by Mike Schutsky
When many people are sitting by their fireplace, drinking hot chocolate and trying to keep warm during the cold winter months, there is a group of people spending their afternoons engulfed in a pool, practicing jump shots, or even running on the track in sub zero temperatures. These driven and ambitious athletes participate in sports that sometimes (unfortunately) get overlooked.
The winter sports at RFH include basketball, swimming, winter track, wrestling, and hockey. All of these sports have had major success in the past, and strive to continue their winning ways.
The most popular winter sports teams are girls and boys basketball. There has been some speculation that the boys’ team will not be as strong this year after an incredible 2010 season, but point guard Kevin “Pookie” Alter wants to put those rumors to rest.
“The guys we had last year were all great players, but our guys this year are willing to fight. We know that if we work hard, the sky is the limit,” he says. With key members like Alter, Jack Wise, and Evan Benkert, the team should be just as dominant as it was last year. Alter believes that the team this year will “go out there and play with no fear.”
On the other side of the court, RFH girls’ basketball is just as dominant. The Lady Dawgs won the WOBM Christmas Tournament for the second year in a row last season. Similarly, all five seniors on the team have committed to Division I and II colleges. For example, Victoria Lesko recently committed to Boston College, and Ellie Wilbur the University of Tampa. Unfortunately, with these achievements, many think the athletes will be unfocused this upcoming season. However, the seniors believe differently.
“The effort should be the same because the goal is still the same that we want to win the state championship, no matter if we are in to college already,” said Ellie Wilbur. The members of the RFH girls’ basketball expect to be in great shape as they approach the season.
One winter sport that is not as well-attended as basketball is swimming. The RFH boys’ swim team had only nine members in its 2009-2010 season. The Tower Review asked swim team member Gigi Russo what can be done to make RFH swim team more popular.
“We can make more announcements, and posters. We just need more advertising. Swimming is a great sport and it is also a great way to get in shape for other sports.”
The boys’ swim team will start their season without Connor Jaeger, who is now swimming for University of Michigan. Although Jaeger will be missed, the team remains positive.
“Definitely not having our D1 swimmer, we may take a hit a little bit, but Bryce Harlan will be a great team asset to the team after recovering from solder surgery,” commented Andrew Gaffney.
We wish the swim team the best of luck this season.
Winter Track is an interesting sport at RFH; it is a hybrid of cross country and spring track. It is a great way to get in shape for spring sports and annually draws a healthy crowd of participants. The Tower Review asked senior Chris Veasey about team unity since the Winter Track team is so large.
“You become close with the guys you run the same events with because you are on relay teams with them and you practice with them,” Veasey said.
The RFH winter track is a team to watch as they vie to win a state championship.
Wrestling is a sport of endurance, strength, and skill. Whether conditioning, lifting, or making weight, it takes dedication to put the team first…and your opponent in a hold. Though many of the bulldawg wrestlers have suffered from injuries this preseason, key senior returners such as Nick Hodgkiss and Tommy Scheffer look to help the bulldawgs win a state championship. With many juniors and sophomores chomping at the bit and ready to prove themselves, it should be a good season. Good luck, gentlemen!
One of the largest and most talented of RFH teams has sharpened its skates and is ready for another successful season. Seniors Luke Wilson, Chris Saporito, Vincent Padula, and Campbell Dickson hope to lead the bulldawgs to many wins. Junior Henry O’Hern had this to share regarding the approaching season: “We are going to be pretty good this year. We have a new coach and I expect good things to happen this season.” With new staff and team veterans like Padula and Wilson, the RFH Hockey team has loads of potential this season. Skate to victory, dawgs!
All of the RFH winter sports are extremely competitive and the athletes are superb. Each look forward to a successful 2010-2011 season and with the help of the RFH Dawg Pound for support, it should be a great season. We wish them luck, and we are excited to see them in action this year!
Be sure to check out the winter sports schedules on the school website. GO DAWGS!