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When people think of good athletes at Westford Academy, basketball players or football players are usually what first come to mind. However, Brendan Sullivan, a junior and a pole vaulter on the WA track and field team, is one of the most successful athletes to come through WA’s doors.
In mid-May, Sullivan broke the high school state record for pole vault going over a bar set at 15’7”. Last weekend, he placed second at the New England Track and Field Championships in Burlington Massachusetts with a height of 15’3”. However, his season is not over yet. This coming weekend, he will be competing in the pole vault in the National Track and Field Championships in Greensborough, North Carolina, aiming to place and set a new personal record of 16’0”.
Sullivan first got into track and field because it runs in his family. His dad was a decathlete, coached track and field at the Air Force Academy, and also placed fourth in the Olympic trials for the decathlon. Sullivan’s grandfather, also a decathlete, still does track and field today.
“A lot of people in my family have done it,” said Sullivan.
According to Sullivan, the best moment in his high school career in track and field so far was when he broke the state record.
“The best moment would be probably when I made fifteen-seven and I broke the state record…It was at the end of a meet, everyone was around, so it was exciting. It was a shock to myself and I think it was a shock to a lot of other people too, but it was fun,” Sullivan explained.
Although Sullivan already has many outstanding achievements, he still has goals for the future to become a better athlete. He is hoping to be able to pole vault 17’ in senior year and he wants to be an All-American athlete. Also, he hopes to place first in the pole vault in the NE Track and Field Championships. He is not sure exactly where he wants to college yet, but he says that he definitely wants to go to a school with a Division 1 Track and Field program and he is sure that he wants to keep doing the pole vault.
“I definitely want to do Division 1, but I’m not sure where yet. Probably on the East Coast somewhere, but definitely a Division 1 school. I’ll be doing pole vault and maybe decathlon too,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan still has one year before going off to college. Until then, WA will continue to have the privilege of having this high performing athlete on its track and field team.
By Asad Khimani
The Westford Academy Ghosts Boys’ Varsity Volleyball Team played against Cambridge R&L on Thursday 5/19 in the first round of the M.I.A.A. Division 1 North playoffs. Before the game, music was being blasted and the atmosphere was energizing. As the home team was introduced, the crowd clapped and cheered. Rivaling the crowd’s enthusiasm were the loud chants and the ecstatic team spirit from the Cambridge team. To the disappointment of the home crowd, WA lost the match 3 games to 1.
Even though WA lost the first game 20-25, WA fought hard, and Ryan Imbriaco performed well for the Ghosts. He had several spikes that led him to successful kills. Also, Andrew Levenbaum had a solid assist to Matt Warner who got a kill off it. Other team members did a good job as well at both scoring and keeping the ball in play after spikes by Cambridge. However, Cambridge was able to overpower the Ghosts.
The second game, another hard fight, turned out well for WA. At the beginning of the game, the score was 1-1. The score stayed close throughout the second game until he score was still tied 20-20. After this, WA was able to score the next 4 points and the score was 24-20. At this point, the crowd went wild and gave a standing ovation to the Ghosts. Derek Lavigne on the Ghosts came down with an injured foot a few moments later, and the crowd clapped as he was able to make it to the sidelines. WA won the game 25-22 with solid performances from several players on the team.
Then, the rest of the match went downhill for Westford as Cambridge won the next two games.
In Game 3, WA and Cambridge were alternating points and the score was tied 3-3. Cambridge scored the next two points with a kill from Jalen Penrose and a spike that went out of bounds hit by WA’s Ryan Imbriaco. WA scored the point after and the score was 4-5. However, Cambridge scored the next 3, making the score 4-8. Eventually, Cambridge had a 7 point lead and the score was 10-17. WA ended up losing the game by 8 points, 17-25. Penrose performed well for Cambridge.
WA now had a final chance to stay alive in this match and had to win Game 4. Cambridge was able to score the first three points of the game, making the score 0-3. However, WA came back and tied the game at 6-6. The game remained tied until it was 13-13. Eventually Cambridge again gained a three point lead which it maintained until Robert Esposito from the Ghosts had a kill, making the score 15-17. However, after WA and Cambridge each scored 1 more point, making the score 16-18, Cambridge went on a 3 point run, making the score 16-21. One of the most notable points of this run was an aced serve by Cambridge’s Jack Kernochan. WA was still alive and eventually, the score was close, 21-24. However, the Westford team’s efforts were crushed when Penrose spiked the ball with authority and got a kill. WA lost the game 21-25, losing the match.
Both Cambridge and Westford had highlight performers in this game. Imbriaco and Levenbaum were two of the numerous players who played well for Westford. Imbriaco had many kills and Levenbaum had good sets and assists. For Cambridge, Penrose and Kevin Lovaincy, both having over 30 kills, were performers that stood out.
Yesterday, April 25, the WA boys’ varsity baseball team lost 2-1 against Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.
It was a cold, cloudy, and rainy day, which disappointed much of the crowd at the game. Adding to the disappointment of the home crowd was that Westford Academy’s 1-0 lead was blown in the top of the seventh inning, and Lincoln-Sudbury came away with the win.
LS started off batting in the first inning and #6 Brian Rosinski was the first pitcher for WA. The first and second batters for LS both grounded out and the third hit a fly ball into right field, which was caught.
Then, WA was up to bat. #12 started pitching for LS, and he would go on to pitch a complete game. The first two batters for WA, Jake Mooney and Tim Orton, both struck out. The third batter, Mark Cornelius, was hit in the foot by the ball and walked to first base. He was followed by Dan Lawson, who also struck out.
The second inning was uneventful for LS as their two most successful batters only got to first base. #15 attempted to steal second base, but he was called out.
WA, however, had success in the second inning. First, Mark Hennessey hit the ball tripled into deep right. Although the next batter, Ryan Cobb, struck out, Will Alden was able to get the RBI as Hennessey scored. Alden would have been safe if he had stayed at first base, but he was tagged out stretching his single to a double. Patrick Dugan batted afterward and flew out to end the inning.
The third inning was uneventful with neither team getting any hits and WA would hold on to its 1-0 lead. In the top of the fourth inning, LS’s #23 hit a ball into right field, but it was caught. The next batter would ground out, but #24 for LS then hit a single to left field. Following this, #15 hit a single into center field and the hit was enough to get #23 to third base. With two outs, the next batter, #10, grounded out and LS was not able to score a run.
WA was also close to scoring in the fourth inning. After Cornelius grounded out, Lawson hit a ground rule double. Hennessey struck out after Lawson’s hit. Next, Ryan Cobb was up to bat. On one of the pitches, the catcher made an error and Lawson was able to get to third base while the catcher scrambled for the ball. However, Ryan Cobb struck out and WA was unable to score.
In the fifth and sixth innings, neither of the teams was able to score and WA kept its lead.
In the top of the seventh, LS had a final chance to keep the game alive, and it succeeded. With one out, LS had #8 on second base and #10 on third. #22 was up to bat and he walked to first. Rosinski left the game and Cornelius came in from center field to pitch. WA’s #22 replaced Cornelius in center field. The bases were loaded when #14 on the LS squad came up to the plate. He hit the ball and got to first base, #10 ran home, and #8 got to third base. #22 was out while running to second base. With two outs in the top of the seventh, #11 on LS came up to bat in an attempt to take the lead. He hit a single, #8 ran home and #14 got to second base. Then, #12 was up to bat and he walked to first. LS had again loaded the bases, but the team was not able to score another run.
The bottom of the seventh inning had to be played due to the surprising comeback that LS made. Alden was first up to bat and he hit the ball into center field, but it was caught. Then, Dugan grounded out. Adam Ciampi kept WA standing and hit a single. However, Mooney, the next batter, struck out, and the game was over. LS had won an exhilarating battle.
WA’s next game will be tomorrow, Wednesday the 27th at home against Boston Latin at 4 pm.
by Asad Khimani
Corn, King Corn, and Prog are some of the names he is known by at Westford Academy. Senior Mark Cornelius, a student-athlete for the WA Ghosts, plays football, basketball, and baseball for the school.
He made the varsity teams for all three sports in sophomore year. In basketball, he plays the position of guard, in football he plays wide receiver and in baseball, he pitches, plays outfield, centerfield, and a little bit of first base. Also, he was one of the captains of the basketball team this season. Overall, he is talented at all three sports.
Cornelius has been playing basketball and baseball since he was very young, sometime around kindergarten. However, he only started to play football in his sophomore year at WA.
“I love all three, but basketball is probably my favorite,” said Cornelius.
With the spring sports season coming up, Cornelius said that the baseball team will be good this year and should do well.
“We’ve got a lot of good players, mostly seniors. So yeah, we should do very well this year. It would be disappointing if we didn’t,” said Cornelius.
Cornelius said that WA tied for the DCL title two years ago and made it to the playoffs last year. This year, they are aiming to once again be the DCL champions.
Cornelius hopes to play basketball or football in college next year.
“I’m not sure which one yet. It kind of depends on what school I go to,” said Cornelius.
He is mostly looking at the University of New Hampshire and Bentley University, but the college he will definitely go to is still undecided. However, it is definite that this is King Corn’s last year as a Grey Ghost.
“It’s fun playing all three sports. I enjoyed every minute of it, and it’s gonna be different when I’m only playing one,” Cornelius explained.
By Asad Khimani
On Wednesday, March 16, the annual March Red Cross blood drive took place. The drive was very successful and over one hundred people donated blood.
The hard work put in by the Red Cross and the Westford Academy Youth Red Cross Club was what made the blood drive so successful. Many weeks before the blood drive, the WA Youth Red Cross Club, or WAYRC, was already preparing for the blood drive. Signs for the blood drive were approved by the office and then put up around the school, and announcements were aired.
“We’ve had announcements on the morning announcements for two weeks, or maybe actually about a week and a half,” said Julie Pfordresher, chemistry teacher and WAYRC advisor here at WA.
Then, the week right before the blood drive, the members of the WAYRC signed up people who wanted to donate and gave them a time in which they had to come into the blood drive, which was held in the gymnasium, to donate blood. The day before the blood drive, a video was aired on the announcements telling the blood drive participants to keep themselves healthy in various ways before the drive.
At the event, students in WAYRC sat at the reception table and signed people in who were donating blood in their designated time slots at the reception table. In addition, students worked the canteen, which is where donors went to eat a snack after losing much energy due to a blood donation. The WAYRC also signed people out.
“Once they feel like they’re good enough to go back to class, then we’ll send them off, we’ll check them out,” said vice president of the WAYRC, Chris Kawasaki.
The Red Cross organization also spent an immense amount of time to set up and work the blood drive. People working for the Red Cross brought in the beds on which patients lay down while donating, the needles to draw the blood, the pouches to keep the blood in, snacks for the canteen, and coolers in which to keep the containers of blood. Also, Red Cross members sorted the donated blood out based on blood type and placed the containers of blood into coolers so that they could be transported to headquarters in Dedham, MA and then shipped to hospitals.
Also, the organization set up several stations in the gym that served different purposes. A reception table was set up to check the donors in. Then, the donors went to the health history tables so that they could be asked questions about their health so that the Red Cross could determine if they were eligible for the blood drive. Afterward, if qualified, the donors went to the beds where iodine was rubbed on their arms. Then the donors lay down and had a needle placed inside their arm from which a pint of blood was drawn.
Donors could choose between two types of donations, a regular donation, in which a pint of blood is drawn or a double red donation, which is when the blood of the donor is drawn once, the red blood cells are taken out, and the rest of the blood is returned to the donor. Then, this process is repeated again.
“With the double reds, we can get two units of just red blood cells from one donor,” said Red Cross member Mellisa Newcomb.
After the blood was donated, it was given to a table where Red Cross members sorted the blood out based on the blood type and then pack the containers of blood into coolers so that it can then be shipped. The donors went to the canteen table, ate a snack, and then went back to class when revitalized.
People had different reactions after they donated a pint of blood. Sean Allison, a sophomore at WA, said that he felt dizzy at first, but then he got used to it and felt okay. Prayuth Naduthota, a junior at WA and Raunak Mahesh, also a junior, were two other students who donated. Naduthota said that he felt “dizzy and whoozy” after donating. Mahesh said that he felt, “A little bit loopy, but not too bad.”
Some people reacted differently after losing blood. Mackenzie Brewer, a junior, said that she had shivers after donating blood and needed a blanket. She also panicked and felt nauseous. Caty Sheridan, a senior, said that donating gave her a bad headache and made her feel drowsy.
However, all donors agreed that donating blood and giving to a good cause felt good.