WHS Senior Athletes Reflect on the Lost Season, Look Ahead to Their Future
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the closure of schools across the state for the remainder of the 2020 school year, the Winthrop High athletic season also was canceled, taking away from the members of the senior class the opportunity to compete for the last time in a Viking uniform.
The Sun-Transcript invited the coaches and members of the WHS spring sports teams from the Class of 2020 to reflect on the season that so abruptly was taken away from them in order to give these young athletes some of the recognition that they deserve.
We also asked that they provide some insight into what it means to be a Winthrop High varsity athlete and briefly to discuss their plans for the future.
We are certain that our readers will be as impressed as we were with these outstanding young men and women and join us in wishing them the best in their future endeavors:
The Sun-Transcript will continue to publish additional comments from the athletes and coaches as we receive them.
WHS Softball Coach Dave Guffey
The 2020 Winthrop High School softball season had high expectations. The league had a new alignment and we thought we were at the top of the league with Lynn Classical and Saugus.
We had almost everyone back from last year with the core consisting of eight juniors, one sophomore, and our one senior, Ashley McGonagle.
Ashley was a quiet leader who always was willing to do whatever had been asked of her. She played for three years and played at third, second, catcher, and all three outfield positions, and proved to be a steady and very reliable left fielder.
I feel for the entire team and the loss of the season. High school is such a limited time and for most people they will not have the opportunity to play again. The memories and friendships that these young athletes form will last a lifetime.
The players’ lives both personally and athletically were put on pause as we all have to deal with something that no one ever could have expected.
I am relieved that as far as I know, everyone in our softball family is healthy and virus-free and hopefully we will be able to come back strong and ready to go next year.
I have had the honor of coaching at Winthrop High School for most of my adult life (24 years) and the time away from the team and the school has reaffirmed how much I love coaching in Winthrop — what an exceptional group of people there are in Winthrop!
I know that when this is over we will be stronger and more resilient and ready to go. We as a team want to wish Ashley well and hope that she will come visit next season and stay close to us all.
“I consider this team family”
Ashley McGonagle Softball Captain
Being an athlete at Winthrop High School has been very rewarding for me. I’ve been a part of many different sports over the years such as volleyball, basketball, and cheerleading.
But the sport that was most fulfilling for me has been softball, which I have played for the last three years. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I was unable to play my final varsity season as this year’s captain. I consider this team family. I will really miss the camaraderie we shared and all the laughs.
I am also very thankful to Coach Guff and Jayna who really pushed me to work harder and to work beyond my comfort zone. It was because of them that I really learned to appreciate the game and set goals for myself to become a better athlete.
I was devastated to learn that this season would be cancelled. I was looking forward to playing my final year with this great group of girls and the tradition of Senior Night and running around the bases one last time. I will take with me all the great memories as I continue on to Salem State University — always a Viking!!!
“I let hope for my future ignite
me, rather than scare me”
Patrick Haskell Capt. Boys Track
Being a student at Winthrop High School has been an amazing experience, and being an athlete has made it all the more special. I have been a part of the cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track teams since my freshman year and had the honor of serving as senior captain of the teams.
The relationships I have formed with my teammates and coaches have shaped me into the person I am today and I will cherish all of the memories that have been made.
With my final spring track season being cancelled, I was very heartbroken. It felt as if I had been writing a book since my first practice on the cross country team in my freshman year, but now I am not able to write the final chapter.
I let hope for my future ignite me, rather than scare me, which is why I hope to continue running at the University of Miami in the fall. Whether it is on the team, club, or running on my own, I plan on rewriting my story with a new ending.
“Coach D’Amico taught me life lessons that’ll stay with me forever”
Bill Hubert, Capt. Boys Track
I’ve been on the WHS spring track team for five years, since I was an eighth grader. This was to be my year to be a captain in spring track. I loved doing shot put and discus and enjoyed the meets. I met a few of the same opponents I versed in football.
Spring track was to be an amazing season this year. The virus took that away from all of us. I will be furthering my education at Framingham State University and will officially become a Ram. I doubt I will ever experience the dedication and persistence I got from Coach Mark D’Amico, but I hope to.
He not only taught me track and field, he taught me life lessons that’ll stay with me forever.
“I always will be a Viking for life”
Victor Da Gama, Boys Track
Being an athlete for Winthrop High School has been one of the best experiences for the past four years. I can’t explain how grateful I am for playing for this school and with my best friends.
First, I would like to say thanks to all my coaches, who taught me more than just how to get into a three-point stance or how to throw a shot-put. They would help me out more than just with sports.
Secondly, I would like to thank my teammates, who were there for me these past four years and who always believed in me.
Finally, when I found out that our track season was canceled, it was difficult to accept that I would not get to play with my teammates or see my coaches ever again.
Now I’m getting ready to go off to college in September. I will be going to Bunker Hill Community where I will major in computer science. I have to focus on myself and be ready for what the future has for me.
I always will be a Viking for life.
“The things I’ve learned will
be with me for the rest of my life”
Being an athlete at Winthrop High School for the past four years meant the world to me because I represented the community where I’ve lived for my entire life.
When I found out my last track season was cancelled, I was upset that I wouldn’t be able to play with my teammates and for my coaches ever again. However, I am fortunate enough to have had the experience of playing sports for Winthrop High School because of all the amazing people I have met during that time.
My future plans are studying Fire Science at Anna Maria College, playing football there as well.
Even though my time at Winthrop High School is over, the things I learned from there will be with me for the rest of my life.
Once a Viking, Always A Viking!