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Commentary: Out with the old, in with the new

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August 18, 2016

7:45 PM

William and Mary lost stars to graduation last year in many of its programs, but several Tribe athletes are poised to replace them and make their own mark this year.

The defensive unit of the College’s football team graduated several high-profile athletes, including safety DeAndre Houston-Carson ’16 and linebackers Luke Rhodes ’16 and Zack Fetters ’16. Juniors Mike Barta and Richie DiPietro each have the experience to take Houston-Carson’s spot, and it will be interesting to see if either can match his unique ability to sniff out ball carriers. Senior Marcus Harvey should naturally slot into the outside linebacker vacancy left by Fetters, while the experienced senior Matt Vlissides and athletic redshirt freshman Nate Atkins are competing to replace Rhodes in the middle.

Juniors Mike Barta and Richie DiPietro each have the experience to take Houston-Carson’s spot, and it will be interesting to see if either can match his unique ability to sniff out ball carriers.

On the basketball court, the Tribe must replace two long-term starters in forwards Terry Tarpey ’16 and Sean Sheldon ’16. Head coach Tony Shaver will likely tab junior Greg Malinowski as the successor to Tarpey, a two-time Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year. Malinowski burst into the spotlight during last year’s CAA Tournament semifinal, scoring a team-high 22 points in the heart-breaking loss to Hofstra. Fellow junior Jack Whitman should be Sheldon’s replacement in the post on experience alone, but sophomore Hunter Seacat also has the talent to make the jump to the starting lineup.

Malinowski burst into the spotlight during last year’s CAA Tournament semifinal, scoring a team-high 22 points in the heart-breaking loss to Hofstra

All-American goalkeeper Caroline Casey ’16 is no longer manning the net for women’s soccer, and the College has several potential replacements, but as of now no true front-runner. Junior Samantha Johnson has the most experience between the posts, but she faces stiff competition from fellow juniors Grace Smith and Devon Peck, sophomore Sara Vigen and freshman Katelyn Briguglio. With the season opener fast approaching, head coach John Daly has an important decision to make in his 30th season at the helm.

Another standout now gone is women’s tennis star Elizaveta Nemchinov ’16, but the Tribe has several quality players who can limit the impact of her loss. Senior Marie Faure leads a strong team, including juniors Maria Groener and Olivia Thaler, sophomore Lauren Goodman and freshmen Rosie Cheng, Charlotte Madson and Natalia Perry.

College baseball lost six seniors, the most prominent being first baseman Charley Gould ’16, who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics over the summer.

The College’s swimming program triumphed at the CAA championships last season, but inevitably lost several of its top performers, such as Will Manion ’16, Jeremiah O’Donnell ’16 and Jessie Ustjanauskas ’16. However, similar to women’s tennis, the Tribe should have plenty of talent ready to replace these stars once the season begins.

Finally, College baseball lost six seniors, the most prominent being first baseman Charley Gould ’16, who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics over the summer. While it’s unclear who will man Gould’s spot in the spring, the Tribe has several talented infielders, and should once again bring in a strong recruiting class.

In short, the College lost a bevy of amazing talents, but that’s no reason to despair, with freshmen and veterans alike hungry and ready to step up and become stars in their own right.

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About Author

  • Josh Luckenbaugh

Flat Hat Sports Editor Josh Luckenbaugh '18 is a sophomore from Leesburg, VA, majoring in English.