This past fall has been a long and exciting season for the sports here at Northampton High School. Both cross country teams and Girls’ Soccer had outstanding seasons, while other teams struggled a bit more this year.
The Boys’ Cross Country team had their best season in three years. Their last day was Saturday, November 18th, where they came in 14th at states after becoming Western Massachusetts champions and league champions. Their record was 8-1, losing only to Amherst Regional High School, whom they beat later in the season at a championship race.
A major setback for the boys’ cross country team came when varsity runner Tim Jacques broke his toe, forcing him to sit out the rest of the season. Despite his injury, Jacques said the team had made “very big improvements to previous years,” with all seven of their varsity runners under 17 minutes for their 5K personal records. The team speculates while it will be a challenge, they will have a very strong team next year, in spite of the departure of eleven seniors.
Going into the season with a new coach and many new runners, senior captain, Emma Yount was pleasantly surprised with how the Girls’ Cross Country team finished their season. ”I’m really really happy and proud of how we did. I was expecting we wouldn’t be as good as we were last year, especially since we lost four of our top varsity seniors.”
Coming in second to Amherst Regional High School, in the league and in Western Massachusetts, Northampton had a record of 8-1, losing only one race to Amherst. The girls came in 18th in the state, with their top runner, Mary Yount, placing 15th in the state. Luckily, their new coach and freshman class stepped up to the plate. Ms. Yount told us having a new coach and such a young team was “actually was our advantage this year.”
Next year, the girls think they will perform just as well as they did this year because of how many fast underclassmen they have. “All of our freshmen did insanely well, they improved so much this season.”
Girls’ Varsity Soccer had their best season for as long as the records go back. The team advanced into the Western Mass semi-finals and ended the season with a record of 13-4-3 for regular season and 7-2-1 for their league and were ranked third. Senior Sydney White, a captain on the team, said “to be ranked third in Division I is very solid.” Northampton Girls Soccer had not made it to the semi-final in 12 years, so this was a big accomplishment.
The beginning of their season was rough, the team had some tough losses and were able to beat some of the teams they thought were bad but by mid-September the team turned around and stepped up.
The team’s connection may be the reason they started doing so well, Ms. White says. “I think we bonded very well this season. That bond carried us into the second half of the season, and we began to do different idiosyncratic things as a team, which was fun.”
Girls soccer will lose four seniors, but they have some very good underclassmen who could definitely keep the team strong for future years.
With a record of 4-6, the football team did “alright” according to sophomore quarterback, Tom Jacques. At the beginning of the season, senior captain Henry Doherty told The Transcript he thought Northampton would end the season with a record of 6-2, so they did not quite meet their goal.
They were not as good as last year because many of the team’s seniors graduated. However, Jacques predicts their team will do better next year because a lot of their starting players are sophomores. “The team bonding is always great. We’re all friends and that definitely helps with the chemistry on the field.”
Having moved into a new league this year, Varsity Field Hockey had a very challenging season. In twelve of their games they faced the top five teams in Western Massachusetts and even the state champions from last year. Their tough schedule brought out a new work ethic and ended the season with a final record of 6-8-1.
Hazel Either, senior and one of the team’s captains explained that the “challenging part was that there was such a big shift in mindset from years past. We went from winning the majority of our games and thinking ‘Oh this team will be no problem’ to, ‘every single game is a challenge and every game matters.’”
The team improved a lot over the course of the season. They beat West Side twice and tied with Minnechaug, teams they have had conflicts with before. Ms. Either described field hockey as “a very team oriented sport” and the players’ bond really helped them throughout their difficult season.
Shocking the entire school, the Boys’ Varsity Soccer team won one of their games. Junior captain Jackson Heath predicted the team would go undefeated this season, but with a record of 1-17, he could not have been more wrong. Sophomore player, Ben Rapoza claims “that was a joke. We knew how it was going to go. Winning one game was a miracle.” Rapoza said their season went terribly this year and they did much better last year, making playoffs. He thinks they will do similarly next year since there are not many seniors leaving.
Although the team hoped to do better, the golf team improved this season. They moved down a division this year, which was good because, compared to previous seasons, they had more players over 20 as their handicap. The team’s final record was 6-11.
Golf is played in teams of two. The team was close so when they were with their partner on match day their bond helped their game. Senior Jack Denhart believes next year will be hard for the golf team. He thinks “the team will be bad next year because our only returning starter is Asa Geller.”