By Joe Morgan and Gus Weinstein
The 2013 fall season for Jamesville-DeWitt High School athletics was “pretty darn good,” said junior Joe Murphy, an avid sports watcher.
One of the reasons is because the J-DHS Varsity Boys Volleyball team made history this year by winning sectionals for the first time in 40 years against Living Word Academy. On Saturday, Nov. 10, the boys lost to a strong Burnt Hills team from the Albany region, in three straight sets. "They were definitely amped up," said Boys Varsity Volleyball Head Coach Kyle Michael. "It's the first time in a long time J-D has gotten this far. This is only our second year in the fall. We transferred from (playing the season in the winter) last year. This is a whole new level of play as compared from winter,” said Coach Michael. In the fall season the boys play much bigger schools that produce stronger teams than in the winter season. Even though they had a losing record at 6-9, “We can't be upset with how we did. It was our first sectional win in 40 years,” said junior Patrick Saba. In the beginning of the season, the boys found themselves with a losing record. The team found their strength, after their regular season win over Central Square. “I really think our last game against Central Square is where we realized we made history, considering we needed that to advance into post season play,” said senior Adam Doss.
Unfortunately, the Varsity Girls Volleyball team didn’t reach their pre-season goals of winning sectionals. The girls went 10-7 on the season with a first round loss in sectionals to Whitesboro. “We played well, but we didn’t play well enough to win our sectional game,” said junior Meghan Byrnes, who is the starting libero. “I’ve never been more proud of a team than the one I had this year,” said senior captain Carly Neugebauer. Even though they only had four seniors, Mady Alfieris, Julia Norton, Laura Wildridge, and Neugebauer, they didn’t lack leadership, nor did they lack skill. “I guess we just got outplayed,” said sophomore volleyball player Aly Lowry. Although the girls fell short of their goal of winning sectionals, their junior class now knows how to win games, and plans on working hard in the offseason to be a powerhouse team for next year.
The Varsity Boys Cross Country team had mixed results this season. “We didn’t achieve our goal of beating Westhill and winning sectionals,” said Head Coach Emily Rowles, “but we still had three people qualify for states.” Despite the team coming up short of their goals, the Boys Cross Country team had “an awesome run,” said junior runner Brady Wing. “The highlight of my season was the fact that I had a team that was willing to work hard for me, and (that) worked hard together,” said Coach Rowles. However, Coach Rowles said that her team would disagree with her, saying their season’s highlight was having the chance to go to Manhattan to compete amongst the top athletes in the heart of their city. The team’s biggest motivation this season was having the chance to beat their rival Westhill, who beat them last year in sectionals by a total of two points, according to junior Jake Parker. The fact that the team didn’t reach their goals can be traced back to the inability of the athletes to run year-round. “But we were at a disadvantage all season because although we were an extremely strong team, strongest I have ever had, we have no year round runners because a lot of our guys are multi-sport athletes. So for what we had, I am extremely proud of my team,” said Coach Rowles. So although the team didn’t reach their goals, they did well for what they had to work with.