Monthly Archives: November 2021
Dogs are Super Bowl Bound; Cheerleaders are State Champions
November 23, 2021
Cameron Babcock, Veritas Sports Editor
The Rockland High School Varsity Football team beat the Blackstone Valley Varsity Football team last Saturday in a 20-17 close win. The outcome of the win on Saturday is the Division 6 Super Bowl, which is being held at Gillette Stadium on Monday, December 6th against Abington. Rockland previously beat Abington in the regular season, being Abington’s only loss.
The game against Blackstone Valley was held at Walpole High School on Saturday where the Bulldogs came out victorious. All four quarters were very close and the game was won off of a game winning interception by Jacob Coulstring with less than a minute left.
The Super Bowl against Abington is scheduled for 5 pm on Monday December 6th at Gillette Stadium, though it is subject to change if the New England Revolution make the playoffs.
The Rockland High School Cheerleading team had a very successful season, coming in not only as SSL champions, but also as the Fall Cheerleading State Champions. The team also competed in the MSAA regionals where they came first out of 31 other teams that competed.
The state championship was held at Worcester State University on Sunday, November 21st where they ended up taking home their state championship ending their extremely successful season.
The other three tournament teams also did well, winning at least one game; Kam Christ and Maggie Flaherty qualified for States in Cross Country and the Volleyball and Boys Soccer teams did especially well getting within one game of the State Finals.
The Girls Volleyball team had a strong season earning the 11 seed entering the playoffs and winning two of the three games they competed in. Even though they lost in the semifinals of the playoffs, the girls were SSL champions and had the Player of the Year, Julia Elie.
The girls won their first game against Bishop Connelly 3-0, and then had an upset quarterfinal win against the 6th seeded Joseph Case High School, which was followed by their 3-0 loss against Medway to end their playoff run.
The Rockland High School Boys Varsity Soccer team season concluded its strong playoff run in the State Semifinals losing to Easthampton, 3-2. The team ended their season with a record of 18-2-1, a historical season for the team. Even though they didn’t win the championship, the team still earned other awards like MVP, awarded to Tommy Gallagher, and Coach of the Year, Coach Kimball.
The team won three games in the playoffs before they earned their loss against Easthampton at Leominster. The team’s future looks very bright after this season. Even with the league MVP graduating, the team still has lots of potential for the future.
Athletic Hall of Fame 2021
Nov. 22, 2021
On Saturday evening, November 20, the Athletic Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony were held and eight new members were inducted. The inductees were each introduced by one of their former coaches or colleagues.
First up was a very special induction of a long-time RHS sports fan, Jimmy Cahill. Jim has been a fixture at athletic contests for many years and his Thursday pep talks for the football team were legendary. His honorary induction was given by former football coach Ken Owen and by his sister Carol Cahill, an English teacher at RHS. Jim was ecstatic and very appreciative of the well-deserved honor.
Next up was another very special induction and one that was a surprise for the recipient. Athletic Director and Class of 1980 RHS graduate, Gary Graziano who is retiring this year, has, year-in-and-year-out organized this banquet along with all the other duties he performs as AD. So it was only fitting that he was inducted as a member of the Hall of Fame. Coach and friend Fred Damon jokingly explained that he wasn’t being honored as an athlete at RHS (he was a good one) but more as a coach of many sports and as AD for the last 17 years. Graz was surprised indeed and very appreciative as well.
One of two females was next to be inducted. Mal Lannin-Cotton, former girls basketball coach inducted one of her players, Jackie Bohenek of the Class of 2008. Jackie wasn’t able to make it to the banquet since she is expecting her first child in December. Her twin brother Joe accepted the plaque for Jackie who was an All-Scholastic athlete and a 1,000 point scorer (1,441) for the Bulldogs in her tenure as a basketball player at RHS. Jackie was also an outstanding track and field athlete and led RHS to a cross country championship.
Jackie’s brother Dan Bohenek was next to be inducted as a wrestler and football player for RHS. He graduated with the Class of 2006. RHS wrestling coach Tim Brown did the honors and spoke about Dan’s ability to focus on the task at hand which enabled him to combine his athletic talent with mental stamina leading to his many victories on the wrestling mats.
The second female honored was Liz Martin from the Class of 2002. Girls basketball coach and Liz’s teammate, Diana Mitchell did the introduction and explained how Liz was an integral part of the girls’ basketball team’s State Championship in 2000, being the only sophomore in the starting lineup along with four seniors. Liz was also a soccer goalie and a softball player for the Bulldogs.
Next to be inducted was Brian Chamberlain, a football player for Coach Ken Owen. Brian graduated in the Class of 1992. Brian’s size and strength were key to the strength of the Bulldogs’ line. Brian has gone on to be a successful head coach at Braintree High School.
Former RHS science teacher and hockey coach, Jim Casagrande inducted his brother Mike Casagrande from the Class of 1999. Mike was a phenomenal hockey player and scored 100 points in his high school career at RHS. He also participated in four sports at RHS including track and earned 15 letters, an accomplishment that will not be duplicated.
Rounding out the inductees was Jeff Fernandez from the Class of 1983. Jeff was introduced by Steve Fernandez, his brother. Jeff was an outstanding football player on the 1982 Super Bowl football team. He was an All-Scholastic in both football and baseball and won the Joseph Dondero Award for both academic and athletic excellence in high school.
Fall Sports Postseason Tournament Update
All of Rockland High School’s athletic teams have been very successful this year in postseason play.
Here’s the results for the teams with three teams still in the hunt for a State Championship!!
Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021 vs. Seekonk Preliminary Round
Emilee Dunham had a hat trick to lead the Rockland High girls soccer team to a 6-1 win over Seekonk in the preliminary round of the Division 3 state tournament. Shea MacDougall scored twice, and Ainsley Cavicchi added a goal on Abington High’s turf field. Emma Radzik had a strong game in midfield for the Bulldogs, and Emma Cameron starred in the net against No. 35 Seekonk (12-8).
Saturday, Nov. 6 vs. Dedham 1st Round
Rockland faced a tough Dedham team and lost 4-0 ending their season with a 8-8-2 record. Thank you to the seniors who led the team in their march to the playoffs!
Nov. 5, 2021 1st round home game vs. Bishop Connelly
Rockland 3, Bishop Connolly 0: The win was No. 100 for Coach Emily Adams as her No. 11 Bulldogs earned a game with No. 6 Case in the quarterfinals.
Nov. 9. 2021 2nd Round at Joseph Case High School
Final: Rockland 3 Case 2 (25-12, 23-25, 25-18, 12-25, 15-10). Julia Elie comes up huge with 19 kills as Rockland advances to D4 state quarterfinal versus Medway.
Nov. 13, 2021 Third Round Quarterfinals vs. Medway at Medway
Girls lose to a tough Medway team 3-0. It was a hard fought game and the team as usual played their hearts out. Darcy McGuirk had 8 kills and Julia Elie had 11 kills. Jordan Stec had 14 digs. Thank you for another incredible season! SSL Champs!
Nov. 5, 2021 1st round at home vs. Easthampton
Rockland 27, Easthampton 0: The No. 4 Bulldogs (7-1) advance to the quarterfinals. Lucas Leander (82 yards rushing, 61 receiving) ran for two TDs and caught a TD pass from PJ Celestino. Brett Armstrong (83 rushing yards) also ran for a TD.
Nov. 11, 2021 Football 2nd Round at home vs. Winthrop
Rockland defeats Winthrop 37-34 in what was a nail biter in the final minutes. They will play Blackstone Valley Tech in Semifinals of Division 6. Rockland’s PJ Celestino threw TD passes to Leander and Vasquez. Jacob Coulstring rushed for over 150 yards and two TDs.
Rockland will play Blackstone Valley Tech in the State Semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Walpole High School at 1 pm. Tickets on GoFan app.
Nov. 6, 2021 Boys Soccer 1st round vs. AMSA
Dogs (16-1-1) win over AMSA 4-0 and move on to the Sweet 16! Goals were scored by João Faria (2) Matheus Gomes, and Luis Araujo. Tommy Gallagher earns the clean sheet and for the third time is named King of the Pitch.
Nov. 10, 2021 Boys Soccer 2nd Round vs. Winthrop
Rockland defeated Winthrop 3-2. Dogs (17-1-1) advance to the Elite Eight! Goals scored by Luis Araujo (2) and Carter Burke. Matheus Gomes, JV Araujo, Adam Beatrice, and Ryan Sullivan all play fantastic. Gavin Norton is named King of the Pitch!
Nov. 13, 2021 Boys Soccer 3rd round vs. West Bridgewater
Dogs (18-1-1) win over West Bridgewater 2-1. Both goals scored by Gavin Norton. Gavin named King of the Pitch!
The Dogs will play Easthampton in the State Semifinal Game on Wednesday, Nov. 17 in Leominster at 7 pm.
The cross country runners also have been competing in the post season. On Saturday, Nov. 13 the boys and girls ran in the State Qualifiers in Westfield. All did well and Seniors Kameron Christ and Maggie Flaherty qualified for States by placing in the top finishers in their division. Good luck Kam and Maggie.
The cheerleaders are also doing well as they compete in their league, invitational and regional tournaments.
On Nov. 3 they came in first in the South Shore League Championships!
This came with a bid to the MSAA regionals which were held on Nov. 14 in Marshfield for the South Division. The ten time State Champion cheerleaders came in first in Division 4 South on Sunday, compiling the best score out of 31 teams that competed. They will now go on to compete for a State Championship.
The Fall Cheerleading State Championships will be held at Worcester State University on Sunday, Nov. 21. Time TBD.
Fall Postseason Tournaments Begin Today
Football, Volleyball, Boys and Girls Soccer
Today, Thursday, Nov. 4 Girls Soccer vs. Seekonk at Abington 4 pm.
Tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 5 Football (Home) vs. Easthampton 6 pm
Tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 5 Volleyball (Home) vs. Bishop Connelly 4 pm.
Saturday, Nov. 6 Boys Soccer vs. AMSA at 2 pm in Holbrook.
The MIAA tournament is a single-elimination playoff tournament in which high school teams compete for state titles in their divisions, which are based on enrollment.
In the past, teams had to make it through sectional tournaments (North, South, Central, West) to reach the state semifinals and state finals. That has changed. This year all tournaments are statewide from round one on. As most know, there were no state tournaments last year, only league tournaments due to COVID.
To qualify for the tournament, teams had to finish in the top 32 of the power ratings (a formula consisting of strength of schedule, margin of victory and strength of opponent’s schedule) or finish above .500. For football, only the top 16 teams in the eight divisions qualified. There’s also a three-win minimum to qualify in football.
Girls Soccer: Division 3: Preliminary Round: No. 35 Seekonk at No. 30 Rockland, Thursday (3:30 p.m.) Rockland 7-7-2 record. This game will be played in Abington.
If the girls are victorious today, they will play Dedham on Nov. 6 at 3 pm….Dedham is seeded #3
Football: Division 6 First Round: # 13 Easthampton at # 4 Rockland 6 pm Friday, Nov. 5: Rockland 6-1, Easthampton 7-1 Easthampton H.S. is located in the western part of Massachusetts (2 hours away).
If Rockland is victorious they will go on to 2nd round of eight and play the winner of South Hadley and Winthrop.
Volleyball: opens up at home on Friday, Nov. 5 vs. Bishop Connelly at 4 pm in the first round of 32. The girls are seeded # 11. Bishop Connelly is seeded 22nd in Division 4.
If victorious, the girls will play in the round of 16 against the winner of Joseph Case High School and Notre Dame Academy.
Boys Soccer: Rockland is seeded third in Div. 4 with a record of 15-1-1. The boys open up on Saturday, November 6 and will play at Holbrook High School. They will play Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School from Marlborough. This game will be at 2 pm on Saturday.
If victorious, they will play on November 10 against the winner of Wintrop and Bishop Connelly.
Good luck to all the tournament teams!
There is a Digital Site to get tickets for the football game: https://gofan.co/app/school/MA14704
Buying tickets through GoFan, which can be accessed as a smartphone app or on a web browser. The MIAA is allowing cash sales in Rockland.
That will be the same for other sports later in the tournament.
Trunk or Treat: A Success for the High School
By Nicole Cedrone, Veritas Editor-in Chief and Shannon Gustin Veritas Feature Editor
Trunk or Treat took place on Saturday, Oct 23rd from 2-4pm. It was held in the Middle School parking lot. The event, cancelled last year, was able to be held this year. The outdoor setting replaced the traditional Project Pumpkin that has been held inside the high school for many years.
The event was well attended, drawing between 350-400 kids who attended with their parents.
There were 80 RHS volunteers at the event, almost 30 trunks decorated, and 5 tables decorated to pass out candy to the public.
The event included a photo booth, a DJ, a bouncy house, as well as a Sweeties Shaved Ice vendor.
The event was organized by Ngan Nguyen and the Student Services Committee of the Student Government Council.
Below are photos taken by Kirsten Bartoloni, Student Government Council advisor.
Pep Rally Held on October 1
October 1, 2021
Lilianna Regens, Veritas Staff
Rockland High School held its first pep rally in two years on Oct. 1. This pep rally was held in the football stadium.
There were teacher dares done to raise money for breast cancer research which consisted of the following: Mr. Liquori and Lucas Leander doing a plank; Mr. Bigsby arm wrestling with football player Mateo Vasquez with Mateo winning. Mr.Anzalone and Mr. Casagrande having a water balloon fight
Each grade performed the roller coaster with Michaela Duquette, Elias Nassif and Callie Herzog representing the freshman doing the roller coaster and all the other grades having great performances doing the roller coaster as well.
The band did a great job setting the bar high for the energy at the pep rally. Everyone was engaged from the minute the band started to play their game day songs.
The chorus sang the national anthem for us and they did awesome! We also had fall sports teams and SGC members participating in games and activities.
“I want to give a quick shout out to Maria Pala and Jillian Mitchell for being the most electric MC’s I have ever seen! Great job girls!” said Asst. Student Government Advisor, Kara Penney. The Student Government also did a great job organizing and conducting the rally!
Take a look at these photos by Shannon Gustin!