Terrence Echols, Tim Skeval and A.J. Ortega
Sports Editor, Staff Writers
Jamesville-DeWitt High School is passionate about their school sports. This fall season J-DHS sports have thrived like J-DHS Varsity Girls Volleyball and Varsity Boys Cross Country. Both have been impressive during their regular season and were rewarded with an opportunity to go to sectionals.
After a three-set-to-none victory in the semi-final sectional match against Central Square on Nov. 5, Varsity Girls Volleyball, who finished with a 13-3 record, faced Oswego at Onondaga Community College in the sectional final game for the first time in school history on Nov. 11. It was a hard fought battle, but Oswego downed the Red Rams in the fifth set after a three-point rally to win 25-22 and capture the Class A sectional title. The sectional championship was between Class A Oswego, and Class B Burnt Hills where Burnt Hills won in three sets.
Going into the sectional final, the girls were confident in their team and their abilities. The team has many strengths that they use to their advantage on the court. They have a “great team dynamic” according to junior middle blocker Julia Cavanaugh and “good power hitters and setters” according to sophomore outside hitter Alex Payne.
Although they had many strengths that gave them advantages over other teams , they also had weaknesses. “We have to work on communication and coverage,” said Cavanaugh. “If we work on our weaknesses going into next year we will do much better,” said Payne.
This season was a memorable one, especially for senior captains Melissa Murphy and Teresa Werbowsky who have completed their final season with the Red Rams. “One of the best moments (of the season) was beating Central Square on our Senior Night in three sets,”’ said Murphy, “and sectionals were obviously great too.” Senior night was definitely a favorite moment among the team. “(Senior night) was lit,” said Werbowsky. Even though they lost to Oswego in the finals, Murphy and Werbowsky still had positive thoughts on the season.
The Varsity Boys Cross Country team is looking to work hard this offseason to improve their record from 2015. They were 1-4 in dual meets and finished in fourth place in their league. “(This season) was a rebuilding year for us,” said junior Nick Palin. Even though they haven't been as successful as they thought they would be, the boys are proud of their effort at the Whitesboro invitational where they won every event. The boys competed in sectionals which took place on Nov. 7. They finished ninth out of 10 teams.
On Nov. 7, Varsity Boys Cross Country sent their top runners to the sectional race at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School. “I was a little nervous going into the race but overall I was confident,” said senior Miles Chandler. As a team, they didn't think they would win but they were going to try their best no matter what.
The team was confident going into the race because they knew they had certain strengths as a team that set them apart from other teams. They were good at “tackling large hills,” said sophomore James Dougherty, which gave them a big advantage. Also they “had a natural running ability and worked well as a team,” said senior Matt Salbert.
Although the team did very well they did have some weaknesses that held them back. “We couldn't open up on the down hill and gain maximum speed,” said Dougherty. “We got tired and broke down quickly,” said Salbert. Although they has some weaknesses, they preformed well as a team. The Red Rams finished in ninth place out of 18 teams with New Hartford coming in first. Senior Andrew Comanici finished first out of the Red Rams. “It’s nice to see how I've improved throughout the season,” said Comanici.
Boys Soccer- Coming off one of their most successful seasons in a long time, where they were 2014 sectional champions and advanced all the way to the state semifinal round, the Varsity Boys Soccer team had another successful season with a record of 12-4-1. They finished in second place in their league. However the season came to an end when the boys lost 2-1 in the sectional semifinal on Oct. 27 against Fulton. Junior goalie Tommy Bonaccio really enjoyed playing with the team this season, even though it ended in disappointment.
Gymnastics- The Fayetteville-Manlius/Jamesville-DeWitt Varsity Girls Gymnastics team has been one of the most successful teams in Central New York this past decade and a half. The Rammets were able to continue their dominance this year. The girls competed in sectionals on Oct. 30 where they won their 15th consecutive sectional championship. Six girls will advance to states which take place in late February. Senior captain Anyi Leibler-Bendix is proud of her team’s performance in sectionals, “we kicked butt,” she says.
Football- The Varsity Football team was able to bounce back from a losing season in 2014 and reverse their record from 2-5 to 5-2 in the 2015 regular season. The Red Rams had a tough matchup in the first round of sectionals against the defending state champions, the Indian River Warriors, who defeated them in the week prior. They fell to the Warriors in the playoffs for the second time in three years, 20-7 on Oct. 23. Junior lineman Mingus Betsey is proud the team did better than last year and has “high hopes for next year.”
Girls Cross-Country -The Varsity Girls Cross-Country team has also enjoyed some success this fall. They were victorious in all their meets, earning them a record of 6-0.The girls season included a trip all the way to the media capital of the United States, New York City, for a race where they finished ninth out of almost 30 teams. The girls were able to finish second in the sectional meet on Nov. 7. Junior Hannah Butler finished second in the sectional meet and will advance to the states on Nov. 14.
Girls Tennis- The Jamesville-DeWitt Varsity Girls Tennis team have enjoyed a very successful run for past eight seasons, finishing either first or second in their league. The 2014 league champs continued their streak by finishing 10-3 and second behind Christian Brothers Academy in their league. They advanced to the second round of team sectionals where they fell to eventual sectional champion Oneida. However, their successful run did not end because nine girls competed in individual sectionals. Seven of the nine, Julia Skeval, Maggie Mannion, Kim Driesen, Mai Driesen, Katie Tzivanis, Natalie Alweis and Diamond Cole, lost in the first round. However two, Jungyun Kim and Maya Pollock, made it to the state qualifying rounds for doubles where they lost.