Castleton athletics can you feel the love?I love every Spartan program, despite their record and ranking, I bleed green and white. I also feel our programs and players need recognition as the school draws nearer to conference tournaments.
About a month ago our men’s basketball team was looking like a middle of the pack type of team, but the team is 7-3 in the past 10 games. They were on a five game winning streak until the 76-70 Feb. 13 loss to Maine-Farmington. The Spartans still have Maine Maritime and Husson on the schedule. As for the North Atlantic Conference tournament – I’m going to have to go with the Spartans. The loss to Maine-Farmington was heartbreaking, but the previous game against Me-Farmington was a 75-53 loss. My bold prediction though is that Coach Paul Culpo wins the NAC and makes a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III appearance in his first year coaching the Spartans.
Speaking of NCAA appearances, how about the women’s basketball team? This team is on a five game winning streak and still has top seed Husson left on the schedule. The previous game against Husson resulted in a 51-49 loss. I’m thinking Coach Tim Barrett and the Spartans will upset Husson in the NAC finals and repeat as conference champions. Point blank, this team has skill and Barrett proved this year after losing Mary Nienow and Jessica Banks that he doesn’t rebuild – he reloads.
The men’s hockey team is 8-3-4 in the past 15 games. During that span the Spartans went on a 5-0-2 unbeaten streak and outscored opponents 25-9. The guys just lost two straight against Norwich 6-2 and St. Michaels 4-3. I don’t care about the losses this weekend, I still think we upset Middlebury to close out the season, but as for an Eastern College Athletic Conference championship – I’m thinking Norwich this year.
Although the women’s hockey team is 4-18-1 the fight isn’t gone. This team just snapped an 11 game losing streak by beating St. Michaels College 2-1. On the Feb. 10 game against Norwich goaltender Katharyn Dembowski stopped 60 shots in the 2-1 loss. The Cadets are currently ranked third in the ECAC East standings and Castleton has played them close both games this season. The Spartans aren’t going to qualify for the eight team conference tournament, but this team has a solid freshmen and sophomore core to it that will improve next season.
I think the ski teams can pack their bags right now, because a trip to Nationals is in order. The women just barely missed it last year, but I think anything short of a trip to Nationals will be unacceptable. The men’s team is a no brainer to me. It’s scary to think of how good these teams are this year.
The women have 12 first place finishes in 12 races, while the men have 10 first place finishes in 12 races.
If you aren’t picking up what I’m putting down let me spell out my prediction – N-A-T-I-O-N-A-L-S.
I wish the best of luck to all the Spartan programs entering the post-season.