Freshman and JV shine on the Varsity level

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Freshman and JV shine on the Varsity level

Photo courtesy of Gillian Wolf

Photo courtesy of Gillian Wolf

Photo courtesy of Gillian Wolf

Photo courtesy of Gillian Wolf

By Lara Del Vecchio, Photo Editor

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The kick-off to the new school year also means a fresh start for West Essex’s multiple fall sports. The athletic program has a large legacy of victory and boasts with conference champions, TOC wins and a football state championship at Metlife Stadium. Varsity teams continued to impress fans with their advanced skills and experience, but new faces and talent came into play as the underclassmen filled freshman and junior varsity teams.  

Not all fall sports consist of freshman squads, but those who do had noteworthy seasons. The freshman football went undefeated and JV finished with a record of 4-1-1. While some juniors concluded their final year of junior varsity football, the freshmen successfully established their territories on high school turf.

“The freshman team is a group of hardworking, tough kids who love the game,” football coach Dominick Linsalato said.

Freshmen Joey Visaggio and Chris Corbo were key players in helping the team reach their flawless record. The boys had high hopes and were determined to win the rest of their games, all while adapting to their first year of playing with all four towns on one team.

“Freshman is different from REC football because we are playing a lot bigger and tougher competition,” freshman Michael Drago said. “Our team adjusted very well to it.”

Freshman field hockey captains Ava Ciccone, Isabella Cerrigone and Kelly Lynch have led their team to success with a record of 14-1. Compared to the middle school team, they said, the high school level definitely required an adjustment for the girls, but the team found their own path to success.

“The sport is really competitive and teaches the players to be mentally tough,” freshman Alissa Gallion said. “Coach Martin pushes us to work our hardest and be the best that we can be.”

Junior Varsity field hockey finished off their season with 13 wins, one loss and one tie. The players are content with how the season turned out and said they only plan to improve for next year. Lauren Bohrer and Hannah Marcotrigiano are two key players known for their hard drives and skillful plays. Julia Mazzola, a first-year JV squad member, said her experience on JV gave her more opportunities for improvement.

“The difference between playing on freshman and JV is that the JV team is taken more seriously by the players,” sophomore Julia Mazzola said.

A few other squads that lacked freshman teams thrived with the combination of both under and upperclassmen on JV. Girls tennis, boys soccer and girls soccer all have the opportunities to play on JV or varsity, but the underclassmen served as positive contributions to the teams.

Girls JV soccer finished with a closing record of 6-5-2. With Parisa Wendell on midfield, Jordyn White on defense and Melissa Hulley on forward, key players ensured successful outcomes. Players said they thank their coaches Matt Diglio and Sam Minnella for helping them reach their goals to finish their season on a high note.

“Some of our goals as a team were maintaining strong relationships on and off the field and to finish our season strong,”  junior Aldina Ljesnjanin said.

Girls JV tennis, thanks to their first doubles, Gillian Wolf and Gabrielle Kesh, and second doubles, Shaila Spritzer and Alex Lowenthal, have a final record of 8-5 for the 2018 season. The players said they couldn’t be more thankful for their very own coach, Mr. Albanese as well.

“Albo is the best coach and makes tennis so much fun,” junior Gillian Wolf said. “We are such a close group and I am so happy to be a member of the team.”

With Chris Howsel in goal and Matt Agesen, Ben Friedman and Ryan Cristobal all contributing to the boys JV soccer team, they finished with a record of 8-4-3 and made it to the first round of tournament. Cristobal said their team was solid which lead them to a successful rest of the season. Coach Henry Guadalupe, also helped them improve on a few things before the conclusion of their season.

“Our coach is very good and he is smart with our plays and formation,” sophomore Ryan Cristobal said. “He really knows how our team works.”