’18 SPORTS YEAR-IN-REVIEW: Hope springs eternal

Former Westfield Little League president John Wheeler, right, is joined at home plate by Little Leaguer Tyler Delgado on Opening Day in 2012. Wheeler passed away earlier this year. (Staff file photo)

This is the second of a four-part series looking back at the year that was…

Snowflakes turned to rain drops as winter gave way to spring. Tears were shed for former Westfield Little League President John Wheeler, who passed away at the age of 70.
Wheeler was a longtime supporter of youth baseball, having dedicated more than 40 years to Little League baseball as a father, mentor, coach, and league president (1988-2014).

Westfield senior Hannah Jarvis celebrates her record-breaking goal during a game against Agawam. Jarvis became the school’s all-time leading scorer in girls lacrosse, shattering the old mark of 232 points set by Nicole Belliveau in 2012. (Photo by Bill Deren)

“When (John) took over, the league was in the red,” said Little League board member Ciro Petricelli, a former league executive vice president, who worked alongside Wheeler for several years. “He brought it back, put it in the black.”
Records fell.
In late May, Westfield senior Hannah Jarvis became the Bombers girls lacrosse team’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Nicole Belliveau’s mark of 232 points set in 2012. Jarvis’s teammate, junior Lexi Wood, soon followed with her 100th career goal.

Westfield Tech senior Cheyenne Slack flexes her muscles after rounding third base on a home run jog during a late season game against Pathfinder Regional High School in Three Rivers. The hit was Slack’s 100th for her career. Tigers softball head coach Deb Falcetti raises her arms in jubilation. (File Photo by Chris Putz)

Talk about a dual threat.
Westfield softball ace Haley Moniz tossed her 400th strikeout and collected her 100th career hit in a memorable 9-0 regular season shutout of Longmeadow. The victory also secured a postseason spot for the Bombers.

Westfield High School senior softball pitcher Hayley Moniz delivers from the circle. Moniz tossed her 300th career strikeout this past spring. (Staff file photo)

Another city school enjoyed a historic feat of its own when Westfield Technical Academy senior shortstop Cheyenne Slack clubbed her 99th and 100th career hits with consecutive homers none-the-less.
Coach Tyler Wingate and the Westfield boys volleyball team cemented its place among the state’s best with a fourth straight West Division 1 championship, also repeating as state champions following an epic five-set battle against Needham, 27-29, 25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 18-16.
As the high school season drew to a close, everyone’s attention turned toward the Boston Red Sox.

The Westfield High School boys volleyball team celebrated a fourth straight West Sectional championship, and took home a state title to boot, cementing their place as one of the elite Bombers’ teams of all time. (Staff file photo)

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