West Fall Athletics-Brij Anand
It has been a furiously paced fall season with 180 student-athletes participating in twelve teams across five sports. Rome wasn’t built in a day and in many ways this is true of the athletic program at Sturgis West. The question to ask is, what do we want to build? There are the obvious answers.
Participation – We had 40% student participation this fall alone.
Excellent coaches – We have those! As you read the season reviews below you will see that each of them has educational athletics at the center of their program. I have had many positive comments from parents, coaches and athletic directors across the Cape.
Strong parent support – Ensuring that their child is well fed, has a ride to and from a practice or game, support from the sideline or the attendance at our annual fall sports recognition evening, all highlight the continued ways in which families contribute to the success of our programs.
Dedicated athletes – Watching a number of contests and practices over the last ten weeks, listening to coaches and talking with athletes, you get a sense of the passion and commitment exhibited by our student-athletes.
Results – With five of the six varsity teams qualifying for sectional tournaments, Boys Golf and Girls Soccer crowned as Cape and Island League Champions and a number of first time wins against teams, we can say we check that box.
Good Press – Several articles have highlighted the achievements of West teams this fall. Anecdotally, my neighbor, who has had two recent Barnstable High School graduates, both of them student-athletes, told me last week that Sturgis teams were doing well this fall. I can only assume that he derived this information through the media.
These are all fine and good. Perhaps even more surprising when you consider the Sturgis model, where a home game or practice may involve a walk or bus ride in any one of seven different directions. Yet in reality these are more a list of building supplies for what we are really constructing. Like the IB, we are in the business of building people. Young men and women who are grounded, confident and possess the skills to be successful once they graduate from Sturgis. Looking back at our recognition evening, I know our fall season went some way to deliver this for each student involved.
JV Girls Soccer by Coach Kelley
With 13 new 9th graders and one 10th grade returnee, we started the season with lots of enthusiasm, but not knowing each other very well. Tonight, it seems unimaginable that that was only 10 weeks ago. It is no small thing to put oneself in the vulnerable position of coming out for a team at a new school, let alone when you haven’t played the sport before, which was the case for a few of our players. The willingness to take that risk was met with the rewarding support and friendship of their teammates. In true Sturgis fashion, I never heard a player admonished for a mistake or excluded by her teammates. When conflicts arose, the girls addressed them with maturity in a manner that brought the team closer together. Through injuries and frustrating losses and ties, the team stayed positive. They stayed so positive, that at one point, in my head, I wrongly questioned whether they really wanted to win. The team hug and jubilation in response to their impressive victory at the end of their final game set me straight and taught me a lesson. These girls wanted to win, but they knew that their individual efforts to improve themselves and collective efforts to support each other were more important than the score at the end of the game. Thank you for being a fabulous group of young women and for a great season.
Varsity Girls Soccer by Coach Stewart
I have been honored and privileged to coach eighteen amazing young women. This past season we have seen what hard work, dedication and belief can achieve. We have clinched our playoff spot and on our way, became the Cape and Island League Champions. It has been amazing to see this team grow and develop both on and off the field. They have created friendships that they carry for a lifetime. Friendships that will outlast the memory of the 12-1-3 record, an impressive 7 game winning streak and Nikki Gardener’s 5 game shut-out streak. Good luck to our senior captains, Chloe Bass, Sarah Buchanan and Sarah Walman. Each of you has been instrumental in helping me transition in as a coach and lead the team in what promises to be exciting tournament play.
Varsity Girls Field Hockey by Coach Raftery
“….I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field.…” -Vince Lombardi
Anyone who had the opportunity to watch the field hockey team this fall will understand the appropriateness of the preceding quote. With very few exceptions, each member of this squad battled to the end of every contest.
There are many aspects of participating in West field hockey which create an even closer bond; walking together to practice, setting the field for play, encouraging each other. I never was unsure that the team members would bring only their best selves daily. Although wins and losses are a means of measuring success, I see the heart and drive, as well as personal curiosity, as the real benchmarks of achievement. Close games with Monomoy, Nantucket and Mashpee proved that the team was set on making a commitment to improvement from the beginning of the season. Each rematch reflected a change for the better. Victories against East and Carver were strong team efforts. The loss of four players may not appear to be insurmountable, but each is a cornerstone to the power and growth of the team. Lily Healy worked tirelessly during games and practices to encourage her teammates. Annie Dankert relentlessly pushed herself and her peers to do their best. Brigid Morrison came to the squad last year, but her natural athleticism allowed her to seamlessly become an invaluable contributor. Ellen Dallaire was a rock on the defense, doggedly pursuing every ball. Each of these young women will be missed, but they have been wonderful role models, whose hard work and commitment have set a wonderful example for the remaining team members.
Anna Pavlova, a remarkable ballerina, once said, “to follow, without halt, one aim: There is the secret to success.” I was pleased to read the source of this quote as we have many dancers on the team. I would also say that Miss Pavlova may not have seen the most graceful display of movement during some of our practices. But there is no question that she would have been amazed by the determination of these young women, who “without halt” fought to the end.
I would like to thank all the parents and supporters who were so great throughout the fall. Snacks, drinks, dinners and rides are just of few of their wonderful gifts. A special thank you to Mrs. Healy, who made the trip to Nantucket with us.
Varsity Golf by Coach Pina
I would like to thank parents and faculty at Sturgis West, the staff at Bayberry Hills golf course and my assistant coach Derek Snow. It was a fun and successful season. It is amazing to think that every player is returning next year for a run at our third league championship. Season milestones included: Cape & Island League Champion, Undefeated in league play, State qualifier finished 3rd place, 2016 Nantucket invitational champs, 5th at MV invitational, 7th at Cape Cod High School championship, Sam Goldberg State Final participant
JV Golf by Coach Snow
The junior varsity golf team saw a great turn out of golfers this season. We were able to get the team
out onto different courses, which really helped develop some parts of their game. Being able to play on par 4 courses like The Ridge Club and Falmouth Country Club allowed the team to use more clubs in their bag and grow as golfers. I couldn’t have been happier with the way the season turned out. As a team each player showed great sportsmanship whether we won or lost. As the season progressed each player grew more confident in their game and more confident with their shots. I am looking forward to the future of this golf program and relish being involved in helping it continue to grow and develop.
Varsity Girls Volleyball by Coach Chaprales
The 2016 Girls Varsity Volleyball team is a special one. A team that was developed by four different coaches over four years, with seniors who played for all of them. A team taken from a record turnout of players wanting to play. A team who worked together through many injuries, played in positions and rotations that they never had before, and in turn qualified for the tournament for the first time since 2013. I am very proud of the 15 Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors on this team for their hard work, dedication, perseverance, and overall great attitude. I don’t think that I could have dreamt up a better group of girls to be my first varsity team and I hope you all had just as much fun this season as I did. I hope you will always remember the way it felt to beat East in 5 games, the way that you maintained your cool during the loud gym at SJP, and that “Harambe” means “Pull together”. Congratulations to a wonderful team on an excellent season!
JVA Girls Volleyball by Coach Solheim
Playing a team sport is not just about winning or losing. Sportsmanship, team spirit, self-confidence, friendship, all these things are gained while working with a team. I watched these girls as individuals, come together as a team and work together and support each other. As a team, they were challenged on the court not only physically but also mentally. As a team, they have won and lost games. As a team, they have learned together and have become one of the strongest support systems for each other. They learned to work together and play as a team. Mistakes were made but it was great to see them support each other and say, “Hey, that’s OK. Shrug it off, let’s continue.” It was great to see the positive side and not the negative blaming each other side which happens too often with teams.
Over the course of the season their serving, communication, spikes, digs, and strategy improved greatly. They never quit. They would come ready to play and put forth their best effort every night. And that was a great many hours. It takes a lot of effort and time to balance playing on a team and school work. There were individuals who stood out in different areas of the game, but one or two girls don’t make a team. Without all of them on the court, working hard, there wouldn’t be a game. I am proud of their work and how they really pulled together as a team and played well in all our games. I want to congratulate all of them for doing a great job and having a great season. I hope they enjoyed it and learned a lot. GREAT WORK!!
JVB Girls Volleyball by Coach Kantzelis
JVB Volleyball had a fantastic season with all players improving. We were a team made up of mostly freshman, and our skill sets varied from player to player. Throughout the season these girls continued to amaze me with some incredible rallies. By the end of the season our teamwork paid off, our skills improved and we started winning sets and matches. We faced some tough and aggressive teams, and we were able to hold our own and remain competitive. This team of girls has proven to be fierce on and off the court and I hope they will bring these new set of skills to court next summer.
Varsity Boys Soccer by Coach Conti
This has been my third year coaching at Sturgis West as the Head coach of the Boys Varsity Team. This season we came in with a set of goals. We have conquered many of our goals we set out to accomplish this year:
Be defensively and offensively sound; be above .500 for the season; build chemistry on and off the field; find a goalie for the season and for next year; win or tie against East for the season; make playoffs
From the first preseason meeting to the last game of the season, the boys showed me that every day will be more exciting than the last, and that we would strive to reach these goals.
We had a season that was prone to road bumps along the way, such as difficult games, commitments to other things (equally as important as soccer), injuries and sickness. With all of that adversity in front of these boys, they always found a way to put a smile on my face as well as everyone else on the team. We decided to keep giving our best and taking the next step to better ourselves personally and mentally. I reminded the players every game that all I can ask for is their best and to bring their best every game. The boys certainly did that and always made sure they had fun.
These boys realized that the scoreboard is not the only way to tell when you have won but to leave it all on the field. Shown to me by many of the boys was their compassion, willingness to teach others, personal and team growth, and even offering up their position, giving the bench players a chance to gain experience.
I also was lucky enough to have a great captains who were not afraid to let me know when there was a problem, or if they wanted to try something new. Alongside them were great players who also stepped up and made great contributions to help improve each one of us on the team. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know and coach these young men, and look forward to seeing how each of them turn out next year and the following years to come.
To Thomas McCormack, Konor O’Brien, Chase Palmer and Michelle Waldron. I have never met players and a manager who have as much dedication, teamwork, work ethic, heart, or passion for the game of soccer as you seniors. The way you play, practice, lead and learn are just amazing. It has been an honor to be able to be called your coach and a pleasure to coach you the last four years.
Junior Varsity Boys Soccer by Coach Negron
This year the JV boys’ soccer team was extremely successful. We played team soccer all season and were only beaten by two teams. Most importantly, we improved each game as our confidence and chemistry grew. There were several standout performances, but I must mention the leadership of team Captains, Sean Silvestri and Ben Vincino. Both led by example, always playing hard and encouraging the rest of the team. Beyond our success on the field, this group embraced the concept of “team.” Always positive, we enjoyed every minute together as a unit.
Cross Country by Coach Piers and Coach Martinez
At the start of the 2016 campaign there were a lot of open questions about how the team, both boys and girls, would move on from the 2015 season after graduating ten seniors. Who would step up and lead the teams, and carry on the deep tradition started 6 years ago?
For the girls, Captains Mary Kane and Emma Schneider and Senior Abby Spangler took up this challenge and have led the team to an impressive 5 and 1 Record as of 10/27/2016. What defines the 2016 season: there are only 6 girls that make up the team. The efforts of Eve Mitchell, Bri Newell and Isabel Husted have made it possible for us to compete for another Cape & Island Championship.
Captains JD Snowman, Chad MacMillan, Ben Piers, and the rest of the Sturgis West X-Country boys have worked very hard all season. Every hour long run, every speed workout, the boys have tested themselves on the roads and trails that make up the Cape and Islands League. With a 4 and 2 record as of 10/27/2016, they are poised again to challenge for the C&I Championship. With team depth coming from, Senior Nate Pappalardo, Junior Brenden Glynn and Standout Freshman Colby Barnes and Drew Andre, 2016 West X-Country continues the long tradition started 6 years ago.
A special thanks goes to Doug & Marilois Snowman. From tents to keep the kids dry during long weekend meets, to dinner spreads that would put a Food Network host to shame. Your contributions and support over the last 4 years have made our growth possible.
A heartfelt thank you to Rebecca Piers and Dianne Kane. A five year tradition of timing and scoring all of our home meets. You have been witness to many victories, few losses and 4 C&I Championships. Thank you both so much for the all you have done.
Senior Student-Athletes – The Athletic Department wishes to recognize the commitment and diligence of senior athletes to their fall season team. The leadership of these student-athletes has continued to build upon the positive culture at West. We wish each of them continued success as they complete their senior year.
Volleyball: Gabi Boucher, Meghan Guptill, Jennifer Harney, Catherine Mahoney, Ashlynne McNally.
Soccer: Chloe Bass, Sarah Buchanan, Sarah Walman, Thomas McCormack, Konor O’Brien, Chase Palmer, Michelle Waldron.
Field Hockey: Ellen Dallaire, Annie Dankert, Lily Healy, Brigid Morrison. Golf: Ryan Linn.
Cross Country: Dylan Chagnon, Kai Herbst, Brett Sullivan, Chad MacMillan, Nathan Pappalardo, John Snowman, Abigail Spangler, Mary Kane, Emma Schneider, Carly Maruca.
East Fall Athletics-Aaron Crowell
Boys Cross Country – Mike Beckner
While this year’s team was only the 8th fastest all-time for runners 1-5 and 6th fastest all-time for runners 1-7 in school history, they posted an undefeated record in the Cape & Island League. Additionally, Division 6 Sturgis East stepped up to compete against larger schools losing to Division 1 Barnstable, and beating Division 4 Dennis-Yarmouth for the third year in a row.
In the Cape & Island League Championship race the Sturgis East boys scored a convincing victory for school’s fourth championship in the seven years the league has been in existence. Senior Cameron Henchy was the Cape & Islands League Championship Runner-Up for the second year in a row after winning the title in his Freshman year. He was joined by Sophomore Mason Martin and Junior Ben Davis as Cape & Islands League All-Stars.
The surprise of the season was the emergence of Sophomore Mason Martin as the number two runner. Mason Martin broke his career best time five times during the season, improving from his Freshman best of 6:42 down to 6:05 per mile with the MSTCA Invitational and the MIAA Eastern Massachusetts Division 6 Championship still to be run before the season ends on November 12th.
Cross-country is scored based on seven runners per team, with the first five runners’ places being added together for the team score. The lowest score wins. This makes the 4th through 7th runners critical to a team’s success no matter how accomplished the top three runners on a team are.
That made the addition of Freshman Max Etheridge, who broke his career best time twice, and Senior Cian Hanrahan, who broke his career best five times, critical to the team’s success. Their individual performances moved them both into the top 7 scorers and earned them spots on the 10-runner roster (7 Starters & 3 Alternates) for the upcoming MIAA Eastern Massachusetts Division 6 Championship race. Joining Max Etheridge and Cian Hanrahan on the Division 6 race roster will be Cameron Henchy, Mason Martin, Ben Davis, Ted Sandland, Ethan Sirhal, Ezra Heilmann. Sam Smith and Will Dufault, who replaces Holden Parrent who is dealing with a health issue. With seven of the top 10 boys returning next year, the team expects to contend for its 5th Cape & Islands Boys Cross Country Championship in 2017.
Girls Cross Country – Mike Beckner
Having successfully defended their 2014 Cape & Islands League Championship last year, the Sturgis East Girls Cross Country team went into the 2016 season having won the Cape & Islands League Championship five out of the six years since the league was instituted.
With six returning Seniors and 8 of the Top 10 All-Time fastest girl runners in Sturgis East history there was reason to be optimistic about a 6th Championship. While this year’s team performance was only the 3rd fastest all-time for runners 1-5 and 3rd fastest all-time for runners 1-7 in school history, they posted an undefeated record in the Cape & Islands League and added the 6th Cape & Islands Championship overall and 3rd in a row to their accomplishments.
Senior Olivia Furner was the 2016 Cape & Islands League Championship Runner-Up, after finishing 9th her Junior year. She was joined by Senior Katie Rheinhardt (3rd Place), Senior Caroline Sullivan (5th Place) and Senior Molly Nemes (8th Place) as Cape & Island League All-Stars. Olivia Furner also set a new career best time that moved into 5th place on the All-Time Sturgis East Girl Runner List.
The girls team also won the 2016 Massachusetts Charter School Invitational race for the first time. The team was led by Senior Katie Rheinhardt’s 8th place finish. She was followed by Senior Molly Nemes, Senior Olivia Furner, Senior Caroline Sullivan (who was battling an ITB injury) and Junior Jessica Whelpley.
With the MSTCA Invitational and the MIAA Eastern Massachusetts Division 6 Championship race remaining on the schedule before the completion of the season on November 12th. The girls team hopes to better their 10th place all-time best Division 6 finish in 2014.
The upcoming 2017 graduation of 6 of the all-time best girl runners in the history of the school will present a rebuilding challenge. With only 6 runners returning to defend Sturgis East’s 2016 Cape & Islands League Girls Cross Country Championship next Fall, the team will be led by rising Seniors Jessica Whelpley (6th All-time) and Niko Pol (10th All-time).
2016 Varsity Golf – Coach Mike Serjian
The team was made up of two seniors, three juniors, a sophomore and a freshman. Over the course of the 14 matches, five of the seven players turned in a medalist score during the season: Emily Rodricks and Andrew Williams (40 each at Cape Cod Academy); Emily Rodricks (38 at Nantucket); Joey Colesano (41 vs. Rising Tide); Nolan Bourgeois (45 at Cape Cod Tech); TJ Gordon (44 vs. Cape Cod Tech); Andrew Williams (44 vs. Nantucket); and Emily Rodricks (39 vs. St. John Paul II).
The first half of the season was competed using match play scoring. Emily Rodricks posted a 3-2 record. Joey Colesano 1-5-1; Vinny Collucci 5-1-1; Andrew Williams 3-3-1; Nolan Bourgeois 2-4-1; TJ Gordon 4-2-1; Liam Campbell 2-0.
The team wishes seniors Emily Rodricks and Vinny Collucci good luck with the rest of their senior year and in their college futures.
JV Golf – Coach McKay
It was a wonderful fall for golf —the weather was great and the golf was challenging and fun. Six young women and five young men made every effort to improve their game, and to compete with other JV squads on the cape. We have Hyannis Golf Course and Twin Brooks Golf Course to thank for permitting us to come and enjoy the use of these courses and their amenities. The driving range was used once a week for instruction and Russ Caron, a volunteer and the father of the best golfer to ever come out of Cape Cod, assisted each golfer on how to drive, pitch, and putt. The two golfers that impressed as freshmen –Gabby Williams and Shane Ryder have a bright future and they brought a great attitude each day. Ethan Watson showed consistency and a strong desire to improve, a strong contender for a place on varsity next year. Our juniors came to do their best and demonstrate consistency as well as showing a willingness to compete against superior teams—Hally McLaughlin and Elizabeth Anderson. Six seniors—Zak Longinidis, Brian Hasson, Emma Mulkern, Lauren Bourgeois, and Bridget Bessette comprised the rest of the team. We definitely had senior leadership—especially Bridget Bessette who coordinated practices, jacket purchases, and sartorial splendor—definitely the best dressed JV team on the cape—they presented well and conducted themselves at a high level. We at Sturgis should be proud of our team —respect and good sportsmanship up and down the lineup. Thanks for a wonderful year!
Boys Varsity Soccer – Coach Brian Hastings
“Most coaches will tell you that, as a season approaches, they begin to plan as to how they will develop a team from the previous year’s returning players. Although every coach expects some new players that may help fill a team’s needs that were brought on by graduation, it’s very rare that a coach gets as lucky as I was this past fall to have the quality of new players at tryouts. As it turned out, three freshmen, Mark Agostinelli, Jake LaMotte and Sawyer Gibbons (one of my ball boys from four years past) all stepped right in at the varsity level and made significant contributions to our team and season. Another freshman, Evan Taubert, also helped us out mid-season when we had some injuries. You don’t make plans for players like this, we were just very lucky to have them.”
The paragraph above is the way I started my 2013 season ending report. As I sit here trying to figure how to say “goodbye” to these guys, they’re not alone as over the past three years I’ve added Jeremy Nadler (3 years varsity) and Nick Pinard (2 years varsity). The six of them feel like family. I could not have been blessed with any finer young men, athletes and leaders for our 2016 season. While we also have many other very talented players who certainly had a great impact on our season’s success, the six seniors were the “glue” that kept us all on the right track.
It’s somewhat amazing how history can repeat itself. From 2013……
”Another thing that most coaches will tell you is that there are things that can’t be taught at practice but which are very necessary for the success of a team. As a team, we were able to come from behind in some critical games. Most notable was our game with Nantucket. Having scored 4 goals against us in the first meeting of the season, Nantucket started fast and scored in the first 5 minutes of our second match on the island. Right there a lesser team would have given up, but not these guys. I actually think that we got mad and played our hearts out. The reward for our efforts was a tying goal in the last 46 seconds of the game when Mackenzie lifted the ball over the Nantucket goalie’s head.”
This year it was Franz (53 seconds left) who did us the honor of being able to leave Nantucket with a tie. We were the only team in our league to blemish Nantucket’s unbeaten record. Of all the teams that I’ve worked with at Sturgis, I think this team has had the most potential and depth of skill. In addition, we all seem to get along and support each other. I truly believe that, as Jake approached his record-breaking scoring mark of 18 goals in a single season, the players were right there behind him, pulling for his success every step (or shot) of the way. I’m quite sure that Jake would be first to admit that he couldn’t have done it alone.
While talent and skill are important in any activity, athletic or otherwise, it is truly attitude and effort that breed success. It is the character and cohesiveness of these players that takes us into State tournament play. We’re all going to miss our great bunch of seniors. Their shoes will certainly be tough to fill. But I’m just as sure that the rest of us are already saying….” Wait ‘til next year”.
JV Boys Soccer – Coach Ken Huckins
The boy’s JV 2016 soccer season was like no other at Sturgis. After the varsity team was selected, the JV team consisted of 22 players. Of the 22, three were sophomores and only one of them was a returning player. The other 18 players were first year freshman.
We were scheduled to play 8 schools twice each. Of the eight 3 could only play one game due to lack of players and one school cancelled both games due to lack of players. In four of the games we played, we loaned players to the other team and in two games we played short-sided 8 on 8.
Getting 22 players in every game, which we did, makes it very difficult to stay in the same position each time you substitute. Therefore, the players were forced to play multiple positions during the season.
Even though we were a team of rookies playing in unusual conditions, we held our own and I believe each of the players develop their skills and enjoyed the season. All 22 of the players participated the entire season and Noah Smith, Kevin Olson, Bruce Hubert, Jared Linhares, Noah Whelpley and Grady Andrews were all invited up to postseason play with the varsity.
Because there will only be a few varsity positions open next year, many of the JV players will be returning next season making it a very strong team. I’ve enjoyed working with the team this season and thank them for their hard work and dedication. I look forward to next year.
Varsity Field Hockey – Coaches Doherty and Sherman
From day one these student-athletes showed their enthusiasm and desire to learn and improve their field hockey skills. We had players who had played on a summer league to students who had never picked up a field hockey stick before. Our first game against Sturgis West we were able to score, but ultimately lost the game. This did not get our girls down! They came to every practice ready to learn whatever we could teach them. Sometimes this involved breaking it down step-by-step, but no matter what we were doing they always had a positive attitude. When you look at our final standing for the season, 0-10, we see two numbers representing how many games we lost and how many we won, but I believe, and I think many would agree, that a number does not reflect how much growth and improvement there was. If you compare our first game against Nauset to our last game, which also happened to be Nauset, you’ll see that our team, mainly made up of Sophomores and Freshmen, could apply what we had practiced in the game and the cohesiveness and fluidity of the team had drastically improved. Our success cannot be defined by 0-10, but by how much growth there was in the time-span of two months. The team will be able to pick up what they learned this past fall and continue their growth next season, which will bring us that much closer to closing the gap between games won and lost. We are incredibly proud of the Sturgis East field hockey team and they should be incredibly proud of themselves as well!
Girls’ Varsity soccer 2016 – Coach Austin
Varsity started with a couple of easy games which we won, this probably gave us the impression we were better than might have been expected. We were quickly shown the error of our ways and had several difficult losses. As the season went by, starting 3 freshmen and only having 3 seniors on the team there was improvement every week. Losses the first time against a team became wins later, finishing with our first ever win against Nantucket, a great win against a strong Monomoy team and after a difficult away game against St. John Paul where we lost 5-3, we were able to pull out a nice win to finish the season.
Looking back, we were a young team, losing just 3 seniors from this group portends well for next fall. With our central defense, goaltender and one of our most dangerous forwards all freshmen I would expect us to pick up quickly when the season starts. I’d like to thank the players for keeping their spirits up during some ugly losses, especially Abbie Churchill who on several occasions must have been tired of picking balls out of her net. We struggled to stop the top teams from scoring. With all that we finished 7-9, only one win from making the tournament. Our league was very balanced with 4 teams making the tournament and Sturgis West getting a #2 seed. I hope next year to join that group.
GIRLS JV SOCCER – Coach Jessica Woods
“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcome. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” – Wade Boggs former Red Sox Player
At the beginning of our season, and my first as a coach, I anticipated being the mean one for making my team run so often. Instead, we sat down after a light jog and decided as a team what our main goals were going to be for the season.
After chatting for a while we decide to focus on bonding as a team, becoming more in shape, and to win at least half of our games. Needless to say, we reached all of our goals through sweat, determination, teamwork, and a few spectacular people stepping up to the plate on any given day. Freshman Amanda DaCruz had an amazing breakthrough defensive game vs. Nantucket, and although we lost the game, it does not properly represent how we played as a team that day. Lydia Rheinhardt, another freshman, scored two goals against West. We quickly learned she may be quiet at first, but is one tough cookie! Our forwards and midfields, Hanna, Shelby, Kylie, Jillian, Aubrey, Anna and Emily were always flexible, especially when I would request a quick switch in position, I rarely was given a little eye roll. Depending on the circumstances, I even had to have our defensive players play different positions. Our defensive chatterboxes Kelly, Jess, Gillian, Ellen, and Amanda changed the game when they communicated with the team. They also made it nearly impossible for other teams to have fast breaks. When tested our goalie, Tianna made some key saves throughout the season.
The growth, commitment, talent and team spirit of our freshmen were off the charts. Miranda and Liz would jump in full force, no matter what was requested of them – both on and off the field. Although there were days where the running was hard, and we were losing in the first half, we managed to pull through as a team and support each other with positive reinforcements. My favorite part of the whole season was when the girls would fill out the goal sheets, and I got to see their own reflections of their growth. I couldn’t have been happier with my team, and am proud to have kicked off my first coaching season at Sturgis.
Varsity Volleyball – Coach Sarney
I was asked one year ago tonight if our amazing run of 4 straight MIAA tournament appearances (with 3 wins) and 2 consecutive C&I league titles (in only 3 years of existence) was in serious jeopardy. I said “It won’t be easy, but I think we will be alright” After all, we saw 5 starters graduate that night from our program.
Rebuilding a team can be difficult and can take time. There is a way to avoid a full rebuild though and our returning players knew what to do. You work your tails off in the off season. That is what happened. Virtually every returning player played volleyball during the off season, some in more than one venue.
When I sat down with our new captains, Delaney Wood and Ariana Jackson just before pre-season, there was a profound sense of optimism. Our two main goals were set, defending our league title and returning to the tournament. There was no doubt it would be hard and would require us to practice differently than previous teams had. Adding to the unknowns about ourselves that we faced was the fact that all 4 of the other C&I teams had new but very good head coaches. There would be no easy league games.
We faced the daunting task of replacing 2 setters, 2 outside hitters, a middle blocker and 2 quality defensive specialists on the bench. Yet, after a very successful showing in the HYCC summer league it looked as though we would be alright.
The season started a little rough. Following an opening win over Nauset, losses to West, Bethany Christian, Falmouth and Sandwich surrounded a win on Nantucket. It was obvious we needed a change. The new players also needed to get more accustomed to each other. While captains Delaney at libero and Ariana at middle blocker were solid, we were not comfortable until moving to a single setter offense. Freshman Callie Sullivan stepped up in that role. Callie improved all season and was at her best in big late season league games. Her first contact kill of a Rockland overpass Friday night sparked our comeback in game 3. She certainly made a huge pre-season question mark a strength by the end of the season.
The change led to 7 straight league wins, culminating in wins over Cape Tech on Dig Pink night to clinch a tournament berth followed by a showdown with SJP2 on Senior night for the league title. Once again Delaney and Ari led the way to the title.
Playing tough Div 2 teams has always been part of our philosophy to better prepare us for the tournament. While frustrating, the final three games were good tests and we were very competitive.
Replacing the starting outside hitters would be Senior Heaven Voegeli and sophomore transfer from DY Ally Rogers. Both girls had solid seasons and made a difference in games when we needed them especially from the service line. Ally showed great versatility at times this season moving over to opposite hitter to allow Delaney to play some at outside. Her biggest play of the season may have been Friday night when her kick return of a serve resulted in a point that nearly sparked us to a 5th set. Heaven also showed the ability to be flexible, playing all around the rotation at times to change our look. She had huge games at SJP2 and in the second West game to help us win
Junior Jill Doyle also moved up from a reserve role to take over at a middle spot. Her improved blocking and offensive touch made it tough for other teams to focus on the outsides.
Junior Colleen Cameron continued in her role as a defensive specialist and even played a few games at libero. Her clutch serve showed up numerous times, including Friday at Rockland helping us get a 3rd game win to extend the match. Nobody hits the floor like Colleen in efforts to get the ball.
Junior Gabby McKinnon may have been our most improved player. I remember watching a summer league game from up on the track and seeing her digging balls everywhere. Gabby actually started the season as our other setter, but in the aforementioned offensive change, she went back to DS and did it seamlessly. Her kill off her face at Sandwich was a highlight (once we knew she didn’t have a concussion).
Junior Lily Lane returned from multiple knee surgeries to get back on the court. Her determination and grit was infectious as well as her soft hands as a setter and sneaky lefty serve. Her ability to step in on the line helped us win a few games down the stretch.
Sophomore Grace Rapo and Junior Olivia Cram both showed huge improvement this season and were able to help out in games when called upon. Olivia has developed a great serve and got to show it off in games at Cape Tech and Plymouth North. Grace started the season playing at opposite, then moved into a backup outside role. She had some big plays in both Cape Tech games and versus Nantucket.
Another big surprise was the mid-season call up to varsity of Freshman Carly Burns. Carly stepped in right away at opposite and played her role as a blocker very well. Her improvement offensively showed up under pressure Friday with a couple of huge points in games 3 and 4.
Freshman Ana Magalhaes also was promoted from JV mainly to provide some needed defensive depth. Her work ethic is amazing and her desire to be our libero sometime down the road is something to look forward to.
Senior Janna Lindhares found a spot as a reserve outside hitter and played very well as the season wore down, including a solid performance on Senior night in her first varsity start in a crucial game.
Finally, once again it is hard sometimes to convey how much we rely on great captains here. We have been blessed with great ones in the past and this season was no different. On and off the court, both Ari and Delaney showed what it means to be a Storm volleyball player. They were both determined to make their senior season a successful one and not a down rebuilding season. They were more than successful. Delaney’s incredible defense and Ari’s dominating net presence will be sorely missed. Along with Heaven and Janna, I am confident all four of our seniors will be very successful in the future. Good luck ladies!
A HUGE thank you to our senior managers (and former players) Katrina Jackson and Sierra Proft. They handled everything from medical forms to uniforms flawlessly and handled the scorers table perfectly. Could not have made it thru the season without them!
Finally, another enormous thank you to our incredible assistant coaches Andrea Wood and Sheri Proft. Being able to rearrange work and family schedules to make practices and matches meant so much to not only me but the girls. They learned so much and we would not have met our goals this season without both of you!
Thank you as always to all our parents for your great support and our new AD Aaron Crowell for getting us thru the always interesting issues with the HYCC, West, and everything else!
Have a great off season and I hope to see most of you at Cape Cod Juniors, Cape Cod Volleyball Camp, HYCC summer league, or all three.
JV Volleyball Coaches Laheney and Wood
This season, the Sturgis East JV Volleyball program welcomed a new coach, Dave Laheney. Coach L brought his own style, wisdom and energy to the team, motivating the girls with inspirational quotes, organized and instructive practices, and even entertaining cheers in the huddles. He helped the girls elevate their level of play and taught them the fundamentals of passing, setting, hitting and serving, sometimes even stretching their skills to an advanced level. Coach Wood also helped run practices and games, and offered positive instruction and support to the players.
The 2016 season started with a full roster of 20 players, including several girls who had never played volleyball before. We were pleased to watch the girls steadily improve and fall in love with the sport. In addition to developing basic volleyball skills, our goal was to help foster good sportsmanship, communication and respect for one another. We were proud to watch several girls graduate to Varsity, showing that hard work and dedication can definitely pay off!
Coach L also brought a new tradition to Sturgis: the “Blue and White” game. The JV girls enjoyed a fun intramural game complete with special t-shirts, camaraderie and pizza.
One of the highlights of the year was watching our girls play an impressive final match against Division 2 Sandwich JV. The future is bright for Sturgis JV Volleyball!
Thank you everyone for another wonderful season, and special thanks to Coach Sarney and Athletic Director Aaron Crowell for their guidance and support. We look forward to continuing to build this program next year.
Fight on Storm!