Winter sports are in full swing at Oyster River High School. Teams are now entering the heart of their regular season schedules or preparing for championship and state meets. I caught up with members of each team to get an update on how they are doing so far in their seasons and about their hopes for the remainder of the season. Overall, each team has had their ups and downs but continues to battle and stay competitive in their competitions.
The Oyster River/Portsmouth (ORP) girls hockey team is now 6-2 on their season and are coming off a 7-2 win over local rival, St. Thomas/Winnacunnet/Dover. Senior captain, Anna Mazza, notes the 7-2 win as one of the team’s biggest highlights of the season thus far. The ORP team is looking for a strong second half of their season to propel them into the postseason. Mazza added that their goal remains, “to get better and better every practice and game. We have worked a lot and have gotten much better already this season and our chemistry is starting to come together.” The team’s next home game is Tuesday, January 28th at home against Exeter.
The Boys Basketball team enters today’s home game at 6:30 against Manchester West with a 2-4 record. Senior captain, Kyle Miller, noted, “the team is going through a little rough patch but I really feel like we’re on our way out of that.” With games against some of the divisions top teams behind them, the boys basketball team looks to put the pieces together and add some more wins to their record. Miller concluded by saying, “I’m looking to further build our team chemistry. It’s one of the things holding us back so far. We’ve had a really good two weeks of practice and we’re ready to show DII that we’re still a contending team.”
Both the Oyster River Boys and Girls Ski teams have started off their season with many positives. Mackenzie Bruhm, a senior on the team, noted the addition of multiple new members as key contributors to the team. “So far we’ve had a really good season. We’ve had a lot of new additions to the team and they’ve all really contributed to the team and our overall score,” said Bruhm. Owen Mueller, a junior captain on the team, noted that the team continues to improve and is looking forward to the remainder of the season. “The team has been showing a lot of potential and has been performing better than ever. I look forward to seeing them continue to do well this season. I know if we keep working hard our team can win more races,” said Mueller. The Boys and Girls teams will be back in action next Friday at Gunstock Mountain.
The Oyster River Girls Basketball team continues to work on gaining their first win of the season. Junior captain Marlee Yoder, said, “the beginning of the season has definitely been tough, the team this year is really different than it was last year so we are all still learning how to play with each other.” The team has also played some tough competition early in their season playing 5 of the top 10 teams in the division within their first eight games. With a strong young core and only 4 juniors and seniors on the roster, the team is hopeful for the future. Yoder concluded by saying, “as a team, I really hope that we can continue to work together like we have been in the past few games and practice.” There next home game is January 24th at 5pm
The Boys Hockey team continues their 5 game road trip away at Keene this Saturday, January 25th. The team enters the game with a record of 5-2-1 and on a 3 game win streak. The team has had a balanced attack on offense with strong defense and consistent goaltending. The team is currently ranked 5th in the division and will be back at home February 10th against Portsmouth/Newmarket. As they enter the second half of their season, Senior captain Declan Daubney is optimistic about their improvement and chances in the long run. “If we can take advantage of high quality scoring chances we can before a top contender in the league,” said Daubney.
The Unified Basketball team will close out their season with two away games against rivals Dover (2/3) and Exeter (2/17). The team has not won as many games as desired but have had many other victories throughout the season. “The best highlight points are in games when the players finally accomplish something they have been working on for a while and it just amps us all up as a team,” said Jadyn Cunningham, a Senior partner on the team. With two games left against two top teams in the Division, the team is concentrated on having fun and making memories in the last month of their season. Cunningham concluded by saying, “It’s amazing getting to work with the players because they are all really amazing kids and it makes me feel good knowing that I can make them feel special and proud of themselves.”
Behind strong senior leadership, the Boys and Girls Swim teams are off to a great start in their seasons. Senior Leah Zamansky talked about the teams success thus far. “We have been scoring really well against other teams ever since the first invitational meet, which definitely shows the potential that we have, looking forward to the State meet,” she said. Senior Chris Crosbie-Villaseca shared a similar positive mindset saying that, “a lot of the swimmers this year have been really enthusiastic and always ready to do anything coach tells them to do which is great to see.” As both the girls and boys teams gear up for the state meet on February 15th, the team is optimistic about their chances. Crosbie-Villaseca concluded by saying, “I think we have a real shot at placing well in the state, and maybe even winning.”
The Boys and Girls Track teams enter the more competitive half of their season as they gear up for championship and state meets in the coming weeks. Coming off a State Championship last year, the girls team has felt the loss of many key contributors in the sprint events. Nonetheless, they have begun to reload with new crew sprinters to add to their experience in the distance events. On the boys side, their points in the state meet will most likely come from the distance and jumping events with great ability in both. Recently, the Boys 4×800 team relay set a new school record and has high hopes of breaking the current state record. Senior Lily Doody is optimistic of the girls chances at a chance to place well as a team again this year, saying, “as for the team, coming off of an Indoor Track state meet victory last year in 2019, I wouldn’t say I am being too ambitious in hoping to achieve this again.”