Freshmen to the Forefront by MacGregor Peterson

Achieving a varsity letter for a sport is a commonly shared goal amongst many Taft students. Some athletes are able to reach an impressive talent level in a sport as early as freshmen year. Speaking from my own experience as a freshmen on a varsity team, it is an amazing opportunity to learn from older teammates. The seeds of the next wave of Taft athletes are planted with the freshmen, and this year’s freshmen provide an exciting look at our future teams.


Field Hockey

Tatum Eades, Chase Melchionni, and Jenna Guegelini comprised the freshmen squad on the varsity field hockey team. The three girls contributed to the team’s run to the New England Quarter Finals where they fell to Andover, who later won the championship. Their captain said, “Tatum, Chase and Jenna were amazing teammates in terms of talent as well as camaraderie.” We look forward from seeing more of these four out on the turf field.  


Girls’ Cross Country

Cross Country is one of the toughest sports, combining mental and physical toughness. Despite their lack of experience at Taft, Annabel Pick and Stella Oldakowski crushed the XC circuit. A senior on their team said, “they are the most hardworking and dedicated girls on the team. Annabel always knew how to put a smile on our faces and Stella was always determined to [give] her best on the course and encourage other to do the same.” It is safe to say the freshman phenoms exemplified all that Taft wishes to achieve through athletics.


Boys’ XC

As a proud former member of Boy’s Cross Country (circa 2015), I can firmly state that Robbie Accomando is an amazing runner, reaching the varsity team as a freshman. A Senior on the team described Robbie as, “A powerhouse runner that shows immense potential for the years to come.” If he is able to keep up with all the upperclassmen on the team it is scary thinking about what he will achieve during his time in a Taft uniform.


Boys’ Soccer

Kelvin Baffour was the lone freshmen on Boy’s Soccer. Despite being a freshman, Kelvin displayed a skill set beyond his years. His contribution to the team helped their run to New England Semi Finals. One of his captains described him with, “this kid has so much fight. Forget talent, he has so much grit in his game. KK embodies the traits of the ideal Taft soccer player. He is the next great one.”


Girls’ Soccer

The girls soccer team was comprised of four freshmen studs. Susanna Adams, Elise Moreira, Eliza Ford, and Caroline Messer are athletes that each played major roles in the soccer team’s success, despite their younger ages. They made up for anything they lacked in experience with determination and helped the team achieve an impressive record of 7-5-3. One of their captains praised them, describing the four as, “always enthusiastic and willing to work hard for the benefit of the team. They have a great future ahead of them and will make great leaders.”


Girls’ Basketball

The Girls Basketball team is currently on a tear, with only one loss to Groton, who they beat two games later. Part of their success lies with their three freshmen. Elise Moreira, Lauren Villanueva, and Eliza Ford are the freshmen on the squad and demonstrate why they are on the team every game. A captain described the three protegies as “an incredible addition to the team.” She continued stating, “their energy brings everyone up and it’s really exciting seeing how far they’ve come in just a few months.”


Boys’ Squash

Jesse Sarfo Brew is the Boy’s Squash freshman. Although he hasn’t received any mullet like the look that Captain Peter Keigher ‘19 was blessed with his freshmen year, he has been welcomed onto the talented team with open arms. One of his captains says, “Jesse has been a great member of the team and I look forward to seeing him finish a strong season.”


Boys’ Hockey

Two freshmen have earned their spots on the Boys Hockey team. Mikey Roberts and Thomas Ricciardelli comprise the first wave of players that will define the future of the hockey program. The young buck’s captain describes the boys as, “quality people that show up and work hard on and off the ice. Both are contributors on the team and their role will increase as they get older. The future is bright for these two young men.”


Girls’ Hockey

The Girls Ice Hockey team has a quartet of freshmen skaters on their squad. Callia Ferraris, Jenna Guglielmi, Sarah Elkas, and Eva Witkowski make up the group. The four are known for leaving everything on the ice, whether it be during a game or practice. One captain couldn’t hold back a waterfall of compliments saying, “they are all hard working girls who are adapting to the Taft GVH culture. They all compete with intensity and are open to learning from coaches and upperclassmen.” She continued stating that the girls are promising heirs to the culture the current seniors have cultivated. She finished with, “I’m excited to come back in four years when they are all seniors to see how much they’ve grown to become senior leaders on and off the ice.” It is safe to say that these freshmen are something special for the future of the program.