As a new school year starts, so does another year of Mesa athletics starting with the fall sports. Each team leaves last year’s successes and failures in the rearview mirror and has the opportunity to start a new chapter in their program’s history.
After a tough season for football last year, the team comes in with a new coach Greg Croshaw and a new starting quarterback Justin Sieczkowski.
“I’m excited about the caliber of play, and I think we have a team that can be competitive in every game we play,” Croshaw said. “I never get into saying we are trying to do this or that before the season. Preseason polls and things of that nature are worth about as much as the paper they are printed on.”
Starting quarterback Justin Sieczkowski comes into this season not only as a transfer from ASU but also as a player who had all spring to work with his receivers and has become familiar with the Mesa offense.
Starting running back Michael Allen comes in from Hamilton High School and Croshaw believes he is capable of some positive things if he can stay healthy.
Men and women’s soccer return with some new expectations this year.
“We expect both our teams to make the playoffs because both teams are good enough to,” head coach Drew Guarneri said.
This is Guarneri’s first time to be able to handpick his team this year.
Returning sophomore and all-conference forward Andrea Duke returns for the lady T-Birds and Guarneri thinks she can be the conference player of the year with the cast of players around her.
On the men’s side, Eric Rodriguez returns for his second season with the T-Birds, this time as team captain. Rodriguez will play midfield and is expected to “make some noise” this season.
After a tough 2-21 season, the T-Birds women volleyball team bring back four players from last year’s team, which means there will be 10 freshmen playing this year.
“We want to make a big jump up from last year,” head coach Brent Martindale said. “Our team’s goals are to be one of the top four in division and make the region tournament which MCC hasn’t done in a long time.”
Cross country is back and led by head coach Eamonn Condon.
“Freshmen are going to need to grow up quickly for us this season,” Condon said. “From looking at the talents in the off-season I expect to get some kids to nationals and for them to succeed there.”
Runners to watch this season are Taylor Stewart on the women’s side and Eddie Martinez for the men.