SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 9, 2014

PEABODY TANNERS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS 2014


The Salem News

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Last Year’s Record: 20-5 (NEC North champs, lost in Division 1 North semifinals)

Head coach: Mark Bettencourt (10th season, 150-58)

Captains: Sean McGrath, Sr., OF; Andrew McLaughlin, Sr., P; David Apostolides, Sr., P

Other key players: Ryan Collins, Jr., SS; Mike Petrosino, Jr., 1B; Matt Correale, Jr., OF/P; C.J. Alimonte, Sr., OF; Christian Morales, Jr., 2B; Bobby Tramondozzi, Jr., 3B; Matt Gonick, Sr., OF; Tanner Moquin, Jr., OF; David Hoar, Jr., OF/P; Derek Demile, Sr., P; Mike Raymond, Jr., P; Joe Maguire, Jr., P; Matt Moorer, Jr., P; Brandon Butcher, Sr., C; Daniel Kohn, Jr., C.

Strengths: Pitching. Andrew McLaughlin was a revelation on the hill last year and returns as Peabody’s ace with the graduation of Pat Ruotolo. David Apostolides pitched very well last season, and behind them, the Tanners have as many as five or six arms that they’ll rely on at various points of the season. Almost all of them are upperclassmen, so they’re ready for the challenge.

Concerns: Defensive experience. Shortstop Ryan Collins is the Tanners’ only full-time position player back from last season, although senior Sean McGrath started the majority of games as sophomore before getting hurt last year. With new faces at the corner infield spots and catcher, coupled with limited outdoor practice, Peabody will be on its toes in the field.

Coach’s Outlook: “On paper, we lost seven or eight starters. We may not have a ton of experience, but we’re very happy with the talent pool that we have coming back. We have guys that played well in platoons or had good jayvee season last year, and now it’s their turn to see what they can do. You hope the machine works and they’re ready, because we want to reload, not rebuild.”

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 13-6 (Lost in Division 1 North first round to Acton-Boxboro)

Head coach: Butch Melanaphy (8th season)

Captains: Shannon Pires, Sr., OF/P; Nicole Grafton, Sr., OF; Taylor Dabney, Sr., IF; Shelbi Wilson, Jr., P.

Key Returnees: Dana Colins, Sr., OF; Michelle McHugh, Jr., 3B; Kayla Santos, Jr., C.

Strengths: The Tanners return ace pitcher Shelbi Wilson. They also have a decent number of girls on the JV team who have been playing together since middle school, which adds to their depth.

Concerns: After graduating seven seniors, Peabody has a new group of infielders in the mix. The Tanners also lost a number of power hitters, which could switch up their approach at the plate.

Coach’s Outlook: “Once we get outside and can see what everyone can do on the field, we’ll have a better feel of things. Revere looks like that sleeper of the conference in the NEC Large.”

BOYS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 11-10 (lost to B.C. High, 11-6, in the preliminary round of the East Division 1 Tournament)

Head coach: Anthony O’Donnell (3rd year)

Captains: Connor Bombaci, Sr. D; Ryan Wolff, Sr. M; Michael Vadala, Sr. A; Josh Fiore, Jr. M.

Key Returnees: Reed Foster, Jr. M; Pat McCarthy, So. D; Jason Marshal, Jr. LSM; Jeremiah Manfra, Sr. M; Cody Wlasuk, Sr. M; Steve Kayal, Sr. M; Andrew Bisconti, Sr. M.

Strengths: Depth at midfield.

Concerns: Inexperience at attack and defense.

Coach’s Outlook: “After returning to the tournament (last year) for the first time since 2009, the Tanners look to make it back in 2014. Replacing the highest scoring duo in the history of Peabody High School (Keifer Heckman and Nick Ouellette) will be a challenge, but the team is eager to overcome it. We have graduated all three starting defensemen and our goalie, as well as three starting attackmen, yet we have lot of varsity returnees who are ready to fill those key roles. I think we are very athletic and a hard-hitting, physical team. Our success will depend on how quickly the new starters grasp the offensive system, find confidence in themselves and follow our team motto: ‘We win as one and lose as one. We need everyone’s best effort every day.’ That’s what I have been seeing thus far.”

GIRLS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 13-5 (lost to North Andover, 16-7, in the Division 1 North quarterfinals)

Head coach: Dennis Desroches (7th year)

Captains: Courtney Smith, Sr.; Courtney Hennigan, Sr.; Aly Bortone, Sr.; Shantel Silva, Sr.

Key Returnees: Sarah Godschall, Jr.; Sydney Cooke, Jr.; Adriana Raneri, Jr.; Sarah Napolitano, Jr.; Aly Hennigan, Jr.

Strengths: Leadership. Desroches feels the captains set a good example for his team on the field and off.

Concerns: Inexperience. The Tanners lost nine starters due to graduation, including 100-point scorer Nicole Napolitano and all-star defenders Christine Feudo, Christa Trombley, Bianca Muscato and Victoria Digiacomo, as well as goalie Cheyenne Jackson.

Coach’s Outlook: “Although we will field a relatively new lineup, we are confident that the returning players and younger players will put forth the effort needed to be successful. We have a very challenging nonleague schedule, which should help us compete with the top teams in the NEC.”

GIRLS TENNIS

Last year’s record:12-5

Head coach: Lorraine Benoit (17 season)

Captains: Dany Chhan, Sr., Rachael Gillis, Sr., Anna Grimalyak, Sr.

Returnees: Tori Thomspon, So.; Alisa Pereira, So.; Eleni Petromelis, Jr.; Kayla Hodas, Jr.

Coach’s Outlook: “I hope we can challenge for the Northeastern Conference. We graduated a couple of players but have our second singles and first doubles returning, so we’ll see what we can do.”

GIRLS TRACK

Last year’s record: 7-0

Head coach: Joe Rocha (16th season)

Team captains: Katie Gallo, Sr., Shot Put/Discus; Sam Allen, Sr., Distance; Antonia Pagliuca, Sr., Distance; Rachel Barrett, Sr., High Jump;Hurdles; Sydney May, Sr., Distance

Other key returnees: Lauren Barrett, Jr., Distance; Cynthia Aroke, Soph., 400 Meter Hurdles/ Kat Pence, Jr., Shot Put/Discus; Makayla LaChance, Jr., 400

Coach’s outlook: “We’re very young (only 10 seniors) and lost close to 30 points from last year’s talented team, which will be hard to replace. We’re very strong in throwing and distance and have close to 100 girls out for the team.”

BOYS TRACK

Last year’s record: 7-0

Head coach: Fernando Braz (16th season)

Team captains: Drew Fossa, Sr., Distance; Dave Tramonte, Sr., Hurdles/Sprints/Relays; Alex Bunal, Sr., Jumps/Hurdles; Cody Picardy, Sr., Distance; Ben Braz, Sr., Distance; Sean Walsh, Sr., Throws; Austin Solimine, Sr., Throws

Other key returnees: Connor Wolff, Jr., Middle Distance; Owen Brewster, Soph., Sprints/Jumps; Riley Dowd, Jr., Middle Distance; Alex Greco, Jr., Middle Distance; Kevin Guzman, Jr., Jumps/Sprints; Ariel Ayala, Soph., Throws; Marcus Vieira, Jr., Throws; Anthony Christo, Jr., Throws

Coach’s outlook: "We look to develop every individual in the program and be competitive in the NEC and state meets.”