Category Archives: Sports

NFL Playoffs: Who Will Make it to the Big Game?

By Andrew Carroll

The field for Super Bowl LIII has been narrowed down to just four teams. In both the AFC and the NFC, the top two teams will battle for the coveted trip to the title game, set to take place Feb. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 31-13, in the Divisional round and the Patriots took down the Los Angeles Chargers, 41-28. The victors will meet again at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the AFC championship. This matchup is highly anticipated because, while the Chiefs are often able to score points in bunches, the Patriots will try and slow them down with their run attack. At a meeting back in October in Foxboro, Tom Brady and the Patriots outdueled the Chiefs, 43-40. But this game will be different, and with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, I believe the Patriots will shut down the Chiefs’ high-powered offense. Yes, Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill and a great tight end in Travis Kelce. But New England has established a run game this season and they are continuing to dominate opposing defensive lines. Brady and Belichick have reached eight straight AFC championship games, a feat that’s practically absurd in the NFL. That’s why I am picking the Patriots to win the AFC title and head to Atlanta for their third straight Super Bowl appearance.

 In the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams will travel to New Orleans to play the Saints. This will be the second time these two teams will play each other, with the Saints winning a November matchup, 45-35, in a shootout. This game will be highlighted by the play of the two quarterbacks, Jared Goff of the Rams and Drew Brees of the Saints. The Saints will have home field advantage, but ff the Rams can control the game with Todd Gurley running the ball, they will have a chance. Their secondary will have to contain Michel Thomas of the Saints in the passing game. If Drew Brees has time in the pocket, I believe he will eat up this defense like he did in November and the Saints will defeat the Rams in another shootout. 

Featured image from 247sports.com

Boys Soccer Player Reflects on Strong Season

By Ronan Henderson

While many believe that the fall sports season starts in late August, many teams’ quest for rings begins in late June at captains’ practice. For HHS boys soccer, captains’ practice is the ultimate tool not only for readying our skills for the season, but in getting the team chemistry right. It is during these practices when the team bonding really kicks in, from getting to know the new freshmen to finding nicknames for the many players in the program. Nicknames have become a mainstay in the HHS boys soccer culture. Some of the most famous from this past year have been Wes “Willy Ripski” Notarangelo, Patrick “Stew” Walsh, Cole “Sweener” Sweeney, Sam “Deener” Bristol, Joe “Hillary” Clinton and Andrew “Hoodie Fe” Ferreira, just to name a few. Throughout the summer, day in and day out, we left it all on the turf. From the grueling workouts with Coach Kaufman to the team runs followed by swims, we all had our eyes on one thing: winning.

The interesting thing about this team was the fact that some coaches around the league counted us out before the season even began. While some teams would use this as an excuse, we used it as fuel, picking up a big win over Rockland in the season opener and an impressive draw against Duxbury two games later. The beauty of this team was the fact that everyone knew – and embraced – their roles from the start. While some athletes may not be thrilled with sitting on the bench, the players on the sidelines for boys soccer  pumped up the team and stayed ready to have their number called at any given moment (quick shout out to Sweener and Deener #benchgang).

As the season progressed, the team picked up key wins against Pembroke, Quincy, and Plymouth South. While every win was a team effort, the defense shined for the Indians. The dynamic duo of junior Jake Heyl and Walsh, a sophomore, had opponents feeling helpless. On top of that, senior captain Sam Perkins had a great season along with fellow fullback Brendan Quinn. In the wise words of Paul “Bear” Bryant, “defense wins championships.” Another key to our success this year was the pair of senior strikers in Ferreira and Notarangelo, who played gritty and found the back of the net when we needed it most. An example of this was during the Indians first playoff game against Joseph Case High School, when Notorangelo got the home crowd pumped after scoring the game-deciding goal in a 1-0 win. In the midfield, senior captain James Clarkson was a magnet, winning all 50/50 balls within 10 feet of him all year long. To go along with that, senior Alec McArthur and junior Caleb Pongratz both enjoyed breakout campaigns. The true unsung hero of the team was junior Joe Clinton, who had never played goalie prior to the season and was a brick wall at all times. Key contributions also came from the bench.

Unfortunately, the one factor throughout the season that the team could not control was injuries. For whatever reason, the team was cursed with injuries, with up to seven players sidelined throughout the season. Sophomore Danny McDonald tried to fight through his foot injury, but was forced to miss most of the year. Rising star Conor McCann, a junior, endured a nagging back injury that forced him to miss a  number of games as well. Yours truly was also stuck sidelined eight games with a concussion, as was Joe Clinton for a few games. It should be noted though that without the excellent care of Hanover’s trainer Amy Tessitore, the team would have had even more players out. Despite the injuries, the team found a way to rise above and gut out wins. The main philosophy of the team was not to try and win the game all at once, but take it in 5-minute increments winning each five until we hit the 80-minute mark. The Indians would go on to lose to Norwell in the playoffs, ending their season with a strong 9-7-4 record.

As a team, the one thing we managed to do day in and day out was to leave everything we had out on that field. That quite simply would not have been possible without the guidance of our captains Perkins and Clarkson, dedicated players throughout their years with the program. The seniors in general were great at showing the underclassmen a strong example for years to come in the program.  Our success also would not have been possible without the time put in by Coach Rodday and other coaches and volunteers who prepared us for anything in game scenarios as well as looked after us off of the soccer field. Most importantly, it was the fans that the team had to thank the most. From the hardcore parents going to every game no matter the weather, to the students showing up and getting loud during home games, the season quite simply would not have been the same without you.

While this may be the end for graduating seniors, the Indians soccer team looks to keep this intensity going for years to come. With all of the up-and-coming talent this program has to offer, it’s no wonder they have been deemed the “young core.” As far as soccer goes, the boys will look to continue their dominant defensive unit next year and will continue to work toward a deep postseason run next season.

Featured team photo courtesy of DJ Meads Photography.  Other photos provided by author.

 

Patriots Shut Down Vikings to Stay Atop AFC

By Andrew Carroll

With a 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the New England Patriots improved to 9-3 and remain at the top of the AFC. Meanwhile, the Vikings fell to 6-5-1 and into a tie for the wild card spot with the Washington Redskins.

The Patriots offense was firing on all cylinders Sunday. On the first drive, Brady led the team 81 yards on eight plays, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run from full back James Devlin. The Patriots virtually shut down the Vikings in the first half, until star receiver Adam Thielen managed a touchdown late in the second quarter. The Patriots went into halftime with a 10-7 lead, but that lead didn’t last long. After the Patriots went three and out on their first drive, Minnesota drove down and kicked a field goal to tie it up at 10. On the ensuing possession for the Pats, Brady looked to wide receiver Josh Gordon and he produced. Hauling in a 24-yard catch to start the drive, Gordon finished off the series with a 24-yard touchdown reception. After that it was all smooth sailing for the Patriots and rough waters for the Vikings. After a punt from Minnesota, the Pats drove down and fed Devlin for his second touchdown of the game. The Vikings made a late push in the fourth quarter but Duron Harmon picked off Kirk Cousins in the end zone, basically capping the win for the Patriots.

The Pats played tough defense all day and were able to execute on offense. Brady was 24/32 for 311 yards and a touchdown, while James White had 9 catches for 92 yards. Brady rushed for his 1000th career rushing yard, a milestone many thought he wouldn’t care about, but TB1K is a new trend. Also adding to his resume, Brady threw his 579th touchdown pass, tying him for the all-time lead with Peyton Manning. Next week, Brady will likely own this record, becoming the all-time leader in touchdowns and yards.   

This win was a big one and now the Patriots travel to Miami, where they always seem to have trouble winning. If the Patriots play like this again next week they are virtually unbeatable.

 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Elise Amendola 

College Basketball Off to an Exciting Start

By Joe Clinton

College basketball has proven to be the sport to watch so far this winter. Whether it’s due to the crazy hype surrounding the new top recruits or the high-paced and high-scoring style of play, the NCAA has granted us the privilege of watching what amounts to a  prime time game every night.

The talk of the season has been the phenom freshmen at Duke – Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish – who are projected to be the top picks in the next NBA draft. Duke has generated an enormous amount of hype, with Barrett averaging 22.7 PPG, Williamson with 21.3 PPG and 9 RPG, and Reddish with 15.3 PPG. This team seemed unstoppable, until they lost to Gonzaga 89-87.

What I think has made this season so fun to watch is that every night there seem to be at least two or three top-25 ranked matchups going on.  We already have had a 1 vs 3 matchup in Gonzaga vs Duke, a 2 vs 4 contest when Duke destroyed Kentucky on opening night, and  a 2 vs 5 pairing as Kansas topped Tennessee in overtime. Plenty of other must watch-games have been decided in the final seconds.

I was sitting on my couch on Wednesday night and just clicked on the TV to see what was on and there they were: four must-watch games . . . on a random Wednesday night. There is no other sport like this that gives the fans these kind of games on an everyday basis. The early games featured an unranked but very strong Syracuse team defeating 16th-ranked Ohio State, 72-62, and a no. 4 Virginia team who withstood 24th-ranked Maryland in a back and forth game that ended 76-71. During the late games, no. 15 Florida State beat 19th-ranked Purdue, 73-72, on a final second shot, and 7th-ranked Michigan completely stomped over no. 11 UNC, 84-67. All of these games occurred on just your typical Wednesday night and this continues to happen every night. The competition amongst college teams every night is what makes this sport so special, and why everyone should look forward to the rest of the season.

Pats Back on Track with Win

By Andrew Carroll

After a bye week and a loss, the New England Patriots got back on track with a 27-13 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. The Pats had a long time to prepare for the 3-7 Jets. The big news of the game was the return of All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Pats had been without Gronk for three straight weeks and many were starting to question his health. But Gronk came ready to play on Sunday, making three catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. Gronk caught his TD on a third down and 12 to go. Brady threw a perfect pass 34 yards to hit Gronk in stride and it looked like vintage Brady to Gronk.

The game was tied 10-10 at the half, but the Pats came out in the third quarter and outscored the Jets 10-3. They got the running game going with rookie running back Sony Michel leading the charge. He rushed for 133 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. James White also had a great day on the ground with 73 yards on nine carries. Julian Edelman was back to his usual self with four catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.

The win over the Jets helped the Patriots improve to 8-3 and second place in the AFC behind the 9-2 Kansas City Chiefs. This Sunday, the Patriots have a huge matchup with the Minnesota Vikings at 4:25 pm in Foxboro. The Patriots will have to play a great game in the secondary and on offense to battle the great wide receivers and defense of the 6-4 Vikings.

Photo credit: 

https://www.patspulpit.com/2017/10/15/16479308/week-6-new-england-patriots-new-york-jets-recap-victory-24-21-nfl-afc-east

Should Attending Sports Parades be an Excused Absence?

By Drew Murphy

Since the moment the Red Sox clinched the World Series, the debate began raging among students, teachers, coaches and administrators. Should students be penalized for taking a day off for the victory parade or should it be considered an excused absence? Teachers and administrators argued the absence would be unexcused and no extra time would be given to make up work. Coaches warned that students who skipped school would be benched.

The student handbook states that an absence is excused for the following reasons:  “medical/dental appointment, funeral, court appearance or legal appointment, driver’s license, college visitation, religious holiday or at the discretion of the Principal/Associate Principal.” Another example of an excused absence is a school-sponsored field trip. Wikipedia defines a field trip as “a journey by a group of people to a place away from their normal environment.”  If you plan to be absent for any sort of reason and get permission from a parent/guardian and notify the school, the Principal/Associate Principal can make a judgement call and excuse the absence. In my opinion, planning to be absent for the celebratory parade of a professional sport team isn’t that different from being absent for any other personal matter.

When a local sports team wins the top title in its league, it shows that hard work, dedication, and commitment lead to amazing results. The classroom is not the only place that these important lessons are learned. Although we have been lucky over the last decade to see an impressive number of wins by our sports teams, we don’t know that this historical phenomena will continue. What if this parade is the last one for decades?  In a world with such violence and hate, to be able to come together as a whole community and share pure happiness and joy together is priceless. Navigating public transportation, following directions, sharing joy and camaraderie with thousands of strangers is worth more than something you might miss in the classroom for one day of school.

You don’t have to be a fan to realize the significance that sports play in our society. The number of lives that sports change is truly remarkable. You don’t have to be a fan to celebrate the success of a winning team, but you do need to see that parades represent a historical time that we are lucky enough to be present for. No matter the circumstance, sports bring us together. Now that doesn’t mean administrators have to close schools like the city of Philadelphia did in 2018 to celebrate the Eagles Super Bowl win. But they should make the right judgement call and allow students who have permission from their parents to partake in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Featured picture from ESPN.go.com

Fall Tourney Season

Girls Soccer

It was a thrilling postseason for the girls soccer team. After a rough start to the season, the team won 14 consecutive games on its way to the Div. 3 South tournament final.  With a 10-5-4 record and an undefeated second half, the squad was seeded 10th heading into playoffs. They beat 7th seed Seekonk 5-1 on Nov. 3, 15th seed Bishop Stang 4-0 on Nov. 5 and 14th seed Dover-Sherborn 3-1 on Nov.  7.

With momentum on their side, Hanover took on top-seeded Norwell (19-2-1) for the division title on Nov. 11 in Milford. In a gutsy battle from both teams, the game went into overtime. Despite a stellar performance, Hanover fell to Norwell 3-2.

Strong performances came throughout the season from senior captain Lindsay Maslow, junior Dottie Tilden, sophomore Gillian Kenney and freshman Molly McGlame.

Girls Soccer Photos

More Girls Soccer Pics

And a few more

Boys Soccer

The team celebrated its huge roster of seniors with a 4-0 win over Hull on Oct. 25.  Seniors Cole Sweeney, Andrew Ferreira, Collin Wright and Sam Perkins all scored goals in the win, which brought their record to 8-6-4. Senior Joe Clinton and sophomore Collin Frucci combined for the shutout in goal.  The squad, earned 16th seed in the Div. 3 South tournament.  Clinton has been strong in his first year ever as a goalkeeper. Senior captains Perkins and James Clarkson have led them team in tough, physical play all season.

Preliminary tournament action kicked off at home against 17th seed Joseph Case High School (7-6-3) on Nov. 2.  A 1-0 win set up a matchup with top-seeded Norwell on Nov. 4. Norwell best the Indians 3-0 to bring the season to a close.

Despite the early exit from tournament play, Hanover’s motto of “Team First” showed through at every practice and game. Clarkson, Perkins, Caleb Pongratz and Jake Heyl were named Patriot League All Stars. Haraden Bottomley earned the league Scholar Athlete Award and Wright received an Individual Sportsmanship Award. Ferreira led the team with 13 goals on the season; Pongratz had eight.

Boys Soccer Photos

More Boys Soccer

Field Hockey

After finishing the season with three wins in three days, the team earned a 9-5-2 record and the the Patriot League Fisher Division title. Seeded 14th in the Div. 2 South tournament.  In their first round game at home on Oct. 31, they beat 19th-seeded Middleboro 5-0. Goals were scored by five different players: seniors Morgan Foley and Meghan Rice, and juniors Olivia Hussey, Julia Dunderdale and Cory Worrall. They traveled to third seed Medway on Nov. 2, but lost 3-0 to end the season.

Foley and Hussey were named Patriot League All-Stars along with senior goalkeeper Maegan Amsler and senior Kathryn Fallon.

Field Hockey Photos

Senior Night

Volleyball

The team qualified for the Div. 2 South tournament in their final home game Oct. 22, celebrating Senior Night and their first trip to the postseason in several years. With a 10-10 record, Hanover earned 11th seed and a first-round matchup against league rival and 6th seed Pembroke. The schools had met twice in the regular season, each taking a win in five sets. In the playoff on Nov. 1, senior co-captains Emily Sullivan and Jill Poirier combined with classmates Jacqui Manning and Caroline Zielinski to lead their team in giving their all.  Hanover lost the first two games, but roared back to win the third game 25-22 and lead the fourth game 23-22 before Pembroke scored three consecutive points to win the match. Despite falling short, Hanover’s rally highlighted the hard work and passion this team has brought to the court all season long.

With only four seniors graduating and a strong roster of juniors and sophomores, coach Dave Jakub has high hopes for the future.

Volleyball Photos

More Volleyball

Football

After finishing the regular season 5-2, the team had high hopes for the post-season. Earning 5th seed in the Div. 5 South tournament, the team lost in the first round to 4th seeded Canton, 27-13, on Oct. 26. Canton took a 14-0 lead in the first half. Hanover roared back in the second half with a 60-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Andrew Carroll to senior Drew Berard and a 66-yard TD run by senior Ethan Ritchie. But unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

Despite the early exit from tournament play, the team had many memorable moments this season. Senior quarterback and captain Andrew Carroll led the team with his skillful passes. One of Carroll’s best moments was in the final 30 seconds against Plymouth South, when he threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to junior Pat Damon,  pulling the Indians ahead of Plymouth 13-12. The Indians later won the game 15-12. Damon was another valuable player, catching four touchdown passes in the first five games. In the defeat over Pembroke, Damon scored three touchdowns in one game.

The team will play its traditional Thanksgiving Day game in Norwell this year.

Photos from Homecoming Game

Photos from game vs Plymouth South

Cross Country

With an impressive 8-0 record, the boys team cruised to the Patriot League Fisher Division Championship. The girls put in solid races on the way to a 4-3 record, led by senior Captain Alyssa Nee, who won all seven league races and was named Patriot League Fisher Division MVP. At the State Coaches Invitational Meet on Nov. 3, the freshmen boys placed 2nd and junior boys placed 3rd. With snow on the course and a chill in the air at the Division 2 All-State Meet on Nov. 18, Nee finished in the top 50 to cap off a stellar final season.

Individual runners  racked up personal records all season, which they credit to their average 10 hours of training and 25 miles per week.

Cross Country Photos

Golf

The team finished the regular season with a 9-7 record and qualified to compete at the MIAA D2 South Sectional Tournament.  The team finished 8th out of 14 teams competing and was led by sophomore Gavin Graybill.  Graybill finished the round tied for 6th and qualified for the D2 State Championship on Oct. 30 at Marshfield Country Club.

Golf photos

Cheerleading

The squad earned its second straight Patriot League Fisher Division championship on Nov 3. The title followed a 2nd place finish among Div. 3 teams at the Braintree Invitational on Oct. 27. After a strong performance at the MSAA Sectionals in Franklin on Nov. 11, the team finished 8th at the state championship at Worcester State University on Nov. 18.

Homecoming Photos 

More photos

And still more

The Year of Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox

By Joe Clinton

The Boston Red Sox have had a historic season and are looking to make it even better. The Red Sox ended the season 108-54, the best record in the history of a franchise that has been around for more than 100 years. They’ve been led by the bats of Mookie Betts and JD Martinez, both in the running for the American League MVP. Betts, who hit .346 avg, 32 home runs and 80 RBIs, also has shown strong defensive play in the field, alongside Jackie Bradley Jr. This record-breaking season has come under the leadership of first-year manager Alex Cora.

The Red Sox secured home field advantage by clinching the top seed against the New York Yankees in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Sox struggled and split the first two games at Fenway against the Yankees. They survived the first game 5-4, led by JD Martinez’s first postseason home run with the team, but suffered another postseason loss by David Price in game two. In the Bronx, it was a much different story. The Red Sox came out to play and won a great game three, 16-1, powered by Brock Holt, the first player in Major League Baseball history to ever hit for the cycle in the postseason. They then finished off the series with a 4-3 win in yet another nail biter which could’ve gone either way in the 9th. For the first time since 2013 the Red Sox advanced to the ALCS to play against the Houston Astros.

The Red Sox were not favored going into this series against the defending World Series champions, especially after losing game one at Fenway 7-2. They bounced back in game two with a 7-5 win due to a huge three-run homer by Jackie Bradley Jr. The next three games were played in Houston, and the Sox surprised many by winning all three: 8-2, 8-6 and 4-1. The performance secured the Red Sox’s first trip to the World Series since 2013.

In the World Series, they will face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers,  who finished the regular season 92-71 and first in the NL west division. The Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games to win the NL pennant. Game one starts Tuesday, Oct. 23, and if the series goes to seven games, is scheduled to end on Halloween.

Featured Photo from The Washington Times

Cross Country Teams Outpace their Opponents

By Matthew O’Hara

The Hanover Indians cross country teams have had an extremely successful season, with the boys going undefeated (8-0) and winning the Patriot League Championship. The girls have put in solid races on the way to a 4-3 record. Individual runners  also have racked up personal records all season, which they credit to their average 10 hours of training and 25 miles per week. While their training is long and tough, the cross country teams appear to love this year’s season, describing it as “the best ever” and “a lot of fun.” They also say they appreciate the support they have received from their hardworking coaches Timothy Brown and Andrew McLean and their fellow teammates.

Their final home meet on Oct. 16, in which they bested the Duxbury Dragons, exemplified the teams’ success. While tensions were high, their camaraderie and lightheartedness hyped up the runners and prepared them for the 2.5 mile course. The boys ran first, and had a fantastic race, with sophomore Chris Pacino taking first with a personal record time of 14:06. Senior Nick Courtney finished third with a time of 14:19, junior Thomas McDonough took fifth in 14:23, junior Ethan Bush was sixth in 14:47, and sophomore Sean Dewitt came in seventh at 14:51. The girls race also went exceptionally well, with senior Alyssa Nee finishing first in 17:02. Junior Audrey Wheeler came in second with a personal record time of 17:25, sophomore Kelly Taft took fourth in 18:15, and senior Jordanna Laprise finished sixth in 18:30. In addition to Pacino and Wheeler, several runners earned their PR times including sophomore Colin Jenkins, senior Nick Mirosola, junior Sean Smith, senior Joseph Petrocelli, and sophomore Talha Mehmood 

Hanover also displayed a fantastic amount of good sportsmanship, as they applauded all the runners that crossed the finish line from both the Hanover and Duxbury teams.  After the meet, the team stayed behind to clean up, chat, and take pictures with the seniors, who had just competed in their final home meet.

While dual meets against other schools have ended, the remainder of the season will include a variety of invitational meets for the teams’ top runners. Coach Brown seems optimistic about the rest of the season, and while he acknowledges the “strong opponents ahead,” he is “excited for the invitationals, because they show the improvement that the team has made all year long.” 

Photos of the XC team by DJ Meads

Featured photo courtesy of DJ Meads

Patriots Back to Winning Ways

By Andrew Carroll

After a rough start to the season, the New England Patriots appear to be back on track. After losing their first three games, they’ve won four straight, capped off by their 38-31 victory in Chicago on Sunday. At season’s start, the Patriots had trouble scoring the ball on offense, but in their last four outings, they averaged 39 points per game and outscored their opponents 157 to 102. The return of Julian Edelman from suspension has been a major factor for the offense. Adding star receiver Josh Gordon has been another key.

Two weeks ago, the Patriots handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first loss of the season. The Patriots got off to a hot start, scoring 24 points in the first half and forcing two turnovers while holding the Chiefs to 9 points. But in the second half, the Chiefs showed why they might have the most high-powered offense in the league. On their first three drives after halftime, the Chiefs scored, leading 30-26 going into the fourth. But the Patriots were able to withstand the blow, winning on a last second field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.

On Sunday, the Patriots showed what their offense was capable of, scoring 38 points against the Bears’ top-rated pass rush defense. Brady looked strong, throwing for 277 yards and three touchdowns. But the story was the Patriots special team doing some heavy work. They scored on a 95-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson, then a blocked punt returned for a touchdown by Kyle Van Noy. The Bears made a late attempt to come back, but the Patriots’ defense held them on the last play of the game, securing the win and improving to 5-2 on the season.

The Patriots play the Buffalo Bills next Monday night at 8:15 pm in Buffalo on ESPN.  

 

Featured photo is from The Chicago Tribune