Sunday, October 21, 2012

Update from WH Athletics

Update from Whitman-Hanson Athletics

1) The girls soccer team clinched their 8th straight league championship on Thursday night when they defeated Hingham, 2-0.  Casey Corr and Marina Kelly scored for the Panthers while the defensive crew of Alyssa Eaton, Nicole Galewski, Hayley Bukow, Nina Zappi and Lauren Clark earned their 11th shutout of the season.  It is amazing to think that when this streak of league titles began some members of the current team were just 6 years old.  The girls have three big games this week when they travel to Duxbury tomorrow night at 6:30pm, then play host to Bridgewater-Raynham on Wednesday night and then host rival Marshfield Saturday at 6:30pm as the back end of the boy/girl doubleheader.

2) The boys soccer team played its best game of the year on Saturday as they beat Plymouth-North, 2-0.  Connor Ross got the scoring going early while late in the first half Stephen Stephansky setup Alex Nicoletta for the insurance goal.  The boys will play host to Duxbury Thursday night at 5pm before wrapping up their season on Saturday at 4:30pm against Marshfield.  The Saturday game will be senior night, so come on out and show your appreciation for these hard working student-athletes.

3) The girls cross country team had a great week as they clinched another league championship by beating Duxbury 15-50 (the best score possible) and improving to 7-0 on the season.  The top 8 runners (Gianna Cacciatore, Sam Coletti, Rachael Baker, Abby Baker, Caroline Mulrey, Kelsey Tierney, Megan Concannon and Shawna Ryan) crossed the line at the exact same time of 21:34.  The girls also had an outstanding day at the Brown Invitational on Saturday taking 2nd place in the elite race of the day featuring the best teams from all over New England.

4) The boys team also had a big week as they too clinched the league title by beating Duxbury 17-36.  Seniors Nate Stephansky and Pat Mulrey, and junior Brian Sheppard took the top three spots overall in 17:22, 17:27, and 17:34 respectively.  The boys wrap up their league schedule on Tuesday at 4pm.  This will be senior day for both the boys and girls teams.

5) The golf team came so close to making the state tournament by winning 3 straight matches and setting up a do or die match with Silver Lake on Thursday.  Unfortunately, the Panthers came up short and miss the tournament by a single win.  Senior Mike Capellupo was the top golfer this season and he will represent Whitman-Hanson in the individual tournament on Tuesday in Easton.

6) The football team showed a lot of character this week by giving one of the top teams in the league, Hingham, a huge scare on the road.  The Panthers looked like a different team than the previous week as they stormed out to a 14-12 halftime lead on scores from Jerry Thompson and Dondre James (from Tommy Sapienza).  Unfortunately, the Harbormen took control in the second half beating the Panthers 20-14.  Whitman-Hanson hits the road this Friday night when they travel to Silver Lake.  The next home game will be senior night the following week (11/2) when the Panthers take on North Quincy.

7) The volleyball team is one of our most improved squads this fall.  The girls have really worked hard and have earned respect throughout the league.  They have just 3 matches left (Tuesday against Duxbury, Wednesday against Quincy and Friday against Hingham) all of which are home.   The Friday match is senior night.

8) The cheerleading team hit the road today (Sunday 10/21) and competed at the Auburn Invitational. It was their first chance to have their new routine judged and the feedback was great as the girls scored 86.5, the best on the day.  Our JV team also looked outstanding in the competition.  The girls will defend their Patriot League title next Saturday at 3pm here at Whitman-Hanson.  We hope to see everyone there supporting these hardworking student-athletes.

9) So many people make Whitman-Hanson Athletics something special.  This week I would like to thank our trainer Ali Foley and our school nurse Pat Bradley for their outstanding professionalism and their caring approach with our student-athletes.   Late this summer, along with the help of Keith Wilson of the Hanson Fire Department we all worked on formulating an emergency response plan which we could share with our coaches.  The goal of the plan was to ensure that in the unlikely event of a catastrophic injury not only would our coaches know exactly what to do but our student-athletes would as well.  The coaches took time out of their practice schedules this fall to run an emergency response drill with their teams and then randomly 12 of the 17 fall teams were tested by myself and our trainer Ali Foley.  Unannounced, we arrived at practice and selected one student and declared that this student was incapacitated and not breathing.  We simply then asked, what do you do?  It was obvious that our coaches trained our students well as they immediately went into action.  Two students went to get the AED, 3 students went to the entrances  to greet the ambulance and let them know specifically where to go, 3 students went to find our trainer, a student immediately called 911 and the rest helped with crowd control.  During the drill the teams learned about some potential problems, for instance the halftime building is locked.  It is necessary to get a pass from a coach before running all the way over there.  We now keep an AED in the halftime building while in the school building we have 4 of them strategically located so there is always one within reach.  The AED is a lifesaving device that can make the difference between a miracle and a tragedy.  All of our coaches and many of our students are CPR/AED certified.  I was very pleased with how our entire team of coaches, medical personnel and students took this matter so seriously.

10) We live in such a great community with so many people willing to lend a helping hand.  As many of you know, we are in the process of creating an outdoor recreation area on campus with basketball courts, beach volleyball, a fitness trail and more.  The first step involved the costly process of clearing the land.  However, it cost us nothing as Newcomb tree did this for free!  Kenny Mitchell is such a generous guy and he is so devoted to Whitman and Hanson.  Other business leaders have also stepped up and have indicated they will help as well.  With any luck, this area will be open for our entire community to use come next spring.

11)  As you all know, money is very tight in our school district so fundraising is an important part of what we do.  Our captains will be selling cereal over the next month.  That’s right cereal!  It’s Panther Paw Crunch and it’s a nutritious and delicious blend of granola, flakes and raisins.  It costs just $5 per box with 100% of the proceeds going directly to our athletic program.  Thanks to the advertisers on the box, we got 5,000 boxes of the cereal for free which means that we could make $25,000 when we sell every box.  If you would like to purchase a box or two (or 3 or 4), you can do so in the main office, at all night athletic events and on election day at the polling sites.

12) Finally, a term we like to use is “Educational Athletics” because we feel that the lessons learned through sports go far beyond the scoreboard.  We could spend hours talking about the character building that goes on when you are part of a team sport but I just want to focus on one today.  The concept of caring for others and giving back to your community is a huge part of what our students learn.  These days, if you go to our various sporting events you will see many players wearing pink socks, wrist bands or other similar accessories as our students show their support for breast cancer awareness.  For instance, our entire JV boys soccer team is wearing pink socks.  In addition, the teams have been raising money for the Susan G Komen breast cancer foundation.  The girls soccer team will be collecting donations at their game next Saturday against Marshfield.

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