Hornets Nest


Girls Tennis

The Lady Hornets return from school break facing a busy schedule.  The team fell to a strong Division 3 team in Austin Prep over April vacation and lost a close match 3-2 against Newburyport on April 25.  This week's opponents are North Reading, Hamilton-Wenham and Ipswich.  All matches are being played in Manchester with Hamilton Wenham a home match for the Generals at the MAC.  Currently at 5-2 on the year the girls are looking forward to a busy and successful second half of the season.  It won't be easy as North Reading is a Kinney Division opponent and both Hamilton-Wenham and Ipswich are having strong seasons. According to captains Parker Brooks and Gracie Susko the girls are ready to return to action and are excited to finish strong in the race to the Cape Ann League Baker Division title and to play in the state tournament.


On April 27 the team raced St. John’s Prep, sharing the course with Pingree, which was racing  Gloucester HS.  Including Landmark School’s six boats out practicing, there was nearly 20 boats sailing in the outer Manchester harbor.  Winds were strong to begin with and kept building as the racing progressed.  We managed to finish two races against SJP, while Pingree completed one against Gloucester.  The winds were at the high end of acceptable racing conditions, and SJP’s advantage in crew weight helped them win each race.  Just at the end of the last race, a squall line came through, capsizing six boats, and we had to go into rescue mode, sending in the teams and picking up the sailors from capsized boats to bring them to the dock.  The coaches went back out to rescue the overturned boats, and with the Harbormaster Bion Pike’s help managed to get them all righted, including two that were perilously close to Half Tide Rock.  As the Hornets regrouped on the dock, the coaches had an interesting time going over the “Lessons learned” from the event.  Coach Leggett was happy to hear that two of the Hornet sailors were calmly sitting on their overturned boat discussing a recent chemistry exam while waiting for the coach boats to arrive.  Other sailors, for whom this was their first experience with extreme winds, learned the value of “staying with the boat” and the practicality of wearing a “dry suit” that along with their life jackets kept them warm, dry, and floating high.  The team practiced on Thursday and Friday, taking advantage of the continued strong winds to hone upwind sailing in difficult conditions.  On April 30th we travelled to Lake Cochituate to compete in the Donald Green Regatta, named for a Lincoln-Sudbury student who died in 9/11. In the 24 boat fleet racing format, the Hornets had only one experienced skipper, Sophomore Ian Carlin, and three Freshmen.  His usual crew, Matthew Graeter, stepped up to skipper the B Division boat in competition for the first time.  Ian and crew, Cole Cote, performed very well, coming in sixth in A division out of 24 teams.  Matthew, and his crew Lucia Loge-Perron, performed better than expected, by beating five other schools, once again never having skippered in outside competition.  With two of our top skippers not competing, this was a great showing for the team made up of one Sophomore and three Freshmen.  On Sunday, May 1st we headed to Quincy Bay to compete in the Qualifier for the O’Day Trophy, the New England Fleet Racing Championship.  In a very strong field of nine teams, four of which would go on to the Finals, Anna Brzezinski, with crew Aiden Harrison, in the A Division, and Ian and Matthew in B Division managed eighth place.  We’ll be looking for a stronger performance next year.  It’s a building year for the Hornets, but the coaches look at every single regatta as a chance to gain more experience and add knowledge of boat handling, boat speed and tactics throughout all aspects of competitive sailing.

Boys Lacrosse

The Hornets traveled to non-league opponent Bishop Fenwick on April 22.  The majority of the first half was back and forth with both teams exchanging goals in the first half resulting in a 4-4 tie at halftime.  The second half was a different story.  Groundball battles were in favor of the Hornets however the Crusaders controlled and dictated the pace of play both on offense and defense.  Countless turnovers, unlucky bounces and undisciplined penalties is what hurt the Hornets.  Bishop Fenwick would score six unanswered goals in the second half resulting in a 10-4 loss.  The Hornets then hosted Cape Ann League team Triton on Monday, April 25.  This game was one of runs, long possessions and again, countless mistakes made by the Hornets in the opening half.  Triton’s offense would control possession and pace of play throughout the first and second quarters, creating a 7-1 Vikings lead at the half. Strong defensive efforts were led by Senior goalie Hayden Brady, Junior Sam Athanas and Junior Cameron Hubbard.  The Hornets stepped up in the second half, outscoring Triton 4-2.  However, that was not enough to get out of the six-goal deficit.  Undisciplined penalties hurt the Hornets, and adjustments made in the second half defensively allowed for the offense to find some sort of rhythm enroute to big possessions and some big goals. The final score was 9-5 Triton. The teams theme this season is to compete for 48 minutes, one play at a time, and winning individual battles on offense and defense.

Boys Tennis

The Manchester Essex boys tennis team brought its overall record to 5-1 with a rain shortened win over Amesbury on April 27 by 3-0.  The three decisive points all came from the singles just before the rain struck.  Winning at first singles and remaining undefeated on the season was John Pope with an efficient (6-0, 6-0) win.  Winning at two was freshman Jack Cummins Winning (6-1, 6-3) and at three, sophomore Charles Virden also with a straight set decisive (6-1, 6-3) score.  The Hornets match on Monday against North Reading was postponed due to possible rain.  The team will host CAL Small power Hamilton Wenham Wednesday and travel to Ipswich on Friday.