The Billies baseball team holds an 8-1 record in their league. This is a considerably strong record for the team at this point in the season and they look to finish the season just as strong as they have started it. The team is very well rounded and has skilled players at every position. Owen Maley, the closing pitcher, talked about the importance of strong pitching, “Our pitching and defense has carried us through the 1st half of the year. We didn’t get off to a good start with our bats, so our pitching has had to keep us in most games this year.” South has plenty of talent on the mound along with Maley. Joe Zanelotti and Nate DelSignore are only a few names that provide a boost on the mound. There is also a lot of talent in the field. Lead by DI bound outfielder Jack Holyoke, the Billies fielders have kept the team in many games this year while they struggled with the bats. Junior Ryan Burns, who is the starting shortstop, added this about the team’s defense, “Our best aspect this year is our defense. We’re not the type of team that’s going to put up double digit runs every game but instead we’re the type of team that doesn’t allow double digit runs. If our defense plays well and our pitchers throw strikes, our team will be winning or at least have the opportunity to win. So far, that’s exactly what we’ve done.” Junior Mitchell Binda who leads off and starts in left field, did a nice job putting the teams early success into perspective saying “everyone is doing their job and we have different people leading our team to victory. Nobody tries to do too much and everyone knows their role.” This says a lot about the team. Everybody contributes on any given day and that is the attitude that will continue to bring success to the Williamsville South Varsity Baseball team.
The South Softball team has had to overcome some challenges in the early weeks of their season. The team is very young with only one senior and two 8th graders. It’s not very often you see 8th graders outnumbering seniors on a high school team but the softball team has made it work this year. The first couple of games were rough, but after that the team has been on a hot streak turning their season around and becoming contenders. Haley Muehlbauer, a junior who starts in right field, noted the huge turnaround the team had, “We came out as a young team in the beginning of the season unsure of how to play with each other. We didn’t start off too strong but now we are all so close and when we are on top of our game we really make things happen. We even put things together and beat a strong Starpoint team 12-3 which was a huge win for our young team.” The positive of having a young team is that there will be many strong years to come for South softball. Rachel Mackowiak, the team’s only senior, belives the young team will develop “We’ve had a rough start but we’ve clicked together these past few weeks. We are a very young team. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the team develops over the next few years. South softball will be a team to look out for.” Softball hopes to continue their improvement into the second half of the season and into the future.
The boys lacrosse team has really shown that they want to make a name for themselves and turn the program in the right direction. The team has improved greatly from the past couple of years finding some new players that give the team what it needs to be the best. There is a lot of collective experience and skill throughout the team and that can be seen in the team’s performance this year. South has lost close games to Williamsville North, Nichols, and Lancaster showing that this team can hang in there with some of the best. Some notable wins are against North Tonawanda (18-2) and Amherst (17-5). They also beat rivals Williamsville East on home turf in a huge battle to show which that they are now contenders alongside the other Williamsville schools. Chad Zappia, the senior goaltender, says the team has grown this year, “It’s fun to see how we’ve bulked up our program. We went from being one of the worst, to a team that is contending against the powerhouses.” Boys lacrosse has a 7-5 record as of May 8th, but the strong play suggests that this record will improve by the end of the year as the team enters the finals stretch of games.
The girl’s lacrosse team has had a rough start to their season but hopes to turn things around and win some more games as they start to play some of the teams in their league a second time. Senior defender Elizabeth Crawford commented on her teams start and said “We started our season off a little rocky, but the team has really come together and I’m optimistic about the next half of our season.” The girl’s lacrosse team is also a fairly young team with a total of 9 freshmen and sophomores. Katelyn Kardaman, a senior who is a leader of this young group, is happy to lead this young team and is excited for the future, “It’s been such an honor to help lead such a great group of girls this year. We had trouble putting together a complete game at the beginning of the season, but we have used these as a learning experience and have started to find our rhythm. I’m excited for what’s to come.” The team should have a strong second half of the season as they improve every day and look to better their 2-8 record.
Last but not least, we have the tennis team. After a team of only 3 players last year, this year has been a complete turnaround with 13 guys on the team and a lot of depth. The team has a record of 3-5 in division and has found some strong singles players and some strong doubles pairs. At singles, the team has seen Zach Gewurz, Tyler Tiede, Jack Schultz, and Jack Petrie have success. The first doubles team has consistently been Noah Smith and Evan Manna, who have been successful and should find themselves as the doubles team at ECIC’s. Zach Gewurz, the team’s best player and captain, says this year has been different than others, “Last year we struggled to have a full roster and this year we have so much depth throughout the team. Also, the presence of the seniors has brought a more fun atmosphere and makes me look forward to playing every day.” Gewurz has high expectations for himself the rest of this season, “I’m looking to get through my next two matches including a tough opponent against Iroquois. I need to improve my serve over the next few weeks before ECIC’s and sectionals. I’m hoping to finish top 5 in ECIC’s and reach sectionals for the first time in hopes of placing well and getting a bid to the state tournament.” We hope to see Zach do well down the road as well as the rest of the team.