WARSAW — For Warsaw senior Lizzy Standera, the last 12 months have been quite the exciting ride, one that has turned upside down this spring.
Starting with a trip to the state finals for softball last season, Standera has been a part of two Section V titles and a solid hoops team this past winter. However, she was definitely looking for more in the spring of 2020.
“It was hard at first, I was very excited to see what we would accomplish as a team,” Standera said. “We lost some great talent, but I feel like we had a lot of people who were willing to step up and make up for the amazing players we lost.”
Last season the Warsaw softball team, led by longtime head coach Amber Stackhouse, started the season a perfect 20-0, including a win over Marcus Whitman to take the Section V Class C1 title, a win over LCAA rival Keshequa in the Class C crossover game and a win over Section VI’s Maple Grove in the Class C Far West Regional final.
Warsaw went on to whip Pine Planes in the state semifinal before the road finally ended with a 10-0 loss to a very talented Edison team in the title game.
Gone from that team are the likes of five-year starting pitcher Anna O’Geen, as well as four-year starters Savannah Till and Sammie Kilner. But Standera knows that the cupboard wasn’t going to be completely empty this season. And either way it went, the disappointing end will always be tough to get over. “It’s hard to say how our season would have gone this year and I am so sad that I won’t be able to play one last game,” she said. “But I am so grateful for the team I had and all the memories I have made over the past few years.”
Standera hit a cool .383 with two doubles, one triple, 17 runs scored and nine RBIs last season for the Tigers, while patrolling the outfield in center.
This past fall, Standera and the Tigers followed up the softball trip to the state final with another sectional crown, this one in soccer when Warsaw captured the Section V Class C1 title with a 17-3-1 record.
Standera was a key defender on a team that allowed just 22 goals all season long, including a narrow 2-1 victory over Williamson for the block. Powerhouse Marion would eventually stop the Tigers in the Class C crossover game but between the spring and fall of 2019 the Tigers softball and soccer teams had gone a combined 37-4-1.
In all, this would have been Standera’s 11th varsity season in all. In Standera’s three seasons of varsity softball the team went a combined 49-10, while her three seasons on varsity soccer saw Warsaw go a combined 44-12-3.
And she will always remember the coaches that helped get the Tigers there.
“I would definitely say Scott Laubenheimer (soccer coach), he has been my coach since the beginning of my soccer career,” Standera said of who has had the most impact on her athletic career. “He has always pushed me to my full potential and taught me everything I know about soccer.
“Amber Stackhouse was my softball coach and she was amazing as well,” she added. She would allow us to have fun while also being very competitive and I am so disappointed I cannot participate in my last season with her.”
Standera, though, also has someone a little closer to home that stands out as a coach that has helped her along the way, and that’s the way it should be.
“My dad is another coach who I am so grateful to have,” Standera said. “He coached me in youth sports and I can always count on him to help me with my shot in basketball or my swing in softball. He’s someone who we could always look to for help during basketball when we needed it.”
Though the successes on the basketball court weren’t as plentiful, Standera and Warsaw saw marked improvement in each of the last three seasons. After a pair of losing campaigns, the Tigers rebounded to finish at the .500 mark this season at 11-11.
Standera did her part as she was second on the team in scoring with 9.4 points per game to go with 4.5 rebounds per night in her fourth and final varsity season with the black and orange.
And despite the accolades and championships, it’s the memories that Standera will always keep close to her.
“Some of my most memorable moments at Warsaw have to be going to states for softball. It was such an amazing experience,” she said. “Our team was the most tight-knit group I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve also always loved pregame jam sessions, especially in basketball, it was a lot of fun for every sport I’ve played.”
Standera, who will be graduating third in her class this year, will be heading to SUNY Brockport to become a math teacher and “possibly coach at the school I teach at,” she says.
Like every other senior that will be remembered for being a part of the “Class of 2020” things didn’t end the way that they were supposed to. There were memories that will be left on the table and never realized, there were championships never to be won, personal goals never to be reached.
Yet like everyone else that has missed these past two months, Standera is trying to look at the bright side, and that all starts with Warsaw High School and the community.
“Through the ups and downs, Warsaw sports have been a wild ride,” Standera said. “I have made so many great bonds and learned so much from Warsaw Athletics. I am so grateful that we have such a great community with a lot of people who have supported us along the way.
“Although my high school career ended in a way I never would have imagined, being a part of two teams that made history for my school made this sting a little less. I have made so many amazing memories at Warsaw and I am so proud of everything we have done.”
Kudos to the end of the career to another fine student athlete.