It's Monday, 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:
Well, injuries may have marred the 2010 season for the Brookline girls volleyball team, but now the the Warriors are ready to start fresh.
Maya Midzik spearheads the 2011 campaign and she will most welcome the return of Jamie Francona to the middle of the court as the setter.
Francona was injured midway through the season last year and Midzik had to move from her strength as one of the best outside hitters in the state to the setter position.
Head coach Mike Frank, who helped guide the Warriors to a 13-9 overall record and to the quarterfinals of the MIAA Division 1 Central/East tournament, said Midzik will continue to build her leadership role.
“Maya has become more of a vocal leader this season," Frank said. She has always been a leader but this season she is really helping to pick up the other girls and encourage them. Her skills are impressive. She is a great hitter, steady passer, quick defender and overall the best player in the state.”
Francona and Katie Shreffler return as captains.
“Francona is our setter and has had some injury troubles the last two seasons, but when healthy she is an amazing setter,” Frank said. “With her speed, skill, and fearlessness Jamie is everything you would want in a setter."
Meanwhile, the coach said, “Shreffler is a setter who is transitioning to a new position as a defensive specialist/Libero. She brings steady ball control, experience and leadership to stabilize our back line.”
There are many younger players ready to step in for the Warriors this season, and Brookline hopes the incoming talent along with the leadership of their strong veterans will put them in contention to make an even bigger run in the postseason this fall.
Now to the links we go, and strength in numbers will be key for the Brookline boys golf team this fall as a deep top of the lineup will look to build off a solid 2010 campaign.
Bill Camelio has what he thinks will be a top four core of players that will rival any in the Bay State Conference this season. Jack Cochran, James Wronoski, Jacob Dana, and Geoff Hodgkins will look to rack up the bulk of the points to get Brookline back into the hunt as the best team in the state this season. Wronoski is the defending state individual champion.
Cochran is the captain, and for Camelio he will be a sort of coach on the course when the matches aren’t going on.
“He's the leader of that team verbally and probably heart and soul wise as well,” Camelio said.
Wronoski burst onto the scene last year as a sophomore, the quiet standout posting a 70 at Longmeadow Country Club to pace the rest of the state. Wronoski and Cochran will most likely rotate between the No. 1 and 2 positions depending on the matchups, and this combination figures to rival the top duos in Eastern Mass.
Dana and Hodgkins,meanwhile, add much needed depth, and could easily step into the top spots, according to Camelio.
“(Dana) is a very consistent player,” Camelio said. “He plays a nice game and knows the game very well. He has great anticipation out on the golf course and he knows how to win.”
The surprise of the season could be Hodgkins, not so much to Camelio, but to the rest of the Bay State Conference.
“He’s a very, very quiet kid. He gives you a nice smile and continues to play,” Camelio said. “But the kid has been shooting lights out in tryouts and in a couple of practice rounds. He runs six, seven or eight pars in a row and he may throw a bogey and then another couple pars in a row. He goes under the radar and he’s going to surprise some people this year.”
The top three for the Warriors finished 1, 2, 3 in the standings for the clubhouse championship at Putterham over the summer, and having that fourth is something that will be very big towards gaining wins this season.
“The fourth player is a godsend,” Camelio said, “because it could potentially be automatic points.”
The team will move back to The Country Club this season, and Camelio has no transition worries for the team as most of his players play the course during the summer months.
The depth of each team will be put to the test in the Bay State Conference this season, and the Warriors could be the squad holding the right amount of it.
Tom Layman contributed to this report.