By Jake Goloboy.
Rounding the final turn of the Reggie Lewis Center track ahead of Milford in the 4×400, Scotty Kaplan and the Sharon High track team knew they had secured the program’s first outright Hockomock championship and undefeated season.
“Even before the race the title was ours. But winning the last race of the season to bring home the championship was a special feeling,” said Kaplan.
Sharon has won the Hockomock league championship each of the past two seasons, but the title was shared between Sharon, Oliver Ames, and Stoughton all with a record of 4-1. Junior Juvan Elisma says that after the team beat Stoughton in the third meet of the season and Oliver Ames in the fourth, he knew the title was within grasp.
“I joined the team towards the end of the season, but I could feel how ecstatic everyone was to beat both Stoughton and OA in the same season,” said Elisma.
The season started off with high expectations. Having once again tied Stoughton and Oliver Ames in last year’s season, the boys were confident in their abilities to compete with the top teams in the league.
“Given the immense, innate talent on the team this year and the tremendous effort we put in, I wanted all my teammates to finally win the Hock. It was a prodigious reward after tying for what felt like an eternity,” said junior Oliver Hu.
This year was the Eagles’ year and they knew it from the start. Senior Liam McManus and Junior Oliver Hu were seeded first in the 55 meter hurdles and the 55 meter dash respectively at the start of the season; with former state qualifiers Scotty Kaplan and Tyler Kaufman running mid distance and Terry Sun running long distance, the boys were strong across the board.
“We knew what we had to do since the beginning of the season. The talent was there we just had to execute,” said senior captain Liam McManus.
The boys started off the season with a win against Canton by a score of 73-23 and did not look back. The team rolled over Foxboro in their next meet and then faced Stoughton; their first of two big tests this season. Their win against Stoughton by a score of 56-44 was the closest meet of the season, but the Eagles “ran every meet like it was for the ‘ship,” said junior Terry Sun.
“Like my mentor once said, it’s not about how you start it’s how you finish. Keeping that in mind I tried to remind the team constantly of what we had to do to reach our goals,” said Sun.
Oliver Ames has been the Eagles biggest rival in recent memory. As the pride of the Davenport, OA was Hockomock League champions 5 years running until this winter. In their last season in the Davenport division before moving up to the Kelley-Rex, Oliver Ames was handed one final defeat at the hands of the Eagles.
“The past four years paid off for the seniors. Winning was great not just for us; the whole program now has momentum going into states and future seasons,” said senior Jordan Chabot.
With the state meet a short time away, the boys’ season is not over. They look to build on the success of the regular season and bring home the program’s first Division state championship. The team looks to capitalize on the one of the highest seedings in the state.