Another successful season of Upper School fall athletics is in the books with four new Region titles, a State championship, and all five varsity teams qualifying for and playing well at their State competitions. Additionally, the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators' Association recognized three of our teams for having the highest GPA in their 2A sport: boys cross country, girls soccer, and volleyball. This made for an amazing finish to the fall 2018 Winged Lions athletics campaign.
Congratulations to our outstanding coaches, including Susan Daynes and Lee Molen-Chase, girls tennis; Martin Ellis and Stacey Camacho, boys golf; Mark Oftedal, Laura Johnson, and Giselle Slotboom, cross country; Bobby Kennedy and Scott Langone, girls soccer; and Kendra Tomsic, Lauren Carpenter, Kathy Howa, and Kacie Turcuato, volleyball. And congrats to the over 100 student-athletes who wore the green and white this fall—you represented yourselves and our school community with much heart and pride. Way to go, Winged Lions!
Girls Soccer State 2A Champs Second Year in a Row
By Head Coach Bobby Kennedy
We started our soccer season on a warm summer morning July 30 and ended on a spectacular fall day October 20. Along the way, 24 girls worked hard on and off the field to come together and build a championship team. We amassed a 17–1 record while playing teams from four separate classifications. The varsity team earned a share of the Region 17 title and then repeated as 2A State champs. Our junior varsity (JV) team went undefeated, and for the first time in five years, the teams were blended in every training session and game.
The highlights of the season included a convincing 3–0 victory on the road against Real Salt Lake Academy, and a stunning 7–0 result in the State final against Waterford. I've rarely seen a team execute a game plan so flawlessly under pressure as this team did in the State final. Special thanks to all of the faculty, staff, and students who supported the girls during the season.
This year's team consisted of Sam Carlisle, Kat Lanham, Aislinn Mitcham, Olivia Bikhazi, Giselle Bodeen, Jordan Crockett, Sofia Espinoza, Anna Fukushima, Sally Logue, Sophie Stinnett, Mia Vinding, Izzy Cox, Alexandra Hodson, Ellie Hyde, Lily Scaife, Grace Baranko, Kaitlyn Bates, Faustine Ainsworth-Beaudot, Mary Bocock, Lizzie Carlin, Summer Connery, Julia Graham, Camryn Kennedy, and Micha Nenbee.
Postseason team awards went to Aislinn Mitcham, Most Valuable Player (MVP); Jordan Crockett, Coaches' Award; and Sam Carlisle, Most Improved. Players named to the All-Region 17 Team included Aislinn Mitcham, Jordan Crockett, Sam Carlisle, Kat Lanham, and Lizzie Carlin. Seven of our players earned Deseret News All-State honors: Aislinn Mitcham, Sam Carlisle, Kat Lanham, Jordan Crockett, Sophie Stinnett, Summer Connery, and Lizzie Carlin. Deseret News also named junior standout Jordan Crockett the 2A girls soccer MVP. And during halftime at the State Championship game, we were proud to accept an award from the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators' Association for being the 2A team with the top GPA.
Boys Golf Region Champs and Third at State
By Head Coach Martin Ellis
The boys golf season was a huge success: as a team, we won every Region match and then finished the sweep by winning the Region 17 championship.
The team was led by Giorgio Gianoulis, who played the best golf of his high school career throughout the season and finished fourth individually at State. Zach Rohovit was also a major contributor to the team's success, as he finished 12th at the State tournament. Team newcomer Jack AbuHaidar, who also competes for Rowmark Ski Academy, played exceptionally well this season. Alex Baughman and Isaac Holbrook showed great improvement over the course of the fall and were also key to clinching the Region championship. Daniel Damico stepped up his game to join us at State. This year's junior varsity team consisted of Josef Sueoka, Shoji Mori, Zydaan Siddiqi, and Zach Baughman.
Assistant Coach Stacey Camacho and I are proud of the effort our athletes put in this fall and are already looking forward to 2019. A special shoutout to Giorgio Gianoulis and Zack Rohovit who made the Utah PGA All-State First and Second Teams, respectively.
Congratulations to team award recipients Giorgio Gianoulis, MVP; Isaac Holbrook, Most Improved; and Zach Rohovit, Coaches' Award.
Girls Tennis Finishes Strong
By Head Coach Susan Daynes
The Winged Lions girls tennis team took to the courts this fall without a senior on the roster and with many new faces on the squad. First-year Assistant Coach Lee Molen-Chase and I were excited by the talent and potential we saw as practices started in early August, and our hopes for a successful season with a young team came to fruition as the season progressed.
Every team member worked hard throughout the season and showed substantial improvement with each practice and match. In a tough 3A Region, we won four matches and lost four matches, and played well enough at the Region tournament to qualify players at all five positions for the State 3A tournament.
The following players represented Rowland Hall in a strong field at State in late September: Violette Truong, #1 Singles; freshman Madeline Frazier, #2 Singles; junior Tala Shihab, #3 Singles; junior Caroline Applegate / freshman Tennyson Seethaler, #1 Doubles; and junior Grayson King / junior Kajal Ganesh, #2 Doubles. Our players battled hard and were fantastic representatives of our school, ending the State competition tied for fifth place. We're so proud of the great effort they gave with every point played.
We're excited to have all of these hardworking players plus JV team members Sasha Diamandis, Laura Summerfield, and Olivia Tracey returning to the court next season. Thanks much to parents and families for their support during the season.
Our team award recipients included Tala Shihab, MVP; Caroline Applegate, Most Improved; and Violette Truong, the Lionhearted Award. Congratulations!
Cross Country Teams Race to Region Titles
By Head Coach Mark Oftedal
Rowland Hall's 2018 cross-country running season ended on a beautiful autumn day in Sugar House Park, the place where it all began back in mid-August.
Our varsity boys team of juniors Aksel Anderson, Logan Bateman, George Bee, and Cyrus Johnston, and sophomores Carson Burian, Max Eatchel, and Matthew Goh finished third in the Utah State Cross Country Championships. Carson finished third overall and Logan snagged seventh, while Max, Aksel, and Matthew rounded out our top-five scoring positions in very respectable 18th, 19th, and 21st positions, respectively.
Our girls team of senior Grace Macintyre, juniors Brenna Davison and Ella Vitek, and sophomores Laisha Padilla and Samantha Paisley earned their spot on the starting line at State by securing the Region 17 championship one week earlier. A quote from Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko perhaps best describes both the Region and State races: "True sport is always a duel, a duel with nature, with one's own fear, with one's own fatigue, a duel in which body and mind are strengthened." The girls team exhibited a huge amount of grit to come together—many bringing late-season injuries and the reasonable accompanying apprehensions due to the less-than-healthy state of the team—to win the Region race. Unfortunately, Ella, our only returning team member from last year and our only team member with experience on the State course, had given it her all to be on the podium at Region with an overall fourth-place finish. She set aside knee pain to race for the team championship at Region, and a second go for the team at State was not an option. But teammates Brenna, Grace, Laisha, and Samantha all toed the line for the first time in the girls 2A championship race with Ella cheering them on. Brenna was our top finisher in 30th place.
We welcomed 10 newcomers to our team this year, some of them already mentioned. Senior Grace Macintyre, juniors George Bee and Brenna Davison, sophomores Laisha Padilla and Samantha Paisley, and freshmen Max Locke, Wynn Mellor, Lorenzo Parker Pillow, Max Smart, and George Wintriss joined 17 returning team members to make up our focused and determined squad. With the spring track and field season still coming, I always dislike saying goodbyes at this point, but as far as cross-country races go, we bid farewell to our four-year team members Jonah Borgenicht and Robert Welt, three-year member Ricky Sanchez, two-year member Connor Johansson, and one-year member Grace Macintyre. However, I'll save my final goodbyes for when they round that last curve and make their way into the finish line on the track in May.
Our 2018 cross country team awards recipients were as follows.
- Most Valuable: Ella Vitek, first for the girls team each time she raced, and fourth place overall at Region; and Carson Burian, seventh place at Bob Firman, fourth at Sanpete Classic, first at Region, and third at State.
- Most Improved: Brenna Davison and Cyrus Johnston.
- Coaches' Choice: Max Eatchel and the five-member girls' team.
- Tough-as-Nails: Samantha Paisley and Ricky Sanchez.
Congrats to all on a great 2018 season!
Volleyball Team Eighth at State Tournament
By Head Coach Kendra Tomsic
"Lionhearted" continued to be this year's team mantra, and the 19 volleyball players who stepped on the court in each competition always proved that energy and heart.
The team included senior captains Leah Button, Tess Edgley, Cody Googin, and Claire Hyde; juniors Leonie Anderson, Livia Anderson, Chloe Coleman-Houghton, and Lily Roberts; sophomores Jacque Park and Ke'ea Ramirez; and freshmen Ella Houden, Samantha Lehman, Isabelle Louis, Casey Maloy, Enna Mustajbegovic, Ally Smith, Kit Stevens, Tina Su, and Charleigh Vitek. They came to practice each day with a mindset to improve. They knew they'd sometimes fail, but stayed determined to learn from their mistakes and get better as individuals to ultimately make our team stronger. That mentality paid big dividends.
A tough preseason schedule included an early tournament at Skyline with top volleyball teams from across classifications, and matches with always-strong 3A Manti and South Summit—all competitions during which we tweaked our varsity lineup. Come mid-September, the team was well prepared to start Region play.
League play brought with it much success for our teams. JV posted a 9–2 record, the freshman team went undefeated at 5–0, and varsity ended the season at 10–2. The only varsity losses came at the hands of archrival Waterford in exciting contests with lengthy rallies. Varsity highlights of the league season included a come-from-behind, four-set road win over Wasatch Academy, an amazingly well-played first set at Waterford that ended in a heartbreaking 26–28 loss, and another first-set-down, gritty, comeback, four-set victory over Wasatch Academy at home in our Pink Night match before a rowdy crowd of Winged Lion fans. That victory topped off a very special night for our team, as we dedicated the match to beloved, longtime Rowland Hall staff member Linda Hampton, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With the help of the Rowland Hall community, the team raised over $4,000 to be donated in Linda's name to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation for cancer research.
Our second-place finish in Region 17 sent us to the State 2A tournament held October 26–27 at Utah Valley University in Orem. We faced a tough North Sevier squad in our first match of this double-elimination tourney. Despite battling every point, we were unable to overcome the offensive firepower of the Wolves and lost, putting us into the tournament's consolation bracket. We next faced St. Joe in a match scheduled for 8:30 pm Friday evening; however, earlier matches went long, so our team didn't take the court until 9:45 pm. This epic five-set, two-hour match became a highlight of our season, as every set featured lengthy rallies and see-saw scoring. With the welcomed help of our loyal parents and friends who stayed and cheered us on until the final point, our determined Winged Lions celebrated a huge win, walking off the court at midnight with a decisive fifth-set score of 15–5.
As a reward for that incredible performance, we played Merit Academy 8 am Saturday. Our team came ready and defeated the Knights in three straight sets to advance to the consolation championship match against Duchesne. Although all three sets were hotly contested and featured numerous exciting rallies, we lost to the Eagles to ultimately place eighth at State, our best finish at the tournament in a number of years.
Thanks to my coaching staff—Lauren Carpenter, Kathy Howa, and Kacie Turcuato—whose support of the team and me was invaluable. A special shoutout to our four Seniors, Leah, Tess, Cody, and Claire, who anchored the team and whose talent on the court and leadership by example was a key to our success. Thanks for all you've given to the volleyball program these past four years—you'll be missed.
End-of-season honors went to Chloe Coleman-Houghton, MVP; Leah Button and Tess Edgley, Offensive Co-MVPs; Claire Hyde, Coaches' Award; Cody Googin, Most Improved; and Jacque Park, the Lionhearted Award.
Postseason recognition to date has gone to All-Region 17 players Leah Button, Tess Edgley, and Chloe Coleman-Houghton; Utah Volleyball Coaches' Association (UVCA) All-State to Leah Button (Honorable Mention), Tess Edgley (Honorable Mention), and Chloe Coleman-Houghton (Third Team); and selection to UVCA Senior 2A All-Star Team to Tess Edgley. We're also proud to say that our varsity team was recognized at the State tournament as the 2A team with the highest GPA (3.87) for 2018.
A huge congratulations to the team on a wonderful finish to an exciting, fun, and successful season—you're champions in my book!
Fall Sport Academic Awards
Each season, the Region 17 Board of Managers recognizes with Academic All-Region honors seniors who are regular starters or performers on the varsity team, and have at least a 3.75 cumulative, unweighted GPA. They recognized six of our fall athletes: girls soccer players Aislinn Mitcham, Kat Lanham, and Sam Carlisle, and volleyball players Leah Button, Cody Googin, and Claire Hyde.
The Utah High School Activities Association also recognizes excellence in the classroom with the designation of Academic All-State status for seniors who are regular starters or performers for their varsity team, and have an unweighted, cumulative GPA of 4.0 or who meet a new index based on GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Three of our fall-sport student-athletes earned that award: Aislinn Mitcham (girls soccer) and Claire Hyde and Cody Googin (volleyball).
Congratulations to these Winged Lions on achieving excellence not only in the competitive athletics arena, but also in the classroom.
The Utah Interscholastic Athletics Administrators' Association this year started a program to recognize one school per varsity sport, per classification with a Top Team GPA award. We're proud to say that three of our fall teams received the plaque for this award: boys cross country (3.77), girls soccer (3.76), and volleyball (3.87). Congratulations!
Fall Athletics Postseason Awards
Several of our fall-sport athletes have received postseason recognition for their performance in their respective sport.
All-Region girls soccer players include Sam Carlisle, Kat Lanham, Aislinn Mitcham, Jordan Crockett, and Lizzie Carlin. Radio station 1280 The Zone recognized Carlin and Summer Connery as South Towne Auto Mall Players of the Week at a ceremony held in late October.
Jordan Crockett was named the 2A Girls Soccer MVP for 2018 by the Deseret News. Coaches from across 2A selected Sam Carlisle, Kat Lanham, Aislinn Mitcham, Jordan Crockett, Sophie Stinnett, Summer Connery, and Lizzie Carlin to the Deseret News 2A Girls' Soccer All-State Team.
Volleyball players named to the All-Region Team were Leah Button, Tess Edgley, and Chloe Coleman-Houghton. The Utah Volleyball Coaches' Association selection panel named to their All-State Team Leah Button (Honorable Mention), Tess Edgley (Honorable Mention), and Chloe Coleman-Houghton (Third Team). In addition, that same group named Tess Edgley to the 2A Senior All-Star Team. All-State volleyball for the Deseret News has not yet been announced.
Boys golf team members who earned Utah PGA All-State honors included Giorgio Gianoulis (First Team) and Zach Rohovit (Second Team). They'll be recognized at an award banquet this spring.
Boys cross country team members Carson Burian and Logan Bateman earned 2A All-State designation by the coaches' association.
Congratulations to our hard-working athletes on these well-earned honors.
Davison Earns Rowland Hall Wendy's High School Heisman
Rowland Hall senior baseball standout Austin Davison was recently named a Wendy's High School Heisman school-level winner. From a total applicant pool of nearly 42,000 high school scholar-athletes graduating in 2019, Austin was one of 7,500 named school winners in Wendy's annual scholarship competition. He is now eligible for state, regional, and national recognition.
Austin has set numerous Rowland Hall and state records with his outstanding play on the baseball diamond over the past three seasons, and he'll anchor the Winged Lion team in the spring. Congratulations, Austin!
Langone Named USCA Coach Of The Year
The United Soccer Coaches Association (USCA) recently named our very own Scott Langone the Boys Private/Parochial School Coach of the Year. His coaching peers here in Utah selected him due to his success with our Upper School boys soccer program. Coach Langone led our Winged Lion boys varsity team to a 15-win season last year—they captured the Region 17 title, followed by second place at the State 2A tournament. Congratulations, Scott!
Thank You to Booster Club Parent Liaisons
As the athletics director, and on behalf of all of our fall coaches and student-athletes, I want to thank the following Booster Club team parent liaisons who volunteered countless hours of their time and energy to help make the athletics experience better for all involved—you were amazing!
Many thanks to Ashley Holbrook, boys golf; Cindy Burian, cross country; Tammy Park and Phuong Bodeen, girls soccer; Gretchen King, girls tennis; and Karen Edgley and Angelina Beitia, volleyball.
Thanks also to all the parents who provided drinks and snacks for our teams, as well as staffed the concessions/ticket table for home volleyball events. Our programs could not function without your volunteer help. Thank you!