Sunday, September 23, 2012

Update from WH Athletics

Before I begin with my weekly update, I thought I would share with you a short story which exemplifies how high school athletics help teach our students the importance of work ethic and battling through adversity.


Last Saturday, after our football team recorded a hard fought win against Marshfield, I came back to my office to do some work.  After about 90 minutes, I was wrapping up.  The school and the stadium which was rocking with excitement just a couple of hours earlier, was now completely silent.  Everyone was gone.  As I walked down  the path to the junior parking lot, I could hear the sound of a football being kicked every 30 seconds or so.  I got closer to the field and I could see Chris Ryan, our senior kicker on the field by himself practicing kicking extra points.  He had missed two during the game and he was dejected about his performance.  So, while all of his teammates and coaches were off enjoying a well deserved post game meal, Chris was methodically working through his routine in solitude.  I approached him and had a short chat with him.  We talked a little bit about dealing with adversity and he left me with some powerful words, “I’m glad those points didn’t make us lose, but I am going to make sure I am ready next time.”


This Friday night, our team battled an undefeated Foxboro squad on the road.  It was a great game in which the Panthers scored 3 touchdowns.  Chris had 3 chances at the extra point and he nailed all 3 right down the middle.  That was the difference in the game as Foxboro was 2 for 3 on their extra points and we won the game 21-20. 


Whether Chris hit all 3 extra points or not isn’t really the lesson.   The fact that he was willing to put in the extra work to be prepared for his opportunity is what matters most.  There are many stories like this in our athletic program.  Our student-athletes work tirelessly to be ready for whatever challenges they may face.


Now for our update:


1)      The football team posted an impressive 21-20 win on the road at previously unbeaten Foxboro.  The Panthers grabbed a 7-0 lead just 12 seconds into the game when Sophomore Mike Lenane returned the opening kickoff 70 yards.  Senior quarterback threw 2 first half touchdown passes to Senior Dondre James (a 37-yard play early in the first quarter and a 32 yard score with just 1.5 seconds left in the first half).  The defense made that hold up but not without some drama.  Foxboro was down 7 in the closing minutes of the game when they punched it from 2 yards out which appeared to tie the game.  But the extra point was wide right and the Panthers escaped with a 21-20 win  to remain unbeaten on the season at 3-0. The team returns to action on Friday at Pembroke (coached by former Panther head coach and AD Bob Bancroft).  Kickoff is at 3:45pm.  The game the following week has been moved to Saturday at Hanover at 2pm.  For more on the win Friday night, including video interviews with Dondre James and head coach Mike Driscoll check out the story at ESPN Boston - .


2)      The girls soccer team exploded for 8 goals in their game against Middleboro on Thursday improving to 5-0 with an 8-0 victory.  The lady Panthers have yet to give up a goal and have outscored their opponents 14-0.  Yasemin Civan and Lindsay Andersen each had a pair of goals while Dani Spivack, Marina Kelly, Kelsey Gilbert and Hannah Wells each contributed single tallies. Once again the Whitman Hanson defense was strong in front of goalkeeper Lauren Clark. The defense was led by Hayley Bukow, Alyssa Eaton and Nicole Galewski who helped Whitman Hanson earn their 5th shutout of the season.  The team is back in action tomorrow (Monday 9/24) at Pembroke at 3:45pm.



3)      The boys soccer team posted their first win of the season on Thursday by beating Middleboro, 3-1.  Middleboro grabbed an early lead before The Panthers tied the game on a goal by Mike Auld at the 31st minute for a 1 – 1 halftime score.  The Panthers took control in the second half and 17 minutes in, Will Roache scored the game winner off an assist by Alex Nicoletta. Connor Ross scored the final panther goal off an assist by Antonio Centeio. The Panthers are now 1-3-0 league, 1 – 3 – 1 overall.  The boys are home on Tuesday when they host Pembroke at 4pm.

4)      The Whitman-Hanson boys cross country team chalked up two more Patriot League wins Wednesday, beating Silver Lake, 21-40, and Scituate, 15-49, in a tri-meet on Silver Lake's 2.95 mile course. Senior Nate Stephansky, earned a hard-fought win in a time of 16:01. Finishing out the scoring for the panthers was senior, Pat Mulrey, running 16:45 followed close behind by junior, Brian Sheppard, in 16:48, senior Chris Londergan, 17:32, and senior, Paul Duffey, 17:46. Also running well for Whitman-Hanson was junior, Ty Durrant, sophomore, Pat Brett, and junior, Steve Smart.   The team is now 4-0 and will be put that unblemished record on the line Tuesday when they host Hingham.

5)      The girls cross country team also improved to 4-0 beating both teams (Scituate & Silver Lake)by identical scores… 16-47.
The lady Panthers took the first four places in the tri-meet at Silver Lake’s 2.95 mile course:
1- Gianna Cacciatore
2- Rachael Baker
3- Samantha Coletti
4- Abby Baker
7th- Caroline Mulrey
8th- Shawna Ryan
9th- Kelsey Tierney
10th- Megan Concannon

The Lady Panthers have one of their biggest challenges on Tuesday when they host Hingham.


6)      The volleyball team broke into the win column on Monday by posting a 3-2 marathon win at Middleboro.  Despite losing the first game, the Panthers kept battling and outlasted the hosts 15-8 in the decisive 5th set.  Sam Richner - had 23 hits & 8 kills while Erin Clifford  turned in 7 hits & 2 kills and Hailey Murray  posted 5 Aces.  The team travels to Hanover tomorrow (Monday 9/24) and returns home Thursday 9/27 against Plymouth North.



7)      The golf team had series of close matches this past week but found themselves on the short end in all 3 events.  On Thursday, Senior Mike Capellupo fired a 5 over par 41while junior captain Shane Devlin and freshman Cole Manning both turned in a 7 over 43.  The team has a busy week this week with 4 matches, beginning Monday at home against East Bridgewater.


8)      The SuperFan program is going strong.  For the first time in recent memory, we sent a fan bus to an away football game.  A special thanks to Lori Galewski for chaperoning and making it a fun night for the students.  The kids were great and the team really appreciated the support.



9)      The school committee Wednesday night approved plans for a new outdoor recreation area here on campus.  The site will take shape over several years with students and community members invited to give input on what they would like us to add.  In the first phase, we will be adding outdoor basketball courts, beach volleyball and a fitness trail.  The site will be located between the lower half of the senior parking lot and the old freshman softball field.  This will be a great way to give more students the opportunity to stay active while also inviting community members on campus to stay fit.


10)  Remember the best place to find schedule information is online at our blog.  Click here for the calendar view. 

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