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Sports February 2011

www.thewestwordonline.com

Summing up the season:

Girls’ hockey The Westhill-Stamford coop girls’ hockey team has had an eventful start to its first season. The team is comprised of girls from Westhill and Stamford High, some of whom are experienced players, while others are learning the fundamentals of the game. “We are learning a lot as a team,” senior Samantha Wise said. “The experienced girls have been

very helpful. Most of the team is new [to the game] and many did not know how to skate, but we are working through it. It has been a learning experience for the entire team.” So far, the team has a 2-2 record. According to Wise, the team learns something new with every practice and every game. The girls’ hard work paid off when they earned their first victory, a 8-3 win over West Haven on December 30. They hope to be able to build on

this victory in the games to come and continue the efforts that enabled them to win. The team is led by captain Morgan Gulliver, a senior from Stamford High, who also leads the team in scoring. Although the majority of the players are from Stamford High, Westhill players, including juniors Ariel Shaulson and Sarah Ehrlich, have made strong contributions throughout the season. —Zach Eisen

Cheerleading

Boys’ hockey The boys’ hockey team has struggled to maintain the pace that it set for itself at the beginning of the season. It started the season winning its first three straight games with victories over Fermi, New Milford, and East Haven. Since then, the team has gone 3-6, leaving it with a 6-6 record. However, after losing the following three in a row, it has been unable to fully recover. Although it has had victo-

Bayardo Carrillo / Contributed Photo

With more students from all grades participating this year, the cheerleading squad has been putting a lot of effort into perfecting its jumps, tumbles, stunts, and cheers. One student who has shown significant improvement throughout her four years on the squad is senior Mollie Spiesman. “Mollie is one of our key players and truly leads the team in a way unlike any other,” senior captain Nicole Das-

ries over Branford and Norwalk/ McMahon, the team has endured many close losses, including a 3-2 overtime loss to Stamford High. Senior captain Doug Graves is optimistic about the remaining games in the team’s season. “We started off strong, but we hit a rough patch in these last few games,” he said. “We will work hard and hopefully we will go strong in the second half of the season.” For the team to improve in

the next part of the season, it will need strong contributions from its upperclassmen leaders, such as seniors Brian Rotkewicz and Ian Gibbs, who have led the team’s offense. Senior goalie Zach Phillipson has played strong in net all season, and the team will continue to count on him to lead them through the rest of the season. With games against city rivals Stamford High and Trinity still to come, there is a lot on the line for the Vikings. —Zach Eisen

Boys’ swimming

Westhill Saga / Contributed Photo

The boys’ swim team has a record of 7-1, making it one of the best teams in the FCIAC. This success can be attributed to the hard work of swimmers such as sophomore Mike Hopkins, juniors Jeff Anderson and Kareem Saleh, and senior captain Andrew Hendrickson. “This year we picked up a large amount of freshmen as well as returning all of our major players. I think we have more talent on

Steve Ehrlich / Contributed Photo

toli said. The team’s hard work is starting to pay off, most noticeably in its recent FCIAC competition. In the competition, the team had a very strong routine that included a five-stunt pyramid. “This [pyramid] is one thing that our coach, Ms. Tintle, tries to shoot for each year, so accomplishing it felt great,” Dastoli said. The team would have placed in seventh, but a hairbow deduction dropped them four spots down to

eleventh place. The squad’s goals in the near future are to place in the top five at its next two competitions and top ten at States on March 12. The girls’ next big competition will be on February 19 in South Windsor, where the team placed first last year in the all-girl division. “We hope to return and claim the title once again,” Dastoli said. However, the whole team agrees that a solid and clean routine is its top priority. —Matt Schwartz

Kate Sears / Contributed Photo

the team than we ever have,” Hendrickson said. The team’s practices include drills of various strokes and distances in the pool while substantiated with weight-training on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. So far, the team beat New Canaan by 18 points and experienced its only loss to Greenwich by four points. The team’s main goals for the rest of the year are to be the dual season champions by winning its next two meets, one ver-

sus Ridgefield on February 22 and the other against Trumbull the next day. After this, the team will set its sights on FCIACs and LLs. Hendrickson said, “For FCIACs and LLs, we will begin to taper down in practice and work specifically on editing any stroke or racing problems we might have.” These two meets will take place on March 5 and 7 and then March 15, respectively. —Matt Schwartz


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