After two weeks of tryouts and preseason practices, the spring sports season is underway at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Boys’ lacrosse, track, and the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams all had their first games and matches this week (scores were unavailable at press time), with baseball, softball, girls’ lacrosse and sailing kicking off over the weekend and into April.
Nine players return to the varsity squad this year, including seniors Ben Ciciora — pitching in the number one spot — and infielder Corey Perrotta. Other returnees include sophomore infielder Jack Roberts and juniors Del Araujo, Ryan Fisher, Chris Morris and Will Stewart. The team had its first scrimmage Wednesday against Norton, and will play its first game Wednesday at Norfolk County Agricultural School.
In addition to the seniors and returning starters, the lineup is complemented by a strong showing of players coming up from the junior varsity squad.
With most of the team already having a year of play under their belts, “I expect a lot from them,” said head coach Gary Simmons. Coming off a challenging first year in the Eastern Athletic Conference and a nonleague schedule that Coach Simmons described as “murderous,” the 2011 squad looks to improve on last season’s 2-18 record. Expectations are high across the board.
The team’s first home game will be April 10, against Newburyport.
Like its baseball counterpart, the softball squad is not lacking in experience; seniors Molly Cicioria, Emma Forbes, Crystal Miske, Alicia Oliviera, Jillian Sedlier and Emily Wilson return for a fourth year on varsity.
In terms of pitching, however, the team has “some big shoes to fill,” according to head coach Donald Herman. The loss of pitching standouts Caroline Davies and Martha Scheffer (both MVRHS ’10) means that incoming sophomore pitchers Emily Cimeno and Hailee McCarthy — both of whom made the move to varsity just this year — will be tested right away.
With the overall mix of good speed and athleticism among the squad, and the strong senior showing, the team looks forward to a strong season and improving on last year’s 7-13 record.
Sophomores Micheli Lynn and Kendall Robinson, along with junior Sarah Wilson, round out the 2011 team. Softball plays its first games this week against New England Christian Academy and Sturgis Charter School before returning home for an April 8 matchup against EAC Somerset.
Just seven members of Betsy Dripps’ league-winning varsity lacrosse squad returned this year, although with 40 girls trying out for the vacant spots, finding new recruits was a relatively easy task. Coach Dripps said 15 freshmen joined the team this year, laying the foundation for future seasons.
Returning this year to the girls’ lacrosse team are senior captains Niki Alexander, Angela deBettencourt and Molly Fischer. Junior April Hargy again takes up the goal and is joined by classmates Madison Hughes, Ana Irwin, Alex Mark and Cat Todd on the field. Sophomore Alayna Hutchinson also brings her skills back for the 2011 season, while sophomores Texe Craig and Taylor Poggi make the move up from JV. Sophomore Jennie Lindland, a standout in her freshman year, is sidelined this season with a knee injury.
With Fischer and Hughes, two of last year’s leading scorers, returning, and Hutchinson, Poggi and Todd expected to make big contributions, the loss of last year’s defensive powerhouse (Taylor Chisholm, Brianna Davies, Olivia Gross and Lonni Phillips) may not be felt as much as expected.
This is the lacrosse team’s first season playing in the Eastern Athletic Conference after making the move from the Maritime League. They will play their first game Tuesday against Coyle Cassidy and take on Falmouth at home on April 7.
The boys’ team has a tough schedule ahead of them this season, said head coach Ned Fennessey, but, as was the case last year, “the team to beat is Cape Cod Academy.”
The boys went 17-4 last season (including postseason play) and won the EAC 8-0, but three of those four losses, came at the hands of CCA.
With 17 players on the squad — the most the team has ever seen — and a strong varsity side including returning number one and number two singles players (senior Reid Yennie and sophomore Kent Leonard, respectively) and sophomore doubles players Justice Yennie and Justin Smith (making the switch from singles play), however, breaking last year’s record and beating CCA seems a not-so-distant possibility.
“Hopefully we can come close to that,” said Coach Fennessey.
Freshmen Patrick McCarthy (number three singles) and Ryan Sawyer (number two doubles) and junior Jackson McBride (number one doubles) round out the group, taking the spots of graduated seniors Grant McCarthy, Kyle Moran and Win Grimm.