By Jackson Soper, Writer
Boys Varsity Basketball
Caleb has always been a quiet kid and not very aggressive on the basketball court. But this year he really stepped it up and when given the confidence he showed what he can really do and was the second best player on the team. His best game was against Highland where he scored 16 points and 10 assists. When all eyes were on Jackson Soper, Caleb stepped up and made a huge difference. Caleb will be attending SUNY Cortland in the fall.
Being one of the only players to come back from the Section IX championship team, it was hard for Jackson to adjust with the players’ skill gaps. The team was filled with first time varsity players and seniors who have been riding the bench throughout high school. He has to really step up as a leader because most of the kids were transitioning from JV to varsity and it is a completely different game. Jackson’s favorite moment from high school was the Section Semi-finals against Minisink. He ended up with 20 points and a couple of assists and proved so many people wrong that New Paltz could beat the number one seed. Jackson will be attending the National University of Ireland at Galway to play for the regional Irish team, the Titans and has hopes of one day playing on the national team.
Boys Varsity Lacrosse
Damion is a captain on the varsity lacrosse team this year and has really improved from the start of the season to the end of the season. Considering this is only his fourth year playing, he has shown a lot of improvement compared to the kids who have played six or seven years. He always asks the other captains who have played longer to see what he can do better on the defensive end, especially because the team has really been struggling with defense this year. He stepped up as a leader this year, which they really needed because most of the captains were offensive players. Damion will be attending Dutchess Community College, but he will be playing for the SUNY New Paltz club team.
Bas was one of the better players in the league and excelled in all aspects on offense. Bas was the leading scorer for the team, ending with 24 goals this season. He has been on the team since he was a sophomore. He is a very crafty player and not afraid to let you know if he scored on you. He was a very enthusiastic teammate and takes the game more seriously than anyone else on the team. He is a coach’s dream because of the passion he plays with. Bas will be attending SUNY Purchase playing alongside his best friend Jake.
Jake was more of a quiet captain, but he was always there if anyone needed help on the field. Even though he played long stick, he can score at will and defend the best the 845 has to offer. What Jake lacked fundamentally he made up for with his athleticism. He biggest improvement and goal this year was to become a leader. He was a vocal, but calm and collected leader on the field. He learned a lot about putting himself in the younger kids’ shoes that aren’t on his skill level. Jake’s best game was the section finals game his junior year against Red Hook. He pulled off a defensive move called a “Rusty Gate” where the defensive player swings his stick behind his back to strip the ball from the offensive player. Jake will attending SUNY Purchase with his teammate Bas Keesen.
Where do I even start? If he really wanted to he could play any position on the field, including goalie. He was most useful for the team on defense because of his strategy and playmaking ability. Don’t let his height fool you, he is the most aggressive player on the field, and oftentimes the strongest. He saved 50% of the shots as a goalie with 93 saves in 8 games. Cole will be attending Dutchess Community College with his teammate Damion and also playing with the SUNY New Paltz club lacrosse team.
Girls Varsity Lacrosse
Ava was captain this year even though she was a junior. Ava is gifted on the offensive end, scoring in a variety of ways that poses a threat to any defense. Ava’s favorite moment from this season was the first home game against Saugerties when New Paltz came back from an eight-point deficit to fall short only by one goal. The girls really played as a team and got it together at half time to slowly start to chip away at the lead. They were down 7-1 at half time and Ava scored four out of the six shots she took that game and had a couple of assists to lead the comeback. Ava is a junior and still looking at colleges and is undecided.
The captains decided that Kendall was the most improved player being that this was her first year playing lacrosse. Picking up a new sport is never easy especially with a technical game like lacrosse. She is a strong overall athlete and has put in the hard work to improve her skills over the season. She is a junior that plays defense and is still undecided about college. She is looking forward to her senior year on the team.
Maddy was one of the captains this year. It will be her final year playing lacrosse. Her favorite moment from this season was a loss against Goshen. They had another close come back, coming back from six down to lose by one. They came together at half time and played as hard as possible. They were happy even though they lost because they played so well together. She had a couple of assists and goals to propel the girls to the close comeback. She loves the team so much because of the way they come together under adversity. Maddy will be attending SUNY Plattsburgh next year.
Girls Varsity Track
Olivia is the captain of the track team and has been on it since freshman year. Her main event is hurdles and the 100-meter. She is built to be a track athlete with her long legs and confidence in herself. Her coach asked her to step up and mentor some of the younger athletes. It was a little hard getting to know everyone since the track team is so large. Olivia runs track year round (indoor and outdoor track). Last year, as a junior she qualified for states in her event. She will attending SUNY Plattsburgh next year.
Featured Photo: Via MaxPreps