WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW

After success, league titles and playoff appearances in the 2018-19 winter sports season, teams are looking to reload and replace after losing those who graduated.

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WINTER SPORTS PREVIEW

Senior Dylan Ranallo is one of the returning athletes  on the varsity boys basketball team. After losing last year's league MVP Jaylen Solich, Ranallo and others must fill the void he left.

Senior Dylan Ranallo is one of the returning athletes on the varsity boys basketball team. After losing last year's league MVP Jaylen Solich, Ranallo and others must fill the void he left.

(BRAYDEN DOTOLI / EYE OF THE TIGER)

Senior Dylan Ranallo is one of the returning athletes on the varsity boys basketball team. After losing last year's league MVP Jaylen Solich, Ranallo and others must fill the void he left.

(BRAYDEN DOTOLI / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(BRAYDEN DOTOLI / EYE OF THE TIGER)

Senior Dylan Ranallo is one of the returning athletes on the varsity boys basketball team. After losing last year's league MVP Jaylen Solich, Ranallo and others must fill the void he left.

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The first week in November marks the beginning of the 2019-2020 winter sports season for Roseville High School. This includes boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, and wrestling. Last year, each winter sport received playoff berths, with two league pennants coming from boys basketball and girls soccer. But, this year’s teams now face a challenge to reload after losing last year’s seniors.

Led by head coach Greg Granucci, boys basketball is coming off of last year’s winning season that included a 10-2 league record. This year, the team must make up for the loss of strong players such as Jaylen Solich, last year’s conference MVP. Granucci believes that the loss of Solich will not greatly affect this year’s team, although they will have to make many adjustments.

“Players like Jaylen are very rare,” Grannuci said, “This year we don’t have a lighting fast guard like we did last year with Jaylen, yet we have tall and lengthy guards. Players come and go with high school sports. After that season is over you will never have that same group of guys play together at the same time ever again. We must adapt to the season with the kids we have.” 

After losing so many strong members of the team, Granucci believes that the only way to make up for it is to emphasize hard work and build upon the strengths of current members. 

“Everyone has to buy into what we’re doing as a program,” Granucci said. “Everyone has to push each other in practice and make each other better as well as showing the person next to them that their willing to put their teammates in front of themselves.”

“Players come and go with high school sports…We must adapt to the season with the kids we have.””

— Greg Granucci

The girls varsity soccer team finds itself in a similar situation. After winning the section championship in 2017, earning runner up in section in 2018, and winning league in 2019, the girls varsity team lost eight seniors last year.

Alyssa Granno, who is entering her fourth year on the girls varsity soccer team, believes that returners will make a significant impact on this year’s team. 

“Returners help a ton. We’ve played varsity before so we know how the game works and plays,” Granno said. “We have experience with playing against and with girls that are older than us so we can help those who aren’t returning.”

Girls varsity soccer also welcomed Todd DeCarlo as head coach this year after the prior coach, Paul Stewart, stepped down to JV. Over the past four seasons, DeCarlo has worked as the program’s freshman and later JV coach. With a new head coach, Granno feels that the program will change in the future, yet hopes it remains strong.

“There are quite a few players that will make an impact along with the new coach this season. That will make a big impact on our program in the long run,” Granno said. “It’s kind of brand new for us all.”

Similarly, while boys soccer continued onto playoffs and finished third in the league last year, this year the team must take on games without Austin Wehner, who scored 20 of the team’s goals last year. And, while the wrestling team had standout performances from Eric Dutka and Ethan Bandy, the former now graduated and the latter is a senior. 

However, last year girls basketball tied for second in the CVC under first-year head coach Allen Darte. This year the team only lost three seniors, with a core of nine returners remaining. Senior Isabelle Sanders, pulled up to varsity her freshman year, is now playing in her fourth and final year and must rally the remainder of her team to meet last year’s successes.