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May 11, 2018

Blair Sports Go Roaring Into the Playoffs

by Noah Stern, Sports Editor
The regular season has ended and the animal of the playoffs has came. There are high hopes for many of the Blair teams with high expectations. Baseball, softball and lacrosse are all looking to get deep into the playoffs for the second straight year after a year in which all four teams got to the Regional finals. The Blazer softball team had the best record of all after going an extraordinary 16-2 while baseball finished with a good record of 10-7. Boys and girls lacrosse had rough years as boys went 4-7-1 while girls finished with a record of 1-11. No matter the record, each team worked hard and are rewarded with a first round playoff matchup.

Softball(16-2)
Blair softball had high hopes coming into the season, but even they didn't see this domination coming. Their only losses came at the hands of the Sherwood Warriors and the Wootton Patriots. Sherwood is considered to be the best team in the region and the Blazers still almost came back and won that game. The Wootton game was an unfortunate loss as they aren't a great team while Blair had an off night. With only two losses, the Blazer softball team was rewarded with a first round bye and will play either the Paint Branch Panthers or the Northwood Gladiators which are both teams Blair beat during the season. If Blair is able to get past that round, they will in all likelihood play the Sherwood Warriors again and will be looking for a revenge game and move on to sectionals. The other hard competition in the way would be the Northwest Jaguars, but Blair was the first team to beat them this season after Northwest knocked them out of the playoffs this year. Blair softball will be looking for revenge and some wins throughout these playoffs.

Baseball(10-7)
Blair baseball also had extremely high hopes coming into the season after falling an out short of states last season. The team looked destined to have a breakout season even after losing a few key players. Unfortunately, baseball was unable to take advantage of many opportunities throughout the season and fell to a record of 10-7, which was not good enough to earn a first round bye. The first round matchup is against the Northwood Gladiators on Thursday, May 9. If Blair is able to take advantage of a bad team, they will go on to play the Urbana Hawks. Urbana had a breakout season and looks destined to go for a deep run in the playoffs. Teams like Urbana overlook Blair and hopefully Blair will be able to take advantage of lackluster play. If Blair is able to sneak by Urbana, they too will most likely play the Sherwood Warriors who the Blazers lost to in extra innings after an improbable comeback attempt. If teams continue to overlook the Blazer baseball team, they have a great opportunity to catch teams off guard and make a deep run into the playoffs and compete for a state championship.

Boys Lacrosse(4-7-1)
The boys lacrosse team is looking to make another deep run after making it to the final four last season. Unfortunately for them, they lost a bunch of key seniors and the season did not turn out the way they wanted it to. A record of 4-7-1 was good for the 6th seed in their section and they will play the 3rd seed Paint Branch Panthers on Thursday, May 9. They had a few key wins during the season against good teams but the teams that should have beaten the Blazers did exactly what they were supposed to do. Falling to the 6th seed really hurt their chances of advancing far into the playoffs. If the Blazers are somehow able to sneak by a good Paint Branch team, they will have to play a really good Sherwood Warrior team, both of whom Blair lost to during the season. Although it isn't looking great, the Blair boys lacrosse team still hopes to repeat what they were able to do last year and hopefully get further.

Girls Lacrosse(1-11)
The girls lacrosse team was dreadful this season, as their only win came against the lackluster Northwood Gladiators. This was not the season that was expected out of the team. They knew that they wouldn't be the best team in the county but they at least hoped to have a few more wins to their name. Because of this terrible record, the Blazers are forced into a matchup with the Paint Branch Panthers, who aren't great either but they are one of the teams that crushed Blair earlier in the season. Blair will be looking to take advantage of a not so great team in Paint Branch and sneak past the first round unscathed. Unfortunately the team isn't aiming too high because of a brutal season, but the playoffs are a whole new season so you never know what to expect.



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