By: Gwen MacConnell/Co-Sports Editor
The start of school also marks the start of fall sports here at Blue Ridge. The sports offered for Blue Ridge students are cross-country, golf, girls volleyball, soccer and Sabers football. All fall sports officially started on August 21st and have been doing well since. The Raider Reader recently interviewed some of the coaches to get a general idea of what their seasons will look like. We intend to reach out to any coaches we missed in the near future.
Returning as Blue Ridge’s girls volleyball coach is Mrs. Lori Zick. Aiming to be the best team they can be, Coach Zick would love to win the league and district titles again. Filling up the starting lineup this season are four seniors: Abby Hartman, Kalynne Myers, Alexa Stanley, and Miranda Woosman; junior Jerni Schell (Libero), sophomore Alyssa Sherwood, and freshman Hunter Heeman. Coach is expecting great things from the entire team, not just the starters. She feels that all the girls contribute and the team would be different without any one of them. The seniors listed above, including Emma Glezen, are expected to be great leaders and set good examples.
When asked how the team is this year compared to last years, Coach Zick responded, “We are a bit younger with less varsity experience, but we work just as hard as we did last year.”
So far the season has started victoriously and their coach feels that team unity and gaining game experience for younger players will help lead them in the future.
Mr.Steve Galloway is the new varsity boys golf coach. For the past few years Blue Ridge has combined its team with the Susquehanna School and have included girls as well. Coach Galloway’s overall goal this year is for consistent improvement of the team. Starting for the golf team this year are senior Gwen MacConnell, junior Kevin Silvee, sophomore Tyler Hillard, and freshman Andrew Scott. With the team losing four starting seniors from last year, this year is about building a strong program.
When asked who he feels he can expect great things from he stated, “Gwen and Kevin are my best players and we count on them to score points.”
His thoughts for the season are that although Montrose is the team’s biggest rival, “The Scranton area teams are tough. We only have one senior. I’m expecting a stronger team in the next couple of years.”
Returning Cross Country Coach Mr. Matthew Nebzydoski has great things planned for this season. His overall goals for the season are to improve the overall win/loss records and return runners to the state meet in Hershey. There are no starters because in Cross Country everyone participates. Although when asked who he expects to play big roles on the team he answered with senior Travis Hickling who is a three-time state qualifier looking to return, Karris Fazzi also a previous state contender, senior Charlie Randall most improved last year who had a great summer of training, and Kayleen Conklin who is new to the sport with a great attitude and ready to compete.
Coach Nebzydoski stated that Montrose is their toughest competition, “however running against great competition makes us better.”
Compared to last year, they have added numbers to every team and he feels that they have the strongest overall group in several years. Making up the boys junior high team are Jacob Birtch, Stephen Radicci, Duncan Geyer, Ryan Stallings and Griffon Whitehead. For the girls junior high they have Kaila Blaisure, Lilly Bleck, Cameron Robinson, Kate Spencer, and Danielle Tierney. Girls varsity team is Kayleen Conklin, Karris Fazzi, and Holly Geyer. The boys varsity team includes Ryan Blaisure, Jack Condon, Brandon Gentile, David Hill, Charlie Randall, Daniel Tierney, and Travis Hickling. “Pre-season has been great. The weather has been awesome for tough workouts and we expect to start strong. Look out for our up and coming junior high boys and girls.”
It is exciting to see the fall sports in action and we encourage everyone to come out to support our talented athletes, coaches, and volunteers. Look forward to catching up on our other fall sports including soccer, football, and cheerleading. We would like to give a special thanks to the coaches for being so cooperative by helping to write this article.
Gwen MacConnell is a senior and this is her first year in journalism. Gwen is on the basketball team, track team, and her personal favorite, the golf team. Besides being active in sports, she loves music, hanging out with her friends, and attending Penn State football games with her family.