After a long hibernation made longer by a late start to spring, students are finally trading in their boots and coats for sandals and sunblock. Before the school closes in June and students officially start their summer break, it is important to reflect and recognize our student athletes. The short “spring” was jam packed with excitement as most of the Cortland Athletics teams made it to the sectional qualification level.
With schedules winding down, we sat down with all of our varsity head coaches to reflect on the spring season. The following rundown will give you a glimpse of the results of our spring athletics program.
After a slow start to the season, 0-5 in the team’s first five games, the squad turned it around at home against the JD Red Rams and earned an upset win at home. This was the start of a six-game win streak that saw the team play some really good baseball over that stretch.
The Varsity Baseball group earned a bid in the Sectional Tournament and received a home game against a tough squad in New Hartford. New Hartford edged the Purple Tigers to end their season.
However, the team had earned the Sectional Bid and achieved the NYS Team Scholar Athlete Team Award. Currently the CHS Baseball Team is expecting to also be nominated for the ABCA Academic Excellence Award. This award is presented over the summer, but is based on the team’s overall GPA from the Spring Semester.
Despite coming off of a championship year, Varsity Softball hit some challenges throughout the season. Some player highlights include Ashley Shortsleeve and Sarah Boyce were both named All-League First Team honors.
Coach Nicole Latham said, “Ashley Shortsleeve was the catcher/pitcher for us this year and did a great job. Sarah Boyce turned 17 double plays this year which is the most in the league. Pearl Hettick was named second team and had a steady bat for us all year. Taylor Hart was named Honorable Mention. We are sad to lose our entire senior outfield this year, but wish them luck in college. Lillian Quick was named the Rookie of the Year. We held our post season banquet at Beaudry Park.”
The Varsity Boy’s Lacrosse team had some ups and downs this season. Head coach Sean Mack explained, “Our players showed tremendous growth and improvement from the start of the season to its conclusion.”
Boy’s Lacrosse needed to win four of its last five games to make it into Sectional Playoffs and the players buckled down and got it done. The team earned the sixth-seed and lost in the Quarterfinal Round to third-seeded Westhill (who later went on to win the Section 3 tournament).
The team thanks the commitment and dedication from its senior class. Sean Mack said, “We will miss our seniors and truly appreciate everything that they did for our program. We are excited for the future as the varsity team returns many core players and the JV team was 9-7 this year. We hope for a bunch of those players to step up and contribute next year.”
The Varsity Girl’s Lacrosse team started off the season with a win against Central Square. The team built on this win and had a positive season. Head coach Kindra Catalano said, “We had continued growth throughout the season. We landed fifth in our new SCAC league winning four of our last six games this season with a 4-12 overall record.”
One challenge the team faced was battling mother nature. Kindra said, “All but three of our games were played in some kind of rain, snow, or below 40 degree temperature.” In addition to the lack of warm weather, several athletes battled injuries.
Kindra explained, “This team wouldn't be complete without standout performers like Kathleen Starr, Abby Ricottilli, McKenna Snyder, Jenicah Brown, Hannah Aldrich and Elyssa Yonta and Tsai Lewis (in just her 2nd year playing lacrosse). Natalie Gier rounded out the senior class of three with quality minutes, scoring two goals in our last game. The junior teammates, Lauren Swartz, Morgan Tabel and Maddy VanDonsel battled some injury, but still produced on and off the ball; they would carry the team on their shoulders if they could.”
When asked about the future, Kindra said, “Newcomers like Tora Edwards, Liz Decker, Emma Baum, Kelley Morgan and Shyanne Lewis have improved and are all eager to return for a few more seasons together. The future is bright and exciting with this young, talented and driven group of student athletes. They are hungry to build this program back to its competitive ways.”
The team will continue offseason training this summer and fall.
The 2018 season started off a little rocky, but improved as the season went on. Head Coach Luke Schweider explained, “At the beginning of the year we had to deal with the weather, a brand new coaching staff and facilities that were different than where we would compete (hallways compared to the track). The athletes were able to adjust and practices were meaningful.”
As the season started it became apparent we were lacking athletes and our numbers were down. This made it hard to win dual meets. The teams league record was 2-7 and the overall record was 4-8.
However, Track and Field is not about the record; it's about improving each day and displaying that at each meet. “Every single one of our athletes set a new personal record (PR) this season. Some of them it was a PR just for the season while others it was an overall career PR. This means that all the hard work put in at practices had payed off.” said Coach Luke Schweider.
One highlight of the season was that Alex Ryan won the 800-meter run for Section 3 with a time of 2:04.46, which is a career personal record for him. He had an outstanding finish and won by .3 of a second with a foot race for the last 50-meter. That win also put him into the State Qualifier Meet in which he got fifth-place with a time of 2:07.00.
“I gauge the success of the season on how much each athlete has improved. Having every athlete set new PRs is a big accomplishment for the team. They put in the hard work and they were able to see the results.”
With weather being a factor, the team got off to a slow start. Coach John Busch said, “I am proud to say that all the girls steadily improved as the season progressed. Eight girls qualified for the Section 3 meet including the 4 x 100 team of Malana Booker, Larkin Schumacher, Neve' O'Connell and Nevaeh Amo. The 4 x 400 team also qualified which includes, Neve' O'Connell, Nevaeh Amo, Lauren Phetteplace and Kaitlyn Pratt (with Julia Spaziani as alternate). Malana Booker qualified in the 100-meter and the High Jump. Lauren Phetteplace qualified in the 800-meter and the 1500-meter, Kaitlyn Pratt qualified in the triple jump and the 200-meter. Amanda Parzynski qualified in the discus. Malana, Lauren and Kaitlyn have met the marks required for the State Qualifier in the High Jump, 1500-meter and 400-meter, respectively.
Special recognition goes to Kaitlyn Pratt for getting fifth-place at the State Qualifier meet with a time of 62.12 seconds, and Lauren Phetteplace who placed 11th in the 1500-meter with a time of 5:13.54.
As with all of the spring sports, Varsity Boy’s Tennis got off to a slow start due to the weather. Once the sun came out and the team was able to get outside more consistently, the work of training for the season started.
Head coach Cheri Olsen recapped the season, “Boy’s Tennis ended their season with a 7-5 record, with 6-of-7 players qualifying for Sectionals. Cooper Swartwout and Damian Brown made it to the Second Round of Sectionals with a 10-3 overall record for the season at First-Doubles. These senior captains will be greatly missed next year.
Dan Ruggiero and Kai Hokanson also had a successful season, ending in the Second Round of sectionals. Their overall record at Second-Doubles was 7-3. At Third-Doubles, first-year players Jon Frederick and Trevor Jubran went 5-1 on the season. At singles, Grayson Jones and Nick Djafari also made it to Sectionals. Grayson lost in the First Round playing First-Singles and had a 4-5 overall record. Nick played Third-Singles, losing in the Second Round with an 8-5 overall record.”
Overall, the team got stronger as the season went on and we are proud of their accomplishments.
We wish to remind all parents and family members to check the athletics website for up to date athletic schedules and summer camps. Athletic Director Tim Wagoner said, “We are proud of our all spring athletes. As we transition to the fall we hope to see parents and community members cheering on our teams!”