HHS 2020-2021 Varsity Captains Share Their Plans and Preparations

Submitted by Elexa Reiss

From summer league sports being canceled to Holliston High School fields reopening, there were many ups and downs for athletes during this corona-vacation. So much is still unknown. I checked in with my fellow upcoming senior athletes to see what they have been doing while preparing for their potential upcoming season.

Fall Sports

For the fall season, I reached out to Girls Varsity Soccer Captain Adeline Capobianco and Boys Varsity Football Captain Teddy Ratcliffe.

Fall (Boys Football and Girls Soccer)

Teddy Ratcliffe (Football Captain 2020-2021)

  1. How are you staying in shape for your upcoming season?

With all the restrictions and closings, it’s definitely been hard to stay in shape for my upcoming football season, but I have definitely made the most of it. Following the guidelines, I’ve been getting up early and working out in small groups on open fields. For lifting, I set up a miniature gym in my basement, and have tried to evenly workout my different muscle groups. Eating is also a big contribution to staying in shape, and I have made sure I can stay on top of eating healthy because nothing has affected my ability to eat right.

  • If fans are not allowed to come to the games, how do you feel like that will affect your experience?

If fans are not able to attend our football games, I would be unhappy because the red sea has always been a huge part of our games. There are always many fans cheering us on, and I believe that they are definitely helpful to us. Although, I do think that we still would be able to definitely succeed. We have fought through a lot of adversity in our program, and this would just be another obstacle that we would find our way around. Also, I know that we would still have fans cheering us on from their homes.

  • What have you done individually to improve your game?

Individually, I have worked hard, both mentally and physically, in preparation for my upcoming season. I have worked on my weaknesses physically by trying to improve the muscles I need most. I also have been looking at my playbook and studying all our plays and defenses. 

  • What have you been most disappointed by in terms of how your sports season/ school year ended?

Thankfully, I wasn’t in a sport when the school closed, and I can’t imagine how disappointed students-athletes involved in spring sports, who worked so hard the entire year in preparation for their sport, were when their seasons were canceled. The thing I am most disappointed with is having no access to a real weight room. Lifting after school was not only for getting stronger and better, but I also loved working out, and bonding with my friend’s. School was also not as much fun online compared to the regular classrooms. 

  • What are you looking most forward to for your season?

The thing I look forward to the most for my season is just playing and working hard with my teammates every day. There’s a special bond in the locker room and on the field that can’t be seen anywhere else. I have made all my friends throughout my football years, and I will always have a special connection with them. Also, I look forward to finishing off our last season together–the right way. 

  • What are your plans for post-graduation?

My plans post-graduation are to attend college, and whether or not I want to play football is still undecided. Right now, I am not ruling college football out because it’ll depend if I end up wanting to play and if it’ll help me. My major is also undecided, but I would consider majoring in something that involves either math or construction.

  • How have you been keeping in touch with your teammates?

As a captain, it is our job to inform our teammates about everything that is going on with our program. We’ve been touching base with everybody and making sure they’re up to date on everything that is happening. We have also just been talking in our Facebook chat just to keep in touch and talk for fun. We have had Zoom meetings as well, where we can gather a lot of information from our coaches. 

Addie Capobianco (Soccer Captain 2020-2021)

  1. How are you staying in shape for your upcoming season?

Since the start of quarantine, I have had a lot of time on my hands. The process of getting in shape before your upcoming season is always a lot of work but totally worth it.  I have been trying to run every other day, do interval running, go on walks with my family, and go to the field as much as possible! Running for me in my opinion is the best way to get in shape for my season.

  • If fans are not allowed to come to the games, how do you feel like that will affect your experience?

Fans are what bring excitement and joy to games. They are what put a smile on my face after every exciting move or goal that happens. I love looking in and seeing all my friends and family in the crowd. If fans are not allowed to come it will definitely affect the atmosphere of the whole game, but it will have to be something we get used to.

  • What have you done individually to improve your game?

Since the start of high school when I tried out for soccer and made the team as a freshman I have learned so much and grown as a player. I have put time and effort into learning from all of my upperclassmen teammates and now being a senior I hope I can do the same. I went to all camps and captains’ practices to help me grow individually and keep me in shape.

  • What have you been most disappointed by in terms of how your sports season/ school year ended?

Not being able to be in school for the last days of my junior year was definitely hard. All of us really looked forward to being able to enjoy all the fun activities that came at the end of junior year like step-up day and prom. 

  1. What are you looking most forward to for your season?

I can’t wait for my upcoming season. I’m so excited to be able to be a leader to my teammates and get to play with them all again. It feels like forever since last season and I can’t wait to get back on the field with all of them. I also am very excited about meeting all the new players that are coming in.

  1. What are your plans for post-graduation?

After I graduate I want to become a nurse. It has been something I have always wanted to do my whole life. After seeing all the heroes including nurses that helped many during the pandemic, it has made me even more excited to follow my dreams. 

  • How have you been keeping in touch with your teammates?

Due to the coronavirus, we haven’t been able to do much, but we do make it work. We started off by doing online Zoom workouts every week getting to know everyone and doing a workout. We now are able to go to the field and start to do real captains practices. I look forward to doing more as the summer goes on.

Winter Sports

Girls Varsity Basketball Captain and Boys Varsity Hockey Captain Nico Quatromoni share their thoughts on their upcoming season.

Winter (Boys Hockey and Girls Basketball)

Nico Quatromoni

  1. How are you staying in shape for your upcoming season?

To stay in shape for this upcoming season I’ve done a lot of individual work focusing on improving my game and getting it to the best that it can be. I have worked a lot on increasing my cardio and strengthening my lower body. As a team we have done some off ice workouts, and with the rinks slowly opening back up, we’ve been trying to find some days where we can get the team on the ice and work on our on-ice game. 

  •  If fans are not allowed to come to the games, how do you feel like that will affect your experience?

If fans are not allowed to come to the games this season, the whole atmosphere will definitely be different. I love it when fans come to the games and cheer when there’s a big hit or I make a big save. It definitely gets the adrenaline pumping more, and with there possibly being no fans allowed to attend games, I think the whole high school hockey experience would be different.

  1. What have you done individually to improve your game?

Personally I have watched a lot of films last season observing what I had done wrong in games so I can learn from those mistakes and not make them during the upcoming season. Also with the rinks opening up, I have been doing on ice as well as some off ice training with a special goalie coach. When training in the summer with my goalie coach he really works on the weakest points in your game, trying to strengthen them as much as possible before the season, which I think is extremely important.

  1. What have you been most disappointed by in terms of how your sports season/ school year ended?

What I’ve been most disappointed about was the way the last season ended with me getting suspended and not being allowed to play in the playoff game. It was an awful feeling working so hard all season and not being able to play in the playoffs. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to redeem myself this upcoming season and put the ending of last season in the past for good.

  1. What are you looking most forward to for your season?

What I most look forward to at the start of the season isn’t just the playing part, it’s being around the team every day laughing and always cracking jokes. In my opinion, the hockey locker is one of the best parts about playing hockey. It feels like there nothing else in the world matters, it’s just everyone having a good time.

  1. What are your plans for post-graduation?

My plans post-graduation aren’t anything special, I plan on attending college and playing club hockey at whatever school I end up at.

  • How have you been keeping in touch with your teammates?

I’ve been in touch with my teammates almost every day. We all love texting in our team group chat making jokes and just talking, I think that this is really good for our team chemistry. As a team, we’ve been having some street hockey games as well as some off ice workouts preparing for the upcoming season.

MaryKate Ward ( Basketball Captain 2020-2021)

  1.  How are you staying in shape for your upcoming season?

Staying in shape is very tough for the upcoming seasons and finding the time and motivation to eat right and workout. I’ve been working out daily using YouTube videos and CrossFit workouts and trying different methods of working out to switch it up; some include CrossFit, yoga, running circuits and more.

  • If fans are not allowed to come to the games, how do you feel like that will affect your experience?

Having no fans for games will definitely be an adjustment. At big games with tough competitors, the fans sometimes help you to push and fight a little harder with their cheering. It may be easier to focus because you know you won’t have as many eyes on you but will be weird to not see friends and family at games to support.

      3. What have you done individually to improve your game?

Individually to improve my game I’ve been working out a lot and eating the right foods. I’ve kept myself on a schedule to make it easier to keep working out and eating right… Every morning I have a fruit smoothie and every lunch I have eggs and fruit or toast and fruit (some sort of variation of that). I’ve also been shooting in my driveway to keep practicing for a possible upcoming season.

4. What have you been most disappointed by in terms of how your sports season/school year ended?

 I’ve been most disappointed how I didn’t see anything of this coming and I expected to be able to finish my junior year surrounded by friends and to be in school, instead of being in quarantine due to a national pandemic. It’s already been very tough missing summer leagues and camps and hanging out with friends but keeping hope and staying positive has helped out.

       5. What are you looking most forward to for your season?

In the upcoming season, I’m most looking forward to being with and playing with my teammates. Basketball is a sport where we are such a close family that it would be tough not to have a senior year of it. I’m looking forward to senior night and team cheers and going out to eat with my teammates. Anytime together–even bus rides– makes high school so much more memorable.

       6. What are your plans for post-graduation?

Post-graduation I plan on attending the University of Connecticut to play soccer studying neurobiology, chemistry, or biology. I will keep up with basketball in my free time because it’s such a fun sport and I’ve been playing it since middle school!

         7. How have you been keeping in touch with your teammates?

To keep in touch with my teammates we’ve been FaceTiming and texting a lot. Few practices at the fields and social distancing events that have been held have also been good chances to see and hang out with my teammates as well. 

Spring Sports

Kevin Balewitz (Baseball 2020-2021)

  1.      How are you staying in shape for your upcoming season?

A bunch of my friends and I get up at 6 am, 2-4 times a week, to get in some fieldwork, or to run in sandpits over in Bellingham. It’s been thought with all the restrictions, but we’ve been able to cope with it.

  • If fans are not allowed to come to the games, how do you feel like that will affect your experience?

 It would definitely make my experience less enjoyable. Having fans just makes sports more exciting and fun.

  • What have you done individually to improve your game?

My summer coaches put together an independent league with other coaches after our season got canceled. So we found a way to work around Corona, but still are following the guidelines. 

  • What have you been most disappointed by in terms of how your sports season/school year ended?

I’m just disappointed that the players/students aren’t getting a say in anything that affects them. I think if we all feel comfortable going to school or playing a sport, then we should be allowed to.

  • What are you looking most forward to for your season?

I’m just looking forward to playing a high school sport again. I missed football and hockey last year because I tore my ACL. So I was excited for baseball in the spring, but that got canceled. It’s been a while since I put on a Holliston uniform, and I just really hope we get to have all 3 seasons.

  • What are your plans for post-graduation?

I’m hoping to continue playing baseball at the next level.

  • How have you been keeping in touch with your teammates?

I’ve been keeping in touch with them every day. We always try to find ways to get some work in, without going against the guidelines.

Olivia Givens (Lacrosse Captain 2020-2021)

  1.      How are you staying in shape for your upcoming season?

With the absence of my junior lacrosse season, I have been diligent to make sure that I am prepared and in shape for my senior year. As an athlete, I find it very important to be well-conditioned and fit year-round. I have used this time to attempt to replicate my activity levels during the season. Whether that be two-hour practices and games, or sprints and other conditioning we do in a season. It’s commonly known that while out of season, players build muscle, and then use that during their sport. Without having games every week, I have been able to lift through the spring and keep building my strength. Physical fitness aside, in a sport like lacrosse, stick work, and hand-eye coordination is as important as anything. Keeping a stick in my hand is crucial all year round, but especially right now.

  • If fans are not allowed to come to the games, how do you feel like that will affect your experience?

Although having a crowd in the stand is helpful in any sport, the uncertainty we are facing right now makes this issue seem minuscule. Seeing friends and family watch me and my teammate’s play is an amazing feeling, but right now I am willing to sacrifice that feeling for a chance to play one more season at HHS. I have seen this team pull through some of the toughest games when traveling far, with virtually no fans. I know that the cheers from the stands can’t be something we rely on as a team to play our best. My experience has much more to do with playing the sport and being with my team than having an audience to watch.

  • What have you done individually to improve your game?

Individually I have taken this time to really take care of my body. Going into this season I was struggling with a knee injury and was prepared to just push through it for tryouts. When I got over the sad truth that my season was not happening I really took care of my knee and have been able to run distances, and sprints that were not possible before. Aside from healing, I have spent a lot of time watching old films all the way back to my freshman year, because I miss playing so much. Like I said before, keeping a stick in my hand, and trying out drills I can do on my own have been a lifesaver. 

  • What have you been most disappointed by in terms of how your sports season/school year ended?

I think I speak for all spring athletes when I say that losing one-fourth of your high school sport is devastating. Personally I am extremely close with this year’s seniors on my team. They took me under their wing as a freshman, and have been playing with me since I was a kid. I was really excited to have one last season with them and watch their amazing talents. I was really disappointed to miss out on a whole year of team bonding and chemistry. I know that all of my teammates will do their due diligence to stay prepared for next year, but being together as a team really makes a difference.

  • What are you looking most forward to for your season?

I am extremely excited for next year’s season. First and foremost, just playing lacrosse in an HHS uniform can’t come any sooner. But truly, I can’t wait to see what the team is going to look like. Essentially, we will have two whole new grades of talent, that have never played high school lacrosse before. Last year’s freshman will all of a sudden be juniors. There is so much potential if we work hard. 

  • What are your plans for post-graduation?

Post-graduation, I will be going to college for higher education. Hopefully, if my school offers it I will be playing club sports there.

  • How have you been keeping in touch with your teammates?

For the first few months of quarantine, my coach set up some awesome Zoom calls weekly, and we all had our own groups. We used group chats and video calls to stay in touch while completing some skill and conditioning challenges that were set. This was really cool because we posted our workout and lacrosse videos on Youtube and interacted that way, giving each other tips. I often use our Facebook group to give the team information from coach and post updates. This past week we even played in a tournament which felt amazing to be back on the field with some teammates. 

Go Panthers!!

 254 total views,  2 views today

The Publishers

Categories