Stellar Winter Athletes Recognized in Assembly

Director of Athletics Mark Conroy delivered this message during the Winter Athletics Assembly on March 25, 2022.

Hello Williston! I hope everyone’s third trimester and spring season is off to a great start!

Before we get too far from winter, I want to take this opportunity to reflect back on our winter athletic season to celebrate the many team and individual successes that we enjoyed this winter. It certainly was another terrific winter season for Wildcat Athletics! Here are a few highlights of each program and all the individual award winners.

Boys Squash

Coach Kevin Hillman’s Thirds team demonstrated notable improvement throughout their season highlighted by two terrific matches with Bement. Coach Josh Schmidt’s JV team had one of its finest seasons in recent memory earning 6 wins including sweeping Suffield and a season ending win over Albany.

The varsity boys squash team was led this winter by coach Nat Simpson. The team faced a significant rebuilding year with lots of new faces on the ladder. Team captain Jackson Frechette did a stellar job leading, inspiring, and modeling sportsmanship for the team throughout the season. In the words of Coach Simpson, each player experienced exponential, visible improvement from their first match to the last match.

To top off a competitive weekend at the NEPSAC championships held at Dexter School, the boys earned the team Sportsmanship Award as voted on by their peer schools! What a wonderful tribute to the manner in which this team competed all winter!

Most Valuable Player Award – Zach Pincus ’24
Most Improved Player Award – Noah Comrie ’27
Sportsmanship Award – Tyler Yunes ’25

Most Valuable Player Award – Jack Wise ’23
Most Improved Player Award – Daniel Ciejek ’23
Sportsmanship Award – Luke Richardson ’24

Most Valuable Player Award – Jackson Frechette ’22
Most Improved Player Award – Luke Ballard ’23
Sportsmanship Award – Orion Minton ’23
Captain for next year – Luke Ballard ’23

Girls Squash

The girls squash program enjoyed another wonderful season of great improvement and esprit de corps this winter under the leadership of JV coach Darle Kokoszka and varsity coaches Peter Gunn and Ellie Ballard.

The varsity team played competitive, spirited squash throughout their season highlighted by an exciting 4-3 win over Ethel Walker and a convincing 6-1 win over Pomfret. The team concluded their season by earning a 2nd place finish at the NEPSAC Class E tournament held at Pomfret. Among the highlights were seniors Caroline Hodges and Harini Murugan finishing fifth in their flights, Louisa Coughlin, Betsy Gaudreau and Zoe Zhang finishing third in their flights and seventh grader Olivia Zaiken going to five games in her final match to earn second place. Captain Praghya Athavan Raja won three straight games to go undefeated and earn a New England individual championship.

Most Valuable Player Award – Macy Chase ’23
Most Improved Player Award – Amalia Conroy ’27
Sportsmanship Award – Mia Grady ’23

Most Valuable Player – Praghya Athavan Raja ’22
Most Improved Player – Sari Yamagata ’22, Olivia Zaiken ’27
Sportsmanship Award – Anna Jofre ’22
Next year’s captain will be Louisa Coughlin ’23

Boys Hockey

The JV Boys Hockey team, led by Coaches Mike Fay and alum Phil Bronner, played competitive hockey all winter. While there were many exciting games throughout the season, the biggest highlight was a 5-3 win over rival Loomis.

Under coaches Cunha and Hanford, the Varsity Boys Hockey team fought hard all winter taking on its usual very challenging schedule—14 of its 24 opponents earned tournament spots this winter. According to Coach Cunha, amongst their many highlights were defeating ISL stalwart Rivers in December, a nail biting 2-1 overtime win over Millbrook and a mid-January four game win streak that included defeating Winchendon and Vermont.  Undoubtedly the two biggest wins of the season were a 5-0 shutout win at home over tournament bound Berkshire and a thrilling 5-4 win at Deerfield on a Friday night in February.  The win over Deerfield clinched this season’s Pioneer Valley Cup, an annual rivalry with local preps Deerfield and NMH for western MA boys prep hockey superiority.

Most Valuable Player Award –JP Giguere ’22
Most Improved Player Award – Aashish Suresh ’22
Sportsmanship Award – Zach Walker ’22

Daniel D. Carpenter Most Valuable Player Award – Gavin Havens ’22
Most Improved Player Award – Ronan Robinson ’22
Sportsmanship Award – Joe Easton ’23, Will Gaca ’22

Girls Basketball

The JV squad enjoyed wonderful team comradery under the enthusiastic leadership of Coaches Taylor and Ildefonso.  Highlights of their season included victories over Stoneleigh Burnham, Miss Hall’s and a thrilling season ending two point win at Bement.

Varsity Girls Basketball, under the leadership of coaches Liam McMahon and Amber Davey, played a very competitive schedule this winter that included 10 games against tournament bound teams.  There were several highlights during the season including a convincing opening road win over KO, sweeping Berkshire in both of their games, avenging an early season loss by defeating St. Mark’s in thrilling fashion 44-42 in our Ray Brown tournament to finish runner-up and a convincing Senior Day win over Miss Porter’s.  Arguably, the team’s best game was a tremendous effort against Class A champion Loomis Chaffee where the girls, led by captain Cris Negron’s 8 three pointers, battled for four quarters before coming up just short in the end.

For her excellent play during the season, Cris Negron was named a Class B West all-star by league coaches.

Most Valuable Player Award – Avery Brooks ’23
Most Improved Player Award – Vivian Walker ’25
Sportsmanship Award – Maya Green ’26

Most Valuable Player Award – Cristina Negron ’22
Most Improved Player Award – Margaret Edwards ’25
Sportsmanship Award – Grace Bean ’22
Captain next year – Anna Sawyer ’24

Boys Basketball

It was another very successful season for the boys’ basketball program. On the lower levels, led by coaches Bryan Malinowski and Joe Katz, the Mighty Fourths finished their season with a winning record again sweeping Bement and earning two thrilling nail-biting wins over rivals KO and WMA.

The Thirds team had 25 team members this winter so divided itself into two groups–aptly named the Blue and Green teams of course! The teams made tremendous progress earning six exciting wins including defeating Deerfield and a season ending avenging win over Bement in which 14 boys entered the scoring column! Coach Garrity and Ketcham’s JV team had several highlights including defeating Salisbury, Choate and Westminster and two exciting one point wins–one over Pomfret and the other a season ending 65-64 thriller over Kingswood Oxford.

Under the leadership of head coach Ben Farmer and assistant Jayson Leigh, the Varsity Boys Basketball team enjoyed a season of tremendous growth as they played their best basketball in the final month of the season winning seven of their final nine games.   There were several highlights during the season including beating AA Winchendon in December, defeating Choate and Taft in convincing fashion, a terrific win over a tournament bound Loomis squad and a huge Senior Day second half comeback victory over a very good Kingswood team. Additionally, the team managed to sweep rival Suffield for the fourth year in a row—that’s eight straight—not that anyone is counting! Individually, center Christian Ubochi averaged a double double with 12 point and 10 rebounds while junior Paul Ippolito shot a remarkable 52% on 70 three-point shot attempts!

In terms of individual recognition, Christian Ubochi earned All NEPSAC Class A Honorable Mention.

Most Valuable Player Award – Sam Dietrich ’27, Tristan Kokoszka ’26
Most Improved Player Award – Finn Carswell ’26, Bobby Colenback ’27
Sportsmanship Award – Mure Williams ’27, Yahya Wilson ’26

Most Valuable Player Award – Riley McDonald ’25 for Blue and Sabir Hussain ’25 for the Green
Most Improved Player Award – Connor Nizolek ’24 for Blue and Nasheen Gibbs ’25 for Green
Sportsmanship Award – Jack Berrien ’25 for Blue and Hieu Duong ’25 for Green

Most Valuable Player Award – Colin Larson ’24
Most Improved Player Award – Jake St. Marie ’23
Sportsmanship Award – Tate Cowperthwait ’25, Jacob Waah ’25

Most Valuable Player Award – Paul Ippolito ’23
Most Improved Player Award – Connor Jenkins ’23, Christian Ubochi ’22
Sportsmanship Award – Tyler Morehouse ’22

Ski Teams

Under the leadership of co-head coaches Russell Bollag-Miller and Sarah Kneip, our ski teams enjoyed successful seasons competing in the Mountain Institute League up at Berkshire East. The JV boys placed second in the league led by Emiliano Sanchez Chevalier who placed in fourth overall. The varsity girls finished a strong MISL season with a third place finish.

The varsity season culminated for both the boys and girls teams at the NEPSAC Class B championships held at Waterville Valley in New Hampshire. There were 58 boys representing 14 schools competing in the slalom and giant slalom races. Top individual finishers for Williston were senior Avi Falk and freshman Shane Bussard. Avi finished 16th in the slalom and 28th in the Giant Slalom while Shane finished 16th in the Giant Slalom.

The girls team enjoyed a great day up at the championships finishing in sixth out of the 14 teams that competed. Top finishers for Williston included Meryl Sesselburg who finished in 27th the Slalom while teammate Sophie Edmunds finished in 22th in the Giant Slalom.

Senior captain Rosie Crooker had a particularly great day finishing in 11th in the Giant Slalom and fourth (out of 58!) in the Slalom race. Her top 10 finish earned her All NEPSAC honors!  To add to this honor, at the final league race of the season, the league awarded Rosie with the prestigious Zephyr Rapinchuk Memorial Award.  This award is given “to a student who best exemplifies kindness, enthusiasm, a love of skiing and mentoring others.”   This award was a fitting tribute to not only Rosie’s outstanding season as a ski racer but, equally important, the manner in which she supported both her teammates and competitors.

Varsity Boys
Most Valuable Skier Award – Shane Bussard ’25
Most Improved Skier Award – Avi Falk ’22
Sportsmanship Award – Dan McBride ’25
Captain for next year will be Ben Carlan ’23.

Varsity Girls
Most Valuable Skier Award – Rosie Crooker ’22
Most Improved Skier Award – Ava Howard ’25
Sportsmanship Award – Abby Booth ’22
Captain for next year will be Sophie Edmunds ’23.

Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving

The Girls Swimming and Diving team had another exceptional season finishing their dual meet season with an excellent 8-2 record. Of note, the team had its longest win streak in history snapped this year after 34 straight wins dating back to 2017! In fact, for our 4-year seniors their record is an incredible 30-2! Amongst their many highlights were convincing wins over St. George’s, KO and Westminster. The girls also won the third annual Wilmot Babcock Invitational held here at Williston outdistancing runner up rival NMH. In the NEPSAC championship meet, despite some incredible performances, the girls just missed the top three, coming in fourth place.

One relay team earned All NEPSAC recognition at the championships for their outstanding swim.  The 400 freestyle relay team of Ella Mattocks, Ava Larkin, Julia Borden and Campbell Collins came in third.

Campbell also had a terrific day individually earning All NEPSAC honors in both the 200 and 500 free with third place finishes in both.

On the diving boards, Abigail Touhey capped off an incredible career winning All NEPSAC Honors in the diving event.

Two senior girls, who have enjoyed tremendous careers at Williston, ended their careers on a high note earning individual NEPSAC championships:

  • Senior Ella Mattocks came in third in the 100 backstroke and won the 100 butterfly to become a NEPSAC champion.
  • Fellow senior Ava Larkin came in second in the 100 breaststroke and defended her title in the 100 free to become a NEPSAC champion.

Additionally, Ava’s time of 1:06.24 in the 100 breaststroke broke her own school record by three tenths of a second.

Most Valuable Swimmer – Ava Larkin ’22

Most Improved Swimmer – Mara Grabowski ’27, Abby Muscato ’24

Sportsmanship- Kana Kitano ’22

Next year’s captains- Kaitlyn Williams ’23, Campbell Collins ’23, Andie Kinstle ’23

The boys swimming and diving team had a terrific season finishing with record of 9-1. Highlights of their dual meet season included big dual meet wins over St. George’s, Kingswood, Hopkins and Westminster. At the NEPSAC championships, held in Vermont, the boys swam their hearts out to win the title.  This was our 16th NEPSAC championship in school history and our second in a row, since we won back in 2020!

Three relay teams, including one that won a championship, earned All NEPSAC honors for top three finishes:

  • The 200 freestyle team of Jack Coscia, Sam Fortier, Chris Zeng and Jack Haddad took third.
  • The 400 freestyle team of Getchell Gibbons, Jack Coscia, Herrick Stevenson and Henry Wieymeyer took sedond
  • And finally, the 200 medley relay team of Herrick Stevenson, Jack Haddad, Getchell Gibbons and Henry Wiemeyer came in first place to become NEPSAC champions!  

Eight boys earned All NEPSAC individual honors for their top 3 finishes including:

  • Three divers who earned All-NEPSAC recognition for their performances at the D2 Championships held here at Williston: Ninth grader Cole Blanchard, eighth graders Cole Cavanagh and Luke Grabowski
  • Freshman Herrick Stevenson with a third place finish in both the 200 and 500 free.
  • Eighth grader Chris Zeng with a second in the 500 free!
  • Junior Sam Fortier with a third in the 100 butterfly
  • Junior Jack Coscia with a second in the 200 free and a fourth in the 500 Free.
  • Senior Henry Wiemeyer with a third in the 100 free and a second in the 50 free.
  • Junior Getchell Gibbons had a terrific day with a second in the 100 backstroke and with a time of 52.23 in the 100 butterfly, he earned an individual NEPSAC title!
  • Finally, senior Jack Haddad ended his distinguished swim career in style. He earned All NEPSAC honors for his second place finish in the 200 IM and, in the race of the meet, he beat the second place KO finisher by half a second with a time of 58.16 to not only become a NEPSAC champion but also to set both a school and NEPSAC record!

Most Valuable Swimmer – Jack Haddad ’22, Henry Wiemeyer ’22
Most Improved Swimmer – Connor Queenin ’23
Sportsmanship- Dyson Haaland ’23
Captains for next year – Jack Coscia ’23, Dyson Haaland ’23, Getchell Gibbons ’23

Girls Hockey

The JV team, led by Coaches Jessica Tabb Wood and Hannah Gilman, enjoyed a competitive season with several highlights including exciting victories over NMH, Vermont and Cushing.

Varsity Girls ice hockey, under the leadership of Coaches Christa Talbot Syfu and Alex Tancrell-Fontaine, enjoyed a season for the ages setting a school record with a record of 24-1.  How about these stats for a dominant season: the team outscored their opponents 107-24 during the season. Yes, thanks to 10 shutouts, the team gave up ONLY 24 goals in 25 games – truly remarkable!

Here is just a sampling of the many highlights of this exceptional season…

Two wins over a very strong St Paul’s team, defeating rival Kent 7-1 at home, earning shutout wins on the road over both Westminster and Hotchkiss, beating a strong Loomis team at Loomis 6-1 thanks to four first period goals, scoring 3 goals in 53 seconds in a 7-1 win over Winchendon, a 6-0 shutout of BB&N on Senior Day highlighted by six seniors being on the ice when Emma Merrill scored.  The team continued its wonderful tradition of raising money to support the fight against breast cancer when it raised over $2600 during a 4-1 win over Andover.

The team’s remarkable season earned them the #1 seed in the NEPSAC Elite Chuck Vernon Tournament and the opportunity to host all three games at Lossone.  In the quarterfinals, the girls shut out Kent 5-0 in convincing fashion to earn a semi-final berth rematch against Andover.  In a thrilling overtime 3-2 win, Monique Lyons found the back of the net to send the Wildcats to their second NEPSAC championship game in school history.  In an ironic twist of fate, our opponent would be the very same team that beat us in 2019 in the championship and also had beat us in December in the finals of their Harrington Tournament – Nobles.  To make this tale even more “storybook”, Nobles came into this championship game having not lost a game in four years.  On this day, the Wildcats would not be denied as the girls played their hearts out winning a thriller 2-0 giving Williston our first NEPSAC championship in our girls ice hockey history!

In terms of individual recognition, three girls garnered post-season recognition. Earning a place on the prestigious All NEPSAC team were three seniors: defensemen Jules Constantinople and Emma Merrill and goalie Natalie Stott. Additionally, Natalie received the Mark Harrington Trophy given to the outstanding player in the tournament.

I would like to recognize the award winners on the JV girls hockey team. The varsity awards have not been announced yet.

Most Valuable Player Award – Catherine Ballard ’25
Most Improved Player Award – Coraly Siegel ’23, Angela Tsai ’22
Sportsmanship Award – Sofia Arriaga Balsa ’25, Victoria Hop ’22

In closing, I want to congratulate all the winter athletes on another wonderful season!    While we take great pride in all this team and individual success, I continue to be most proud of the way our teams compete and represent Williston, always with class and great sportsmanship. Best wishes to everyone this spring!