By Emily Shen (IV)
With Mrs. Whitman Annis as Head Coach, the Girls’ Ice Hockey team is ready to continue their last year’s legacy. This year, with many new players joining the team, Head Captain Lizzie Gilfillan (VI) and Assistant Captains Allie Moss (VI) and Annie Oatman (VI) are excited for the team to kick off the season with a smashing start.
The addition of new players to the team means working with girls of different skill levels. Gilfillan, discussing challenges that she is determined to overcome, says, “As a team, we definitely have a lot of strong and experienced players, but with many new girls joining this year, there will be a gap between the older and the younger players. As the captain, it is important to bridge the gap between the two groups and work together toward the championship.”
Gilfillan also plans to make her last high school season a memorable one. When asked about her experience with Pingry Ice Hockey, she mentioned, “Last year was one of the most fun seasons I’ve had. We weren’t the strongest, but it was a lot of fun. This year, we are trying to foster a fun and enjoyable environment, but we also look forward to playing strong in the tournament season in February!”
With a large team this year, the girls’ ice hockey team is looking forward to a successful season. In one of their first meets, they will be playing against Kent Place School, another very competitive team.
By Marc Bliemel (IV)
Coming off a great season last year, the boys’ ice hockey team is hoping for another strong season. Last year, the team finished 19-3-1 overall, and 13-1 in their conference. With returning scorers and play-makers, including Eric Bush (V) and Jared Kordonsky (V), the team is hungry for another conference victory.
Captains Ryan Bush (VI), Joe Faccone (VI), and James Cummings (VI), look to star incoming freshmen Henry Pyne (III), Nick Faccone (III), and Bennett Crosby (III). “We got a few new freshmen who look pretty good . . . I think the new guys will fit right in,” said Bush. The team looks to avenge their one loss from last year against division rival Ridge and repeat their perfect 3-0 record against other conference rival Hillsborough. “We got a couple big games this season [against] Pope John and the Hun School,” Bush noted. Hoping for another great season, players and coaches are getting ready for their regular season opener against Pope John on December 3.
By Anjola Olawoye (III)
The girls’ fencing team anticipates a promising season this year. Led by captains Allision Lee (VI) and Jamie Wang (VI), the team is hoping to build upon its past success. Last year, the team ended their season with a 6-7 record and had success in many major tournaments. Despite being a small team, the team believes the small group allows for a closer bond between the fencers. Zala Bhan (III) noted that the preseason workouts can be difficult. “The workouts can be hard sometimes, but they have taught me resilience,” she said. The team has been working hard during preseason to ensure a strong performance at upcoming meets, especially at the District tournament, where their individual, squad, and team performances all count toward their standing in the State tournament. The first meet of the season is on December 20 against Montgomery High School. Go Big Blue fencing!
By Caleb Park (III)
This year, boys fencing is ready for anything. Although the team is still in the middle of preseason, they are confident of success in the upcoming season. Several new fencers have arrived from the middle school, including Charles Jiang (III), Andy Overdeck (III), Vared Schmuler (III), and Max Watzkey (III).
Last year, the team fenced valiantly throughout the season, and this year’s captains, Corbey Ellison (VI) and Derek Huffman (VI), are excited to build on that success this year through strict preseason practices, which they believe will help to organize the team. Watzkey says, “My fellow fencers are extremely friendly, and I think we are ready for the season ahead.” With just a bit of practice, boys fencing is sure to come out on top this year!
By Kyra Li
Led by co-captains Emily Sanchez (VI), Martha Lewand (VI), Madeline Skapper (VI), and Coach Deirdre O’Mara, the girls’ swim team has started off strong with early morning and weight room practices. Coming off of a stunning season last year, the girls are working hard to prepare for the upcoming season. They will attend events like the Skyland Conference and Somerset County Championships, and, of course, the Prep “A” Championship at Lawrenceville. Last year, they were second in the Skyland Conference, the highest they’ve placed in recent years. The team also won the Prep A Championship for the third year in a row. Despite the loss of several seniors, including Darlene Fung ‘19, many freshmen have joined the team this year, constituting almost half of the team. Sanchez sees this year as “a new wave of the swim team.” Her goals for the team this year are to have fun, work on team spirit, and help the freshmen adapt to the community. With all the new blood, the girls’ swim team is aiming for a successful and fun season, as they hope to win the Prep “A” Championship for the fourth year in a row.
By Justin Li (V)
The Pingry boys’ swim team, led by captains Reid McBoyle (VI) and Will Stearns (VI), is looking forward to what they hope will be another dominant season. Following an undefeated 2018-2019 season, training for the upcoming season is in full swing. After the academic day ends, the pool is filled with Pingry swimmers undertaking sets of various pace, distance, and stroke, which usually total about 3000 meters. The intervals Head Coach Steve Droste and Coach Kevin Schroedter set ensure that every swimmer is consistently pushed to their limit.
McBoyle, who says that he’s “really excited for this season,” believes that this year’s squad is “a strong team with a lot of depth and the potential for another very successful season.” Their goals are the same as last year: win the Skyland Conference Championship, Prep Championships, and Meet of Champions against other strong teams, including Delbarton and Pennington. In addition to their success at meets, the swimmers want to continue filling the record board with new names and maintain Big Blue’s status as one of the best teams in the state.
Ashana Makhija (VI)
This year, the varsity girls’ tennis team has maintained a strong performance throughout the season. After losing only one match, they are ranked fifth in the state, up from tenth at the beginning of the season. At the end of September, the team won the county tournament, while third singles, Gabrielle Billington, first doubles, Lily Schiffman and Lynn Robinson, and second doubles, Sabrina Schneider and Olivia Gallucci, went on to individually win their county matches.
Although the team works hard, Lily Schiffman (VI) described the positive atmosphere on the team: “Even though girls tennis can get very competitive, we’ve been able to come together as a team and support each other throughout the season.”
The girls’ team has a few weeks left in their season, as they hope to continue their success in the state tournament.
Burke Pagano (VI)
The boys’ varsity football team has started off their season with a relatively strong record. The team has been working hard since the start of preseason in early August under the leadership of Head Coach Chris Shilts.
Captains James Wang (VI), Lance Perlow (VI), Patrick Birotte (VI), and Sam Williams (VI) have tremendous faith that their team will further its success as the season progresses. Senior Ryan Smith (VI) said, “It’s a close-knit team with a lot of great chemistry and that’s a recipe for success.” Teammate and captain Birotte added that “they have high expectations for the end of the season.”
The team has shown resilience throughout this season which has, unfortunately, been riddled with injuries. Despite these setbacks, the team still has much potential for greatness. The highlight of the season so far was when Williams was awarded the Jersey Sports Belt of the week for pulling off a cheeky hook and ladder play. The boys are looking forward to finishing the season strong.
Justin Li (V)
The day preseason began, Head Coach Aleksandar Breznikar stepped down from his position. The team received this news only one year after losing its previous Head Coach, Misha Klochkov, to the Lawrenceville School.
In spite of these obstacles, the water polo team, now co-coached by Jeffrey Jenkins, Steve Droste, and Kevin Schroedter, has maintained a 5-2 record and, more importantly, has shown tremendous resilience. The captains, goalies Mason Stahl (VI) and Dilan Bhat (VI), have stepped up to play key roles in leading practices and facilitating gameplay. Returning players have cultivated their skills to fill the gaps that have formed with the departure of last year’s seniors. The team has also gained a group of promising freshmen.
The Big Blue team competed in the Beast of the East tournament in late September, where it faced more established water polo tournaments in the region. Though the players did not meet their goal of winning their division, sharpshooter Noah Bergam (V) saw a net positive from the team’s participation: “Playing against teams we’d never competed against forced us to adapt our strategy to unfamiliar game styles. We were able to learn a lot from the more experienced teams at the tournament.” So far, the water polo season has forced the team to adapt in the face of unforeseeable difficulties. Regardless, they hope to challenge their rival, The Lawrenceville School, for the state championship and secure a place in the Easterns Prep tournament at the end of the season.
Brian Li (VI)
The boys’ cross country team is hoping to repeat their successes from last year. Despite losing four seniors, two of whom were exceptional runners, captains Roger Matthews (VI) and Henry Wood (V), along with Coaches Matt Horesta and Tim Lear are leading a team ready to embrace new responsibilities.
With eight new freshmen joining the team this year, Coach Horesta remarked that the team has “a younger feel” to it. “They’ve been a great addition to the team,” Horesta said, in regards to its future.
When asked about the season so far, Coach Horesta said that the team has already improved but is “only halfway to where we need to be to compete at our best in late October through the middle of November. We’ve just been getting ready more than anything else so far.”
After the season’s first meet against Bernards on September 12th, which Coach Horesta described as a “starting point which gave us a sense of where we were at and how much we need to do to keep going,” the team ran its second meet in Morristown with “important improvement.”
The team, aiming to win the Prep “A” Championship for the fourth consecutive time, will have its work cut out against Lawrenceville and Oratory Prep. The team also hopes to match last year’s achievements, including placing third in Somerset County and reaching the top five teams of the Skyland Conference.