Spring sports hope to grow and succeed


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Junior Betina Kreiman reaches to hit a tennis ball during a match against Natick, Monday, April 10

Gavi Berkman

As spring sports get into full swing, North’s athletes and coaches are looking forward to another season of athletic success and personal growth. 

According to English teacher Katherine Mannelly, the head coach of the girls’ tennis team, the success of the season boils down to strong leadership. “I think we have a really strong senior leadership team that I think are going to be fantastic at setting the tone for the season,” she said.

These seniors, Mannelly suggests, will help the team to achieve their goal of having a successful state tournament and improving as a whole over the course of the season.

Health and wellness teacher Lauren Baugher, the head coach of girls’ softball, also believes that senior leadership will be important for the success of her team. “Senior leadership is going to help create or maintain that good environment,” she said. “I think the kids are willing to work really hard to help sustain it.”

The softball captains, seniors Caitlin Conroy, Brianna LeBlanc, and Maya Tuozzolo, have been “doing a great job of leading the team and leading the program,” according to Baugher. 

Leadership will also be an important factor in the boys’ lacrosse team’s season. “We have a new coach this year, and there are no assistant coaches yet so the captains have to play a bigger leadership role as well as a playing role,” said junior Hayden Willen, a boys’ lacrosse captain along with seniors Kyle Goodwin and Matt Paquette.

James Greeley, the head coach of baseball, is also looking forward to seeing how the seniors will impact the team. “We have a good mix of young players and seniors, and I’m just excited to see how these guys will come together as a team,” he said. 

In addition to athletic excellence, North’s spring sports teams continue to value sportsmanship, community, and positivity.

“Our main goal is always just to have fun,” said math teacher Selena Youngstrom, a head coach of unified track. “It’s not really all about competitions, more just cheering each other on and being the best athlete and person you can be. It’s about their own personal improvement.”

To allow for this growth, senior Kayla Boggs, a captain of unified track along with seniors Georgia Appel, Yalda Hedayat, Eric Hoagland, Ileana Miller, and Greta Wilborg, wants to create an environment where team members can be social with each other. “We want everyone to be comfortable with getting out of their shell and communicating with people,” she said.

“I’m really excited to increase motivation, leadership, cooperation, and get to know everyone on the team better,” she added. 

Baugher is also looking forward to seeing her players develop. “I’m excited to see how much they grow as players, but more importantly as people and as teammates,” she said. 

Jackson is working to maintain this culture of community in North athletics. “It’s a process that starts with our coaches,” he said, “The coaches are on the ground with our student athletes, so they know what the pillars are. It starts with how they operate day to day with our student athletes.” 

According to Jackson, the main priority of every season is the well-being of the student athletes. 

“I’m always looking forward to watching our student athletes grow throughout the season,” he said. “I go into each season with the same mindset. I just want them to have a really good experience.”