The winter season may have been cold, but the sports season was just heating up. Hills West teams put on their game faces, and left all they had on the court, track, pool and mat. Highlights from the season include an exciting playoff run by the Boys Varsity Basketball team, a state title for a talented wrestler, a talented group of swimmers, and much more.
The Boys Varsity Basketball team was lead by senior Marcus Solomon, senior Jamir Blackman, and junior Terry Harris, a trio that would consistently put big numbers on the scoreboard. The team, which already had a plethora of weapons, became even better as senior Neneyo Mate-Kole returned from a knee injury. The squad was on fire, entering the playoffs on a six game winning streak. After beating Newfield, 83-60, the pressure was on against a strong Brentwood team. In a heated overtime matchup, Brentwood narrowly slipped past Hills West, ending an amazing season. Senior Bas Jobe, team member, commented, “Marcus [Solomon] played great…we didn’t deserve to lose that game.”
The Girls Varsity Basketball team had some bumps in the road this season. Their final record was 4-14. Senior Sydney Sodine led the team in points and rebounds in numerous games. She claimed, “It was a rough season, but we really came together as a team.” Sodine will be attending Brandeis University in September where she hopes to continue her basketball career.
The Varsity Wrestling squad had a lot to prove this year. Senior talents Tyler Grimaldi, Joe Piccolo, Jagger Rebozo, and Chris Reilly anxiously awaited their final season. Their final record was 6-2. When counties came around, everyone was wondering who would qualify for states. In the end, seniors Jagger Rebozo, Joe Piccolo, and Tyler Grimaldi all qualified to wrestle at the Albany Times Union Center. It was here where Harvard-bound Grimaldi made his biggest statement. After four grueling matches, Grimaldi became Hills West first ever wrestling State Champion.
The Boys Varsity Swim team, a joint team composed of members of Hills East and West, were hoping to continue a legacy. The team went 9-0 in meets. The five years prior to the beginning of this season contained only one loss. The pressure was on for the team, but it did not seem to matter. The team won meet after meet, slowly tallying up a perfect record. Their work paid off in counties, as they won counties for the seventh straight year. Reflecting on the season, senior captain Max Lee stated, “Everyone on the team gave it their all. This was a year to be remembered.”
The Boys Varsity Track team won their league. The team hoped to redeem a streak of consecutive championship wins, which was broken last year, and they were successful. The 4x400m relay team earned a silver medal in states. Senior Tommy Battisteli broke the pole vaulting record with a height of 12’6”, clearing the former record by half a foot. Many current team members plan to return for track in the spring.
The Girls Varsity Track team finished their season 3rd in the league. The team was led by seniors Esprit Parker, Kerri Graber, Ana Alhoud, Debbie Myrtil, Jill Faber, and Tiara Davis. Davis will be attending the states championships for her proficiency in the shot-put. “Although we may have fell short in some areas, the goals that were accomplished by so many members of the team makes this season one that will always be looked back on in a positive light,” commented team leader Jill Faber.
The Boys Varsity Fencing team, composed of high school students within both high schools, had a tough season. Their record was 2-11. Although this season may have been somewhat of a letdown, the future is bright. The team is loaded with young potential. “This season was a great start for my career as a fencer. I owe this to my friends, Christian, Justin, and Kenneth, for encouraging me to join. I have come to like fencing and plan on doing it throughout high school,” commented freshman talent Ed Bae.
The Girls Varsity Fencing team, led by Hills West senior captains Lindsay Squires and Julie Park, finished 5-8. The season was not an easy one, but it was most definitely fun. Julie Park’s near flawless record during her Hill’s West fencing career will be one of the most memorable athletic feats from this year’s senior class. “The season had a lot of ups and downs, but I can’t wait for next year, when I think we can do even better,” commented junior Alana Kessler.