At the beginning of the season, Bishop Fenwick head coach Adam DeBaggis was hoping for a close-knit team mixed with a touch of family dynamic.
Little did he know he’d be coaching four sets of sisters between the program’s junior varsity and varsity teams.
Between the two teams, eight sisters hold spots on the roster. Junior captain Kate Lipka and her younger sister Sam; senior captain Rose Fantozzi and her sister Ellen; Megan Brennan and her little sister Sydney; and junior Bridget Corcoran and sister Colleen all hail from different cities around the North Shore. The younger sisters are all freshmen and split time between the junior varsity and varsity teams.
“It’s actually pretty funny to watch them all at practice,” said DeBaggis, now in his second year as the varsity coach. “We run separate practices, but because of scheduling sometimes the junior varsity will practice with us as well. I sometimes like to put them together in 4-on-4 drills to see what they can do.
“I really wanted that family environment. Even the parents have told me the team’s Boosters Club is closer than before. I think it’s great.”
DeBaggis likes the idea of a smooth transition between the JV and varsity team, and the sibling aspect has allowed for that.
Even the bus rides are more eventful as both teams travel to away games together. During the varsity games, the JV team is right behind the bench cheering on their fellow Crusaders.
DeBaggis coached JVs for his first three years at Fenwick before taking over the varsity last season. As an English teacher at the school, DeBaggis has most of the girls in class as well.
“We’re literally a family,” said DeBaggis.
After dropping their first game of the season to a very strong Archbishop Williams team, the Crusaders have put together a string of victories — including last night’s easy 55-16 win over Lowell Catholic.