A successful year of Pirate athletics


The sports teams of Berea Community High School have had a very successful year so far. Athletic Director Jerry Bingham commented on the teams’ performances, “Overall I think we’ve had outstanding athletic seasons across the board.” He attributes this some of this success to strong coaches who build relationships with their students. I think over the last 3 years particularly we have been able to hire coaches who are not only good in their sport, but are good in creating excitement and sparking interest in our student athletes to work hard and be successful.”

The boys basketball team had their best record (18-13) since their 2000-2001 season. Coach Eric Swords attributed this accomplishment to, “building on the progress that we started a couple years ago…working and playing extremely hard and continuing to develop our talent. The work we are putting in is starting to show more the longer we are in the process.” Some of the team’s top scorers, Triston Duckworth, Ben West, Zane Brown, and Dylan Hanney, are seniors. According to Coach Swords, “Losing seniors is always hard…We lose a lot of production and it will be hard to replace but we have lost 17 seniors the last 3 years and have continued to grow our program.” The team’s other top scorers were sophomore Jaylen Dorsey and junior Jarred Whitaker; Coach Swords expects big things from them and other players who will be stepping up into starting positions. In the next few years, the Pirate basketball team hopes to further player development, make it to Regionals, and compete in the All “A” tournament.

The girls basketball team also had a successful season, with a record of 22-9. The team also won the All “A” Regional Tournament for the first time since 2000. Coach Dammian Stepp said of this win, “Making it to the state tournament was very important because we have talked a lot about winning the region and getting to the state tourney. It is always a team goal. Sometimes getting there the first time is the hardest. Hopefully getting there will help us to realize our potential and become a perennial contender for the all A state.” He attributed the team’s success to dedication in the off-season and the experience gained by players over the last several seasons. Adrienne Beggs, the only senior on the team, was the leading scorer and rebounder this season. Coach Stepp said, “Losing Adrienne will leave us with some big shoes to fill. She will be missed next season.”

The volleyball team had their first winning season (19-10) in many years, and the most successful season in program history. Head Coach Jarred Penn had players and coaching staff alike to thank for this. Leading players in terms of stats included seniors Alyssa Carter, Hayleigh Burrows, and Abby Ambrose, all seniors who Coach Penn said will be missed greatly. In the future, Coach Penn hopes that the team will “continue to improve and to gain respect for themselves, teammates and their opponents. [As well as] to learn through hard work to give 100% effort and 100% of the time that is needed to succeed as a program, team and individual.”

Another sport that showed success in their recent season is the swim team. Freshman Katie Morgan broke two school records this year: the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard freestyle. Morgan mentioned that the team was fairly young and full of new competitors this year, “but with a few weeks of practice everyone was improving and by the end of the season [the team saw] significant time being taken off.” Like other programs, the swim team hopes to add new members in order to grow and improve.

The Cross Country team saw improvement in times for both the girls and boys teams, with several runners achieving personal records during the season or in the regional meet. Coach Wendy Satterthwaite looks forward to growing both teams next year, recruiting more runners, and “watching them grow as runners and as a team.” Seniors Ryan Whitt, Noah Prentice, Cooper White, and Hailey Woods will be graduating this year, leaving a “big hole to fill,” Coach Satterthwaite commented. “It will be hard to replace their leadership and experience.”

As a school and as a community, Berea has high hopes for the future of all of their athletic programs. Even the high school football program which, until their last game of this year’s season had not seen a win since 2014, is “on the upswing” according to AD Jerry Bingham. Bingham also commented, “We want to be [performing well] annually in all sports. I think we have great people in place and great kids to continue growing…[We all] grow together from K-12 as PIRATES.” Pirate fans should be on the lookout for spring sports that are starting soon including tennis, baseball, softball, and track and field.