Category Archives: Sports
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 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.
Jasmin Morse, Veritas Web Editor
On Saturday, March 18, 2017 Rockland High School’s cheer team beat out the top eighteen cheerleading teams from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts In Providence, RI. making RHS Cheer Division 4 New England Regional Champs!
Coach Jeanine Reale Reardon congratulated her team by stating after the victory Saturday night, “We had an unforgettable season and I am so proud of ROCKLAND High School cheer.”
Because of Saturday night’s victory, on April 11 at the Red Sox’s Champions Night game, the thirteen Rockland girls will have the opportunity to be honored on the field. Reardon said, “The opportunity to go on the field and be recognized before a major league game is a once in a life time chance! We can’t thank you enough Peter Tolan.” Mr. Tolan, who works at Fenway, was a key figure in having the team included at the Champions Night event.
Over the past 10 seasons under Coach Reardon the RHSVC athletes have earned 6 South Shore League titles, 7 Regional Titles, 7 State Titles, 2 New England Titles, & a National Title, not to mention the dozens of Invitational 1st placements, making cheer one of Rockland’s most successful athletic teams.
Joe Taft, Veritas Sports Editor
The boys’ hockey team will travel to Bourne today at 1:30 to prepare for their D3 south semifinal match-up against Nantucket. The Dogs are fresh off their thrilling victory over Hanover in the quarterfinals, (2-1 in a shootout). The Indians, the reigning state champs, had only lost to Rockland once before the fateful Saturday afternoon.
It was a game of hard-nosed defensive effort and limited scoring opportunities. The score was locked at 0-0 through three regulation periods and two overtime periods. After Hanover took a 1-0 lead thanks to Zach Taylor, the Dogs rattled off two goals to comeback in the shootout and advance. Freshman Zach Callahan scored the equalizer, and senior captain Matt Dunn scored the game-winner. Junior Goaltender Harry O’Brien put in nothing short of a stellar performance, piling up 40 saves against a polished Hanover offense.
The Nantucket Whalers (19-0-3) are the #2 seed in Division 3 south, while the Dogs (20-1-3) sit at #3. Ultimately, this team is a mere 3 wins away from an appearance in the state championship at the TD Garden in Boston. Make sure to get on the highway and get over to Gallo at 4:30 to see some more magic happen.
photos by Kelley Reale and the Enterprise Sports