The Peaches and the Pits

Sonja Karp, NLJ Sports Editor

It’s that time of year again where we have wrapped up the high school seasons of sports. It was an action-packed year with plenty of highs and lows, so as I head into my summer hiatus from writing, I felt it appropriate to reflect on these last 10 months and give you my peaches and pits from the 2022-2023 school year.

Since I believe in ending on a good note, I will begin with my pits.


In chronological order, my first pit is that the Lady Dogies went two-and-out at the 3A State Volleyball Tournament. It just seems that when we get to the culminating tournament, our teams have historically not done all that well. I blame it on the environment of having four courts with games going on simultaneously, and the fact that they play on a weird surface with those floors at the Ford Center. 


However, those two factors aren’t going to change, so it’s a bummer that we don’t play our best there.


My second pit is that after two consecutive successful seasons of basketball, the Lady Dogies missed out on the opportunity to play in the championship game in March. The senior-heavy team was packed with talent and they were definitely contenders, but unfortunately, two other 3A East teams were also talented and in contention. It really came down to about a two-minute stretch in the semi-final game against the Lady Bison that stood in the way of Newcastle putting a banner on the wall for the first time since 1979.


My last pit is that both the boys’ and the girls’ soccer teams just missed out on the opportunity to advance to the 3A State Soccer tournament this year. The girls were looking good to take the fourth spot from the East all season. Then, in the final week, one unexpected loss by Newcastle and one unexpected loss to Rawlins by Douglas allowed the Lady Outlaws to move one point ahead of the Lady Dogies to steal their chance to go.


For the boys, it also came down to the final week of play, where they were just barely defeated in their last two contests, so ended their season early.

Now for the peaches!


My first is the same as my first pit — that the Lady Dogies punched their ticket to the 3A East State Volleyball tournament in October. Despite the fact that they went two-and-out when they got there, 3A East is a challenging conference, so to end up in the top four speaks volumes for the team.


My next peach is that the Dogie football team made the playoffs for the first time since 2017. They, like the netters, fell before reaching the podium, but the fact that they fought through a difficult start to the season to give themselves a chance at the title is an awesome testament to their grit and determination.


A huge peach for the year was watching Kyah Miller become the first girl to win a wrestling state championship in Newcastle High School history, and the fact that she was the only Dogie wrestler to take home a wrestling state championship, was amazing. 

Miller looked at that glass ceiling her freshman year as she braved the male-dominated sport, and in her senior year she got to be one of the few who shattered it for those who will follow in her footsteps.


Peach No. 3 is that the Lady Dogies put together another amazing season of basketball, finishing third in the 3A East Regional tournament, then taking home the highest place finish for NHS since 1979 with their third-place finish at the state tournament. The two teams that ended their year with high places were Buffalo and Douglas, two teams the Lady Dogies had to battle against all season.


My final peach is that the boys’ soccer team, who went into the second half of their season with little to no hope of earning a state berth, through continued improvement and determination gave themselves a shot at it in the final week of the regular season.


The Dogies’ last regular season contest was a close one against Douglas, who edged them out 3-1, then Douglas went on to vie for a state title at the tournament. The Dogies showed grit in the second half of the season to come back like that, and they did themselves proud.


I’m looking forward to the start of another season of sports in August, but for now, it’s time to relax and enjoy the summer!


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