Fall Sports Features


Peter Skylakos

Photo by Pete Skyakos https://plus.google.com/104583410872615209626


Alex Rose, YolisiyaAlex Rose

What are you most excited about?
“Proving ourselves as a team better than last year, hopefully seeing the huge home crowds and feeling the adrenaline rush.”

As a team captain, how do you plan on benefitting the team?
“Pulling the team through close situations, keeping everyone calm, and standing together as a team through tough times.”

Mr. Tom Cerasani (Varsity Head Coach)

What are some of the changes from last season to this season?
“We have a lot of new starters this year.  We hope they can step right in and play well for us.”

How do you expect the team to do this year?
“We expect to make the playoffs this year, and to be in the hunt for a conference championship.”


Alex, YolisiyaAlex Mennella

What are you most excited about this season?
“Watching our team grow and succeed, and hopefully making a run at the conference championship.”

How are you going to improve this season?
“Practice everyday, and just take it one step at a time.”

photoMr. Dave Mikrut (Freshmen/Sophomore)

What do you expect from this season of golf?
“We are expecting to be competitive. The golf season goes by very fast, so our golfers are going to have to try to find their swing in a hurry. In the next month we are playing three to four matches and that does not leave much time to practice.”

How do you motivate the players to do better?
“We are changing things up at practice on a consistent basis and mixing in some team competitions. The coaches also like to go out and hit balls with the players every so often to try to motivate them to get better.”


3Mr. Brad Henning (Varsity Head Coach)

How do you think the team looks this year and over the next couple years?
“I think that the cross country team is building for some big things to come in the next couple of years.  We have great leadership in our captains Mati Szelazek, Alan Prado and Juan Castaneda, a steady group of guys who are dedicated to train and sacrifice their time to better the team, and a large group of underclass that look strong and are getting fit. That will make our team stronger over the next couple of years.”

Do you have any prior knowledge before you came a varsity coach?
“I can bring the knowledge that I have run and trained for races ranging from the 800 meters to the marathon.  I was the head coach for cross country for a couple of years and an assistant for track and field at various points of my career at Leyden and have continued my passion for running and my willingness to help any kid become the best that they can be both in running and in life through the ‘trials of miles.’”


IMG_3853Ms. Marisa Kapinos (Head Varsity Coach)

What are you expecting from Poms this year?
“We got a bunch of new talent which is always good. We have a lot of returning members which is even better. I feel like it’s going to be a good season because old members are at a good level from last year. The new people we got this year are just as good which makes it easier. In regards to competitions, I’m shooting for sectionals.”

What kind of competitions will Poms be participating this year?
Fremd High School on Saturday,  November 22nd
Stevenson High School on Sunday, December 14th
Rolling Meadows High School on Saturday, January 10th
Sectionals, TBD, Saturday, January 24th

DSC_1188Michelle Caffero

What are you most excited about Poms?
“I’m really excited for dancing with all my friends and doing better than last year!”

Is it hard being on Poms?
“Well, I’ve been on a Poms competition team since I was four, so it’s not that hard to me. Over 50 girls tried out, and out of the 50 only 19 made it, so it’s not easy to make. We practice about 4 days a week for 2 hours every practice, but when we perform for competitions, we usually have to perform throughout the whole day.”


2Autumn McGee

What are you most excited about for the upcoming volleyball season?
“Getting to know teammates and just playing pretty much. “

As captain how are you going to lead your team this year?
“Communicate with my team a lot, lead them to victory, but also show them what’s right.”

4Ms. Lauren Dembkowski (Sophomore)

What made you want to coach this team this year?
“I really like the sophomore level: there is so much growth from the freshmen level to the varsity level. It’s a great place for athletes to really develop for the future.”

What are you expecting from the team this year?
“I’m expecting our team to grow a lot this year. It’s a great group of girls. We are loud and competitive in everything that we do, so I’m excited to see what we can accomplish.”


MMariela Salgado

What are you looking foward to this year?
“I want to improve and be in the top 6 players.”

What are you going to to to improve this year?
“I will practice out of season.”

smithMr. Bob Smith (Varsity Head Coach)

What made you want to coach this team this year?
“I believe I coach a lifelong sport that our players can continue to play as long as they want. Any sport can bring out the best in students and it is always great to see how far they improve in the course of a season.”

What would you like to accomplish this year with the team?
“We hope to finish in the top 3 of our conference and qualify a few girls to the state meet.”


HankinsAutumn Hankins (Cross Country)

What are you looking forward to this year?
“I am looking forward to work with the team this year. I also want to set a new PR.”

How are you going to improve this year?
“I want to work hard and make the team stronger. Also, work past injuries.”

ShaderMs. Emily Schader (Varsity Head Coach)

What would you like to accomplish this year with the team?
“Placing higher than 4th in the conference, we have had a 3rd place finish and tied for 2nd once, and I’d like to see the team accomplish that.”

What made you want to coach this team this year?
“I’ve been coaching this team since I started here at Leyden 13 years ago, and I love the sport. I love our girls, and I love the opportunity to turn average runners into competitive runners who love the sport.”


1Mr. Chris Cook (Varsity Head Coach)

What made you want to coach this team this year?
 “I have been coaching swimming since 1986, when I started coaching the Leyden Sharks which later became the Triton Sharks.”

What are you expecting from the team this year?
“I never had a group work so hard over the summer.  Also, I only lost two seniors last year, and even though they will be hard to replace, we have a number of new swimmers ready to go.”


5Mr. Mark Valintis (Varsity Head Coach)

What made you want to coach this team this year?
“I want to give my players the same type of positive experiences the sport has given me in my life. We also have one of the top programs in the state year in and year out.”

What are you expecting from the team this year?
“I am expecting to compete for the conference, regional, and sectional titles. These are our goals every year.”