Let the games begin
Friday, December 13, 2013
For the Hollis Brookline wrestling team, the highest of highs has been reached and yet there is still more to be done.
The two-time defending Division II champions, the Cavaliers return a trio of individual champs. Senior Jonathan Lopez (113 pounds) will anchor the lower weights while sophomores Zach McPherson (132) and Caleb Lomme (145) will look to dominate their divisions for years to come. HB also returns three wrestlers who finished in the top four. As a team, HB was fourth at the Meet of Champions.
Expect to see Milford and Merrimack in the mix as well in Division II. The Spartans return seniors Scott Danewicz (170) and Devin Dolliver (138) who both finished second at the D-II meet.
The Tomahawks return six wrestlers who finished in the top six including Ben Cronin (120) who took a third last year.
Alvirne returns juniors Taylor Thyne (113) and Evan Manning (182) who both finished third last year.
As the defending NHIAA bowling champion, the Souhegan team clearly has a target on its back.
It is not the only local team with lofty expectations, though. Merrimack and Hollis/Brookline, the NHIAA champion only two seasons ago, also look to be particularly strong heading into the season.
“Every team is very good, well coached and competitive,” Souhegan coach Timothy Frye said.
“We will continue to improve and take it one match at a time.”
The Sabers will bring back only two starters from their championship team, but early showings by some of the newcomers have been positive.
Frye is also counting on the persona of past teams to continue on to the 2013/14 squad.
“Our team’s mental toughness and relentless attitude last year was a huge key to our success,” Frye said, “Even if our team is mathematically eliminated, we still compete, and that will continue this season.”
The Hollis Brookline team is only one season removed from being the defending champs.
While last year’s quarterfinals elimination may have been disappointing, returning the majority of last year’s squad should lead to more success.
“We weren’t as productive during the beginning of the season last year,” coach Rich Bergskaug said, “We finished strong at the end, but we weren’t consistent enough on the whole. I think we have some really talented bowlers this year… (we) just need to find consistency early.”
COACH: Brian Bumpus, fifth year.
2013 finish: Division II title.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jonathan Lopez, 113, Sr; Nathaniel Lindsay, 126/132, So; Nick McPherson, 126/132, So; Wyatt Farwell, 152, So; Caleb Lomme, 160, So; Andrew Butler, 160/170, Jr; Kayne Robert, 170/182, So; Austin Bumpus, 182/195, Sr
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Christian Lopez, 145, So; Lucas Cummings, 138, Jr; Chris Lazich, 195/220, Jr
COACH’S COMMENT: “The key for us is going to be how quickly the sophomores and some of the freshman that are going to be called on can they adapt to the varsity wrestling pace,” Bumpus said. “The one thing I tell the guys is we lost six seniors last year but what we really lost was a lot of man hours that was put into the sport. It’ll be up to the younger guys to make up for that training and practicing that we lost if we want to get back to where we want to be.”
COACH: Rich Bergskaug (fourth year)
LAST YEAR: Eliminated in quarterfinals of NHIAA tournament
RETURNING STARTERS: Austin Pigott, sr.; Joe Spohn, sr.; Leo Lorden, jr.
OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Grant Johnson, sr.; Steven Glover, jr.; Kathryn Bobek, jr.
KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “Consistency,” Bergskaug said, “We lost two very strong bowlers to graduation, so we will need our seniors to step up.”
COACH: Bob Murphy, fifth year.
LAST YEAR: 13-6, lost in preliminary round.
RETURNING STARTERS: none.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Sydney Gillis, sr., guard; Jenna Hyatt, sr., guard; Michaela Dowling, sr., forward; Lindsey Beauregard, sr.; guard; Celeste Marsan, jr., guard.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Bri Hackett, sr., guard; Cassandra Stapelfeld, fr., guard; Kristen Dupont, jr., forward; Kristin Johnson, jr., forward; Ashley Skey, jr., forward; Gabby Pickard, jr., forward; Maddy Snow, sr., forward.
KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We have a hard-working group of girls, but we are rebuilding,” Murphy said. “We have a good combination of speed and height, but I expect it will take some time to get us all on the same page.”
COACH: Mike Soucy, eighth season.
LAST YEAR: 14-4, lost in first round of Division II tournament.
RETURNING STARTERS: Shea Whalen, sr., forward; Logan Blake, sr., forward; Cole Gallant, sr., guard.
OTHER RETURNING PLAYERS: Daniel Bentall, sr., guard; Ryan Papineau, sr., forward; Jason Van Coughnett, sr., guard; John Beckett, sr., forward; Conor O’Shea, sr., guard; Matt Fothergill, jr., guard.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Nick Fothergill,fr., guard; Will Petersen, so., guard; Riley Hamel, jr., guard; Trevor Bowler, jr., forward; Patch Zorn, jr., forward.
KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: ”We have a roster loaded with seniors and some very talented newcomers,” Soucy said. “Our upperclassmen have really asserted themselves in the early stages and I would expect that to continue throughout the season. Our approach is to continue to grow as a team at each practice, every meeting, and each game on the schedule. ”
COACH: Bob Ouellette
LAST SEASON: Fifth in Division II meet.
RETURNING SWIMMERS: Matt Falcone, jr.; Austin McCalmont, jr.; Tom Regan, sr.; Jacob Solon, sr.; Tyler O’Brien, sr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Amit Eshed, fr.; Cam Jackson, so.; Vivek Nithipalan, fr.
COACH’S COMMENTS: “We’ve got a good nucleus of returning guys,” Ouellette said. “Our relays should be strong and our newcomers should add depth.
COACH: Bob Ouellette
LAST SEASON: Did not qualify for state meet
RETURNING SWIMMERS: Sadie Solon, so.; Noam Eshed, sr.; Nicole Hall, so. Fiona Kennedy, sr.; Tess Meagher, so.; Ambica Gupta, jr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Kelly MacFarlane, fr.; Morgan MacMillan, fr.; Siobhan Rogers, fr.
COACH’S COMMENTS: “We’re rebuilding,” Ouellette said. “I’m hopefull we’ll have more qualifiers and a better showing.”