It was a great sports season for all of our Middle School. We had a total of nine teams and 53 soccer and 62 volleyball players on our rosters this season! A heartfelt thank you to every one of our Winged Lions families for your support throughout the season.
We are fortunate to have a dedicated coaching staff who put in so much time, effort, and care to develop our athletes. Please read on for a recap of each team’s season highlights.
Volleyball A White Team
Coach: Sam Duffy
This fall, our volleyball team showed a ton of growth in volleyball skills, communication, awareness, and how to compete at a high level while having fun. The confidence that was grown visually with the players was really fun to see and shows how good this can be. Finishing in third place in the conference tournament— competing well against a very strong opponent, keeping our composure, and playing well—was a fun experience for the team. I am excited for the growth the team showed and their willingness to listen to coaching.
Volleyball B White Team
Coach: Sam Duffy
This fall, our B Green team placed third in the conference tournament, competing hard till the end! We played almost every match for three sets, which created a fun atmosphere to be a part of. The growth in volleyball skills, confidence, spatial awareness, and communication was very impressive for many beginners of the sport. The willingness to learn from me and teammates created a great bond among the team, and I am lucky to have coached and gotten to know this team.
Volleyball A Green Team
Coach: Sarah Yoon
We had a terrific volleyball season! With powerful hits and jump serves that closed out games, our girls played hard and gave it their all. At practice, they worked diligently to improve their skills and learned the value of teamwork. As we put together a strong offense, each athlete became specialized in their positions, and by the end of the season their skill sets were strong and confident. At games, players had fun and encouraged each other while remaining competitive on the court. Their consistent display of gracious professionalism brought integrity and character to the game of volleyball. Congrats to the A team on a successful season and for taking second place at the WAC tournament!
Volleyball B Green Team
Coach: Sarah Yoon
The B Green team had a fantastic volleyball season! Winning first place at the WAC tournament, they were strong and competitive. At practice, the court was packed with athletes eager to learn. Within weeks, the B team's defense improved, and they were determined to win. Using skills gained at practice, athletes were competitive and exciting to watch. Players took risks and played with confidence. They also supported one another with encouragement and displayed excellent sportsmanship. By the end of the season, the strategies of volleyball and learning specialized positions was a new goal. Players were passionate about volleyball and excited for the next season to begin. Congrats to the B team on a successful season!
Volleyball C White and Green Teams
Coaches: Mary Lawlor and Chad Obermark
The C team had a fantastic season! Players showed incredible growth over a short time, focusing on passing and serving. These athletes had an awesome mixture of focus, competitiveness, and enthusiasm. They cheered for each other and loved to be a part of this team. They were excited to get to play games across the valley, playing both at home and away. The Green team was competitive each night—almost every match went all three games. White team was the third seed in the tournament and ended up winning the championship over our rival, Waterford! We are incredibly proud of all the players and impressed by how much they developed their skills over the course of the season. It was a great way to start the year!
Soccer A White and Green Teams
Coaches: Scott Langone and Campbell Ainsworth
What a fantastic season our Middle School soccer teams had this year! Students played with a lot of effort and heart, and the joy they have for the game was evident throughout the season. We emphasized defense, two-versus-one combination attacking options, and making smart decisions with and without the ball. Due to our strong numbers, we were fortunate to have two teams in the league. The Green team finished second in the WAC league and third in the tournament. The White team finished in third place in the league standings and first in the WAC tournament championship, with a stellar team effort, winning 2-0 against Waterford. It has been a lot of fun seeing the players develop and jell as a team this year and we are excited to see what they do in eighth grade and in high school soccer.
Soccer C Team
Coaches: Bobby Kennedy and Campbell Ainsworth
On a hot summer day in late August, 17 sixth-grade athletes came together to play "the beautiful game." The green and white was well represented from a variety of communities, and with a wide range of experience and skill levels the challenges they faced were numerous. Questions like Who do we play?, How many games are in the season?, and What formation will we utilize? were put to rest in the first training session.
With a relatively short period of time before the first match, the goal was to develop a few principles of play on both sides of the ball that all team members would value and support. This proved to be a challenge as the vast majority of our players chose to value results and scoring goals. Early on we enjoyed success against inferior teams and then we faced our rival to the south, the Waterford Ravens, a team composed of several experienced club players that play in the upper echelon of UYSA.
We finished the regular season with a record of 5-2, with our two losses coming against Waterford by a combined handful of goals. Entering playoffs, we took our #2 seed into the semifinal game against Prince of Peace, where we handled them easily with a solid team effort. The stage was set for a third matchup with Waterford in the final.
We jumped out to a two-goal lead early on, and the belief started to grow. With a renewed emphasis on defensive shape and individual marking responsibilities, Waterford became frustrated and the Winged Lions could see a path to the top spot. With exceptional all-around play from the entire team, highlighted by a saved PK that kept the momentum in Rowland Hall's favor, we earned a well deserved 4-2 win. While it will go down as a Winged Lion victory, it was also a win for the concept of total soccer.