The lacrosse sticks, baseball gloves, and track shoes are coming back out along with an optimistic attitude about the season ahead.
Last year, girls track ended the season on a good note, often gaining first and second place in shot-put and discus thanks to current senior Tiara Davis and former student Nyashia Hibbert. The 200 meter dash was no problem for senior Kerri Graber and sophomore Alyssa Jean. The hurdles were often dominated by sophomore Kayla Hodge and sophomore Regine Williams. Unfortunately for this year, Nyashia Hibbert, Jasmine Hennep, Stephanie Ramirez, and Carly Rosen have graduated. “Losing talent is always difficult but fortunately the girls this year have already shown they have the desire to be even better,” commented head coach Mr. Hender. Senior Tiara Davis added that she knows that the loss “will motivate the team to do even better.”
Boys track last year had a great season as well often receiving first, second, or third place in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash thanks to junior Jarried Redwood and senior Frederic Fils-Aime. In the 4 x 400 relay and other relays the team would earn first, second, or third place. In the hurdle events at least third place would be expected from this team. Last year, the team lost Julien Desroches, Nana Croffie, Anthony DeMatteo, Doug Motley, Bradely Lahens, Matthew Ranftle, and Davide Sferrazza. Junior Bryce Johnson believes that the loss “didn’t really affect us that much” and that this year, some people will be able to “make it as far as the national championships.”
Last year Half Hollow Hills West’s baseball had an impressive record of 20 wins and 5 losses. The team was a powerhouse with players like senior Sal Lovaglio, who was often the winning pitcher in games, and senior Luke Stampfl, who was a dangerous hitter throughout the season. Several seniors graduated last year, including Dylan Mouzakes, Matt Cabezon, Matt Lombardi, Greg Plumitallo, and Andrew Balling. Junior Tommy DiGiorgi confirmed that “we lost two starters who played a big role in our success last year, and those are big shoes to fill” but was confident that “we will go far this year and have a team full of talent.” Junior Sean Noriega believes in his team stating that “we are a new team this year with better bats and more developed players. We are hungry for a state title and worked hard for a state title in the off season.”
The Hills West softball team was just as good with a record of 17 wins and only 4 losses. Junior Francesca Casalino regularly earned the winning pitcher in a game and had many home-runs throughout the season. Senior Jessica Kleet repeatedly played smart in games using sharp strategy that helped her take bases after getting hits. Senior Alana Campo and senior Krissy Spinelli also had good numbers that helped to carry the team to their victories. Last year, the team had to let go of their graduates: Ashley Nostramo, Danica Vasa, Morgan Hughes, and Jessica Jacobs. “The seniors last year will be greatly missed, [but there is still] many young talented players and we are really determined to break passed this steak of short playoff appearances,” commented Casalino.
For girls lacrosse, last year was a little bit of a rough year with 6 wins and 9 losses. Senior Maria Matteis has proven herself a worthy goalie with as many as 7 saves in one game. Senior Ally Makover helped the team with her many assists and goals. Senior Sarah Matzelle was also very consistent this past season scoring as many as 4 goals in one game. She commented, “We basically have the same team as last year minus 3 people and have pretty high hopes.”
For boys lacrosse, the season went a little better than the girls with a record of 9 wins and 8 losses. Junior Erik Mikelinich and senior Nick Badaracco, the team’s goalies, made big differences every game. Mikelinich has made as many as 14 saves in one game and Badaracco has made as many as 16 saves in a game. Former student Andrew McAlpine, former student Dale Cornetta, senior Willie Holmquist, and senior Michael Lucarelli were consistent players who always aided in a win for the team by scoring goals. The graduates of 2012 who left include Andrew McAlpine, Chris Aurrichio, Dale Cornetta, and Brendan Forte. “[Losing the past seniors] will have an impact on the team but we will be able to overcome the loss,” commented junior Patrick Leone. “The team has always been young and if the seniors can step up and play like we know how to play we will be a team to watch out for,” added senior Daniel Deutsch.
The Hills West and East boy’s badminton team had an exceptional record of 9 wins and 2 losses. Power players like junior Connor Duenas and junior Alfred Shim were often put into pressure-filled situations where they would perform to give Half Hollow Hills the win. Unfortunately, the team was not able to make it to county championships. Last year, the team lost key player such as Kevin Stanis, Nitin Aradhya, and Aris Agdere, but the team is still standing and is still strong. “We still have most of our team so I think this year we will do extremely well,” explained junior Jesse Morgan.
Hills West and East girl’s badminton team had a perfect season and won all 15 of their games. The girls were able to win the county championships for the third year in a row and were number 7 on MSG Varsity’s top ten sport teams list. Unfortunately, the girls lost Hannah Finger, Lauren Kiedaisch, Carli Rumstein, Kristine Chacko, and Sammy Derison. Despite the loss the girls are just as confident for this upcoming season. “We had a lot of great players leave but I still think we are strong enough to make it to the county championships like we have been and hopefully continue the tradition,” commented senior Jess Scheingold.
Boy’s tennis last year had a record of 9 wins and 8 losses. The team was able to make it to the quarter finals in playoffs. The best individual results were Dylan and Duane Davis, as they made it all the way to counties. As far as losing seniors, the team lost former student Brett Verini, who was a valued asset. Junior Harris Durkovic explained that the team was “probably one of the youngest teams in the county” and that “with the majority of the team coming back this year we are really looking forward to making our presence known and hopefully reach the County Final Four.” “[The team] has a lot of young talent, has been training really hard, and hopes to make it to the playoffs,” commented sophomore Duane Davis.
Last year, girl’s golf had a record of 3 wins and 9 losses. The team lost star players Kim Komara and Liz Lee. “It is always tough to lose seniors but we have a lot of girls coming back and a great mix of younger golfers and we are looking forward to the season,” stated Coach Gannon. “We didn’t really have one of our best seasons [last year] but it was memorable and we have a lot more girls trying out this year so hopefully we have a stronger team and better season,” stated junior Irene Kim.
Check out more from www.hillswestroundup.com for updates on spring sports teams during the upcoming season!