Upper School Fall 2016 Sports Wrap Up
Posted 11/14/2016 04:00PM

Girls Soccer Posts Championship Season
By Bobby Kennedy, Head Coach

The Girls Soccer season started on August 1 and finished on October 23 with a 2-0 loss in the 2A State Championship game. Along the way, the Winged Lions amassed a 16-2 record and earned a Region title, our second consecutive.

We had several players receive well-deserved All-Region recognition—Emma Carlin, Caeli Kennedy, Airam Perez, Aislinn Mitcham, Jordan Crockettand we hope that several will earn All-State honors as well; but, what was even more notable was how everyone valued their role in the program and contributed on a daily basis to the team’s overall success. A special thank you to seniors Emma Carlin, Rachel Morse, Julia Villar, and Kaela Gilbert for your contributions to our program over the past four years—you will be missed.

Congratulations to our team award recipients, including MVP Emma Carlin, Most Improved Rachel Morse, and Coaches Award Kat Lanham.

We have a motto in the girls soccer program that helps keep our goals in focus and it reads “Rowland Hall Girls Soccer: where winning is cultured, skills are tested, bonds are formed, and memories are made.” This says it all about our team this year…on behalf of Coaches Scott Langone, Bewar Yousif, and myself, our thanks to, Emma Carlin, Kaela Gilbert, Rachel Morse, Julia Villar, Allison Bagley, Lauren Bikhazi, Sidney Hare, Meg Janes, Caeli Kennedy, Gillian Larsen, Airam Perez, Lillian Brown, Sam Carlisle, Kat Lanham, Aislinn Mitcham, Giselle Bodeen, Jordan Crockett, Eliza Hodgkins, Pippa Hodgkins, Grace Macintyre, Holden Seethaler, Ria Agarwal, Caroline Applegate, Olivia Bikhazi, Brenna Davison, Sofia Espinosa, Anna Fukushima, Sally Logue, and Mia Vinding for a memorable season.


Cross Country Team Earns Impressive Results
By Mark Oftedal, Head Coach

The 2016 cross-country season came to a close October 19th on a perfect fall day at Sugar House Park, the same place where just two months earlier we had gathered for our first team practice on a hot summer morning.  On that day, our team members, nine of them new to the team, arrived in various states of readiness for a competitive season that would kick off in just four days.  Now in my tenth year coaching our Rowland Hall harriers, I can say that this particular group, as a whole, had done their summer “homework.”  Perhaps it was the early summer one-on-one meetings, which outlined summer training goals, or the announcement that our first competition would occur after just three practice sessions.  Whatever the reason, this year’s team showed a dedication and a focus unlike any of my previous nine years.  Performances at our first contest were impressive, as were the efforts during practices in the weeks ahead.  Out of the gate, promise was in the air.

Seamlessly, seven incoming 9th-graders, a sophomore and a junior joined our returning runners; some of these were new to the sport, and some even new to running.  All took to the culture of our team without hesitation—embracing the early morning training before school began, early bus departures for Saturday meets, and myriad approaches to training introduced by our three coaches.

Dr. Laura Johnson (5th year with the team) and I welcomed John Bercaw to our coaching staff.  John was familiar with some of our team members, having worked with them during last spring’s track and field season as a strength and conditioning coach.  Like most coaches that cherish their time with their teams, witnessing the struggles and the growth, marveling at the physical and psychological gains as a season progresses, we confided with each other at the end of our Region Championships, that tears welled as we at once realized and felt deeply the positive outcomes of the sincere efforts on the part of our runners—the season was a success even before capturing a region title and spots at the State meet starting line!

Our boys’ team did indeed capture another Region 14 championship title, their second consecutive.  Senior Jack Scaife ran an impressively tactical race, claiming the individual championship, while senior Wes Johnston finished in 14th place. Though these two seniors will not be with the team next year, our returning runners’ performances—junior Luke Nicoloff (10th), sophomores Rob Welt (19th) and James Corcoran (22nd), and freshmen Logan Bateman (2nd) and Aksel Anderson (12th)—already look like a dominant force to be considered in our region.

Our girls’ team, which started off with only the five required runners it takes to make a cross-country running team, were unfortunately unable to compete for a team championship this year due to an unfortunate eleventh-hour injury sustained by senior, Libby Hunt. Our remaining four runners where able to impress with their individual efforts: senior Astrid Lindgren ran the entire race unchallenged for the individual championship, freshman Ella Vitek hammered out a 4th place finish, followed closely by sophomore Megan Rasich in 6th, and junior Kenzie Steward achieved a 12th place finish with only two weeks of light post-injury training behind her!

Our state-qualifying runners took advantage of the perfect weather conditions with nearly everyone that had run the course last year setting new personal best times, and all those new to the course posting their fastest 3-mile times of the season. Seniors Astrid Lindgren, 13th place, and Jack Scaife, 22nd place, led our teams, securing “Most Valuable” awards for the season.  Freshman, Ella Vitek and sophomore, Rob Welt were selected for this year’s “Most Improved” awards, both continuing the efforts that made them standouts all season long by posting excellent first-time marks on the State course. Sophomore Megan Rasich and freshman Logan Bateman were easy picks for the “Tough-as-Nails” awards, both having overcome—with grit and poise—the challenges they faced earlier in the season. This year’s “Coaches’ Choice” awards were presented to junior Luke Nicoloff for his enduring work ethic, focused dedication, and joyful approach to training, racing, and encouragement of his teammates, while junior Kenzie Steward’s positive persistence and patience in dealing with an early injury kept her head and body “in the game”, assuring a solid performance at the Region meet to set her on the right course towards a positive track season this spring.

We bid farewell to our senior team members: Libby Hunt (our only 4-year team member), Astrid Lindgren (2-year), Jack Scaife and Wes Johnston (3-year), and Davis Kahler (2 year).  Though we are eager to see how their accomplishments as Rowland Hall harriers this fall translates to the laned track of spring, we will miss them and the gifts they have shared these past years.


Strong Season for Boys Golf
by Stacey Camacho, Head Coach

Led by seniors Sean McDaniel, Matt O’Brien, and Davis Porges, the Winged Lions Boys Golf team was once again a force to be reckoned with in 2016 as they had a strong showing in Region 14 play, battling for first place throughout the season with archrival Waterford. The Region title came down to the final Region Tournament match at Wasatch Mountain State Park Golf Course, with our team coming up a bit short, shooting a 342 to the Ravens’ 319 team score, thus taking second place in league play.

Sean McDaniel shot an 82 to take second medalist honors in Region 14 for the year and Jack Lang posted an 85 to place fourth in the Region for the season. Playing alongside McDaniel and Lang were teammates Matt O’Brien, Davis Porges, Max Scaife, and Giorgio Gianoulis. With their strong second place finish in the region, the team was poised to make a run at the 2016 State Championship held at Soldier Hollow Golf Course on October 5 and 6.

Playing in miserably cold, windy, rainy, snowy conditions on Wednesday, the Winged Lions battled the elements to end the round in ninth place with a team score of 345.  Day two had much better weather conditions for scoring, and our guys all improved their individual scores, helping us shoot 26 strokes better than day one, scoring a 319 as a team on Day 2 of play.  Our final team total was 664, moving us up four spots to finish fifth place in 2A of the sixteen teams who competed.  Our two top individual scorers were Sean McDaniel who placed 11th with a total of 163 and Jack Lang placed 12th with a two-day total of 166.

We are proud of how the team competed at Region and State, and it was truly an honor to be able to coach this group of boys.  All the hard work put into this season by players, parents, coaches, and administration speaks volumes to the dedication and pride we have in the Rowland Hall golf program and its success.

With the loss of only three seniors, we are very optimistic about next year’s prospects as returning players Alexander Baughman, Giorgio Gianoulis, Theodore Johnson, Jack Lang, Zachary Rohovit, Max Scaife, Zydaan Siddiqi, Josef Sueoka, and Jake West continue to work in the off season to improve their game. We also look forward to having a few incoming freshmen round out the team.

It was a pleasure to honor the following players at our team end of season awards celebration:  MVP, Sean McDaniel; Most Improved, Jack Lang and Giorgio Gianoulis; Coaches’ Award, Matt O’Brien, Sean McDaniel, and Davis Porges.

Thanks and good luck to our seniors, and congratulations to the team on a season well-played!


Continued Success for Girls Tennis Team
by Tim Sleeper, Head Coach

The Girls Tennis team continued to have strong success this fall, first repeating as the Region 14 Champions, then battling to a second place finish at the State 2A Tournament, only two points back of first place Waterford.

Led on and off the court by or seniors Lane Baker, Rachel Kovnick, Anna Greenberg, Karyna Howell, Jacqueline Graham, and Elizabeth Izampuye, our team won their third consecutive Region title, with four of the five positions taking first place and advancing to the State 2A Tournament:  #1 Singles, Katie Foley; #2 Singles, Rachel Kovnick; #1 Doubles, Lane Baker and Anna Greenberg; and #2 Doubles, Karyna Howell and Savannah Price.

At State, the strength of the lineup was once again led by junior Katie Foley who was unbeaten during the regular season and playoffs and who continued to dominate, defending her 2015 title as she was in excellent form throughout the tournament, losing only 2 games enroute to her repeat championship at # 1 Singles, winning the title in 6-1, 6-0 fashion. The Winged Lions also claimed the #1 Doubles title, as Lane Baker and Anna Greenberg teamed up to make short work of their challengers in the finals, winning in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.  Rachel Kovnick battled tough in her semifinal at #2 Singles and was eliminated after losing a heartbreaker to Waterford 6-7, 7-6, 4-6. Karyna Howell and Savannah Price also had a tough semifinal matchup vs. Waterford, the loss eliminating them from further play.

The State 2A title came down to the final match of the day, a barnburner at #2 Singles that was won by Waterford who subsequently took the team title with 14 points, with the Winged Lions’ final tally being 12 to earn the second place State trophy.

Coach Susan Daynes and I were very proud of the girls and the way they battled at State.  Congrats to those who competed at State and to those who cheered them on and who pushed them all season:  Kajal Ganesh, Jacqueline Graham, Elizabeth Izampuye, Tala Shihab, and Violette Truong.

Congratulations to team award recipients who included Katie Foley, MVP; Anna Greenberg, Most Improved; and Lane Baker and Rachel Kovnick, Coaches’ Choice.

The short tennis season always flies by too fast, but we made a lot of great memories that will last! We’d like to thank all of the parents, students, and faculty who came out to support our cause.  Great season, girls!


Volleyball Team Earns Fourth Consecutive Region Title
by Kendra Tomsic, Head Coach

With the loss of several impact senior players last year and a relatively young team of players returning to the court this season, a bit of uncertainty hovered around how this year’s campaign would end. It became apparent from the first day of practices, however, that the Winged Lions were as strong and talented as ever, and they took Region 14 by storm to go undefeated (10-0) in region 14 play and capture an unprecedented fourth consecutive Region championship, an historic accomplishment for the volleyball program!

The team headed to the State 2A Tournament with much confidence and high hopes, ready to take on the challenges of that always tough, two-day, double-elimination competition.

Our first match versus Gunnison, the team came out on fire, playing some of their best volleyball of the season, taking control of the contest and posting a straight set victory over the Bulldogs, 25-14, 25-21, 25-19.  The quarterfinals pitted the Winged Lions against the #3 in the state ranked 2015 State Champion Delta Rabbits.  Still playing like champions, our team served, dug, and hit their way to a first set win 25-20; however, Delta battled back and won sets two and three, 12-25, 15-25.  Fighters to the finish, our team gave the Rabbits all they could handle in set four, losing a heartbreaker in the final moments, 23-25 to lose the match.

Saturday morning brought #4 ranked San Juan to court 1 as our opponent in an elimination match.  Our Winged Lions struggled to get momentum on their side, losing the two sets 13-25, 14-25.  Set three saw an inspired effort by our team as they fought tooth and nail to win this game and stay alive in the match, but we ultimately came up short, losing 22-25 and were thus eliminated from further State tournament play, thus placing in the top 12 in State 2A for 2016.

I would like to give a big thank you to my staff of Lauren Carpenter, Kathy Howa, and Abeni Czajkowski for all of their hard work and support—they are the heart and soul of the program!  A special shout out to our departing seniors Madeleine Baneth, Kate Button, Lena Chan, Beth Howell, Daphne Michie, and Amber Puri whose talent and leadership over the past four years has been instrumental to the great success our program has seen…they will be sorely missed!

The coaching staff is so very proud of this team, of not only the passionate way they put their whole hearts into the game every time they step onto the court, but also so proud of the always positive, kind, generous, welcoming, “team first” attitude that has become their signature persona and that makes them forever champions in our book…

Four of our players were named to the Region 14 All Region team, including Lena Chan, Emily Fowler, Allie Zehner, and Samanth Baneth. We are hoping to also be represented on the impending Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune All-State teams.

Kudos to Varsity players who earned team awards at our recent awards celebration, including Co-MVPs, Allie Zehner and Samanatha Baneth; Coaches’ Award, Daphne Michie; Most Improved, Amber Puri; Offensive MVP, Emily Fowler; and Defensive MVP, Lena Chan.

Congratulations to team members Leonie Anderson, Livia Anderson, Madeleine Baneth, Samantha Baneth, Kate Button, Leah Button, Lena Chan, Chloe Coleman-Houghton, Tess Edgley, Emily Fowler, Cody Googin, Hailey Hauck, Amaya Hoglund, Beth Howell, Claire Hyde, Daphne Michie, Charlotte Orford, Amber Puri, Emma Reuling, Lily Roberts, Sophie Stinnett, Laura Summerfield, and Allie Zehner on an amazing, championship caliber season!