By Alice Gerard
Several high school teams are in a rebuilding mode after a number of graduations, said Grand Island Athletic Director Jon Roth in his roundup of fall sports at the Jan. 9 Board of Education meeting.
Roth explained that, for the past three years, the Grand Island football team has been division champions. Fifteen team members graduated last spring. In addition, several team members, including the quarterback, were injured.
“This put them way down in the league,” Roth said.
Girls’ soccer lost 14 team members to graduation last spring.
“They had four consecutive championships,” Roth said. “Last year, they were not only league champions, they were Section VI champions. I think that 12 of (the graduates) are playing college soccer at this time. We are in a rebuilding mode.”
Roth described the boys’ soccer team as young, with lower expectations. “But, in the playoffs, they knocked off Williamsville South, the No. 1-ranked team in Western New York. They went on to the Section VI finals, and they lost a tight game to the second-ranked team, Niagara Wheatfield.
Student-athletes who spoke at the meeting emphasized the experience of playing and forming relationships with their teams.
Volleyball player Jackson Frye said, “I’ve been playing with the guys every day. I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had. I can’t wait to play beach volleyball with them this summer.”
Volleyball player Madeline Cordero said, “I’ve had such a great experience over the past four years on the varsity team. So many memories were made that I will never forget. I’ve learned so many things from my coaches, and I am so grateful for their assistance and dedication to the game. No matter who the coach was, we were all family. I made so many bonds with people that I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t play volleyball.”