2019-2020 Winter Sports Season Preview
The leaves have fallen off and the weather is getting colder, which means that the winter sports season is about to get underway! Cortland student-athletes are in the gyms, at the ice rink or bowling alley practicing over the past few weeks to get prepared for the rapidly approaching year. It’s an exciting time of year as we transition from the outside to indoor sports. Close to 400 winter student-athletes participate in our programs at either the modified, JV or Varsity levels! We sat down with all of our varsity head coaches to discuss the upcoming winter season:
Boys Basketball - Jeremy Milligan, Head Coach
Coach Milligan said, “the 2019-20 squad is very young and inexperienced with only two underclassmen on the roster from last season. With that being said, we have some athletic and talented players that will be moving up from the JV, and a few new seniors to the building that should add to the mix to make our season unpredictable. My goal for the season is to quickly get players acclimated to the pace and physicality of varsity action, and have our team competing hard. If we can steadily progress as team as the season moves on, I will be very pleased. I think we have the ability to surprise many opponents who believe the well is dry considering we graduated 8 of 10 and lost all starters and our all-league players.”
Girls Basketball - Nolan Sinclair, Head Coach
The 2019-20 season should be an exciting one for the Girls Basketball program.Coach Nolan Sinclair said, “the varsity team is filled with many significant players that have been part of the program for multiple years. Lyndsie Babcock (four years), Kaitlyn Pratt (three years), Shyanne Lewis (three years), Marissa Gilmore (two years), Gabriella Fowler (two years), and Paige Ludwig (two years), all return from last year's team that made it to the Sectional Quarter Final.
This years squad also boasts one of the deepest benches that I have had in my tenure as Girls Varsity Basketball coach. The players that came up from JV had an extremely successful year last year and they are passionate about the program and the game of basketball overall. We are, and have been working extremely hard to continue to improve each and every day, as we strive to make it even further in the Sectional Tournament this season. Don't miss out on some exciting basketball this season from the Cortland Varsity Girls Basketball Team!”
Girls Volleyball - Cheri Olson
Cheri Olson is in her 12th year at the reigns of the volleyball team. Cheri said, “with only one senior last year, most of our team is returning. With the addition of the new juniors, we have quite a large squad. The girls will have to fight for starting positions, which should make the team stronger in the long run. Kayci Olson and Grace Call are returning captains and are leaders on the court. Both were large contributors to our wins last season, Kayci as our MVP outside and Grace as our starting setter. Tori Cruz and Hannah Alrdrich are returning to lead our defense. Marissa Parzynski and Lindsey Bush are back with their powerful serves and high volleyball IQ.
Alysha Wehnke and Lexi Zacek are returning outside hitters that are battling for a starting spot in the lineup. Marissa Chierchio is a returning setter with soft hands and great hustle. Alex Gier is one of last year’s starting middle blockers, but will be taking the season off due to a knee injury.
New to the team this year are defensive players Kylie Davie and Alyssa Greenwood, outside hitter Megan Harrington, rightside Delia Bair, setter Jenn Baker, and middle blocker Julia Guest.”
Indoor Track - Paul Drexler, Head Coach
Paul Drexler is the head coach for the second year. Coach Drexler said, “we have a larger group of girls joining the team, which is great to have even more Cortland athletes at the big meets and will definitely help our points and placing. Hopefully this year we will athletes qualify and go to the State Championships in Staten Island in March!”
Wrestling - Mike Tenkate
Coach Tenkate and Coach Ciotoli are excited to continue to rebuild the program. This is their second year as head and assistant coach. Coach Tenkate said, “we have a few more guys on the team this year, which is a great step forward! We have good returners in Luca Canzano, Brycen Palmer, FJ Ott, Noah Wurst, Marcus Hines, and Jarrod Bush. We're looking forward to developing with newcomers Zack Price, Luke Darling, and Devon Legacy. The rest of the guys have started off working real hard and pushing themselves really well.”
The only two home events this season are on December 3rd and December 18th. The team hopes to have the gym full of Cortland fans cheering them on!
Ice Hockey - Chad Totman
Coach Totman said, “we are a very young team this year with 13 out of 26 players that came out for the team are freshman. However that does not mean we will lack fire power. Returning we have First Team All league and Allstate second team Nick Gravel (Defense 33 Points) and Jed Brazo (Forward 45 points). We also expect big things from seniors Nick Djafari, Dominic Tutino, and Nate Evans. We will kick things off on the road with defending State Champions Skaneateles on Friday, November 29th at 6:30 p.m. and our first home game is on December 17th @7:00 p.m. vs Clinton.”
Bowling - Annette McMahon
This year's Varsity bowling Teams has 15 returning bowlers and 11 new bowlers. Last years starters were Adam Minnard and Jake Keep will be joined by Joe Kane, David Benjamin and Cody Wilk. Coach Annette McMahon said, “we'll have plenty of backups with Koby Davis, Mason Bellrose, Michael Frederick, Kian O'Connell, Austin Cotterill, Boston Lockwood, Jacob Moran, Isaiah Craig, Erik Decker, Corey Smith and Zach Norton.
The Girls team has Calista Van Epps, Makayla Cotterill, Victoria Strobeck Autumn Wells and Jillian Riccardi returning and newcomers Kendall Keep, Hailey Moore and Alison Oaks. I'm seeing improvement after the first few practices and have hopes that we will do well and make it Sectionals again with both teams.”
Coach Nikki O'Donnell said, “this season the cheerleading team will be competing at four local competitions. The Cheerleaders will be hosting our section league competition on January 15th. They are starting their season off strong with 15 returning cheerleaders. In addition to the competitions, the cheerleaders will be cheering for the varsity girls and boys home games!”
All schedules are posted on schedule galaxy off the athletics department website. People can also follow us on twitter for updates @CECSD_Athletics. We wish all of our winter sports team luck this year!