Winter Sports Awards took the spotlight at this week's US gathering, with season summaries presented for each JV and Varsity team, and individual awards recognized. Upper School Athletics Director Tim Williams emceed, sharing that "this is one of my favorite times of the year to gather and celebrate our accomplishments and time together before we launch into another season. Congratulations to all teams for great seasons, and for representing Princeton Day School and what 'Panthers Are...' so well."
Here are the summaries by team:
Coaches Awards: Mark Santamaria '21, Albert Ming '22
Varsity Award: Armaan Dugar '20
This year's squash team roster consisted of 11 players: three returners were joined by eight new players, five of whom were freshmen. The team took on a tough schedule and posted wins over Hill twice and Princeton Junior Squash. The highlight of the season was participation in the National High School Championships held in Hartford this last weekend. The Panthers posted wins over Fairfield High School (CN), Boys Latin (MD) and McCallie High School (TN), which propelled them into the championship of their division, but fell short in the final round, 4 matches to 3, to St. Anne's Bellefield (VA). Seniors were celebrated as they move off to college and the future of PDS squash looks bright for the young group of returning players.
Varsity Girls Ice Hockey
Coaches Award: Ellie Schofield '20, Caroline Haggerty '20
Varsity Award: Hailey Wexler '21
The 2019-20 Varsity Girls Ice Hockey season saw the girls compete hard every game and work to compile a record of 9-10, just shy of their pre-season goal of a .500 record. The team was led all season on and off the ice by the strong senior leadership of Ellie Schofield '20, Anabel Thomas '20 and Caroline Haggerty '20 and Charlotte Haggerty '20. Junior Hailey Wexler '21 and first-year varsity player Ally Antonacci '22 led the team in scoring while freshman Lauren Chase '23 and Nora Appleby '23 saw bigger roles as the season progressed. Goaltending and defense were the team’s strongpoints this year, anchored by goalie tandem of Jillian Wexler '21 and Abigail Ashman '23.
A season highlight was the teams triumph at the annual HRM tournament in December and seeing goalie Jillian Wexler eclipse 1,500 saves in just three seasons on the ice. The team fell just short of a Miran Division WIHLMA Championship, losing 2-1 to Rye Country Day in a hotly contested title game. As the seniors move on to an exciting future, the team aims to continue improving and come back strong next winter.
Varsity Boys Ice Hockey
Coaches Awards: Stepan Gorelenkov '20, David Sherman '20
Varsity Award: Chris Cecila '20
The Varsity Boys Ice Hockey team was challenged with a very competitive schedule this winter, resulting in a 7-11-2 record. The boys had twice as many newcomers to the program (12) than in any of the last eight year. Early season wins over local rival Hun and perennial public state champion Randolph were encouraging first steps. The team played a number of tightly contested one-goal games, with 13 of the season's 20 games decided in the final minutes or in overtime. Highlights were come-from-behind wins over Delbarton, Seton Hall Prep and Malvern Prep, and a thrilling 3-2 overtime win against Lawrenceville at Princeton University's famed Baker Rink in front of a massive home crowd. The team had an impressive season, gaining experience and maturity, and the future looks bright with so many returning players and strong interest.
Boys and Girls Fencing
Boys Coaches Award: William Foster '22
Girls Coaches Award: Leigh Hillmanno '23
Boys Varsity Award: Alexander Frank '20
Girls Varsity Award: Zoe Rivera '20
This season the Varsity Boys and Girls Fencing teams had a total of five home and nine away meets, with the season concluding at the NJ Prep State Tournament at the Hun School two weeks ago. Between the boys and girls, the teams had many wins this season, with standout performances from many upper classmen as well as breakout results from many of our younger fencers. The fencing team made great strides with their physical conditioning as well as with their mental preparation for the sport best known as physical chess. The season concluded with the boys epee squad, consisting of Alexander Frank, Ari Kaul, and Aaron Herscovici, earning first place overall at the NJISAA State Prep Tournament. For the girls, freshman Katrina Zeng '23 came in fourth place in individuals for epee, and girls senior team captain Zoe Rivera '20 finished strong in her final high school Prep State Tournament. Seeing seniors leave is always emotional for the team, however, the returning players are young and mighty, with 12 freshman, eight sophomores, and four juniors.
Varsity Girls Basketball
Coaches Awards: Maggie Amaral '20, Carly Kunkle '20
Varsity Award: Kirsten Ruf '23
This season was filled with a great deal of growth, improvement, and team success for the Panthers. In November the team met to set goals and every practice was viewed as an opportunity to work toward attaining these goals. The team learned to lean on each other when times got tough, laugh and enjoy shared moments, and the girls learned that leadership does not come only from captains, but from each individual member. The hustle and effort on the court showed daily when players stepped up to do the “little things” that contributed to the greater success of the whole. Some highlights of the season included: traveling to Pennsylvania for a weekend tournament at the Hill School; the second annual Holiday Shooting Olympics; beating ANC on Senior Night, and displaying composure and toughness in two thrilling games against Nottingham and Doane Academy.
Varsity Boys Basketball
Coaches Awards: Ethan Garita '21, Jaylin Champion-Adams '20
Varsity Award: Jomar Meekins '20
The Varsity Boys Basketball team finished the season with a 14-10 record. The season started off with a bang as the Panthers won the Solebury Invitational Tournament. Wins over Pennington and Lawrenceville at home gave the team great confidence heading into the Mercer Invitational at the Hill School, where they lost in the consolation final to a strong St. James team in a nail-biter. With a challenging schedule, our Panthers battled against stiff competition on a nightly basis. Eight of the team’s ten losses either ended in overtime or were decided by two points or less. Persevering through their fourth-quarter struggles to finish strong, the Panthers played some of their best basketball at the end of the season, with a MCT first-round win over Lawrence High to advance to the MCT quarterfinals for the first time in four years. Capping off their season, the Panthers brought the Prep B Championship back to PDS for the first time since 2016 with dominant wins against Newark Academy, Wardlaw-Hartridge and finally, defending champions Doane Academy for the crown.
JV Boys Ice Hockey
Coaches Award: Aiden Silverstein '22
Coaches Award: Joe Hudicka '20
JV Girls Basketball
Coaches Award: Caroline Ewing '22
Coaches Award: Paris Smith '23
JV Boys Basketball
Coaches Award: Anthony Stewart '22
Coaches Award: Jason Wu '23
Coaches Award: Mason McQueen '23
Photo: The PDS winter sports award winners with their hardware!