At Assembly on March 20, Director of Athletics Mark Conroy reflected on Willisotn’s winter athletic program by sharing a few highlights of each team and recognizing award winners. See photos here.
“What another awesome winter it was for Wildcat Athletics!” he said.
Here is the list of winter sports and highlights associated with each.
Led by Coaches KaneLong and White, the Williston wrestling team competed valiantly all winter. Coach KaneLong said that the team had the second highest individual winning percentage in the past 18 years–pretty impressive. The highlight of their dual meet season was a thrilling home 31-30 win over Eagle Hill that came down to the final match when eighth grader Jamie Park pinned his opponent to give the team the win. Another highlight of the team’s season was hosting the first annual Brian Crockett Memorial Snow Brawl. William Gunn ’20 won his weight class in the tournament and went on to finish fifth at the NEPSAC championships held at Greens Farms Academy in Connecticut. This top-6 finish qualified William to compete in the National Independent School tournament at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.
- Donald J. Knauf Most Valuable Wrestler Award – William Gunn ’20
- Most Improved Wrestler Award – Nico Gomes-Rapoza ’23
- Sportsmanship Award – Hugo Bundy ’23
- Peter M. Edgerton ’74 Most Pins Award – William Gunn ’20 and Cam Lawrence ’20 (both with 15!)
The captains of next year’s team will be William Gunn ’20 and Cam Lawrence ’20.
Led by Coaches Will Eberle and alum Maddie Dirats, our ski teams enjoyed successful seasons competing in the Mountain Institute League at Berkshire East. The boys team was led by veteran Gavin Kline ’20 who finished in the top 6 in many league races. Also of special note was the performance of Thomas Motyka ’21, who, despite never racing before, competed in every league race. Jamie Gallea ’19 was also recognized by Coach Eberle for his terrific senior leadership. The girls team was led by the ever positive spirit of captain Molly Solan ’19. JV racers Shoko Ishikawa ’22 and Abby Seltzer ’22 finished in the top five in the JV race final standings.
The season culminated for both teams at the New England Class B championships held at Sundown in Connecticut in the middle of February. Sophomore Lily Shields had a particularly good day finishing in 14th place in the Giant Slalom and 9th in the Slalom. Lily’s top-10 finish in the Slalom earned her All NEPSAC honors. Congratulations Lily! A special shout out to seventh grader Catie Spence who had never raced before this winter but improved enough to compete in the NEPSAC championship. As a team, the boys came in 7th at the championships. Top individual finishers in the Slalom race were Matt Shields in 23rd and Adam Johnsrud in 29th while in the Giant Slalom, freshman Chris Closuit came in 18th, Gavin came in 22nd and Matt Shields came in 25th.
- Most Valuable Skier Award – Gavin Kline ’20 (2nd year in a row)
- Most Improved Skier Award – Conrad Kang ’20
- Sportsmanship Award – Adam Johnsrud ’20
Captains for next year will be Adam Johnsrud ’20, Gavin Kline ’20.
- Most Valuable Skier Award – Lily Shields ’21
- Most Improved Skier Award – Shoko Ishikawa ’22
- Sportsmanship Award – Abby Seltzer ’20
Captain for next year will be Lily Shields ’21.
The girls squash program enjoyed another wonderful season of great improvement and esprit de corps this winter under the leadership of JV coach Adeleen Brown and varsity coaches Peter Gunn and Ellie Ballard. The JV team was led by veteran Zoe Okaisabor ’19 who provided positive leadership throughout the season.
The varsity team was led by captains Amanda Shen ’19 and Brooke Smith ’19 both of which provided terrific leadership on and off the court all winter. The team played competitive, spirited squash throughout their season highlighted by wins over both Albany Academy and Hotchkiss 5-2. The team concluded their season by earning a 6th place finish at the NEPSAC Class C tournament held at Suffield Academy. Among the highlights were Sahnet Ramirez ’20, playing her best match of the season, earning 2nd place in the 4th flight – losing the title match in the fifth game, Louisa Weed ’20 earning 3rd place in the 2nd flight, Dylan-Fulcher Melendy ’20 earning 4th place in the 3rd flight and captains Amanda and Brooke winning matches in the consolation round. There is great promise for next year with a terrific group of young players returning.
- Most Valuable Player Award – Zoe Okaisabor ’19
- Most Improved Player Award – Jessie Tran ’21
- Sportsmanship Award – Emily O’Brien ’21 (second year in a row!)
- Most Valuable Player Award – Amanda Shen ’19
- Most Improved Player Award – Sahnet Ramirez ’20, Pooja Prakash Babu ‘21
- Sportsmanship Award – Ruby McElhone Yates ’21, Dylan Fulcher-Melendy ’20
Next year’s captains will be Dylan Fulcher-Melendy ’20, Sahnet Ramirez ’20, Louisa Weed ’20.
The JV Boys Hockey team, led by Coaches Fay and Hanke, played competitive hockey all winter. Highlights of their season included a thrilling 6-5 victory over Pomfret, a 10-7 shoot-out over the Springfield Rifles, and a gritty 2-2 overtime tie at Westminster.
Under Coaches Cunha, Hanford, and Cunningham, the Varsity Boys Hockey team enjoyed a competitive season playing against the teeth of NEPSAC boys hockey finishing with a record of 12-14-1. The team played its best hockey in the last month of the season finishing with an 8-4 record in their final 12 games. According to Coach Cunha, among their many highlights were defeating tournament bound Avon Old Farms 5-2 in their opener, sweeping Winchendon and Millbrook in double headers with both schools and a terrific 6-2 win over a perennial strong Brunswick squad. Undoubtedly the biggest highlight of the season was taking on rival Deerfield on a Friday evening in February before an enthusiastic home crowd at Lossone! Deerfield came into the game as was one of the very top teams in all of NEPSAC, later earning a #1 seed in the postseason! Inspired by their dedication to raising money and awareness for military veterans, the team rose to the occasion defeating the boys from Deerfield 3-2 in a thriller at Lossone.
- Most Valuable Player Award – Wyatt Wegrzyn’19
- Most Improved Player Award – Zach Walker ’22
- Sportsmanship Award – Tom Lawry ’19 (2nd year in a row!)
- Daniel D. Carpenter Most Valuable Player Award –Tim Rego ’19
- Most Improved Player Award – Hunter Wilson ’21
- Sportsmanship Award – Alex Berg ’19
Coach Nat 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 victories over Westminster and Pomfret.
It was another exciting and rewarding season for Coach Tyree’s varsity squash team notching 10 wins for the second year in a row including a six game win streak, the best since 1985! Led by senior captains Tyler Senecal and Joey Robbins, the team had several terrific matches including two thrilling 4-3 wins over Kingswood and the first win over Westminster in the program’s history. Varsity newcomers Luke Po and Finlay MacDonald tied for most individual wins with 10 apiece. The highlight of the season was undoubtedly the team’s performance at the US High School squash championships held in Connecticut. The team managed to win four consecutive matches over teams from NYC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Buffalo to win the Division VI national title.
In terms of postseason individual recognition, after being named honorable mention as a junior, senior Tyler Senecal capped off his career by being named to the All NEPSAC Class B team.
- Most Valuable Player Award: Kevin Talbot ’20
- Most Improved Player Award: Ryan Goodman ’20
- Sportsmanship Award – Kai Pak ’22 (second year in a row)
- Most Valuable Player Award – Aidan McCreary ’19
- Most Improved Player Award – Vishal Ramvelu ’22
- Sportsmanship Award –Toyo Sato ’20 (second year), Ty Johnson ’21
- Most Valuable Player Award – Luke Po ’20 (last year he was JV MVP!)
- Most Improved Player Award – Finlay MacDonald ’20
- Sportsmanship Award – Vishnu Sekar ’19
Captains for next year – Finlay MacDonald ’20, Luke Po ’20, Connor Touhey ’20
This winter was another very successful season for girls’ basketball at Williston. The JV squad had a terrific season under Coaches Jenkins and Johnson finishing with a record of 8-4 including victories over Berkshire, Suffield and Taft.
Varsity Girls Basketball, under the leadership of Coaches Briedis and Porter, enjoyed a wonderful season finishing with a record of 13-7. There were many highlights during their season including finishing runner-up at the Ray Brown Holiday Tournament in December, decisive victories over Kingswood, Pomfret and Hotchkiss and thrilling one point victories over both St. Mark’s and Miss Porter’s. Arguably the best win may have been over the #6 seeded Class A team Taft 43-32. The team’s strong regular season earned them a #7 seed in the NEPSAC Class B tournament and a game at #2 seed Lawrence Academy. Unfortunately, the team came up short to end their season.
For their outstanding play during the season, two girls earned postseason honors, sophomore Jordyn Meunier was named All NEPSAC Honorable Mention while senior Sarah Sullivan was named to the All NEPSAC team.
I do want to give special recognition to Sarah Sullivan who not only earned All NEPSAC honors for her fourth consecutive year but also broke the 1,000 point milestone in January at rival Suffield. In doing so, Sarah became the sixth girl in our school’s history to accomplish this feat. She finishes with 1,240 points.
- Most Valuable Player Award – Ciara Tapanes ’20 (2nd year in a row)
- Most Improved Player Award – Lila Nields-Duffy ’24
- Sportsmanship Award – Minami Ogino ’22
- Most Valuable Player Award – Sarah Sullivan ’19 (2nd year in a row)
- Most Improved Player Award – Carrie St. Marie ’20
- Sportsmanship Award – Abbie Coscia ’19
The JV team, led by Coaches Ward and Rivenburgh, enjoyed another excellent season finishing with a 9-4-1 record. Among their many highlights were exciting victories over Berkshire, Hotchkiss and Choate and a season sweep of rival NMH. I do want to recognize one member of the team who surpassed the 100 point career milestone – quite an accomplishment at any level: Megan Ward.
To say that Varsity Girls ice hockey, under the leadership of Coaches Christa Talbot Syfu, Alex Tancrell-Fontaine, and Andrew Syfu had an exceptional season would be an understatement! The team set a school record for wins in a season when it finished with an outstanding final record of 22-2-2. The team went nearly two and a half months without losing a game – pretty incredible considering the level of play in NEPSAC Division 1 girls hockey. It was a dominant season by any standard – 12 shutouts, only 28 goals allowed in 24 games. There were many, many highlights to include a thrilling 5-4 overtime win over St. Paul’s, decisive wins over Loomis, Deerfield and BB&N, winning the Winchendon Tournament for the fifth year in a row and beating Hotchkiss in their Pink of the Rink game in which they raised over $3,300 for cancer research. The team’s outstanding regular season earned them a first ever #1 seed in the NEPSAC Division 1 tournament where they took on rival Loomis. Unfortunately, the team came up just short 3-1 to Loomis Chaffee to end their exceptional season. Coach Talbot Syfu was quick to point that, while there were many reasons for their season’s great success, chief among them was the exceptional leadership of their senior class.
In terms of individual recognition, four girls garnered post season recognition – earning All NEPSAC Honorable Mention were seniors Claudia Capone and Caroline DiFiore. As a testament to our success this winter, for the first time ever we placed two girls on the prestigious 12 member All NEPSAC Division 1 team — senior Kate Holmes and sophomore Christina Vote.
I also want to take this opportunity to recognize Kate who became only the 5th girl in our school’s history to surpass the 100 point milestone when she scored a hat trick late in the season against Winchendon.
- Most Valuable Player Award – Louisa Coughlin ’23, Megan Ward ‘21
- Most Improved Player Award – Nancy Harrington ‘19
- Sportsmanship Award – Rachel Burke ‘19
The varsity team has not announced their award winners yet.
Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving
The boys swimming and diving team had one of their finest seasons in recent memory finishing with a record of 6-3 including big dual meet wins over St. George’s, Kingswood Oxford and eventual NEPSAC champion Westminster. The team finished their season on a high note by finishing in 1st place finish at the first annual Wilmot Babcock Invitational where they beat NMH for the title, a team that had beaten them earlier in the season. For the second year in a row, the team just missed out on a second place finish by two points finishing in 3rd place at the NEPSAC Division II Championships. Coach K says the entire team swam fantastic recording lifetime best swim times.
Three boys earned All NEPSAC honors for their top finishes including Jason Albanese in the 100 backstroke and Jack Haddad in the 100 breaststroke. One boy had a tremendous day and deserves special recognition.
Junior Sam Haddad became a NEPSAC champion in two events, setting school AND NEPSAC Division II records as well. Incredibly, he won the 200 Individual Medley by an astonishing 12 seconds.
The Girls Swimming and Diving team had another exceptional season finishing their dual meet season undefeated for the second year in a row with a perfect 9-0 record. The girls currently have a dual meet winning streak of 22 dating back to 2017! 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 thrilling 94-92 victory over the Suffield Academy during Senior Day – a meet that came down to the final relay won by our girls by 0.4 seconds! The girls also won the inaugural Wilmot Babcock Invitational held here at Williston. In the NEPSAC championship meet, the girls swam their hearts out, going for their fourth consecutive championship but came up just short to a strong Miss Porter’s team to finish in second place.
A number of girls earned All NEPSAC recognition at the championships for their outstanding swims:
- Sophomore Molly Kinstle ’21 in both the 200 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly.
- Sabrina Serricchio ’20 in the 50 Freestyle.
- Casey Feins ’20 in the 1 Meter Diving competition.
Four of our girls competed together in two separate relays, the 200 freestyle and the 200 medley, to win NEPSAC championships in both races. The relay team members were Molly Kinstle, Sydney Joyce, Sally Alrutz and Ava Larkin. To top off their great day, their time in the 200 medley of 1:48.42 set both school and NEPSAC Division II records.
Three girls are deserving of special mention this morning because they either set new school individual record or they won individual NEPSAC championships.
- Senior Sydney Joyce continued her outstanding career by winning two more NEPSAC titles in both the 200 and 500 freestyle.
- Ninth grader Ava Larkin not only won the 200 IM to become a NEPSAC champion again but she also set a school record in the 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:06.55.
- Finally, senior Sally Alrutz concluded her exceptional career at Williston by setting three more school records in the 100 Freestyle, the 100 Butterfly and the 100 Backstroke. Her performances in the Butterfly and Backstroke earned her NEPSAC championships as well, in fact her butterfly time was not only a school record but also set a NEPSAC Division 2 record. Sally was also winner of the Grace Robertson Award given to the championship meet’s top performer. It is worth noting that in Sally’s six years at Williston, both in dual meets and in championship meets, that she never came in any place other than 1st or 2nd. In fact, in the 12 races she competed in at her six NEPSAC championships she was an individual champion seven times and a runner-up five times. Pretty remarkable!
The swim teams have not given out their awards yet so will be announced at a later time.
It was another terrific season for the boys’ basketball program. On the lower levels, Coach Malinowski’s Mighty Fourths team had another terrific season with season sweeps over both Bement and Eaglebrook and thrilling wins over rivals MacDuffie and WMA. The boys managed to finish the season with a perfect 9-0 record.
The thirds team led by Coaches Sawyer and Mailloux had a number of exciting wins including sweeping Bement and a thrilling two point win over Eaglebrook. Coach Garrity and Ketcham’s JV team finished its season on a high note winning five of their last six games, including revenging an earlier season loss to rival Suffield and defeating Choate in a nail-biter!
Under the leadership of head coach Ben Farmer, the varsity boys basketball team enjoyed a tremendous run to end their season. While there were many terrific wins during the first couple months of the season, the team played its finest basketball in the last month. After consecutive losses to Pomfret and Choate, the team realized that there was very little margin for error if they wanted to reach their goal of making the tournament. With a renewed commitment to competing at the highest level, the team won its final six games of the season including thrilling road victories at Andover and Loomis and a particularly satisfying decisive win over rival Suffield on Senior Day. This great run and an 11-3 Class A record earned them a #2 seed in the highly competitive NEPSAC Class A Tournament. In the quarterfinal game at home vs Choate, the boys revenged their early season loss to the Wild Boars with a determined 64-48 victory. In the semi-final game against #3 seeded Hotchkiss, the team benefitted from tremendous home team support again to defeat a talented Hotchkiss team 91-73. The team was led by the dynamic scoring duo of Tyler Thomas and John Kelly. John made 10 three point baskets in what was certainly one of the finest shooting exhibitions ever seen at the Athletic Center!
The team squared off against #1 Exeter in the final where it lost a heartbreaker 51-44 to end it’s season.
In terms of individual recognition, both Tyler Thomas and John Kelly were both named to the prestigious All NEPSAC Class A team. This is the first time ever that two Williston boys made the team in the same season.
- Most Valuable Player Award – Colin Larson ’24
- Most Improved Player Award – Chase Webster ’23
- Sportsmanship Award –Tucker Motyka ’22
- Most Valuable Player Award – George Spence ’21
- Most Improved Player Award – Jameson Bayuk ’22
- Sportsmanship Award – Dylan Robinson ’22
- Most Valuable Player Award – Chris Denham ’19
- Most Improved Player Award – Mike Slate ’20
- Sportsmanship Award – Abinil Bagde ’20
- Most Valuable Player Award – Tyler Thomas ’19
- Most Improved Player Award – Andre Washington ’21
- Sportsmanship Award – Abood Abuissa ’19
“While all of this great success is certainly something to be proud of, I remain most proud of the way our teams compete and represent Williston, said Conroy. “Good luck to all the spring teams!”