An unusually wet spring didn’t dampen the fiery spirit of Winged Lion Upper School athletic teams as they came away with three Region championships (Boys Soccer, Girls Track & Field, Boys Track & Field) and a near fourth (Girls Golf), and then claimed a State runner-up trophy (Boys Soccer), a State third place (Girls Golf) and State fourth place (Boys Tennis) finish, and had several individual state medalists in golf and track and field!
Congrats to our student-athletes and Coaches Scott Langone and Ryan Beck (boys soccer); Mark Oftedal, Ashley Hagensick, John Berclaw, and Roland Tolbert (Track & Field); Martin Ellis (Girls Golf); and Rich Francey and Susan Daynes (Boys Tennis) on these awesome results…a fantastic way to finish the year! Way to go, Winged Lions!
EXCITING SOCCER SEASON FOR THE “24”
By Scott Langone, Head Coach
What a season! Back-to-back co-region champs! Back-to-back state finalists!
The 2019 season started on February 25th with high hopes of returning to the state finals, as the team chose teamwork, competitiveness, and fun for their core values. After a 2-1 win vs. 3A South Summit, we knew we had something special. There was an excitement in this group of 24 strong—they celebrated each other’s efforts and picked each other up when there were near misses.
The “24” battled through snow storms, rain, and opponents, claiming victories until a set -back came with a defeat at Judge Memorial (2018 and 2019 State Champions). The loss at Judge strengthened the team and brought them closer together with a realization that we could not only compete in 2A, but 3A as well. The “24” rolled off another 8 wins in a row, including a very convincing win vs. Waterford at the Steiner Field. In the regular season finale, they had their first Region loss of the year in a tale of two halves vs. rival Waterford in less than desirable weather conditions in a marathon 3.5- hour game marked with multiple stops in play. The “24” finished the regular season as co-region champions with the Ravens and won the coin flip to become the #1 seed out of Region 17 to the State 2A Tournament.
The “24” had a slow start to the playoffs vs. Merit Academy, down 1-0 at the end of the first half, but then scored 10 unanswered goals, defeating Merit Academy, then St. Joseph's in the quarterfinals, followed by a victory over Beaver in the semifinals. During that two -week stretch, the “24” continued to bond and have fun, enjoying a break from soccer playing floor hockey to see who would hoist the Rowland Hall "Stanley" Cup.
The “24” reached their goal of making it to Rio Tinto for the 2A State Championship vs. Layton Christian Academy, and fell short of raising the championship trophy in a well-played game, losing to LCA 2-0, but showed the Rowland Hall crowd an exciting style of soccer, many fans commenting that it was the best high school soccer game they had ever seen.
The season was full of team success and individual successes, as well. Jesus Lamas (‘21) and Charlie Retzer (‘21) were honored by Max Preps as Player of the Week for Utah in week 3 and 8, respectively. Trey Provost (‘19), Jason Nkoy (‘20), Mats Lindgren (‘20), Lamas (‘21), and Retzer (‘21) were named All-Region for Region 17. Charlie Retzer was first in the 2A classification for goals scored and third in the state overall with 28. Ben Kanter (‘20) had seven shutouts in 18 games and in 1,347 minutes played only gave up 18 goals. Trey Provost, Jesus Lamas and Mats Lindgren not only scored numerous goals, but assisted on 10, 14, and 11, respectively. Newcomers Zack Baughman, Daniel McNally, and Luke Muhlestein had a fabulous freshmen season on Varsity. Jude Whittem (’21)), Alex Okawa (‘21), and Augustus Hickman (‘21) all had a solid varsity season, while Calvin DeBellis (’22), Jaden Jensen (’22), Lorenzo Parker-Pillow (‘22), Charlie Lanchbury (‘22), Tristam Gaylord (‘20), Andy Merrill (‘20), Patrick McNally (‘20), and George Drakos (‘22) had outstanding JV seasons.
At the end of the season banquet, George Wintriss (‘22) was named Most Improved, Jesus Lamas and Mats Lindgren were named Coaches Award winners, and Trey Provost and Jason Nkoy were named Most Valuable Players.
Not only did this team show they are one of the best in the state for soccer, they showed that they are the best academically in 2A, earning the UIAAA Team Academic Award for the top team average GPA. James Corcoran (‘19), Atticus Hickman (‘19), and Cas Mulford (’19) led the way academically, as they earned UHSAA Academic All-Region Honors, and Mulford and Corcoran were also awarded the prestigious UHSAA Academic All-State award.
Special thank you to assistant coach Ryan Beck who was a key to Rowland Hall's success and to our captains Jason Nkoy, Mats Lindgren, and Trey Provost for supplying key student leadership. Congratulations to our “24” on a season well-played!
RESILIENT GOLF TEAM POSTS STRONG SEASON
by Martin Ellis, Head Coach
The 2019 Rowland Hall girls golf team can best be described by one word: resilient. Our five student-athletes practiced and played with guts, grit, determination, and heart throughout the season always kept a positive attitude despite weather or struggles on the course.
During our first day of practice meeting, they began setting team and individual goals, their #1 to HAVE FUN and to win the Region Championship. Result: Tied Waterford at the end of the Region Tournament, went into a playoff and lost by just four strokes.
Goal #2: To finish in the top 5 at the State Championship. Result: 3rd place overall. Well done!
En route to achieving those goals, the team won two matches and lost two and was tied with Waterford for first place in the region going into the Region Tournament. At that event, both teams ended the 18-hole competition with the exact same score, forcing an exciting four-hole playoff that the Winged Lions eventually lost by a few strokes to take second place and qualify for State. Sophie Stinnett took home second place medalist honors and Katy Dark was fourth place medalist for the 2019 season.
At the State Tournament, our team stepped up, everyone played some solid golf, with team captain Sophie Stinnett taking fourth place as an individual, and we ended the season strong with a third-place finish, an outstanding accomplishment given that the majority of our team had never competed at a State Tournament before!
Every team member contributed all season, led by team captain junior Sophie Stinnett who has improved by 10 strokes each of her three years of participation. Sophomore Katy Dark worked hard all season to improve her chipping and putting and was able to consistently shave strokes off her game with each passing tournament. Newcomers to this year’s team, Junior Olivia Bikhazi and sophomores Jacque Park and Ke’ea Ramirez were totally new to the game of golf, all three of them improving on a near daily basis and making huge strides in their play as well as bringing new energy to the team.
I couldn’t be any prouder of these student-athletes. They battled all season long. They set realistic goals based off of their individual skill levels, goals such as try to hit more good shots than bad shots, simple and attainable. They are incredibly smart, were easy to coach, and a lot of fun to work with, making this not only a very successful, but very enjoyable season.
Congratulations to Most Valuable Player and First Team All-State player, Sophie Stinnett; Most Improved Player, Olivia Bikhazi; and Coaches’ Award recipients Katy Dark, Jacque Park, and Ke’ea Ramirez on a great 2019 season of golf!
Young Boys Tennis Team Has Strong Season
By Rich Francey, Head Coach
Rain, rain, and more rain is the best way to describe the weather conditions for this year’s boys’ tennis season. Practices started on March 4th on a sunny day, followed by four days of rain. The team coped with this unfortunate weather and participated in cardio work outs in the gym when necessary. This week unfortunately set the standard for the entire season as there was a least one rained out practice or match every week, causing us to play the majority of our league matches during the very last week of the season!
The team, however, evolved and came together to form some strong bonds and a solid Varsity and JV team. The JV team was anchored by Gary Fenton, Ben Fowler, Andrew Kimball and Charles Topoleski, all making strong efforts to break into the top seven positions. Good efforts and improvement were also seen from Christian McCartney, Gosha Polischuk, Steven Doctorman, Cooper Davis and Daniel Damico. All of these players will be returning in 2020 which is good news for the Winged Lions.
The Varsity team had a successful season, playing a number of 5A opponents, posting an overall record of 6-3 with a third -place finish in Region play with a 4-3 league record, and then finished the year taking fourth place at the State 3A Tournament.
Peter Chase played #1 singles and finished fourth at the State tournament. Justin Peng competed at #2 singles and had a strong season, as did #3 singles player Tim Zeng. Auden Bown and Noah Edgar teamed up at #1 doubles and played in the State finals at the position, finishing second in a well-played match. Josh Kesling and Cole McCartney represented the team at the #2 doubles spot and did a great job all season. Senior Ben McGraw served as team captain, his leadership and enthusiasm key to the team’s success this year.
A big thank you to Assistant Coach Susan Daynes for all her help during my first season back to coaching in the Rowland Hall tennis program—she was awesome!
Team award recipients included Peter Chase, Most Valuable Player; Tim Zeng, Most Improved; Ben McGraw and Josh Kesling, Coaches’ Award; and Gary Fenton, JV Coaches’ Award.
We were also very proud that our Varsity team was recognized with the UIAAA Top 3A Team GPA award, led by Ben McGraw who earned Academic All-Region and Academic All-State accolades for 2019.
Good luck to Seniors Josh Kesling and Ben McGraw as they move on to college adventures—they will be missed!
Congrats Winged Lions on a great season—good things await in 2020!
Track & Field Team Shines In 2019
by Mark Oftedal, Head Coach
Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko wrote, “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.” Though these duels are always present each athletic season, the 2019 track and field season certainly provided a lot on the side of duel with nature in the form of rain, sleet, hail, wind, lightening, and sun. I can’t recall a meet that didn’t throw something at us. Athletic Director Kendra Tomsic commented after day-one of the State meet, “I really enjoyed watching the athletes compete and am excited to see so many personal and season bests posted by so many, especially given the terrible weather conditions on Friday!” Throws coach John Bercaw reported that he was very impressed with how everyone kept their focus on their events while handling the conditions at State. A week earlier, after our Region Championship meet, University of Utah head track coach Kyle Kepler, referring to the conditions that day wrote, “. . . I saw a group of people who did the best they could with the situation presented on behalf of the kids they coach . . . that’s real world education!” And, the week before that, at the North Summit Invitational, all teams were sent running for their busses at the conclusion of the 400-meter races. I’ll never forget watching sophomore Zach Benton who rounded the corner into the home stretch—well on his way to a personal best time judging from his time at the 200-meter mark—only to be blasted by a firehose of water and wind turning what would have been a great time into a true battle with nature.
In spite of the weather, high spirits prevailed throughout our season as our team often headed out the door into cold temperatures and falling rain for recovery runs after quality track sessions the day before which were all too often adjusted due to the weather of the day. Meet after meet, our team members managed to maintain their focus and drop their times and further their jumps and throws no matter the conditions. At the end of the day, whether practices or competitions, good cheer and promise for the events ahead were never in short supply.
Comparing the 2019 season’s best times in the sport’s eight running events (100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 110 and 300 hurdles) to the 2018 season, the boys’ team ended the season with better times in seven of the eight events. Two of those bettered marks set new school records. Sophomore Carson Burian surpassed Ryan Westerman’s (class of 2014) 3200-meter record of 9:39.00, set in 2014, with a time of 9:37.62 at the BYU Invitational in early May; junior Andres Torres broke Chris Nkoy’s (class of 2014) 100-meter record of 11.93, set in 2013, by posting a 11.55 at the Region Championships. Two new records were set by 9th-grader Lizzie Carlin for the girls’ team. Lizzie bettered the 100-meter record of 13.14 set by her sister Emma in 2017, by running 12.87 twice this season—once at the Morgan Invitational and once at the Region Championships. Racing to a 26.68 in the 200-meter at the State Championships, Lizzie also knocked off that record of 27.14 set by Candice Nkoy at State in 2013. Read more about Lizzie’s incredible season here.
Both the girls’ and boys’ teams handily won the Region 17 Championships this season, which left all participants tested and strengthened by the many obstacles presented that day—weather being the main one. Twenty, out of our forty-one-member team, advanced to the State meet in forty-one individual events. The Region meet—again in spite of the weather—saw twenty-two new personal best or season best marks posted. Those qualifying for State in individual events were: Lizzie Carlin, Brenna Davison, Shayna Green, Alex Hodson, Ellie Hyde, Anna Jiricko, Grace Macintyre, Micha Nenbee, Laisha Padilla, Katie Plavan, Jezzie Sammons, Lily Scaife, Mia Vinding, Aksel Anderson, Logan Bateman, Zach Benton, Carson Burian, Max Eatchel, Cole Lunde, and Alvaro Nicolia. The following student-athletes were this year’s Region Champions: Lizzie Carlin (100, 200), Carson Burian (800, 1600, 3200), Anna Jiricko (400, High Jump), Logan Bateman (400), Alvaro Nicolia (300 Hurdles), Mia Vinding (Long Jump), Jezzie Sammons (Shot Put), and Sage Matkin (Discus).
Our athletes were not fazed when day one of the two-day Utah State Track & Field Championships at BYU presented rain. To cap off the season, nineteen personal best marks were accomplished at the State Championships. For the girls’ team, Lizzie Carlin (200, school record), Anna Jiriciko (100, 200), Brenna Davison (400), Mia Vinding (100 Hurdles), Lily Scaife, Ellie Hyde, and Katie Plavan (800), Grace Macintyre and Laisha Padilla (3200), and Shayna Green (Long Jump) all performed their best of the season at State. For the boys’ team, Zach Benton (400), Logan Bateman (1600), Aksel Anderson and Max Eatchel (3200), and our all-9th-grade 4x400-meter relay team of Tyler Gerstein, Max Locke, Wynn Mellor, and Max Smart all left their best for the last meet of the year. Making it onto the 2A Utah State top-six podium were Carson Burian as the State Champion in the 3200 and runner-up in the 1600; Lizzie Carlin finished 3rd in the 100, 5th in the 200, and 6th in the 400; Aksel Anderson was 6th in the 3200; Lily Scaife 6th in the 800; and Logan Bateman finished 6th in the 1600.
On May 28th at the track team’s awards banquet, we celebrated our five senior team members—Jonah Borgenicht (4 years on the track and cross country teams), Grace Macintyre (4 years on track and 1 year on the cross country team), Rob Welt (3 years track and 4 years cross country), Ricky Sanchez (3 years track and 3 years cross country) and Alvaro Nicolia (1 year on track). Jonah Borgenicht and Grace Macintyre were awarded the Coaches’ Choice awards for their outstanding leadership/mentorship on our teams over their high school careers. The Most Improved awards went to junior Aksel Anderson (800, 1600, 3200), while sophomores Ellie Hyde (400, 800) and Lily Scaife (800, 1600) shared the honor, as these two close friends and teammates have motivated each other impressively throughout the season. Our Most Valuable Athlete awards, solidly earned throughout the season by accumulating points for the team that went into triple digits, were presented to 9th-grader Lizzie Carlin and sophomore Carson Burian. Lastly, Tough as Nails awards went to sophomore Katie Plavan for her fast 1600-meter race with a “stunning finish” and to senior Ricky Sanchez—forever the role model for good natured determination and dedication to whatever he takes on.
Thank you to all that supported our team this season. Already looking forward to Spring of 2020!
Academic Honors for Spring Sport Athletes
Several Winged Lion athletes were recognized with academic honors this spring. Ben McGraw (Boys Tennis) and Boys Soccer players James Corcoran, Cas Mulford, and Atticus Hickman were named to the Region 17 Academic All-Region Team.
Corcoran, Mulford, and McGraw were also recognized with the prestigious Utah High School Activities Association’s Academic All-State award for their prowess in the classroom and in the athletic arena.
Athletes Earn Post-Season Accolades
Five players from the Boys Soccer team were named to the All-Region Team, including Trey Provost, Jason Nkoy, Mats Lindgren, Jesus Lamas, and Charlie Retzer. Several of our players will also be receiving All-State recognition from the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune in the coming days.
Girls Golf team standout, Sophie Stinnett, earned First Team All-State honors based on her 2019 season performance and was recognized at an awards evening at Thanksgiving Point on June 4, along with boys’ golf First Team All-State player, Giorgio Gianoulis.
Two members of the Track and Field team, Carson Burian and Lizzie Carlin, were recognized as All-State athletes by the Track Coaches’ Association.
Although Rowland Hall was unable to field a baseball team this spring, standout player and senior Austin Davison finished out his final year of high school ball playing for his hometown Park City Miners. His performance earned for him 4A Senior All-Star recognition, as well as First Team All-Region 11 honors. His prowess behind the plate netted for him Defensive Player of the Year for the Miners this season.
Class of 2019 Athletic Award Recipients Named
Twelve of our Winged Lion student-athletes were recognized by the Athletics Department with awards at the recent Senior Awards Night program.
The Outstanding Senior Athlete awards were earned by four-year basketball and soccer standouts, Trey Provost and Kat Lanham. The Lee Scholar-Athlete award was presented to volleyball/basketball captain and Academic All-Region player in both sports, Leah Button, and Boys Soccer Academic All Region and Academic All State honoree, James Corcoran. The Winged Lion Award for Athletics recipients included impact athletes Samantha Carlisle (soccer/basketball); Austin Davison (baseball); Tess Edgley (volleyball); Ally Hansen (basketball); Grace Macintyre (swimming/cross country/track); Maya Royer (basketball); Ricky Sanchez (cross country/track); and Claire Sanderson (basketball).
Congratulations to these student-athletes on their contributions to Winged Lion athletics over the past four years!
Rowland Hall Students Pursue Athletics at College Level
Three Rowland Hall students will be moving on to compete at the collegiate level in their respective high school sport of choice.
Four-year Baseball All-Region and All-State player Austin Davison is ranked by PerfectGame USA as Utah’s #2 catcher for 2019 and the #20 overall player in Utah, ending the 2019 season batting .337 with 29 singles, 11 doubles, 1 home run, and knocking in 18 RBIs.
Recruited by nine colleges to play baseball after high school graduation, Austin has enrolled at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas to study finance and is excited to play for the top-notch Trinity University baseball program which has numerous accolades in the sport, including winning the 2016 Division III National title and the 2019 SCAC championship. Austin holds many Rowland Hall and Utah state baseball stat records and was a team captain and impact player for three years in our high school program and has also been very active in community service, creating a non-profit organization called “Extra Innings for Kids” whose purpose is to collect and send baseball gear to youth programs in underprivileged countries. Austin spearheaded the collection of over three tons of equipment in 2017 and is now working with the MLB Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame as well as Roberto’s Kids to increase and expand this year’s donation efforts to include Russia and Venezuela. Austin is looking forward to the opportunity to continue his baseball development at Trinity and have a shot to play at the next level, as well.
A Rowland Hall student who is a top-ranked and highly decorated wrestler for 6A West High School, Jack Lang, will be enrolling at Princeton University this fall and will be continuing his wrestling career with the Tigers. Jack amassed 152 wins during his high school wrestling career, making him the winningest wrestler in the history of the West High program. He was a three-time 6A Utah State Tournament placer, capturing a third and two fifth places during his career, as well as twice earning Division Champion honors. A four-year team captain and three-time West High Wrestling MVP who also earned Academic All-State honors in the sport this year, Jack is excited to be wrestling at the D1 level at 15th ranked Princeton next year.
Jack Plavan was introduced to sailing at a camp in San Diego the summer after Kindergarten, and it has been a passion for him ever since. Growing up close to the water, Jack had the opportunity to sail year-round and was exposed to many different types of boats and racing environments, including leading his high school sailing team in San Diego as a Freshman before moving to Utah and Rowland Hall. Jack has continued to use his skills and love of sailing to serve as a full-time coach in the summers for younger sailors in his San Diego community and has been recognized by his home sailing club for his off the water contributions. Most recently, Jack has focused on US National and North American Championship level competitions in the C420 doublehanded boat. He and his skipper have won bronze, silver, and gold medals in the area Junior Olympics, taken third and second in the US National Championships, and sixth in the North American Championship. Recruited by the Division 1 Boston College sailing program that has won over 20 National Championships and has been ranked NCAA number one multiple times, Jack is thrilled to be able to continue his sailing in college at this elite level.
Congratulations to these athletes! We are proud of your accomplishments and wish you well in your future athletic endeavors.
Thank You to Athletics Booster Club
A heartfelt shout out to Winged Lion Athletics Booster Club Board members Ashley Holbrook and Erica Keil (co-Presidents), Karen Edgley (Treasurer), and Melanie Bates (Middle School liaison) for the great service they have given to our Athletics program throughout the 2018-2019 school year. The countless hours they give on a volunteer basis to help make the athletics experience top-notch for the student-athletes who participate in our programs at both the Upper and Middle School level is very much appreciated—their service is invaluable! A special thank you to the outgoing treasurer, Karen Edgley, who has provided four years of outstanding service to the Booster Club, serving both as treasurer and parent liaison during her tenure…she will be much missed.
A thank you to ALL the parents, families, and winged lion athletics supporters who chose to join the Booster Club this year—we were able to capture almost 100 memberships this year! Your financial support allowed the booster board to fund numerous athletic department projects throughout the year, including new Region 17 banners, new chairs for use by the volleyball and basketball teams, sports calendar posters, award celebrations, Pack the Bleachers events, a new entryway carpet runner for the Lincoln Street Campus gym, Middle School sports participation gifts, senior parent recognition gifts, to name a few.
In addition, parent support in staffing the concession and ticket table for volleyball and basketball as well as in supplying drinks and snacks for our student-athletes during each team’s season was very much appreciated.
A special thank you to parents who were willing to spearhead each sport and serve as the parent liaison for a sport or sports this year and most recently our spring sport liaisons, including Jackie Stinnett, Girls Golf; Cindy Burian and Ashley Holbrook, Track & Field; Lee Molen-Chase, Boys Tennis; and Jessica Lindgren, Boys Soccer.
Fall and Winter sport liaisons were Tammy Park and Phuong Bodeen, Girls Soccer; Gretchen King, Girls Tennis; Karen Edgley and Angelina Beitia, Volleyball; Cindy Burian, Cross Country; Ashley Holbrook, Boys Golf; Gwen Creel-Erickson, Swimming; Sarah Button and Jackie Stinnett, Girls Basketball; and Ashley Holbrook, Boys Basketball.
Many thanks to everyone for helping to make the 2018-2019 year of Winged Lion athletics a huge success…it takes a village to create something special—thanks for being there to make it happen! Looking forward to your continued support in 2019-2020…Happy summer and GO WINGED LIONS!