Senior Athletes Rise to Make Their Mark

Meet the 2021 Fall Sport Captains


Lisa Farrell

The captains of the girls volleyball team, Arezoo Ghazagh and Morgan Viesselman. Photo courtesy: The Mane Street Mirror.

Kyle Zarnoch, Sports Editor

     As the highly anticipated fall sports seasons begin, each team has proudly named their captains. Each captain looks to lead their respective team to a winning season, while avoiding any conflicts that may arise. After the loss of some fall sports last season, this year it is especially critical to have leaders in each program that keep each team focused and prepared for the season ahead. 

     Here’s a look at the 2021 fall sports and students that have earned the title of captain. 

     The football team is led by captains Kyle Zarnoch, Dean Ross, Jason Cruz, Kyle Pokornowski, Barry Held and Anthony James Edmond. The team is off to a 1-1 start after their loss on Friday, September 17 against Branford.

     Captain Kyle Pokornowski says, “I have high hopes for the season after the long summer where I as well as the other captains have seen the team put in countless effort to get prepared and ready for the road ahead.” 

     The team finds most of the players on the field young or inexperienced prior to the season, especially after the modified season last year. Pokornowski says he sees this as an opportunity for them to step up and make a difference in the program. 

     The girls cross country team has two captains, Amelia McGonigle and Quincy Ercanbrack. The two are heavily experienced in the sport. 

     Coach and teacher, Ms. Shannon Ramsey says, “My team has a large say in how captains are elected… Prospective athletes are expected to complete a questionnaire to show their dedication to the team and to highlight why they believe they will be a strong captain. After that, each athlete is given a ballot and may vote for two of the upcoming seniors.” The girls look to capture their next meet at Guilford High School on October 2. 

     The boys soccer team, captained by seniors Basit Idress and Owen Bell, is off to a good start after a 7-0 win against Amistead.

     Coach Rick Distefino spoke highly about his captains and his goals for the two individuals, saying, “The goals for our captains this season remain the same as always… We rely on our captains to maintain the level expectations for both on and off the field excellence. They set the tone for effort, attitude, sportsmanship and leadership both on and off the pitch. We feel we have great choices this year to set the tone for our year.”

     Senior Brayden Young says, “The leadership they bring to the team is well-needed and something that has for sure helped. They bring expectations to the team that help us get to where we need to be and hold us accountable for our actions and everything we do… The experience they bring to the team goes a long way especially for our younger kids which is something that is very nice to see from my captains.” The team looks to get back in the SCC finals and finish with a win. 

     The girls swim team finds themselves with less athletes participating in this year’s season, but captains Ava Candido, Grace Tavitain, Emma Ann Fiorillo, Kathleen Ourfalian, and Caroline Lezko are up to the challenge.

     Fiorillo says, “The team has a strong bond, and the work ethic is really good as they all work hard every practice.” The girls started out the season with a loss in their second meet against Cheshire, but had a strong opener against West Haven and won.  The team has a strong bond and the captains  look forward to a productive and successful season.  

     Lauren Ardolino, Rylee Tondora and Hanna Della Bitta-Falkowski are the captains for the girls soccer team. Each of the girls are four year players who are far from new to the varsity stage. The team has already seen success this year after winning their “spring league” and look to bring that momentum into the season. 

     The experienced starting lineup, containing seven of eleven seniors, looks to use their team chemistry to their advantage. The team has become very close even with the tough restrictions of Covid-19.

     Ardolino says, “We all laugh and have fun on and off the field, which is very important for a team to have.” With that, keep an eye on the girls soccer team looking to continue their recent success. 

     The boys cross country team is aiming for a positive season. The captains for the team are the four seniors: Jake Duggan, Josh Cummings, Nathaniel Hubner and Damon Downs. Hubner says he’s excited for the season to be here and is excited to chase after his own personal record, and is even more excited to see the team do the same. 

     Hubner continues, “The progress the team has made since the beginning of the season is tremendous and has high hopes for the team going forward.” The team will be facing better competition this year as a result from previous years, which makes their goal of staying positive even tougher. However, the “close net family” of the boys cross country team is ready to face any obstacle.  

     Morgan Viesselman and Arezoo Ghazagh are the captains for the girls volleyball team. They are excited for the season to finally be underway and are happy with less restrictions. The team this year is young, and even with the six seniors on the roster, most didn’t see time on the varsity court last year. 

     The captains this year are up for the challenge and understand their roles as leaders. Viesselman says, “As a captain my job is to keep energy up for the entirety of the game and help my team play the best we can. Being captain does not mean you are the best player on the court but the most uplifting, most energetic, and the most hardworking.” 

     The captains guide the young and inexperienced groups through the tougher schedules and hardships that come along their journey. 

     Viesselman shared her lasting thoughts on her teammates and the competition, “…as long as we play our best and lift each other up, we can win.”

     Although considered a club, cheerleading is led by Anna Paul and Elizabeth Schumann. Cheerleading competition routines are practiced in the fall but they compete in the winter.

     According to coach Ms. Meghan Oliver, “This year’s team has been working hard with the help of their seniors and captains. They are excited to not only cheer on winter and fall sports teams, but also to keep learning new stunting and tumbling skills for competition in the winter.” 

     It’s proven that there are no shortages of leadership and honor within the community. As mentioned, the captains on each team all have goals and expectations inside each program, ultimately trying to provide a successful winning season. 

     Check out each of the fall sports and all of the captains in action as the season is underway. Visit the CIAC website here to see all of Foran’s fall sporting events.