Sunday, September 15, 2013

Update from WH Athletics

The fall sports season is well underway and it is great to see so many students involved in the athletic program. We have almost 400 students participating in the fall season in our 8 sports. The biggest numbers are in our football program which under the leadership of coach Mike Driscoll has seen a surge in interest. In fact we have 106 kids playing football this year which bodes well for the future of the program. I wanted to start this week’s update to talk a little bit about football and the expectations some have for our sports teams. Anyone involved in athletics is competitive. We all want to win – all the time. I don’t know a single person involved in sports that ever feels good after defeat. It is actually one of the great life lessons. We should always strive for excellence in everything we do but not get deterred when we face adversity. However, the reality is winning rarely comes easy and in fact when it is easy, it isn’t worth it anyway. The real triumph is overcoming the odds and accomplishing what others thought was impossible. Our football team is coming off two straight winning seasons in which they relied heavily on experienced players. There are a lot of skilled and talented athletes on this year’s squad but right now they are lacking experience. On the defensive side of the ball, the kids have really responded. Despite giving up 21 points in each of the first two games, you get the sense that this defensive group, led by senior Charlie Murphy, will be making things difficult on opponents as the season moves along. Offensively, it’s been a slow start, but in the second half against Foxboro, the team moved the ball much more effectively and found the end-zone thanks to a great run by Junior Mike Lenane. Here is the challenge for everyone in Panther nation – stay positive and stick with this team through the ups and downs. This year more than ever there is something to play for as the MIAA has instituted a playoff system for the first time in history. Whitman-Hanson is playing in the Division 3 Southeast conference which is made up of 11 other schools. 8 of the 12 teams in the conference will make the playoffs so despite this slow start Coach Driscoll and the boys have a lot to play for the rest of the way. Let’s stick by them and believe in them – good things are ahead. In other sports…. 1) The girls soccer team is gunning for their 9th straight league title and if early season action is any indication, they look poised to do it again. The girls have won 3 straight to open the season including two one goal games against Pembroke. In the most recent game on Thursday, Casey Corr netted the game winner for the Panthers. 2) It has been a frustrating start for the boys soccer team as they are 0-3 going into action this week. In the opener against Pembroke the boys played the Titans even for 70 minutes before giving up the game winner with less than 10 minutes to play. The second game of the year seemed like it would unfold in the Panthers favor as Mike Auld netted two sensational goals in the first half against Quincy at home on Monday only to see the Presidents storm back in the second half to score 3 unanswered goals and win the game. Despite the record, you get the feeling this team is close to putting it together. If you haven’t been out to see a game yet, check out the schedule online. They are a hard working bunch of kids with several exciting players including senior captain Mike Auld. Despite getting a ton of attention from the opposing team’s defense, Mike always seems to find a way to break free and create scoring chances – he is worth the price of admission (well the games are free right now, but you get the point). 3) The boys and girls cross country team has been dominating everyone in the early going with the same 3-0 record. Both teams are now under the direction of coach Keith Erwin with help from 2 assistants (Jen Richardson and Brendan Moran) and one volunteer coach Tyler Sullivan. In the latest win against Hanover, the boys had the top 7 finishers including Brian Sheppard, Pat Brett and Lukas Moscoso in the top 3. On the girls side, WH claimed 6 of the top 7 spots including Sam Coletti, Kelsey Tierney finishing first and second while Abbie Newman claimed fourth. 4) The volleyball team has a new coach in Josh Gray. The girls have not won yet in 3 tries, but you can see improvement from a year ago. Their battle against Duxbury on Wednesday was impressive despite dropping the match in 3 games. We are confident the girls are about to find the winning combination. 5) The golf team is 2 and 2 as they have been a little Jekyll and Hyde in the early going. They were sensational in wins against Pembroke and Quincy before stumbling against Scituate. In the first win of the year Sophomore Cole Manning fired an impressive 2 over 36 while senior captain Shane Devlin and junior Sam Perkins each shot a 4 over par 38. In the win over Pembroke Devlin was once again on fire carding a 2 over 36 while fellow captain Cory Cocchi carded a 3 over 37. Another bright spot was the play of sophomore Patrick Tyler who fired a 5 over 39 in his first ever varsity match. A few other quick notes: You will be seeing a new face on the sidelines this school year as Lexie Watkins takes over the athletic trainer duties replacing Ali Foley who left Whitman-Hanson to pursue a new career as a cross-fit instructor. Lexie is a native of Michigan and brings a wealth of experience to her new role here at WH. Please make her feel welcome by saying hello. Thanks to a cooperative effort from Assistant Superintendent Craig Finley, Principal Jeff Szymaniak and Food Services Director Deb Segar, students will no longer go hungry after school. The concession stand is now opened every day after school with a wide selection of healthy snacks and foods. As always, be sure to check out the blog at and follow us on twitter at whathletics so you can always be up to date on the latest in Panther nation. One of the best parts of the blog is the link to pictures. Sue Moss takes hundreds of pictures at each games and posts them online. They are available for free to anyone who wants them. Recently I have had several people contact me because they missed the deadline to order the WH Athletics apparel. Don’t forget our school store also carries a wide array of merchandise which allows you to show off your Panther Pride. We will also have another online sale in late October.

No comments:

Post a Comment