2013-07-10 / Sports

It’s Never Too Early To Look Ahead

Counting the days to the fall season
By Stephen Schweikhart


Samantha Heanue and Will Moss are two of many Blue Devil Class of 2014 athletes. (Credits: Heanue -- Scott Warren; Moss -- Stephen Schweikhart) Samantha Heanue and Will Moss are two of many Blue Devil Class of 2014 athletes. (Credits: Heanue -- Scott Warren; Moss -- Stephen Schweikhart) It’s only July, but oh how I already long for the beginning of the fall season.

As of today, there are five weeks and five days to go before fall practices start in earnest. Sixteen days later, on September 4th, the boys’ soccer and the girls’ tennis teams open the Haldane slate with matches against Poughkeepsie and Lakeland respectively.

Yes, I am counting the days.

While summer brings a somewhat needed respite, the down time wears thin pretty quickly. Truth be told, it is fun to cover Haldane athletics—players play, coaches coach, parents watch. It’s a simple formula, and it never gets old. Right now, my trusted Canon and I are going through withdrawals, clinging to the memories of last year, while anticipating new ones on the horizon. Fifty-six days to go.

When the fall season starts, there will be no shortage of candidates to provide the fabric for the stories you will read in this paper. The Class of 2014 is loaded with talented student athletes, all capable of special things. This year’s Senior class has always been a sports oriented group, and this fall begins their chance to shine.

For an example, look no further than the girls’ soccer team. This year, 12 of the 19 rostered players will be seniors—Mary Callaghan, Brianna DiFrancesco, Giana Grandetti, Jess Harrison, Samantha Heanue, Emma Jacoby, Isabel Jimenez, Kate Lahey, Sam Lisikatos, Nicole Pidala, Cali Schweikhart, and Sarah Warren. For many years, they have donned the royal and white, and now they look to make their final mark. I can’t help but picture Harrison making one of her perfect passes; Lahey scoring off her left foot; Jacoby, Heanue and Lisikatos relentlessly running down attackers and Cali making that diving save. September 5th against Nyack can’t get here quickly enough.

As the football team goes through their summer workouts and camps, the seniors on the squad fight their way through their last preseason, all in an effort to make their final campaign a memorable one. My Canon anxiously awaits George Fibble making one of his athletic interceptions and returning it for a touchdown, or Ryan “Radar” Moran blowing up an opponents’ rush up the middle, and Will Moss taking a hand-off, getting outside and darting down the side line. September 12th needs to get here fast.

Will John Rotando score another crucial penalty kick goal for this year’s boys’ soccer squad? Will Jack McCann control the midfield and Jay Marchese provide more late game heroics for Ahmed Dwidar’s squad? We can only hope there are more late-season celebrations in our future. We get to see starting September 4th against Poughkeepsie.

When the volleyball team hits the court this season, the lens will have a chance to find some new subjects. There will be plenty of opportunities to catch returning starter Katie Cunningham’s kills, but there will be critical roles for a number of other seniors. Maya Curto, Sara Chirico and Shauna Ricketts all will have ample opportunity to make their mark on the school’s most successful sports program (no offense the girls’ basketball team.) On September 9th, John Jay-East Fishkill visits the Haldane gym to open the season. Tick-tock.

Maybe there will be a chance to capture a Tess Hansler forehand down the line when the tennis team opens against Lakeland, or John Hughes hotfooting through the countryside for the cross-country team on September 10th against Pawling.

I can’t believe it’s only July 10th.

So, as we go through the paces of our summer routines, Haldane’s athletes, especially those due to graduate next June, have begun the rehearsals for the final curtain call. Until this point, the end of their high school season was always followed by the words, “I can’t wait until next year.” For the Class of 2014, there is no next year, everything suddenly finite.

In a perfect world, we would speed to the start of the season and then have it all slow down to a crawl. Unfortunately, it’s more like any concert or show—the curtain can’t go up soon enough, and it comes down far too quickly.

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