When most think of spring break, they think of rest and relaxation, but for many of Deerfield’s dedicated athletes it is quite the opposite. Instead of lying on the beach or spending restful time with friends and family, athletes from the lacrosse, tennis, crew, softball and baseball teams travelled to Florida on preseason trips to prepare them for the upcoming spring season.
The baseball team traveled to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where the boys managed to beat one of IMG’s baseball teams that included many Division 1 commits. “[It] showed us what we’re capable of when we throw strikes and don’t make errors,” said Captain Jared Pantalony ’18.
Boys lacrosse also had a successful trip to IMG Academy. They scrimmaged against New Hampton and Belmont Hill and brought home two wins, which boosted their confidence going into this season. Ned Lynch ’19 predicted great team chemistry, saying, “We have an awesome group of guys and we’re optimistic about a successful upcoming season.”
Both of the rowing teams had productive training sessions at the University of Central Florida. This trip was not for the faint of heart, with the athletes racking up a total of five hours on the water in addition to dryland workouts each day. That is not to say it was not an enjoyable experience. Girls crew captain Anna Scott ’18 recalled a fun team memory: “The guys and girls did March Madness racing relays. Even though there was no prize, it was still fun!”
The softball team had a productive trip to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando to work on their skills for the upcoming season, spending countless hours on the field in preparation for future games. The team recalled lots of fun memories they had of the trip especially those spent exploring Disney World and other team bonding activities. “The team has lots of spirit and potential — I love the girls that I work with,” said Coach Rebecca Melvoin. She believed the team chemistry improved greatly over the week spent training in Florida.
The week before the softball team entered Disney World, the girls lacrosse team was training there. After leaving right after finals, they spent the first four days of spring break practicing at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and competing against other teams down there. Goalkeeper Maggie Tydings ’20 addressed the difficulty of a first-week training trip, saying, “Leaving right after exams is hectic for everyone, especially seniors who give up spending time with their friends. But, our trip was super productive and we were able to get a lot of great work in while also having a hoot in Disney!”
Both the boys and girls tennis teams also traveled to IMG Academy for their preseason training. A highlight of the trip for many of the players was meeting Maria Sharapova, a renowned Russian professional tennis player who is an Olympic medalist and career Grand Slam winner. Claire Koeppel ’18 recalled the trip as “extremely productive and fun!” After practicing for five hours each day, and doing many bonding activities, the tennis teams expresed that they were ready for any challenges this season might throw at them.