Bishop Ireton sets sights on successful 07 fall seasons


The fall 07 sports season at Bishop Ireton will open under new leadership as William Simmons replaces Mark Heiser as the Cardinal athletics director.

Mark left the program in good shape, said Simmons. With his help, we were able to get some good coaches [four of six fall coaches are new]. I want to be competitive when we step on the field or the court. We want kids who can be successful both academically and athletically.

  • Cross country

Head coach Brad Byrnes (Ireton 98) leads the cross-country program. Byrnes, one of the top all-time Cardinal distance runners, is back for his second season (he also is commander-in-chief of the Cardinals spring track/field program).

According to Byrnes, Our goals remain the same. We would really like to win states (Virginia State Catholic) and we would really like to win WCACs. Were a pretty deep team this year. Everyone is healthy and everyone is busting their humps. Im looking forward to the season, he said. Many boys are competing for a spot on the varsity roster. Three seniors, Kevin Rivero, Joey Chelak and Steve Vaccaro, and three juniors, Kevin Gottleib, Joseph Fernandes and Colin Barkell, all appear to be in the upper tier.

According to Vaccaro, Everything starts at practice. We all work hard together and we all train hard together. We hope to carry it over to the meets.

Many girls are competing for a spot on the varsity roster as well. Three seniors, Julianne Tela, Natalie Stier and Michelle Hopke, two juniors, Megan Berberian and Emily Conron, and one sophomore, Renee Von Guggenberg, all appear to have a good shot at the varsity level.

  • Tennis

In WCAC tennis, the girls compete in the fall season and the boys compete in the spring season. Newly hired girls tennis coach Katie Sloper (Ireton 01) will take over the reins this fall. Sloper was one of the top all-time Cardinal tennis players during her teenage days. The right-handed player matriculated at George Mason University, majoring in sports management and playing #4 for the Patriots for four consecutive seasons. According to Sloper, Im just starting to get to know the players. I believe there will be a good transition from last year to this year. The team appears to have a lot of good chemistry and a lot of spirit.

  • Volleyball

The Cardinals return their only fall coach with extensive coaching experience at Cambridge Road Kathy Gutmann. Whereas the other five head coaches during the fall (including football) have a combined one previous head coaching season logged at the school, Gutmann is entering her fourth season at Ireton. In addition to volleyball, Gutmann performs a myriad of duties at Ireton both athletically and non-athletically.

Gutmann recorded one of the top all-time volleyball wins in recent history when the Lady Cardinals defeated powerhouse St. Johns in a dual match not too many months ago.

Thirteen players will comprise the 07 squad: five seniors (Taylor Bedford, Erica Buerger, Nadia Cathan, Kristen Comtrois and Sarah Foroughi); four juniors (Anna Cala, Theresa Dalmut, Sophia Greve and Michelle Maiers); and four sophomores (Katherine Boyd, DElia Chandler, Courtney Connaughton and Lauren Monroe).