There will be a big change coming at the top of Southington athletics as a whole in the fall of 2019. Greg Ferry resigned in August as athletic director to take a school counselor position at West Hartford’s Conard High School.
Ferry did talk about the upcoming fall season, which he will be a part of until his final day in Southington, which is Friday, Sept. 13. Here are Greg’s thoughts:
OBSERVER: What kind of momentum can be carried over from a successful spring to the fall?
FERRY: I really think we’re just going to hit the ground running. I think this senior class is really strong, I think they get along with one another, and the fall always sets the foundation for the rest of the year.
OBSERVER: What is a team to watch this fall?
FERRY: Girls soccer’s returning a plethora of talented young women, led by Mike Linehan and his coaching staff. I think they have a lot of competition within their team to try to figure out what role everyone’s going to be, and I truly feel that if they rally around each other, the sky is the absolute limit for that team. They’ve got a lot of good players, a lot of good kids, and Mike does a tremendous job.
OBSERVER: How will girls volleyball do after graduating an accomplished senior class?
FERRY: There’s a lot of young height coming through the program, and they are always going to be in the mix day in, day out. Rich [Heitz] is just the consummate professional, does an amazing job, a great developer of young women. They should be a team to watch as well.
OBSERVER: What’s your outlook for football for 2019?
FERRY: Football’s coming back, and they had a tremendous offseason. They won the state weightlifting competition, second in the Berlin lineman challenge, won the passing league. I think the biggest thing is going to be one of the quarterbacks who’s competing stepping up and really running with it…I think the non-conference game against Darien is a great litmus test for them early in the season. Whether they win or whether they lose, they’ll learn from it.
OBSERVER: You see bigger things for boys soccer in 2019?
FERRY: Coach Dave Yanosy is really trying to look at how they do things day in and day out, revamped their fitness test as part of the selection process. He does a great job of setting a tone and playing the right way. They’re always a tough group to play against, and I firmly believe they’ll be back in the tournament this year.
OBSERVER: How do you feel about field hockey?
FERRY: Field hockey’s returning a nice group, I’m excited for coach Erin Luddy’s group. The biggest thing I can say is they’re always playing better as the year progresses, and they’re peaking at the end. Looking forward to that, would love to get a home playoff game.
OBSERVER: What about swimming, who lost a solid senior class?
FERRY: Coach Evan Tuttle graduated a strong group of swimmers, but he said he really likes this group. They came in focused, determined and ready to go in the pool… He’s always staying abreast of the most current topics. I can’t say enough about what he does, and he’s such a gifted educator.
OBSERVER: What makes Southington’s runners so good?
FERRY: Those kids just, what a running culture that’s been created in this school. We have a lot of three-season runners. They do cross country, then they evolve into indoor track and on to outdoor track. That group always looks like they’re having a really good time. They’re running all over, and they’re working hard… Coach Dan Dachelet’s really got them peaking and working, and they do a lot of camaraderie, a lot of team building. It’s just really outstanding.
OBSERVER: Anything else you would like to point out?
FERRY: I want to give a shout-out to our cheerleading coach Heather Allenback. She was teacher of the year for the town of Southington, along with being coach of the year for the state. That’s quite the double she got this past year, and couldn’t be happier for her. The cheerleading program is such a part of our culture and our community here. A lot of people see them at games, but they don’t realize that they’re doing stuff in the community centers, and singing Christmas carols to the elderly at the senior center.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com