With the next issue of The Patriot Post being released this month, here is a recap of the remaining fall sports not in the magazine.
Though freshman Jason Marx and sophomore Emily Legette came away without the title at State for the varsity bowling team, the two Patriots did not come away empty handed. Instead, they left as the first ever bowlers to participate in the State Championship through four years of the program, gaining valuable experience for the team to build on in the coming seasons.
“Having Jason and Emily qualify for the State finals is highly significant for several reasons,” head coach Patrick Quinn said after the season. “The first being that this is only our 4th year as a program here at Heritage. The second is the skill level in which both of them began the program. Neither of them had any previous bowling experience aside from going with friends on occasion. Lastly, it was the reward for their commitment to a sport that isn’t very popular among teenage athletes in this part of Florida.”
From starting out as inexperienced bowlers to reaching State allowed both Legette and Marx to witness just what it takes to reach the highest level in high school sports, as well as the different atmosphere that it holds.
“There is definitely a different atmosphere at State,” Marx said. “Everyone there is the best of the best and they know that they have to bowl the best so they possibly can get a shot to win it. Also, the chemistry among the teams are incredible. If a teammate gets a strike, the whole team and the people watching will cheer and make a lot of noise. Compared to the District tournament, the State tournament is a whole different ball game.”
With this season now in the past, though, Legette and Marx will now turn their attention towards using their State experience to return next year, and possibly take home the championship.
“For me, I was just happy to have the opportunity to go to states. Going to states is a big deal and being [among] the first few people to go for bowling was just a great experience in general,” Legette said. “An all around group effort will hopefully bring us back to State in following years. Unfortunately, it was just me and [Jason] that qualified. Next year, I would love to go with my entire team and have the chance to do well in the team division rather than individuals.”
Before their next campaign, though, Coach Quinn and the Patriots will look to continue to build the team with the intention of returning back to State and learning from their first appearance in program history to ensure there are many more to come.
“I tell any interested bowler to come and give it a try,” Coach Quinn said. “We can teach any student how to bowl as long as they are willing to learn and put in the effort to improve. In just four years we have had two bowlers named to the end-of-year Broward County First Team list, and now two bowlers qualify for State finals. Our goals are to teach, perform and compete with 100% effort. This philosophy starts with me as the head coach. I give all that I can to make myself a better coach so that I can help my bowlers become better. Some of the lessons they learn extend outside of the bowling alley. Students should consider joining our program to add to the chemistry that we have developed that will eventually align us with some of the other top programs that we have at the school.”
After the regular season saw the Patriots finish 4-6, the girls varsity volleyball team were knocked out of the playoffs in the regional semifinal round of the 5A FHSAA Girls Volleyball State Championship versus Jensen Beach.
While the Patriots proved capable of keeping up with Jensen Beach in the first set, the team could not close it out and ended up dropping the opening set. In the ensuing two sets, the Patriots failed to find another rhythm and Jensen Beach capitalized, closing out Heritage 3-0.
“I’m proud of how our team played against them in the first set,” head coach Lisa Moreau said. “We had Jensen Beach nervous, [and] their coach was upset because they were used to rolling over teams. We were neck and neck with them until the end of that set. In the second set, they were able to keep attacking while our serve receiver and offense got into a rut. At higher levels, it doesn’t take much to lose momentum, and that’s what happened to us in set 2. It can also be mentally hard on players to get in the zone after fighting hard and still losing a set, and that also plays into it. We had to fight to get some momentum back in the third set, and we did, but it wasn’t enough.”
In the 2019 campaign, the Patriots reached the regional semifinals for the first time since 1998. With the loss, though, the Patriots’ 2020 season, which saw the team finish with a final record of 4-8, officially came to a close. Coach Moreau and the team will look to return next year and rally for a state title.
“Overall, we had a tough season scheduled, and even though I had to rework our schedule, it ended up even stronger than originally planned,” Coach Moreau said. “It was wonderful that the school allowed us to have a season, and yes, the restrictions took some getting used to, but all of us were so happy to have a season this year. We will all cherish the memories we made even though the season was short, and hopefully we will come back even more team oriented and stronger next year.”
As for the boys and girls varsity golf teams, while both reached State, only the girls team emerged as champions and the boys team finished as runner-ups. For the full story on both teams, click the link below.