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Julian Tarpey, Veritas Staff
Lauren Rizzotti is in her fourth year as the coach of the girls’ lacrosse team at Rockland High School. That is exactly how long there has been a girls’ lacrosse team at RHS.
`In four years they have come a long way. The first year they were a club team, and the squad has only been a varsity team for two years.
Ms. Rizzotti, who also teaches math at RHS, says, “It has been amazing seeing these girls grow over the years. I just find it really cool to see the girls improve over the years and really compete.”
Two of those girls are senior captains, Emily Beatrice and Kaylee Patten. Ms. Rizzotti says she is happy to have them leading the team. “They are two of the strongest players on the team, but also the most dedicated.”
In addition to the two senior captains, Ms. Rizzotti says, “There are several returning players from last year that I am counting on to hold this team together because we have several fairly new players.”
Despite their youth and lack of experience, the coach enjoys her team and says that they enjoy playing.
“The strength of the team is how much they all truly enjoy playing. They aren’t playing because they have to, or they are getting in shape for another sport, they are playing because they find it fun,” says Coach Rizzotti.
Their inexperience does show, however, and the hardest part is playing against teams that have established programs from the youth leagues up to the high school level.
“We are playing against teams who have been playing for years, and they play during their off-seasons. My players are brand new a few years ago, and any new players coming in are learning from scratch as well. It makes it very hard to keep up with the other teams,” says Ms. Rizzotti.
But the girls have goals and one of them is to improve every day.
“Every practice we focus on improving one more thing and to continue to work on the basics such as catching and passing in order to really compete,” explained the coach.
And with that goal comes the most important one for the team.
“The number one goal this season is to leave everything on the field each game,” says the coach, who explained how they lost several games last year by only a few points.
“Those are the hardest to walk away from, so this year we are looking to get those games back.”
The girls opened the season on Monday, April 3 at Southeastern Regional High School and came away with a 17-4 victory.
Their next game will be on Monday, April 24 against Silver Lake at home. They will then be at Abington in the first game of a doubleheader with the boys’ team. The girls will be going on at 5:00 and the boys will follow at 6:30.
The Rockland Public Schools held its annual Arts Festival. Among the highlights and exhibits was the release of the latest issue of Images, Rockland High School’s Art and Literary Magazine. Photos by Veritas photographer Maddie Gear
Click on one photo to see the gallery.
Artwork from all the grades in the Rockland Public Schools was featured.
The RHS art students’ work was varied and interesting.
The RHS Band and Chorus also performed.
Click on any photo to see the slideshow.
Sammi Nachtman, Veritas Staff
A group of 20 students and two teachers left on a three day trip to Quebec, Canada on March 31. Mr. Finn, a French and Spanish teacher, organized the trip to introduce his French students to the French-Canadian culture. He even had some of his Spanish students join the trip. Ms. Lanigan, a history teacher, chaperoned as well. The group arrived home on April 2 at around 9:30 p.m.
When they arrived in the city, the group was brought on a two hour tour of the city and introduced to many of Quebec’s beautiful buildings: the Grande Alee, the Latin Quarter, le petit Seminaire de Quebec, Norte Dame de Quebec Cathedral, and the Terrasse Defferin. At the end of the tour they had a Parisian- style dinner where they had two options for food to choose from, and chocolate cake for a dessert. Later on that night they took a group picture in front of the Terrasse Defferin and headed home to sleep and get ready for the next day.
On day two the kids were taken to breakfast in the Quartier Petit Champlain. They had fruit, a freshly made croissant, a chocolate pastry, and a bowl of hot chocolate. They were then taken to a nineteenth century fortification where they learned about how the soldiers lived in there and reanacted some things.
The group then went to a very large mall where they had an hour to get lunch, shop a little, and use the indoor amusement park. For dinner that night they went to a place called the Sugar Shack. Outdoors there were piles of snow, snow tubes, sleds, and snow shoes for everyone to use and have fun with. On the inside there were rows of tables and many people excited to eat. Two men played music and everyone sang along and danced.
The trip was a success. The group learned about the culture of a French- Canadian city and met new people along the way.
Photos below courtesy of Mr. Finn.
The 2016-2017 Rockland High School cheerleaders capped off a spectacular year with a special night at Fenway Park on April 11. As part of Champions Night, the girls were honored before the Red Sox game with Baltimore.
Rockland High School custodian Peter Tolan, who is also an usher at Fenway, paved the way for the girls to be recognized.
The cheerleaders won the Division 4 State championship this past winter as well as the 2017 New England Championship. Along the way they also won the South Shore League title, the Southeast regionals and numerous invitational tournaments.
The girls got a special ride in a limo to Fenway and were also treated to dinner at the Bullpen Kitchen. Over 80 family and friends attended the game and sat in the bleachers. The Sox won the game 8-1, sending everyone home happy.
Head coach Jeanine Reardon expressed thank you’s to her thirteen cheerleaders and to all the team’s supporters, including asst. coaches Kim Reardon and Krystin Killion. Coach Reardon said, “I will never forget how fabulous this season was. I am the luckiest coach to have some of the best athletes ever.”
Reardon has coached the team for 10 years. In that time the cheerleaders have won seven state titles and nine league championships.
Joshua Thompson, Veritas Staff
Winter sports took the season by storm with league titles in hockey, girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball and wrestling. Now the baseball team wants to join these sports in their success.
It has been a while since these Bulldogs have notched a playoff berth. The team looks to change that when this spring comes to a close, as every team’s one goal is to solidify a spot in the tournament.
Veteran coach Nick Liquori said, “Goals remain the same, always want to qualify for tourney, compete for a league title, get better each day. Sounds generic, but with baseball we constantly need to be on our game mentally, the game changes so much pitch to pitch.”
Mr. Liquori also says every year is different from the last. However, the Bulldogs have more than one player with varsity experience which is something Mr. Liquori likes. “I will look to more leadership from everyone.”
With opening day approaching you wonder how the coach feels about the upcoming season. Mr. Liquori jokingly said, “I’d feel better if there wasn’t going to be any snow on the ground Monday the 20th.”
Every team has its seniors who are playing in their last high school season. Mike McPeck is one of those players, but he is not just any player. McPeck is coming off a great junior season on the mound for the Bulldogs. He will be one of the players that hopefully propel the Dogs into a tournament berth at the season’s conclusion.
Just like most senior athletes McPeck has mixed emotions about his last season being on the horizon. “I’m pretty sad this is my last season, but I’m also looking forward to a good season as well.”
Everybody has that one thing about a sport that makes you love it. McPeck’s reason is one of the oldest in the book. “My favorite thing about high school baseball would be playing with my friends who I have grown up playing with my whole life. It makes it much more fun and easier to play, since we’ve all been together for so long.”
The Bulldogs struggled last year on the hitting side of the game. McPeck said, “I think the team is looking to improve on hitting mostly. Our pitching and defense was quite good last year losing 4 or 5 games by 1 or two and only letting up 2-4 runs. I think we are looking to hit better as a team this year and be on the flip side of losing close games.”
He is not wrong when he says the pitching was good as McPeck finished the year 6-1 with a 0.70 ERA.
Another player looking to make a helpful impact for the team is Jonathan Baar. Going into his junior year with the team JB, as his friends call him, also started for the football and basketball teams. So, he is not shy from a lead role in sports. He already knows how he plans to help the team positively. “I plan to help the team by taking charge of the out field from my center field position and having a better hitting performance.”
Some new players attended the baseball try-outs this year.
“There are a couple new faces I am surprised to see. I was surprised to see Jakigh (Marcelin) and Dunnie (Matt Dunn) at the meeting. I’m looking forward to hopefully playing with them this spring,” said McPeck. These new players could bring an unexpected spark to the team.
The season will kick off on April 4 in Pembroke. The Dogs’ first three games are on the road. The home opener will be on April 13 against EB.
Julian Tarpey, Veritas Staff
As the final season of sports for the year at RHS begins, the boys lacrosse team is looking stronger than ever.
Although the team consists of only three seniors, the talent and depth is still there. The team is led by juniors Matt McGaffigan, Matty O’Brien, and Joe Campanile.
“It’s their first time being captains. and they’re still getting used to it,” said junior Kevin Fennell.
He believes the team will have a great season and has gotten better.
“I think we have more skill this year and more experienced players. Last year we had some guys who had only played one or two years. We also have a lot more players [in general] this season.”
The team also has high hopes and believes they can do better than last year. Senior Mohammed Youssef explained, “I think the team will have its best varsity season so far. Talent wise this is the strongest team I’ve been a part of. I think this will be the first Rockland lacrosse team that will qualify for a tournament berth.”
However, in order to make a run during the season, the Bulldogs will look to their coach, Dave Taylor, to guide them.
“I’ve played for Coach Taylor since I was in middle school and there’s never a dull moment with him. He is a great coach to play for, and he motivates us to win everyday,” explained Fennell.
Coach Taylor also is in charge of the youth teams, so almost all of the players coming up have played for him in the past.
Freshman Owen Shea also weighed in on how he felt about playing for Coach Taylor now in high school. “It’s great playing for Dave. He is a great coach that understands his players’ personalities, and knows how to physically and mentally push these athletes so they can be successful.”
Although the team may look good on paper, Fennell believes some things need to improve. “The team needs to focus on helping each other out more. In our first scrimmage there was a lot of barking at each other.”
With a sport like lacrosse which is very fast-paced with hard contact on nearly every play, tempers can flare.
If the team is able to focus on working together and working hard, they could turn a lot of heads in the league this year.
The team won their first game at Pembroke on Monday, 12-9. Their next game is on April 10 at home vs. Norton.
Sean Vo, Veritas Co-Editor-in-Chief
The annual Spellman Oratorical was held in the lecture hall on Wednesday, April 5 . At its roots this is a speech competition open to only seniors, where they were required to write a 500 to 1000 word speech, with the prompt changing each year.
This year’s prompt was all about the question, not the answer. Students had to explain how a variety of works of art were created in order to provide the audience with a better understanding of how to successfully question themselves and the world.
Students who were interested presented their speech to English teacher Christopher Neal. After about twenty students presented t him, he narrowed it down to eight finalists to present their speech in the official event. Those who spoke Wednesday night were , Michael Belmonte, Emily Delaney, Jurnee Dunn, Luana Lima, Jessica Lutts, Sophie McLellan, Evan Murphy, and Lauren Zaremba.
The prize, besides bragging rights, involved money: first place would get $1000, second place $700, third place $500, fourth place $300, fifth place $200, and sixth, seventh, and eighth place would receive $100 each; no one would leave empty handed. The awards’ total was $3000. Prize money was awarded from a trust established by the late Francis Cardinal Spellman of Whitman in memory of his mother, Ellen Conway Spellman.
The panel of judges included Laura Whitaker, Karen Bonn, Peter Woodward. Whitaker is a grade 7 ELA teacher in Stoughton where she has worked since 2003. She received her Master of Arts in Teaching English from Bridgewater State University.Bonn is a former RHS Bulldog. During her time at RHS she was active in drama, chorus and the debate team. Following high school, she attended Dartmouth College and Suffolk University Law School. She is proficient in American Sign Language and French. Woodward is the former RHS English Dept. Head. Following his retirement from RHS, Peter went on to teach in China for three years and he continues to teach English part time at Hanover High School.
First place went to Murphy, second place went to Dunn, third place went to Lutts, fourth place went to McLellan; fifth place went to Delaney, and the final three places, in no particular order, went to Belmonte, Lima, and Zaremba.
Regardless of place, each student presented excellently. Congratulations to those who did speak; it will redefine beneficial inquiries for the years to come. As English teacher Carol Cahill said to everyone, “You are all winners in my book.”