Friday, December 14, 2007
CCHS boys fall sports round-up
As defending DCL and state champions last year, C-C soccer had some pretty big shoes to fill. Entering this year's season, players and coaches knew they would be asked to take a stab at one of the most difficult tasks in sports: to repeat. Considering the skill the team had last year, it was amazing to see how this year's team did not disappoint expectations. With 14 seniors graduating, some said this year would be a time to rebuild. However, of the ten returning players, eight were seniors, creating a team with equal experience. The team had 13 seniors in all.
From the first kickoff to the last whistle, the Patriots played with a great deal of intensity. After winning their season debut 7-0, many were reminded how electric this team could be. As C-C continued to win, they continued to climb in the state rankings. Finally, about halfway through the season, they found themselves second to none: number one in the state. The Patriots did not stop there, as they all knew there was more work to be done. Keeping their undefeated streak alive, they finished the season 16-0-2.
The dynamic offensive duo of Concord's Theo Terris and Carlisle's Mike Burke had helped carry the team all season, and it appeared that nothing could stop them in the playoffs. However, Burke suffered a concussion, and after sitting out two playoff games, he started in an all-important game against a dominant Masconomet team. With an outcome few movie scripts could capture, Burke rallied his team back from a 3-0 deficit, scoring the game's last three goals and keeping the Patriots' hopes and dreams alive with a narrow 4-3 victory. "It was great to come back after being down so much," said Burke, "especially since we had never been down by three before. It definitely boosted the team's confidence and helped us come out firing against Dracut." Burke was named a Dual County League (DCL) All-Star.
A double-overtime heartbreaker in the state semifinals ended the Concord-Carlisle season, but it could not diminish the Patriots' accomplishments in the season. For the first time ever, C-C had an undefeated regular season. Until their semifinal loss, they had climbed as high as 24th in the nation.
In addition to senior Mike Burke, Carlisle varsity players included juniors Ben Verrill and Ben Young and freshman Cam McGrory. Next season is eagerly anticipated, as JV soccer also went undefeated.
After losing many graduating seniors last year, C-C found itself with a relatively young football team. All in all, it was an up and down season, with the team finishing the season 3-7. Carlisle seniors Jarrett White, Oliver Cragan, Henry Carr, David Grean and Cam Bjork led the team to victories over Methuen, Newton South and Boston Latin.
Next year the Patriots hope to turn things around, with 18 returning seniors. "Our current juniors have a lot of experience playing in varsity games," said junior Frankie Crowley. "We should be pretty competitive next year." The current JV team went 9-1.
Non-graduating Carlisle players included sophomores Thornton Ritz and Dillon Mariano.
As predicted, the golf team had a very successful year. Last year's team had a phenomenal year, with a few seniors leading the way. In all, this year's team was much more experienced. Led by seniors Charlie Morrison and Andrew Berman, the team finished with a record of 11-7, making it all the way to the finals. They finished as the North Sectional runners-up.
Junior players were Stephen Winslow, Tommy Ferguson, Brian Byrnes, and Paul Keane. Sophomores were Brodie Stone, Zach Arnold, Jake White, Matt Haller, Tim Fay, Alex Shanahan, and Carlisle's own Justin Harris and Connor Deignan. Said Harris, "Next year's team will be even better. Everyone's looking forward to it."
Led by Carlisle co-captain and DCL All-Star Phil Divino, the cross-country team had a phenomenal season. The team went 5-3, and seemed to improve as the season went on. Divino placed first for C-C at the DCLs, and 25th at the EMass (Eastern Massachusetts State Meet) championships. Other Carlisle runners included seniors Matthew Knight, Zach Lou and Jason Mestancik, junior Matthew Koski, sophomores Phil Sands and Phil Lavely, and freshmen Sean Fidler, Adam Koski, Drew Albano, and Derek Lamoreaux.
Cross-country, as any member involved would be quick to note, is a very demanding sport. Being prepared requires training not just seasonally, but all year round. After the fall season, participants usually continue with indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring. In addition, individuals are constantly training alone. Runners are challenged to complete a legendary summer workout with the fitting name of DOOM. To complete the workout, one must be in top physical condition, as it usually requires one to have done over 50 hours of running, with circuits and workouts on the side.
When asked to comment on the work ethic cross-country demands, Carlisle sophomore Phil Lavely replied, "This is the hardest sport I've ever been involved in, and I'm sure others would agree. The team invested lots of strenuous work into this past season, and we certainly saw the results." He added that coach Steve Lane was also a major influence in the team's success. "He is a superb coach, and could not have done a better job." Lavely looks to continue C-C's success next year when he and Caleb Brewer will be captains.
© 2007 The Carlisle Mosquito