Nashoba Sports Season Wrap -Up
By Jess Thomas
As the fall sports season nearly comes to a close, the Nashoba varsity teams have had some headliners this season. The field hockey, girls soccer and volleyball teams have had playoff runs and the cross country and golf squads have had successful seasons. Here is a more in-depth look of each team:
Field Hockey- The #1 seed field hockey team (18-1-1) will face #2 Quabbin Regional (15-1-4) at Grafton High on Thursday, Nov. 6 in the Central Mass. Division 1 final.
Nashoba advanced to this game after shutting out #4 Algonquin Regional, 2-0, on Monday Nov. 3 and rolling over #8 Wachusett Regional, 4-1, on Friday Oct. 31 in the quarterfinal. The team outscored opponents 66-10 in the regional season and has pitched 10 shutouts. Its only loss and tie both came against Algonquin this season.
Nashoba’s eight-year head coach Jaime Mariani said, “The girls all truly love the sport of field hockey and enjoy being together on and off the field. We are a very tight group.”
The inspiration for the season has been teammate, Michelle Farnsworth, who is battling cancer. Mariani said, “Though Michelle hasn’t been able to play this year, the girls love keeping her connected with pregame pump up videos and updates.”
Girls Soccer- Under first-year head coach Renee Moulton, the girls’ soccer squad secured the #3 seed in the playoff tournament and will host #6 Quabbin Regional in the first round on Wednesday, Nov. 5. The team won 10 of their last 11 games and finished the season with a 13-3-2 record. They outscored opponents 57-15 in the 18-game season.
“Quabbin is a solid team with several key players both up top and in the midfield that pose some potential concerns for our team,” Moulton said. “We must work as one unit both offensively and defensively to find our way through any of the teams we could face.” Moulton also praised the senior class and is thankful for the work they put in this season.
Volleyball- The #9 Chieftains volleyball squad lost 3-1 to #8 Norton in the Central Division II first round on Thursday, Oct. 30 to end their season. The team finished the regular season with a 13-7 record after starting the campaign 0-3.
Girls Cross Country- After finishing 5-1 in the regular season, the girls cross country team came in third in the league championship meet on Sunday, Oct. 26 to put them in second place overall. This is the first time in the last five seasons that the team has not finished first. The squad lost their top two runners this season. The team, under seven-year head coach Dan Glover, will participate in the district race on Nov. 8 and if they finish in the top three, they qualify for the state meet on Nov. 15.
“The strength of the team this year was its depth,” Glover said. “If any other had lost its two top runners, they would have really struggled, but many of the runners stepped up to fill the void.”
Boys Cross Country- The boys finished 5-1 during the season and rolled to a league championship. This is the fourth straight league championship victory for the boys under head coach Steve Beckwith. They will be running in the district race on Nov. 8.
Golf- Under longtime coach Dennis Bean, the golf squad finished the season 10-6 (10-3 in their division). They played in the Mid-Wach league tournament on Oct. 14, where the team finished third with 319 points. The following week, the team played in the Central Mass. District tournament and could not reach the state finals, finishing eighth with 354 points, and ending its season.
“Our top three players were Alec Dempsey, Joe Tavis and Jordan Vyas,” Bean said. “This team would stack up well against any of the teams since I started in 1970. We didn’t quite have the depth of some of those teams, but they worked hard all season and continued to improve as the season went on.”
Football- After going 7-4 under Coach Jamie Tucker last year, the team hasn’t had as much success in Tucker’s second season. The team currently stands at 3-5 with three games remaining on the schedule. Nashoba lost five of six games after winning their first contest, 35-7. With a 21-14 loss to Fitchburg on Oct. 24, Nashoba failed to make the playoffs.
“Our team has lost some close games this year, but I think we’ve learned from those games,” Tucker said. “I’m really proud of our team’s ‘no quit’ attitude, which started on the first day of preseason.”
Boys Soccer- The boys soccer club had trouble this season, finishing with a 4-10-4 record and missing the playoffs. They started the season 0-5-2, going winless in September. The team finished the year 3-2-2 in its last seven games. Fifth-year head coach Jim McKinley has led the team to district play for the past four seasons.
“We need to continue to develop players who have greater technical ability and finishing touch,” McKinley said about improvements. “Despite our results, the team remains positive and a solid role model for the younger players within in our program.”
Hale Middle School Cross Country- In the Nashoba District middle school championship meet on Oct. 28, Hale finished in first with 62 points over Sawyer and Burbank. Seven-year head coach Ben Langelo saw his girls squad finish 8-0 and his boys were 4-4. The next step for the team is the state meet on Saturday, Nov. 8. Last year, the girls took home second place in the meet. The boys finished 16th overall. Langelo is looking for a top 10 finish from each in 2014.