Spring 2019 Sports Preview
Although winter continues its tight grip on Central New York, Cortland Athletics has already made the transition to spring with several varsity programs kicking off action over the past few weeks. The final stretch of the academic year promises to be jam packed with excitement, so be sure to make your way out to a game, meet or match this spring and cheer on our Purple Tigers!
Athletic Director Tim Wagoner said, “We look forward to warmer weather and the fields drying up. Our teams are eager to get outside and start practicing on the track and fields. Please visit our school website to see up to date spring sports schedules using Schedule Galaxy.”
With schedules just starting to get underway, we sat down with all of our varsity head coaches to get an outlook on their teams for this coming season. The following rundown will give you a sneak peek inside the season for several of our spring athletics programs.
Head Coach: Ben Albright
The Varsity Baseball Team looks to improve on last year’s season. With 6 returning seniors (Jake Prunier, Michael Jewett, Noah Barber, Nick Cody, Caleb Thompson and Jordan Shortsleeve), leadership will not be an issue. Coach Albright said, "the team is looking to build off last year’s team which was inexperienced at the varsity level but has learned and grown as a group. We should be able to contend at the top of the SCAC Empire Division. Along with the returning seniors is Jason Carr (sophomore returning) and newcomers Ricky G Young - Sr., Zach Norton - Jr., Adam Minnard - So., and Tyler Blake - Fr.
This season, we will play all of our home games at the brand new Gutchess Lumber Sports Park. The Park is a state of the art full turf venue that includes 2 full sized baseball fields, dugouts, 10 inning scoreboards and stadium lights. The season is promising and the team is excited to compete."
Head Coach: Chelsea Palma
The CHS Softball Team is ready for the opportunity to begin rebuilding and redefining our program. The team is looking to improve by committing to work hard day in and day out. Coach Palma said, “with only 6 returners, we are excited to see how our newcomers step up to the plate. Our returners include seniors Sarah Boyce and Ashley Shortsleeve, juniors Pearl Hettich, Kayci Olson, and Lillian Quick, and sophomore Alyssa Greenwood. Joining us for their first year on Varsity is senior Lily Devlen, juniors Gabby Fowler, Eden Morgan, Lyndsie Babcock, Kathryn Aumick, and Calista Van Epps, sophomore Makayla Cotterill, and freshman Kristin Rowland. In the circle for us this upcoming season will be senior Ashley Shortsleeve with newcomer Kristin Rowland behind the plate. Our main focus this year is getting better every day. As long as we stay committed to our goal, this group of dedicated and determined girls has a lot of potential to be successful.”
Head Coach: Sean Mack
The CHS Boys Lacrosse team is excited for the opportunity to improve upon a 7-9 record and 6th seed in sectionals from last year. The team has a mix of seasoned veterans and younger athletes coming up from JV. Coach Mack said, “our key returners are Brandon Ludwig (12th), Rory Hines (12th), Nick Litzenberger (11th), Andrew McCormick (10th), Matt Fernandes (12th), Dylan Strauf (12th), Donovan Hartnett (11th) and BonScot Devlen (12th). Coming up from JV and looking to contribute right away are Martin Monroe (11th), Cody Benner (11th), Dave Benjamin (11th), Landon Rozewski (11th), Adam Jubran (11th), Collin Williams (10th), and Owen Riley (10th). This is a hard working group who is looking to have success this season and we are all excited and interested in where we will finish in a very competitive league and section.”
Head Coach: Kindra Catalano
The CHS girls lacrosse program has the opportunity to be successful this season. The team is filled with returners from previous varsity seasons with many of these girls playing several sports together. Coach Catalano said, “the dynamic is that of grit, energy, and explosive lacrosse. Some rule changes will allow the game to move at a faster pace and be dictated less by the officials. In our second season as a member of the SCAC Empire League we will face a challenging schedule with 14 league games. Senior leadership will be expected from returners, Lauren Swartz, Elyssa Yonta, Morgan Tabel and Tsai Lewis. In their third season with the varsity team the junior class includes Abby Ricottilli, Jenicah Brown, Hannah Aldrich and Grace Call. Heading into their second season as varsity players are juniors Liz Decker, Tora Edwards, Emma Baum and Shyanne Lewis. Sophomore Hannah Partigianoni returns for her third varsity season while Kylie Davie, Bella Smith and Dania Gutierrez will join varsity as rookies this year. Bella and Dania will protect the pipes. Helping with team management will be McKenna Snyder as she works to recover from surgery this season in preparation for her senior season.” New to the coaching staff will be retired PE teacher and long time coach Maureen White and CHS alum and recent SUNY Brockport Alum Taylor Thomas. This group of talented, passionate and driven student athletes will rely on grit, experience, and teamwork to show the lacrosse community that they are on the rise.
Head Coach: Cheri Olson
Boys tennis has balance between new players and returners this season. Coach Olson said, “Grayson Jones, Nick Djafari, and Trevor Jubran are returning starters. Most of our new players are younger which is really good for the future of the program. We have already had a few upsets in practice during our challenge matches, so I am very excited to see where all the guys end up in the lineup. The newer players are working hard to get better every day. With so few returning starters, we have a lot of work to do to determine who will end up playing doubles and who will play singles. There is a lot of potential on this team. We hope to turn that potential into a successful season.”
Head Coach: Luke Schweider
The boys track team has potential to be very successful this year. The team has a good number of athletes that are determined to improve as the season goes on. Coach Schweider said, “this year, we have a team of 33 boys that are relentless in their training and are committed to their individual and team success. Out of our 33 athletes, 17 of them are freshman and it is their first year on varsity. This brings a lot of excitement because these new runners have a lot of potential and were very successful in their last modified season. Although half the team is new, we have experienced runners who have return from last year. Our seniors include Gino Cinquanti, Nick D’ Addario, Sam Forrester, Niko Ingle, Tyler Stevens, Chris Tanner and 2018 Sectional Champions Alex Ryan and Andy Ryan. I am excited to see how our veteran runners help mold our beginner runners into elite varsity athletes like themselves. This year we plan to finish in the top half of our league. Multiple individuals also have their eyes set on sectional championships for their events.” The teams first home meet is on Wednesday, May 1st against East Syracuse-Minoa and Fulton. The only other home meet is on Wednesday, May 8th against Fowler.
Head Coach: Vince Lizama
The varsity girls track team off to a phenomenal start this year. Coach Lizama said, “we have a group of athletes this year that are leaders who like to encourage and motivate their teammates. One thing that stands out to me with this particular group, they never settle for less. Every day, they come to practice and put in work, leaving the day better than they were yesterday. Hopefully with all this hard work, a successful season will come ahead of us. With a handful of seniors and returners, our team grew adding 7 new freshman, who came up from modified track, that have great potential at competing on the varsity level. Senior Meredith Brafman, Amanda Parzynski, Kara Perkins, Larkin Schumacher, and Ella Wilson are coming back with big goals in mind this upcoming season. As a team, we are ready for the spotlight to shine on us! Go Purple Tigers!”