NUNDA — Head coach Mike Valentino enters his 14th season for the Keshequa girls track and field program.
And after last year’s season was canceled, Valentino and his Lady Indians can’t hide their excitement to be back on track (and field) so to speak.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to run this year and acknowledge the fact that it will take some time to shake off the rust from our time away from the track,” coach Valentino said. “We must be able to push through some tough training in order to be where we need to be at the end of the year but I am excited how the girls have responded so far. I am looking forward to what we can do as a team as well as how we can compete as individuals throughout the season.”
Keshequa will be looking for some of their top returners to step up this spring including seniors Siobhan Costello (Mid Distance/Hurdles), Bridgette Deer (Throws), Malia Ras (Pentathlon), Claire Schiano (Jumps/Sprints) and Emerson Willett (Hurdles/Sprints) and juniors Courtney Ellsworth (Sprints/Jumps) and Emelye Wilkins (Throws).
Valentino is excited to watch some of his newcomers this season including junior Jocelyn Brick (Throws/Distance); freshman Elyse Klump (Sprints/Jumps), Nina Sheely (Sprints), and Elizabeth Smith (Sprints/Hurdles); eighth-grader Madeline Strain (Sprints/Throws); sophomore Kirsten VanDorn (Mid Distance/Distance/Hurdles) and senior Emilee Wright (Throws).
“Our team goals this year are to have every athlete improve throughout the season and be able to compete for a team title at the end of the year at sectionals,” coach Valentino said.
Head coach Abijah is back on the diamond for his fourth season returning with a pair of four-year varsity players he will be counting on heavily this spring.
Multi-sport senior standouts Aidan Wood and Riley Rease were all-star selections following the 2019 season and both are expected to continue that success this spring.
Wood and Rease were both standouts as sophomores on Keshequa’s LCAA D-III title team.
Top newcomers include seniors Jacob Gibson (1B), Trey Learn (Catcher), Ryan Thayer (1B), Jordon Luther (Utility), Adam Hunt (2nd) and Cesar Batlle (OF).
Juniors Kellen Wood (Utility), Tyler Mallaber (C/OF), Hunter Wood (OF), Preston Bugman (OF), Dominic Swain (OF), and Rene Figueroa (P/3B), as well as sophomore Nathan Thayer (3B/Utility) will all have a shot at making some noise this spring.
“We are very lucky to have a group of guys who have played together since grade school and to have a couple of players with varsity experience in the mix,” coach Gath said. “This will hopefully help our team with leadership as we approach the season this year.”
Coach Gath is excited that his team can finally play some baseball after missing all of last season and this year’s goals reflect that.
“First off we want to make it through the whole season,” he said. “It is exciting to get back on the field after missing a year. Second, we will look to defend the division title we won in 2019 in a very tough LCAA D-III and look to make some noise in Class D1 at the end of the season.”
Head coach Bill Mann will look to his seasoned, experienced vetarans to help this year’s team including seniors Heather Moriarty and Alex Hugi, and junior Mackenzie Gillen who will all play crucial roles this spring.
Moriarty, Hugi and Gillen all played important parts on Keshequa’s 2019 sectional title team.
Top newcomers include senior Ciara Claud; juniors: Catrina Pierce, Cheyenne Cotton, Jade Wolfer, and Haley Wood; sophomores Aurora Sabins and Julia Wilkins, and freshmen Libby Benner and Kelsey Davis.
“This season will be interesting as we learn one another and figure out how the pieces of our puzzle fit together,” coach Mann said. “We have a great group of competitive and athletic ladies who love competing. After missing a year of competition, we look forward to defending our sectional title with a few returning players,” Mann said. “We look forward to the challenges of competing in the very competitive LCAA. Although we will be a younger team, our goal is to be competitive and continue learning and growing as a team.”
Head coach Todd Isaman returns for his ninth season.
“We have a mix of veteran players that have been with us for a while and players that are newer to the game,” Isaman said. “We just want to keep working hard and improve each day.”
Key returners include three talented juniors — Ian Deaton, Ryan Stevens and Reese Powers who are expected to carry the load for the Indians.
Top newcomers include juniors Clay Davis and Nick Hall and sophomore Eli Bormann.
“Ian and Ryan have been with the team since seventh grade and are really looking good so far this season,” coach Isaman said. “We are glad to have Reese join us again this year and looking forward to seeing him perform this season. Everyone is just happy to get back on the course and play again.”
Coach Mike Uveino returns this season in hopes that a few of his boys will make some noise.
Top returners include Hunter Zangerle who will provide lots of points in the jumping events while Garrett Szulewski should do the same in the throwing events.
Look for distance runners Avery Strobel and Jacob Cobin to perform well.
“We have a good core of returners leading our team this season,” coach Uveino said. “We are looking forward to a fun and successful season.”