As the school year starts up, so do the sports teams at Old Rochester. All teams have been in preseason since August 22 (except football, which has been practicing since August 19), and many teams are starting to show signs of potential. Here is a look at a few of the teams that will be competing this fall at Old Rochester.
Football: Football is always the staple of fall sports. No one can resist the Friday night games and the tradition that goes along with it. This year, the Bulldogs look to have one of their most well-rounded and hopeful teams in recent memory. The team only lost 3 members to graduation this year, and only two of the three were starters. Senior Quarterback Nolan Bergeron is returning with varsity experience, and his twin brother Hayden returns as a wide receiver. In fact, the senior class is chalk full of talent, evident in running-back Richie Phillips, who scored 10 touchdowns last season and ran for over 800 yards. Classmate Colin Knapton is also a valuable asset to the offense, while Zach Bowen and Frank Hopkins will lead the defense. Overall, this team looks as if they can make some serious waves in the SCC, and should definitely improve from their 5-6 record from last season.
Field Hockey: The girls’ field hockey team is always a powerhouse in the South Coast Conference. After finishing 12-2-2 last season and getting knocked out of the state tournament from Canton, the Lady Bulldogs look to win back the SCC Championship from league rival Apponequet, who stole the crown from ORR for the first time in 5 years. Although losing several key players to graduation, the team brings back a plethora of talented players, including varsity Goalie Hannah Cormier. Seniors Carly Pelissier, Jess Kocur and Madison Durr look to lead the team this year, with a valuable support system in juniors Darby Nolet and Devyn O’Connor.
Girls’ Soccer: Here is another team that will have a powerful impact on the SCC, and possibly in the state tournament. Senior Captains Morgan DaSilva and Emily Beaulieu hope to lead their team to the SCC Championship that they narrowly missed last season. Although football has a powerful senior class, girls’ soccer is ruled by juniors. Nicole Gifford, Bailey Truesdale, Kaleigh Goulart and Camille Filloramo are extremely strong players that have been playing together since elementary school. Paired with returning Goalie Mikayla Demanche, their team chemistry is unmatched. Sophomore Midfielder Sarah Beaulieu will not be ignored, as she exploded onto the scene last year, scoring 8 goals and notching 4 assists as a freshman. Together, this team has the potential to advance far into the postseason.
Cross Country: The girls’ and boys’ cross country teams differ greatly. The girls’ team is looking to defend their undefeated SCC Championship streak, led by seniors Sammie Barrett, Paige Santos and Hannah Viera. Sophomore Rachel Scheub should also run well, and newcomer Emily Josephson should also have an impact on the Lady Bulldogs. The boys face more of a struggle. While the girls lost few of their top 7 runners, the boys lost 4 out of the 7. Although superstar Mike Wyman is returning, the Bulldogs will have to look for freshmen and sophomores to step up in order for the boys to repeat their second place standing in the SCC last year.
Boys’ Soccer: Here is a team looking for redemption. Last year, the boys had lost 13 seniors and were not experienced in varsity play. Players like Robby Magee and Alden Truesdale stepped up big, and this initiative should help them to lead the Bulldogs to a winning record this year. Also led by a new head coach (Principal Michael Devoll), the boys hope to have a fresh start. Senior Mikey Pruchnik will help out this season, as will Evan and Will Santos, twin sophomores.
Although a talented senior class has graduated, underclassmen are stepping up to provide skill and leadership for the Old Rochester fall sports teams. In general, it looks as if there should be a talented array of teams this year that succeed on a league and statewide level.
By Michael Kassabian