Fall 2017 Sports Captains Full Interviews

Leon Zhao, Sports Editor


  1. What are your goals for the team this season?
  2. What are your personal goals for this season? And how do they relate to your goals for the team?
  3. What challenges do you anticipate this season?
  4. How are you planning to overcome these challenges?


Boys Cross Country: Eric Zulkofske (Senior)

  1. First, I think that we have a pretty good team. As a team goal, I hope that we can make the state meet. So I’m gonna put that as a team goal.
  2. Personally, I’d like to be top 3 at Counties. And that would really help out our team because the lower our score, the better.
  3. We have two really good teams in our county besides us. Smithtown and Northport. That I think is going to be the biggest challenge for us.
  4. I think that if as a team we work hard everyday, we do what we are supposed to do, and follow what coach tells us, we could beat these teams. That’s our plan.


Boys Golf: Alex Korkuc (Junior)

  1. Our goal as a team is to have a successful season and hopefully bring a Long Island Championship back to Ward Melville for the third time.
  2. My personal goals are to be a good leader and to try to set a good example for the rest of the team, along with having the best season of my career by winning the most matches I can. I feel that with myself and Palmer shooting good scores, this will only serve as positive energy and a way for the rest of the guys to thrive off of.
  3. I feel our biggest challenge this year is trying to beat our biggest rivals Port Jeff twice this year. We are also a very young team with a lot of new players, so I feel that it may be a challenge trying to find how each guy plays, along with their strengths and weaknesses.
  4. We need to come out to the course each day ready to work and practice hard with positive attitudes. I also feel that we need to come together as a team to contribute to one another’s success.


Girls Cross Country: Allyson Gaedje (Senior)

  1. Well, we were county champs last year, so definitely to do a repeat of that and go to States and Feds. Coach is also thinking of Regionals, so that is kind of there, but we will have to see how the rest of the season goes.
  2. I have some times in mind, like I want to get a certain amount of time off my 5k, and the faster you go, the more you will help the team.
  3. There are a lot of good teams in the county that we are definitely going to have to compete against, like Sachem East, and Commack is good, so it definitely is going to be a tough race when it comes to counties. Also, throughout the season, we are normally in races that have a lot of good competition.
  4. Just staying focused on our goals and working really hard, and staying focused in practice and trying our best.


Girls Soccer: Liv Halverson (Senior)

  1. Based on last season’s success where we made it all the way to semifinals, I can guarantee the idea of WMGVS winning our division, county, and potentially reaching goals such as states is on everyone’s mind. This season, fielding a team of experienced players I’m expecting WM to stay composed and consistent in our future games. I think our team above anything has a really enduring work ethic and I hope to see that continue through all our games and training.
  2. Personally throughout the season, knowing that it’s one of my last times playing on a varsity level team I want to put all my effort and focus into each and every game. With that idea I really intend to inspire every player on our team to have the same intense, winning attitude.
  3. I anticipate our games versus Commack to be a challenge for our team. They always give us a great game and it gives us the chance to see just how solid our defense and offense really is. I also anticipate difficulty overcoming the hurdle of where our season ended last year. If we can move past semifinals where we lost last year I believe we will have really succeeded as a team.
  4. It may sound cliche but I believe the biggest thing we can capitalize on is hard work. If every person on the field is fulfilling their role and working hard, I believe the goals and success will come.


Field Hockey: Olivia Schimdt (Senior)

  1. Our ultimate goal is the same each year: to make it as far as we possibly can in playoffs. We’ve been fortunate enough to have an extremely successful team these past few seasons, and I’d like us to continue on that.
  2. Because I’m now a senior, my main goal for this season is to be the best role model that I can be for the underclassmen, both on and off the field. Whether it be showing them a new technique on the field, or giving advice about something in their personal lives, I’d like to be mentor that the seniors have been for me in the past. If each senior maintains this mindset, it’ll help our team chemistry and we’ll be unstoppable on the field.
  3. This season’s main challenge is that we’ll facing teams that we haven’t seen in the past. In past years, our team has played a smaller number of teams twice, once at home and once away. Now, we’ll be playing a larger number of teams only once. With this new system, we don’t know many of the new teams’ styles of play. There also won’t be any second chances since we’ll be playing each team only once.
  4. Even though the new system is a bit more nerve-wracking, it’s also exciting. I have no doubt that if we stay focused, we’ll be able to take control of and dominate each game, no matter the circumstances.


Girls Swimming/Diving: Breanna Daly (Senior)

  1. I’d say my main goal is for us to do as well as we can this season and for everybody to get as far as they can.
  2. I personally would like to improve my strokes and skills throughout the season. For the team, I think that if everyone improves just a little bit, we can all move farther in the season.
  3. I expect that the Half Hollow Hills meet is going to be challenge. They’re always a tough team to beat.
  4. I think we can overcome anything if we just continue to work hard and stay positive.


Girls Tennis: Denise Lai (Junior)

  1. The team’s ultimate goal is to win Counties as team. I want to beat Commack this year. We were very close last year, and with some key players off their team, we have a chance.
  2. I hope to make it to States again. Ward Melville is always looking for any title we can get, so I’m happy I can add on.
  3. I feel our lineup isn’t as strong as it was last year. Since so many seniors left, Coach Sussin has to constantly play around with the lineup.
  4. The season just started, so we definitely have enough time to get our lineup is shape for Counties.


Boys Soccer (Connor Stafford, senior)

  1. My goal for the team this season is to prove the critics wrong. After missing playoffs, many schools have already written us as out of playoff contention. If we can come together and play each game with intensity, we can prove a lot of people wrong.
  2. This year I want to leave it all out there on the field. This is my last chance to play high school soccer and I don’t want to regret not giving it everything I got. I believe that if I give 100% then the rest of my teammates will too, giving us the best opportunity to have success.
  3. One challenge I anticipate this season is injuries. With a really heavy schedule, often two or three games a week, players are bound to get hurt.
  4. In this case, we really need the younger, less experienced players to step up.


Boys Volleyball (Ryan Kampe, senior)

  1. My goal for our team has been the same every year. Win the Island. We have a strong team and I think we can definitely achieve this goal.  I look forward to competing with the guys this year.
  2. My personal goals for this year is to receive Libero of the year award and all county awards. This relates to the team goal because the best on the Island receive these awards.
  3. Well one of the biggest challenges for this season was the four starters that we lost. But I believe that we are bringing up very strong players that will be able to perform to the ability of those that have graduated and potentially perform even better.
  4. We are planning on just having a mentality that everyone we are playing is beatable. We go into each game and play at our highest level. I’m looking forward to this season and believe it will be a very successful season


Football (Nick Messina, senior)

  1. Our goal as a team is to play this season game by game, playing as hard as we can in every play and I believe if we do that we can achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Long Island Championship.
  2. My goals are to play my hardest and do everything I can to help my team succeed in our overall goals.
  3. I think that throughout the season we will he faced with many tough teams such as Floyd, Connetquot, Lindenhurst, and Longwood.
  4. I think we can overcome these challenges by working together as a team and giving everything we’ve got.


Girls Volleyball (Schuyler Tasman, senior)

  1. Goals I have are to go to counties and win them. The next step from there is the Long Island championship and then states but our biggest concern and goal right now it getting to counties and winning them.
  2. Personal goals as a captain to be the best leader I can be and supporting the team. Also getting better at the game because  there’s always room for improvement. I think our team has an amazing dynamic we all love each other like crazy and they are like a second family to me.  That mentality is essential to success
  3. Beating Connetquot is definitely going to be a challenge but it’s nothing the team can’t do.  I think we are skilled and talented enough to beat them. Also we need to focus on minimizing unforced errors.
  4. We have to keep working hard every day at practice, not only on our skills but our physical training and our team bond.