Overcoming Adversity: HHRS 2019 High School Softball Team
This year's High School Softball team had a rough start. Before the season even began, Alyssa Curry (junior) tore her ACL at the beginning of the basketball season. She was the pitcher for the softball season but after the injury, other players started to learn how to pitch. Some new pitchers included Zoey Hagan (junior) who is currently the main pitcher, Shannon Forbes (sophomore) who has a new style of pitching, Genevieve Keelen (sophomore), and Jordan Lombardi (freshmen). Now moving further into the year, the season has started and Lili Mednis had an accident as she was catching a ground ball and it took a bad hop and hit her right under her eye. She was out for most of the season but just recently returned. Moving further into the season, the softball team was playing Piscataway and Ann McGavin was on first base and tried stealing, but had to quickly run back to her base. She slid back to first, but on her head first dive back, she managed to fracture her finger and has been out of the season ever since. And those injuries weren’t the last!!
Not enough players!
After these players were out for the season, more injuries started to pile in. Our team was dropping like flies! First Jordan Lombardi (freshmen) injured her arm. She sprained it and was out for four days. That caused the team to have one more spot to fill. We were a very young team to begin with, and adding players who haven’t even played before just caused more of a panic throughout the season. A couple of days later, Dina Picchione sprained her ankle and was out for a week. That was another spot we had to fill and we were barely into the season by then. We had our ups and downs, but Mr. Patrick always managed to keep our spirits up. He is a good coach with a big heart that has and will do anything to keep our team moving.
As we move further and further into the season, we needed more players. Coaches reached out and we found 3 new players: Zaniah Sharkey, Jamie Plumaker (seniors), and Lili Mednis, who started off the season and recovered from her injury. These players were our saving grace because they allowed us to compete against other schools. If they weren’t there, we wouldn’t be able to participate in the softball season and our season would have been cut short. The seniors that recently joined our team may have not had much experience with the game, but they give all their effort both on and off the field.
Next softball season will be much more relaxing because we will have freshmen coming up like Jessie Kmak who is a star pitcher, Emily Rodgers who is a great hitter, along with many more. Even though this season has been short, it still has been a great journey and I’m glad I was a part of it. It showed me that effort pays off. Even at our lows, I stayed strong and kept on cheering. When we were down by 15, all the girls and I just kept on fighting. We kept trying, we supported each other and that really is all that matters. Some teams might be undefeated, but we didn’t need to be undefeated to know that we were worth something as a team. Our coaches Mrs. Ceres and Mr. Patrick worked with us every day so that we could be the team we are today, which is a strong, hardworking, committed team.
It was the last week of softball and we ended with a loss, but surprisingly that didn’t matter in the moment. What mattered was that we made it together to the end even with all the downs we had as a team. We always had each other to lean on when times were tough. Even when we were losing by 10 or more we still cheered for one another. Even though we lost the last game, we managed to keep our heads high and move forward. We cheered on every single player as they stepped up to hit, we cheered our pitchers on, cheered for outs we made, cheered for plays we made. What allowed us to make it through the game was our cheers and Mr. Patrick’s positive optimistic words he said between innings. I’m glad I was able to participate in the 2019 high school softball team and learn that being surrounded by an amazing team beats winning any day.
Boys Varsity Tennis Team
One of the many sports that Henry Hudson offers is tennis. Our 2019 boys tennis team was filled with many great experiences on and off of the courts, however, there is still much room for improvement.
This was our first year playing tennis, and we can say it was 100% worth it. Every practice we learned something new or improved in some way, and we had fun while doing it. We remember during our match against Shore Regional one of our teammate's father bought the whole team tacos from Taco Bell after a hard fought victory. This is only one of the many times that we had done something like that. Our practices were always productive as well. They were never boring or too tiring, and we were also able to work and improve each day. We asked Wind Levyvensetton, Captain of the tennis team, what aspects of the season he enjoyed the most. He answered with, “I really like the togetherness and family-friendly relationships the team has. Everyone seems to have a strong bond with the freshmen as well.”
I really think that this quote sums up what our tennis team’s environment was like. Everyone is friends with one another and it feels like we’re a giant family. It’s also important to note that Wind said how everyone has a strong bond with the freshmen, since as new players ourselves, we feel like this team was so welcoming and kind.
While this year was filled with great experiences, there is still a lot the team can do to improve for next year’s season. This season scores did not go entirely well. As one can imagine, sometimes we'd get a bit goofy during practice. This opinion is shared throughout the team, and can be summed up by a quote from Captain Levyvensetton, “I want the team to put in more effort even if they don’t have the talent.”
Wind is exactly right when he says this because even if our team doesn’t have the same skills as some of the other teams, effort could lead the team to undoubtedly catch up. Another opinion held by Captain Levyvensetton is that the drills during our practices could improve. He explains this opinion by stating the following, “The system of training could also improve since it lacks progression.” What he means by this is that we do a lot of the same drills each practice, so after a while the drills start to help our performance less and less. If our team is able to improve on these two aspects next season, we truly believe that we could be an unbeatable team.
In short, the Henry Hudson boy’s tennis team is a really great extra curricular activity, and is an all around fun time to be a part of. That being said, the team still has a long way to go to reaching it's peak potential, but with the energy our team has, it surely isn’t impossible. We believe everyone reading this should give tennis a try and help the Henry Hudson tennis team become the best it can possibly be.
-Nicholas Buzzanco and Anthony Martignetti, freshmen