Soccer Teams Compete in NYC

The U19 soccer team in action last weekend. (Photo provided)

After a long drought of not playing games, the Black Rock/ Northwood boys soccer teams traveled to Manhattan this past weekend to play a series of games against NYC-area opponents. The U19 team played against Barcelona Academy (NY), Westchester Flames, and Manhattan SC. The U18 team was scheduled to play three games but only ended up playing two against World Class FC and Real Jersey. 

The U19 over their course of three games finished the weekend 1-1-1. Their first game was against Barcelona Academy (NY) and tied 1-1. The goal scorer was Alvaro Garcia Pascual ‘21. The next game was against the Westchester Flames with a final of 7-1. The goal scorers of the game were Garcia Pascual (3), Slater Loffredo ‘22, Gian Franco Rodriguez Straccia ‘21, Eduardo Guerra Alonso ‘21, and Arnezha Astwood ‘21Their last game of the weekend was against Manhattan FC and was a 1-2 loss. The single goal was scored by Titouan Desveaux ‘21 

For the U18’s, their first game that was supposed to be played was a win by forfeit. Their second game of the weekend was against World Class FC and was a 1-4 loss. The goal was scored by Liam Doyle ‘22. Their last game of the weekend was played against Real Jersey with a 0-4 loss.  

The soccer team had been working hard on the indoor turf field and in the fitness center longing for games. This was a great opportunity for the team to travel and get some games in for their Black Rock season. The boys and their coaches are looking forward scheduling more games in the coming weeks and through spring break 

Girls’ Hockey Heads Off Campus for Series of Games 

Members of the Girls’ Hockey Team celebrates a goal in the 2019-20 season. (Photo provided)

The Northwood Girls’ Hockey team left campus yesterday to play a series of games over the next few weeks in March. The last time the girls’ team has played games was in the second week of January 

Over these next few weeks, Northwood’s Girl’s Hockey Team will face some of the topranked teams in the nation, includingHoneyBaked, NAHA, Jr. Flyers, Selects Academy and many more. Between games the girls will go to their homes or stay with a teammate and take classes remotely. 

The girls began the month by dominating play against Nichols yesterday and winning 5-1. Goals scored by Marina Alvarez ’21, Ella Fesette ’22 (two), Ana Pavlaslova ’23, and Madison Lawerence ’23, who netted her first ever Northwood goal. 

The girls are currently in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they will face off against Selects Academy (ranked #8 in the nation) on Friday morning at 11:00am, and Friday afternoon against NAHA (ranked #5 in the nation) at 6:15pm. On Saturday they face off against HoneyBaked (ranked #6 in the nation) at 2:00pm and from there depending on their record they can compete in the playoffs for some more hockey. 

The following weekend, the girls will be making their way to Syracuse the weekend to play against Valley Eagles and possibly the Jr. Flyers (ranked #12 in the nation) for a solid weekend series.  

The weekend of March 20th the Huskies will be in Rochester, NY to face off against Selects Academy in a series of games against their intrastate rival 

Finally, the girls will end their run of games in Buffalo the weekend of March 27th playing a few games against Nichols School. 

Race report Whiteface series 

From February 4th to 10th, Whiteface held men’s and women’s divisional FIS series and Northwood athletes have participated in every race. 

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Our FIS men’s team began the series with a GS on the 4th. Rowen Norfolk ‘22 placed 5th and 4th second race, Hugh Dempsey ‘19 placed 4th and 3rd, Ben DeGirolamo ‘21 placed 2nd both races and Andrew Van Slyke 20 won both races.  

Next up was a Men’s and Women’s slalom on the 5th. Norah Dempsey ‘21 placed 2nd and Benni Caloro  ‘21 won both races. Van Slyke placed 2nd 

There was a Men’s GS on the 8th and a SG on the 9th. DeGirolamo finished 3rd first race and Van Slyke placed 5th and 4thOn the 9th, Jake Reynolds ‘19 placed 5th and 4th, Wim Roney ‘18 placed 3rd and 2nd and Van Slyke finished 5th second race.  

The FIS women completed the series with a GS race the on the 10th. Leah DeFilippo ‘22 finished 5th second race with Karleigh Hollister ‘22 4th and Ava Day ‘21 3rd. 

Meanwhile two USSA races were also held at whiteface on the 6th and 7th. Boys were racing on the 6th and Dominick DeGuardia  24 won both races and Girls were on the 7thCaloro placed 3rd and 1st and Audrey HigginsLopez. ‘21 placed 2nd. 

This wraps up the 12 recent Whiteface races. 

The Return of Fans Will Improve Pro Sports 

A sign that reads, “We can’t wait to see you!” lights up the top of Madison Square Garden. (Photo: MSG)

In a move that looked like it would never happen, New York will soon be allowing fans to attend professional sporting events. With youth sports in limbo for so long in the state of New York, it seemed as if allowing fans to attend sporting events was far out of the question. Therefore, it came as such a shock when it was announced that as soon as February 23rd fans will be able to watch their favorite sports teams compete. Obviously, this experience is not going to be the same as it was in the past, but many people have waited almost a year for this moment.  

With Covid restrictions in place, stadiums cannot have enough fans to fill them to full capacity. The Buffalo Bills were a test run for this current format, as they previously played a home game in front of fans. The arena may look largely empty once fans are inside, but it will be a great change for viewers and attendees who finally get to experience some sense of normalcy.  

Teams will only be able to host a very small percentage of their fansMadison Square Garden, with a normal capacity of more than 18,000 fans, will only be hosting about 2,000 fans. At Barclays Center, they are very confident that this format will work. “We’re very confident in our ability to do this safely. It’s been at the forefront of our concerns all along,” John Abbamondi, the chief executive of BSE Global, the parent company of the Nets and Barclays Center, said in an interview with the New York Times. “We have a very massive facility here and we’re going to be bringing a really small percentage of our capacity.  

Fans cannot just simply buy a ticket like they used to. The process to get into the arena has got far more complicated. And the days of scalpers are over. The lastsecond decision to attend a professional sports event will have to wait until the pandemic is over. This is because testing to attend sporting events is key in ensuring the safety of all that are involved. The athletes clearly cannot interact with fans the way that they used to, as social distancing is also greatly encouraged. This is also shown greatly at Barclays Center as “All attendees will have to show proof of a negative P.C.R. test taken within 72 hours of the event, and the state’s Department of Health will have to approve each venue. Fans will also be required to remain socially distanced and wear face coverings at games.”   

Even if the comraderies of the fans sharing this experience with the players is different, the players are surely just as excited as the fans that games are no longer being played in empty arenas. The experience of hearing people in the audience adds an extra rush of adrenaline to the players. It helps them feel as if somebody is appreciating what they are doing as the ovation adds an extra level of excitement. It makes the game feel as if it is less like a job and more like it is for fun as other people are enjoying it with you. Without fans, there is no sports, so it is great that New York State is finally rewarding fans for all they do to keep sports alive. 


Hockey Teams Get Approval to Travel for Games 

After several months of struggling with safely scheduling and holding hockey games during the COVID-19 pandemic, Northwood School has finally found a solution that allows its teams to travel to games while still protecting the school’s bubble 

After months of very few games, Northwood’s hockey teams will drop the puck for games throughout March.

On Sunday, February 7, Athletic Director Mr. Gino Riffle sent players and parents an email informing them of the school’s “Two Month Plan,” which entails players from all three teams leaving campus for competitions and overnight stays but has them stay away from campus between contests. The players will go home between matches where they will continue their academic studies virtually and train on their ownDoing this allows players to travel, stay in hotels, and return without quarantining unless required to do so by their state health department. Northwood’s protocols would require students doing such travel to test twice and to quarantine for six days before returning to training, competition, and on-campus activities 

At this point in the hockey season, a typical Northwood hockey team would have played approximately fifty games, but our teams have played fewer than 10 games thus far. The new plan could see teams playing between 10-20 games before the start of spring break on March 26. 

After receiving Riffle’s email, many players shared their excitement to finally play games. Marina Alvarez ‘21 said, “I’m super excited that the school is giving us this opportunity to go home so we can play games again and get back to it. I look forward to what we have in store and to be playing against some of the most elite teams in the country over break. We are going to get to establish ourselves as a team and I can’t wait to compete together. I am not concerned about doing online school and I know that we all will be keeping up with our work.”  

Carson Hall ‘22 plays on Northwood’s Junior Team and he was thrilled with the news. “I’m excited for this opportunity to play games in the upcoming weeks as I’m sure all my teammates are,” said HallWith Covid, this year has been challenging; however, my teammates and I have stayed determined and had a goal of getting better every day on and off the ice for when opportunities such as the games in the upcoming weeks present themselves,” he saidThe team has certainly earned it and are ready and excited for this tremendous competition upcoming in the future, added Hall. 

Coaches shared the player’s excitement about the planMr. Trevor Gilligan, Head Coach of the Girls Hockey Team, said, “I am really happy for our players and the boys to have the chance to compete in games in March. I can’t commend our athletes enough in how mentally resilient they’ve been in these trying times. A full slate of competition coming up provides a great opportunity to show off the work they’ve put in on and off the ice since September. They’ve certainly earned it. 

Sports Need Fans 

(Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images)

Sports and spectators are two terms that go together. Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic started these words have started to drift apart. This at this point is getting nonsensical. People can shop in crowded grocery stores and dine indoors in many places, but parents can’t attend their children’s indoor sporting events. Many parents are missing out on a large part of their children’s upbringing which they will never be able to get back. Children usually hope that their parents are proud of their performance, but now indoor sports feel more like a chore. Parents are not allowed to be a part of something that may also bring them a lot of pride. If they are lucky, they can watch the game through a livestream but that is not the same.  

It is going to be extremely hard to grow indoor sports such as hockey and basketball if children are not motivated to get involved. It is hard for young children to be motivated if their parents can have no part. It would seem odd if they can go everywhere else with their parents in even closer proximity but once they are at a sporting event their parents can’t even be within one hundred feet of them. Most stadiums, gyms, and arenas are large enough that parents can easily distance from each other. When children are competing in sports, they are within much closer proximity to each other than parents would ever need to be when watching from the stands. There is no reason for parents to be close to each other when watching a sporting event which makes the chance at the spread of COVID extremely low. If they feel it is safe to let their children inside the building than they should be granted the same opportunity. If they choose to not attend than that is their decision, but ultimately, they should be allowed to make the choice.  

NY State Finally Allows Hockey Games 

Northwood hockey players received good news on January 31st: Essex County will allow high-risk sports, including ice hockey, to play. Mr. Gino Riffle, Athletic Director and Junior Team assistant coach, sent a mass email with the confirmation stating, “The county we are in, Essex County, released information Friday that they will allow high-risk sports to begin at the youth level on February 1st.”  

Members of the 2019-20 Northwood Girls’ Hockey team celebrate at the 2020 New York State Championships (Photo: Kara Wentzel ’22)

The news has Northwood hockey players ecstaticBeneath all the excitement many of us had questions about the fine print. Governor Cuomo stated that in order to be able to train and play games, county health departments must first approve it and provide guidelines, which came from Essex County late last weekMr. Riffle’s message indicated that the school has more work to do before games could be scheduled. “The countyhas included procedures, protocols and stipulations about playing these high-risk sports. We are working through the document and with Essex County officials to figure out what we can and cannot do based upon the guidance. We will have another update this week as we gain more clarity. 

Hockey players are left wondering what the protocols will be. We do not yet know, but we assume they pertain to spectators coming to watch and whether masks will have to be worn while playing or not. Questions remain about how it will work if Northwood wants to play teams in other counties, considering there are no teams to play in Essex County. On top of that, Husky hockey players are curious to see how thnew UK strand of COVID-19 will affect us, since it has made its way into the area.  

Behind One Husky’s Choice to Play Basketball 

Xu Li ’21 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

During the winter schedule, students choose a sport or activity to participate in from Tuesday to Friday. There are two main reasons why Xu Li ‘21 chose to join basketball team.  

Firstly, and maybe most important, students in basketball team do not need wake up early like the snowboardersDuring our first year at Northwood, Xu and I were roommates. After he chose snowboarding, he needed to wake up at 7 am and start to bring his equipment to the first floor while wearing his large snowboard boots. The noise always woke me up, which made me very mad, because I did not choose snowboarding, and I just wanted to sleep more. The second year, the roles were reversed. I chose snowboarding and sometimes the noise woke him up. After those things happenedwe decided to choose the basketball team because at least we can sleep one more hour.  

Mr. Weaver motivated the basketball team at the US Olympic Training Center in 2019 (Photo: Matthew Shanklin ’19)

Another reason Xu chose basketball was because the basketball team left school at 3pm on Fridays to go to the gym. Sometimes we played games against North Country School. Although Xu did not usually join in the game actively, he really enjoyed watching the game. When the game endedXu always asked Coach Mr. Weaver to drop us off at Starbucks or Hunan.  

That is the reason why Xu Li choose basketball at Northwoodsleeping in, watching the game, and enjoying the food. 

Northwood Alum Excited to be Back for Pro Hockey Bubble 

Cailey Hutchinson ’15 of the New York Riveters (Photo provided)

The National Womens Hockey League is squeezing a full hockey season into only two weeks. Due to COVID-19, teams traveling all over the place to play against each other did not sound like the safest idea. So, the NWHL had to figure out a safe plan to salvage a 2020-2021 season. The NHL had a bubble in Toronto over the summer to finish out the season and uphold the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was very successful, so the NWHL saw this as an opportunity to have a bubble of their ownas they compete for the Isobel Cup.  

Luckily for Northwood students the bubble is located right where we call home, Lake Placid, NY. From January 23rd to Friday February 5th, over the 2 weeks, the 6 teams in the league will play 24 games at the famous Herb Brooks Arena (where the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team beat Russia for the first time to win gold in the Miracle on Ice). This is a round-robin tournament, and the best teams will end up playing a “final four” round of games at the end to determine who will go to the championship 

Having the bubble held in Lake Placid, is not only a thrill for Northwood students but it is also super exciting for Northwood Alum Cailey Hutchinson. She is competing in the tournament for the New York Riveters and wears number 13. Cailey graduated in the class of ‘15 and then went off to The University of Maine where she played division 1 college hockey in the Hockey East conferenceCailey is not only an exceptional hockey player but she is an exceptional leader. At UMaine, she was a leader as an assistant captain and is also an assistant captain for her New York Riveters team nowShe inspires so many people, especially young girls who look up to her and want to follow in her footsteps  [Read more…]

Pandemic Effects Mental Health of Student-Athletes 

Since March 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic has been an ongoing series of unfortunate events. From social distancing to lockdowns of schools and businesses, the coronavirus has taken over our lives. 

Sports are central in the lives of athletes. Sports teach social skills and development, giving a healthy way to relieve and cope with stress and everyday life problems. From Little League to National Leagues, the Coronavirus has forced athletic seasons to be canceled. According to a recent study from Stanford University and Strava, a social network of exercise enthusiasts, “22.5% of professional athletes reported feeling down or depressed on more than half of the days of the week in the period between mid-March and August of last year, while COVID-19 restrictions on athletic training and competition were in place, compared to 3.9% of athletes reporting the same struggles earlier this year before the pandemic hit. That’s an increase of 477%.”   

It’s not just professional athletes affected by the pandemic. Even though Northwood students can train with their coaches and teams nearly every day, they have had very little competition in the form of games against outside opponents. Student-athletes at Northwood are suffering. Senior Rachel Hinkley says, “I know that Covid has effected us all, but it’s really hard not being able to play the sport you love. Watching others get to play while we can’t breaks my heart, and while I know it’s for our safety, it’s really hard having to sit on the sidelines when I’ve been playing hockey for fifteen years. While we can’t play games, I’m happy to be with my girls to keep me sane during these hard times.”   

Sports are a type of therapy and the bonds built by teammates are like a family’s connection, which is just one of the many reasons the game is loved by Rachel and millions of other athletes in the world.  Senior Ashlyn McGrath says, “not playing games makes me feel like I’m missing out on my senior year/season.” Throughout your hockey career you look forward to things like your senior night. It only comes once, and for some of us, it’s not coming at all. 

Northwood’s school psychologist, Ms. Tara Wright agrees that sports are important to the emotional well-0being of athletes.  “Diminished opportunity for sports has taken a toll on student athletes’ social emotional health during the pandemic,” said WrightAthletes derive multiple benefits from sports, which affect their mental wellbeing – physical fitness, goal setting and achievement, focus and mental training, and the social benefits that come from team sports. Even with more individual achievement sports such as ski racing or ski jumping, the group training aspect provides student athletes with significant social benefits,” she added 

Wright also noted that online learning exacerbates the isolation that students-athletes feel. “The Covid pandemic has left student athletes to adjust to online or hybrid learning for periods of time, reduce their ability to spend time with family and friends, and made athletic training and competitions fewer or altered to ensure social distancing,” said WrightThe teenage years are a time when students form significant bonds with their peers,” she addedWhile Covid has affected all teens by limiting their ability to socialize, the effect on teams has been particularly challenging.”   

It’s safe to say this is a very challenging time for everyone, especially the studentathlete population 

Photos of Northwood student-athletes enjoying the social benefits of athletic training and competition. (Source: The Mirror)

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