BILLERICA — Last season simply could not have gone much better for the Shawsheen Tech Girls Cross Girls Country team. That is not a matter of opinion, but rather a simple fact. The Rams powered their way to a perfect 12-0 dual meet record, winning the CAC Dual Meet championship, while taking second place in both the CAC Championship Meet, as well as the State Vocational Meet.
It was a historic season on many levels, and one that won’t soon be forgotten by the Rams fans, athletes or coaches. But while it may not be forgotten, it must now be put in the rear view mirror, as a new season is upon the Rams, one in which they hope to have similar success, although repeating the magic of an undefeated season may be difficult.
Shawsheen won several close matches last season, including a thrilling one point victory, by a score of 28-29 over Essex Tech in the final meet of the season to clinch the league crown and the undefeated season. And that was behind the efforts of CAC All-Stars Ivana Wisky and Alex DiPerri, both of whom have now graduated.
Despite the odds now being somewhat stacked against them, Shawsheen coach Pat Kelly is confident that the Rams can have another great season and once again compete for the league title.
“I would love to go undefeated again, but I am not sure that we can do that. But at the same time, I feel like we have the talent that could definitely make the push for it,” Kelly said. “With teams like Essex and Chelsea in our league, it is tough to go undefeated. They are a couple of very good teams we will have to compete with. We beat them last year, but not by much.”
Kelly is also confident that the Rams can overcome the losses of Wisky and DiPerri as well as some other talented seniors from last year’ squad.
“Losing two of the top five runners in the league in Ivana and Alex is tough, but we bring back a strong group,” Kelly said.
Some of the athletes that Kelly will be counting on most to fill those top two slots will be juniors Rachael Halas and Kelly DeLosh, along with senior Jess Stevens of Wilmington, each of whom returns to the lineup after putting together strong seasons last fall.
The Rams will also be looking for big contributions from some newcomers, so of whom are upperclassmen and some of whom are freshmen. Among those he will be counting on include juniors Jamie Odams of Tewksbury and Gabrielle Roy, along with sophomore Kaylee Gaffney of Tewksbury and freshman Hannah Lyle.
“Rachael looks good. Kelley came into camp looking really good, as did Jess Stevens,” Kelly said. “And Hannah Lyle is just a freshman, but she has been doing well for us. Jamie was a nice acquisition, as was Kaylee”
The Rams began their season with a tri-meet at Greater Lowell on Wednesday afternoon against CAC rivals Greater Lowell and Minuteman, with results of the meet not known as of the Town Crier’s press time. They will be back in action next Wednesday for their first home meet of the season when they host another CAC rival, Northeast Metro Tech.