by Sarah Slavin
As state tournaments begin, sports fans are taking notice of the WHS soccer program. According to nj.com, the boys team is ranked ninth in the state and the girls team is ranked third as of press time.
Senior captain Loukas Carayannopoulos credits the boys’ success to an influx of experienced juniors and seniors. He also said the coaches are pushing them harder this year.
The girls team also consists solely of juniors and seniors. Junior Elizabeth Skoletsky said the team’s strong defense is a huge part of its success. “We have the best defense in the state,” Skoletsky said.
These teams have been pushing themselves since summer practices began. Senior Walter Peregrim said last year’s county loss to Scotch Plains-Fanwood stung. “Last year we got the first heat in counties, so we didn’t really think we had to do that much to win,” he said. “But now we know what it’s like to lose to Scotch Plains and we really want to win against them.”
The fall sports success at WHS is not limited to soccer (see fall sports feature, Page 4). Seven out of nine fall sport teams are ranked in the top 20 in the state, according to nj.com. Athletic Director Ms. Sandra Mamary said this success is due to the number of high-level athletes.
“I think a big part of it is when you have three classes back to back that are pretty decent athletically—last year’s senior class, this year’s senior class, and the current junior class,” Mamary said. “Those were three solid classes of athletes.”