Gymnastics and soccer teams take on sectionals

Terrence Echols

Sports editor

    The Fayetteville-Manlius/Jamesville-DeWitt Varsity Girls Gymnastics team has been one of the most successful teams in Central New York the past decade and a half. The Rammets have won 14 consecutive sectional championships and look to continue their dominance this year. Sophomore Mia Potamianos expected the season to go well because of their performances the past few years. Despite a few injuries, they have remained composed and are undefeated going into their final meet at sectionals. They hope to close out the season with a sectional championship and to have a few team members qualify to compete at states. Senior captain Anyi Liebler-Bendix is proud of the team. “We’ve been inconsistent here and there, but i’m proud of how successful we’ve been,” says Liebler-Bendix. The girls compete in sectionals which take place on Oct. 30.

    The Rammets go through a grueling two hour practice five days a week to stay on the top of their game. The practice consists of rehearsing their routine and conditioning. Liebler-Bendix believes the worst part of their conditioning is when all 26 girls run from their practice in the Auxillary Gym, all the way to the bottom of the top hill at Lyndon Fields and then have to run up and down the steepest hill.

    The Varsity Boys Soccer team is coming off one of their most successful seasons in a long time. They were the 2014 sectional champions and were able to advance all the way to the state semifinal round, where they fell 3-0 to state runner-up East Hampton. The boys have been successful so far this season with a record of 12-4-1 and a second place finish in their league. “(After last year) I think we will win sectionals and have a chance at states,” says junior midfielder Jack Mulvihill. He is very confident in his team, saying he thinks sectionals will be “a walk in the park.”

    So far, the Red Rams have done well in the first two rounds of sectionals. They defeated Camden by a score of 4-0 and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill 6-1. “We’re looking good; we can go as far as we want to go (in the playoffs),” says junior goalie Tommy Bonaccio. However the season came to an end when the boys lost 2-1 in the sectional semifinal on Oct. 27 against Fulton.  

    The Varsity Girls Soccer team has been one of the most consistent teams in the area. With six consecutive sectional championships and a few appearances at states, the girls are very confident that they can win sectionals again. This confidence has come from an undefeated regular season and the hunger that drives the girls to succeed. Their dominance from the regular season has continued to the sectional playoffs, where they have won by scores of 6-0 against Carthage and 4-0 against crosstown rival Christian Brothers Academy.  The play again on Oct. 29 against Homer at Chittenango in the sectional semifinals.

    Many defensive players graduated last year, leaving a lot of questions about how the girls would adjust. “We have a good core with five returning seniors,” says Head Coach Hayley Nies. Last year, defender Caroline Kopp was the player of the year for Central New York. Kopp is now a freshman studying and playing soccer at the University of Albany. “She was a great player and we have to work hard to make up for (her not being there),” says junior Alex Catanzarite, who is also a returning All-CNY selection. Coach Nies believes one of the teams biggest challenges was replacing their goalie Maddy Frank who graduated last year. However, they are set for the next few years; eighth grader Katie Cappelletti has stepped into the starting role and has been a key part of the defense which has only allowed 11 goals this year.

    

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