Third baseman and EL native Mike Ahmed continues to play minor league ball for the Ogden Raptors in Utah. Here is a link to the individual stats page: stats
ELS: How does the team look for the upcoming season?
MM: I believe our team has a lot of potential going into this season. We just have to work hard and translate it to game situations. That includes high tempo conditioning throughout the season along with high tempo practices.
ELS: You put up some pretty big numbers last season. Any personal goals for 2014?
MM: Clearly I cannot consider it an individual achievement when I am not blocking for myself. Our offense as a unit did an excellent job last year. Just look at the numbers all around the board. As far as goals go for myself this season, I strive to be a leader on and off the field and set the bar high for the younger guys by leading by example and working hard to show my younger teammates what it takes to create a winner. It isn't about the flash. The only stat that matters is wins.
ELS: Who are some of the guys that will make a big impact for the Spartans this year?
MM: It is too early to tell who will make noise this year. We have to strap the pads on and challenge the younger guys to make plays and compete with anyone no matter how good their opponent may be. Needless to say, this senior class of guys is excellent from the offensive line to our quarterback to receivers and defense. I must say I am very impressed with all of the seniors so far.
ELS: How much running do you do between indoor track and the XC season?
AL: The amount of running every runner does between seasons does vary for each person, but personally I try to run at least 5 days a week during the off-season. Off season training is really important to any runner, and even if its just a short run, it's always good to try to get out there. During the summer, I usually try to run at least 15-20 miles total each week.
ELS: How does the team look so far?
AL: The team is looking great so far! We have a very young team this year, with only 5 returners and 7 underclassmen newcomers. From what I've seen, the team is extremely motivated and willing to work hard, which is probably the most important thing for any runner. The team is pretty small, but very talented and hardworking.
ELS: How many runners did you lose to graduation, and who is working hard to fill those spots?
AL: Five of our best runners graduated, including our top scorer, Meredith McGowan. Although it will be extremely difficult to fill the spots, Tori Evans and Abby Rate will two key runners this year. Meg Byrne and Caitie O'Reilly were out for a good amount of the season last year, but this year, the two seniors will hopefully be healthy and able to contribute a lot to the team. I've also been able to run a number of times with Marina Wilkins, Kay Laughlin, and Kate Moynihan. It is clear that these three girls will be standout runners for the Spartans, and I can't wait to see what the upcoming season has in store.
The following info is from Mr. Marchewka:
The 2015 EL Sports.com scholarship will be run differently this year. Any college bound junior or senior can apply by simply sending in a sports article, game summary, interview, etc during the 2014-2015 school year. There is no limit to the number of entries per student.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like more information.
ELS: How is the team looking for the upcoming season?
JM: The team is looking very good. We only lost one guy from our top 7 last year, so we have most of our firepower returning. Our goal is to make states as a team. I don't think anybody is expecting us to do so, which would make it all the more sweet if we were able to do so. I think that if we stay injury free, we would have a good shot doing so. Our more "realistic" goal this year is to win our league. It hasn't been done since 2001, so that would be a big accomplishment for everyone.
The Water Bottle Challenge is a 5K Road Race/Fun Walk organized by Catherine Merton for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. All proceeds will be used to buy and install a "hydration station" at East Longmeadow High School. The fee for adults is $20, and the fee for kids 10 and under is $10. Catherine can be reached for questions at 636-1908.
The date is Saturday, August 23 at 8:30 with registration starting at 7:30. All participants will receive a water bottle and a t-shirt.
Here is how Catherine explained the hydration station: "It's a water bottle fill up station, which provides an easy, quick way to get cold, filtered water in your water bottle. It will facilitate the use of reusable water bottles and discourage the use of plastic water bottles. The goal of my project is to raise awareness about the effects that plastic water bottles have on the environment and promote the use of reusable water bottles. "
It's almost time to start high school fall baseball again. Interested players should contact Kyle DiFranco at 478-3518. There will be a meeting next week to get things organized. We will report on the date and time when it becomes available.
Nick Ahmed went 2 for 4 with a 380 foot home run to left field in the 8th in a Diamondbacks 7-4 win over the Pirates. Nick also was part of a great double play, catching the feed from his 2nd baseman with his throwing hand and spinning to throw out the runner at 1st. Rumor has it that this play landed Nick on ESPN's Top 10 this morning.