SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 10, 2013

Beverly 2013 High Spring Sports Previews


The Salem News

---- — BASEBALL

Last year’s record: 17-7 (Lost in Division 2 North final)

Head coach: Dave Wilbur (12th season, 134-103)

Captains: Anthony DiOrio, Sr., SS; Cam Rogers, Sr., 2B/P; Harry Brown, Sr., OF; Alex Toomey, Sr., P/2B.

Key Returnees: Kevin Cuneo, Jr., 1B/P; Eric Messina, Jr., P; Tristan Fasheh, Jr., C; Luke McDonald, Sr., OF; Jay Richardson, Sr., P/OF; Sean Munzing, Jr., P/1B.

Strengths: Pitching and leadership. The Panthers return 10 mound wins from a year ago among their captains alone in seasoned veterans Rogers and Toomey. DiOrio is a two-year captain and smooth operator at short, and Brown rounds out an excellent group of leaders.

Concerns: Power hitting; Cuneo returns after hitting .347 a year ago and Brown checked in at .306. Beverly hit well in the clutch last year, but ideally would like to see more consistent production throughout the batting order.

Coach’s Outlook: “We’re in a very good division and hoping that makes us tournament tough. We have a very good senior class, and we want to build some chemistry, hope to compete for the (NEC) title, become a tournament team and be on our way. It’s a long season and we plan to improve day by day.”

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 5-15

Head coach: Megan Sudak (6th season)

Captains: Rachel Kenney, Sr.; Aimee McKenna, Sr.; Natalie Shea, Sr.

Key Returnees: Eleven players return, all of whom Sudak says will play pivotal roles.

Strengths: Leadership, team chemistry and desire. The Panthers have a large number of girls returning and will pick up right where they left off.

Concerns: Weather, as it always does in the spring, plays a huge role in Beverly’s preparation. The Panthers open up April 10 and are looking to get outside to practice beforehand.

Coach’s Outlook: “We’re concentrating on improving one percent more every day. The girls are working very hard, given some tough situations with weather hindering practice time. We have a tough non-conference schedule, which will only make us better in the long run. Every day will be a battle, but I know my team is willing to go to war for each other.”

BOYS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 14-5 (lost to Burlington, 15-13, in the East Div. 2 preliminary round)

Head coach: John Pynchon (6th season)

Captains: Dom Abate, Sr. M; Brendan Flaherty, Sr. M; Connor Leahy, Sr. M; Ryan Shipp, Sr. A.

Key Returnees: Tyler Martz, Jr. D; Dave Rollins, Sr. M; Matt Page, Jr. A; Nick Albano, So. A; Andrew Irving, Sr. D; Kevin Lally, Jr. G; Brian Williams, Sr. M; Rick McFarland, Jr. M.

Strengths: Senior leadership. Pynchon loves the leadership that his seniors bring and they also happen to be a tremendous group of athletes. The captains alone had great success in football (Flaherty, Abate, Shipp), winter track (Flaherty), and soccer (Leahy). There has also been a lot of positive energy surrounding the Panther athletic program this year that Pynchon would love to build on.

Concerns: Defense. Pynchon is confident that this will shake itself out, but Beverly is facing the prospect of replacing starting defenders Mark Giles (graduation) and Ryan Caley (transfer to Governor’s Academy). The group of defenders fighting for the spots have looked solid and Pynchon doesn’t feel like defense will become a weakness.

Coach’s Outlook: “Our first goal every year is to win the conference, and we’re trying to be a top-five seed in the Division 2 tournament and make it to Harvard to play in the state semifinal game. Our goals haven’t changed much, but I think the expectations are a little heightened because of success in other sports.”

GIRLS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 12-7 (lost to Masconomet, 11-6, in the Div. 1 North first round)

Head coach: Alyson Healy (6th season)

Captains: Katie Pietrini, Sr. D; Becca Kemmer, Sr. D.

Key Returnees: Camden Vitale, Jr. M; Elizabeth Musumeci, Soph. A; Ami Thompson, Sr. G; Hind Alijahari, Jr. G.

Strengths: The senior class. Healy has five seniors who have played a lot of varsity lacrosse the past few years. Those seniors are also excellent leaders, which should pay off for a team that will be playing five freshmen this spring.

Concerns: The youth. Healy has the perfect group to help the freshmen along, but they are freshmen. There could be a small adjustment period for Beverly’s young players, no matter how skilled they are.

Coach’s Outlook: “We just want to improve every day and do all the things we need to do in order to win games. That’s really what it’s all about, giving us a chance to win every day.”

BOYS TENNIS

Last year’s record: 10-10 (Lost in Division 2 North first round)

Head coach: Devin Carr (12th season)

Captains: Josh Cronin, Sr., first singles; Antuan Tran, Sr., singles/doubles; Mac Gotsch, Sr., doubles.

Key Players: Peter Coletti, Fr., singles.

This season will be successful if: The Panthers have their players who haven’t played varsity before step up into their new roles.

GIRLS TENNIS

Last year’s record: 7-7

Head coach: Keith Brickhouse (2nd season)

Captains: Jillian Morneau, Sr., first singles; Meggie Manzo, Sr., second singles; Becah Kaplan, Jr., third singles.

Key Returnees: Christine Green, Sr., doubles; Katie Lane, Sr., doubles; Ceceila Buffernoir, Sr., doubles; Sophie Claus, Soph.,doubles.

This season will be successful if: The Panthers remain optimistic and stay healthy. Beverly expects to be around for the postseason.

BOYS TRACK

Last year’s record: 1-6

Head coach: Dave Jellerson (1st season)

Team captains: Dylan Staid, Sr., Distance; Michael Black, Sr., Middle distance; Aren Salmela, Sr., Throws

Key returnees: Bruno Caetano, Jr., Hurdles/Sprints; Alex Greco, Soph., Distance; Dylan Perry, Sr., Distance; Campbell Wood, Soph., Middle Distance; Brian Williams, Sr., Sprints

Coach’s outlook: “We are looking for individual improvement. Depth is a problem.”

GIRLS TRACK

Last year’s record: 6-1

Head coach: Dave Jellerson (24th season)

Team captains: Madison Shropshire, Sr., Distance; Allison Collins, Sr., Middle Distance; Nicole Kirsch, Sr., Throws; Haley Albert, Sr., Distance

Key returnees: Kendall Davy, Soph., Hurdles/Sprints; Mary Cate Flaherty, Jr., Middle Distance; Nicole Demars, Jr., Distance; Theresa Orr, Sr., Sprints; Andrea Zelano, Sr., Shot Put/Discus; Kyra Richardson, Sr., Sprints/Jumps; Caitlin Harty, Jr., Sprints

Coach’s outlook: “We’re expecting good things. We are coming off an unbeaten indoor season, and have a lot back.”