By Spencer DuPuis
Viva Loudoun High School Intern
Leesburg (March 17, 2014) – The Heritage High School Pride athletic program is looking for a great spring sports season.
The Pride boys soccer team has hopes of doing well in the Dulles District, and the Pride girls soccer team aims for another dominant season under coach Gabriel Ascunce. The Pride Baseball team is primed for another Dulles District run . The Pride softball team is starting fresh with new head coach John Dugger. The Pride boys lacrosse team is working hard to to avenge its 3-11 season last year. The Pride girls lacrosse team also has a new coach in Timothy Greening. The Pride tennis teams are looking forward to the season … and warmer weather!
Here is more on each team:
The Pride Boys Soccer team finished its 2013 season fourth in the Dulles district standings, which at that time had Tuscarora, Potomac Falls and Briar Woods occupying the top three spots respectively. Now with Tuscarora, Potomac Falls and Briar Woods out of the Dulles District the Pride has designs on the top spot with nine starters returning this season including: three seniors (Joey Temme in net, forward Paul Conteh and defender Stephen Hrebenach); Six juniors (midfielder/defender Will Giessler, midfielder Jonathan Martinez, midfielder/forward Franklyn Cortez, midfielder TJ Sample, midfielder Tyler Frank and defender Sean Shu).
Six players move up from the boys soccer JV squad including senior forward Rubin Owusu, junior forward Ever Henriquez, sophomores defender Remi Bernard, sophomore midfielder Andres Villalon, sophomore defender Zach Nylund and sophomore midfielder Nick Scola. The Pride also add four very dynamic freshmen to the squad this year: defender Ryan Pyszka, midfielder Kosta Nika, midfielder/striker Giovanni Vaszquez, and midfielder Celeste Nzeza.
Coach Betsy Munson on the season ahead: “We have youth mixed with experience this year. I see us as a team that will keep improving and getting better as the season progresses.”
The Pride girls soccer team returns 12 players from last year headed by senior Natalie Perussault, who has committed to play at D1 UMass-Amherst. The other 11 players returning include three seniors (Mackenzie Kick, Megan Hannon and Chelsea Harman) four juniors (Morgan Massarelli, Taylor Zelman, Amanda Philip and Christina Carlston) and four sophomores (Abbi Fox, Kathryn Counts, Maddie Alexander and Macy Dolan).
They move up two players from JV: junior Lindsey Washington and sophomore Anna Gustavus. Heritage also had five freshman make varsity this year: Cori Carlston, Abbey Massarelli, Emilia Missings, McKenna Demonte and Kelsey McGowen.
Ascunce on the upcoming season: “The Heritage girls varsity soccer team is hopeful to make a strong push this spring in the Dulles District with 12 returners from last season. The team’s three captains: Natalie Perussault, Megan Hannon and Mackenzie Kick have been playing together on varsity since their freshman year and are hoping to make a run in the play-offs. Natalie will help the team by leading the offense with goals and assists, Megan will help by controlling the midfield, and Mackenzie Kick will help by locking down the defensive unit. The team is looking forward to having Amanda Philip back in the defense after she suffered a knee injury which kept her from playing her sophomore year. This year’s team has several new players including five freshmen who will be fighting for a position in a starting role. Last year’s team suffered several injuries seven of which were out for an extended period of time. This year the team has worked hard during their off-season in hopes to stay injury free.”
The Pride Baseball team is anchored by seniors pitcher/3B Zack Hopeck and pitcher/shortstop Nick Fuhrmann. They also return seniors: Austin Wood (outfielder) and Tyler Richards (1B/DH); junior 2nd baseman/shortstop Jack Howard; and sophomore catcher Chad Koehler.
Junior outfielder Ben Taylor transferred from Tuscarora. They have five players moving up from JV: junior pitcher/outfielder Matt Baer; sophomores Carsten Wahl (pitcher/outfielder), Ryan Studebaker (pitcher/2B), Brent Smith (pitcher/1B/DH)and Brandon Keiper (Pitcher/3B). They also had one freshman make the team in second baseman/shortstop Patrick Tyree .
Coach Price on his standouts:”We expect big years from our seniors, especially on the mound with Zack Hopeck and Nick Fuhrmann.”
Price on the upcoming season: “We have high expectations for the season. We have our sights set on a Dulles District title, Conference 21 title, and a 3rd straight trip to Regionals. We also want to advance in the region and we believe we have the pitching to compete at that level and extend our season into June, hopefully States!”
The Pride softball team returns one senior, Natalie Ford, this season. Besides Ford the roster is comprised of four juniors (Taylor Collins, Sarah Goodman, Samantha Meyers and Kendal Steinbauer); six sophomores (Kelsea Champ, Allyson Cloninger, Melinda Gallagher, Kylie James, Courtney Shea and Kaly Winslow) and one freshman (Emily McCarty).
Dugger on the season ahead: “I am really excited about varsity softball this year. We have 12 quality players this season. Although we are a young team with only one senior (Ford) and a number of new additions to the varsity roster, we have had a really good preseason and look for a good start to the season. We are all looking forward to the season beginning.”
The Pride boys lacrosse team is looking to avenge last season’s down year. Here are the top returning players and expected standouts: seniors attacker Ryan Poland and goalie Louie Pano; junior midfielder Mark Carlin; and sophomore defender Tyler Daily. There are also many players either moving up from JV last year or swinging that will be vital to their success.
Coach Choppy Burke on this upcoming season: “I am excited to welcome home two of the more decorated members of the Pride lacrosse family. Zak Burkhard and Dean Stambules will be in their first seasons as our JV coaches and help with varsity. They are excited to work with all the players in the program, and to help us to get back to being the team we all want to be. The season will be another good season in a strong district. We play in the Dulles District with teams that made the State (Dominion), and Regional Lacrosse tournaments (Loudoun County and Woodgrove).”
The Pride girls lacrosse team is looking to compete in the Dulles District this year after going 3-10 overall and 2-8 in the district. As they return 10 players they will expect seniors Jorden Gunessever and Katie Lynch to anchor the team.
Other seven returning players are four juniors — Ashley Silvernale (midfielder), Caroline Kinsella (attacker), Jillian Cesard (midfielder and attacker) and Ashlyn Brown (defender and goalie); and three sophomores — Esther Beauchemin (midfielder), Katie Donnelly (defender and goalie), and Cayley McGuire (defender).
They also add eight new players this season in junior Caris Giessler (defender and attacker); sophomores Sofia Kellogg (defender and attacker), Sabrina Lillard (attacker), Arianna Mohseni (midfielder) and Sarah Thorpe (attacker and goalie); and freshma Nicole Gumbiner (defender and attacker), Molly Rich (attacker) and Amanda White (attacker).
Greening has brought a new culture to the team and he explains it this way: “Our slogan for the year is ‘LAX PRIDE’. We aim to encourage pride in individual growth and development as a player, team unity, and school spirit. Our strategy is to have a strong defense as the foundation for our team. If we can stop other teams from scoring, we will always have a chance to win. This is a young team with six players new to the sport. In many ways this will be a learning year. We are going to set realistic, achievable goals for ourselves as individuals and for the team as a whole and focus on improving in every category throughout the year.”
Also Greening on expected standouts: “Two seniors, Jorden Gunessever and Katie Lynch, will anchor the team. We also have two young players, Cayley McGuire and Esther Beauchemin (both sophomores) who will play important roles on defense and offence respectively. I also see Ashley Silvernale and Jillian Cesard making some scoring contributions.”
The Pride boys tennis team looks to compete with five seniors returning this season. The five returning seniors are Chris Fabian, Ricky Harrell, Jack Miller, Josh Smallwood and Oliver Stayrook. They also return four sophomores: Tanner Carlat, Jason Rosenthal, Reece Stone and Alex Whitehouse. This year they add five freshman to the team: Michael Bullar, Ryan Harrell, Alex Krueger, Surya Polina and Jack Ray.
Coach Erin Kozikowski on this upcoming season and standouts: “I am very excited for the Spring 2014 season. I am looking forward to being a part of the new conference and playing schools within the county that we have not been able to play for a couple years. I have five returning starters from last season, along with some promising new freshman and other returning players that have strengthened their game. I expect the five returning starters to be standouts (as for two of them it will be their fourth year starting) and some promising freshman who have made the starting line-up.”
The Pride girls tennis team coached by Cathleen Gough returns seven players headed by senior Alexandra Menefee. The other six returning players are; Lyna Lam (junior), Katie Lee (junior), Kelly Mullin (sophomore), Jackie Monroy (sophomore), Swati Perepa (sophomore), Megan Kozlowski (sophomore). They also add freshmen to the team this year including Mici Cummings, Payton Farmer, Cassidy Harrilal, Claire Peters, Rebecca Simpson.
Coach Gough on the season coming up:”We have a fairly new varsity team this year. Even though we are returning seven players, only three of the seven were consistently in the top 6 varsity players last spring. There is a lot of new, young talent that will be great as our team grows. We are becoming a more well-rounded team.”
And Gough on expected standouts: “After only one loss last spring, Alexandra Menefee will climb the ladder this year from No. 4 to either 1 or 2. This will be a challenge for her, however she is a strong and determined player. Lyna Lam and Kelly Mullin will return to the top 6. Jackie Monroy, Swati Perepa and Rebecca Simpson show promise within the varsity team.”
Spencer will preview the Pride track and field team as the weather warms up and the athletes get out on the track.
Spencer DuPuis is sophomore at Heritage High School in Leesburg, Va.