Halfway through the season, four of the winter sports teams at Lakewood High School have lost only a combined six matches.
They’ve won 38.
This season could go down as one of the best-ever starts for the school’s winter sports programs.
The girls basketball team is 10-1, and top of the conference; the boys squad is 9-2, and tied at the top of the conference; the hockey team is 12-1, the leader in its division; and the girls swim team is 7-1 (and the boys have only lost twice).
Athletic director Bob Thayer said it’s been about 20 years since just the boys and girls basketball teams had records like this at the same time.
“The kids are excited and proud of their accomplishments,” he said. “There’s a sense of pride and a sense of accomplishment. And anytime that the athletic teams are doing well, that permeates through the school and gives everyone a sense of pride.”
The teams have plenty to be proud of.
In his first year coaching the squad, Mike Harper has taken his Lady Rangers to new heights. The girls are 10-1, and brought home huge victories against a “very, very good” Brunswick team and another big win against Elyria Catholic.
Led by long-time coach Phil Argento, the boys basketball team is off to an astounding 9-1 start. They’ve had major victories against Lorain, Avon and Avon Lake. On Friday night, they lost to perennial contender and rival Rocky River by 4 points. The game was the Rangers’ conference loss.
The Rangers recently won the Avon Invitational Tournament, and were the runner-ups of the Bay Village Invitational Tournament. The Westshore tournament begins on Jan. 17 at Rocky River Rec Center, and the team may just be an unexpected favorite.
“The hockey team is quite a surprise,” said Thayer. “Last year, they were good, and everyone sort of thought this was a rebuilding year.”
It seems as if nobody told the team.
The girls swim team won the Ranger Relays and “we have not won the Ranger Relay meet since I’ve been here” said Thayer. The Rangers will face their next big challenge as they host the West Shore Swimming Championships at the Lakewood Pool on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26. In addition, the boys swim team has only had two losses all season long.
“The coaches have been working very hard and now we’re seeing the benefits of their our hard work,” Thayer said. “At this point of the year, we’re hoping this continues.”