Manchester Central High School
SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: SARA SWETLAND
By Matt Gilroy
Captain of the Central Little Green girls' soccer team Sara Swetland hopes to finish her high school soccer career with a bang.
Sara's soccer season ended earlier than she expected last year, as Swetland tore her ACL just before playoffs began. It was a hard time for Sara, but she has worked hard all offseason to make it back on the field for her final season, and she wants to make the most of it. "I have set big goals for myself this year," Swetland said, "I want to come back stronger than before and keep improving with every practice and every game."
Soccer has been a part of Sara's life for as long as she can remember. She loves the game that she estimates she has played for about 12 years now. She also appreciates what Central has been able to do for her in continuing her soccer success. "It's been great playing soccer for central," Swetland stated, "We've always had a lot of talent, and we have advanced in the playoffs each year. I love this game and it's been a lot of fun."
Central soccer has been at it since tryouts started on . After tryouts, practice for the upcoming season began on . "We're all very excited about the upcoming season," Sara included, "We have a great mix of seniors, juniors, and sophomores that all contribute." Sara feels strongly about how the team will fair this year, but in order to reach their goals, they will need to all step up. "We feel that we have a team that can contend this year," she said, "we just need to play our best soccer every game."
The team's season opener is on against Bedford, which always is a competitive game. Londonderry and Pinkerton are both strong teams in the state that Central will have to fend off later this season.
Though Sara Swetland's high school soccer career ends this fall, she hopes her
playing days are not yet over. "I plan to play soccer in college and study to
hopefully become a physical therapist or physician's assistant," Swetland stated.
Before college, however, Sara has some unfinished business here in the green and
white at Central. "We have a great team," she said lastly, "Julia Chappell and I are
honored to be captains, and we can't wait to get going."
Ellis Feliz Guides Central Wrestling
The 2016 Central Wrestling team is fortunate to be led by the number two wrestler in the state, Ellis Feliz. Also playing Tight End and Defensive End for the Varsity Central Football team this past season, senior Ellis Feliz has wrestled at Central since his sophomore year. Coming off of a 38 win season last year, Feliz has very high hopes for the season, and is extremely passionate about his success. “My goal is to become the first All-American wrestler Central has ever produced,” Feliz added, as he eyes a number one ranking and a state championship this season.
As for the team, Ellis Feliz says he has been very impressed with the results so far, and is proud to say he is captain of the group. Training is intense for this difficult sport, as the team runs, wrestles, and learns new and different moves that will help the individuals in their matches in certain situations. Feliz was excited to see more kids join the team, and wants to continue to see the team’s younger members grow and improve. Along with the physical aspects of the sport, Feliz wants to help his teammates develop mentally and keep a level head. “Wrestling is a sport where victory can defeat you,” Ellis firmly stated, “If you let yourself get caught up in the hype, you can put yourself in a situation to lose.”
Feliz hopes to get this message across to his teammates, but also strives to keep this in mind himself, and not just while wrestling. Feliz has bigger plans for the future, as he looks for success not only on the mat, but also in his future as a member of the United States Marine Corps. Ellis plans on serving twenty years as a Marine, then retiring and becoming a police officer right here in Manchester. “Wrestling has become a huge part of my life, and will help me in the Marines with boot camp and infantry,” Feliz included, “Whether it is the rigorous practices, the pushing yourself, or even the starving yourself to make a weight for a match, wrestling prepares me for the Marines.”
Though this will be team captain Ellis Feliz’s last season wrestling for the Central Little Green, he hopes to make it memorable for not just himself, but the team as well. “I want the team to place in the top five in states, and to see more than half of our kids standing on that podium,” said Feliz. Ellis Feliz will wrestle the number one ranked wrestler in the state when Central faces Pinkerton later on this season, and Feliz plans to take advantage of his opportunity. “This is my last year here to compete and be captain of the Central wrestling team, and I want to make history at Central and create memories of this sport that I will remember forever.”