Spring is slowly blossoming, bringing with it numerous sports and their athletes, who have been training hard during the winter season. Spring sports include badminton, tennis, fencing, baseball, outdoor track, handball, wrestling, and softball.
Despite marking the “beginning of the end” for their seniors, coaches look forward to the season and welcoming new team members. Coaches and captains in each sport have adopted challenging goals for individual athletes as well as the team at large.
The coach of the boys varsity volleyball team, Lauren Caiaccia, has coached the team for six years, with the team making it to the playoffs each year. The team has shown a strong standing relative to other schools in their division, including Benjamin Cardozo High School and Bayside High School.
Ms. Caiaccia explained the major objectives she holds every season to keep the team as fresh and aggressive as possible. First, she seeks out players who will best represent the school at the varsity level: these students possess both talent and immense determination. Next, she educates the team on how to do well on and off the court, both in academics and on the team. Finally, she motivates the athletes, putting them in a position to contend for the division title.
The girls badminton team, following its rookie season, is making its reappearance. Despite its novelty, the team made it to the playoffs last year. Many girls have tried out for a spot on the team, but the team can only accept 12-15 girls. Matthew Reid, the coach of the girls badminton team said that he wants new, strong players to replace the graduating seniors. His goal for this year is to “improve from last year’s success.”
He added, “We made it to the playoffs last year but lost in the first round; going further in the playoffs would be a good accomplishment. Also, to have a couple of girls make it to the individual playoffs [would be an accomplishment].”
Junior Evan Noblesala, a captain of the boys baseball team, noted his expectations for this year: “This year is definitely going to be a challenge, because PSAL switched the divisions and now we are in a much more competitive division, but I know our team can face the challenge and thrive.”
Although the team lost many key players last year, Evan is still optimistic. He said, “I know that many players are going to be working harder this year to step up their game and fill in the shoes of our departed players.”
Due to the recent snowstorms, the boys tennis team has delayed its first two matches, but tryouts have officially begun. Senior Frank Nicolazzi, the team’s captain, commented, “Our expectations for this year are to win the division. Cardozo has really dominated the Queens A division for a long time, and I think this year we have such a good team [that] we can change that.” The team tries to practice wherever it can, both in the basement and on the sixth floor.
Senior Stanley Li, captain of the boys varsity handball team, looks foward to this season. He said, “I think that our team can build upon the improvements we made last year, because last year we saw many of our players grow and this year, we have many new recruits, so I’m pretty excited about that.”
Senior Brianne Futerman, captain of the varsity girls tennis team, laid out her goals for the team, saying, “After having lost a lot of our senior players, we are looking forward to building a new team. I hope to maintain the fun, carefree spirit of the team, but also to work hard and perform our best.”
Girls fencing coach Katherine Yan has high hopes for this season, holding significant expectations for this year’s athletes. She remarked, “We hope to make it to the division champs and bring home the championship [title] for epee and foil. I hope that our team can build friendships and develop teamwork while attaining these goals.”
Undoubteldy, THHS teams look forward to an exciting and challenging spring season.