Girls varsity basketball team / Credit: Joe Leslie

Signs of spring are all around us — the Red Sox have begun spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. — but the winter sports season is still going strong for Needham High’s student-athletes.

Jake Furman / Credit: Cara Soulia

At this writing, both boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball and hockey teams are in position to qualify for postseason tournament play. The girls’ basketball team, with a 12-5 record after beating Walpole last night, is No. 11 in the latest MIAA rankings. The boys, 11-4 with a home game tonight (Thursday) against Walpole, ranked No. 13.

The boys’ hockey team, 9-7-1 after last night’s loss to Walpole, is ranked No. 23 by the MIAA. The girls, 9-5-1 with a game last night at Walpole, are No. 17. The hockey and basketball tournaments start after the February vacation.

In a letter yesterday to Rockets’ families and student-athletes, Athletic Director Ryan Madden highlighted some of the achievements of Needham’s other winter teams:

NHS cheer team / Credit: Topher Cox Photography
  • The boys’ and girls’ indoor track teams are headed to the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston today (Thursday) for the Division One Championships. Each team finished seventh in last weekend’s Bay State Conference Meet.
  • The boys’ swim and dive team heads to Sunday’s Division One State Finals at MIT after finishing 10th out of 48 teams in the Division One South Sectionals. Diver Vann Hotchkiss set meet and pool records there.
  • Three members of the wrestling team — Jake Furman, Alex Rutley and John Marino — qualified for this weekend’s Division One State Finals at Newton South High School. The team was “well represented,” Madden reports, at last weekend’s Division One Metro Central Sectional Championships.
  • It hasn’t been a great winter for skiing, but the Alpine ski team managed to get in some races in recent weeks. Captain Alek Musiak had two first place finishes, and on another occasion the girls finished first overall. On Jan. 27, the boys finished first in the overall combined race on Ragged Mountain.
  • The dance team goes today (Thursday) for the Bay State Conference title at Framingham High School after sweeping both the Jazz and Pom categories in its most recent competition.
  • The cheer team qualified for the regionals by finishing second in last weekend’s Flyer Invitational. It was the team’s best showing there in six years.
  • The gymnastics team finished seventh at last weekend’s Bay State Conference Meet. The MIAA Gymnastics tournament is scheduled Feb. 24 at Algonquin Regional High School.

The spring sports season begins March 18, except for boys’ and girls’ rugby starting March 13. Tryout times are expected to be posted on the Athletic Department website in the next week or so.

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