This is the second installment of the high school spring sports preview. A preview of the baseball team will appear in next week’s Gazette, along with game recaps from the first week of the sports season.
Just five starters return to varsity softball from last year’s 10-10 squad, which advanced to the first round of the state tournament. Catcher and outfielder Sarah Williston is the team’s lone senior. Five sophomores and six juniors, including returning position players Kendall Robinson and Micheli Lynn and pitching duo Emily Cimeno and Hailee McCarthy, round out the squad.
Getting to the playoffs “is our goal again this year,” head coach Donald Herman told the Gazette. With such a young team, and the always-brutal Eastern Athletic Conference schedule, he added, “It’s a tough goal.”
Winning in the EAC is a particularly daunting task—the softball team is 1-23 in league play since joining the conference (0-8 last year).
Coach Herman said he expects this year to be one of development and improvement, with an eye on the playoffs; next season and farther down the road he anticipates the team will “reap the benefits” of a growth season.
The girls travel to Mashpee this weekend, where they play six scrimmages in two days. Their first game is on Thursday against Chatham.
The boys team is “looking pretty good this year,” head coach Chris Green reported. A “good amount” of juniors and seniors anchor the 23-man roster; 20 of the players were on varsity last year or came up through Andrew Reed’s JV program.
“We’re excited,” said coach Greene. “We’re out to win the league [this year]. This program is far enough along that we can do that.” The boys’ team got off to a rough start last year, was plagued by injuries throughout the season, and finished 8-9.
Four-year starter Nelson Dickson is back in the goal and takes on the helm of captain along with fellow senior Conor Smith.
Seniors Charlie Everett and Colby Gouldrup anchor the midfield, with juniors Nick Costello and Marc Nachitioni and senior Denver Maciel also expected to contribute as starters. Coach Greene said he expects the second offensive to contribute significantly as well.
The boys play their first game tomorrow against Pembroke. Their first home game is next Saturday against Falmouth.
Track and Field
Lots of new faces turned out for the first weeks of track and field, said head coach Joe Schroeder. “We were encouraged by that.”
Alongside the newcomers, however, is a core of seasoned veterans.
The team sent 16 athletes to the MIAA state meet last season, and many return this year, although the sprinters took a bit of a hit in the loss of former Vineyard standout Randall Jette, 18th in the state in the 100 meters.
The boys’ team is led by senior hurdler and jumper Rafael Maciel and senior discus and shotput thrower Tyler Araujo. Maciel led the boys’ soccer team in the fall, while Araujo is in his third straight season as a team captain, having previously helmed football and hockey.
Girls’ captains are distance runner Shivonne Schofield, jumper Mia Benedetto, and thrower Kaija Nivala. The team is “more on the young side” than the boys, said coach Schroeder, with the bulk of the squad composed of sophomores and juniors. Nivala and senior Maggie Riseborough (undefeated in the EAC last season) lead a strong group of girls’ throwers.
Distance and middle distance competition also looks strong across the board, coach Schroeder said, which is “a carryover from cross-country season.”
The team competes in six dual meets this season, beginning with an away meet at Abington on Tuesday, as well as four invitationals. The invitationals include a night meet and an all-relays meet.
Plans to resurface the 17-year-old track were postponed until the summer.
Winter Sports Update
Basketball players Peter Keaney, Jack Roberts, Maggie Riseborough and Jennie Lindland participated in the annual Cape Cod High School All-Star Basketball Games on March 18.
Keaney, Roberts and Lindland were also selected Eastern Athletic Conference All-Stars. Junior Izak Browne rounded out the Vineyard basketball all-stars.
Seniors Tyler Araujo and Colby Gouldrup were voted boys’ hockey all-stars, as was sophomore Tyson Araujo. In the Southeastern Massachusetts Girls’ Hockey League, seniors Celia Mercier and Maggie Johnson received nods.
Boys’ hockey cocaptain Nelson Dickson received the Boston Bruins-Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Sportsmanship Award.