Reflecting on the Glory of Wildcats’ Fall Athletic Season

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As the winter sports season begins, with ice hockey and squash games already beginning, Williston took some time today to reflect on the season that was: fall. Director of Athletics Mark Conroy at an assembly announced the stand-out teams and players: those who performed best, improved most, and will lead next year’s teams.

Horseback Riding

Williston has a number of students, six this fall, who participate in horseback riding at Fuller Horse Farm in Westhampton under the direction of Laura Etzel. The six riders brought a range of riding experience to the program. Coach Laura Etzel says that the group was a great pleasure to work with and improved tremendously this fall.

  • Most Valuable Rider: Sophi Edmunds ’23
  • Most Improved Riders: Abby Vassallo ’22, Brooke Manfredi ’24
  • Horsemanship Award: Elsa Frankel ’23
  • Helping Hands Award: Noel Song ’21
  • Sportsmanship Award: Angela Tsai ’22

Congratulations Riders!

Boys Water Polo

Led by Coaches Bill Berghoff and Teddy Schaffer, the boys’ water polo team fielded a young squad this fall that made significant improvements while gaining valuable experience. Led by captain Tom Lawry, the team demonstrated a great competitive spirit all fall battling the top prep programs in NEPSAC. Highlights of their season included sweeping WMA in both their matches and a decisive 15-4 win over Westminster.

In terms of postseason recognition, junior Sam Haddad earned All NEPSAC honors for his strong play throughout the fall.

Varsity:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Sam Haddad ’20
  • Most Improved Player Award – Jack Haddad ’22
  • Sportsmanship Award – Vasu Jain ’22
  • Captains for next year – Jason Albanese ’20, Shogo Kamei ’20, Sam Haddad ’20

Girls Soccer

The girls’ soccer program enjoyed a very successful season. The JV team, led by coaches Karla Schaffer and Mike Mallioux, enjoyed a very competitive season highlighted by wins over Berkshire, Cushing, and Pomfret and a thrilling well played season-ending 1-1 tie with NMH.

The varsity squad, led by coaches Davey and Conroy, also had a very competitive season playing a schedule against the top teams in NEPSAC girls soccer. Among the team’s highlights were a season-opening shutout of Cheshire, defeating KO under the lights at home 1-0, convincing wins over Cushing and Kent and an exciting 2-1 win over Berkshire. The girls played some of their best soccer in two late season battles—a 0-0 tie with rival Suffield and a narrow 1-0 loss at Loomis. Girls soccer made great strides throughout the fall and will return a strong group of experienced veterans next fall.

In terms of postseason individual recognition, four girls received honors.   Julia Farnham and Grace Lane were both chosen to participate in the Western New England junior all-star game while senior defender and captain Caroline DiFiore and freshman goal keeper Selena Negron were both named Western New England all-stars.

JV:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Carrie St. Marie ’21
  • Most Improved Player Award – Adamma Eze ’21
  • Sportsmanship Award – Shoko Ishikawa ’22

Varsity:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Caroline DiFiore ’19, Selena Negron ’22
  • Most Improved Player Award – Emily O’Brien ’21
  • Sportsmanship Award – Abbie Coscia ’19, Tayah Sommer ’19
  • Alumnae Award for outstanding contribution to the program – Campbell Nyarady ’19, Emily Whipple ’19
  • Next year’s captains will be Julia Farnham ’20, Grace Lane ’20, Louisa Weed ’20

Football

The 43 boys who played football at Williston this fall enjoyed a successful season.  The JV squad, led by coaches Doubleday and Farmer, demonstrated great improvement and team spirit with a thrilling win over Cardigan Mountain as the season’s biggest highlight!

Playing in arguably the most competitive prep football league in NEPSAC, varsity football played its heart out all fall. There were a number of highlights during the season to include a season opening 44-21 win at Kent led by junior Henri Bourque’s 215 yard rushing day, a tremendous 35-28 win at Loomis decided in the final minute of play and a convincing Senior Day win at home over Hotchkiss 46-27 in which the team ran for over 300 yards. Arguably, the most thrilling game of the season took place on our Family Weekend when the boys played their hearts out trading scores in the final minute before losing to bowl bound Avon Old Farms with 2 seconds on the clock. This young team demonstrated tremendous growth this fall and is eager to build on its success next fall.

In terms of postseason individual accolades, four boys were honored by the league and coaches association.  Earning All Erickson League recognition were junior Henri Bourque and seniors Christian Anzeveno, Cole Drugotch and Josh Ofili. Additionally, Henri was named to the prestigious All NEPSAC Class A football team while Christian was named All NEPSAC Honorable Mention.

JV:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Will Strout ’20
  • Most Improved Player Award – Avi Falk ’22
  • Sportsmanship Award – Jackson Frechette ’22

Varsity:

  • “Jim Purce Memorial” Award for Overall Excellence – Christian Anzeveno ’19
  • “Edward Stimets Jr. Memorial” Defensive Excellence Award – Josh Ofili ’19
  • “Lindy Hanson Memorial” Offensive Excellence Award – Henri Bourque ’20 (second year in a row)
  • “Richard R. Francis” Most Improved Player Award – Zach Walker ’22
  • Mills Kicking Game Award – Cole Drugotch ’19, Thomas Thibault ’19
  • Sportsmanship Award – Graham Allardyce ’19, Russell Midgley ’19

Girls Volleyball

Led by coaches Ketcham and Schmidt, the JV team had a terrific season with a stellar 10-7 record. Highlights of their season included sweeping Berkshire in both of their matches and seven shut outs to include victories over Ethel Walker, Kingswood, Suffield, and Miss Porters.

Varsity volleyball, led by coaches Rivenburgh and Choo, fielded a very competitive team this fall that had its finest season in nearly 10 years. The team enjoyed tremendous leadership from captains Gates MacPherson and Dylan Fulcher-Melendy as well as the collective efforts of the entire senior class. Highlights of their season included shutting out WMA and Ethel Walker 3-0 and an exciting 3-2 over Cushing. The biggest highlight of the season was reversing a 3-2 loss at Berkshire with a thrilling 3-2 win at home before an enthusiastic Family Weekend crowd. This was typical of the season as the Wildcats put forth a valiant effort in six 5-set games this fall. According to Coach Rivenburgh, this year’s team set the foundation for an upward trend in volleyball at Williston and will benefit from a strong returning corps of players next fall.

One team member garnered post-season recognition; junior Dylan Fulcher-Melendy was named All NEPSAC Class B Honorable Mention.

  • JV:
  • Most Valuable Player – Praghya Athavan Raja ’22
  • Most Improved Player – Daniela Quinteros-Parrilla ’24
  • Sportsmanship Award – Ruby McElhone Yates ’21

Varsity:

  • Most Valuable Player – Dylan Fulcher-Melendy ’20
  • Most Improved Player – Tomi Akisanya ’21
  • Sportsmanship Award – Grace Bean ’22
  • Next year’s captains will be Dylan Fulcher-Melendy ’20 and Jersey Strum ’20.

Boys Cross-Country

Under the direction of Coaches Talbot Syfu, Loomis and Gunn, the 36-member boys cross-country team enjoyed another terrific season with the JVs finishing at 10-2 and the varsity at 8-4. There were many highlights during the dual meet season, including beating Kent on the road in the season’s first race, beating Avon by one point during their Parents Weekend—a race in which 20 of our runners ran PRs and junior Oscar DeFrancis set the course record! In the season’s final race at Berkshire in flood-like conditions, the boys showed their determination and resilience when they swept Salisbury, Suffield, Millbrook, and Berkshire! At the Westminster Invitational held at mid-season, the team ran very well taking third place highlighted by Oscar DeFrancis and Nat Markey  who finished in 3rd and 8th respectively. Senior Vishnu Sekar also had a great day finishing 9th in the JV race.

The team enjoyed strong leadership from its senior class. Four seniors finished their careers on the school’s Honor Roll for top finishes on our course: Artur Lysuk (4), Caleb Stern (5), Vishnu (11) and DJ Poulin (15).

At the Division II NEPSAC championships held at the Governor’s Academy, the team ran their hearts out coming in 9th out of the 16 teams that competed. Oscar DeFrancis came in 20th to earn All NEPSAC recognition for the second year in a row.

  • “Alan Shaler” Most Valuable Runner Award – Oscar DeFrancis ’20 (second year in a row)
  • Most Improved Runner Award – Alejandro Ruiz Boughton ’21, Michael Zhang ’19
  • Sportsmanship Award – DJ Poulin ’19, Caleb Stern ’19
  • Next year’s captains will be Oscar DeFrancis ’20 and Nat Markey ’20

Girls Cross-Country

Led by Coaches Tuleja and McCullagh, the 28 girls who ran cross country at Williston this fall had another terrific season finishing the season at 10-3–for the record, in the past 33 years, the team has had 32 winning seasons!  According to Coach Tuleja, highlights of this season including a season-opening road win at Kent and sweeping Division 1 opponents Miss Porter’s and Taft. At the Westminster Invitational, Abby Andrews and Sally Alrutz finished 1st and 2nd to lead the JVs to the invitational title. Individually, a number of girls added their names to our course Honor Roll to include Anna Richardson, Annika von Schoeler-Ames, Chloe Prouty, Sophie Prouty, and Pooja Prakash Babu.

At the NEPSAC championships held at the Governor’s Academy, the girls ran very hard and were led once again by ninth grader Abigail Touhey who finished in 18th place out of the 119 runners to earn All NEPSAC honors for the second year in a row.

  • Most Valuable Runner Award – Abigail Touhey ’22 (third year in a row)
  • Most Improved Runner Award – Ella Goodman ’19
  • Sportsmanship Award – Catherine King ’19
  • Next year’s captains will be Rachel Goodman ’20, Chloe Prouty ’20 and Anna Richardson ’20.

Field Hockey

Under Coaches Klumpp and Ram’s guidance, the 26 member JV team played competitive field hockey all season with a number of highlights to include wins over Pomfret and Bement and a thrilling season ending 1-1 tie with NMH.

The Varsity Field Hockey team, led by Coaches Kate Garrity and Alex Tancrell-Fontaine, enjoyed another terrific season. There were many highlights during their season including shutting out rival Berkshire 2-0 under the lights at home, a 3-1 win over NMH on Senior Day and a tremendous 3-2 victory over a very strong Taft squad decided late on a pass from Maeve Reynolds to Brynn Saarela. The team’s terrific regular season earned them #5 seed in the NEPSAC Class B tournament. This was field hockey’s ninth tournament appearance in the last 10 years!  Very impressive!  The girls traveled to #4 St. Mark’s where they lost a 3-2 heart breaker in the quarterfinal match-up. Despite the loss, it was another great season for Williston field hockey as they went undefeated against their Class B opponents in Western New England.

In terms of individual recognition, junior Maddie Cardaci and senior Kira Bixby were both named All NEPSAC Honorable Mention while senior captains Kate Holmes and Maura Holden were named to both the Western NE All Star team and the All NEPSAC Class B team.

JV:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Keyu Lu ’20
  • Most Improved Player Award – Minami Ogino ’22
  • Sportsmanship Award – Stella Piasecki ’19 and Ellie Wolfe ’19

Varsity:

  • MVP – Maura Holden ’19, Kate Holmes ’19
  • MIP – Jules Constantinople ’22
  • Sportsmanship – Nancy Harrington ’19
  • Next year’s captains will be: Maddy Cardaci ’20, Brynn Saarela ’20

Boys Soccer

Seventy-two boys came out for soccer at Williston this fall comprising our four teams. Led by coaches Kurt Whipple and Liz Kay, the junior team enjoyed a winning record with its biggest wins over WMA, Rectory, and Eaglebrook. The JV B team led by Coaches Garcia and KaneLong also had a winning season with victories over Cushing, Vermont and Suffield as highlights.

The JV A team, led by coaches Will Eberle and Tom Johnson, improved tremendously all fall winning 5 of their last 6 games including terrific victories over Suffield, Salisbury, and Deerfield.

The varsity boys soccer team, led by coaches Chiavaroli and Syfu, enjoyed one of their finest seasons in many, many years. The team finished with an outstanding record of 10-4-3. This was the most wins for varsity boys soccer in 19 years–since the fall of 2000 when we won 14. Needless to say, there were many highlights during this terrific season including opening the season with wins over Cheshire and Canterbury, and a season-ending stretch in which the team went undefeated over their last six games conceding only two goals. While all of their wins were satisfying, three home victories stood out–defeating rival Suffield 1-0 under the lights and wins over two Class A tournament bound teams, Loomis Chaffee 2-1 and Northfield Mt. Hermon 1-0. We had not beaten either school since 2012.

Five members of this year’s team were named to postseason all-star teams.  On the league level, Nick Heafey and Gabriel Ribeiro were both named All Western NE Honorable Mention while Wyatt Wegryzn and Sebastian Santelices were named to the All Western NE Select Team. Additionally, both Wyatt and Sebastian were named to the prestigious All NEPSAC Class B team.

Junior:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Alex Hall-Witt ’23
  • Most Improved Player Award – Nathan Chang ’22
  • Sportsmanship Award – Frannie Cataldo ’22

JV B:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Tyler Varin ’21
  • Most Improved Player Award – Michael Curtis ’21
  • Sportsmanship Award – Oscar Nguyen ’21

JV A:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Brodie Fazio ’21
  • Most Improved Player Award – Dominic Liu ’21
  • Sportsmanship Award – Ray Toth ’21

 Varsity:

  • Most Valuable Player Award – Sebastian Santelices ’20, Wyatt Wegryzn ’19
  • Most Improved Player Award – Jake Goodman ’19, Jonathan Toth ’20
  • Sportsmanship Award – Gabriel Ribeiro ’19
  • 12th Player Award – Ryan Dwyer ’19, Chris Ramirez ’19

“I wanted to thank all of you who wore the blue and green this fall for competing so hard and so well,” said Conroy. “Your sportsmanship was outstanding. I also want to thank and congratulate all of you who came out to cheer on your classmates at games–your school spirit and sportsmanship was exceptional.”