Looking Ahead to the Spring Sports Season
It is about that time again when the spring teams at MKA kick off their seasons! Last year began with a delay, as two separate blizzards hit the area during spring break and piled up almost two feet of snow. Based on the outlooks and records from last year, here is a preview of what to expect from each spring team this upcoming season.
Varsity Boys Lacrosse: Even though senior captains Jason Gertz, Ryan Dancy and Harrison Walker graduated, boys’ lacrosse gained some extremely talented freshman last year. Rollins Heath ’21 and Jake Waldman ’21 were sensational rookies who both averaged a goal and two assists per game and who ultimately helped the team finish with a 13-7 overall along with a prep championship. The biggest concern for the boys’ lacrosse team this year is the health of their players, since Jake Waldman will be out for at least half of the season with a torn ACL. However, this should not be a major concern since the team has great depth.
Varsity Girls Lacrosse: With over 120 career goals, Lily Pryor ’19 is one of the best high school athletes you’ll ever compete with. She led the girls’ lacrosse team to an exceptional 13-6 record last year. Just like the boys’ lacrosse team, girls’ lacrosse also had numerous freshmen who made an immediate impact for last year’s success. Because of the talent and strong leadership of its members, there is no doubt that the team will continue to excel this year.
Varsity Baseball: Led by five senior captains last year, the baseball team finished with a 12-14-1 record in 2018. The Cougar offense was actually fairly strong last year, totaling seven home runs in the course of 27 games. However, six of those home runs were hit by seniors, so the team is going to have to rely on great pitching, strong defense, and good contact hitting. Coach Ralph Pacifico, who has 28 years of coaching under his belt, has no worries about his roster for this year, and claims that the team is talented enough to make it back to the state championship.
Varsity Softball: Finishing with a record of 13-10 in 2018, the team had many solid hitters that played a tremendous role in their victories. Emily Talkow ’20 and Amanda Mack ’20 led the team in most offensive categories, but Geena Pacifico ‘20 kept the team in games with her superb pitching. She finished with a 12-4 record, and let up only 13 runs in 90 innings pitched. If the softball team can find another pitcher, the team should enjoy more successes this year.
Varsity Boys Tennis: The boys’ tennis team finished seventh last year in the North Public B division with a 6-10 record overall. In order for the tennis team to succeed this year, there is going to have to be quality leadership since many of the players this year are going to be seniors.
Varsity Golf: The MKA golf team finished 8th in the North Public B league last year with a 6-6 record overall, registering wins against Morris Catholic, Livingston, and Glen Ridge. After graduating only one senior in the 2018 season, the cougars now have seniors Ethan Otner and Jake Ghamar, juniors Myles Cherry, Evan Song, and state-ranked Bennett Knowles. Also returning is sophomore Ryan Mandachescu.
Track and Field: Last spring, the boys track and field team finished with a 3-2 dual meet record with wins against Science High School, Newark Teach High School, and North Star Academy. Meanwhile, the girls finished with a 1-6 dual meet record while also registering a win against North Star Academy. This winter, the MKA athletics community said goodbye to coach Matt Bach as he will be leaving for a new employment. The boys squad will consist of returning seniors Ronny Bhatia, Victor Magnusson, Andy Roselund, Sameer Rakhani, Harrison Johnson, and James Lukenda. Also returning will be juniors Charlie Koenig, Nick Steinmetz, and Alex Chon, as well as sophomores Gabe Stocus and Jake Gale. As for the girls, their squad will comprise returning seniors Emily Fusco and Essex County cross country champion Anna Schaller,as well as junior Anna Bradley and sophomores Maggie Astley, Emani Fung, and Sarah Hobbs.
Keep an eye out for these spring teams, as the talent for each squad will only continue to grow for the next generations!