Wareham High gears up for spring sports
Wareham High School is gearing up for the 2012 spring season with an added bonus for younger students. Now, 8th graders can participate on the boys and girls tennis and track teams.
Also on the line-up for the spring season are softball, baseball, and boys volleyball.
Read below to find out more about the what the individual coaches had to say about their team for the upcoming season.
The girls tennis team is blessed with a lot of motivated and skilled athletes, said Head Coach Geoff Swett, the only problem is, many of them haven't played tennis before!
Nine out of the 16 players on the team are completely new to tennis, while 7 of the players will be returning from last year.
Included in that returning line-up is Rachel Bonfiglio, the only senior on the team this year. "Last year she was our best player, and she may well be the best player this year," said Swett.
Swett would like the girls tennis team to be the first team from Wareham to make it to the State Championships in a long time, but his ultimate goal is for the girls to become life long tennis players. "I would like to get better as a team...make the State Championships, and have the girls become better players and have fun, and to have the girls develop a love for tennis so it can be a sport for life," said Swett.
The boys tennis team has a lot of new blood including four 8th graders that recently signed up for the spring season.
That is almost half of the team, but Head Coach David Robinson is hopeful that with time and motivation the young players can develop their skill and the tennis team can become a force. "The main thing is motivation, if you can keep the kids interested, if they work hard and enjoy the hard work and have fun, then can be really good tennis players," Robinson said.
Also in the deck is senior Doug Geist, who despite the team's single win in the 2011 season had a personal 13-6 record according to Robinson. "I'm expecting him to do at least as well this year, he'll probably be the player on the team that is most competitive," said Robinson.
The girls track team has more than doubled their number from last year, which will allow them to be much more competitive this year, according to Head Coach Chris Gardner. "We had the quality but not the quantity, hopefully now we can have the quantity in addition to the quality," said Gardner.
The team wins competitions by winning events, explained Gardner. The more players that are on the team, the more events they can participate in, and the greater the likelihood they will win the competition, Gardner said.
The team has added 4 new high school girls to the team, a 33% increase from last years 12 member roster. But the new rule allowing 8th graders to join the track and tennis teams has added a whopping 9 new eighth graders to the team, boosting the roster to 25 members. "It's been a while since we've had that many" people on the team, said Gardner, who has been head coach since the 2008-2009 year.
Stephanie Bourgeois, the only senior this year, will be leading the team as captain and participating in the 4x1 relay, the 4x4 relay, and the 100 meter dash.
The boys track team had 2 eighth graders sign up for the team this year, increasing the total number to about 20 members on the team.
That means not only the ability to participate in a greater range of events, but also the ability to have more representation in a single event, Head Coach Mark Hudson explained. The more members in a single event, the more likelihood of winning and doing well in that event, Hudson said.
The low number of participants doesn't compare well to the big schools who have many more runners than Wareham, Hudson said. But, "the students are greatly showing a lot of enthusiasm and willingness to learn the sport in addition to the events," Hudson said, adding "I would like to come away with wins, and it's quite possible."
Seniors Evan Moretti and Tim Liffers will be competing in the 4x4 relay and 200 meter sprints, and senior Matt Doucette will be holding his own in the long distance running events for the upcoming spring season.
Girls softball in Wareham is gaining in popularity, as the Wareham High School had so many members sign up this year that the school had to create an additional team called "Sub-varsity B" made up mostly of freshman, according to Head Coach Cindy Sylvia.
Wareham High School now has three softball teams, a situation which has not occurred in the past 14 years, Sylvia said. "Some of the kids never played before, hopefully it's a start of a trend in the town," said Sylvia.
With all the new talent, Sylvia called 2012 a year to rebuild the team following their respectable 5-15 record from last season. "Our goal is definitely to get better each day…and have that be our consistent goal through the season," Sylvia said.
Some of the newness applies to old players learning new positions as well. Starter Tara DiGiantomaso will be moving from 2nd base to shortstop, and starter Emily Bacchiocchi will be moving from 3rd base to 1st base to make up for graduating seniors. Junior Stacia Krzyzek will be starting as pitcher, and Hailie Prien will be covering centerfield for the Vikings in the upcoming 2012 season.
The baseball team is setting their sights high this year and would like to make it all the way to the championships.
The team is almost the exact same as last year, according to Head Coach David Harrison. "They are a very cohesive group," said Harrison, "so we're hoping this will be our best year…we really want to make the tournament this year."
The team is coming off of an 8-10 record from last year. They need to win at least half of their games in order to make the state tournament.
There are 4 captains leading the team this year: Billy Peterson, Ian Searles, Sean Conway, and Steven Harrison. "It's the best in 3 years that we've had the program," said Harrison, referring to the time he has personally been head coach.
The boys volleyball team is full of seniors that have played together since junior year and have had the chance to improve their teamwork, according to Head Coach Ben Kaeterle. "They are more comfortable together and…their chemistry is getting better," said Kaeterle.
Kaeterle hopes that means that the team can win at least 50% of their games which would put them into the playoff tournament, but for the time being the focus is on making sure they can hold their own against powerhouse teams such as New Bedford High School, Durfee High School, and Brockton High School.
If the informal volleyball tournament last Saturday, March 24 sponsored by Greater New Bedford Regional and Vocational Technical High School was any sign, there's good reason to believe that they will.
At the tournament Wareham bested Taunton High School and took 1 set against Durfee High School. Volleyball games have multiple sets, but because the tournament was timed, some games were only 1 or 2 sets.
Most importantly, they tied against powerhouse New Bedford High School, one of the best teams in the state. "It was a big boost of confidence for the kids," said Kaeterle.
Seniors Tim Regan, Sam Iamele, and Marcel Merritt will be leading the team as captains this year. Juniors Quintin Silveira and Wyatt Harunk are also stepping up to the plate with impressive performances, Kaeterle said.
Practices for each sport are usually afterschool every school day. The season started on Monday, March 19th, and usually goes until the end of May depending on whether teams make it into their individual tournaments. Some of the teams are still taking sign ups, contact Athletic Director Marc Loranger at 508-291-3510 extension 719 for information.