Director of Athletics Mark Conroy shared highlights of the winter sports season at an all-school assembly on March 23.
“Let me start off by saying what an incredible winter it was for Wildcat Athletics!” Conroy said. “While I have never measured the success of a season based solely on a win-loss record, we certainly won our share of games this winter…and then some!”
It was, in fact, an historic year because it was the first time in Williston history that every winter team qualified to compete in NEPSAC championship tournaments. There are 167 schools in NEPSAC but only four can make this claim this winter.
One honor from a fall sport stood out: field hockey player Tori Palumbo ’18 was named to the very prestigious All Region team by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. She is one of only 10 players, public and private, that has made this team. Palumbo received a certificate for this honor.
Conroy shared highlights and awards for each winter team:
Led by Coaches Hing, Eberle, and Seamon, our ski teams enjoyed successful seasons competing in the Mountain Institute League. The team enjoyed a great deal of success during the weekly Wednesday races held at Berkshire East. The season culminated with the New England Class B championships held at Gunstock Mountain in New Hampshire in the middle of February. Both of our teams competed well with the other 14 competing schools.
The boys team had a successful day at the championship. There were 52 competitors representing the 14 competing schools. Our top performers in the Slalom race were eighth grader Matt Weinstein who came in 21st while senior Bryan Soder finished in 30th. In the Giant Slalom race, senior captain Josh Calianos was our top finisher.
The girls enjoyed a terrific day at the championships coming in 6th out of the 14 competing schools. In the Giant Slalom race, senior captain Sophie Carellas came in 14th while freshman Lily Shields came in 33rd. In the Slalom race, Lily came in 17th while Sophie finished her outstanding career skiing at Williston by going out on top winning the race to become a NEPSAC champion! The morning of the assembly, Sophie was competing in New York at the Eastern Finals as part of the USSA ski program.
Most Valuable Skier Award – Jack Spence ’19
Most Improved Skier Award – Matt Seltzer ’20
Sportsmanship Award – Adam Johnsrud ’20
Most Valuable Skier Award – Gavin Kline ’20
Most Improved Skier Award – Oliver Lawrence ’18
Sportsmanship Award – Bryan Soder ’18
Captains for next year will be Gavin Kline ’20.
Most Valuable Skier Award – Sophie Carellas ’18 (fourth year in a row)
Most Improved Skier Award – Molly Solan ’19 (third year in a row)
Sportsmanship Award – Lily Shields ’21
Captain for next year will be Molly Solan ’19
Our wrestling program is led by Coaches KaneLong and White. The Williston wrestling team competed valiantly all winter. The highlight of their dual meet season was a thrilling home match with Chase Collegiate that ended deadlocked in a 30-30 tie. The match was decided on a tie-breaker thanks to a takedown by freshman Anaya Akpula in her match. Despite the challenges of a small lineup, the wrestlers had a very successful season on the mat with the fewest losses ever on record and the fourth highest winning percentage (61 percent) ever recorded at Williston. Additionally, the team had the highest pinning percentage ever – in the matches we won, we pinned 86 percent of our opponents. It was not unusual this winter for our wrestlers to be losing a match on points only to find the will to win the match by pinning their opponent late in the bout.
Individually, senior captain Kevin O’Sullivan had a terrific season finishing in 4th place at the NEPSAC championships at #182 to win All NEPSAC honors. Kevin also finished in the top 24 at the National Independent Tournament held at Lehigh. Heavyweight wrestler Andikan Ntia-James also had a terrific senior season finishing in 7th at the NEPSAC championship and winning two matches at Nationals to finish in the top 16 in the country. Conroy recognized Andikan as the only Williston wrestler to win a league title this winter when he won the heavyweight division at the Eastern Independent League championship.
Donald J. Knauf Most Valuable Wrestler Award – Andikan Ntia-James ’18
Most Improved Wrestler Award – Jackson Strout ’20
Sportsmanship Award – Harrison Winrow ’18
Peter M. Edgerton ’74 Most Pins Award – Andikan Ntia-James ’18
The captain of next year’s team will be William Gunn ’20.
The girls squash program played under the leadership of varsity coach Peter Gunn and JV coach Adeleen Brown. Highlights of the JV season included wins over Choate, Albany and rival Suffield 5-2.
The varsity team was led by senior captain Mika Sovjani, who provided terrific leadership on and off the court all winter. The team played competitive squash highlighted by a 5-2 road win at Canterbury and a number of closely contested matches. Two players deserve special mention this morning. New senior Fuka Iwama had a particularly strong season finishing with the best match record on the team at 9-5 and a third place finish at the NEPSAC Class C tournament held at Millbrook. New sophomore Louisa Weed also had a terrific season of improvement culminating with a 3rd place finish in her flight at the NEPSAC championship tournament. The team highlight of this tournament was the team winning the Sportsmanship Award for the fourth time in the last six years. A wonderful testament to their exceptional sportsmanship.
Most Valuable Player Award – Atah Okaisabor ’18
Most Improved Player Award – Minh Nguyen ’18
Sportsmanship Award – Emily O’Brien ’21
Most Valuable Player Award – Mika Sovjani ’18
Most Improved Player Award – Fuka Iwama ’18
Sportsmanship Award – Dylan Fulcher-Melendy ’20
Next year’s captains will be Amanda Shen ’19 and Brooke Smith ’19
Coach Simpson’s co-ed thirds team demonstrated notable improvement throughout their season. Coach Chiavaroli’s JV team also demonstrated great improvement throughout the season highlighted by winning three of its final four matches against Pomfret, Kingswood and Albany.
It was another exciting and rewarding season for Coach Tyree’s varsity squash team notching 10 wins for their best finish in nearly 10 years. Led by senior captains Henry Poehlein and Nithish Raja, according to Coach Tyree, the team proved to be “quick learners and fierce competitors.”
Highlights of the season included reversing an early season loss to St. Mark’s and exciting wins over Suffield, Salisbury, Pomfret, Canterbury, and Trinity-Pawling. The squad was able to pick up four extra matches this season at the U.S. High School National Tournament held in Philadelphia, a first in program history. This was an incredible experience, as the boys were able to play opponents from up and down the east coast. To highlight their impressive season, the boys team also received the Sportsmanship Award at the season ending NEPSAC Class B tournament, as voted by 15 other coaches in the division.
In terms of postseason individual recognition, senior Henry Poehlein was named to the All NEPSAC Class B team while junior Tyler Senecal received All NEPSAC Honorable Mention.
Most Valuable Player Award: Nico Gomes-Rapoza ’23
Most Improved Player Award: Louisa Coughlin ’23
Sportsmanship Award – Kai Pak ’22
Most Valuable Player Award – Luke Po ’20
Most Improved Player Award – Michael Zhang ’19
Sportsmanship Award –Toyo Sato ’20
Most Valuable Player Award – Henry Poehlein ’18, Joey Robbins ’19
Most Improved Player Award – Ethan Dursht ’19
Sportsmanship Award – Tyler Senecal ’19
Captains for next year – Joey Robbins ’19, Tyler Senecal ’19
The JV boys hockey team, led by Coaches Fay and Hanke, played competitive hockey all winter. Highlights of their season included decisive victories over the Springfield Rifles and Vermont Academy.
Under Coaches Cunha, Hanford, and Cunningham, the varsity boys hockey team had a terrific season competing with the top teams in NEPSAC boys hockey finishing with a record of 14-10-2. It was a very exciting competitive season as 20 of their 27 games were decided by two goals or fewer playing the third toughest NEPSAC Division 1 schedule. The team won its share of thrillers including going undefeated in five overtime games with a record of 3-0-2. According to Coach Cunha, amongst their many highlights were defeating Avon Old Farms 3-2 in their opener, rallying from three goals down to beat St. Sebastian’s in overtime, and a final week when the team won all three games in thrilling come from behind victories. Beating Winchendon on the final Friday was a great way to send out the seniors on Senior Night. The boys’ outstanding season not only earned them our first Division 1 playoff berth in the history of our program but also a #4 seed and a home game against Brunswick. Despite a terrific effort, the boys came up short 2-0. Scoring was led this season by captain Sam Milnes who finished with 10 goals while Logan Geisness led the team with 16 assists. The goaltending tandem of Xander Rogers and Greg Iverson provided top-notch goalie play all season.
Most Valuable Player Award – Tim Fay ’18
Most Improved Player Award – Mike Janocha ’18
Sportsmanship Award – Tom Lawry ’19
Daniel D. Carpenter Most Valuable Player Award – Sam Milnes ’18
Most Improved Player Award – Alex Berg ’19
Sportsmanship Award – Connor Canterbury ’18
The JV team, led by coaches Ward and Rivenburgh, enjoyed another excellent season finishing with a 9-2-1 record. Seniors Sophia Schaefer and Emma Prouty provided excellent leadership all season. Among their many highlights were exciting victories over Choate, Berkshire and Loomis Chaffee and a season sweep of rival NMH.
Varsity girls ice hockey enjoyed another outstanding season under the leadership of coaches Christa TalbotSyfu, Alex Tancrell-Fontaine, and Erin Davey, finishing with a record of 15 wins, 7 losses and 4 ties. Highlights of their season included posting eight shutouts, an exciting 2-1 overtime victory over Cushing, and a convincing 8-1 victory at Choate. One other highlight worth noting this morning was the team’s 0-0 game with Andover in which they raised over $3,000 for breast cancer research. At the Winchendon Tournament held in early January, the team took home the championship for the fourth year in a row with a 4-0 shutout win over NMH in the championship game. The team’s outstanding regular season earned them the #7 seed in the Division 1 tournament. In the quarterfinals, the girls traveled to Kent where they beat the hometown Lions 2-1 in dramatic fashion. The team headed back out on the road for the semi-finals to play the #3 seeded Tabor team. Once again, the girls played their hearts out winning 4-3 to earn the program’s first ever berth in the NEPSAC Division 1 championship game. Unfortunately, the team came up just short 2-0 to Nobles to finish their season.
In terms of individual recognition for their outstanding seasons, senior Tori Palumbo was named to the All NEPSAC team while fellow senior Gabby Jones was named Honorable Mention.
The varsity team has not given out awards yet.
Most Valuable Player Award – Sophia Schaefer ‘18 – fourth year in a row
Most Improved Player Award – Rachel Burke ‘19
Sportsmanship Award – Jade Chen ‘20
It was a terrific season for the boys’ basketball program as all four teams finished their seasons with winning records. On the lower levels, Coach Malinowski’s Mighty Fourths team had another terrific season finishing at 6-2 highlighted by season sweeps over both Bement and Eaglebrook. Coach Rivers and Garcia’s Thirds team also enjoyed a successful season finishing at 6-4 including exciting two point wins over Berkshire and Eaglebrook. Coach Garrity and Ketcham’s JV team had its finest season in recent memory with an excellent record of 10-4. Included amongst their highlights were a season sweep of rival Suffield and narrow exciting wins over Pomfret and Deerfield. The most exciting win was a huge comeback win over Cheshire late in the season before an enthusiastic home crowd.
Under the leadership of head coach Ben Farmer, the varsity boys basketball team enjoyed a tremendous season with a record of 19-6 including going 12-3 in Class A. While it was a memorable season with lots of highlights, here are a few that stood out: a season opening road win over a tough Nobles squash, two December wins over AA schools Gould and WMA and sweeping Deerfield and Hotchkiss in two games with each school. Undoubtedly, the two biggest highlights took place late in the season with a berth in the postseason on the line. The first took place at Suffield on a Saturday night when the team avenged an early season loss to our rivals with a thrilling 62-58 victory. The second was an equally exciting road win at eventual Class A champion Choate in which the team rallied from an eight-point deficit with just over a minute to play with Josh McGettigan’s rare four point the turning point of the game. The team’s terrific season earned them a #2 seed and a home game in the highly competitive Class A tournament. Unfortunately, the season came to an end with a tough four-point loss to ISL power Belmont Hill.
The team’s excellent season earned them a number of postseason individual honors. Head coach Ben Farmer was named co-coach of the year in Class A. Seniors Garrett Sullivan, Mike Manley and Duncan LeXander all earned All NEPSAC Honorable Mention honors while leading scorer and rebounder Filip Rebraca earned All NEPSAC honors.
Most Valuable Player Award – Mateo Bratt ’23
Most Improved Player Award – Connor Capshaw ’23, Cam Huntley ’21
Sportsmanship Award –Dylan Robinson ’22 (second year in a row!)
Most Valuable Player Award – Dallas Elliott ’22
Most Improved Player Award – Will Strout ’21, Kevin Talbot ’20
Sportsmanship Award – Liam Coughlin ’21
Most Valuable Player Award – Kyle Grabowski ’20
Most Improved Player Award – Joey Nolte ’20
Sportsmanship Award – Michael Slate ’20
Most Valuable Player Award – Filip Rebraca ’18
Most Improved Player Award – Nick Heafey ’20
Sportsmanship Award – Abood Abuissa ’18, Insoo Kang ’19
This winter was another very successful season for our girls’ basketball program. The JV squad had a competitive season under coaches Sawyer and Jenkins highlighted by decisive victories over Berkshire, Pomfret and rival Wilbraham and Monson.
Varsity Girls Basketball, under the leadership of Coaches Rodgers and Whipple, enjoyed a wonderful season. There were many highlights during their season including winning our very own Ray Brown Holiday Tournament in December defeating BB&N in the final game behind a terrific 31 point game by Sarah Sullivan, decisive victories over St. Mark’s, Miss Porter’s and Kingswood and gritty road wins at Hotchkiss and Westminster when the team was shorthanded due to injury and sickness. Arguably, the biggest highlight of their regular season was a terrific win at home over eventual Class B champion Pomfret 55-45. The team’s excellent regular season earned them a #5 seed in the NEPSAC Class B tournament and a rematch with Berkshire. In a tremendous game, the Wildcats defeated the Bears on their own court 57-53 behind freshman Jordyn Meunier’s 28 points including eight three pointers. In the semi-finals at rival Suffield, the girls put together another marvelous effort defeating the Tigers 46-38 to earn a trip to the championship game for Williston for the first time in 32 years! Unfortunately, despite another terrific effort, the girls came up short against Pomfret this time.
For their outstanding play during the season, freshman Jordy Meunier and junior Sarah Sullivan were both named to the NEPSAC all-star team. For Sarah, it was her third selection in three years.
Most Valuable Player Award – Erin Daley ’19, Ciara Tapanes ’20
Most Improved Player Award – Jane Wegryzn ’21
Sportsmanship Award – Anne-Valerie Clitus ’21, Lily Dardano ’22
Most Valuable Player Award – Sarah Sullivan ’19
Most Improved Player Award – Marielle McEnaney ’18
Sportsmanship Award – Gates MacPherson ’19
Captain for next year with be Sarah Sullivan ’19
Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving
The boys swim team swam competitively all season demonstrating notable improvement throughout the season. The team finished their season on a high note with their best swims of the season resulting in a 6th place finish at the Bud Erich Invitational and a 3rd place finish at the NEPSAC Division II Championships held at Rhode Island College.
A number of boys distinguished themselves with excellent performances earning All NEPSAC honors:
- Shogo Kamei took 3rdin the 50 Freestyle.
· The 200 Freestyle Relay team of Reilly Gluz, Shogo Kamei, Alan Martin and Sam Haddad placed second.
One boy is deserving of special recognition this morning. Sophomore Sam Haddad not only became a NEPSAC champion in both the 200 IM and 100 Breaststroke but he also our broke school records in both events. What a tremendous day! Congratulations Sam!
The Girls Swim team had another exceptional dual meet season finishing undefeated for the first time in 30 years with a perfect 10-0 record. Among their many highlights were convincing wins over Hopkins St. George’s and Westminster. Undoubtedly, the biggest highlight of the dual meet season was a victory over the Suffield Academy girls for the first time since 2004! This wonderful success carried into the postseason as the girls saved their best swims for the biggest meet of the year, the NEPSAC championships, in what Coach K called an “incredible performance.”
Here is a list of the girls who distinguished themselves earning All NEPSAC recognition at the championships:
- Freshman Molly Kinstle ’21 with a 2ndin 200 Freestyle and 3rd in the 100 Butterfly.
· 8th grader Ella Mattocks ’22 took 3rd in the 200 IM.
· Senior Alexandra Coppola took 3rd in the Diving competition.
· Senior captain Maya Soley finished 3rd in the 50 Freestyle
Three of our relay teams came in first place becoming NEPSAC champions:
- The 200 freestyle relay team of Maya Soley, Ella Mattocks, Molly Kinstle and Sydney Joyce.
· The 400 freestyle relay team of Anabelle Farnham, Sydney Joyce, Ava Larkin and Sally Alrutz not only won their race but also set a school record while doing so.
· The 200 medley relay team of Sally Alrutz, Molly Kinstle, Ava Larkin and Anabelle Farnham also not only won their race but also set a new NEPSAC Division II record.
Four girls are deserving of special mention this morning because they broke school records at the NEPSAC championships.
- Senior Anabelle Farnham not only earned All NEPSAC honors for finishing in the top three, but she broke the 100 Freestyle school record with a time of 54.09
· Eighth grader Ava Larkin finished in 2ndin the 100 breaststroke and 1st in both the 200 IM and the 100 Breaststroke breaking school records with both swims.
· Junior Sally Alrutz continued her outstanding career with not only two individual NEPSAC championships in the 100 Butterfly and the 100 backstroke but she also broke both school and NEPSAC records in doing so.
· Finally, junior Sydney Joyce won both the 200 and 500 freestyle races in school record times. Sydney’s outstanding day at the championship meet earned her the Grace Robertson Award given to the meet’s outstanding performer.
In winning their third straight NEPSAC Division 2 Swimming and Diving Championship, our girls scored a meet record 463 points outdistancing second place Miss Porter’s by 117 points. The girls dominated from start to finish
Wilmot S. Babcock Most Valuable Swimmer Award – Sam Haddad ’20
Robert J.H. Kiphuth Most Improved Swimmer Award – Hal Stuart ’20
Sportsmanship Award – Ryan Dwyer ’19
Next year’s captains – Ryan Dwyer ’19, Reilly Gluz ’19
Most Valuable Swimmer Award: Sally Alrutz ’19, Sydney Joyce ’20 (second year in a row)
Most Improved Swimmer: Julia Borden ’22
Sportsmanship Award: Anabelle Farnham ’18
Next year’s captains: Sally Alrutz ’19, Sydney Joyce ’19, Sabrina Shao ’19
“While all of this great success is certainly something to be proud of,” said Conroy, “I remain most proud of the way our teams compete and represent Williston.”
He wished good luck to all the spring teams. Go Wildcats!