Spring is in the air. Well not here, but you know how it is. I want to go on record and say this was a lousy winter. I love snowboarding and will continue doing it into April until Killington closes, but I hate taking the mountain with me. That’s what it was, a winter tundra out front of my place on Main Street.
So we welcome, along with some sun and greenery, the spring sports season at Castleton.
The men’s lacrosse repeating as North Atlantic Conference champions is the biggest no brainer of the spring.
Lax hasn’t lost a conference game to the current NAC opponents since 2004 and secured two shutouts last spring against the University of Maine-Farmington and lowly Green Mountain College.
Freshman Alex Green has nestled into the faster college game with a team-high 10 points and nine goals through just three games earning him NAC Player of the Week honors.
One-for-one for Greener.
However, the Spartans are 0-3 in those first games. Goaltender David DeGhetto and his young defense are struggling early but they’re getting a lot of work from offensive turnovers.
Although, I know these guys will be in shape to do damage when NAC action starts in April. Second round NCAA anyone?
The Men’s team shed their demons in Mt. Ida and took home the NAC plaque. Can the Women’s lacrosse team do the same with Bridgewater State this year?
Yes. four words and a bunch of capitals, Marie Van Der Kar. She began the season with 55 career games and 224 career points. I think she owns so many records they gave her a couple softball records too.
Van Der Kar is leading a younger but well-rounded squad to the conference championship and beyond.
Don’t knock the baseball team because it keeps losing.
The Spartans are playing some of the best baseball schools in Division III.
And when they return home in April, I expect them to be ready for the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC).
Scrappy second baseman Ryan Zielinski destroyed the ball last spring. The NEAC All-Conference selection/Rookie of the Year/NEIBA All-New Englander batted .363, led the team with six homers and 74 hits, while knocking in 50 RBIs and reaching home plate 54 times in 50 games.
Whew. Oh, and he pitched one shutout inning with two K’s. He’s only going to get better. Baseball is going to take the NEAC East division for sure.
Softball hasn’t had a winning season since 2007 and hasn’t reached the NAC finals ever. The Spartans graduated two-time team MVP Hilary Bemis, and must look to others to fill the void. I think it’s going to be sophomore shortstop Megan Blongy.
Blongy belted 43 hits in 31 games last season good for a team-high .473 batting average and All-Conference second team bid.
Though she didn’t have very big power numbers last spring (0 HR, 7 RBI), she played solid defensively, making just three errors and finishing with a .969 fielding percentage.
Expect this infielder to be the spark her team may need. But the Spartans aren’t making me feel too relaxed when it comes to NAC tourney time.
The Spartans have gone 7-7 in the NAC regular season the last two years and bowed out in the first round last spring.
I’m not picking softball to make it past the NAC semifinals. The softball up in Maine is just too good.
Shout out to whomever comes up with a nickname for Zielinski.
I got Ryan “don’t call him Wayne” Zielinski.
As you can see, I need some help: