Spartans Fall Sports Preview

Varsity Fall Sports 2022 Preview

Preseason has concluded, classes have begun and regular season games have officially kicked off for Sanford High School’s fall sports teams. We’ve reached out to each varsity coach on goals, expectations, and challenges for their upcoming seasons.

This is a developing story. More teams to come.

CROSS COUNTRY

HEAD COACH: NATE SMITH

After a five-year hiatus, Coach Smith returns for his fourteenth season as the head coach of the cross country (XC) team, with 23 total years of coaching XC under his belt.

How did your 2021 season go? What was your record?

The 2021 season went well but the team was hit by COVID going into the postseason so unfortunately, we fell just shy of qualifying for the state championship. We graduated six of our top seven runners on the boys team, and we also graduated many of our runners on the girls team.

Who are the top returners, and/or newcomers this season you are excited about?

Caleb Pelletier is a top returning sophomore and has done some good mileage over the summer along with captains Aidan Gagnon and Sophie Therrien. I am looking forward to tremendous improvements from them, fueled by some tough off-season work. Gregg Watermann is our number one runner in his first year. He is on pace to qualify for the state meet individually!

What are your goals and expectations for this season? Any challenges you anticipate? 

We hope to get a team back at States. Right now, we are low in numbers – we only have two girls on our team and 14 boys. However, we are putting in a heavy workload during practices and I expect that our newcomers will improve dramatically.

What are you most looking forward to this season?

We may surprise quite a few people this season.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We are still welcoming runners to our team if you are interested!


FIELD HOCKEY

HEAD COACH: martha kane

Coach Kane takes over the field hockey program after the 39-year reign of former coach Diana Walker. Kane looks to make her own mark on the program while honoring Walker’s legacy.

How did your 2021 season go? What was your record?

Last season the Spartans went 2-10. Numbers were really suffering after the pandemic.

Who are the top returners, and/or newcomers this season you are excited about?

We’ll see seven starters return for us. The outlook is uncertain. Audrey Payeur, one of the top players in the league, returns as a sophomore, and will be surrounded by a strong group of players including Hannah Mueller (Jr. Midfield), Madi Sheppard (Sr. Midfield/Defense), Megan Sheppard (So. Goalkeeper) and more. Jaelynn Aldrich, Brianna Burby, and Natalie Payeur are all freshmen who should contribute immediately.

What are your goals and expectations for this season? Any challenges you anticipate? 

The success of the team will largely depend on our ability to capitalize on goal-scoring opportunities, our ability to compete for full games with low roster numbers, and how well we “gel” as a group.


FOOTBALL

HEAD COACH: MIKE FALLON

Coach Fallon continues his legendary tenure – 27 years – at the helm of Sanford Varsity Football after navigating two tough seasons altered by COVID-19.

How did your 2021 season go? What was your record?

We finished the season 3-5, losing in the quarter-final playoff round.

Who are the top returners, and/or newcomers this season you are excited about?

Jordan Bissonnette (running back, linebacker), Cam Suhy (running back, linebacker), LJ McFarland (running back, cornerback), Hayden Fuller (offensive and defensive line), Tucker Walker (tackle), Jared Riley (guard), Tyler Pitman (tight end, linebacker).

What are your goals and expectations for this season? Any challenges you anticipate? 

Our goal is to compete at the highest level we are capable of each week and to play as a cohesive team. If we do that I think this team is capable of having a very successful season. 

What are you most looking forward to this season?

I am looking forward to watching the team improve and develop as the season progresses and their individual skills and play improve.  

Anything else you’d like to share?

We are very excited about our increase in player numbers.  We currently have 73 players in grades 9-12.  That is a very promising sign for our program.  


GOLF

HEAD COACH: ROSSIE KEARSON

Coach Kearson returns for his ninth season with the Spartans, continuing to grow the love for the sport and the skills – and patience – that come with it.

How did your 2021 season go? What was your record?

In the 2021 season we won two matches and went 2-8.

Who are the top returners, and/or newcomers this season you are excited about?

Top returner is Zachary Parison who is also captain, along with Brayden Baron and Aran Martin. Newcomers include Ayden Lockard (pictured right) and incoming freshmen Brody Baron and Cam Vessels.

What are your goals and expectations for this season? Any challenges you anticipate? 

Goals are to always improve, for kids to enjoy it and want to play after high school when done. Challenges include them focusing on and doing the little things, outside of the uncontrollable one: the weather. 

What are you most looking forward to this season?

I’m most looking forward to teaching the game. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

It would be nice to have some fans to check out some matches. The kids would definitely appreciate it.


BOYS SOCCER

HEAD COACH: bill puffer

Bill Puffer takes on his first season as the boys varsity coach, previously coaching seven years for the Noble High School varsity girls team.

How did your 2021 season go? What was your record?

The 2021 season for the boys was tough. The boys only won two games. 

Who are the top returners, and/or newcomers this season you are excited about?

Our returners that we are excited about are senior Joel Morrison, senior goalkeeper Tommy Hickey, and sophomore Cole Adawadkar. Freshman Levi Mann is a top newcomer.

What are your goals and expectations for this season? Any challenges you anticipate? 

Goals for the year are for the boys to give 100% effort with improvement game over game, as well as a team effort. Anticipated challenges are playing time for the 22 varsity players.

What are you most looking forward to this season?

Looking forward to getting to know the boys better and watching them improve individually and as a team.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am happy to be here at Sanford working with a new supporting staff.


GIRLS SOCCER

HEAD COACH: Ellie agreste

Coach Agreste enters her fifth year as head coach of the varsity girls soccer team. A young 2021 roster proves beneficial this year as the squad sees many strong, now-experienced returners and new talent.

How did your 2021 season go? What was your record?

The 2021 season was a season full of adversity. We had a roster filled with young, first-year varsity players. Many games we had an average of nine newbies on the field! We ended the season 3-10 and a positive outlook for the future.

Who are the top returners, and/or newcomers this season you are excited about?

I am really excited to see the leadership from our three captains; Senior Mia Kane, Senior Emerson Tolpin, and Junior Ailey Mann. Junior Hailey Tarbox has had a great preseason and has continued to be a strong force in our midfield along with freshman Ava Hudson who has quickly made her mark. Freshman Sophie Olivio will be starting in net. She had a hard fought battle for the position and will certainly bring her intensity to the field.

What are your goals and expectations for this season? Any challenges you anticipate? 

My hope for this season is to continue to grow as a program in terms of culture and overall team chemistry. Get some wins under our belt and be able to bounce back from a tough loss together. Our league is very competitive, the entire season will be a challenge but in a good way!

What are you most looking forward to this season?

I am super pumped to coach this team. They are a GREAT group of girls and will sure to make the season fun.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Follow us on instagram @sanfordgirlssoccer!

Source: Ellie Agreste

VOLLEYBALL

head COACH: jerry hill

In his fourth year at SHS, Head Coach Jerry Hill continues to grow the Sanford Volleyball program, lofting his competitive spirit and more than 30 years of experience coaching volleyball in New Jersey.

How did your 2021 season go? What was your record?

We went 9-5 last season. We made it to the round of 8 in the State Tournament.

Who are the top returners, and/or newcomers this season you are excited about?

Top Returners: Kora Eckelman (Senior Middle), Billi Bruno (Senior Libero), Samone Gallagher (Sophomore Middle).

What are your goals and expectations for this season? Any challenges you anticipate? 

We return only three players with any varsity experience. We have six freshmen on the varsity team and many will be in the regular rotation. We look to be competitive and continue to improve as the season progresses. It’s going to take some time for us to come together but our two seniors are doing a great job as team leaders and creating terrific team chemistry.

What are you most looking forward to this season?

Seeing us get better and come together as a team.

Anything else you’d like to share?

The girls are working very hard and are a pleasure to coach. 


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