PENN YAN – After being canceled for the last two years due to COVID, Penn Yan Academy’s Sports Media Night returned for the Spring 2022 season March 28. Sports Media Night is an event that allows local media to interact and get to know the school’s teams, coaches and athletes in preparation for the oncoming sports season.
The event began with a meal for the athletes in the Academy cafeteria prepared by PYA’s Food Services staff, provided by the Athletic Department. After dinner, the teams rotated through a series of stations in the gymnasium that included team and individual photos, athlete bios, Q & A sessions with local newspapers and radio, and a chance for the athletes to send personal thanks to the various staff and departments that are instrumental for the season.
Penn Yan’s varsity teams for the Spring 2022 season include boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, boys / girls track and field, boys tennis, softball, and baseball.
Penn Yan’s Boys Lacrosse team is coached by Brian Hobart, assisted by Harry Queener and Chris Redington and currently has 24 players on the roster. Eleven of those athletes are first-year varsity players, while 13 are returning from last season. PY lost some of its most dangerous offensive and defensive weapons to graduation last season, including Ayden Mowry, Mekhi Mahan, Max Brodmann and Mason Kuver, but have several skilled returning veterans with Oliver Connelly and Carter Earl as well as goalies Griffin Emerson, who was one of the best goalies in Section 5 last year, and Will Thompson, who played varsity goalie as an 8th-grader last season.
Penn Yan is always a contender in Section 5 Lacrosse, but had a truly outstanding season last year, finishing with a near-undefeated record of 16-1 and winning the Finger Lakes League title and Section 5 title with the # 1 offense and # 1 defense in Section 5 and the FLL. Penn Yan has won the Section 5 title 25 times, more than any other Section 5 school.
The first game for the boys lacrosse team will be April 7 at home against Bloomfield-Honeoye.
The Ggirls lacrosse team is led by returning head coach Chris Hansen, who will be assisted by Meg Hopkins. The girls lacrosse team has just five first-year players this season, including four 8th-graders, but has 17 returning players, including 10 starters, for a total roster of 22. The girls’ team lost two big players to graduation in Grace Ledgerwood and season offensive-leader Hayley Anderson, but promises to be a competitive team with four returning seniors, including Kaley Griffin, Jammie Decker, Avery Castner and goalie Hannah Parsons. The PY girls’ team has captured a total of eight Section 5 titles, with the last being in 2006.
The first game for the girls will be April 6 at home against Waterloo.
Track & Field
Both girls and boys track and field will be coached by long-time head coach Rick Smith, assisted by Aaron Mumby. Penn Yan has four new runners for the boys and eight for the girls, with eight returning runners on the boys side and four returning girls. One distinguished returning runner for PY is sophomore JD Tette, who has racked up several titles and awards in his short career in varsity track and cross country, including two Section 5 cross country titles and All-State Honors as well as being the first-ever recipient of the Yates Country Youth Board’s Distinguished Youth Award. Smith was very optimistic about the oncoming season, including the performances of Tette for the boys and shot put ace Adriana Rodriguez for the girls.
Track and Field’s first outing will be April 5 at East Rochester.
Boys tennis is being helmed by returning head coach Nathan Kraemer and has a roster of nine, with five returning players, three returning starters, including Alex Reyes-Leon, Landon Spears and Kyle Wheeler, and four first-year varsity players. Penn Yan finished fourth in the Finger Lakes West last year.
Softball will be coached again by Melissa Armsden with Bruce Rood acting as assistant coach. The PYA softball team has a total roster of 14 girls, with several returning faces, including some of their best players from last year. PYA softball finished 4-6 overall last season and 3-6 in the Finger Lakes East.
The team kicks off their season on April 1 with an away game at Avon.
Steve Bouchard returns to coach PYA varsity baseball with Darrin Simmons as assistant coach. The PYA baseball team is flush with new players for the 2022 season, with a large, 16-player roster containing just five returners from last year, including Brady, Reed and Tyler Bouchard with Liam Chapman and Alex Foster.
The team lost a big chunk of its starters after last season, with nearly half the team graduating in 2021, but with so many new players coming on, PY has a lot of potential going into Spring. Coach Bouchard reported that pitcher Brady Bouchard had improved his fastball to 86 mph in the offseason, up from 79 mph at the end of last season.
Mustangs Baseball starts its season April 5 with an away game against Mynderse.