This is the fourth of a four-part series looking back at the year that was…
The fall season began with new faces in old places – Westfield and Westfield Technical Academy high schools welcomed former Hampden Charter School of Science athletic director Dan Trudeau as its new AD – as well as old faces in somewhat new places.
Former athletic director Matt Collins returned to St. Mary’s as, not only the school’s AD but as principal too, a challenge this Saint continues to meet head-on on a daily basis.
Gateway Regional girls soccer coach Steve Estelle recorded his 300th victory for a Gators team that he not only coached for a good part of three decades, but also one that he, along with his father, Bud launched in the late 1980s.
High school sports teams from the Whip City honored long-term Westfield school committee member Kevin Sullivan, a long-time supporter of local sports, who died of a sudden heart attack, with various displays of support.
Three local high school golfers, Southwick’s Matthew Garrity, Westfield’s Jack Hogan, and St. Mary’s Luke Willenborg each advanced to the state championships in their respective divisions.
The Westfield Technical Academy Tigers won their first Massachusetts Vocational Athletic Directors Association boys soccer tournament championship since 2015, and third in six years with a 2-1 win over the Franklin County Tech Tigers.
Westfield Tech followed that up with a thrilling 1-0 win over Holyoke on penalty kicks in the West Division 4 semifinals. The Tigers eventually fell to top-seeded Lenox 1-0 in the finals.
The Westfield High School football team ran through all of Western Massachusetts, losing only to Central (twice) and Longmeadow. The Bombers fell to the eventual state champion Golden Eagles 22-0 in the West Division 3 championship.
The Westfield High School girls volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking finish in the Western Mass championship, losing a hard-fought battle to top-seeded Minnechaug, 25-17, 25-15, 19-25, 26-24.
The Westfield High School gymnastics team also suffered a narrow defeat to Minnechaug by less than three-tenths of a point in the sectional championship. Still, the Bombers produced the top all-around gymnast (Kylie Liptak), the Senior Gymnast of the Year (Miranda Wozniak), and captured the team sportsmanship award.
The fall season wrapped up with the Westfield Youth Football Junior Bombers capturing the Pro Football Hall of Fame Northeast Regional title, and earning a trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship Dec. 14-17 in Canton, Ohio.
Holiday cheer came early in Southwick with the unveiling of the high school’s new varsity boys ice hockey team, and new AD, Dave Sanschagrin a former assistant AD at Granby.
“It’s a fun time to be in Southwick right now,” Southwick boys ice hockey coach Chris D’Angelo said.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Boston Red Sox winning a World Championship.
Can the Red Sox repeat? Will the Patriots forge another Super Bowl run? Where will the Bruins and Celtics finish? What records will be broken along the way?
Those questions and more will be answered in 2019.