By Mary Austin and Jillian Risavi
If you attended Jamesville-DeWitt High School or are currently a student, you know that our sports are valued highly by our student body and our school. Our varsity and junior varsity football games, joined by the cheerleaders, always attract large crowds full of not only students, but alumni as well.
The Varsity Football team this year has been referred to as a “work in progress” by J-D modified football coach, Jim Tuck. Varsity’s record this season is 1-3, winning against Cortland, losing to Indian River, East Syracuse-Minoa and Whitesboro. Varsity player and sophomore Matt Paul says one of the biggest problems they have faced would be “the lack of players and small number of seniors to lead” them. Many players agree with Paul. The 28-man roster, compared to other 60-man roster teams, like the multiple teams the varsity team plays, have been another complaint of the players. However, Head Coach Eric Ormond has helped the team progress and become stronger as a whole. Freshman Jake Wright thinks that it’s great that his coaches “will always have our backs.”
Two weeks ahead of school, all fall sports teams participate in preseason. Preseason is a period of time that the athletes use in order to get in shape for their approaching season. Football preseason consists of running the hills at Lyndon fields, lifting weights in the school weight room and practicing plays. The team is also involved with multiple summer and spring camps in order to keep them in game shape. The preseason sessions go from 8 a.m.-11 a.m., with an hour break, and then they’re back for a session from noon – 2 p.m. ”During double sessions, most people were lacking energy, but Coach Ormond is very good at fitting in everything that he needs to teach us,” said Paul. The cheerleading preseason consisted of running and working on various jumps and routines for their upcoming cheer season.
The JV team has a record of 1-2, losing to opponents ES-M and Whitesboro, but beating Indian River. Coaches Michael O’Brien and Jeff Ike have goals like “teaching pride, poise and discipline” to the athletes. Also, one of the major goals the coaches have this season would be to win their league. Both varsity and JV teams have referred their schedules to being like a gauntlet, having not faced an “easy” opponent yet. However, the JV players have not been “playing to their full potential,” says their captain, sophomore Josh Kowalczyk. Kowalczyk says they “just really need to play better together.”
The J-DHS cheer team are known for their lively presence at football and basketball games. Their many intense practices help them to “support the school in a positive way,” says sophomore Nikki O’Hara. The cheer team was in danger of being cut last year; however, with support from the community and student body this was prevented.
Cheerleaders like O’Hara feel like “people do not respect cheer at all,” which they feel is unfair due to the hard work they put in each day of practice, learning new routines each and every day. O’Hara said that the work ethic they put in is the same as when she played JV lacrosse the previous season. She also said that cheer is an important sport because of their positive support on the school and the teams that they cheer for all year round.