The 2018 spring sports season was one of the best ever for Winged Lion teams, as it ended with all teams qualifying for post-season play, which resulted in three Region titles, a State runner-up trophy, and two State Championships! Athletes also earned individual State Championships in Boys Tennis and Girls Golf.
Kudos to our coaching staff—Tim Sleeper, Susan Daynes, Boys Tennis; Martin Ellis, Ryan Holt, Girls Golf; Scott Langone, Boys Soccer; Mark Oftedal, Giselle Slotboom, Ashley Hagensick, Roland Tolbert, Track & Field; Kathy Howa, Kendra Tomsic, Leslie Varoz, Softball; and Zach Paige, Tyler Curtis, Ben Stoddard, Baseball—and the over 100 student athletes who dedicated themselves to admirably representing the Green and White this spring. Read on to learn more about their amazing accomplishments.
Boys Tennis Captures Gold
By Tim Sleeper, Head Coach
The boys tennis team finished up an amazing season with an even more amazing team effort at the State Tournament on Saturday, May 12. In what turned out to be one of the closest championships in boys tennis history, our Winged Lions pulled out a state championship victory over 15 other schools and bettered Waterford by just one point!
The team championship came down to the final four matches, which were all being played at the same time, with our boys needing to win three of the four to take State. The composure shown by our players was epic, and they put their best foot forward when we needed it most.
Soren Feola and Justin Peng played at the 2nd Doubles position and were the last players on court. They didn't know at the time, but their close 7-5, 7-5 win put us over the top and finally claimed the state title. Peter Chase went head to head with Waterford in the finals match at 3rd Singles and came back from being down 1-5 in the third set to claim victory from the hands of defeat. Tucker Lee closed out an incredible season, going undefeated from start to finish at the 2nd Singles position to claim a State title at the spot. Senior leader Leif Thulin pushed the squad towards perfection all year and took second place at the 1st Singles position. Josh Kesling and Noah Edgar played hard in a talented 1st Doubles bracket to earn critical points toward the title as well.
The whole team really united during the final two weeks of the season to craft this victory, and many thanks go out to our JV squad, including Chris Ausbeck, Auden Bown, Tim Zeng, Leo Doctorman, Ben McGraw, Ben Fowler, Gary Fenton, Cooper Davis, Steven Doctorman, and Charlie Cutt. Of course, no sport has a chance at success at Rowland Hall without the efforts of Athletic Director Kendra Tomsic and the rest of the administration. Thanks to all for an unforgettable season and Goooooo Lions!
Congratulations to our end of season awardees, including Leif Thulin, Tucker Lee, Peter Chase, Team MVPs and Soren Feola and Justin Peng, Coaches' Award.
Girls Golf Crowned State 2A Champs
By Martin Ellis, Head Coach
The Rowland Hall girls golf team is once again State Champion! The Winged Lions claimed their third state title in the past four years with a gutsy performance at Rose Park Golf Course on May 9.
Senior Zaria Thompson led the way all season by winning every tournament she played, claiming her fourth consecutive Region individual medalist finish. Senior Maddie Kwun was only a stroke or two behind Zaria at most Region events. Sophomore Sophie Stinnett finished the season very strong by shooting her career best round (94). Katy Dark, a ninth grader who just started playing golf the week before team tryouts, made huge improvements all season long. The team easily claimed their fourth Region Championship, going undefeated all season.
As a team, we battled all season long and were rewarded for our efforts. Since we had only had four girls on the team this year, every score counted at every match. Our competition at State, Beaver High School, had six girls, so they were able to throw out their two worst scores. That put a lot of pressure on the Winged Lions, but they rose to the occasion, beating Beaver by a total of 5 strokes in a very close battle. Our players set a goal to play their best golf of the season at State, and they did just that. Maddie Kwun ended up edging out Zaria Thompson by just two strokes to claim her second State Individual Medalist honors. Zaria finished in second place and Sophie Stinnett finished in fifth. Assistant Coach Ryan Holt said, "We couldn't be more proud of our girls, and it just goes to show that hard work really pays off."
Thompson, Kwun, and Stinnett earned All-State honors for their efforts all season. We offer our congratulations to end of season award winners: Zaria Thompson and Maddie Kwun were named Co-MVPs, Sophie Stinnett received the Coaches' Award, and Katy Dark was our Most Improved Player this year.
Boys Soccer Earns State Runner-Up Trophy
By Scott Langone, Head Coach
The 2018 boys soccer season can be summed up in one word: EXCITING! From the start of the 2018 season, something was different about the team. The team's leadership changed, the spirit changed and a brotherhood was fostered. The team played each day for each other and always gave credit when credit was due, electing a player of the game whether a win or a loss. The camaraderie developed into the most exciting on-field product that I've seen in five years. The brotherhood won 15 games (most wins since 2009), claimed the Region 17 Title, and was runner-up in the 2A State Tournament.
While collecting team hardware, we had plenty of individual recognition as well. Nico Edgar and Youssef Salama were honored as Academic All-Region and Academic All-State soccer players; Charlie Retzer was named Player of the Week by Max Preps for the week of March 31; Trey Provost, Jake Dreyfous, Simon Logue, Jason Nkoy, and Mats Lindgren were named to the All-Region 17 team; and Logue, Dreyfous, Provost, and Lindgren were recently named 2A All-State by the Deseret News.
Special thank you to the 2018 captains, Jake Dreyfous and Simon Logue, and a special thank you to the four seniors, Jake, Simon, Nico Edgar, and Youssef Salama for changing the culture in the boys soccer program with their strong, positive leadership.
At the end of season team celebration, Jason Nkoy was recognized as the team MVP; Simon Logue and Jake Dreyfous were Coach's Award recipients; and Vida DiLego was named Most Improved Player.
Thank you and congratulations to all other team members not yet mentioned, including James Corcoran, Atticus Hickman, Augustus Hickman, Ben Kanter, Ben Korngiebel, Jesus Lamas, Nektarios Mantas, Patrick McNally, Alex Okawa, and Jack Vitek.
Baseball Team Has Solid Season
By Zach Paige, Head Coach
The 2018 Rowland Hall baseball team ended the season in fourth place in Region 2A North with a 5-7 record in Region play and was 5-10 overall. This year, we were placed in a new region with traditional baseball powerhouses North Sevier and Gunnison, as well as Monticello and Duchesne.
From start to finish, the team showed a lot of heart and a determination to win. The players worked hard in practices and continued to improve in order to compete in every game we played. Throughout the season, spring weather caused many challenges, cancellations, and re-schedules; however, despite these challenges, the boys remained focused, supported each other day in and day out, and were dedicated to being the best team we could be.
At State, we matched up with Milford in the first round, which was played at Enterprise High School. This game ended in a loss, and a follow-up matchup with Milford in the one-loss bracket ended our season with a second loss of the day. Although we did not advance in the State Tournament, the coaching staff was pleased with how we competed in each game and stepped up to the challenge against some tough teams.
This year we bid farewell to our five seniors: Alex Benton, Jack Dischmann, Luke Nicoloff, Michael Palmer, and William Stone. Coaches Tyler Curtis, Ben Stoddard, and I would like to thank them for their dedication and leadership over the past four years. Their contributions to the program extend far beyond the lines of the baseball field. We would also like to thank and recognize the remaining members of our team for a great season: Calvin Barbanell, Alex Baughman, Austin Davison, Cyrus Johnston, Andy Merrill, Nick Murphy, Jack Plavan, Zach Rohovit, and Seth Thomas. We are already excited for next season!
Congratulations to three of our players who were selected to the 2A All-Star Team—Jack Dischmann, Luke Nicoloff, and Austin Davison—and to those who received end-of-season awards including Andy Merrill, Most Improved Player; Luke Nicoloff, Silver Slugger Award; Austin Davison, Coaches' Award; and Jack Dischmann, Most Valuable Player.
Softball Team Finishes Strong
By Kathy Howa, Head Coach
When the softball season started, a number of players who were expected to return decided to withdraw due to academic commitments, thus leaving us short of players. Our Seniors, Pippa Hodgkins and Sydney Rabbitt, were determined to finish their softball careers on the field and so went to work recruiting a few players to the squad and succeeded...game on!
Seven athletes joined Pippa and Syd on the diamond, including Cora Lopez, Chloe Coleman-Houghton, Laura Summerfield, Maddie Keil, Sophie Dau, Mena Zendejas-Portugal and Imani Mendenhall, and then they proceeded to have one of the best seasons in Rowland Hall softball history!
Young but eager and determined to learn and excel, these athletes came to practice every day with a desire to improve and did so by leaps and bounds. It was exciting to watch them make great strides in their individual skills and in their understanding of this complicated sport. Losing several games early on via the run rule, by season's end, we were able to go a full seven innings in our games, ended up fourth in the Region, and qualified to compete at the State 2A Tournament!
The first round of the double elimination State Tournament was played at "pod" locations, and we landed at Enterprise High School, where we lost our first game to North Sevier, but bounced back to defeat Rockwell in game two by a score of 19-9 to qualify as one of only 12 teams to move onto the second round of State played in Spanish Fork on May 10.
Although we lost to Duchesne in this round and were thus eliminated from further State play, the coaching staff was so very proud of the team as they held their own throughout the game, leaving bases loaded three innings and making many outstanding defensive plays during the contest. It was a fun and exciting way to end what we all felt was a very successful season. With all but two players returning next year, we are excited and optimistic about what awaits!
Four of our players were named to the Region 17 All-Region team, including Pippa Hodgkins, Sydney Rabbitt, Chloe Coleman-Houghton, and Maddie Keil. In addition, both Syd and Pippa were selected by vote of 2A coaches to compete in the 2A Senior All Star game held at Cottonwood Complex on May 29, a fitting end to their outstanding softball careers. Sydney was also named to the Academic All-Region team and was also honored with the prestigious UHSAA Academic All-State award recognizing her athletic and academic prowess.
Congratulations to all team members and a special shout-out to those who were recognized with team awards at our end of season team celebration, including Pippa Hodgkins and Maddie Keil, Co-MVPs; Sydney Rabbitt, Offensive MVP; Chloe Coleman-Houghton, Coaches' Award and Defensive MVP; and Laura Summerfield, Most Improved Player. Thanks much to Assistant Coaches Kendra Tomsic and Leslie Varoz for all they did this year—much credit for our success is due to their efforts.
Track and Field Team Has Impressive Season
By Mark Oftedal, Head Coach
From start to finish, the 2018 Rowland Hall track and field team was impressive. After bidding farewell to eight seniors at the end of the 2017 season, our team was nourished with eighteen newcomers—fifteen ninth graders, two sophomores, and a senior—and each and every one of these new recruits were not just out to test the waters of the sport, but from day one were seriously vying for top spots on the team. Adding their out-of-the-gate focus and enthusiasm to our returning seventeen student-athletes' knowledge and dedication was a recipe for a successful season.
Our team lined up nearly every weekend between mid-March and mid-May against 1A-6A schools and more often than not bettered their personal best marks from the previous week's performances. The coaching staff was continually impressed—and thankful—not just for our team members always setting a higher standard each week but for their authentic desire and dedication for continual improvement in their chosen events.
Performances at the Region Championship meet showed no indication that our athletes had topped out at the season's seven invitational contests, as no fewer than 32 new season-best and/or personal best marks were posted on May 10 at the University of Utah's McCarthey Family Track & Field Complex. Capturing a state-qualifying spot and those scoring for the team at Region were: Tate Beasley, Sidney Hare, Allison Bagley, Mia Vinding, Ellie Hyde, Brenna Davison, Ella Vitek, Lily Scaife, Grace Macintyre, Caroline Applegate, Alexandra Hodson, Ria Agarwal, Lily Yang, Ella Brown, Megan Rasich, Sage Matkin, Aiko Miller, Carson Burian, Logan Bateman, Max Eatchel, Ty Lunde, Cole Lunde, Aksel Anderson, Robert Welt, Jonah Borgenicht, Luke Nicoloff, Tristam Gaylord, Andres Torres, Isaac Holbrook, and Zachary Benton. Our girls team claimed the Region Championship trophy, our boys team took second place while the two teams' combined scores captured the top spot in the Region Championships.
Our relatively small 2A track and field team turned heads at the State Championship meet on May 18 and 19 at Brigham Young University when ninth-grade newcomers Tate Beasley and Carson Burian raced in their first Utah State Championships. Tate finished second in the 800-, 1600-, and 3200-meter races and Carson finished second in the 3200-meter race. As a warm-up to his second place in the 3200, Carson started off the scoring for the boys team, finishing seventh in the 1600-meter on the first day of competition. Seniors Allison Bagley and Sidney Hare stood atop the podium for the last time in their high school careers with Allison finishing fifth in the high jump and Sidney second in the 300-meter hurdles and fourth in the 100-meter hurdles. Logan Bateman also made an impressive leap to the podium with a sixth-place finish in the 1600-meter, besting his previous best in the event by eleven seconds! Logan scored again for the team the next day, taking seventh in the 800-meter race. Finally, and giving us a glimpse of what's ahead for our team in the coming years, Alexandra Hodson (ninth grade), Brenna Davison (tenth), Ellie Hyde (ninth), and Ella Vitek (tenth) took the baton four times around the track (legs of 200-, 200-, 400-, and 800-meters respectively) in the sprint medley relay, finishing sixth with a new season-best time.
Seniors Aiko Miller and Luke Nicoloff extended school records in the discus and the javelin, respectively. Taking first place at Region, Aiko's throw of 73'-4.25" bested the previous record held by Daphne Michie (class of 2017; 69'-7.75"). Senior cross-country runner, baseball standout, and first-year javelin thrower, Luke Nicoloff, surpassed the previous school record held by Henry Lewinsohn ( 88'-1", set in 2017) with a toss of 120'-4.5", claiming first place in the Region. The State meet gave ninth grader Tate Beasley a chance to better the school's 800-meter record as she nipped off two-tenths of a second setting a new school record with a time of 2:21.70. The old record was set in 2013 by then eleventh grader Emily Sundquist (2:21.90) who incidentally has just completed her college career running for Williams College.
While considering both our individual team members and the team's success this season, there was much to celebrate at the end-of-season track and field banquet. The Most Improved awards were presented to sophomore Mia Vinding for her performances in the 100- and 300-meter hurdle races and the long jump, and to junior Ricky Sanchez for eliminating 24 seconds from his best 1600-meter and 10 seconds from his best 800-meter races of the 2017 season. Most Valuable awards, for the most points scored over the course of the season, went to ninth graders Tate Beasley (40 points at Region and State) and Carson Burian (32 points at Region and State). And the Coaches' Choice awards went to senior Aiko Miller and sophomore Aksel Anderson. Aiko, along with seniors Allison Bagley, Sidney Hare, and Luke Nicoloff will be greatly missed in the years ahead, not just for the strength they offered in their chosen events, but for the exceptionally positive role they played through their leadership both on and off the track.
Winged Lion Tennis Coach, Tim Sleeper, To Retire
Long time, beloved Head Girls and Boys Tennis Coach Tim Sleeper has decided to retire, wanting to spend more time with his family.
Sleeper has been part of Winged Lion tennis since he joined the staff as an assistant coach in 1998, a role he held for five years, taking the reins as head coach in the fall of 2003. During his 20-year coaching career at Rowland Hall, Coach Sleeper has been a part of an amazing number of State and Region titles, with a total of 18 State championships (8 Girls and 10 Boys) and 21 Region titles (10 Girls and 11 Boys), while as head coach he led our team to 14 State championships (7 Girls and 7 Boys) and 17 Region titles (9 Girls and 8 Boys). Tim has also coached countless players to individual Region and State titles. Few if any Utah coaches can boast those results!
Coach Sleeper's talent as a coach has not gone unrecognized, as he was named National Federation of High Schools Utah Tennis Coach of the Year in 2010, was named West Sectional Boys Tennis Coach of the Year in 2009, and was selected in 2006 as the NFHS State Girls Tennis Coach of the Year for Utah.
His always positive, upbeat, low-key coaching style has been appreciated by his players, and his calm demeanor has helped settle many a nervous competitor, helping them to achieve much success on the court. He loves the kids and they him.
The consummate professional always, Coach Sleeper will be sorely missed—he IS Rowland Hall tennis! We wish him well and thank him for all he has done for our program and our tennis athletes. Congratulations on a stellar career, Tim!
Rowland Hall Fourth in 2018 Deseret News 2A All Sport Awards
At the end of each school year, the Deseret News names high school All Sport Award winners in each UHSAA classification. The award recognizes the top overall athletic programs in each of the six classifications, with schools earning All Sports points for placing in the top eight at State in football, cross country, golf, basketball, wrestling, swimming, baseball, track, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and softball. First place earns ten points, second place gets eight, third scores six, five for fourth, four for fifth, three for sixth, two for seventh, ad one for eighth (if teams tie for a spot, points are divided).
In Class 2A this year, the race for the All Sports title was extremely close, as the top four teams finished within five points of each other. Millard was crowned the 2A All Sport champion with 77.5 points, followed by Beaver with 77, North Summit was third with 74.5 points, and our own Winged Lions finished fourth with a 73-point total.
Our teams won four 2A titles this year, including Girls Soccer, Girls Swimming, Girls Golf, and Boys Tennis.
Congratulations to our coaching staff and to all those athletes who competed this year on this strong finish in the All Sport Award competition.
Senior Athletic Department Awards
A number of Winged Lion Seniors were recognized for their athletic accomplishments at the Senior Awards night celebration on May 31.
Jack Dischmann and Gillian Larsen, both of who were impact players in multiple sports for the past four years, earned Outstanding Senior Athlete honors. Ten athletes were awarded the Winged Lion Award for leadership in Athletics, recognizing their contributions to one or more teams during the course of their athletic career, including Allison Bagley, Jake Dreyfous, Pippa Hodgkins, Meg Janes, Caeli Kennedy, Simon Logue, Maddie Kwun, Luke Nicoloff, Youssef Salama, Zaria Thompson, and Leif Thulin. The Lee Athlete-Scholar Award recognizing combined excellence in the classroom and in the competitive arena was awarded to Katie Foley and Youssef Salama, both of who contributed much to their teams and who also earned Academic All-Region and/or Academic All-State recognition during the year.
Tatomer Named Region 17 Girls Basketball Coach of the Year
Coach Bill Tatomer, head girls basketball coach, was named by the Utah High School Girls Basketball Coaches' Association as the Region 17 Girls Basketball Coach of the Year for 2017-2018. This is the second year in a row he has received this honor, and fifth time overall. Coach Tatomer was recognized at the annual 2A vs. 1A Senior All-Star Basketball Game held at Stansbury High School in late March. Congratulations!
Shout-Out to the Booster Club
Our Athletics Booster Club is an integral and important part of Winged Lion Athletics. The leadership is all volunteer and Co-Presidents Ashley Holbrook and Erica Keil, Treasurer Karen Edgley, and Middle School liaisons Melanie Bates and Emily Smith have done a wonderful job of working together to find ways to help support our athletic program both financially and with "people power."
Parents who volunteered to serve as Booster liaisons for a spring sport team, helping not only to promote the sport but to organize other parents to provide drinks and snacks for teams and help organize end of season award celebrations included Erica Keil, Softball; Jeanne Davison, Baseball; Jessica Lindgren, Boys Soccer; Tina Bagley, Track & Field; Lee Molen-Chase, Boys Tennis; and Patty Yun, Girls Golf. Thanks to each of you for volunteering your time—it means much.
Athletics Booster Club membership is $50 a year, with those dollars helping fund special equipment needs for the Athletic Department; helping pay for end-of-season US award celebrations; funding US Pack the Bleachers and MS Fan Appreciation events; paying for championship banners; covering the cost of T-shirts each sports season for Middle School athletes; purchasing senior photos for presentation to parents at the end of the season, and helping cover other athletics department needs throughout the year. Thanks to the nearly 80 families who joined Boosters—we hope that more parents whose sons and daughters participate in our athletics program will join in 2018-19. Your support does make a huge difference to our athletics program!