Winter Sports Preview
Boys Varsity Basketball
Coach: Mr. Woods
This year’s Varsity Basketball team is a veteran group, being the first team in 3 years to not include any underclassmen. While the team contains many vocal and emotional leaders, such as Evan John, Matthew Nix and Marjohn Manuel, the team still looks to take another step forward and find other leaders. The team has a good “ability to get out in transition to push tempo. We have guys that like to play on the defensive end which I think will help us get out on the break.” according to Coach Woods. Even though it is early in the season, Coach Woods said he could identify consistency in effort level as one weakness for the team so far this season. The team has many outstanding players, but one in particularly mentioned by Coach Woods was Evan John, who was a player on the ECIC Div II First Team in the 2017-18 season, and “is being looked to for helping the younger players grow as the season progresses.”
Boys JV Basketball
Coach: Mr. Licata
This year’s JV Basketball team contains a great mix of experienced players and players who are just starting their basketball career, as well as a coach who just entered at Sweet
Home! The team has strong numbers in both the athleticism and depth categories, as well as a plentiful number of defensive players, but according to Coach Licata, “Right now, a weakness would be just learning our system. Games start fairly soon and we still have a lot of learning to do. In order to be successful, guys need to learn our various offenses, defenses, inbounds plays, press breakers, etc, so it is a ton to cover in a relatively short time.” Some returning players this year will be playing a big part of the team, with guys like Antowan Holmes and Tyrell Laws, as well as Silas Fairclough, Dominic Lewis, and Diar Flemming who all had improved and developed within the past summer. Overall, Coach Licata is optimistic and looking forward to the upcoming year with the JV Boys.
Girls Varsity Basketball
Coach: Mr. McNamara
This year’s Varsity Girls Basketball team has great chemistry, senior leadership and balance. The team has “been playing together for years.” and has 5 returning starters, such as Madison Gerber and Jenna Petrus who will be getting the team easy buckets at the offensive end of the court. Other mentionable players include Briana Millender who is “tough and a force to be reckoned with in both ends of the court” according to Coach McNamara, and Zora Flash who has a “high basketball IQ and shares the ball well.” Overall the team has a strong group that will be play very well this season against their opponents.
Girls JV Basketball
Coach: Mrs. Carlson
This year’s JV Girls Basketball team is one of the larger ones compared to past years, with the roster consisting of 16 girls, 6 of which are returning from last year. The team is well focused on improving from the 4 win record of the 2017-18 season, as well as surprise opponents with speed and growth overall as a team. Coach Carlson said the team has “great additions to our program as well as 6 returning players, two of which are expected to be players of interest this season. Jae’lyn Kelly and Adrionna Harris are players of interest, for they have taken on leadership roles on the team and are expected to be a strong offensive and defensive force!” This year the team has taken on the motto of “Family” and is focusing on building the program by becoming good leaders/models, and listeners, all while “leaving no-one behind and handling all obstacles, adversities, and accomplishments as a family.”
Coach: Mr. Smith
The Boys Bowling season is being featured in a separate article being written by Logan Toth. Check the Panther Eye homepage for the article.
Coach: Mr. Russo
This year’s Girls Bowling team is quite the veteran one, and the girls are attempting to keep up Sweet Home’s 17 season winning streak. The team, made of 11 girls, “has a unique blend of experienced bowlers and talented newcomers which should bode well for us” according to Coach Russo. The team has hopes of winning the large school north division and be strongly represented at sectionals in February, even with their two newest bowlers, Sophomore Kelly Parucki and 8th Grader Cassidy Papero who are both expected to see plenty of playing time, and are already starting to improve greatly.
Boys Varsity Hockey
Coach: Mr. Gerspach
At the time this article was published, no response was received from Mr. Gerspach regarding the Boys Varsity Hockey team.
Girls Varsity Hockey
Coach: Mrs. Adimey
This year’s Girls Varsity Hockey team features 27 players, 4 of which are Sweet Home players, included among players from Clarence and Amherst. Key players from Sweet Home include Hannah Barrett, who according to Coach Adimey, is “the teams #1 goalie and stronghold in net,” and Sara Barrett, who “is a very fast and versatile player playing both forward and defense. She will play a big part in our special teams this season.”
The team overall is an experienced group, 16 of which are returning from last year, in hopes of taking the championship trophy home this time, as the team was defeated barely in the championship game last year. The team is in it’s 9th year of competing, and Coach Adimey would love to see more students and support at the team’s games.
Boys Varsity Swimming
Coach: Mr. McCarthy
At the time this article was published, no response was received from Mr. McCarthy regarding the Boys Varsity Swim team.
Indoor Track & Field
Coach: Mrs. MacPeek
This year’s Indoor Track & Field team is quite a large one, totaling 106 athletes including 11 middle schoolers who show much potential. Key athletes for the team this year include Kaleb Luton, Ray Sambrotto, Brianna Bucello, Jayden Wagner, Jordyn Waller, Solomon Shabazz, Ashley Lucina, Adam Smith, Jacob Weissenburg, Tim Spengler, Derick Kenyon, Bruce Dickinson and Claire Kearney, all who are leaders in their events.
This season Mrs. MacPeek expects to see many athletes names in the headlines, as “each event has many outstanding athletes and we have some depth in our sprinting events.” The team has a very good bond, “We are all connected as a family. Together we are Sweet Home” stated Mrs. MacPeek. Overall the team is expected to do fairly well this season, much to the help of Coach Lowe, Coach Gentile, Coach Schiferle and Coach Basehart, as well as many of the team leaders.
Coach: Mr. Lilly
This year’s Wrestling team is a younger one, with many underclassmen which has its downfalls. The team is trying to “rebuild with the young wrestlers and try and get them as much mat time as possible.” according to Coach Lilly. There are 4 returning wrestlers, Sammy Esaleh, Axel Andrews, Will Eaton, and Harith Alkalahf.
Harith is going to be someone to watch out for this year, as he is rebounding off of a 4th place finish in the Division I state qualifier, and a 4th place finish in the Class A tournament. Overall, the lightweights of the team are expected to be the strength of the team, while the heavyweights gain some more experience.
Matt is in his senior year at Sweet Home High School and this year will be his fourth year with The Panther Eye. Matt is the current Editor-in-Chief and maintains all Panther Eye social channels. He enjoys soccer, music and participating in Stage Crew. If interested in joining The Panther Eye team contact Matt using the options below.