Posted Thursday, May 28, 2015
Spencer Marocchini '16 hits milestone
Team-wise, the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys' Lacrosse season didn't end like Spencer Marocchini '16 had hoped.
From an individual standpoint, though, things couldn't have gone much better for the WMA attacker.
Two days after receiving the Coaches Award at the Spring Athletics Awards Ceremony, Spencer recorded the 100th goal of his career in a loss at The Gunnery.
"Not that stats are the most important thing, but it was a personal goal to achieve that mark and I want to thank my teammates for giving me in the opportunity to reach that position and to achieve this," Spencer said. "I wouldn't have been able to do it without them."
Spencer scored on a dodge and shot in the fourth quarter of the season finale. He finished the year with 33 goals and 35 assists, and earned a spot on the All-League First Team. It's the third season in a row Spencer was chosen to All-League.
"Spencer has always been a player who leads by example," Coach Mike MacDonald said. "He is the first one out to the practice field and the last to leave. Spencer has worked extremely hard and has dedicated himself to becoming a model student-athlete at WMA. It has been a privilege to work with Spencer over the past three years and I am excited for him as he enters his final year at WMA."
Spencer has been consistent since arriving at the Academy, with 50 points as a freshman and 64 as a sophomore before tallying 68 in 2015. His great attitude has been consistent as well, which made him a strong candidate and eventual winner for the 2015 Coaches Award.
"It was a great honor to receive the Coaches Award this year," he said. "I want to thank my teammates and coaches for giving me the opportunity that they did. I couldn't have achieved this without them and I'm very thankful for that."
Spencer is also thankful for being on a good team each of this three seasons at the Academy. WMA qualified for the postseason his first two years, and would have done the same this year if not for the tournament being cancelled in mid-May.
"When I came up my freshman year we went 9-5 and had a real turn-around season," Spencer explained. "We were fortunate to have the leadership we had. Coming into this year we lost a lot of players: senior starters from last year. But that didn't stop us. Colby (Hamwey '15) and John (Tierney '15) were great captains and without them this season would have been a lot different."
Posted Thursday, May 28, 2015
Carly Venditti '16 named Softball MVP
Whether it was for Wilbraham & Monson Academy or her club team, Carly Venditti '16 has always been ready and willing to pitch even though she might not be the team's #1 pitcher.
When Carly got the nod to take to the pitching circle this season for the Titans, as expected, she was ready.
Carly helped WMA reach the postseason for the second year in a row. She pitched so well, especially down the stretch, she was named to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class B All-League team and the 2015 Preps All-Scholastics Boston Globe team. She was also named team MVP.
"I was really excited," Carly said. "I'm honored to be on the All-League team. The Boston Globe is an influential paper, especially in the New England area. I'm excited to be a part of that team and to be mentioned in the Boston Globe, along with my teammate Emma Kindblom '17. It was a great milestone for me this year."
Carly earned the right to be the ace of the WMA staff and pitched well all season. Interestingly, it was in a loss where she gained the confidence needed in order to be a true ace.
"I haven't pitched much since I was younger," Carly explained. "My pitching coach came in and worked me hard. We figured out my pitching style and figured out what was best for me."
It was during WMA's 4-3 loss to prep power Ethel Walker where she found her comfort zone in the circle.
"I wasn't that comfortable on the mound," she said. "But I broke out and realized I was in control. I gained control of the strike zone and that helped me feel better as a player."
Carly was stellar down the stretch, leading the Titans to wins over Cheshire Academy, Pomfret School, Marianapolis Prep, Stoneleigh Burnham School and Cushing Academy in the final 12 days of the regular season to help WMA earn the #4 seed in the Class B tournament.
"Winning out was something we had to do," she said. "We had to win our last five games, and if we didn't we wouldn't make the playoffs. We played some difficult teams, particularly Cheshire, and we came out that day . . . there was AP testing that day . . . but we brought it together on the playing field and played really hard."
Carly, who won the Coaches Award for Softball as a freshman, said any number of players on the team could have won the MVP Award this season.
"I think I wasn't alone in all the work I did in preparing for the season," Carly said. "There was more than one MVP. We worked hard on and off the field; going on runs on the weekends with friends and putting in the extra time, and I wasn't alone in that. I think that affected our season and allowed us to come together at the end of the season."
At WMA's Prize Day on May 22, Carly was awarded the John L. Nepomuceno Prize, which goes to the member of the junior class with the same outstanding qualities as John, such as being an excellent student and having a good sense of humor.
Posted Thursday, May 28, 2015
Ally Stoll '15 wins New England track title
Wilbraham & Monson Academy's Alexandra Stoll '15 wanted to make the most of the final track meet of her high school career.
At the New England Division III Championships May 16 at the Hyde School in Woodstock, Conn., Ally won an event and placed second in two others.
"My goal for New Englands was to push it as hard as I could," Ally said.
Ally repeated as the 100-meter high hurdle champion, running a winning time of 16.36 seconds to top a field of 22 competitors by more than a second. The time set a facility record.
"Coming in, I was the one to beat because I was undefeated," she said. "But that being said, I put in 110% effort because I knew there were going to be some girls on my butt. I'm happy with the result."
Ally also placed second in the 300 hurdles (50.08) and pole vault (8 feet). The performances were personal-bests.
Ally set the school record in the high hurdles on a few occasions this season, with her time of 16.00 at the meet at Cheshire Academy May 9 being the best. She was named the team MVP at the WMA Spring Athletic Awards Ceremony May 14.
"I'm happy I got it down 16 flat in the high hurdles because that's more than a second faster than I was," she said. "I think that record will be there for a while. Part of me wanted to leave a legacy, especially with track because that's my main sport.
"I had an ambitious goal of earning 100 points for the team. We didn't have two meets, so I went into the New England meet with 73.5 points. However, I thought it could happen. I got 24 points at New Englands so I finished with 97.5 points for the season."
Ally will attend and run track at Mount Holyoke next season, where she's expected to make an immediate impact on the team.
"Originally I wasn't going to run in college," Ally explained. "But the Mount Holyoke coach reached out and said my times were great and she said she needed me on the team. I'm glad she gave me the opportunity to compete at the varsity level in college. That's rewarding for me."
Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Coach MacDonald put into lead role for Boys' Lax
One week after earning the highest award possible for an assistant boys' lacrosse coach in the region, Wilbraham & Monson Academy's Mike MacDonald received more good news.
Coach MacDonald was put into the lead role for the WMA Boys' Lacrosse program after Coach Phil Roland retired following the Titans' final game of the 2015 season.
"I'm excited at the opportunity to be the head coach here," Coach MacDonald said. "(Head of School) Mr. (Brian) Easler and (Athletic Director) Don Nicholson '79 have given me a great opportunity. Knowing the league and the other coaches in the league . . . I'm excited and I'm excited for the Academy. I think next year will be a big year for lacrosse."
Since arriving on campus, the Titans have enjoyed success. In his three seasons as an assistant coach, where he ran the offense, WMA qualified for back-to-back playoff berths and was on its way to a third this season before the league decided late in the schedule to not hold a tournament.
"When I first moved here, I didn't think the level of competition would be as high as it was," said Coach MacDonald, who hails from Central New York, which is a hotbed for lacrosse. "But then I found out the league was competitive and I was excited to be involved. That first year with Phil was a learning experience for me. It taught me the finer points of coaching high school kids. Phil was a great mentor to me."
Coach MacDonald has an impressive background. He played on two NCAA Division I championship teams at Syracuse University, and served as an assistant coach at LeMoyne College before coming to the Academy.
In the last two seasons, seven WMA Boys' Lacrosse players have been recruited to play lacrosse in college, most notably John Tierney '15, who will play at the University of Massachusetts, which is a giant in the Division I ranks.
"The opportunity to come to the Academy as a student-athlete, and to use the sport of lacrosse to help get into a college and further a student's academics, is a tool a lot of families are starting to pick up on," Coach MacDonald explained. "Our students are going onto college – maybe not to play lacrosse, but lacrosse is helping them get into college."
Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015
John Tierney '15 named US Lacrosse All-American
Wilbraham & Monson Academy's John Tierney '15 added something to his already impressive resume last week when he was named to the US Lacrosse All-American team.
"It's a big honor and I'm truly proud to be representing my team and the league," John said. "It will be something I will never forget."
John had an unforgettable career at WMA, where he helped turn a one-win team into a contender for the New England Division II title. He finished his brilliant four-year career with 194 goals and 176 assists.
"It's been incredible to be part of this turnaround," said John, who was also invited to play in the US Lacrosse All-American All-Star Game in Orlando this summer. "Going from one of the worst teams in New England to one of the best . . . this is something I will miss but I'm excited for my future at UMass. I want to win a couple national championships.
"It's an honor to represent my state, and it's going to be great to play for a great coach. I'm excited for what it will entail. The games should be great. We're hoping to beat North Carolina next year."
John, a three-time Brine All-American and four-time all-league player, has been invited to try out for the US U19 team this summer. He played on the Class of 2015 USA team last summer.
Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Colby Hamwey earns shutout; lax MVP
Goalie Colby Hamwey '15 and his Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys' Lacrosse teammates received terrible news in mid-May when they learned there wasn't going to be a 2015 postseason due to a lack of schools willing to participate.
Colby's reaction to the last-second dilemma was to play a perfect game in his final performance on the WMA turf.
On Senior Day, Colby posted a shutout, leading the Titans to an 11-0 victory over Kingswood Oxford School May 13.
"That was my first high school shutout, and it was a great time to get it," said Colby, who served as a captain his senior season. "It was surreal. I'd been working toward it for a long time."
A day following his shutout, Colby was named MVP of the Boys' Lacrosse team at the Spring Athletic Awards Ceremony at the Alumni Memorial Chapel. It was the second year in a row Colby was named the team's Most Valuable Player.
"It's an honor," said Colby, who helped the team to an 8-5 record. "The defense helped me again this year. They made me look good. I want to thank all of them."
Colby was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year. He's a two-time All-Defensive team pick, and made the All-League Third team as a sophomore.
"Being able to coach Colby the last three seasons was a privilege," said Coach Mike MacDonald. "He came to practice every day and worked hard. He's the model lacrosse player we're looking for at WMA. We're proud of him and his hard work. In the classroom, he maintained a great grade point average and he got himself into a great school."
Colby will attend St. Lawrence University next season. He committed to play lacrosse at the Division III school in the fall.
Posted Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Lauren Poole '17 sets shot put record
Wilbraham & Monson Academy's Lauren Poole '17 knows how to make the most out of a bad situation.
After being prohibited from running and jumping events on the WMA Track & Field team following a gymnastics injury, Lauren concentrated on improving in her throwing events.
The result, remarkably, was a school record, with Lauren smashing the previous shot put mark by more than two feet with a throw of 33 feet, three inches.
"I decided I was going to make the best of the situation and focus on throwing shot put," Lauren said. "It worked out."
Lauren's record came at a meet at Cheshire Academy May 9. She missed the first four meets of the 2015 season before throwing 26 feet in the two competitions prior to the Cheshire meet.
"I worked on technique, and I got into the weight room a few times," she said. "But mainly I worked on my form."
That extra work produced a new school mark, with Lauren easily breaking the mark of 30-9, which was set by Kaitlin Camilleri in 2008.
"It feels awesome," Lauren said. "I'm so happy. And I'm only a sophomore so I feel I can beat my PR."
Lauren concluded her season by finishing second with a throw of 30-4.5 at the New England Prep School Track Association Division III Championship May 16 at the Hyde School in Woodstock, Conn.
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015
Softball earns spot in postseason
With the majority of its players returning from the 2014 tournament team, Wilbraham & Monson Academy Softball had everything in place to make another run at the league title in 2015.
Injuries to three starters early in the season, though, posed an unexpected challenge.
The Titans, however, were strong enough to overcome that challenge as the team qualified for the Western New England Prep School Girls' Softball Association Class B Tournament for the second year in row. Fourth-seeded WMA (10-5) will hit the road to take on top-ranked Ethel Walker May 16 at 2 p.m. in a semifinal.
"This was a more challenging year to make the playoffs," Coach Erik Kindblom said. "We've shown resiliency and the ability to handle difficult situations."
"I think we had a really good idea coming into the season that we were going to be competitive, but we started off with a lot of injuries," said pitcher Carly Venditti '16. "But we've really pulled together and we're headed to our peek right now and we're really going to bring it to Ethel Walker on Saturday."
The Academy started the season 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the league. The Titans, though, closed out the season on a seven-game winning streak, including five wins in the league, to clinch the fourth and final spot of the tournament.
"We started to get healthy again," Coach Kindblom explained. "It's been a team effort – not one or two defining players. We've had young players (Emelia Boyko '18 and Chloe Roux '19) step up to fill in for veteran players who became injured, and them playing to a level that exceeded my expectations."
WMA qualified for the postseason with a 7-2 win at Cheshire Academy Wednesday.
"We put a lot of pressure on them, and we were able to put pressure on them for seven innings and come out on top, and that last win got us into the playoffs," Coach Kindblom said.
The Academy beat Marianapolis Prep in a semifinal a year ago before falling to the Kingswood-Oxford School in the final.