Arlington Girls Softball Team’s Season Heightens

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Photo of Ellie Demaree (senior)

By Chloe Jackson

The 2018 Spring Arlington Girls Softball Season has commenced, and the team kickstarted the new season with an impressive record. The varsity team, ranked 37th in the state of Massachusetts and captained by seniors Abi Ewen and Ellie Demaree, holds a 9-1 record and 6-1 league record.

Girls Varsity Softball consists of sixteen Arlington High student-athletes, began practicing on March 19th with coaches Matt and Dan O’Loughlin; they will continue to play until the end of their season in early June. The team practices six times a week excluding game days. Senior Holly Russell is excited for this year’s “good start” that will “continue to improve and get better” as the season progresses. The softball program also held a successful car wash on April 14th to earn funds for the team.

Each year, several Arlington players are awarded league all-star awards. Players Holly Russell, Abi Ewen, Emily Benoit, Ellie Demaree, and Katie O’Brien have received recognition in the past, and are likely contenders to earn the title for another spring season. The Varsity team has maintained an impressive 0.364 batting average, a 0.927 fielding average, and has stolen 44 bases. Meanwhile, the Junior Varsity and Freshman teams have also displayed notable starts to their seasons. Many eighth graders have been offered positions on the freshman team, bringing in a younger generation to the high school program. Freshman Coach Bob Bartholomew has introduced them the high school softball experience.

As senior Holly Russell reflects on her years playing softball with AHS, she is “shocked that it will be over soon.” However, as her last sports season ever as a tri-varsity athlete comes to a close, she enjoys her senior season on the softball team. The girls softball team continues to fight for each victory as their season progresses and the school year comes to a close.

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Girls Frisbee Team Becomes a Spring Sport

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Clara Stewart, senior captain of girls ultimate team

By Eliza McKissick

This spring, an all-girls ultimate frisbee team was established at Arlington High School for the first time. Previously, girls could join the co-ed ultimate team; however this year there was enough interest to form an all-girls team.

Senior Clara Stewart was a captain of the co-ed team her sophomore and junior year, but has since decided to dedicate her time to forming the new all-girls program. Stewart says she spent a couple of years thinking about establishing an all girls program, but there was never a great push for it. However, this year Stewart explained that the “timing seemed right [and] there seemed to be enough interest.” With 18 girls on the roster, Arlington High was able to establish an all girls ultimate frisbee team

Junior Lilah Vieweg is new to ultimate frisbee, but is excited to get involved with the sport. Vieweg initially joined because she knew “everyone else would be a beginner, so [she] wasn’t too worried.” Other members agreed that they felt welcome to join, regardless of their experience level. According to Stewart, ultimate frisbee has a “great sense of community, where everyone is focused on helping each other succeed.” It is clear that this sense of community has made its way to the AHS girls team.

Since ultimate frisbee is not recognized as an MIAA sport, the team will operate as a club. For this reason, they will not receive school funding; however, they will be able to design their own jerseys and choose their team name. Stewart explains that the “team will be going through parks and rec to get field time.” Players will be responsible to pay for field time, jerseys, transportation, and any other costs that come with playing. Stewart shares that this can make it “hard to recruit since it can get expensive.” The team will be equipped with a few different volunteer coaches. Geoa Geer, who works at an ultimate frisbee organization known as BUDA,  and who is an ultimate world champion is one of the volunteer coaches. A few neighboring towns, such as Lexington and Newton, have girls programs already established. The Arlington High girls team will compete against these other teams in friendly scrimmages.

Equipped with excellent coaching and motivated players, the newly established Arlington High School all-girls ultimate frisbee team seems to be a great position for their first season.

 

Students Compete Against Teachers in Basketball Game

By Ellie Crowley

On Thursday, March 15th Arlington High School hosted the student teacher basketball game. The game was the second of its kind, with the first game being in November. Teacher James Barry says that following the first game “there was a lot of interest among students and faculty to do it again.” Director of the Foreign Exchange program, Mary Villano, had the idea for the game, and all proceeds are donated to an Arlington family in need. This particular game earned the students a victory, but despite losing, Barry says that “it was a lot of fun.” Be sure to catch the next game for some student teacher rivalry and the chance to support your community!

Boys Varsity Soccer Scored More Than Just A New Record

By: Lulu Eddy & Eliza McKissick

The Arlington High varsity boys soccer team had a successful season. They were number one in the Middlesex league, and made it to state semi finals until they were knocked out by Concord Carlisle on November 13th at Manning Field in Lynn, MA. The boys battled until the end, only falling to the last penalty kick, in a shoot out 5-4. This is the farthest the boys soccer team has ever gone into tournament, and was their first time winning the Middlesex league title.

Going into the season, the boys did not expect such success and victory. Many of the players had not experienced the varsity level before. However, the “strong chemistry” between the boys brings them all together and prevents cliques, mentioned a few of the athletes when questioned about the integrity of their team dynamic.

The boys attribute the team’s success to their coach, Lance Yadzio. He did a great job “listening to the players and bringing the input from the captain’s into games” said Cleary. Yadzio brings up any concerns with the whole team, keeping the players unified, which helps with the overall team dynamic.

When bench players hop on the field, they all give 110% of their effort and energy. Cleary points out that “their spot is on the line”, so they must give it all they’ve got to prove themselves to their captains and coach, as the three captains additionally help their coach with the starting lineup.

While sophomore Perry Sofis-Scheft is off the field, he takes his time to scan the game so he can bring what the team is lacking when he gets put in the game. He picks up where the starters left off.

Over the summer, many of the upcoming underclassmen attended captains practices, allowing them to gain a lot of skill and ball control. Senior captains Max McKersie, Lloyd Cleary, and Adrien Black kept these gatherings focused. Manager Jeff Pacheco observes that  “players such as Noah Aarons and Lucas Plotkin have earned their time by proving their dedication on and off the field”.

Cleary notes that “by being number one in the state, the team has come into some games too cocky” costing them a win. “You must take things one step at a time”, advises Pacheco. “Be there for the grind” Perry says. “Never give up” Pacheco adds.

 

Gymnastics Team Falls Below Radar

unnamed-1By Lilah Vieweg

The Arlington High School gymnastics team is often overlooked by students and teachers alike. Because their meets are rarely announced or their triumphs published, many students are totally unaware of the team’s existence.

When asked about this lack of knowledge about the gymnastics team, junior team captain Emily Smith-Kaufman replies, “I think maybe because there aren’t a lot of people who do gymnastics and because the team is really small, people don’t pay as much attention to it.”

“We are a lot better than people think we are,” says Smith-Kaufman. “ Last year, I wish people had come because we broke the school record, and we have done a lot that people don’t recognize.”

Says sophomore team member Karenna Ng, “I think what we do is pretty cool. I wish more people at AHS knew about us, because we work just as hard as the other teams.”

Sophomore team member Katja Ampe explains, “It’s an American tradition to watch football. It’s not a tradition  to watch gymnastics. I think generally more people attend the other sporting events, but also, that’s mainly because people don’t know that we have a gymnastics team.”  Unlike other sporting events at AHS, gymnastics meets are free.

“I really like the sport, because it’s physically hard, but it’s also mentally hard,” comments Ampe. “I mean, some sports are nice, but they aren’t as scary. In gymnastics, you have a four-inch wide piece of wood, four feet in the air. That is scary, and half of it is knowing that you can do it.”

Unlike other sporting events, gymnastic meets are free.

 

Hockey team honors Catherine Malatesta

 

unnamedBy Anna Hinkel

On Sunday, February 12, the Arlington varsity boys’ hockey team took on Hingham at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena in a game to honor Catherine Malatesta.

The game started out fast. Cully Curran, assisted by Drew Malatesta and Kevin Ouellette, scored the first goal during the first period.

Throughout the rest of the first period, through the second, and into the beginning of third, the score remained the same. Both teams were playing hard and the game was close.

Then John Piggot, with an outstanding pass from Michael Curran, scored the second goal for Arlington. The fans cheered and the stadium came alive again.

Desperate to somehow come back, Hingham pulled their goalie in favor of putting an extra player on the ice. This sealed the deal for Arlington, when Kevin Ouellette scored on an empty net, assisted by Cully Curran and Michael Curran.

At the end of the game, Drew Malatesta was named Player of the Game, chosen for his assist of Cully Curran in the first period.

Arlington finished the game with a 3-0 lead, making their record 10-0-1.

Team Skates at Fenway

hockeyBy Anna Hinkel

On Wednesday, January 11th, the Arlington High boys’ varsity hockey team played on their biggest stage yet: Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, which had been transformed into Frozen Fenway, a massive outdoor ice rink, for the two weeks of January 3-16th.

Arlington High was selected to play against Burlington High at Frozen Fenway; they were the first public high schools that were not from Boston to be chosen.

Other teams that played from Massachusetts include the Boston Bruins, Boston University, and Boston College.

The game was meant to be for entertainment, not competition, therefore, the outcome would not affect either team’s record. This did nothing to take away the Arlington High boys’ desire to win.

Though the pressure to win wasn’t there, it was different and daunting to be under big lights and more on display than normal. Not only did they want to win for themselves, but also wanted to win to prove they could perform in a higher level stadium, not just in local indoor rinks like Arlington’s Ed Burns Arena.

Everything in a rink is controlled, the temperature and the quality of the ice, especially. One would expect the conditions at Fenway to be less than exemplary, but the ice was smooth and well-kept, despite the high 50s temperatures.

The only thing that was really affected was the depth perception of the players, which was thrown off slightly by the bright lights of the park.

At a local rink, the spectators are usually just parents and fans from the school, such as classmates and maybe people from the opposing team’s town.

At Fenway, there is a huge crowd, people from both towns and some people who just come to watch a game at Fenway. There is no home team; it’s neutral ground for both teams.

This was a change of pace, but it was also amazing for them to play at Fenway – a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The Frozen Fenway experience would not have been complete without some behind the scenes perks for the team, which they got. The team dressed in the clubhouse and went  into the visitors’ batting cage. They also viewed all the old and new framed photos.

The team came out of this with not only an incredible experience, but also with a 6-3 win.

Senior Michael Curran had one goal. Sophomores Dara Conneely, Cameron Ryan, and Joel Hanley all had one, and freshman Brendan Jones, who provided all the information for this article, scored two goals.

Students Rally For School Spirit

AHS teachers take on an obstacle course dressed as sumo wresters (top left). Cheerleaders perform stunts (top right). Students compete in a game of tug-of-war (bottom right). The AHS hip-hop dance club performs (bottom). Photographer: Maya Pockrose

By: Maya Pockrose

On the last day of spirit week, between F and G blocks on Friday, September 30th, the AHS pep rally took place.

The AHS Pep Band played as students filed into the Red Gym and sat in their respective grade’s seating area. First on the agenda was determining which grade was loudest. It was, of course, the seniors.

Next, the AHS cheerleaders performed, per pep rally tradition. Following them, a newer installment, the AHS hip hop dancers, did a few numbers. Both groups did well and seemed to have practiced a good deal in preparation. One student said, “I liked seeing the hip hop dancers because that was different from last year.” Another “liked seeing some students’ hidden talents.”

During the rally, a school-wide wave went around the gym a few times. Then,the students competed in a relay race. During all the the events, the pep band played energetic tunes.

The t-shirt cannon was brought out as well, and just a few students from each grade were lucky enough to catch them as they soared into the bleachers.

Tug-of-war, a favorite event, followed. First, the teams from the four grades faced off in pairs, and then the winning team, the Juniors, went up against some tough competition: the teachers. It was a close match, but ultimately, the Juniors took home the win.

Then another crowd favorite took place. Paul McKnight, Justin Bourassa, and Graham Dimmock faced off in a fairly simple obstacle course, with one twist. They had to complete the course while wearing inflatable sumo wrestler suits, making for quite the spectacle. A student said that “seeing my teachers in fat suits was… odd,” while another found the event “funny and entertaining.” Ultimately, Mr. McKnight took the win, to the resounding approval of the audience.

As the rally came to a close, the announcements of the day’s upcoming athletic events were made, and finished with a pep-inducing round of “Let’s get fired up!”, each grade taking a word of the phrase.

As students poured out of the Red Gym at all exits and headed for their last class of the day, the pep band played. The pep rally seemed successful, and was considered a fun ending to Spirit Week. One student thought the “activities were cool in a way that got everyone working together,” and the rally “showed a lot of school spirit.” Mission accomplished.

Cross Country Teams Host Race

By: Claire Kitzmiller

On Saturday, June 11th at 9:00 AM, the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams will be hosting a 5K run/walk. The race is open to all levels of athletes/ non-athletes. The cost of registration is $20 until June 9th. After June 9, the fee increases to $25.

The course begins at the skating rink, loops around the reservoir and ends back at the rink. It is a beautiful course, without any hills.

Fifty percent of the proceeds from the fun run will be donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Barr Program in memory of Catherine Malatesta. The other fifty percent will support the Arlington cross country teams.

For more information visit: http://celebrate5kfunrun.weebly.com

 

Glick rides ahead

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Eliza (right) stands with one of  her favorite horses, Guinness, at the Ironstone Farm. Photo By: Teresa Weis

By: Juliana Bird

At age 6, Eliza Glick, junior, became fascinated with horses. Since then, she has been working, volunteering, and riding at the Ironstone Farm in Andover, MA. This particular farm is unique because therapy programs are serviced here. Now, as a 17-year old, Glick and the rest of the staff accommodate riders with physical and/or emotional disorders. Glick stresses that, “Anybody can ride. People in wheelchairs, people who can walk, non-communicative people, the blind and deaf, and terminally ill patients can ride. That’s the amazing thing.”  

Glick says that the horses have a “huge impact” on disabled riders. Depending on how much assistance is needed, the riders may participate in a saddle or natural ride to help incorporate movement of horse to help work on core strength and balance. Glick says that the, “movement of the horse is beneficial for the movement of walking”.

Glick is the present Coordinator at the farm. Her employer, Kay Milligan who is the Volunteer and Working Student Coordinator at Ironstone Farm, describes Glick’s job saying, “Eliza acts as the ‘clerk of the works’”. It’s her job to make sure all the people, horses, and equipment are in the right place at the right time. She directs a team of working students in accomplishing these tasks.”

Glick been dedicated for the past ten years to the farm and horses. Milligan describes Glick as, “one of the people we rely upon to help work some of our younger and less experienced horses”. Glick is reliable, dedicated, a leader and “ has a very strong work ethic, and an incredible heart for the horses,” says Milligan.

Glick predicts that horseback riding will always be a part of her life. In fact, she believes that it changed her life. Glick said, “Before I rode, I was very shy and I wouldn’t do anything by myself.  It was the first thing that I really did by myself, and it built so much independence, leadership and problem solving capabilities.”

Along with working, Glick also takes private lessons herself to fulfill her love of riding. She began to ride in 1st grade. After Glick climbed onto the saddle, it was clear that that is where she was meant to be.