Before I present my first spring update of the year, lets close out the winter season by congratulating our cheerleading team on an historic season. The girls won everything they possibly could this year – the Patriot League Championship, the South Regional title, the State Championship, the New England crown and the Spirit Cup National Championship in Orlando. Head Coach Tanisha King and her team worked tirelessly all winter to perfect their routine and it certainly showed with this string of success. The squad has just one senior (Ashleigh Cancela), and while she is a brilliant and talented cheerleader, the future is extremely bright. The team will be appearing on WATD 95.9 FM today (Sunday 4/6) at 5pm, will be recognized at the school committee meeting this Wednesday night and will be visiting the state house as a guest of Josh Cutler during April vacation.
On a related note, a parent joked to me at the lacrosse game the other day that he has to pay a user fee yet our cheerleaders get to travel to Florida. I know he was kidding, but it made me realize that we should make sure everyone knows that every student who travels at Whitman-Hanson pays their own way and works to bring the trip to reality. Whether it’s cheerleading, boys basketball, the spring trip to Europe by the high school student group in a couple of weeks or any other group that decides to travel, the district and the taxpayers do not pay any of the costs. A lot of sacrifice and work goes into make these trips work. The cheerleaders and their parents began saving and fundraising last April to make sure they could make this happen.
And now to our spring update. This is the place where the athletic director is supposed to complain about the weather (and yes it has been a rough spring) but I have a hard time doing that with the way our coaches and kids have adapted to their situation. That is a sure sign of a winning attitude!
1) The girls lacrosse game has shown a lot of firepower in the early going jumping out to a 3-0 record and scoring 54 goals in the process. New Coach Dave Rowell, who is a science teacher at the high school, has done a great job in getting the team ready. Senior captain Steph Warn has 15 goals in the first 3 games while Steph Hyslip has 11. The girls are home Tuesday and Thursday against Hanover and Silver Lake.
2) The boys lacrosse team is also off to a fast start under new head coach Rob White as the Panthers have won all 3 games and boy has it been exciting with 2 one goal victories. After beating Hull in the opener, the Panthers rallied from a 3 goal deficit with 5 minutes to play at North Quincy to win it 9-8. Freshman Ryan Kennedy, who has been a force on offense in the early going, joined senior captain Anthony Polito with hat tricks. In the final win of the week, Kennedy and Polito teamed up again with 2 apiece in a 7-6 win over Pembroke. The defense was sensational in front of Jack Molito in net. Molito continues to improve and has played very well in the early going this season. The boys are on the road this week on Tuesday and Thursday as they travel to Hanover and Silver Lake.
3) The softball team also got off to a great start under their new head coach defeating East Bridgewater 7-2 at home. Junior Pitcher Gabby DeLeon pitched a 3-hitter with 10 K's to earn the win. Freshman DH Kelly Burke went 3-4 w 2 RBIs and 2 runs. Solid defense and 13 team hits were key for the Panthers. The team has a busy week ahead as they travel to Quincy Monday, host Pembroke on Wednesday and travel to Scituate on Thursday.
4) The baseball team played well on a frigid day on Cape Cod but dropped a 4-3 decision to Barnstable, who scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 7th. The kids showed great competitiveness in the loss battling back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game on 2 run double from Evan Derochea (4-for-4). Cory Cochi also had 2 hits and an RBI for the Panthers. The good news is this was what is called an exclusion game, so although it does count as a loss, it does not count toward the teams qualification for the state tournament.
5) The boys track season opened in fine fashion with a 74-62 win over Silver Lake in the debut of Mike Driscoll as the boys coach (he had previously served as the girls coach). The meet was still in question with 2 events left to run but the 2 mile team led by senior Brian Sheppard (also won the mile) took first and second to secure the win. Other winners included Blake Carpenter in the 400 hurdles, Pat Brett in the 800, Cole Berthelette in the javelin, Jacob Roumanos and Nick Smith in the triple jump. The team travels to Hingham on Tuesday for one of the biggest rivalries in the sport.
6) The girls track team didn’t fare as well against Silver Lake dropping a 76-60 decision in the first meet for Jen Scarpelli as the new head coach (she has previously served as an assistant coach). The girls dominated the track portion of the meet but really struggled in the field. Double winners on the day included Victoria Gately in the 400 hurdles and 110 hurdles and Sam Colletti in the 800 meter and mile. Jordan Barley also won the 100 meter. The girls will also take on Hingham on Tuesday.
7) The boys tennis team is off to a nice start with 2 wins in their first 3 matches. The Panther defeated Rockland on Friday 5-0,. 1st singles Dhru Patel won 6-3, 6-3; 2nd singles Garrett McSweeney won 6-2, 6-4; 3rd singles Ryan Kelly won 6-0, 6-0; 1st doubles Kevin Sheehan and Stefano Trossarello won 6-3, 6-3 and second doubles won 6-1, 6-2. The team also defeated Spellman on Thursday, 4-1. Second singles Dhru Patel won 6-0, 6-0; third singles Ryan Kelly won 6-3, 6-3; first doubles Thomas Heine and mike Pizzi won 6-1, 6-0; and second doubles John Muha and Sam Perkins won 6-0, 6-1. The boys host Quincy on Monday.
8) The girls tennis team is off to a slow start dropping their first two matches but they have showed steady improvement under first year head coach Sue Sookiasian, who is also the Emerson College head coach. The second doubles of seniors Abby Benvie and Erin Doherty took the only point for the panthers in the 4-1 loss to Spellman. The girls begin league play at Quincy on Monday.