The Next Generation of Varsity Athletes: Underclassmen

Sam Plunkett, Co-Web Page Editor, Sophomore

Nothing beats the thrill of representing your high school in a sports game. That thrill is magnified when you are an underclassman who has made it onto a varsity team. Pelham Memorial High School athletics is unique among county high schools in that some of our teams list a number of underclassmen among those on their varsity roster.

Last year, the PMHS hockey team won the New York State Division II Championship after multiple blowouts throughout their historic season. This was done with the help of sophomores, Andrew Shulzhenko, Connor Evans and Liam Ronan. They showed how much of an impact underclassmen can have on our schools sports teams. Andrew Shulzhenko and Connor Evans boosted the team offensively with four goals for Shulzhenko and one goal for Evans during the season. Liam Ronan also played goalie for the team and finished the year with five shutouts during their historic season.

This year’s girls varsity soccer team has the largest number of underclassmen, twelve, and they are already off to a strong start with a record of 9-7. Julia O’Neil, a sophomore, plays midfield on the team this fall.

“My favorite part is meeting and bonding with my teammates,” said Julia. “Varsity is definitely harder but I wouldn’t go back to JV for the world.”

On Pelham’s varsity football team, sophomore Mark McNenney starts on both the offensive and defensive line.

”Varsity is much more challenging and fun to play,” said Mark. “It was stressful in the pre-season because I didn’t know what to expect, but after the first game I became much more comfortable.”

With the addition of “young blood” to varsity rosters, teams have discovered a new fountain of youth to both overpower their competition and extend the life of their teams.