Sports Spotlight: Coach Scott Takes the ReinsOct 29, 2020 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson
This fall, Symonne Scott (pictured above) has stepped in as the new head coach for Cross Country and Indoor/Outdoor track. Very pleased to be coaching at BHS, Scott (pictured left) said, “Coach LaCasse was my coach at Attleboro High School years ago, so it is an honor that he asked me to be his replacement.”
After high school, Scott ran track for Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She earned 8 All-American awards and several school records. After college, she went on to coach at Blackstone-Millville Regional High School. During her time there, the boys she coached were undefeated conference champions, with the girls not far behind. They broke several school records in nearly every event across all three seasons and also had several State, All State, and New England qualifiers. When Scott is not coaching high school teams, she owns a private coaching business called Azimuth Athletics, where she conditions and trains athletes across all sports in speed and agility. This summer she ran a conditioning camp out of Bellingham that some of the Cross Country runners attended. Based on the results from their first meet, the benefits of the summer conditioning definitely show.
Despite the schools’ having to deal with Covid-19, cross-country numbers are strong this year: 16 boys and 9 girls. There have been a few adjustments to the season because of the virus, the biggest adjustment being a shortened season consisting of only 5 conference meets. Scott said, “Less severe things, such as training with a mask, having separate boys and girls meets, and running in heated waves, have had little impact on team morale. Aside from all that, the team is doing very well and is in good spirits.” According to Scott, all athletes are on pace to set, or have already set, new personal records. The two athletes to look out for are Daniel Kurczy and Cassidy Hasselbaum. Scott said, ”Overall, the team gels very well and, as is true of every team sport, this is truly a tight-knit cross-country family.”
The top five boys varsity cross-country runners are Daniel Kurczy, Aiden Campellone, Benjamin Foley, Frani Marku, and Alex Hughes. The top five girls are Cassidy Hasselbaum, Emma Smith, Gretchen Ames, Baileigh Murphy, and Ella LaPierre.
A Fantastic Turnout for Girls Soccer
The Bellingham Girls High School Soccer Program has had a fantastic turnout, with 38 girls this year. They also welcome new Assistant and JV Coach Wade Killman to the program. Coach Gosselin said, “Covid-19 has changed a lot in the program, including our schedule, which has been condensed from 20 games to 10 games over a 5-week span. We are very pleased with how hard the girls have worked on conditioning since last year. This has been led by our two senior captains, Haylee Morrison & McKenna Costello.” The team has seven seniors and, according to Gosselin, an amazing group of returning girls, as well as the new 8th-graders. Gosselin said, “I only wish that these girls were able to play a full schedule this year. I know that if that were possible they’d be turning a lot of heads in the TVL.”
The TVL, which has been broken up into two pods, has Bellingham playing Ashland, Holliston, Medway, Norton, and Hopkinton. They will play each school twice, back to back, on the same weekend (Saturday, then Sunday). Along with seven seniors they will have two 9th- and three 8th-graders on the varsity roster. Gosselin noted, “Coach Killman has been an awesome addition and has fit right into the program. He brings a great soccer background and will be able to help teach players and build on their current fundamentals.” The girls opened their season at home against Ashland on 10/10, which was also the senior day/night tribute to the senior players.
Rocky Start for Boys SoccerFor the boys varsity soccer team, the season has gotten off to a rocky start with low numbers and two injuries right at the outset, one of those injuries being to Drew Bishop, who is a significant part of the defense and a team leader. The team is hopeful that he will return to the field very soon. They also have a tough schedule in the Tri-Valley League this year, playing only half of the in-league teams and not being able to add any out-of-league games because of adjustments made to the schedule as a result of the pandemic. The outlook is very different this year from what they had expected, but Coach Bob Elster is encouraging his athletes to make the best of the situation. “The BHS soccer program has begun,” he said, “and, although it’s been a rocky start, I am confident that we can turn things around and really begin to compete.”
They presently have two senior captains, Lucas Drons and Sid Boppana. They are expecting big things from Lucas as he returns as one of their top offensive forces. He has already scored one goal against Ashland, and they are looking forward to many more.
he focus this year is on improving ball control and playing good possession soccer. According to Elster, this is something that they have been focusing on for the last couple of years, but they are really working hard to see improvement in this area, and they hope to increase the speed of play on the field. ”I don’t have any specific goals this season,” Coach Elster said, “but instead have a general goal to see this team improve their ability to move the ball, step up their commitment to playing at a high soccer IQ and coming together as a team. If we do that, then we will compete with every team we play. This will be a successful season, and we will be prepared to have our best season yet next year.”
Golf Team Starts 1-5
The BHS Varsity Golf team is dealing with a 1-5 record as of Bulletin deadline, but they are hopeful given that their scores are improving with each match, and they are looking ahead. The team is young, with only five returning starters in senior Danny Cavosa, junior Jamison Eldridge, senior Brennan McCann, and sophomores Eli Sylvia and Evan Thorell.
Coach Brian DeDentro said, “The team and I would really like to thank the New England Country Club for their incredible hospitality in letting us use the course and the practice area. NECC has been a fantastic home course. It challenges our opponents, and we are going to continue to use it to our advantage.” The team would also like to thank NECC golf pro Mike Daron for his help on the driving range.
Covid-19 was also a factor for the golf team this year. Instead of the usual matchups and instead of going out in foursomes, each team plays separately, two from each team. Covid-19 also led to a decrease in the number of matches, cut down this year to 10 from the usual 20. At Bulletin deadline, the last scheduled match was set for October 21st at TPC Norton vs. Norton.