Heart of the Hawks

By AnhViet Nguyen

Senior athletes Woeck, Raunio, & Brooks talk the talk, walk the walk, and prove on the field that the Hawks are a team to be reckoned with.

The men’s baseball team is poised to make a run in the WIAA State 4A Playoffs. If they expect to advance to a championship, they are going to need their top performers to continue producing at a high level.

Senior shortstop/pitcher Andrew Woeck, senior pitcher Aaron Brooks, and senior third baseman Chris Raunio led the young, inexperienced Hawks to a 2nd place finish in WesCo South.

Their leadership has put the Hawks in a position to make some noise. Woeck is having a stellar season offensively and defensively. He is absolutely tearing opponents up with his fastball, which has resulted in 93 strikeouts.

His success on the mound has become his opponent’s worst nightmare. Woeck said, “I try to mix up my pitches and change things up. I throw hard but throwing hard isn’t always enough. “ On the other side of the ball, Woeck has been efficient, leading the team with a .362 batting average.

In addition, he has come up clutch with some big hits including a home run in a 1-0 victory over Jackson earlier in the season. Woeck said, “We’re a young team… Me and our other cocaptain Chris [Raunio] have kept the team working hard.”

While Woeck has been a fantastic, starting pitcher Brooks has been just as good. Brooks has a 6-1 record and owns an ERA of 1.31. His outstanding pitching has been key to Terrace’s run so far.

Brooks worked hard over the off-season to prepare himself for Gonzaga, who offered him a full scholarship. “I had workouts three times a week, conditioning with the coaches.” Brooks said. “It matured me a lot and helped me prepare for college baseball.”

As one of two returning varsity players, the other being Woeck, Brooks has provided the team with valuable experience that may help in the long run.

Raunio is another player who has many years of experience in baseball and tennis. Raunio, who was a participant at state for tennis, has tasted success and knows that the baseball team has come a long way to get back to state. “I think everyone on our team would be disappointed if we didn’t go to state, because we all know our team’s potential, and we all feel like we belong in the state playoffs.”

The senior captain has contributed to the team’s success on and off the field. Although he posts modest statistics, his power of encouragement should not be overlooked. Coach Andrew Watters said, “Raunio provides the team great leadership.”

Woeck stymied Marysville, 7-0, earning the Hawks a trip to state, while Brooks pitched shutout of Monroe, 4-0