Sunday, October 6, 2013

Update from WH Athletics

Before I recap what was a great week in WH athletics, I wanted to take a little time to talk about our athletic department philosophy. A parent recently asked me why we do not publicize results from the sub varsity events and the answer is rooted in our overall philosophy. We do not stress winning and losing at the sub varsity level, instead the JV and freshmen teams are all about development and participation.

 While we want our student-athletes to always pursue excellence when they compete, we do not want coaches, parents or anyone else to get hung up on whether a team wins or loses. We believe that once we start glorifying winning at the JV and freshmen level, we will lose our focus on what we are really trying to accomplish. This is consistent throughout our league and around the state. In fact, some leagues have a written rule against publicizing results from sub varsity events. We believe it can be appropriate for results to be shared within a program so some coaches choose to tweet or blog the results on their own individual accounts. Other coaches chooses to acknowledge the progress of their teams in person.

  One other quick note – we are just about at the halfway point of trimester 1 and progress reports will be out this Friday. All student, parents and coaches are reminded about the academic probation program. Any student with a grade lower than a C is placed on academic probation. During this time, the student is still eligible to practice and play, but they must have a weekly progress report submitted. If the student misses any work, even a single assignment, or shows a lack of progress, they will sit out until the following week. The complete rule is available on the athletic website as is the academic probation form. Remember, the word student comes first when we refer to student-athletes. One other reminder to winter sports candidates – if you are taking options as a class, this is only worth one credit. This means if you fail a single class, you will be ineligible to participate in the winter. The same holds true for any student who is taking senior privileges.

 And now to this week’s update:

1) The boys and girls cross country teams virtually clinched another league title with thrilling wins this week against Hingham to remain undefeated (7-0). This was truly one of the most exciting days for Whitman-Hanson athletics in years The girls won 23-32...& placed 5 runners in the top 8. 1-so Sam Coletti 19:58 2-jr Kelsey Tierney 20:11 5-jr Caroline Mulrey 20:57 7-so Abbie Newman 21:26 8-jr Megan Concannon 21:35 This was a big test for the girls and they passed with flying colors. Sam and Kelsey set the tone right away and the 3-5 runners did what they had to do. The unusual heat this late in the season affected the times...but they beat who they needed to beat. The boys won 27-29...and had by far, their best "team effort" on the season. 1-sr Brian Sheppard 16:50 4-so Sam Evans 17:30 5-jr Pat Brett 17:36 6-sr Tyler Durant 17:37 11-sr Steve Smart 18:01 Many of the boys ran career bests, which was impressive because of the heat. Sheppard pushed the pace early and the trio of Evans, Brett, and Durant had career bests and broke up a huge pack of Hingham runners. And Steve was the all-important 5th runner who sealed the victory. Sometimes people like to say that cross country isn’t a team sport, but this meet proved that wrong. It was so exciting to see Coach Erwin design a game plan and watch the kids dig down deep and execute. What a day!

 2) It was a great week for girls volleyball as they won 2 thrilling 5-game matches. The week began by the Panthers outlasting Rockland on the road 3-2. In the final game, Whitman-Hanson was down 14-15 and rallied to take the final three points to close out the game. The game against Silver Lake also went 5 games with WH winning 3-2. In the deciding set the two teams went back and forth with both teams making some great plays. In the end the Panthers were able to put a few runs together that allowed them to take the deciding set 15-12. Playing well for Whitman-Hanson tonight were Erin Clifford with 10 kills and 7 digs, Erin Doherty with 12 assists and 2 aces, Abby Trapp with a season high 9 blocks and 2 kills and Alyssa Andrews with 24 serve receives and 15 digs.

3) The boys soccer team ran their unbeaten streak to 5 straight this week by posting 2 wins and a tie. The highlight of the week came on Monday when the boys beat Duxbury for the first time in 6 years, earning a 2-1 victory with senior captain Mike Auld heading home a sensational goal for the game winner. Coach Barrington moved senior captain Steve Stephansky to defense about 10 days ago and this has given the team a lot of stability as his experience and leadership is really showing. In fact, the team has only given up 1 non-penalty kick goal since the move was made. The team is definitely in playoff contention and the great news is they are getting contributions from everyone, including some of the younger players. Sophomores Tom Chmura (3 goals) and Jared Pendrak (2 goals) both had big weeks.

 4) The girls soccer team is showing a lot of grit and determination and they remain in the hunt for the league title. The girls suffered a heart breaking loss to Duxbury on Tuesday, 1-0 but they bounced back with an impressive 3-0 win in North Quincy. Whitman Hanson opened the scoring midway through the first half when Lily Higgins converted on a penalty kick. Kelly go the first of her two goals to close out the first half and then hit a blast from 20yds out on a nice pass from Kelsey Gilbert. The defense of Hayley Bukow, Hayley wells, Marina Kelly and Stephanie Warn helped goalkeeper Lauren Clark earn the shutout.

5) It was a rough week for our golf team as they dropped all 3 matches to fall to 5-8 on the season and put them in a must win situation the rest of the way. Sophomore Cole Manning had an impressive week with an even par round at Ridder, a 3 over at Duxbury Yacht Club and a 6-3 win at Harmon.

6) The football team had the week off and they return to play on Saturday at Duxbury for a 6pm start. The football team participated in an anti drug and alcohol program this week called Brain Drain. The kids were excellent participants in the interactive program presented by Caron Treatment Centers. A group of our captains also spent some time dealing with the issue of drugs and alcohol use by teenagers. A group of 10 students, 8 sports captains and 2 National Honors Society members, attended a conference at the MIAA with baseball coach Dave Fouracre and NHS advisor Kathy Gabriel. I was really encouraged to hear such positive feedback from the kids. In fact, one of them couldn’t wait to get back to school to tell me about the ideas they got so she sent an email on the drive home. The kids will now meet this week to put some of those ideas into action. Remember, we are all in this together. The more we educate our kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol the better chance the message has of sinking in. WH Athletics, It’s We, not Me.

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