During Assembly on December 1, Mark Conroy, Director of Athletics, delivered the following remarks to recognize athletic achievements from the fall sports season.
Happy Winter everyone! I hope everyone is back in the swing of things after a wonderful break.
Welcome to the Fall Athletic Awards Assembly!
I wanted to take this opportunity this morning to recognize each of our nine fall programs by sharing a few highlights and then recognizing the individual award winners that were announced at our Banquet Night gatherings just before Thanksgiving vacation.
Fourteen girls traveled out to the Amethyst Farm in Amherst this fall to ride for the Infinity Equestrian team under the direction of Laura Etzel. This was our largest turnout for riding in 20 years! The riders brought a range of riding experience from novice to advanced. Five girls—Angela Tsai, Sophia DiTerlizzi, Avery Blumberg, Audrey and Sophie Edmunds—all competed this fall for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association team. Sophia showed on both the Dressage and Hunt seat teams qualifying for both regional finals. Avery also qualified for the regional finals. Coach Etzel says that she loved working with this group and looks forward to their continued involvement.
Most Valuable Rider: Avery Blumberg ’27, Sophia DiTerrlizzi ’25
Most Improved Rider: Pierceson Squires ’23, Vivian Walker ’25
Sportsmanship Award: Kiko Xu ’23, Cici Cao ’25
Comprising three teams, 46 girls participated in our volleyball program this fall. Coach Cassie LePouttre’s Thirds team demonstrated great improvement and camaraderie all season, culminating with two exciting matches with Miss Porters.
Led by Coaches Schmidt and KaneLong, the JV team enjoyed a very competitive season finishing with a record of 8-8 including thrilling 3-2 wins over Ethel Walker, Cushing and rival Suffield.
Varsity volleyball, led by Coaches Ken Choo and Tyla Taylor, enjoyed their finest season in 14 years finishing with a record of 9-7 just missing out on a postseason berth. The team enjoyed tremendous leadership from captains Praghya Athavan Raja and Grace Bean. There were many highlights during their season including sweeping Berkshire in both their matches, shutting out rival WMA 3-0 on their Family Weekend and shutting out Pomfret 3-0 on our Family Weekend while raising money and awareness for breast cancer research. Without question, the biggest and most satisfying victory of the season was a decisive win over tournament bound Suffield 3-1 late in the season.
One team member garnered post-season recognition: Captain Praghya Athavan Raja was named to the All NEPSAC Class B team.
Most Valuable Player – Ava Howard ’25
Most Improved Player – Crystal Tan ’24, MaryEllen Choo ’27
Sportsmanship Award – Sofia Arriaga Balsa ’25
Most Valuable Player – Annika Song ’25
Most Improved Player – Maya Green ’27
Sportsmanship Award – Lupe Oloyede ’24
Most Valuable Player – Praghya Athavan Raja ’22
Most Improved Player – Amya James ’23
Sportsmanship Award – Sarah Drucker ’22
The 70 students who participated in football this fall enjoyed a terrific season out on Sawyer Field. The JV squad, led by Coaches Doubleday and Farmer, demonstrated great improvement and team spirit finishing their season with what might very well have been the most exciting game played in any sport this fall at Williston. In their season ending game on Sawyer Field, the Wildcats found themselves down 35-8 at halftime to an undefeated Suffield team. In dramatic fashion, the boys rallied in the second half scoring in the final seconds to defeat the rival Tigers 44-42!
Varsity football enjoyed a terrific season finishing at 5-3 for our first ever winning record in Class A football. There were a number of highlights during the season including exciting wins over Hotchkiss, Exeter, and Andover and a terrific performance on Family Weekend defeating Wyoming Seminary soundly 36-15. While these were all great wins, undoubtedly the biggest highlight of the season took place on a rainy evening in late October at Suffield. Down 13-0 to the rival Tigers, the Wildcats turned the tables and rallied to win 21-13 in thrilling fashion. The Wildcats were led on offense by junior quarterback Drew Renzella who threw for nearly 1600 yards while Marcus Crawford ran for over 800. Defensively, Jacob Blandburg led the team in tackles and sacks while breaking the single season school record for tackles for loss with 20!
In terms of postseason individual accolades, four boys were recognized. Jacob Blandburg and Ethan Hebb were both named to the prestigious All NEPSAC Class A football team while Dallas Elliott and Zach Walker were named Honorable Mention.
Most Valuable Player Award – Jax Zemachson ’23
Most Improved Player Award – Michael Saliba ’25
Sportsmanship Award – Dan McBride ’25
“Jim Purce Memorial” Award for Overall Excellence – Dallas Elliott ’22, Ethan Hebb ’22
“Edward Stimets Jr. Memorial” Defensive Excellence Award – Jacob Blandburg ’22
“Lindy Hanson Memorial” Offensive Excellence Award – Marcus Crawford ’22
“Richard R. Francis” Most Improved Player Award – Chris Closuit ’22
Mills Kicking Game Award – Chris Luedeke ’22
Sportsmanship Award – Ryan Luzzi ’22, Zach Walker ’22
The girls’ soccer program enjoyed a very successful season. The 27-member JV team demonstrated great improvement and esprit de corps during their season! Led by Coaches Kurt Whipple and Gianna Muscari the girls enjoyed exciting wins over Cushing and Bement and a thrilling 0-0 tie with Class A power Choate.
The varsity squad led by coaches Fulcher and Conroy enjoyed a wonderful season with exceptional team camaraderie. Among the team’s highlights were posting seven shutouts, defeating Pomfret on Friday of Family Weekend, and shutouts over rivals Deerfield and WMA. Arguably their best efforts were earning ties with Class A tournament-bound teams from Westminster and Choate. The girls’ wonderful season earned them a #8 seed and a chance to take on #1 seeded Lawrence. True to form, the girls put a scare in Lawrence evening the score in the second half before falling late.
In terms of postseason individual recognition, three girls received honors. Annika Jensen was chosen to participate in the Western New England junior all-star game as well as being named All NEPSAC Honorable Mention. Sophomore Quinn Pollack was named to both the prestigious All NEPSAC team and the all-state team. Finally, senior goalkeeper Selena Negron deserves a special mention. Selena was our starting the goalie the last four years – twice she had seven shutouts in a season, tying a school record, she also had 19 career shutouts in three years. At the end of the season she was named All State, All NEPSAC and a Boston Globe All Scholastic.
Most Valuable Player Award – Coraly Siegel ’23
Most Improved Player Award – Ellie Parsons ’25, Lilian Sacal-Cohen ’23
Sportsmanship Award – Sam Yunes ’23
Most Valuable Player Award – Selena Negron ’22 (second year in a row)
Most Improved Player Award – Monique Lyons ’24
Sportsmanship Award – Caroline Aufiero ’24, Teaghan Hall ’22
Alumnae Award for outstanding contribution to the program – Emma Merrill ’22, Cris Negron ’22,
Next year’s captains will be Emily Crovo ’23, Annika Jensen ’23
Ninety-two boys came out for soccer at Williston this fall, comprising our four teams. For the first time in many years, all four teams finished their seasons with winning records.
Led by coaches Kevin Garrity and Allison Tucker, the Junior team finished with a flourish, winning their final three games. The JV B team led by Coaches Garcia and Hanford enjoyed terrific team camaraderie with a season highlighted by shutouts over Suffield and Salisbury and a thrilling season ending 3-2 win over Berkshire.
Led by coaches Tom Johnson and Liz Kay, the JV A team also had one of its best seasons in years with a record of 9-2-3 including 5 shutouts! The most exciting wins were one-goal wins over Pomfret, Eaglebrook and Kingswood.
The Varsity Boys’ Soccer team, led by Coaches Chiavaroli and Syfu, built on the success of recent seasons by finishing the season with an outstanding record of 11-5-2. Needless to say, there were many highlights during this terrific season including defeating a top prep team in Pennsylvania, Kiski, 1-0 in a college showcase, shutouts over Suffield, WMA and K-O, and a terrific late season 2-1 win up at Deerfield. Undoubtedly, their biggest highlight of the season was a decisive 3-0 victory over eventual NEPSAC champion South Kent.
The team’s excellent regular season earned them a NEPSAC tournament berth with a #6 seed and a match-up at #3 seeded Rivers. True to form, the boys demonstrated great heart battling for 90 minutes to a 0-0 tie. Unfortunately, the team’s season ended in penalty kicks.
While we are still waiting on postseason awards, we do know that two boys, captains Lorenzo Raedelli and Aaron Gonzalez-Sobrino were both named All State.
Most Valuable Player Award – Jake Smith ’25
Most Improved Player Award – Connor Graff ’26
Sportsmanship Award – Sako Lively ’25
Most Valuable Player Award – Jack Ballinger ’24
Most Improved Player Award – Robert Jeon ’24
Sportsmanship Award – Lam Thieu ’22
Most Valuable Player Award – Jeffrey Warner ’24
Most Improved Player Award – Jonah Berry Brown ’24
Sportsmanship Award – Dylan Robinson ’22
Most Valuable Player Award – Aaron Gonzalez-Sobrino ’22, Lorenzo Redaelli ’22
Most Improved Player Award – Ayden Kokoszka ’24, Manuel Gonzalez-Hudson ’23
Sportsmanship Award – Zac Landon ’22
12th Player Award – Jose Paiz ’22
Under Coaches Klumpp and Sawyer’s guidance, the 20 member JV team enjoyed a competitive season with several highlights including wins over Pomfret, Westminster and Loomis. Amazingly, the team gave up only four goals total in their last six games!
The Varsity Field Hockey team, led by Coaches Kate Garrity and Alex Tancrell-Fontaine, enjoyed a terrific season finishing the regular season at 9-7. There were many highlights during their season including wins over rivals Pomfret, Berkshire, and Suffield, and very competitive one-goal games with Class A tournament bound teams from Hotchkiss, Westminster, and Taft. Undoubtedly, their biggest win was a thrilling 1-0 win over Loomis on Senior Day. The team’s strong regular season record earned them the #6 seed in the NEPSAC Class B tournament. This was field hockey’s 11th tournament appearance in the last 12 years! The girls traveled to #3 Rivers where they lost a 2-1 heart-breaker in the last few minutes. 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, winning the league title for the ninth time in the past 11 years!
In terms of individual recognition, senior Maeve Reynolds and Louisa Coughlin were both named to the Western NE All Star team. Four girls earned All NEPSAC recognition. Abby Booth and Jules Constantinople bother were named Honorable Mention while Camille Armaganian and Maeve Reynolds were named All NEPSAC.
Most Valuable Player Award – Minami Ogino ’22
Most Improved Player Award – Tu Thieu ’23
Sportsmanship Award – Kana Kitano ’22
Most Valuable Player – Maeve Reynolds ’22
MIP – Violet Carroll ’25
Sportsmanship – Natalie Stott ’22
Next year’s captains will be: Louisa Coughlin ’23, Katherine Kang ’23
It is not an understatement to say that this year’s 15-member boys water polo team enjoyed one of the finest seasons in Williston water polo history. Led by Coaches Bill Berghoff and Teddy Schaffer, the team finished with a record of 12-7, the most wins we have had since 2002! Led by captains Jack Haddad and Benning Johnson, the team enjoyed several highlights including sweeping Choate, Westminster, and Loomis in all their matches, a terrific 10-6 win at home over rival Deerfield, a gritty 12-10 win at Andover, and a determined 13-8 win over a tournament-bound team from Hopkins. The team’s excellent regular season earned them a berth in the NEPSAC tournament held at Phillips Exeter. Unfortunately, the boys came up short 10-8 to Exeter to end their special season. We are still awaiting word on individual postseason recognition.
I do want to recognize one of our water polo boys who enjoyed a tremendous season by breaking the single season school scoring record held by JC Wright from way back in 2005. He scored 91 points in 19 games!
Most Valuable Player Award – Jack Haddad ’22 (second year in a row)
Most Improved Player Award – Kei Imai ’25
Sportsmanship Award – Sam Fortier ’23, Benning Johnson ’22
Boys Cross Country
The 40 member Boys Cross Country team enjoyed another terrific season finishing at 9-4. Led by captains Jerry Landman and Will Chalfant, there were many highlights during the dual meet season including beating Kent at home in the season’s first race, sweeping Suffield in both of our races this season, defeating KO and Westminster at KO and a narrow, one-point win over a strong team from Canterbury that would go on to win a NEPSAC championship. At the Westminster Invitational held at mid-season, the team ran exceptionally well outrunning the other seven schools competing to come in first place.
At the Division II NEPSAC championships held here at Williston on the final Saturday of the season, the team ran their hearts out coming in ninth out of the 17 teams that competed. The JV team finished in fifth place with Ryan Brooks as our top finisher. Individually, captain Will Chalfant capped off an exceptional junior season by finishing in 10th place to earn All NEPSAC honors.
Three boys made it onto our Honor Roll for the fastest times ever on our course: Chance Thorne-Begland is 10th, Carter Cleary is 7th and Will Chalfant is now 4th with a time of 17:43.
“Alan Shaler” Most Valuable Runner Award – Will Chalfant ’23
Most Improved Runner Award – Carter Cleary ’25
Sportsmanship Award – Jerry Landman ’25
Next year’s captains will be Will Chalfant ’23, Henry Foster ’23
Girls Cross Country
Led by Coaches Tuleja and McCullagh, the 25 girls who ran cross country at Williston this fall had another tremendous season recording our 34th winning season in the past 35 years. According to Coach Tuleja, the varsity team’s highlights included defeating Division 1 schools NMH and Porters and sweeping the field in the last race of the year beating all five teams including Suffield and Canterbury. Finishing at 11-2, this was the eighth consecutive season that the team achieved double-digit wins in a season.
At the season-ending NEPSAC championship held here at Williston, the team had a terrific day finishing seventh out of the 17 schools that competed.
Finally, to say that senior captain Abigail Touhey had a remarkable cross country career at Williston would be an understatement. She has been #1 on our course honor roll for many years. At the NEPSAC championship, she took an early lead and led the entire way to become only the second runner in our school’s history to win a NEPSAC cross country title. The first was Suzanne Zelazo back in 1992! This was the fourth time that Abigail earned All NEPSAC recognition—the first runner in our school’s girls cross country history to do so. To top this off, because of her top finish at the D2 championships, Abigail qualified for the NEPSAC All Star meet held at St. Mark’s the following Saturday. Competing against the top runners in all of NEPSAC’s four divisions, yes—Abigail did it again–she won the race!
Most Valuable Runner Award – Abigail Touhey ’22 (sixth year in a row – never been done before!)
Most Improved Runner Award – Hannah Roche ’23, Ellis von Schoeler-Ames ’27
Sportsmanship Award – Brooke Manfredi ’24
Captains: Pippa Berry ’22, Greta Saxe ’22, Ava Smith ’22
Finally, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity as a community to recognize and thank Coach Greg Tuleja on a remarkable 39 year career as our head girls cross country coach. He has left an indelible mark on Williston’s program that will be sorely missed by all of us–especially the lucky girls that ran for him each fall! He represents all that is good and noble in our coaching profession! Thank you Coach Tuleja!
I wanted to thank all of you who wore the blue and green this fall for competing so hard and so well. You represented Williston with distinction. 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.
Good luck to all the winter teams!