Sports teams ready to spring into action
Ryan Palmer, Veritas Staff
Spring sports teams are looking forward to getting on the fields this week. While the tennis teams have been able to get in a couple matches, the baseball and softball teams are still watching the last of the snow drifts melt. But this should be the week that all the teams begin to compete. Track has a meet in Carver today (Monday) and the baseball and softball teams have games with Carver tomorrow, along with the tennis teams. Lacrosse should open up this week as well, weather and fields permitting.
Following are previews of each of the teams.
Coach: Lauren Rizzotti
The girls’ lacrosse team had over 40 kids come to the interest meeting (24 returning players, and approximately 20 new players). This means cuts were made as Coach Rizzotti constructed a team of about 20-25 girls made up of returners and new players.
“We did not win a game last year because of our difficult competition and our young team, but this year I expect big things,” said Rizzotti. “There are several games like Silver Lake and Middleboro where we will definitely be able to compete” she added.
Many of the players participated in an indoor league this past winter so the expectation is that those participants will come back in shape and more skilled than last year.
One area which the lacrosse team must deal with is the lack of an experienced goalie, but several girls are already stepping up for the team.
One thing also lacking last year was speed, and that is something Rizzotti is going to be looking for during tryouts. “The next best thing for a great competitor is speed and athleticism,” Rizzotti said.
The team will be having a clinic with an area team, Mass Elite, and several of Ms. Rizzotti’s college teammates have volunteered to give the team some tips.
Rizzotti’s expectations are high and she is ready for a really fun and competitive season.
Coach: Dave Taylor
Coach Taylor is setting high expectations this year. Between the veterans the boys lacrosse team has coming back, and the new players coming in, they are on track to have a very competitive season.
Big games for them this year will be all league games. South Shore Vo Tech (April 6, away), will also be a big one due to the fact that a lot of Rockland youth players play there. Abington is always a big rival game for them as well.
Key players this year will be their returning upperclassmen. They have been in the program for two years.
“We will need their leadership” said Taylor. “We have a lot of talented sophomores and freshmen that will need a little guidance as well,” he added.
“I always expect us to have a winning season,” RHS Baseball Coach Nick Liquori said, “I feel like the first time we will be on the field will be the first game,” he continued.
This year, the snow is going to pose some serious problems both in the preseason and the regular season. With Randolph joining the league they now have a format similar to basketball, they will play everyone in the South Shore League twice (East Bridgewater, Abington, Norwell, and Randolph), and Monomoy, Mashpee, Cohasset, Carver, and Hull once. They still face Hanover once as a non-league game.
Coach Liquori is expecting big seasons out of numerous players including Andrew Frazer, Tyler Murphy, Brian Cohen, Brandon Kirby, Mike Leavitt, Dennis McPeck, Dylan Bernache (coming back from missing last year with an injury), and Matt Clougherty.
Coach: Sharon McGonnigal
For the 2015 spring season for the varsity softball team, Coach McGonnigal is expecting to return to the tournament after making it last season. Anytime you make the tournament your goal is always to make it another step further in the postseason the following year.
The league as a whole should be competitive. The big league games, according to Assistant Coach Chris Burneika would be against Abington and East Bridgewater because both those teams bring out the best in the players and coaching staff from a competitive stand point.
East Bridgewater losing their senior pitcher should help the rest of the large division stay within striking distance of the top spot on the Rockland side.
The two non league games that Mr. Burneika is looking forward to are against Whitman-Hanson on April 14 at WH at 4 PM and on April 20 at Rockland at 11 AM.
“Any time you can face a good pitcher like Whitman Hanson has it helps you as the season goes on because you have faced the best and in our league only one team has a great pitcher and that’s Abington,” he said.
Prior to becoming the head coach at Rockland Mrs. McGonnigal was the freshmen and junior varsity softball coach at Whitman Hanson under former varsity coach Ms. Lombardi who now coaches softball at Massasoit Community College
Coach: Rich MacAllister
Coach MacAllister has great expectations for this upcoming season.
The tennis team finished strong last year and have a bulk of their starters back in the lineup with a lot of good young athletes contending for some coveted openings.
Abington and E.B. have been great rivalries the past few years. The team looks forward for this season to be no different.
They had a great previous season out of their leading doubles players, Caroline Kilduff and Kyra Rose. Lexie Carchedi, Katie Gardner, and Sam Demarco also had a great season and look to build off their wins from last year.
Coach: Jim Patton
The 2015 boys tennis team is getting ready for a superb upcoming season, despite the rigorous winter season which we experienced.
This year’s captains are P.J. Butler and Owen Mahoney, two talented and motivated players. The team also has four students returning who had excellent seasons last year: Jared Ochenduzko, Jeffre Donahue, Doug Reardon, and Michael Belmonte.
The team is also rebuilding, managing to recruit nine new players: Billy Parlee, Cory MacDonald, Ryan Sugrue, Adam Royle, Andrew Wilson, Harrison Hunter, Sam Sugrue, Tyler Beatrice, and Spencer Joseph.
The team is looking forward to a fun and competitive 2015 season.
Coach: Brian Killinger
The track coaching staff has high expectations for the upcoming track season. They have a strong cast of seniors returning: Justin Nguyen, Ian Welch, Owen Scott, Brendon Peck, Pat Sheehan and Eddie Yeadon.
They are hoping to compete in a very competitive South Shore League. East Bridgewater will be the frontrunner of the league and their goal is to put up a strong fight against them on April 27th.
They are expecting Justin Nguyen, Shane Darcy and Jeremy Morrison to be our top sprinters and jumpers this year.
Ian Welch and Owen Scott will be the leaders in the distance events. Brendon Peck will be one of the top 400m runners in the league and help in the javelin along with Eddie Yeadon.
The team will look for Austin Ferrullo to help lead them in the throwing events.
Coach: Randall Grimmett
The goal of the girls track team this year is to contend for a league title and coach Grimmett says he “will be disappointed if the team doesnt end up with a winning season.”
The dates of all meets are currently up in the air due to the rough winter season we have had. Mr. Grimmett is looking forward to all of the league meets, because the league which they compete in is such a competitive league.
The team has suffered a lot of injuries in the previous year and currently has a few players on the injured reserve list (IR).
Mr. Grimmett has high expectations for Kara Penney (Distance), Sarah Margolis (Distance), Genesis Rojas (Distance), Emily Delaney (Distance), Sam Aylward (Sprints), Grace Oliver (Sprints), Jenna Novio (General), and Jenna Novio (Overall) when she returns from her injury.
This year’s team is the largest in the previous five years with 28 athletes on the roster.