Kicking off winter sports with confidence

Players+on+the+boys+basketball+team+sprint+down+the+court+during+Monday%E2%80%99s+tryouts.
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Kicking off winter sports with confidence

Players on the boys basketball team sprint down the court during Monday’s tryouts.

Players on the boys basketball team sprint down the court during Monday’s tryouts.

Emily Gazzaniga

Players on the boys basketball team sprint down the court during Monday’s tryouts.

Emily Gazzaniga

Emily Gazzaniga

Players on the boys basketball team sprint down the court during Monday’s tryouts.

Jaiden Edelman

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The Monday following Thanksgiving break is always a busy day for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s (MVRHS) student-athletes who participate in winter sports. Six teams held tryouts this past Monday: boys and girls hockey, boys and girls basketball, indoor track and field, and swimming. 

The girls basketball team, headed by varsity coaches Sterling Bishop and Kendall Robinson, missed their tournament by one game last year with a record of 9-11. The girls hope to make a run for the tournament seat they missed out on last year.

Senior captain Katherine O’Brien says that the team knows each other’s strengths and weaknesses and works great together. Her co-captain, senior Sasha Lakis, is excited about the squad’s offensive future. “I think our games will be really intense and have higher overall points being scored,” said Sasha. “We have been solid on defense, and our confidence in shooting is much higher this year.”

The boys basketball team, led by head coach Michael Joyce and coaches Kane Araujo and James Jennings, currently have some upward momentum. After going 2-18 two seasons ago, the team had a breakout year in 2018, going 11-9 and making it to the second round of playoffs. 

Senior captain Jared Regan expects the team to step into its own in the upcoming season. “We lost five seniors, but the guys on the bench last year can prove themselves this year. I’m confident.”

Girls hockey, coached by guidance director John Fiorito, restorative justice coordinator Nell Coogan, and long-time coach Andre Bonnell is coming into this season hot. Senior captain Lauren Boyd was confident in her team’s abilities heading into the upcoming season. “Last year, we won six games, and at the end we won every game straight in a row, unlike the season before,” she said. “So I think we upped our game. Not to jinx it, but I’m expecting that we make it to the tournament.” 

Boys hockey has high expectations, too, after going 12-5-3 and advancing to the first round of playoffs last season, breaking a spell of losing records. Coaches Matt Mincone, Geoghan Coogan, and Dace Moore worked with over 40 boys trying out for the varsity team this past Monday. 

Senior captain Kenneth Hatt said, “I hope I can be a role model to upcoming players and show them what it means to be a student-athlete. I hope to be an outlet for them, just overall a good teammate. If we operate as a unit, we’ll win a whole lot of games.”

Indoor track and field, led by veteran coaches Joe Schroeder, Don Brown, and new coach Mike Cutrer, has a reputation to uphold coming into the new season: both the girls and boys teams placed in the top 10 in Division 5 last season.  

“We have a large girls team,” said senior co-captain Paige Pogue, “with almost twice as many girls than boys so far. We have lost our amazing senior athletes, but we are gaining some new kids with a lot of potential.”

Her co-captain, senior Catherine Cherry, touted a positive attitude as well with regards to the team as a whole. “I have to say people should keep an eye on every member of this team — distance, throwing, and sprinting. I am looking forward to running with everyone.”

All six teams seem to be confident in their abilities. With spirits high, competition in the upcoming season is sure to be exciting. Games and meets begin next weekend.