Spring Sports Coach Reports

Unified Track (from coaches Strongin and Flynn): The UFT team had another terrific spring season. There were over 40 athletes participating on the team. The team competed against Newton North, Natick, Needham, and Wellesley and had a perfect 4-0 record. The team moved onto the Division 1 South Sectional on Wednesday, May 22, and came away Division 1 South Sectional Champs. The following week the team competed in States and did very well. Overall, the team jelled great and improved throughout the season.

Girls Track & Field (from Coach McChesney): As a coach this is the kind of season I hope for, and I am very proud of how far our team has come given our youth. This was a thrilling year in terms of growth for our Girls Track & Field team. This was a young team that was inspired to grow beyond our expectations. We had a small number of seniors, but they counted way more than their numbers in taking care of their events and in their leadership and teaching. We as a team cannot thank our captains—Rebecca Bojar, Juliet Lacey, Liri Mustfa, Allison Riklin, and Megan Walsh—enough. Seniors Phoebe Blumberg, Sarah Kern, Sandra Lewis, and Laura Wiederspahn were very gifted leaders and also inspired and taught our team. Of our 70-plus girls we returned 10 seniors. Of our 28 places that scored in the DCL Championship, 24 return; 9 are freshmen. Our seniors have built a very promising team moving forward, and we will miss them dearly. Our JV team was one of the top in the league. In some events our top JV kids would make varsity on most teams in the state. At the varsity level as a team we placed 8th in the Eastern Ma. Division I Championship out of 44 teams (think of this meet as three state sectionals combined). That was a great effort for us. We had two Division I Champions: Junior Lucy Jenks won the Mile, and our 4X800 team of freshman Sofia Arboleda, junior Anika Fiore, freshman Lily Bulczynski, and Lucy Jenks won in the fastest time in the state that weekend. Sophomore Kaity Shaughnessy (DCL Champ) took 3rd in the Pentathlon (hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put, 800). Also, Lucy won her third All State title in the Mile to become only the second girl in Newton South history to accomplish that. Our same 4X800 team placed 6th at All State. Other highlights of the season: Senior Sarah Kern, who now owns our school record in the long jump indoors, had a great season in that event for us this season. Senior Phoebe Blumberg finished out a stellar career for us in the Javelin, going undefeated in the DCL and becoming a repeat DCL Champion. Sophomore Kaity Shaughnessy won the DCL Pentathlon championship and placed 3rd at State Division I. She also ran on our 4X400 team that placed at DCL. Finally, sophomore Danya Goldstein also went undefeated and won the DCL Shot Put title.

Boys Track & Field (from Coach Norton): It was the “Cold Spring”…and we’re not talking about the “Cold Spring Park” down the road in Newton. The cold, wet spring this season cast a shadow on the team’s morale with the anticipation for warmth and better performance: the weight of anxiety of not knowing if the boys track team was strong enough for this outdoor track season after the loss of several key players; the pressure from practice and commitments to the team resembled the scene of an avenger super hero “Thor” holding an iron hammer on its shoulders, insight, a heavy hammer to hold amongst the team’s shoulders. After their first competition, and a lick of their palms, the team got a good grip on what they wanted to accomplish as the team captains Amos Trinidad, Eli Remis, Ben Kiritsy, and Daniel Lacayo held it steady for successful pursuits. With strong bold strikes at the right moments, the boys Track & Field team really nailed it this season. Second-place DCL Champs, huge performances at the division I meet, and All-State High Jump runner-up junior Danny Collins recorded 6’8” leap has shown the promising strengths and power of the underclassmen. Junior miler Ethan Jacunski and senior Ben Kiritsy, also a miler, sophomore 2-miler Jonathan Orelowitz, 800m sophomore Eero Helenius, and freshman Justin Levy brought the hammer down with double PRs in the final two weeks of their season. Senior Jonathan Ikini kept hammering the competition in the Sprints, 100m, and 200m and was a leading scorer at the DCL Championship meet. Junior Michael DeFranco also threw it down in the 200m all-season and was sure to keep it steady as the leadoff runner in the 4X100m relay along with Jon Ikini, Justin Levy, and senior captain Amos Trinidad. Junior Matt Gonzalez took a swing at the championship pentathlon and made a dent to the ground with a nice score. Also, throwers junior Peter Capodilupo, sophomore Youssef Beshir, and newcomer junior Emenike Anigbogu had all hands on the handle and came down with a mighty blast in the Shot, Discus, and Javelin events that sent shock waves all the way to next season. Great job, all.

Boys Tennis (from Coach McFarland): The Boys Varsity Tennis team finished the season 5-9. The season finished on a high note with a win over Westford Academy, which had only lost two matches up until that point. The JV team finished with a 13-1 record.

Girls Tennis (from Coach Jampol): The Girls Varsity Tennis team faced a daunting challenge this year: we had to rebuild our team, having lost four of our seven starters. The preseason featured many challenge matches until a new team was forged. After a slow start in the regular season, we began winning matches and fighting for a slot in the team tournament. We were anchored throughout by junior captain and Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic singles player Dorra Guermazi. Our biggest triumph came against Division 1 defending state champion Acton-Boxboro. In the end, we fell one victory short of qualifying for the tournament, but we can take pride in our progress.

Boys Volleyball (from Lucas Coffeen): 2019 was a memorable season for all involved. We snuck into the playoffs at 8-8, winning our final two regular-season games. This included a five-set win over Lincoln-Sudbury, with our backs against the wall, down 0-2 in sets. Once in the playoffs we played the role of spoiler to team with much better records, upsetting Brookline, North Quincy, and Needham. In one of the most exciting matches in memory, our team stormed back from 0-2 to Needham in the South Sectional semi-finals to defeat the reigning state finalist 3-2. The year was highlighted by outstanding performances and improvements from our JV-A and JV-B teams, including a very large and promising freshmen class. Boys volleyball will be back stronger than ever in 2020! Special thanks to our amazing coaching staff: Sally Lee (Varsity assistant coach), Shannon Steinman (JV-A coach), and Eileen Leblanc (JV-B coach). And a big thanks to our managers: Sage Winkler, Kelly Cheng, Amy Huang, Si-Rong Lin, Karine Grutman, and Sarita Borokhov. Gratitude to the athletics staff who made this season possible: Patricia Gonzalez, David Padgett, Kristen Hoffman, and Patrick (P.J.) Jordan-Quern.

Softball (from coaches Rodriguez and Ward): This year’s Softball team had an exciting season. While the team, led by 8 seniors, fell short of its State Tournament goal, nearly every game we played was close, competitive, and filled with a great deal of excitement, as 7 of the team’s games (including 5 losses) were decided by only one run. The team also had two extra-inning games, including an 11-inning loss to 2019 State semifinalist Boston Latin. Also, South played a thriller of a game with 2018 state finalist Newton North, which had to come from behind in the last inning to beat the highly capable Lions. This years’ 2019 team was led by sophomore standout Stephanie Little (outfielder) and Brandeis-bound Chandra Penton (pitcher/catcher), both of whom earned DCL All-star honors. Departing seniors include captains Chandra Penton, Sabrina Clebnick, and Maria DiNisco. Rounding out this graduating class are Rebecca Friedman, Lexi Franssica, Rachel Glickman, Zohar Kolodner, and outstanding pitcher Jess Altman. Leading the way for next year are captains Adalia Rodriguez and Stephanie Little, who will be supported by co-captains Grace Deninger and Nora Flint, who moved up from JV mid-season to anchor the South outfield. Looking forward, the Lions have a bright future with an able and strong core of returning freshman players that includes standout pitchers Alana Tantisara, Shelby Rosenhahn, Sydney Forrestal, and Izzy Fransicca, all of whom started numerous games. We are excited about what this team has accomplished this year and with the foundation that our coaching staff has established for the future. The Newton South community can expect big things next year; we will be ready. Thank you to all of our fans who supported us all season, our hard-working coaching staff, and to the players for giving their all throughout the season. Congratulations on a great season. See you all next year!