Category Archives: Sports
Matty O’Brien, Veritas Sports Editor
Matt Dalton, Veritas Sports Staff
As the spring sports season headed down the home stretch, the success of many teams, carrying over from an exceptional winter season, was clear.
Girls tennis and softball secured tournament bids early, while boys lacrosse, boys tennis, and baseball were still in the mix, pushing for a tournament berth, entering the final days of the regular season. The track teams also had several South Shore League All-Stars and athletes qualifying for states.
It is rare for the amount of success Rockland has had in one season, but as the spring season has unfolded, the athletic success occuring this school year in every season is unheard of. In many schools spring sports can be overlooked, however this year, every team thrived in their own way.
Boys lacrosse regained their foothold in the SSL being ranked fourth behind teams like EB, Cohasset, and Hull. The team got off to a shaky start when they lost three games in a row, but since then, the team has been playing well.
The team got a big win on Tuesday, May 22 over EB 15-14. Senior Matty O’Brien who is going to Bentley to play lacrosse got his 300th career point in the game.
The team’s tournament hopes came down to the wire. On the final Wednesday of the regular season, they faced Archbishop Williams, needing a win. And that’s what they got, pulling out a nail-biter 15-13, and qualifying for the postseason!
Girls lacrosse wound up their season this week. While they did not make it to postseason, the season had its positives with junior Madison Blonde potting her 100th goal of her career against Cohasset High. One can only imagine what she will get up to with another season ahead of her.
Senior captain Natalie Draicchio continued to be a steadying influence on the team with multiple game assists and goals. She scored her 100th goal on the last game of her career against Archbishop Williams. Congrats Nat!
The team honored their seniors: Cassie Ofurum, Jaymie Atkins, Natalie Draicchio, Tahmya Cappra, Hannah Boben, Erika Ochenduszko and Emily McLaughlin on senior day.
A shining star throughout the entire spring season has been the girls tennis team. The team was able to qualify for the state tournament in just their tenth game of the season. The Dogs finished the regular season with a, 13-4 record, looking to make a run in their first postseason in program history.
In her first season, Coach Launie has done an exceptional job. Senior Captain Isabelle Uong thinks this season can be credited to her coach and the team’s culture.
“It is an incredibly welcoming atmosphere and Coach Launie does a great job at fueling that,” said Uong.
Ms. Launie, in turn, credits her team and their ability to learn new strategies and improve with each match.
A key to the girl’s season that has been noted is the guest appearances of former coach Richard MacAllister. Mr. MacAllister’s cameos have fueled members of the team to be better. The girls tennis team has a great dynamic and something special has certainly come together.
Softball has really been playing at a high level all year and they have put together an impressive 10-9 record over the span of the season. They qualified for tournament with a big win against EB in nine innings by a score of 9-8.
Micheala Bruno, a freshman, is pitching well supported by senior Sydney McKenna, Molly Grass and Dakota Pike at the plate. Meghan Monet is doing well bunting and with her speed on the bases.
Lady Dogs beat W-H 13-1 in their last regular season game. Michaela Bruno pitched a great game, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run with 1 BB and 5 K’s. Senior Sydney McKenna went 3-5 with 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. Macy Grass also had a solid game going 3-5 for the day.
The team looks to get a good seed in the tournament. “Once you’re in anything can happen,” said Asst. Coach Chris Burnieika.
The boys’ tennis team has also had a successful season, enjoying every step along the way. It was important for the team to stay competitive while also making Coach Jim Patton’s last season a fun and memorable one.
Members of the team’s care for their coach was demonstrated at the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony on May 16 as tennis teammates, Sean Sugrue and Joe Naughton shared an incredible message introducing their Honorary Inductee, Coach Patton. The coach embraced his players on stage and Naughton and Sugrue were proud to honor their coach in such a way.
On the court the Dogs have remained competitive in a challenging South Shore League with a record hovering near .500. Needing one more win to qualify for postseason, their hopes were dashed by Middleboro as the boys lost 4-1. But senior Captain Harry Hunter is grateful for his last tennis season and the dynamic of the team.
“We just have a system and a culture where anybody can step up and make an impact. Every member of the team is valued. I always look forward to tennis season because it’s just the best atmosphere to be a part of.”
Away from the courts, and onto the diamond, Dogs’ baseball has had success this season. Although the Dogs lost a few tough games early, they have had some remarkable games, including a blowout victory over Division 4 powerhouse Mashpee and a nail-biting 4-3 win over Abington. Senior Jon Ronan was pleased with the team and hoping to make tournament.
“This season has been a lot of fun and we have a great group of guys. Hopefully we can qualify for the [tournament] and keep this season going,” said Ronan.
With a record of 9-10 with one game remaining, the Dogs needed to win one. Although that was a challenging task, the team had already shown that they were capable of playing at a high enough level to get the job done. On May 20 they defeated Duxbury on the road 5-3. The next day they defeated Middleboro behind pitcher Sam Gray.
Gray, who was working on three days’ rest, went the distance and delivered a clutch two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to lead the Bulldogs to a hard-fought 6-4 victory.
On May they came up with a big win against Norwell, 8-1, behind senior Aiden Glennon’s complete game on the mound and two for three at bat.
That win improved Rockland’s record 9-10 and kept the Bulldogs’ playoff hopes alive.
The team finally faced Pembroke on Tuesday, May 29. Sam Gray once again came up with a gem and the Dogs made it to postseason with a huge 7-1! Athletic Director Gary Graziano called it “pretty impressive after a 1-6 start,” and congratulated new head coach, Mike Doyle and the boys for their accomplishment.
The boys track season has ended with the team coming away with a record of 2-5. According to senior Seth Rosczewski most meets were close and the team always competed hard.
Qualifying for states for the boys were Andre Coste in the 100m and 200m and Dylan Cleaves in the javelin and discus.
Rosczewski, a senior captain, was one of two seniors on the team, the other being Connor Cleaves. Rosczewski says he was glad he ran track this year. “I like the atmosphere in track, and also knowing that I’m halfway decent in something.” An all-star in cross country, Rosczewski is a better than decent runner, and says he will continue to run in college next year.
Spring teams all paired competitiveness and having fun, and they achieved great success in the process.
With the state tournaments just a week away, those teams that have or will qualify are looking to have a successful end to their seasons.
April 18, 2018
The girls varsity softball team came back twice, yesterday and today, to grab their first two victories of the season and bringing their record to 2 wins and 3 losses.
On Tuesday vs. Whitman-Hanson, the girls pulled off 9-8 win after being down going into the bottom of the seventh. Coach Sharon McGonigal called it a “great team effort.” Sophomore Dakota PIke went 3 for 3 and drove in the winning run in the last inning. Also a sophomore, all-star second baseman, Katie McGuirk went one for three with a home run and 3 RBI’s. Freshman Macy Grass went three for five with an RBI.
Today vs. Plymouth North Katie McGuirk was at it again with another home run, a two run blast this time that gave the Bulldogs the go-ahead run, 6-5. Today’s game evened their record with Plymouth-North, having lost the season opener in Plymouth, 7-4.
To see our preseason preview of the young softball team, click on this link.
Three RHS winter sports teams have achieved league championships in their sports: Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball and Hockey. Not taking these accomplishments lightly, all three teams now have their sights set on getting a good seed in their respective MIAA postseason tournaments, with an eye to getting the ultimate prize, a State Championship.
RHS sports reporter Matt Dalton sat down with Lou Casey, Matt O’Brien and Danielle O’Brien to get their thoughts on the postseason tournament which will begin the week after February Vacation.
Below please follow the links to the latest Veritas print stories on each of these three sports.
February 15, 2018
As we get to the February break, two out of the five athletic teams have finished up their seasons. Both the wrestling and swim teams had successful seasons and competed well in every meet or match. Congratulations to both!
The following stories appeared in the most recent print Veritas which came out on Weds. Feb. 14.
Matty O’Brien, Veritas Sports Editor
The 2017-2018 season has had some ups and downs for the wrestling team.
During the season, the team was hit with injuries to two of its top wrestlers, senior captains Adam Russo and Will Breadmore. Both Russo and Breadmore were South Shore League All-Stars last year as juniors. These injuries would stop many teams dead in their tracks; however, the Dogs have been able to keep pushing forward and have forged a nice season for themselves.
Although the Dogs came up short on a third consecutive league title, losing to a skilled Cohasset team, they are primed and ready to make an impact at sectionals, and the state tournament.
After leagues, wrestling shifts into an individual sport where the goal is to have as many wrestlers survive and advance through sectionals, states, all-states and so on. Heading into sectionals Assistant Coach Peter Harrison touched on the team’s new goals.
“We are hoping to get two or three kids a sectional championship and their name on the banner,” said Harrison.
Two kids expected to make a run through sectionals, states, all-states, and hopefully further are senior captains Cam Smith and Jimmy Fitzgerald as they have a combined record of 30-1, 15-0, and 15-1 respectively. Other wrestlers expected to make an impact are senior captains Adam Russo and Brad Seder. Coaches have lofty expectations for this senior group.
“We are hoping our senior captains can take us far into states, all-states and even New England’s,” said Harrison.
Although many wrestlers are not competing at this point of the season, as some do not survive and advance as far as others, one can still find the whole team practicing after school every day.
In the words of Coach Harrison, every wrestler continues to practice, until the “last man is standing.”
He added, “It’s great for everyone to continue to practice even if they are done competing. We’ve had years that we will have one kid competing all the way ‘til New England’s in March, but the whole team will still show up to practice.”
By maintaining the team aspect of wrestling during the individual season is truly something special at Rockland High School. That many athletes are no longer competing yet go and battle at practice every day is a testament to the culture of the team. Senior captain Jimmy Fitzgerald is thankful for the lessons he’s learned throughout his wrestling career.
“Wrestling has taught me you can never take anything for granted; everything you achieve, you have to work for,” said Fitzgerald.
The unsung hero for the team this season is Brad Seder. The senior captain has worked hard for four seasons, and was a leader throughout this season on and off the mats.
The Dogs are looking to make noise throughout their sectional, states, and all-state tournaments coming up. Look for some added names on the team’s banners as many Dogs could have a stellar run through tournament competition.
The Rockland High School boys’ and girls’ swim teams honored their seniors on Friday, Jan. 26 before their meet with Scituate.
Julie Margolis, the swim teams’ coach called the night a success and praised all her swimmers along with the seniors. “We had a lot of fun tonight. The kids swam great. There were lots of best times despite losing.”
Wins have been hard to come by this year for the hard-working swim teams but that is not the point, says Margolis. “Our goals this season were to have fun and to improve our strokes. Everyone has done so,” she said.
Specifically she points to the fun atmosphere at practices where students enjoy learning and trying new things. “We’ve had a fun year. The kids have all earned some personal best swims and continue to get better every week. Most are even trying different events.”
She added, “Almost everyone can do a flip turn and most have at least three strokes legal for meets.” These are big accomplishments for her swimmers since many are largely inexperienced unlike many of their opponents.
With such a positive outlook regarding all her swimmers Margolis did not want to single out one or two as unsung heros. She believes that all of her swimmers are unsung heroes. “These kids come Monday through Thursday, 7:45 p.m.-9 p.m. every week and work really hard. Most hadn’t even had swim lessons and have learned to swim and race in legal strokes. Every time out in the pool these kids work so hard to improve and to win but it’s really hard to compete with other towns that have town pools or year round swim opportunities.”
Margolis also feels that her swimmers have to overcome a lack of notice and respect at school. She said, “These kids hear all day at school ‘that’s not a sport; swimming is for sissies,’ and much worse.”
She wishes that the school would give them as much attention as the other sports. “They [swimmers] continue to come to meets discouraged because every other team at the school gets announced for their games but not swim.”
Junior John Ellard who switched over to swimming after being in the basketball program for two years has similar feelings about the swim team not being recognized as much. “Swimming isn’t really a popular sport at RHS. We don’t have any faculty or students attend our meets regularly, a lot different from basketball. For next year, I’ve made it my goal to hype up the swim team more. We put in as much hard work and dedication as everyone else, and deserve to be recognized for it.”
For Ellard, one of the positive aspects of being in the swim program is the ability to do other things as well as be on the swim team because they practice at night. “With swimming, I can play a sport at a varsity level while also becoming more involved in [after] school activities.” Ellard admits that he misses being part of a great basketball program. “With all of the success they’ve had, I do miss wearing that uniform alongside my teammates.”
But swimming has brought new challenges and opportunities.“I’m definitely happy that I switched over to swimming. The team is phenomenal, our coach is outstanding, and the sport itself is challenging in a good way.”
Swimming has also given Ellard the opportunity to meet new people.
“Another pro [of joining the swim team] is that I get to become so close with a variety of students. Being able to develop close relationships with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise, is definitely a plus.”
Coach Margolis would love to expand the program and hopes that with more student participation they could even add a diving team next year.
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor
As the thought of high school starts to dawn on the Class of 2022, RHS took the opportunity to hold an open house for the incoming eighth graders last night, Jan. 10.
This year, RHS Principal, John Harrison decided to switch things up a bit at Open House with the introduction of a quick video to go over all the educational departments here at RHS.
After a greeting by Athletic Director, Gary Graziano, Vice Principal, Kathy Paulding, RHS seniors Jill Donahue and Zachary Peterson, and a panel discussion held by students to talk about RHS culture, parents and eighth graders went to the cafeteria where they had the opportunity to learn more about the clubs and activities available here at the high school.
In the cafeteria, RHS students came to be able to meet the eighth graders and discuss clubs and sports they are apart of to show them that there is something for everyone here at Rockland High School.
Principal Harrison concluded that he was pleased overall with the turn-out, the student involvement, and the professionalism of the informative presentations. All in all, the Open House was a success. With a higher attendance than previous years and more student involvement, the eighth graders and their parents left the school last night feeling more informed about life here at RHS.
The RHS hockey team, coming off a Cashman Tournament championship on Jan. 1, added two more wins in the first week of the New Year, giving them a record of 7-1-1, including a 7-2 win Saturday, Jan. 6 against Cohasset.
Below is our hockey team profile from the December issue of the Veritas.
Mark Shields, Veritas Staff
Dec. 20, 2017
This year the Rockland hockey team hopes to carry its success from last year into this year. After winning their league and making a deep tournament run last year the Dogs hope to go even further and make it to the Garden this year.
Coming off a season where they went an amazing 21-2-3, they will need to play fundamental hockey in order to continue their success this season. No one knows that better than Coach Mike Flaherty.
“To continue our previous success we need to keep this simple and make simple plays,” said Flaherty
This season the Dogs have already started and are at a 2-1 record with a big win against the Abington Green Wave in their season opener, a tough loss to Hanover, and a dominating 5-0 win over EB.
These early successes and an early defeat will fuel the team as they have goals set for the season that are nothing short of difficult.
“Our mindset is to repeat as league champs and be difficult to play against, and this year we have a real opportunity to make it to the Garden,” said Flaherty when asked about his goals for the season.
The hockey team is very excited for an opportunity to repeat as league champs. This would make them the first hockey team in school history to repeat as league champs.
With a few freshmen and sophomores providing meaningful minutes the Dogs are set up for a pretty successful team in the future. However, the juniors and seniors will play a huge part this year, and could be the determining factor if this team repeats or not.
Coach Flaherty is confident about his returning players. “The guys coming back from last year are a big difference maker for us with their experience and hockey knowledge,” said Coach Flaherty.
Four of the returning group include captains Matt and Harry O’Brien, Joe Campanile and Mike Flaherty.
Coach Flaherty is very optimistic about this season and even though they were so successful last year he is not dwelling on the past.
Coach Flaherty, who was inducted into the Rockland High School Athletic Hall of Fame recently, is fully concentrated on the future of the program.
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief
After a fun filled and busy year here in the Bulldog community, the Veritas staff looked back at the events that took place throughout 2017.
Jan. 5 – Three RHS students receive awards for Voice of Democracy entries. First prize Meaghan McDonough, second Jad Bendarkawi, and third senior Sophie McLellan.
Jan. 20 – Genesis Rojas takes first place in Poetry Out Loud; Adiza Alasa and John Ellard come in second and third.
Jan. 26 – Mock Trial team opens season with a win.
Girls and boys basketball, hockey and wrestling teams win SSL Championships
Feb. 5 – Sean Vo and Erin Field are accepted for the SEMSBA choir; Lauren Zaremba makes it for the concert band.
February Vacation – Harvard Model Congress attends regional conference.
March 4 – RHS Theater Guild performs “Room 404” at annual METG Drama Festival.
March 8-10 – RHS SGC receives Gold Council of Excellence Award at MASC conference.
March 12 Rockland hockey team’s tournament run ends in D3 South Finals at Gallo Arena in Bourne; OR takes game 3-1.
March 18 – Rockland High School’s cheer team wins Division 4 New England Regional Championships.
March 24 and 25 – Shakespeare Festival- Several groups of students come together, under English teacher, Kristen Walsh’s direction, and give the audience two nights filled with performances of Shakespeare’s works. Gary Graziano and Susan Patton are the King and Queen of the Festival.
March 31–April 2 – 20 World Languages students visit Quebec.
April 5 – Evan Murphy comes in first at the annual Spellman Oratorical contest sponsored by the English Dept. and held in the lecture hall.
April 12 – Rockland Public Schools holds annual Arts Festival.
April 26 – Dr. Cron proposes new elementary school for Rockland.
April Vacation – 46 students in the Travel Club visit England, Ireland and Scotland.
May 3 – SGC holds annual awards banquet.
May 4 – Senior chorus and band students honored at annual Pops Concert.
May 5 – The Veritas print and web editions win Highest Achievement Awards from the New England Scholastic Press Association; Maddie Gear and Joe Taft win Special Achievement Awards.
May 10 – Julia DiCienzo and Matt Dunn are recognized as the top senior male and female scholar-athletes of the year.
May 17 – National Honor Society induction held – 20 juniors and one senior join the 2017 seniors of NHS; Teachers, Melissa Shaughnessy and Patrick Finn are honorary inductees.
May 23 – Last day of classes for senior Class of 2017
May 25 – Boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams make tournament for first time ever.
June 1 – Senior Academic and Athletic Awards Banquet held in auditorium: Luana Lima recognized as Valedictorian of Class of 2017.
June 8 – Underclassmen Academic Award / RHS Hall of Fame Banquet held at Emerald Hall: Overall Ourstanding Achievers are Grade 9 Tyler Gambon, Grade 10 John Ellard and Grade 11 Ronan McNally
June 10 – God’s Children wins third annual Jared Lewis Quirk Memorial Speedball Tournament.
July 8 – Long-time Bulldog, staff member and supporter, Ann Phelps passes away.
August 7-9 – SGC Camp
August 23 – Fall sports practices begin (Football began August 18).
August 28 – First Day of School!
Top Dog Club instituted
Sept. 6 – Girls’ soccer team opens season with win over No. Quincy
Sept. 8 – Football team opens season with win over Cohasset.
Sept. 13 – Summer reading discussions
Sept. 28 – Unified Kickball Game held in gymnasium
Oct. 1 – Breast Cancer Walk held in Boston; SGC, several teams attend
Oct. 6 – Music Department hosts Talkin’ Bout Jazz program
Oct. 12 – Racist graffiti found at RHS
Oct. 17 – Golf team earns first trip to postseason tournament in over 20 years
Oct. 18 – Louis Casey is crowned Mr. Rockland.
Oct. 20 – First pep rally of the year held
Oct. 20 – Macie Jones is crowned Miss Rockland.
Oct. 20 – Football team wins Homecoming Game, 20-8, over Middleboro.
Oct. 21 – Homecoming Dance held in the gym.
Volleyball, football and cheerleading teams win SSL League Championships; They along with golf and boys and girls soccer teams make postseason tournaments.
Nov. 17 RHS receives a Massachusetts District C Athletic Sportsmanship Award from the MIAA.
Nov. 17 – Seniors defeat juniors in Powderpuff game 26-0.
Nov. 27 – Winter sports teams begin work-outs.
Dec. 7, 8 and 9 – Theater Guild’s Moon Over Buffalo performed at RHS.
Dec. 11– Positivity Club’s second initiative announced.
Dec. 14 – RHS Band and Chorus perform annual Holiday Concert.
Dec. 18-22 – Spirit Week
Dec. 22 – Alumni visit RHS.
Dec. 23-Jan. 1 – Happy New Year!