For the fourth round of the Girls’ Basketball Division I State tournament fans, who braved the 45 minute journey to Massoit Community College to watch the Lions were in for a surprise. A generous donation by the team allowed roughly 150 student fans to enter the game free of charge. This provided an incentive for more fans to show up, as more than 200 South students arrived to show their support. “It was great that so many of us were able to come there and show support,” senior Colby Medoff said, “The energy was great, we outnumbered their fans.The donation was accumulated by David Bikofsky, father of senior and Captain Sophie Bikofsky, who went around the community and his work gathering donations so South fans could help support the team. “My dad understood how influential the fans are in our games and thought that it would be tough to get them to go all the way to Brockton” Sophie said.Mr. Bikofsky valued the importance of a large fan base at games, but realized it would be hard to get students to come out on a school night to Brockton and pay seven dollars to enter. So Mr. Bikofsky went around asking friends and people at work to donate money to the team in order to sponsor kids to go to the game. “It was great that we didn’t have to pay to get in. I’m sure many more people came because of it,” Medoff said.In a show of remarkable school spirit, approximately half of the stadium was filled with the black-clad student and faculty body of Newton South. The school also provided a free bus to and from the game transport to those who could not drive or did not have a ride.]]>
As South has gone on and evolved over the past 50 years, the Wellness program has been an important part of the South community and curriculum.
In the early history of the school, however, the program only focused on one aspect of wellness: physical fitness. This was used to help train students for the military to help the war effort.This course continued for 30 years until former Athletic Director Bob Chrusz reformed the physical education program by adding a more complete wellness curriculum. Chrusz added ideas of trust, community building, and social skills to the program.
In 1998, the Wellness program expanded even more to include a wider variety of subjects including community building, verbal skills, life choices, and decision-making. The idea of total wellness, both a physical and an emotional state, was also introduced to the staff and students.
In addition to an expansion to the wellness classes, sexual education was integrated into the wellness program and focused on smart decision making, rather than abstinence. “We wanted to give them all the information they needed so they could make the smart decisions on their own,” Wellness teacher Bill Fagen said.
This was a very progressive step as South had one of the few Wellness programs in the state, if not the country, to include a model of complete wellness. “We used to go to wellness conventions 10, 12, 14 years ago and teach other schools about what we were doing; before that, it was completely unheard of,” Elwell said.
Eight years ago, under Mike Walsh, the Wellness program was changed to add variety to upperclassmen’s classes after finishing their core wellness classes. This variety included the global games, yoga, stress management, and the recently added project adventure. The program has also adopted the idea of total inclusion. “Back in the day, the only goal was to teach fitness, but that was a problem for those who had limited physical ability,” Wellness teacher Amy Aranski said. “We’ve adopted a new approach in the past 15 years to include everyone and promote community building.”
Despite the effectiveness of the wellness curriculum, the Wellness Department hit a major roadblock in 2009 when the school, faced with large budget cuts, decreased the number of wellness teachers in half, from eight teachers to four.
The program, however, is looking towards the future, especially since it received the Carol A. White Physical Education Program grant and the newly installed Project Adventure course.
“The grant saved us,” Fagen said. “It has allowed the wellness program to experience a revival in midst of budgets cuts.”
With the high elements course and the possible inclusion of an anti-bullying curriculum, the Wellness program looks to expand and add more staff members to cope with the workload. “We think the wellness program is experiencing a revival,” Aranski said. “People are starting to see how important the wellness program is.”
Reed, a three-season athlete, has led her teams as captain of Girls’ Cross Country, Girls’ Ice Hockey, and Girls’ Outdoor Track and Field. Her participation in all three programs throughout her four years at South has shown her to be a valuable asset to the community.
She has been a dominant and steady contributor to the Outdoor Track and Field team, which won All-States last year and came in second this year. She was also part of the squad that won All-States in 2008.
In Track and Field, her personal achievements include qualifying for Nationals in the girls’ 2000-meter steeplechase and being a Dual County League (DCL) All-Star in all four years of her involvement on the team.
Additionally, Reed is also an All-American in both Track and Field and Cross Country. She runs the two-mile and the steeplechase.
As well as being a phenomenal runner, Reed excels in the hockey rink. She was a DCL All-Star for four years, almost leading the Girls’ Hockey team to a tournament success.
She was also an important member of the Girls’ Cross Country team, being a DCL All-Star.
Reed led the team all the way to the New England’s meet.
As well as being a fantastic runner, Reed is also a great person. She is not a selfish athlete; she cares deeply about her teammates and their performances.
Reed works hard in practice and has incredible work ethic. She encourages everyone who looks up to her on her sports teams.
She also had a leadership role as captain of all three seasons, and helped to improve her team, leading by example, practicing, and playing hard everyday.
“Madeleine is one of those kids that comes around every so often, Athletic Director Scott Perrin said. “She’s just special in how she does [off the track and out of the rink] and how she performs in the sports she plays.
Out of the many candidates that were contenders for the award, Reed was chosen for her outstanding achievements in South’s athletic program. Her hard work and leadership is certainly a model for all future athletes who will compete for the Lions.
“Her sports accolades speak for themselves, Perrin said.
Reed will be attending Boston College in the fall.
In his years at South, Yuji Wakimoto has been one of the most successful track athletes to ever walk the halls of the school, as he was a captain on the Boys’ Cross Country, Boys’ Indoor Track and Field, and Boys’ Outdoor Track and Field teams.
Wakimoto’s raw talent and hard work ethic has allowed him to succeed during all three running seasons. He even managed to compete with a serious foot injury during the indoor season two years ago.
Wakimoto experienced a stress fracture in his foot, a common but painful injury for track athletes that sidelined him for the majority of the indoor and outdoor season.
Wakimoto, however, was desperate to get back to running and helping his team. He made a full recovery for all three of his seasons this year.
This year, he was part of the 4×800 relay in Outdoor Track and Field that placed fifth in the state, and ran a personal record of 1:56 in the 800-meter run.
Wakimoto is known for his exceptional leadership skills, hard work, and dedication to the team.
He helped lead the Boys’ Outdoor Track and Field team to its fourth consecutive DCL championship, preserving its undefeated record.
His hard work and talent were rewarded as he was designated a DCL All-Star all three seasons this year for his consistently strong athletic performance.
“[Wakimoto] is a kid who scores a lot of points in particularly what was considered a rebuilding year, and [as] a young man who dealt with injury, he still brought the points, Perrin said.Â
Wakimoto will be attenting the University of Rochester in the fall.
Both Reed and Wakimoto were chosen out of the many talented athletes at South due to their work ethic, talent, and contributions to the South athletic program.
Congratulations to this year’s winners of the Danny Mendelson award.Â]]>
The team went 19-1 during the regular season and advanced to the Semi Finals of the state tournament.
The team lost three sets to zero against Chicopee Comp High School, which put them out of the running for the state championship.Â
The disappointing loss was only one small mark on a successful season for the Lions.
The team graduated a good amount of talent last year, but filled in the lost positions and took its game to the next level.
Jamison Chue and Nadav Swartz, both 2009 Dual County League All-Stars, graduated last year and left large gaps for the team to fill in.
The team, however, adapted well and responded with a very talented line up.
“We lost a lot of good seniors from last year, but coming into the season we had a lot of good players returning and started off strong right away, junior and setter Bryan Cheng said.
The team worked hard to improve over the summer through club volleyball and offseason work.
“We had a lot of returning players and together we all got even better than we were last year at the end of the season, Cheng said.Â
From the beginning, the team had high expectations due to the quality of players and their work ethic. The team practiced for three hours late at night, met before games, and participated in ten-hour tournaments.
The team was also at an advantage due to the large amount of talent that other schools lost.
“We expected to win sectionals and states because of the improvement of our team and the overall decrease in talent from last year from all the teams, Hornestein said.
The team cruised through the season, winning game after game, only losing to Cambridge Ringe and Latin School.
They secured the number two seed in the South Division-I bracket.Â
The team also did very well at a tournament in Rhode Island, finishing runner-up in the gold division.
“A key moment [in the season] was during the Rhode Island tournament when we went to the finals and almost won, which showed we could compete with the best, Hornestein said.
South first faced Brookline at home, and a strong South team breezed to an easy victory of 3-0.
They then faced Needham, which also ended in a c onvincing South win of 3-1.
“The only way we could not win the state tournament is if we beat ourselves, junior and outside hitter Matt Light said.
After winning the first two rounds of the state tournament, the team booked a place to the sectional finals against cross-town rival Newton North.
The showdown took place at Natick High School, with South easily beating its opponent 3-0.
This proved to be an important victory, as South was headed to the semifinals, and clinched the South sectional title.
“It was great to beat North because they are a cross-town rival and [beating them proved] that we could win this year without the seniors from last season, Hornestein said.Â
The team looks to improve upon its performance and win the state tournament next year.
Even though it is losing many talented senior players, the team is determined to overcome the challenge. Most members are doing offseason work and playing at the club level to help prepare themselves for next season.
“We’re going to get most of the team to play club teams together. This should help build team chemistry, Cheng said.
Next year all eyes will be on them as they look to sustain success from previous years, and will be led by 2011 captains Jeff Hodin, Bryan Cheng, and Josh Hornestein.]]>