Farewell to the ‘ultimate coach’

The nationally recognized ARHS girls’ Ultimate team will say farewell this year to their coach of seven years, Joshua Nugent. They will be coached by the current assistant coach, Hannah Baranes, starting this March.

Prior to 2010, Mr. Nugent coached the boys’ JV team, but when a position opened as girls’ varsity coach, he jumped at the opportunity.

Throughout his tenure, the girls’ Ultimate team has been incredibly successful.

Since Mr. Nugent’s second season, the Hurricanes have not lost to another high school team.

The ‘Canes have won the previous 5 Northeastern Championships, sometimes with the JV team finishing in second. They will take on the new challenge this year of rebuilding their top tier team.

In addition to losing Mr. Nugent, 11 of last year’s 16 players graduated.

When questioned about the upcoming season, Shira Yeskel Mednick, a senior, said, “It’ll be a challenge, but I know we are up for it.”

Team responsibilities will be left in very qualified hands.

Hannah Baranes, an experienced player, recently won the U.S. Club Championships on her Mixed Division team Boston Slow White.

Having previous experience with the team’s systems and strategy, it should not be hard for Baranes to transition into her new role of head coach.

“I know that she is a great player, a great teacher, and a great leader. Most importantly, she works hard and knows how to learn,” Mr. Nugent said.

She will need to learn quickly if Amherst wants to succeed in a season stacked with competition.

Traveling to Georgia this April to face the best teams in the country will not be easy for the ‘Canes, who have faced little competition in recent years.

Some have even begun to question Amherst’s ability to match up with a few greatly improved Southern teams.

Lots of questions surround the ‘Canes as they enter their 2017 season.

Only time will tell if they continue their legacy of dominance.