By: Tyler Wolf, WHS Eagles mascot
People ask me all the time, is it hot in that suit? Listen really carefully to the answer I am about to give to you, the answer is YES, all mascots get hot. No matter how many times people ask, the answer is always YES!
Thank goodness I got that straightened out!
Let me first introduce myself, my name is Tyler Wolf and for the past three years, I have been very privileged to dress up in an eagle suit, serving as the mascot at basketball and football games.
Before me, there was a person that did the mascot for one day after realizing they do not want to sweat profusely or hated the smell, either way! Believe it or not, I used to hate mascots, but now I am proud to be one!
After going to my first hockey game, meeting mascots Sonar and Pucky, I came to the realization that I love mascots! I wanted to be a mascot from that point on because you can make people happy, nobody knows who you are, you can be yourself, and have a barrier by which to hide behind.
But as I got to the fourth grade after meeting mascots for the first time I was hooked! I was Hanmer School’s mascot Hootie the Owl. I did that up until sixth grade.
At the end of sophomore year I finally felt well adjusted to the school. I asked Mr. Maltese and got the opportunity! They needed a regular person to do all the varsity boys football and basketball games. I decided I wanted to not only give it my own touch-ups to the suit itself, develop a personality for the character that was full of energy and that appealed to people young and old. It was the best experience I ever had at Wethersfield High School.
It was really fun to see the student section pumped up to see the eagle at the games, and when the rare time he was not people were disappointed. I feed off of the crowd's energy. That gave me an adrenaline rush to keep going and have the energy to love what I do best. It feels good to know that I’ve made an impression on the school.
I hope the next person to take over will do as good, if not better than me. I will truly miss this AMAZING OPPORTUNITY! It has had an impact on my life in terms of getting out of my shell , it helped me in more ways than I ever imagined it would!
The reason why I became a mascot is because you can not only bring joy to others, but also the fact that you can express yourself behind a mask. Generally you do not know who is inside the suit, therefore making it more fun for people to guess or enjoy the magic a mascot brings.
Thank You to Mr. Maltese for believing in me, as well as giving me the chance to create a character, that is now a part of who I am in real life. The mascot experience has taught me to not be afraid to be yourself, go out there and have fun no matter what others think. I truly thank you for this experience I will never forget.
By Bryce Arnold
The New England Patriots are coming off a disappointing season from their standards. They lost their first round home game in the playoffs to the Tennessee Titans, a team they were favored to beat. The defense was solid as always, but the offense struggled to put points on the board.
This is a cause for concern for the Patriots, who could score on any team at will. Lots of things seemed off, especially Tom Brady. He wasn’t making throws he normally makes, he wasn’t moving well in the pocket, and he didn’t look like himself at all. Now the question has to be asked, will he return to the NFL next season? I asked students around Wethersfield High School what they thought about it.
“No, [I think] he’s going to go to the Raiders,” said Junior Michael Sargis, a Detroit Lions fan.
Let’s face it: Brady just isn’t the same anymore. He was put into the spotlight almost by accident, and he was tearing up the league from the start. He’s won 6 super bowls, the most by any NFL quarterback, and is looking to win one more before retirement.
Does he have it in him, though? He started out this season strong, and finished out the season sort of flat. During the playoff game against the Titans, Brady went 20/37 for 209 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Not exactly the stats of a 6-time world champion.
This is the opposite of what people are used to seeing with Brady. He and the Patriots usually lose a few games early, win out, lock up the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs, and win the super bowl. This year, with an early exit from the playoffs, also arose question marks about an early exit to Brady’s career.
I asked Brendan Martin, a New York Giants fan from my Computer Animation class, about whether or not he thought Brady would return or not, and he said, “Yes. He said he wasn’t going anywhere [in the commercial], so I think he’s staying.”
There seems to be a common theme in the opinions of Wethersfield High School students, and that opinion is that he’s not returning to the Patriots. Whether Brady decides to return to New England, go to another team, or retire, there’s no doubt that the upcoming NFL Season will be much different for him. He hasn’t been faced this much adversity before, so it will be fun to see how he responds to it.
By: Zane Tinker and Gianluca Scata
As video games rise in popularity, Wethersfield High School keeps up with the times by banding together and creating our very own ESports club. Led by club president Jack O’Leary and Advised by Mr. Bowles, the ESports club is looking to compete at the state level and potentially even at the national level through the PlayVS Competition.
The Esports team will be playing in the PlayVS Competition, which, according to their official website, is run through CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference), who also manage all other high school sports programs. This makes ESports an official sports team for the school.
This was an important fact that advisor Mr. Bowles spoke on, saying, “Instead of being a club environment, this is a legitimized sport through the state, and you get to see groups of kids who may not be the biggest athletes going and being a part of a team, a part of the school, and get to represent the school.”
ESports is different than the other competitive teams in WHS, as it is all encompassing. It doesn't matter who wants to join the ESports club, there will always be a space for whoever is willing to participate.
ESports club has already taken up a place in the hearts of many of the members, as said by advisor Mr. Bowles “The group is very student driven.” The free play events that the club hosts, where everybody from the school is welcome to enjoy playing a variety of fun, more casual games that anybody can enjoy.
ESports is a genre of entertainment has been exploding with popularity as of late, and there are both college and professional leagues looking for players to compete in.
These leagues give a chance for students to gain scholarships to big schools, as many schools have been handing out money to the select few who are able to play above the rest of the competition.
Serf Piedrasanta, the club's vice president, said that though there are those options for future scholarships and careers, the group isn’t driven by those things, and instead derives from the members passions for the games they play.
Though the Esport club is new to the sport team roster, it seems that it intends to make a lasting impact and in time hopefully will come to find a place in the heart of this WHS family.
By: Matthew Stearns and Connor Stahl
This upcoming spring season will be the first time in Wethersfield High School history that lacrosse is a varsity sport. In recent years, lacrosse at Wethersfield High School has only been a club and JV team.
For many of the students and faculty at Wethersfield High School, this news resulted in positive reactions to finally be recognized as a true varsity team.
With all the buzz circling the question of why all of a sudden is lacrosse being recognized as a varsity sport, Athletic Director Michael Maltese said, “This definitely wasn't all of a sudden, this has been really something over a number of years. Started with a group of individuals, concerned parents and, townspeople who love the sport of lacrosse. Certainly, Wethersfield was one of the larger high schools in the area without the sport or team in town.”
Tryouts take place in March. Junior Spencer Bartone said, “I’m excited for what's going to come.” With only a month away until the season starts, WHS is getting amped.
Physical education teacher Richard Scoppetto said, “It’s great, I love the game, I have been teaching lacrosse for 40 years in this town from the Dean when it was junior high all the way up to the high school.”
With all this excitement, how do players feel about this change? Senior Logan Lichatz says, “It feels good that a sport with a lot of potential for the school is actually being taken seriously, which is a good thing.”
In the spring we can officially say we have a varsity team for lacrosse with an exciting season coming. WHS met the requirements of the CIAC, with the many years awaiting finally over for the journey from a tiny club team to a high school club team to finally becoming varsity sport.
All we can do now is wish them good luck on their season this spring.
by: Kyle Edman and Nick McGrath
After a Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, the Chiefs pulled out an amazing comeback win with a final score of 31-20. This was a fantastic game to watch, even if you aren’t a fan of those teams it was most definitely a thriller.
With this nationwide event, we went around and asked some teachers in our school who they wanted to win and why they picked that team. With that being said, let’s see what some of our favorite teachers said.
Out of all the teachers we interviewed, only one teacher, history teacher Mr Sand, went for the 49’ers.
He said, “[I’m] mildly rooting for the 49ers. Not a fan but as a Vikings fan, I was going with the NFC team.” When we asked him how he felt about the niners blowing the lead he responded with “I don’t think they blew the lead. Mahomes and company are just really good. I thought they needed to outscore the Chiefs, not hold them to a low scoring output.”
The other six teachers had the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl, science wiz Mr. Walsh had this to say about the Super Bowl, “I wanted the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, because I prefer the AFC teams and I like Patrick Mahomes.”
Another history teacher, Mr Ferrett agreed with Walsh saying, “[I wanted the] Kansas City Chiefs. They had not won in 50 years and half a century is a long time.”
Earth Science teacher, Ms. Alexopoulus had an interesting and detailed response when asked why she wanted the Chiefs to win. “I know the coach wanted to be able to say he won the Super Bowl as a head coach, so given how dedicated and caring he is to his players, I just wanted him to get that win.”
She also followed up with, “[Andy Reid] also wanted to win for his son who passed away a few years ago, and that makes the win that much more special for him.”
All seven teachers we interviewed gave a similar response when asked why the 49ers blew the lead and it basically came down to the fact that they didn’t necessarily blow the lead, the Chiefs offense was just way more aggressive and ready to play.
Long time teacher and Patriots fan Mr.Gallivan said, “I think it was less about the 49ers blowing the lead and more about Patrick Mahomes just switching to another gear in the fourth quarter. Great quarterbacks can do that - as Tom Brady has demonstrated many times.”
Mr. Sikora added, “I had read and heard the coach was the winningest coach in NFL history without a ring, so I was hoping he could get one. Every game with Mahomes was pretty impressive too.”
As other teachers have told us about their thoughts on the Super Bowl, Andy Reid seemed to be a big motive as to why they wanted the Chiefs to win.
What were your thoughts on this exciting Super Bowl? Comment below!
by: Lauren Cholewa
The Wethersfield High School wrestling team has had a remarkable season this year. The team is closing out the season with their last home meet on Wednesday, February 5th, 2020.
Throughout the season, there have been many struggles individually for the wrestlers but it becomes apparent that it has changed them for the better.
“I feel that it prepares you for life and teaches you to handle adversity,” said Jacob Buser, WHS wrestler.
Ready to close out the season, the wrestlers had reflected back onto the season and had some things to mention.
Although it is hard work, some of the Wethersfield wrestlers or not more people should wrestle. Jacob Buser said, “Definitely, once you wrestle, everything else in life is easier.”
Nicholas Thompson, another member of the team, said “Yes it helps your body out a lot and builds more character than any other sport.”
As the season comes to an end with the last home meet against Manchester and the last away meet against Avon, everyone will see who rises to the occasion for the chance to wrestle at state opens in New Haven.
by: Abigail Keane
Fall sports come to an end, teams go off into their state tournaments and the swim team heads into their first of three rounds of state meets.
The Wethersfield High School’s Swim Team recently headed into their state meets starting with Class L Trials on Saturday, November 16. The team went into this meet with 18 girls swimming events, with the team able to swim more than one event and/or relay. If they are able to sneak in the top 24 of the swimmers in an event based on time, you move on to Class L Finals which took place on Wednesday, November 20th. The team took 4th overall with 11 swimmers in the meet and 5 being awarded the honor of “All-State”.
These meets can mean a lot, all season the girls have hard practices, which come to an end with a near to states, which is called “taper”. The point of taper is so the more rest you are getting at practice, the faster you are able to move at practice to prepare for the meet. The team also where a different type of suit at these meets, as some might be at the conference for the team. This suit can be extremely tight and hard to get on a times as they go from your knee up to your shoulder. The start to states can bring a lot of good and bad emotions to your psyche and body.
When asked in the survey sent to those competing in states, “What emotions make you race better?”, junior Haley Krawcyzk, who competed in the 100 Fly and 50 Free at both Class L Trials and went on to Class L finals, had a very well thought out answer. Haley was able to be a part of the 200 Free and 400 Free Relay and continue exactly what she wanted to do in going through her races for the team. Krawcyzk said, “I like the feeling of doing it for the team, not yourself. I think it makes it less personal so my race isn’t so attached to me as a person. That’s why I like relays. Being excited to try your best and having confidence that you will do well is much more motivating than being super nervous or even scared.”.
When asked in another response question to some of the girls on the state team “What is one ritual you have the day of states?”, You find that many people are superstitious about what they so or eat the day of a big meet while others don’t even think to repeat the same thing twice. As these meets can be a big deal for some people personal and team’s future. A junior, who was able to swim the 200 IM and 100 Breastroke at Class L Trails and qualify for Class L Final in the 200 IM, Mia Destefani has said to have two things she does most of the time, “I get a coffee and I listen to music.”
By: Connor Pace and Daniel Jimenez
The boys soccer season came to an end this past Monday losing to Wilton in the semi-finals of the Class L playoff losing 4-2 in penalty kicks. Regardless, they had an amazing season that set the bar high for next year’s team.
This year the team went 18-5-1 led by senior captains Riley Carlson, Rei Koni, Max Karkos, and Toni Capessela. This strong senior class helped the Eagles improve to more wins from the previous season.
The Eagles had many big wins this year against Notre Dame and Bristol Central in the state tournament and they were also able to beat their rivals in Newington once this season. However, the Eagles lost some tough games against Farmington and Glastonbury.
We interview one of the team captains Riley Carlson to get his view on this year’s soccer season.
“I didn’t have too much hope when it came to the states, I thought we were going to lose in the first couple rounds, but making it to the semifinals was beyond my expectations for the season.”
We then asked Carlson about his expectations for this upcoming season.
“We should expect to make it to the state semifinals again next year. We are a sophomore-driven team and these sophomores should have more experience going into next year.”
As for the seniors leaving the soccer program this fall, we wanted to thank you for what you’ve done for the team these past four years you have played for us and the many accomplishes you have made. You were an excellent group that has paved the way for the next years of Wethersfield soccer and helped the program succeed.
By: Logan and Max
“This game means everything to every single person on the team. We need this as a whole. We’re giving it everything we've got.”- Senior Captain, Jacob Rivera
The annual Thanksgiving football game between Wethersfield and Newington is right around the corner. This year, it's more than just a rematch between rivals, it carries the weight of a CCC Championship and a chance to play December football at home. The past two years, Wethersfield fell short in defeating Newington, but this Wethersfield team is different and has a record to prove it.
Currently, with a record of 7-2, this team already has a better record than teams in the past three years. When asked about what this team had over the past teams, Jacob Rivera said, “We want it more. We put in the work and simply have more chemistry as a team. We’re a family. We had none of that last year.”
Although Wethersfield has proven to be a strong team this year, Newington has been nothing short of formidable as well. They currently have a 7-2 record and stand atop the Central Connecticut Division II standings. Having the same records calls for a dog fight between these two rivals is sure to keep you on your feet.
Even though both teams have essentially clinched playoff berths, this game means more than just another “W” in the win column and bragging rights against a rival.
Winning this game solidifies a home playoff game in the first round which can make all the difference in December. Being home in the first round means the world to Rivera and this team.
Rivera said, “Being home for the first round in the playoffs give us a lot of confidence. We have confidence going into every game. However, the fact that we can play in front of all of our fans, in a stadium that we are used to and comfortable with gives us that boost that we need, for us and our fans. They are our 12th man on the field.”
The stakes are high as Wethersfield and Newington take the field next Wednesday November 27 at 6 PM. Come out and support Wethersfield as they aim to break the Newington losing streak and grasp a home playoff game.
Happy Turkey Day!
By Jordan Hickey and Samuel Garcia
Wethersfield High School physical education teacher Richard Scoppetto is back again to announce the annual Powder Puff Games. Mr. Scopetto is in charge of this program.
Powderpuff is a modified flag football game played by the students of the different graduating classes from 2020 to 2023. The four competing classes will compete in a tournament-style competition where they set out to determine who is the winner of the powderpuff games.
Powderpuff is played by the girls in the school. These girls are coached by the boys of the same graduating class.
Powderpuff will be held on November 21 at Wethersfield High School on Cottone Field.
What is the purpose of powderpuff? We asked Mr. Scopetto this question. Mr. Scopetto said, “Powderpuff is an after school activity to give kids something else to compete in.”
This is a great way to get everybody together and bond not only with friends, but with different students from your graduating class. This is a fun yet competitive game that determines who is the best graduating class in the school, because who wouldn’t want to be known as the best class at Wethersfield High School?
Powderpuff is important to go to because it is another way to hang out with friends and meet new friends as well. Overall Powderpuff is a game for students to have fun and that's the real importance of the game.
How do we make this happen? We would not have powderpuff if the teachers didn’t get together and send information to the students because this year we might have to cancel the game due to the lack of sign ups in this competition. In order to sign up, you must sign up with your designated teacher as seen below. Make sure you bring your $25 needed to sign up for your powderpuff shirts, and also make sure you are ahead on your class dues.
Freshmen should see Mr. Miller, sophomores should see Mr. Chatfield, juniors should Ms. Cavanaugh, and seniors should see Mrs. Belanger. Hope to see you on Cottone!
by: Bryce Cox
The Wethersfield High School marching band competed in the annual New England competition on Saturday, October 26. The competition took place at Naugatuck High School in Connecticut, and included many bands from across Connecticut and outside the state.
For WHS, this was the last competition of the season, and was especially emotional as it was many of the seniors last band competition. The band performed their show, Terraform, which includes a variety of small sections of pieces. Their show incorporates two movements from Holst’s The Planets, originally written for orchestra, playing Mars second, and ending their show with Jupiter. The show opens with the theme from Steven Spielberg's movie E.T. and the third piece is a theme from a Star Trek episode.
After a successful and emotional final competition, the WHS marching band camp in 6th in their division.
by: Connor Pace and Dan Jimenez
Student Athletes are known to have the most workload in school. However, when we think of student athletes, often the underestimated and overlooked team is our amazing Marching Band. They are there every home football game, compete in many prestigious competitions, and the dedication and skill that goes to each of the pieces they play is astonishing. For this reason, we decided to talk to a WHS player Vinny Mullizzo to find out what it is like to be in the Wethersfield Marching Band.
To be in the marching band means starts with being in their summer camp every hot summer day from 8:30am to 5:00pm, and once school starts you have to go to rehearsal from 5:30-8:00pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday plus performing at games. Then on Saturdays, they have band competitions which can run from 10:30am all the way until 11:00pm.
“From the whole school in general we don't get that much recognition because what we do is more outside of school, so the people do not really see what we are doing and there is not really a lot of marketing for it, like ‘Hey, come to the competition,’” said Vinny Milluzzo, a trumpet player and section leader in the marching band.
Next time you see someone in the Marching Band, give them a congratulations for all the hard work they put in and cheer for them in their competitions and performances.
By: Taylor Mcgeachy, Jess Driscoll, and Mary Leconche
This year, the WMRP hockey team received tough news, the team is splitting into pieces. This team is a co-op between the towns of Wethersfield, Middletown, Rocky Hill and Plainville. This year, our “one for all” team is being torn apart. Curious about how this will affect the player,s we asked them what they will be lacking from the co-op split.
Spencer Bartone, who has been involved with the team for years says, “Our team won't only be losing great hockey players, but we will be losing a part of our family. It's like losing my brothers that I've played with since I joined the team. I wake up seeing these guys first thing in the morning and it's gonna be tough to not have them on the ice or in the locker room any more.”
For much of the team, it isn't only about losing players from three other towns, but losing a chunk of their family and strong players for 3-4 years. Many sports teams have the same teammates throughout their high school years and they get into a routine of playing together. Will the last year of the WMPR team playing together push them to win the championship?
Many of the teams players agree that the future split will have a positive impact and make them eager to work together to win the title of their last ever championship together. Trevor Piecewicz, captain of the team, says, “We are still one team, one family. We only have one thing on mind this year and that’s winning a state championship. When it comes to the team splitting up, we’ll think about that when the time comes.”
Both junior Spencer Bartone and caption Trevor Piecewicz have their focus on getting to Yale and winning the state championship. With their last yearwith the three other towns, the drive to win is more intense than ever. We got the chance to interview our Athletics Director Micheal Maltese asking how it came about to end the co-op program.
“The CIAC, the governing board of high school athletics in CT, has strict regulations in place for co-op teams in all sports. There are cut-off numbers set that determines whether or not a co-op can continue. Our roster is expected to grow this year (in which the CIAC gave us a 1-year co-op extension) which we anticipate will put us over the threshold as we look into the future. The BOE, along with central office administration and WHS administration, felt that announcing the end to our co-op at this point in time will give our three partner schools over 14 months to look for another co-op situation.”
Asking how he personally felt he responded by saying “I represent WHS, which is a CIAC member school. As we must comply with their regulations and by-laws I understand that they have rules in place which govern co-op teams.”
With nothing much anyone can do with the co-op, the WMRP will be something that not only Wethersfield with remember, but all the competing teams will remember as well when they hopefully see them at Yale this postseason.
By Shandaly Benjamin
Wethersfield High School has many activities for our senior class, but nothing like Senior Night for our varsity athletes. What better than being a part of a team you can call family without them being apart of your actual bloodline?
WHS sports are very competitive but fun. The seniors at WHS take sports seriously and want to set an example for upcoming varsity players. Our seniors offer their assistance during sports and play their best out in the field. But what is Senior Night all about?
Senior Night is inviting your family and friends to celebrate the simple fact that you made it this far from your first year of playing. It’ all about your final high school year of your sports career and enjoying the company of your teammates during that special nights game.
Our seniors enjoy this night with their teammates and their family as they try their hardest to defeat the team they’re up against. Our senior athletes are very hardworking and push themselves to be true leaders at Wethersfield High School.
The boys soccer team had their class of 2020 Senior Night on October 25 and the families couldn’t look any prouder of their athletic boys.
Our varsity athletes are very much appreciated, but nothing is better than looking to the bleachers and seeing you have a huge support system you can call friends. During the boys soccer Senior Night, WHS seniors: Brandon Bukowski, Conner Senk, Logan Lichatz, and other students, supported their varsity soccer buddies by holding their cut out heads.
Our WHS girls volleyball also had their Senior Night and our boys football team have their Senior Night soon you don’t want to miss it! Come out and support our eagles on their special night!
Our Wethersfield High School varsity players are very appreciated by their teammates and our school. They continue to set an example for the schools upcoming varsity players. We couldn’t thank our coaches enough for their time and dedication they put into the teams.
We hope to see the same enthusiasm from all students for our varsity players when more sports opportunities open this spring!
By Jake Whitaker and Johnny Orsini
On Wednesday, October 16th the Wethersfield High School football team had a new practice schedule on the daily agenda. Instead of taking to Cottone Field for practice, the Eagles went to Highcrest, Webb, and Hamner elementary schools for their newest campaign, Tackle Literacy.
Most classes in each school participated and each class had 1-3 players in each room. The players read aloud to the students, had students read to them, did classroom activities, and focused on expressing how important schooling is starting at a young age.
The players really wanted to emphasize being role models for the kids. Senior Tyren Watt said “The football team wanted to be a part of the Tackle Literacy campaign to be good examples to the younger students to keep reading books for the rest of your lives.”
To Tyren, it was more than just going and reading to the kids, he said, “The point was to show how important the reading was and how important it is throughout life.”
Senior Nathaniel Estifanos agrees that the campaign was more than just something to do during the bye week. “I think it was ‘let's go help out the kids and be good role models’ because that's our responsibility''. When asked if he would do it again, he kept it short,“for sure."
Many players agreed that it was awesome to go back but a little bitter sweet. Shortly after leaving the schools, Senior Kyle Edman said, “That was lowkey sad, we are about to graduate high school."
Junior Zak Zurzola followed up with a similar feeling, “We should do that again, I’m reminiscing." The team is hoping to be able to get another opportunity to do this again this year and are hoping that even more schools will participate next time around.
by: Trevor Piecewicz and Max Karkos
We all know teaching is a full-time job, with many teachers spending hours after the bell rings grading tests and planning for the next day. However, some teachers go a step further, lacing up their sneakers, throwing on a pair of shorts, and taking to the athletic complexes to help students in a different way.
There are many teachers here at WHS who are also coaches for our athletic teams. We wanted to know what that was like, and how the relationships between adults and students can broaden or weaken with this experience.
We interviewed Business teacher Chris Palazzo, who was also a freshman football coach and is the JV golf coach. We asked him what he thought about working with his athletes on the field or in his case, the golf course, and in the classroom.
“That’s one thing I've always enjoyed about coaching is building relationships on the field or the golf course and then allowing the relationship to continue to grow in the classroom.”
Mr. Palazzo understands that his athletes are human and that these types of things happen. So when we asked him if an altercation an athlete gets into in a game can lead him to view the athlete differently in class, he said, “I don’t think so, because I understand that the students are people outside of the classroom.”
Coach Palazzo implies that although his students can acted differently on the field, it isn’t going to impact the way that he is looked upon in the classroom.
Varsity Girls Basketball coach Jeff Russell, is a brand new gym teacher at WHS. He previously worked at Silas Deane Middle School, so Coach Russell is very familiar with many of the faces and athletes at WHS. We wanted his thoughts on now being able to build chemistry with his athletes in school, rather than just on the basketball court.
“It’s great because we are a team on and off the court. We build relationships that last throughout the entire offseason. When we are all in the same building, it’s easy for us to come together and build a family. We all have a goal and we all want to work to achieve it.”
Having the ability to build chemistry and just get to know your athletes better off the field is a huge asset when it comes to success and winning games. We asked varsity girls soccer coach Tony Leone, a paraprofessional at the high school, on how it has affected their season so far.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit of a challenge because we take how we are on the field into the school and that’s not always the right way to portray ourselves in front of other students.”
The student athletes here at WHS love their coaches. They build special relationships in sports that carries into the school. It can sometimes distract from the fact that they are in a different setting.
Coach Leone said, “I think they see me as coach and not a school person, which can be tough.”
However, in Coach Leone;s case this isn’t a bad thing. Coach Leone doesn’t work directly with any of his athletes. He likes the fact that he can be in the same building and always have an eye over what his athletes are doing in school. Coach Leone loves being there for his team, he said, “They see me as coach, so I think there is a comfort level that they may have more with me than anybody else.”
These teachers are a perfect embodiment of what it is to be an Eagle. The relationships they build are special and it’s what makes them love their jobs.
By: Kaitlyn Fischer and Ryan Koplin
Being captain of a high school sports team is something every athlete strives to be. It is an important role and a hard one to accept. We set out to interview captains of sports teams here at WHS for an inside look at their experience.
“Being captain means to me that I was recognized as not only a strong athlete but also a strong leader, and it means that a lot of the girls look up to me as a positive figure and leader of the team and I just really appreciate this position my senior year.” said Megan Kelleher, senior captain of the girls volleyball team.
Being a captain of a team with a lot of players could be seen as stressful. Here at WHS there are about ninety players in the football program.
“No [it’s not stressful] because in all honesty, I’ve always been the type of guy to be a leader, so me just having the nametag kind of hasn't really changed much, but it’s just simply having the nametag of being captain, said senior captain of the football team, Jacob Rivera when asked about the added pressure with being one of just three captains of a ninety player program.
If your school’s hockey team is like the team here at WHS, then your team has four towns playing on just one team.
For those who don’t know, the WHS hockey team is called WMRP, standing for Wethersfield, Middletown, Rocky Hill, and Plainville. And if you’re captain Trevor Piecewicz, then being the captain of people who you don’t see in school everyday could be hard, especially when he was named captain as a junior.
That’s not what Piecewicz thinks.
“I’ve been a leader since freshman year, it’s kind of the same, just with a “C” on my jersey.”
Being a captain is something everyone should strive to be. As you can see by these interviews, it's a very rewarding title. You take on leadership as well as being the person many younger players look up to. You learn how to deal with and overcome certain situations that many other people would not be exposed to.
By: Logan Lichatz
“It's tough to comeback this year, it's tough to even play any soccer after that game.”
After a heartbreaking loss to Daniel Hand in the semifinals last November, the Wethersfield High School boys soccer team has come back stronger than ever. Starting 7-1 in the first 8 games of the season; this team has had one of the most dominant starts this school has seen in years. Playing with a chip on their shoulder would be an understatement after the hopes of a championship appearance slipped out of their hands last year.
Having only seven seniors this year compared to 17 last year has been one of the many challenges to overcome. Max Karkos, senior captain, had this to say about it, “Regaining the chemistry with the younger and up and coming players is very important in order to be the team we want to be.”
With all their hard work, it seems as if the chemistry was quickly regained between older players and the young bucks. One of their biggest tests this season came when they played Plainville, the Class M State Champions, on September 17. The game went down to the wire, but the Eagles came out with the win in 2-1 Double OT thriller.
“Coach makes sure we stay calm and collective and helps us adjust how we play in order to minimize mistakes down the stretch,” Karkos said about how his coach helps the team stay focused throughout tight games.
When asked about coming into this season as a captain, Karkos said, “I feel like I have a responsibility to carry on where the seniors last year left off, and hopefully lead us to a state championship.”
It shows throughout the whole team that they have one goal in mind, which is to make a statement in the regular season and shock the world in the playoffs. Catch Karkos and the Wethersfield Eagles in action this Friday October 11, against South Windsor and Berlin on Tuesday, October 15, looking for their eighth and ninth win of the season. #therevengetour
By: Caitlin Nardella and Abbey Keane
With the team under a new coach, Tony Leone, the Girls Varsity Soccer team has adapted well. Along with many athletes moving up for last year’s JV team and losing the seniors of last year, the team has needed to bond quickly in order to get what needs to be done on the field.
This year’s varsity team has four captains including Grace Connelly, Mya Pellegrino, Gabi Villagra, and Sierra Judson leading the this year’s team.
Mya Pellegrino speaking about her other captains, ̈I think us four captains are definitely really good leaders and we really hype up the team and give positive vibes .”
The team started their season off with a losing streak but were quickly able to turn that around winning the next three straight games. Many of the girls have stepped up to a high level in order to make this team as good as it can be.
When asked about any future game that will be hard or bring any worries, Judson added they had, “We have big week coming with Southington, then Newington, and RHAM. Those are all big games that we need to give our best fight to and play our hardest because they mean the most ̈.
When asked about how the relationship on the team affects the game play on the field, Sierra Judson says, ̈We need to stay positive at all times and encourage one another no matter what.”
The bond of the girls had played a huge part in any team play especially on the soccer field. Wish the best of luck to the Wethersfield Eagles in this coming season with a big home game on October 4 at 3:45 against Southington!
by: Jake Whitaker and Johnny Orsini
Sport managing is something that is becoming more and more prominent in today's WHS Sports world. More students are being involved with their school sports without playing a sport or supporting from the stands. Students are managing team sports at all levels of sports and we have an inside look at what being a high school sports manager entails at Wethersfield High School.
Our football team has 6 managers; 4 are seniors and 2 are freshman. Our first two seniors, Serena Console and Isaac Santos, have been managing football for 3 years and have worked up the ladder to have bigger roles on the team. Serena is now calling formations during games for the football team, when we asked her about her new high stakes role she said, “It’s definitely stressful when Coach [McKinnon] is on edge with a lot of things, but it works out."
Isaac Santos says one of the hardest things about managing is how time consuming it is. He is the Class of 2020 president, a football manager, and a student representative at the board of education. He kept it brief, “It’s a lot of time consuming work. I'll be honest, I barely sleep”. Isaac has been dedicated to this program and to being an active member of our school community. He left us with one statement for anyone who is thinking about being a manager, “Do it with reason. Not for the title.”
Alexa Indomenico and Caitlin Nardella are both seniors but are fairly new to the managing scene at our high school. Caitlin last year started managing for the football team but she said, “I couldn’t manage school and managing at the same time, because of the time interfering with my practices. I quit sadly because I didn’t think it was the fit for me that year.”
This year, she came back and recruited her friend Alexa to manage with her. Alexa and Caitlin assist with setting up bags and drills for the players and coaches, but also film practices and games.
With 4 senior managers leaving after this season, 2 freshmen have big shoes to fill next year. Samantha Waterhouse and Lindsay Rhodes are learning from great upperclassmen and are going to take over the reigns next year. Samantha said “ I would definitely do it because you get closer with a lot of people.”
Lindsay added on by saying, “You also can learn the game better than you did before”. These managers also help the upperclassmen managers by recording and setting up drills for practice.
While the football managers are on the sidelines helping the team in there respective ways, varsity quarterback Matt Silver is a manager for the high school girls basketball team. His role as a manager is very different for the girls basketball team. He explained that his role is more active on the court. Matt said “ I'm in all essences a practice player. I go up against the girls and give them practice looks, I imitate the best player on the other team for that week.I just do everything I can on the court to make them better.”
Matt uses his athleticism to help out the team during practice but during games he claims to be a “hype man” for the team and even makes handshakes with players on the team.
Managing for different sports requires different skills and asks different tasks of people but they all have a few things in common, managers help out the team and are a key part of highschool sports team success. Managing is a great way to get involved in sports and in your school.
Want to become a manager? Go talk to our athletics coaches or our Athletic Director Mr. Maltese for more information on this great opportunity!
by: Nathaniel Estifanos
Wethersfield took care of business on Tuesday, September 24, beating Rocky Hill 7-1. Wethersfield jumped out of the gate on fire, coming out with a 2-0 lead with just about 15 minutes left in the half, with both scored by junior Madison Righi.
The Eagles somehow outperformed themselves in the second half, starting out with a goal from Grace Conneely, assisted by Mya Pellegrino. Gracie Leahy was next up in the bunch, scoring a goal to make it 5-0, followed up by a goal from Annie Klementon. Rocky Hill finally answered back, with a goal by Corrin Stabile to make it 6-1.
Wethersfield was able to get back on track in this dominating win after losing their previous two games. “The girls stayed upbeat, even though we hadn’t gotten the results,” said coach Antonio Leone. “It’s kind of hard not to get fired up when you play an across town rival in Rocky Hill. They came out and it was by far our best game to date.”
Coach Leone was also happy about the improvements the team made between the first three games. “One of the areas that we didn’t do well enough in the first two games was that we weren’t putting our chances away, we weren’t scoring goals. To get 6 against Rocky Hill, I’d have to believe that’s great for the girl’s confidence.”
By: Grace Detrick and Valentino Fazio
This week we asked the managers of two different sports teams here at WHS what their experience is like. We talked to seniors Olivia Destefani and Gabby Klementon, who manage the boys’ baseball team, and senior Riley Grenier who managed the girls’ basketball team this past winter.
If you’ve ever considered becoming a manager, now's the time because the three managers mentioned are graduating this year, leaving openings for the 2019-2020 sports seasons.
We wanted to find out what exactly a managing job entails so students can see if the job would be right for them. As for baseball, you have to do the book and write down everything that happens in the game like a strike or ball, etc.
“At first it was very hard learning how to do everything and we were clueless, but now we have the hang of it,” Klementon added. She records the stats manually on an iPad and keeps track of the pitch count during the game.
Grenier’s job however, is a little different. For the girls’ basketball manager, there is more participation involved and less stat recording.
“I have to participate and come to every practice as a ‘practice player’, run drills, and play defense on the girls,” Grenier explained.
Both of these jobs have easy aspects and challenging components as well. Destefani and Klementon both agreed writing down the players names before the game is the easiest and knowing what to classify every pitch or play is the hardest part. Destefani said, “It's all worth it because when we win or we make them cookies they get so hype.”
Grenier’s idea of the most difficult part of being a manager was “running a ton and repeating drills.” However, he really enjoyed the job because of the friendships he made with the players and getting to know people he didn't talk to before.
The best piece of advice Klementon and Destefani wanted to give to future managers was not to make Coach Bagdasarian mad and hang in there because it's hard at first, but gets easier and you'll get the hang of it.
Grenier had similar advice that it gets easier along the way as long as you show up on time, do what you're told and are ready to run.
If you think you would want to take over either of these positions and are interested in managing either sport next season, speak to Coach Russell or Coach Bagdasarian.
By: Kayla Cruz and Aliza Yousufzai
Spring has arrived and that means spring sports are now in full swing and all the athletes are getting ready to win their future meets. Although spring track started in the beginning of March, they are still training to win.
We got the chance to sit and chat with the captain of the track team Amayia Giscombe to see what is going on in the track world and what it’s like to have such an important role in the team. Giscombe mostly does throwing: shot, disc, and javelin. We also learned about what roles she has on the team besides doing the activities that they do on track. She has the privilege of being the main part of the team and help the other team members.
We were interested in seeing how it is different being a captain versus being a team member. “Some of the duties are to show people how they should throw, such as form and just be very uplifting ‘oh you can do this you got this.’”
These little pointers help the team work together better and motivates them to move forward and win at the next meet. Some people join and don't know how to do certain things so teaching them how to do it is part of her job. Making sure the team comes together is very important and helps them win the meets.
“Being a captain I am more aware of the forms of everyone else if I see that someone is struggling I make sure to help them. I'm not always the best, like yesterday some of the freshman threw better than me but it’s okay I’m proud of them that means I’m doing my job.” Overall, the track team is of to a very good start this season.
Make sure to support the Wethersfield track at their next home meet on April 30, 2019 versus Rocky Hill at 3:45.
By Christian Galain & Austin Harnish
The Wethersfield boys volleyball team are tied with rival Newington at the top of Class M as they are set to square off on Wednesday May 1st. Newington were the class M state champs of 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017.
“Seniors Riley Grenier, Kevin Rascius, and Josh Malizia are our captains.” said junior outside hitter Rei Koni, “As leaders, I know they can take us far, they are confident in us and themselves, and I know I don’t have any worries with them on our team.”
We then talked to the head coach Deborah O’Brien, Ms. O’Brien has been coaching girls volleyball since 1990. She was the assistant coach for 4 years and then became the head coach. She has been coaching the boys since 2007; after being the assistant for 2 years she then became the head coach.
“Our season has gotten off to an excellent start. We are currently 9-0. The athletes worked hard during the off season and continue to work hard at each practice and match. They all have strong skills and are playing well as a team, their positive attitudes are also an asset,” said Coach O’Brien.
“This team is gelling very well. Team chemistry makes a big difference. This team is one of the most motivated, hard working, skilled teams we have had in a few years. Many of the players have a lot of varsity experience.”
One last question that we had asked was how are the captains showing leadership on the court, “We have 3 captains this year. All 3 of them are working hard on their own skills and work hard to motivate their teammates during practices and games. They lead by example. They are able to keep the team focused and positive during practices and games.”
Make sure to come out and support the volleyball team for their next game, on Wednesday May 1st, and the rest of the season. Games usually begin around 5:00pm, to see the whole schedule click on the link.
by: Tea Hima and Kelly Scales
Spring sports are just around the corner, which means Wethersfield High School students have been preparing for tryouts that start on March 16. One sport to be on the lookout for this season is Girls Tennis. We interviewed senior Paige Contenta and asked her what’s in store for the team this upcoming season.
Contenta is very excited to see what the season brings us, “We have a lot of new freshman girls that are super interested. The team has been helping them with their strokes and they have a lot of potential.” The team has has off season practices at the Newington Tennis Center in order to prepare for the spring season.
Although WHS has many rivalry teams, such as Glastonbury and Rocky Hill, they are confident that the new girls coming in will fill up the spots on the lineup and help lead the team to victory. A major goal the team has is to win All State, and in order to do so they need to win against Rocky Hill. The team will be working hard throughout the season in order to accomplish this goal.
The season ends in late May, and the team will be playing 15 matches with other schools across Connecticut. In early June, the girls will be participating in team states as well as individual states.
If you are interested in trying out for the girls tennis team, please see Mrs. Kremer and Mr. Scopetto with any questions. If you’re not interested in sports, then come out and support the team at their first match of the season right here at WHS on April 4 at 3:45! You won’t want to miss it.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.