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Denebola » Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 Brandeis Road parking ban continues into April http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/brandeis-road/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/03/23/brandeis-road/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 04:01:33 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5614
This winter administration informed students that parking on Brandies Road past the Senior Parking Lot was temporarily prohibited because snowdrifts squeezed traffic down to one lane. This temporary arrangement, however, may become a permanent policy.
On April 2, South’s High School Council will present its case to ban this parking to increase parking pass revenue and eliminate safety hazards.
According to Principal Joel Stembridge, the area off-limits for parking is from the Senior Lot to the first house beyond the school, which will remove 11 free spaces.
Though money is a motivating factor for many supporters of the policy, Stembridge maintains that his primary concern regarding parking is safety.
“It’s so much safer driving [when there are no parked cars] because you can actually see people in the crosswalk,” he said. “Before, as you came around that corner, you could only see cars, and then all of a sudden, you’re in the crosswalk. And sometimes there’s a student right there.”
The School Council looks to compensate for the loss of free spots by reducing the semester parking pass from a fee of $200 to one of $180, a savings of $2 a day for a student subscriber.
“Fees for everything else are going up, but parking prices are going down,” Stembridge said.
The proposal indicates that the price could drop another $5 in the future if minimal interest is displayed over the course of a few years.
This year, parking fees accrued $23,400; if the Senior Lot was filled to a full capacity, with a $175 fee, revenues would increase over $5,000. This capital adds to the district’s overall operational budget for salaries, books, and other expenses.
A total of 165 parking spots are available in the Senior Lot, but students purchased a mere 115 out of the 165 first semester, a 15-tag drop from 2009’s second semester.
When South was renovated, the student lots overridden with construction equipment, students were permitted to park on the Wheeler side temporarily.
Though this segment of the road was not designed for parked cars, the temporary situation became permanent.
The district, not South’s administration, has jurisdiction over Brandeis Road and parking. In fact, the administration openly and willingly helps students in need to pay for parking, and will considers financial aid if a student wishes to explain his or her situation.
“It’s not the administration’s fault because it has been known to help students in need,” senior Alex Gershanov said. “The school committee needs to take a more responsible approach because not too many students can afford the $200 price tag. It’s just really unreasonable what the committee is doing.
“It’s an insane amount of money to pay per semester. It really undermines all the students that can’t afford it,” he said.
For Gershanov, a feasible price for parking is $60 to $80 per semester.
While there is pushback in opposition to the proposal by the School Committee, the parking fee reduction is a step in the right direction in the campaign for more reasonable prices; unfortunately for student drivers, the tradeoff is a loss of free parking.
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Half-century of athletic history revived through Hall of Fame http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/half-century-of-athletic-history-revived-through-hall-of-fame/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2011/02/15/half-century-of-athletic-history-revived-through-hall-of-fame/#comments Tue, 15 Feb 2011 07:31:45 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5517 By Jason Yoffe, Volume 49
December 23, 2009

“Stick to the ground! Passing has ruined the game,” former South Football and Wrestling Coach Art Kojoyian, a devoted supporter of running the football, shouted to the crowd. An uproarious laughter followed his bold statement.
Kongie, as he was called by his former wrestlers and football players, had once again evoked the same pleasure he had during his 18-year tenure at the school.
His acceptance speech was completely in character, reminding those who played for him why he was one of the greatest coaches in South history.
Kojoyian was one of four former South coaches who was honored on November 27 as part of the first inaugural class of the new Hall of Fame. The class also included six former South athletes.
“All of the people we picked were more than deserving,” Athletic Director Scott Perrin said.
According to head of the Booster Club Jon Frieze, 50 years of South’s athletic programs have produced a large group of Hall-worthy alumni.
“There have been a lot of deserving people,” he said.
Perrin and the other members of the Hall of Fame Committee will primarily focus on three-sport athletes, with multiple All-American honors.
“What some athletes today don’t realize is that playing multiple sports makes them a better athlete,” Perrin said.
Athletes become induction-eligible five years after graduating.
Perrin did say that student-inductees do not have to be captains to join the Hall of Fame.
The athletic department joined the Booster Club to organize the Hall of Fame, which they held at the Newton Marriot.
The Village Bank contributed to the efforts with a sizeable donation to the Booster Club.
Despite being the eve following Thanksgiving, the crowd almost doubled from the estimated 80 people to 160 attendees.
“It was so successful,” Frieze said of the turnout. “I wouldn’t be surprised if [the Hall of Fame] was every year now.”
Perrin and the Committee expect to convene over the winter to decide plans for the Hall of Fame in future years.
The inductees of the Class of 2009 were dominated by gridiron stars. Four of the six athletes, and half of the coaches were a part of high school’s most revered sport, football.
Leading this group was Seth Hauben, a graduate in 2001. “Seth was one of the best athletes to ever come out of here,” Perrin said.
Playing basketball and lacrosse in addition to football, Hauben received nine varsity letters and seven Dual County League (DCL) All-Star nominations.
The accolades extended to a national level. Hauben was a basketball phenomenon, a McDonald’s All-American, a member of The Boston Globe’s Super Team, and a member of The Boston Herald’s Dream Team during his senior year.

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Pro athletes found in high school sports http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/pro-athletes-found-in-high-school-sports/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/pro-athletes-found-in-high-school-sports/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 07:32:14 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4876 When watching high school athletics, fans often witness mannerisms similar or even identical to the professional athletes of the sport.
These habits emulated by Dual County League athletes tend to impede the game more than enhance it.
While many of these routines are harmless, many young athletes develop a tendency to adopt the detrimental customs of professional sport by emulating the unsportsmanlike practices of professionals.
Flashy plays are prevalent in most high school athletics. Players often use flamboyant techniques that prove unnecessary and disrespectful.
While many athletes believe that the imitations demonstrate extra skill, the perception from both opponents and teammates is one of disdain.
These practices, however, seem out of place during high school competitions are usually penalized.
The emphasis on sportsmanship at lower levels of sports helps prevent rude behavior and encourages athletes to conduct themselves in a respectable manner.
“It is disheartening to see [showboating] because everyone’s working hard to play, junior and Varsity Football player Aaron Weinstein said. “You’re giving credit to yourself, which is at times undeserved, because it is a team effort.
Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, one of football’s elite athletes, is notorious for his flamboyant touchdown celebrations.
Although his acclaimed routines are comedic and creative, he consistently crosses the line between having innocent fun and showing off.
This trend is seen in high school competitions as well, but is often ill received. “[Showing off] in your driveway is one thing; doing it in a game situation is different, South Athletic Director Scott Perrin said.
“It can be demoralizing, senior and captain of the Boys’ Varsity Tennis team Tyler Epstein said of showboating. “It could make you feel bad about yourself if your opponent’s obnoxious.
Disrespecting officials and referees is one of the most prominent bad habits embraced by some high school athletes.
A culture in which insolence towards officials is acceptable ultimately becomes detrimental to a team, as losing the favor of an umpire or referee can be the reason for a loss.
This culture is supported by the consistent bickering of professional athletes to officiating crews. At the professional level, ejections, penalties, and technical fouls are often glorified or deemed as methods through which athletes motivate their teams.
“It never makes sense to bicker with [referees], Perrin said. “In sports you can only control how you play and focus. You can’t control an official’s view of a play or call. It just makes no sense at every level to argue with the referees.
The scope through which most high school athletes view professional sports, the media, has put stress on personal achievement.
This emphasis has created a selfish trend among today’s young athletes.
Most highlights merely quantify a player’s talents through statistics, rather than intangible qualities, suggesting that greatness is achieved through individual success rather than team accomplishments such as championships.
This misconception has flowed down to high school sports, where some student athletes are more concerned with personal achievements than their team’s ability to win.
“The media has more of an impact on kids than [coaches] do, Perrin said.
Amid all of the negative influences of professional sport, athletes who imitate their athletic heroes can greatly improve.
Learning by example is a prime way to develop talent and perfect techniques.
Many coaches encourage their players to expose themselves to their corresponding professional sport in order to see techniques executed to perfection.
Intangible qualities such as composure, leadership skills, and mental focus can also be acquired through professional sports.
Watching the best athletes in the world can provide valuable insight for an athlete.
“On a lot of levels [of athletics] the games are the same, Perrin said. “I always tell athletes to watch higher levels, including college sports; you can learn a lot about your position. It is really important for kids who want to get better to watch the pros.
Junior and goalie for the Girls’ Varsity Soccer team Emma Friedman also said that watching professional sports could help an athlete to better understand his or her position and sport.
The influence of professional sports on overall athletics is both profound and significant, as high school athletes seem to emulate their favorite players’ mannerisms for better or worse. At times, a high school competition greatly parallels the intensity, atmosphere, and attitudes in the pros.

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Denebola Athlete of the Year: Sam Forman http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/denebola-athlete-of-the-year-sam-forman/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/denebola-athlete-of-the-year-sam-forman/#comments Thu, 10 Jun 2010 06:07:44 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4587 From afar, the pitcher on the mound looked like a man among boys. Senior Sam Forman, then twelve years old, was standing on the hill in front of his defense comprised of thirteen year-olds.

Though he was about to face an undefeated team that sported an offense averaging more than five runs a game, Forman toed the mound, composed. That day, he held the opposing team to its lowest scoring output of the season, giving his team a legitimate opportunity to win.

Keeping his team in contention, Sam Forman has been defined by his reliability and his consistency since his little league days. In his four years at South, Forman has developed into a top pitcher in the state, and progressed significantly in his pool of competitors.

While Forman’s success as a swimmer and baseball player are staggering, his intangibles serve invaluable assets to both the Baseball and Swim programs.

“Sam Forman is a man of strong character, Athletic Director Scott Perrin said. “You wish you could have teams made up of kids like Forman. He is just a great kid with tremendous character.

According to Perrin, Forman maintains an unparalleled work ethic. There is a consensus among his coaches, past and present, that Forman’s desire to improve has been one of his most valuable qualities.

“He is as good as he is because he works harder than everyone else. You see his work ethic and you see his attitude in whatever he does, John Merin, Forman’s coach five years ago and current coach of the Freshman Baseball team, said.

Forman, captain of the Boys’ Swim team, has proven his worth in more than one dimension.

“Sam’s a great kid, Ethan Treat, Head Coach of the Swim team, said. “He definitely made the transition into being a first year coach really easy.

In addition to being one of South’s top swimmers, Forman has established his legacy on the baseball diamond. According to Head Baseball Coach Ron Jordan, Forman has played a significant role in the program’s recent success. This season, the team garnered a 14-6 record, the best in fifteen years.

Forman’s contributions came from all sides of the game. On the mound, Forman earned the label of ace of the pitching staff, procuring a 5-1 record and a 3.50 earned run average (ERA). The ace pitched the most innings on the team, as well.

“He’s not going to strike out 20, but he’s going to keep you in the game, Jordan said.

Aside from his pitching ability, Forman has delivered on the offensive side, as well. Last season, he was the second-best hitter statistically, hitting well over .300.

The success in his senior year as a pitcher stemmed from Forman’s unique pitching philosophy. Rather than blowing pitches by hitters, he opts to use a finesse approach. Relying on accuracy over velocity results in more economical outings, therefore longer starts.

“He’s sort of a different pitcher than the other pitchers on the staff. He tries to nit-pick at the corners. He uses a lot of off-speed stuff, catcher, captain, and senior teammate Scott Lueders said. “Sam really works well with what he has, and he gets the job done.

“By mixing that great, dropping curveball with a great changeup and a fastball that he can put pretty much anywhere [in the strike zone] he wants, he’s definitely tough to hit.

Forman’s repertoire consists of a fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. His most impressive pitch in his arsenal is his changeup, which enhances the effectiveness of his fastball despite its velocity.

“Sam has one of the best changeups, not only in the league, but in the state, Jordan said. “He’s won a lot of games for us in the past two years.

In South’s victory against Everett High School in the opening round of the Division-I North Sectional tournament, Forman accomplished merely 100 pitches in a complete game, a feat that most professional pitchers cannot achieve. He did not surrender an earned run or allow a walk during his outing.

Forman earned his worth in the pool, as well. This season, he shattered several of his personal best times en route to becoming a consistent contributor on the team.

Forman started the season with a 6:11.58 on the 500-yard freestyle, and brought his time down to a formidable 5:36.99 by the winter’s end. He posted this time in the Dual County League (DCL) Championship meet, easily winning his heat.

He also led off the team’s 400-yard freestyle relay and shaved considerable margins off his 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle events.
“He didn’t think he was that great a swimmer [at the beginning of the season], Treat said. “But through a lot of hard work, he became a pretty good one.

Forman won the Baseball team’s Commitment to Excellence award, which honors the program’s best student-athlete. In addition, he earned the Bob Chruzs award at Spring Sports’ Awards Night, the highest honor of the evening.

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Lion’s Basketball team rebounds after slow start http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/lion%e2%80%99s-basketball-team-rebounds-after-slow-start/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/lion%e2%80%99s-basketball-team-rebounds-after-slow-start/#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2010 08:30:18 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/lion%e2%80%99s-basketball-team-rebounds-after-slow-start/ Many people wrote off the Boys’ Varsity Basketball team after losing the first five consecutive games of the season. The Lions, however, have proved everyone wrong as of late, winning eight of their last 11 games.

This late-season rally has put the team back in playoff contention.

The road ahead looks rough for the Lions, who will face off against some of the top teams in the Dual County League (DCL). “We have hard games ahead of us, senior Ethan Landzberg said. “There are no locks in these last games.

The team has been successful in games against tough opponents this season, even topping dominant Westford last month.

According to Landzberg, the team did not play to its full potential against Lincoln-Sudbury and Boston Latin on February 2 and 5 respectively. The Lions could not stop Lincoln-Sudbury’s frontcourt throughout most of the game, but lost by only three points.

The outcome of the Boston Latin game was more favorable for the basketball team, as they were able to add to the win column.

South was slated to win by a significantly large margin against a weaker Boston Latin squad, but ended up scrapping together a victory in a close game.

“We’re a good team, Landzberg said. “We just aren’t consistent enough.

If the team wins two out of the last four games, the Lions will clinch a playoff berth.

Lately, the team has drained some pivotal shots and played tight defense late in close games. “We are starting to pull together more as a team, senior Jason Green said. “I think that if we play our game, then we can beat anyone in the league.

Junior DJ Reid’s outstanding play has carried the team through throughout the run, according to Boys’ Head Basketball Coach Joe Killilea. Reid’s good shooting and rebounding has provided the Lions with the spark they desperately needed early in the season. “DJ’s shooting ability has been helping us [win games], Landzberg said.

Amidst the victories, Killilea earned his 400th career win in Tyngsboro on January 22. Killilea’s mark is respectable for a coach in any sport, especially when his team plays roughly 20 games each season.

“The 400 wins are more a tribute to the players that have played for me, the assistant coaches, and my wife and kids, he said of the record.

Although humbled by the accomplishment, Killilea will set his sights on the playoffs, not on the record books. “I was thinking about the win because we needed a win, he said.

Killilea says he never told the team about nearing the mark. “There’s enough pressure in basketball without adding another one, he said.

Despite Killilea’s concern, senior Alex O’Hagen, whose father informed him of the upcoming milestone, said he was actually more motivated to win the game against Tyngsboro.

During his 33-year tenure, Killilea has won seven DCL Championships, along with being a Division-I South semifinalist.

To the dismay of some of his players, Killilea has been known as a coach who is hard on his team. In recent years, athletes in the basketball program have not seen eye-to-eye with their coach.

“On what team does everybody see eye-to-eye with everybody? Killilea said of these discrepancies. “If I did, I wouldn’t be doing my job.

This hard-nosed coaching style, however, has proven its worth over the last three decades. “He pushes us to be better and play harder than we normally would, O’Hagan said.

Killilea stresses to his players that staying focused and taking the season one game at a time is imperative.

“It’s a day-by-day thing, he said. “The players know [how many games] they have to win to get into the tournament, but you have to win the next game before you can win two in a row.

Killilea’s defensive-mindedness has been a valuable asset to the squad, especially with an inconsistent offense. “I’m a defensive coach, he said. “You win with defense.

According to Killilea, the keys to the team’s future success include limiting turnovers, playing strong defense, and playing together as a team.

The team has to continue their winning ways if they want to play past the regular season, but having a coach who has been in this situation many times before may make the chances significantly higher.

“There’s something here, Killilea said of his basketball team’s astounding turnaround. “I don’t know what, but there is something happening here.

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CrossFit pins wrestlers to success http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/12/23/crossfit-pins-wrestlers-to-success/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/12/23/crossfit-pins-wrestlers-to-success/#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2009 06:29:32 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3334 The Varsity Wrestling team hopes the new CrossFit program, a rigorous workout regimen originally designed to whip soldiers and police officers into top physical condition, will give them an advantage this season despite the loss of nine graduated wrestlers last year.
The team employed several training programs in years past but noticed the greatest changes in strength in stamina with CrossFit.

Head Coach Alan Rotatori introduced the program during preseason, after using it to coach an independent soccer team to the Division II Central Massachusetts Championship game.

“Most of the players in the program noticed a big difference in their conditioning levels, he said. “They felt stronger and faster and had more endurance and confidence while playing.
In the past three seasons, South’s wrestlers have used a wide variety of exercise programs. The team lifted weights, performed a series of workouts with resistance bands, and utilized the home exercise program P90X.

According to senior and captain Tamir Zinger, the P90X program boosted the team to the Division I Central Sectional Finals last season.

“The kids saw the benefits of the program both individually and as a team, Rotatori said.
The wrestling team earned runner-up last season and hopes to take the Sectional Championship with the more physically demanding CrossFit.

“CrossFit makes P90X look easy, Zinger said.

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Athletic history revived through Hall http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/12/23/athletic-history-revived-through-hall/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/12/23/athletic-history-revived-through-hall/#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2009 06:28:37 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3337 “Stick to the ground! Passing has ruined the game, former South football and wrestling Coach Art Kojoyian, a devoted supporter of running the football, shouted to the crowd. An uproarious laughter followed his bold statement.

Kongie, as he was called by his former wrestlers and football players, had once again evoked the same pleasure he had during his 18-year tenure at the school.

His acceptance speech was completely in character, reminding those who played for him why he was one of the greatest coaches in South history.

Kojoyian was one of four former South coaches who were honored on November 27 as part of the first inaugural class of the new Hall of Fame. The class also included six former South athletes.

“All of the people we picked were more than deserving, Athletic Director Scott Perrin said.
According to head of the Booster Club Jon Frieze, 50 years of South’s athletic programs have produced a large group of Hall-worthy alumni.

“There have been a lot of deserving people, he said.

Perrin and the other members of the Hall of Fame Committee will primarily focus on three-sport athletes, with multiple All-American honors.

“What some athletes today don’t realize is that playing multiple sports makes them a better athlete, Perrin said.

Athletes become induction-eligible five years after graduating.

Perrin did say that student-inductees do not have to be captains to join the Hall of Fame.
The athletic department joined the Booster Club to organize the Hall of Fame, which they held at the Newton Marriot.

The Village Bank contributed to the efforts with a sizeable donation to the Booster Club.
Despite being the eve following Thanksgiving, the crowd almost doubled from the estimated 80 people to 160 attendees.

“It was so successful, Frieze said of the turnout. “I wouldn’t be surprised if [the Hall of Fame] was every year now.

Perrin and the Committee expect to convene over the winter to decide plans for the Hall of Fame in future years.

The inductees of the Class of 2009 were dominated by gridiron stars. Four of the six athletes, and half of the coaches were a part of high school’s most revered sport, football.
Leading this group was Seth Hauben, a graduate in 2001.

“Seth was one of the best athletes to ever come out of here, Perrin said.
Playing basketball and lacrosse in addition to football, Hauben received nine varsity letters and seven Dual County League (DCL) All-Star nominations.

The accolades extended to a national level. Hauben was a basketball phenomenon, a McDonald’s All-American, a member of The Boston Globe’s Super Team, and a member of The Boston Herald’s Dream Team during his senior year.

This past summer, Hauben played on the US Men’s Basketball Team at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel.

There, he led his team to a Gold Medal, with a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds) in championship game.

Katrina Antonellis, currently part of the faculty at Charles E. Brown Middle School, was the lone female athlete in this year’s class of inductees, with 12 varsity letters in soccer, basketball, and softball.

Antonellis is currently the South’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, with 1,436 points.
She was awarded with the DCL Most Valuable Player Award her junior year. In a game that season, Antonellis racked up 28 points, which amounted to more than half of the team’s baskets.

Bruce MacLean was the only inductee to continue his athletic career at a professional level.
Major League Baseball’s Saint Louis Cardinals drafted the graduate in the 1966 inaugural draft. He spent five years in the Cardinals’ minor league system.

MacLean posted a solid 2.29 earned run average in 78 appearances in Class-A.

The coaches however, were not acclaimed for their accolades as much as for their impact on their players.

Some of Kojoyian’s athletes lost their fathers at a young age. For Frieze, who was one of those players, Kojoyian played a greater role than just a coach.

“Kongie was a strong, disciplined, tough guy, he said. “He was a great role model for us as kids.

Although the coach had some success during his 11-year tenure at South, he netted a losing record overall.

“It’s not every day that you see a coach that has a losing record in a Hall of Fame, Head football coach Ted Dalicandro said.

Dalicandro especially admired the fact that Kojoyian held his players “accountable and responsible and used “tough love.

Kojoyian was not the only coach to extend his or her influence beyond the fields.
“You see a caring for kids that goes beyond wins and losses, Dalicandro said of the coaches inducted.

Football coach and former Athletic Director George Winkler initially established a dominant girls’ athletic program after the advent of Title 9.

According to Frieze, the Hall of Fame may continue to expand its reaches from just single athletes and coaches.

There is a possibility that the Hall could honor entire teams in the years to come.
“There’s no shortage [of potential inductees], Frieze said. “There’s a great history at Newton South.

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“It is a tough way to go out, Head Volleyball Coach Todd Elwell said. “You are in the moment, and you have your chance. You can see it’s right there, almost in your grasp.

The Girls’ Volleyball team got off to a hot start in the match, winning the first set over Quincy 25-17.
Quincy came back in the second set, hitting difficult to return serves. South then retook control of the match by winning the third set.

According to Elwell, Quincy remained resilient, their change in strategy tying the match. The Lions soon after dropped the fourth set.

“They [Quincy] got better defensively in the second half of the match, he said. “They made defensive adjustments that allowed them to return some shots that we hit.

In the final set, the Lions drew first blood, being first to reach eight points. Quincy fought back, however, and eventually took the sectional finals.

Despite the loss, the Lions performed remarkably, Elwell says. Senior and captain Vanessa Gailius recorded 23 of the team’s 25 assists. Senior and captain Celina Chan served four aces in 15 attempts.

Senior Allison Leipzig led the team with eight blocks in a strong night at the net. In all, the team delivered 27 kills and 10 aces against Quincy.

The team dwelled more on the conclusion of the season rather than on the loss of the game.

“We were more upset that the season was over, Gailius said about the team’s reaction to the defeat.

“We didn’t want the season to come to an end. The fact that we were able to reach the sectional finals in two consecutive seasons is a major accomplishment.

“I accept that we lost, Leipzig said. “At the same time, I admire our season.

The team’s season was one of the best in program history, according to Elwell.

For the six seniors in the season’s regular rotation of substitutions, the 2008 tournament experience contributed to their season.

“Because of our experience, we knew what it took to win, Gailius said.

The team ended five-year losing streaks to both Lincoln-Sudbury and Westford this season, making comebacks against each team.

The Girls’ Volleyball team rode this momentum into the tournament, and continued their dominance in the first round. With nearly half the serves resulting in aces, the team produced the highest percentage of aces to serves in Elwell’s five years as head coach.

The semi-final match against cross-town rival Newton North demonstrated the strength of this year’s squad.

“We wanted to go into their house and prove we could beat them, Gailius said.

North, with five Dual County League (DCL) All-Stars and a 17-1 record, prepared for a season-sweep against the Lions.

“It will be quite a battle, North Head Volleyball Coach Richard Barton said before the match. “It will come down to the team that plays better that day.

The Lions proved the regular season match against North did not exhibit their true potential, as they defeated North in straight sets.

The players felt that the fans contributed to their victory over the second seed in the tournament.

Even though the match was located in the Tiger’s gym, South faculty, parents, and students made up roughly half of the spectators.

“I thought the crowd was great, Leipzig said. “There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the gym.
Senior Gabe Feldstein believes the loss to Quincy should not take away from the team’s season.

“At the end of the day, they fought hard, Feldstein said. “Making it [back to the sectional finals] and playing competitively is an accomplishment.

The Lions received the DCL Sportsmanship Award this season.

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Squash star reaches national rank http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/squash-star-reaches-national-rank/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/squash-star-reaches-national-rank/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2009 07:25:43 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3230 Despite no current school squash club, sophomore and squash player Aaron Weinstein ranks thirteenth in the state and 173th in the nation in the Juniors Boys Under 17 (BU17) Division.

Taking up the sport in 2006, Weinstein has only played for two and a half years.

“He is phenomenal for the amount of time put in, Chris Brownell, Weinstein’s coach, said.

Brownell, formerly ranked second professionally in the nation, believes Weinstein is a natural squash player.

“He has a cannon for an arm, she said. “Sometimes opponents look at him like, ‘ËœHow did he hit the ball like that?’

Last year during practice, Brownell recounts Weinstein hitting a succession of hard shots, resulting in broken strings on the racquet.

She also believes Weinstein’s athleticism from his time as wide receiver for the school’s football team and center fielder for the baseball team has allowed him to compete at a high level.

Weinstein says he does not prefer squash over football or baseball, but he does believe that certain aspects of the sport are better than those of others.

As a player who has a tendency to hit powerful shots rather than beat his opponent with finesse, Weinstein favors the ability to let loose on the court.

“You don’t really have to restrain your energy, he said. “You can win by strength.

Weinstein also enjoys the fact that squash is not a team sport, embracing the reality that only he holds the satisfaction and responsibility for both rewarding and disappointing performances.

“You don’t have to worry about other people, he said. “You just have to plan in your head what you are going to do the night before the match.

Because Weinstein does not have the same experience as others of his caliber, he considers himself almost as an underdog.

“I feel like I have a disadvantage because I don’t have much time to practice, he said. “I do feel like I can compete with [better players] when I get more practice.

Weinstein uses his inexperience, however, as motivation.

“I know I have a lot of potential. I embrace it and keep trying to reach it, he said.

Although Weinstein made considerable improvements from last season, he feels next year will be even more successful. One of the younger players in the BU17, he feels tournament experience this year will benefit him in the future.

“If I can get a lot of experience and subject myself to a lot of talent, I feel like I will be in a good position for next year, he said. “My goal is to practice four to five times a week, which will hopefully help me in the rankings.

Weinstein currently finds himself practicing once or twice each week.

One reason for lack of practice time is because South does not have its own squash club, according to Weinstein, noting that the majority of the top squash players in the state attend private schools with highly acclaimed squash programs.

“It’s not going to get served up to him on a silver platter like the kids are in private schools, Brownell said.

Weinstein’s parents are currently organizing a coalition of Newton North and South squash players. They hope the club will begin next year.

Weinstein currently plays at the Newton Squash and Tennis Club.

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Golf team drives toward postseason victory http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/golf-team-drives-toward-postseason-victory/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/golf-team-drives-toward-postseason-victory/#comments Wed, 21 Oct 2009 04:40:53 +0000 Jason Yoffe http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=2953 Preparing for its run at the Dual County League (DCL) title, the Varsity Golf team feels at the peak of its confidence this season, holding first place in the DCL Large Division over Westford.

This year’s team–anchored by senior co-captains Bobby Marulli and Jesse Zorfas, senior Ray Heinrichs, and sophomore Adam Goldstein–is enjoying its second consecutive strong season.

The team’s winning trend began opening day and has continued through the fall.

“We really didn’t have many problems [beating other schools] this year, Coach Mike Flemming said.

From their first match on September 8 up to the match against Weston two weeks later, the Lions boasted an undefeated record.

“This is the best team I have coached in my four years as head coach, Flemming said.

Heinrichs, Marulli, and Zorfas have accumulated the most points on the team this year.

“They practice hard and are dedicated to improving, Flemming said. “All three have the opportunity to play in college.

These top three golfers, whose offseason efforts have propelled them to the DCL elite, inspire the rest of the team to develop similar work ethics. South’s golfers have taken their leaders’ advice and have experienced similar results.

Coach Flemming attributes all match success to the team’s devotion to the sport.

Heinrichs believes the team is now “more lethal than it was during their two weeks without losing.

“Every player has gotten into their own game, he said.

Heinrichs and Goldstein, along with senior Max Jacobson and junior Michael Josephson, have been invaluable, rounding out the school’s four DCL All-Stars.

The Varsity Golf team profits from other advantages as well.

The Newton Commonwealth Golf Course’s unique layout makes the team difficult to beat. The team has the benefit of practicing on its home course daily and is accustomed to its irregularities.

The team was forced to overcome adversity midway through the season when it lost its two best golfers. The following match, they found themselves on the wrong end of a rout, losing their second match of the season to Acton-Boxborough.

Flemming put his team back on track for the season, believing that they were capable of persevering.

“He has brought all the success to this team, Marulli said. “He has so much confidence in us.

The golf team rebounded with an 11-point victory over Waltham, a team that they had beaten by a single point in its first match.

“It is good to know that we can win without two of the best players in the DCL, Marulli said.

Last year the golf team finished the season within the top five in the state tournament, winning the Regional North Sectional Championship and placing fifth out of 20 Division I schools. Marulli is craving another title in his last season as a high school golfer.

“You are sitting in the team’s room and you see the school’s name on top of the leader board and go nuts, he said. “To then see the trophy on display outside of the Field House is an amazing feeling.

Some players are adamant that this year’s team can exceed these high expectations.

“We are much better than last year, Heinrichs said.

Heinrichs, Goldstein, Marulli, and Zorfas competed in the sectional tournament last year, and therefore are familiar with the Beverly Hills Golf and Tennis Club golf course.

The players are not familiar with the state competition, however, as this tournament includes schools from across Massachusetts. The atmosphere is quite different, and the players must shift to Turner Hills Golf Course and adjust to unknown opponents.

The team has not resorted to complacency, though, and looks to finish the regular season stronger than they started.

According to Marulli, the seniors “want to go out strong.

“We are playing not just to advance in the tournament, but also to keep our high school careers alive, he said.

From top to bottom, these golfers have generated a significant amount of momentum heading into the backstretch of the season, a valuable commodity to any playoff-bound team.

“We are playing the best golf of the season right now, Flemming said. “If everyone on the team plays to the best of their ability, we have a chance to be the best team in the state.

The Varsity Golf team is practicing this week in preparation for the sectional tournament on Monday.

“We know what we can do. We know that everyone else knows what we can do, Marulli said. “Now we just have to do it.

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