Weston sports preview roundup
Editor's note: Below is a preview of all the Weston fall sports teams and their expectations.
Weston boys soccer Coach Kevin Fitzsimmons finds his team in a rebuilding mode in his second year at the helm of the program. Losing seven seniors to graduation from a 4-9-5 team, Fitzsimmons can only guess where this year's squad will go. He said, "It's hard to know at this stage what the season will look like."
The 2010 team will be young and, for the most part, inexperienced, but even so, Fitzsimmons is excited about the future.
"We'll have five freshmen on this year's squad and a couple of outstanding sophomores in Rein Viaz, an attacking midfielder, and Dan Prorokovic, a tough defenseman," Fitzsimmons said.
Anchoring the Trojans will be senior captains Jack Steinharter, Zack Levine and Jarret Weiss. It will be up to these three senior leaders on the team to mold their teammates into a cohesive unit, a job Fitzsimmons thinks they're up to.
The Weston girls swimming and diving team is coming off one of its best seasons in some time, having finished second in the SWC and Class S meets. Coach Tom Grace is in his seventh year with the program and entering his fourth as head coach.
"It's still a little early to tell how the season will shake out," Grace said. "That usually starts to happen after the first meet when we can see who will swim where."
The Lady Trojans lost two important performers to graduation in Class S freestyle record holder Shelby Fortin and diver Christina Brasco. Grace's optimism for this season and beyond comes from the fact that "we're underclass heavy" and that's always good for a growing program. The two strongest classes are the freshmen and sophomores and that bodes very well for the future.
Weston's top competition will come from Pomperaug, but Laurelton Hall and Brookfield will also provide some stiff challenges for the Lady Trojans.
"We like to think we make them squirm a bit when they face us, and that's good," Grace said.
The Lady Trojans hope to get better as the season progresses and peak during the championship meets.
Coming off what Weston girls soccer Coach Joanna Hallac calls, "Our best season since 2001," the Lady Trojans are looking to keep the momentum into the 2010 season. In 2009, Weston finished at 9-7-3 after winning a Class M playoff game and losing in the SWC tournament to vaunted Lauralton Hall on penalty kicks.
"We lost 10 top players to graduation and will have 20 or more underclassmen on the varsity this year," Hallac said.
Further adding to Hallac's nerves is the fact that senior captain Callie Bowie, who was last year's leading scorer and was recently accepted by Clemson University, hurt her ankle. Bowie should be back by the end of September but her experience will be missed for the early part of the schedule.
The Weston girls volleyball team had a successful year in 2009 and it looks to continue that success in 2010, according to Coach Jamie Richetelli. "We're returning with a good core group of players including some main starters," Richetelli said.
Moving up as captains and leaders of this experienced group are seniors Christina Welsh and Maggie Montelli. The two captains will have some strong help from fellow seniors Sammy Fino and Halee Winikoff and juniors Lilli Clement and Jessie Gersh. Sophomore Hannah Ashmore was All-SWC Honorable Mention last year and will play a key role for Weston this fall. "All in all, we feel pretty good about this season," Richetelli said.
The Lady Trojans open their season tomorrow at 4 p.m. tomorrow at home against Pomperaug and they are anxiously looking to see how it all plays out in 2010.
In his fifth year as head football coach at Weston, Joe Lato is seeing some positive movement for his team. "I really don't know how this season is going to go but I'm optimistic that we're heading in the right direction." Last year, the Trojans finished a disappointing 3-7 and lost a number of seniors who played a strong part on that team. Senior captains Drew Clevenger, Eddie Hutchins, Jack Crowell and Joe Falci lead the Trojans this year and they feel they have a core group of experienced players to secure more victories in 2010. Adding his talents will be sophomore quarterback Tyler Hassett who'll be fighting hard for the starting job.
"The SWC is going to be tough again this year," Lato said. "We won't know how good we are until a couple of games into the season."
"This will definitely be a rebuilding year for us," Weston girls cross country Coach John Goetz said. "We lost six girls to graduation including our top two runners and most of the squad this year will be new runners; very young and very inexperienced."
In just his third year as head coach, Goetz led Weston to a great year last year finishing at 9-6, fourth at the SWC championship meet and fifth at the Class M meet.
Seniors Kara Bucaro and Casey Weiss are the captains. How the underclassmen develop remains to be seen. The Trojans will be tested by Newtown, New Milford and Pomperaug and they expect to have their hands full this fall.
The Weston field hockey team made a quantum leap in Christina Donigan's first year as head coach last year. In 2008, the Lady Trojans were 1-14. But in Donigan's inaugural season last year, Weston jumped to 7-10-4 and made the state tournament. With that as a backdrop, the Lady Trojans are "cautiously optimistic" about another leap in their growth.
While the team lost seven key players to graduation and Donigan will have to replace the entire defense, Weston brings back a solid and experienced core group for 2010. Leading the team this year will be their four senior captains; Carja Karwowski, a forward and a top scorer last year; goalie Katie Maretz in goal; Cathy Fredrickson, who is being switched to defense; and forward Kiki Litvak. The bad news here is that Litvak had surgery on an injured ankle over the summer and may not return for awhile.
Filling in some big shoes will be junior defender Kelly Quinn, senior twins Sara and Becky O'Brien and junior Tess Fagan. Donigan is optimistic and said, "The girls came back in shape and ready to work hard. I'm impressed with this group and expect good things to come."