The Sports Buzz for Dec. 13 - 16
The Fastest Three Minutes in Brookline Sports.
Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. It's time for the Sports Buzz, the fastest three minutes in Brookline sports coming your way right now:
We start with a terrific story out of Beaver Country Day School, where freshman soccer standout Zack LaCava was named to the Super Y National Olympic Development Program (ODP) team. The fifteen-year-old Wayland resident is among 35 players nationally—and only two from Massachusetts—for his age group selected.
As a Super Y ODP team member, LaCava will travel to Florida in February to train for five days at the National Team camp under the guidance of the US National Soccer Team coaching staff. LaCava earned a spot on the prestigious ODP by leading his club team, the U15 Mass Premier Soccer Knights, to a New England Championship. He was second in the nation in scoring in the Super Y league, registering 19 goals last season. LaCava led his team in scoring at the National Championship tourney in Orlando over this past Thanksgiving break.
LaCava joined Beaver's ninth grade this year from Wayland Middle School and immediately made a major contribution to the boys' varsity soccer team, which qualified for the NEPSAC tournament. LaCava posted 12 goals and 8 assists in his first season at Beaver and finished third in the Eastern Independent League in scoring.
Beaver's varsity soccer coach Steve Schechter says, "I am very proud, but not at all surprised, to learn of Zack earning this recognition. He continues to work very hard to improve, and he is a tremendous talent."
We move onto the Brookline High boys indoor track and field team, where head coach Michael Glennon said last week he won't know what he has until the season gets underway. It's just the nature of the sport.
Well, the campaign is now underway, and the boys won their first meet with a stunning 50-36 win over Needham on Thursday.
The strength of this year's squad will be in the distance events, which shouldn't come as a surprise after the cross-country team captured the Division 1 state title in November. The distance runners will probably want to duplicate the success in the fall, but Glennon warned that the outcome can't solely be placed on their collective shoulders.
"I think it's two different things," said Glennon. "They are going to want to do well in track and do well individually. But as a team they can't do it all. They all have some individual goals for times."
Leading the charge in the distance events will be Chernet Sisay, Romey Sklar, Mark Perry, Christian Sampson and Captain Will Jackson.
Oh, and by the way, Sisay, a junior, was just named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic team in boys cross country for his senational season this past fall.
Glennon, meanwhile said he is not sure what the numbers will be in the sprints, which haven't drawn many Brookline athletes in the past. But the throwers should be able to toss in a few points here and there.
Michael Andreitchenko, Jacquil Jones and Jason Moon will all need to throw the shot-put as far as they can to compete with the tough competition in the Bay State Conference.
The BSC has been strong in the past, according to Glennon, and with teams like up-and-coming Weymouth and the ever-talented Newton North in their division, the Warriors won't know where they stand until they get the ball rolling on the season.
"Especially in track you never know who is going to pop up," said Glennon. "You have to wait until the meets start. Newton North looks strong again. They have some kids that will certainly help them."
Meanwhile, the numbers are rising for the Brookline girls indoor track and field team, and who knows, maybe with the expansion in talent comes an expansion in the win column.
The Warriors put up a good fight, despite a 49-37 loss in their opening meet against Needham.
Last season the Warriors finished at 2-4, though head coach Lee Eddy said the reverse could have easily been attainable if it wasn't for a few hiccups in the late season.
Eddy is in his third season as the Warriors head coach, and when he first arrived the number of track athletes was fairly low for a good-sized school. Only 30 girls came out his first year, but in two years Eddy has been able to field 60 athletes and fill out all of the events comfortably.
"They've stuck with it and that's so important," said Eddy. "A lot of times in the past at Brookline, a girl would show up, she'd be decent and then they would disappear after a year. That's changed in that sense, which is great. We are getting the kids to be dedicated to the program."
The Warriors participate in six Bay State Conference meets during the season and will also compete in a few invitationals before taking on Sectionals and All-States.
Eddy believes his team will finish at .500 or better this season, and he thinks he has enough talent to be competitive in every event.
"We are going to score points everywhere," said Eddy. "Which is different. In the past we have had weak events, but it seems like we have enough bodies and enough ability to fill everything."
Starting with the distance runners, the majority will continue from a cross-country team that pulled off a surprising victory over Newton North in the fall. Leah Gellano and Hannah Warren will pace that group of runners.
In the sprint events, two sophomores will look to improve upon their very successful freshmen years. Katie Hitchcock-Smith and Emma Poole will are expected lead in nearly every sprinting event, and Darcey Spence could be a solid hurdler for Eddy.
Sarah Jabour, meanwhile, returns as a top-performer in the shot put.
"I think everyone that is out for this team is out to compete," Eddy said. "They are out to compete and they are out to be part of this team."
We go to wrestling, and the Warriors evened their record at 1-1 with a huge 44-34 victory over visiting Dedham this week. Big wins from Philip Callistro, at 152 pounds, and Devin Ibanez, at 160, gave the Red and Blue an early lead in the match. But Dedham's strength, especially in the upper weight classes, left the Warriors trailing, 34-27, with just three matches remaining. A technical fall by David Goldberger, at 136 poinds, got Brookline to within two points, at 34-32, and a first period pin by Uri Shatil, at 140, put the Warriors on top, 38-34, with only the 145-pound match left. Sophomore Jacob Heineman sealed it for Brookline with a pin in a back-and-forth match, earning his first varsity win. Yuvai Shatil also posted his first varsity win, at 103 pounds.
The win lifted the Warriors, after last week's loss to host Braintree, 49-28. Warrior wins and pins were posted by Aden Brown, at 119 pounds, Philip Callistro, at 152, and Josef Shoet, at 171, while Jerry Phok also won his match, at 112 pounds.
Finally, to the links, and up until last summer the only swinging that James Wronoski did was with a baseball bat on the diamond playing the game that he loved most. At the suggestion of a few friends he decided to pick up a set of irons and learn the game of golf.
The choice was a wise one.
Wronoski was just named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic team, after winning the Division 1 state individual championship this past fall, with an even-par 70, his first tournament victory of his short career. The Brookline High sophomore offers a casual explanation for his decision to play golf.
"The first time I actually played I just kind of said that everyone at one point in his or her life plays a round of golf," he said. "I kind of wanted to see what it was all about."
Tom Layman, Brookline High athletics, and Beaver Country Day School athletics contributed to this report.