It was a rainy start to the preseason here at PDS on Monday, August 23, but that didn’t stop our Panthers! The Cross Country, Field Hockey, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer and Girls Tennis teams all returned to campus last week and have been practicing daily, with skirmishes taking place this week.
This year, PDS is a member of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), a voluntary non-profit organization that includes 435 public and private schools in New Jersey. This accreditation supports the rigorous academic mission of PDS as well as the ability to compete with top teams from across the state for state titles.
Katie Fay, Director of Athletics and Physical Education, says, “This year, we are most looking forward to being a part of the NJSIAA, which will allow our teams to compete for state championships and our athletes to be recognized for their individual accomplishments. We have a number of new head varsity coaches this year who are all outstanding. The leadership we will receive from our coaches and senior athletes certainly bodes well for our teams this season."
The start of the fall preseason is also the first time many students will be returning to campus for a completely in-person school year. Many are feeling both excited and reflective, as it is impossible not to remember with great pride how our PDS Panthers handled the ever-changing pandemic challenges to sports programming throughout the fall, winter and spring sports seasons in 2020-2021. Remarkably, the School was among a handful in the state that provided a full year of athletic programming including competitive games and matches.
Head of School Paul Stellato remarked, “Last year, from the start of preseason practices in August 2020 until the final game of the spring 2021 season, our athletic teams demonstrated a kind of commitment that inspired the entire school community. Masked and ready, they eagerly took to the fields, courts and rink, reminding us of our strength and resilience.”
Indeed, that commitment is one that has resonated throughout a year of uncertainties. Leadership has been working continuously to provide up-to-date guidance to the PDS community through regular email communications and updates to pds.org, which may be found this year on PDS Together.
“Although much has changed since the close of the spring season, one thing remains true: our athletes will again lead the way. I am happy to follow their every step,” Head of School Stellato added. This year, our athletic teams will once again represent some of the best aspects of PDS in the classroom, on the field and in their homes. We can’t wait to cheer them on - Go Panthers!
For preseason schedules, roster information, coaches and more, go to: PDS Athletics.