Friday, April 4, 2008
CCHS boys winter sports round-up
This season, the CCHS Wrestling Team, led by captains Ethan Sneider, Sam Eisenstat, Brad Mattison, Carlisle’s Tim Kirk and Jason Mestancik, had big shoes to fill after the huge loss of many quality seniors. Their new head coach, Kevin Capone formerly coached freshman football and currently coaches freshman baseball. Until this year, he was an assistant coach for wrestling. Partly due to his expertise in a variety of sports, Capone brings new energy along with a unique sense of humor. As coach, he was faced with the challenge that half of the team were freshmen.
The rookies fed off of Capone’s new energy, and learned essentials remarkably quickly. This in turn allowed the rest of the team to start practicing more advanced moves early. Being in such a tough league with powerhouses such as Weston, Wayland, Lincoln-Sudbury, and Westford Academy, it was difficult to achieve a .500 record. The team finished the season 4-6. However, as Mestancik noted, “With the heart and young talent this team has, they will have a promising future.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge any wrestler must face is conditioning – a good wrestler must maintain his strength, yet be always conscious of his weight. “It’s tough during holidays and vacations,” said Mestancik, a senior. “While everyone is pigging out at Christmas, or getting gifts on Valentine’s Day, a wrestler has to be able to say no to sugar. Every day is grueling, but I think coming out of this sport, I am a more disciplined person.”
Other Carlisle team members included sophomore Phil Sands and freshman Jon Mayer. Next year looks to be exciting, as it will be full of experience – 22 of this year’s 29 wrestlers were not seniors. The team will be led by returning captain Ethan Sneider.
With high school teams constantly changing as veterans graduate and up-and-coming rookies step in, a consistent coach becomes a desired piece of the puzzle. When last year’s coach, Tom Sullivan, stepped out, Dave Cohen, a former CCHS player and assistant coach, took the job. Although it would be difficult to top last year’s dazzling 17-3 season, his enthusiastic style brought new energy to the team.
Led by senior captains Eric Beaulieu, Tony Lania, and Carlisle’s Dave Grean and Matt Cheever, the team struggled at the beginning of the season. However, the experienced seniors and the new coach turned things around, finishing the season 9-4 with key wins over Acton-Boxborough and Boston Latin, consistently two of the top teams in the Dual County League (DCL). The revived season came to an end with a playoff game at Wakefield, which CCHS lost by one point.
Over the past couple of years, CCHS has been known as the tallest team in the DCL. “Next year we will be guard-heavy,” says Cheever, “so I would expect our strategy to change. I would expect us to be a quick pressing team next year if we expect to win.” With the departure of seven seniors, seven current juniors are expected to return next year for what will hopefully be a promising season.
The CCHS hockey program has gradually achieved success over the years. Last year’s team found themselves deep in the playoffs, and for this year’s team it was much of the same. Junior captains Stephen Winslow and Chad Edwards were the epitome of the strong but young team. However, all great teams require experienced leaders, and seniors P.J. Fulton, Fabian Fondriest, and Carlisle’s Marty Spears played key roles in finishing the season 14-5-1.
Although past years may have been equal in statistical success, few could argue with the fact that this year’s team possessed incredible unity. Carlisle sophomore Justin Harris commented, “We all treated each other with respect. That allowed us to have that good team vibe, and it definitely helped us perform well.” The team was well balanced in experience and ability, and started off strong by winning the first four regular season games. Confidence remained high throughout the season, and a brief end-of-the-season slump had little effect entering the playoffs, as CCHS outscored their first- and second- round opponents 15-3. The spectacular season ended in the North Sectional Final, as they suffered a devastating 1-0 loss to Marblehead.
The team looks to continue its dominance next year, as there will be an incredible total of 19 players returning.
Swim and dive
The CCHS boys swim and dive team capped off a successful year finishing 14th in the MIAA Division 2 States. Carlisle members included Dan Abel, Phil Lavely, Eric DeBruzzi, and Patrick Fantasia. Highlights at States included Phil Lavely finishing 11th overall in the 200-meter individual medley and a combined effort from Dan Tenner, Oliver Schultz, Eric Debruzzi and Phil Lavely to place ninth in the 200-meter freestyle relay.
As with any sport, being on the swim and dive team presents many challenges. “The toughest part of swimming is the commitment everyone had to make of coming to practice,” said junior Dan Abel. “Saturday mornings, we had practices as early as 5:30 a.m. Nevertheless, everyone made a huge effort to come each and every time.” Senior diver Sebastian Rogers commented on the physical and mental challenges: “Once you get your body to a certain point, it’s all about where your head is. Diving is an extremely mental sport in which you have to find an inner peace or motivation to help you succeed.”
The swim and dive team worked hard to achieve success this season, and expects nothing less for next year.
Much of the leadership on this year’s indoor track team, which has no captains, came from seniors. From the start, the determined seniors made sure that everything fell into place, and led the team to a very successful season, placing fifth in the DCL indoor championship.
Although the team’s season ended there, Carlisle’s Matt Knight, Chris Bojanic, and Phil Divino went on to compete in the MIAA Division 2 Championships. There, the three athletes represented their school incredibly well – Bojanic placed 15th in the 300 meter and 14th in the long jump, Divino finished ninth in the mile and tenth in the 4x800, and Knight placed 27th in the 1000 meter.
One of the most difficult aspects of track is training. Since there is currently no consistent indoor facility for the team to train in (practice time is sometimes available inside the Concord Armory), participants are forced to battle both exhaustion and inclement weather. “This year’s training was hard,” said Bojanic, a junior. “We were usually doing sprints down the back roads near Emerson Field or even on the snow-covered track.”
Other Carlisle members included Dan Ballas, Julius Johnson, Matt Koski, Zander Ansara, David Zhang, Chris Hoffmann, David Yanofsky, Ben Parrah, Sean Fidler, Adam Koski, and Curran Wilmot.
Coming off an incredibly successful season where the CCHS ski team dominated at States, this year’s team continued its tradition of success. Due to an abundance of talent and hard pre-season work, which involved consistent amounts of aerobic and strength training, they finished the season with a record of 24-6. The team won the Mass Bay West Ski League Omega Division. Carlisle skiers Alex Daniels and Ian Bloomfield were among the league’s top ten, finishing second and seventh respectively. CCHS finished 12th overall in the State Championships.
Next season looks very promising, especially for sophomore Alex Daniels: “We should be even better, seeing as we’re getting some new skiers and only losing a few,” he predicts. “Looks good for an undefeated season!” Other Carlisle members included Richard Carey, Andrew Guild and Lucas Abend.∆
© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito