in the 200 and 1,500, respectively, while Kasey Johnston is 2-0 in the 100 hurdles and Heal in the high jump.
Lockport’s boys tennis team has opened with a 1-2 start in the NFL. It’s second doubles tandem of Bailey Reid and J.J. Napoli are undefeated at first doubles.
The Boys Lacrosse Lions are 2-2 in Section VI Class A, while the Lady Lions are 1-3 in the NFL.