Spring Sports Wrap-Up
By Chris Wood and Griffin Johnson
As summer approaches, many spring sports teams are pursuing sectional and state championships yet again. And this year even more so with many Jamesville-DeWitt High School teams holding the top seeds going into their championships.
Baseball: After a 15-8 season and making it to the Section III Class A Final, the team came up short on May 30 and lost to New Hartford 3-2 at Alliance Bank Stadium. The team was the fourth seed going into sectionals and came out of the first round with a 10-2 win against Whitesboro. Then, in the second round they faced Oneida and won 12-5 and advanced to the final. The Rams came into the final hitting the ball great and confident as they had previously played New Hartford and had won 9-0. But, this time J-DHS fell to New Hartford. However, sophomore catcher Paul Fitzgibbons said, “I would say that we had a successful year, I mean we came up short of our goals, but we played well and won a lot of games.” Senior Captain Matt Yonta thinks that they played better than expected. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into the season with such a young team, but I think we had an edge that J-D baseball hasn’t had in awhile,” Yonta said. He went on to say, “Even though we came up one run short in the final, I’m still proud of what we did and how we did it.”
Softball: The Softball team is 19-4 and is moving on to the State tournament after winning the Section III title for the first time in nine years. On May 30, the Lady Rams played Phoenix, the two seed and what they considered to be their biggest obstacle towards winning sectionals. Senior Captain Tessa Deveraux said, “If we can advance past Phoenix, I think we can win sectionals.” They won 9-2 after posting two four-run innings and shutting Phoenix’s hitters down, allowing only six hits. Then on June 2 the team squared off against the number one seed Oneida (18-4-1) in the Sectional Finals and won with a score of 5-0. Sophomore Kerri Keeler pitched a four-hit shutout and senior Deborah Toscano drove in three RBIs to help carry her team to the win. The team now will face South Glens Falls on June 6 for State Regionals. If they win the game on June 6, they will play Saturday (June 9) in the State Semifinal. With a win there, the team will play the same Saturday for the State Championship.
Girls Lacrosse: The Girls Lacrosse went 10-7 this season. They were the fifth seed going into sectionals and had to face Fulton (15-4), the fourth seed, in the first round of the sectional tournament. J-DHS had already faced the Raiders during the regular season and lost both games. J-DHS failed to defeat Fulton yet again as they fell 18-6, ending their season. Although the team didn’t accomplish their goals of winning the league and sectional title, senior Captain Lauren Beville says they still got something out of the season. “Coming into the season we wanted to bond and have a lot of team chemistry so that we would play better together. We definitely achieved great team chemistry,” says Beville. She went on to say, “We didn’t win the league, but we came close and worked really hard throughout the season regardless of wins and losses.”
Boys Lacrosse: The two-time defending State Champions Varsity Boys Lacrosse Team came into the season with their minds set on winning a third-straight state title. The team fell three times during the regular season, all three losses coming from nationally ranked teams. Their first loss came early on in the season from Niskayuna (18-1 overall record and ranked at 19 in the nation by Under Armour High School Power Rankings) who defeated the Rams 17-10. The Red Rams also fell to number 15 in the nation, Duxbury (Massachusetts), 10-8. J-D later suffered their third loss of the season to Fairport High School (ranked 5 with a 19-0 record).
But all that is past them now according to senior attackman Deke Burns. “Our goal coming into the season was to end our season with a win and get our third straight state title. If we lost a game along the way during the regular season, we weren’t going to dwell on that,” says Burns. Now J-DHS heads into the State Semi-Final game after defeating Carthage High School to win their third straight Section III Championship, as well as Vestal High School in the State Regionals. The Rams will face Irondequoit High School in the Semi-Final game at Cicero North-Syracuse High School on Wednesday, June 6. If the Rams can overpower the Irondequoit Eagles, they will move on to the State Finals where they will face either Yorktown (ranked 22) or the number one team in the nation, Garden City, who J-DHS has defeated two years in a row in the State Championship game. Burns says, “We’ve put ourselves in a good spot to execute the three-peat. Now we just have to play harder than we have all season.”
Boys and Girls Track: The J-D Boys Track and Field team ended the regular season with an outstanding record of 7-0. The team ended up as League Champions after the season was through. Many of the team members qualified to move on to the Section III Championship Meet: seniors David Barletta and Ryan Peters for throwing; senior Will Sterricker and juniors Navale Taylor and Taumeras Howard as part of the 4x100 team; and sophomore Zach Leibman and Howard for the pole vault and high jump events. As a team, the boys came just short of a sectional title as they scored only 4.5 points behind Indian River. Only a few of these competitors advanced individually to State Qualifiers, but none moved on to the state championship due to the extremely high standards needed to reach it.
The girls team won also won the league title with an undefeated season at 7-0. They also advanced many of their athletes into the Section III Meet. But, unlike the boys, the girls were able to win Section III as a team.
Girls Golf: The team finished the season with a 12-2 overall record, coming in second place to undefeated (14-0) CBA in the Onondaga High School League. Sophomores Molly Hair and Victoria Roney, freshmen Jessica Rieger and Alanna Jones, and junior Chelsea Clark represented the J-DHS Girls Golf team in the OHSL Championship in which they lost to CBA by 12 strokes combined. Then, juniors Valerie Purcell and Chelsea Clark, senior Hali Greenhouse, freshman Alanna Jones, and sophomores Victoria Roney and Molly Hair competed in the Section III Finals. Hair and Roney have qualified for the State Tournament which is this weekend. Roney said, “I think we did amazing this year and I think we were able to accomplish almost all of our goals.” Roney also noted that the team was very tight-knit and had a lot of fun together.
Boys Tennis: The team finished the season with an overall record of 11-2 and with a conference record of 10-0. Senior Captain Andrew Lee said, “I think we came out strong this year and with our depth we beat CBA, which was our main goal. Also we had a lot of clutch wins from our doubles teams.” Juniors Steve Procopio and Abe Davis came in first place for doubles in sectionals and qualified for states and senior Jim Quartier and junior Amir Nazem moved on as well.