BHSEC Fall Sports Review
Alexander “Paper Raptor” Ganias, ‘20
Sport. It never ceases. As you are reading this article, the Major League Baseball postseason and the Major League Soccer postseason fields are slowly being finalized. The NFL has already started its fourth week with the Eagles and Packers playing on Thursday Night Football. The NHL preseason is starting to kick into gear, and the NBA will soon follow suit. There is never a moment where you won’t find a sporting event on TV or radio. Sport has left a lasting impact on American and global societies… but you don’t care about that. You care about BHSEC, and wouldn’t you know it, they have sports too.
Bard’s fall season is full of athletics: cross country, girls volleyball, girls tennis, girls and boys soccer. There are so many sports taking place at once that it is enough to make your head spin. All of these teams are coming off successful seasons, and a review of each team sport can be found below.
The girls volleyball team, in their 5th season under Coach Carly Arpaio, finished last season with an 8-4 record, which was enough to merit a playoff berth; however, they met defeat in the first round against Townsend Harris. This season the team has witnessed significant changes as five seniors who were a part of the team graduated last year (the most of the fall teams). But if that sounded bad, the team will lose as many as seven seniors at the end of this season. However, before the end of the year there are still many games to be played. While the roster has lost many players, the connections between the players on the team have not been lost as Jennora Blair (Y2) shares, “[w]e have a lot of team chemistry. We’re good friends. And hopefully our chemistry translates into games.” The volleyball team is still very early in the season, with only a couple of games under their belt, but since this a slightly shorter season (ten games as opposed to twelve) the results are slightly more important in the grand scheme of things. The confidence levels are high however, and it’s extremely plausible that we’ll see another playoff caliber season from these girls, and maybe even some playoff wins as well.
Cross Country (Girls and Boys):
The next sport on the docket is Cross Country, for both boys and girls. The boys finished a surprising run (get it?) to the City Championships by placing a meager 21st out of 25 schools, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. For them, this was the first time they had qualified for the City’s in the program’s history, and although they did not earn the highest place, their qualification for the race made it a successful endeavor, and one the boys’ cross country team wishes to improve upon. The girls on the other hand did not qualify for the City Championship, but that does not diminish their overall successful season, which consisted of multiple positive showings in tournaments throughout NYC, and numerous personal records. The girls did lose some seniors, but that’s no reason why they can’t have another excellent season. The girls have already started out strong with good times, and even some medals. With a lot of familiar courses still in their sights, the cross country teams have the capacity to surprise some people.
Soccer (Girls and Boys):
To the common student, playing a sport right when the school year begins seems like a stressful endeavor, and one they wouldn’t want to take part in, but the student-athletes never waiver: “Obviously starting in the summer is tough…” said Christopher Lanza, coach of the girls soccer team “but the[y’re] always committed.” Both soccer teams are coming off playoff appearances from the previous season. The boys just snuck into the playoffs with a 5-6-1 record, whereas the 11-1 girls team not only clinched a berth in the playoffs, but a share of the division title. The boys dropped out in the first round, and the girls reached the quarterfinals before bowing out themselves. Obviously both teams are on different ends of the success spectrum, but it doesn’t phase them in the slightest. The goal is to get better: “[w]e are looking to improve our discipline and composure on the ball as well as our work rate and defensive shape…. These two things are crucial to our success,” said boys captain Henry Reyes (Y2) when asked on how the team will improve. Michaela Rein (Y2), the girls captain, said much of the same, while adding that “We lost some great seniors last year, but we got some great new freshmen, and all of our returning players have been playing excellently”.
Seeing how both teams started out their respective campaigns, it’s safe to assume that we’ll have some interesting seasons from both sides.
That just leaves tennis, the most successful team in terms of playoff prowess. The 2018 girls tennis squad finished with the second seed, the highest seed of any BHSEC team last season with a bracketed playoff (girls soccer got the 7th seed, boys soccer received the 29th seed, and volleyball earned the 24th seed). The team also reached the semifinals of their tournament for the second straight year, which was the farthest of any of these four teams. It’s needless to say with back to back semifinal appearances under their belt, the team is looking for that extra push to finally break through. But what would be that extra push? According to Sonia Chajet Wides (Y1), it’s all about keeping their energy up: “It gets tough when the season goes on and people start to lose their focus. But everyone is playing and communicating well, we could definitely win a championship.” We hope the words ring true, as the girls tennis team looks for their first A-division title in school history (they’ve won two B-division titles). With a 3-0 start to the season, it looks like they’ll be back in the playoff hunt soon enough.
BHSEC athletics will forever be a staple in the community of this great educational establishment. The amount of time and effort the student-athletes put into their work in the classroom and on the field is worthy of recognition. Look out for an article previewing the winter teams in the coming months. But for all the teams playing now, may the wins be plentiful, may the teamwork be exceptional, and may the ball never lie.