An historic third-place finish at the State 2A Tournament by our boys basketball team, a runner-up State Championship trophy for our girls swim team, and a strong showing for our girls basketball team in Region play marked another successful season of ROHO Athletics! The success of our programs is anchored in the knowledgeable, passionate, caring coaches who oversee and lead these teams: Bill Tatomer, Ashlee Ostler, and Meagan Hall for Girls Basketball; Zack Alvidrez and Paulino Beach for Boys Basketball; and Amelia Wolfgramm, Cole Jackman, and Hope Feliciano for Swimming. You are truly the heart and soul of Winged Lion Athletics. Thank you for all you do, and for all you give. Congrats on a banner year!
Successful Season for Girls Basketball
By Bill Tatomer, Head Coach
The girls basketball team concluded their season at the 2A State Tournament, held at Snow College in Ephraim. Their State game capped a fantastic year with many reasons for the athletes, their parents, and the school to be proud.
Success started last spring when they played in the Olympus High School’s Spring Fling Tournament. Next, the Rowland Hall team summer camp entailed three days of practice at the Lincoln Street gym, followed by eight games at the University of Utah. These game-play opportunities fostered the development of a solid team chemistry in preparation for their 2018-2019 campaign. Momentum continued when season practice started in November, and the players never looked back.
The team had no shortage of skilled leaders. Seniors Ally Hansen and Leah Button served as captains—Leah won the Coaches’ Award in 2018, and Ally in 2019. Other strong hoopster senior leaders included Offensive Player of the Year Claire “Sandy” Sanderson, Defensive Player of the Year Kat Lanham, and standout Sam Carlisle. All seniors modeled and taught the value of teamwork this season, emphasizing the importance of commitment, respect, integrity, and selflessness. These seniors also taught the significance of working hard and placing the welfare of the team ahead of oneself. Establishing these traits early allowed positive character skills to resonate throughout the year, and character remained the foundation of the basketball program this season.
All players had accomplishments worth celebrating. The varsity team had an extremely successful pre-Region campaign with a 7-2 record, including two big wins over 3A Providence Hall and Maeser Prep Academy. The team continued with positive outcomes during Region 17 play, finishing with an outstanding 9-3 record and a Region 17 second-place finish. Equally as important, two of these Region victories were against archrival Waterford. We defended the Den in our highly anticipated blackout game, then defeated the Ravens on their home floor. This was an absolute banner year from start to finish! In addition to the varsity senior cohort, junior superstar and this year’s MVP (two-time winner) Sophie Stinnett led the team in scoring for a third straight year. She finished near the top statewide with her three-point shooting prowess. Four other girls rounded out the varsity roster, including junior dribbling sensation Chloe Coleman-Houghton, junior defensive standout Olivia Bikhazi, sophomore three-point sharpshooter Anna Jiricko, and freshman rebounding talent Micha Nenbee.
While the varsity team captivated crowds this season, the JV squad also found incredible success on the court, finishing the year with a 14-4 record. The freshmen also ruled the lip-sync contest held during the annual Lincoln Street gym overnight lock-in—both freshmen groups stole the night with their creative choreography and dancing (and incredible, yet humble, senses of humor). Thanks to JV players Grace Baranko, Kaitlyn Bates, Paris Everett, Alexandra Hodson, Enna Mustajbegovic, Ana Rodriguez, Irenka Saffarian, and Tennyson Seethaler for a great season!
Playing with confidence and an emphasis on team, this year’s squad really solidified as a hoops family on and off the court, and had a ton of fun competing together this season. They forged a lot of great memories playing and hanging out together. The future also looks bright for the program, with the return of eight talented freshman players and several student-athletes ready to take on the challenge of a varsity role next season.
The team concluded the year with an awards night hosted by Jim Carlisle and Kris Kokeny. This celebration was a wonderful way to honor all of the incredible memories made on and off the court. In addition to the aforementioned award winners, we recognized Ally Hansen, Claire Sanderson, and Sophie Stinnett as All-Region 17 players; Micha Nenbee as varsity’s most improved player; and Kaitlyn Bates as JV’s most improved player. We also announced next year’s team captains: Olivia Bikhazi, Chloe Coleman-Houghton, and Sophie Stinnett. Coaches acknowledged fantastic parent liaisons Sarah Button and Jackie Stinnett, who supported the team by selflessly giving their time all year long coordinating all aspects of team logistics. The awards night capped an unforgettable season in fantastic way: with food, fun, and more time with all of our basketball O’hana.
Thank you again, seniors, for all of your hard work, commitment, and passion for the sport and the program over the past four years. Your legacy will live on for years to come. A shoutout congrats to Claire and Ally who were named to the 2A Senior All-Star Team and competed in the 2A vs. 1A game on March 16—a wonderful and well-earned honor! And a big thank you to senior team manager Cora Lopez for all her behind-the-scenes help. Go Lady Lions!
Third-Place Boys Basketball Team Boasts Historic Season
by Zack Alvidrez, Head Coach
The boys basketball team ended their season in third place at the 2A State Tournament, their best-ever finish since moving to the 2A ranks. The hard-fought last game perfectly summed up our season, and it allowed our seniors to end their careers on a high note.
We were led this year by a solid group of five seniors who all had different ways of leading and were great examples for the rest of the team both on and off the court. I would like to thank Maya Royer, Zander Smith, Trey Provost, Nektarios Mantas, and Alex Klebingat for building the foundation for this program. We will continue growing the positive culture they helped create.
The season began last summer with weight training, agility work, tons of shooting, and open gyms. We created a competitive culture by challenging each of the boys to make 10,000 shots and by keeping track of wins in open gym. The participation was impressive and helped the boys come together and gel in a positive atmosphere. The best part of the sessions was listening to the boys as they learned to communicate, and watching as their team roles began to develop.
We broke the season down into three parts: pre-season through the winter break, Region play, and the State Tournament.
The first part of the season went as expected, with a 6-5 record and the growing pains that come with new expectations and a new system. The boys invested in the new culture early and worked hard to improve in all facets of the game. I asked them to learn many new defensive schemes and offensive philosophies. Preseason helped build optimism for the rest of the season, as we were able to push bigger schools in competitive games early on.
Region games are a whole different animal, and we had to prepare for the always-difficult holiday break. The boys did a phenomenal job of coming back from break ready to work. We finished the second section of the season 10-0 and earned another Region championship for Rowland Hall. The highlight of Region play was seeing our team defense flex its muscles every time we stepped on the floor.
The final stretch of the season was the most stressful and eventful. We earned a #1 seed heading into our first-round game at Snow College, against a tough Gunnison Valley team. It was a hard-fought contest with neither team backing down. We found ourselves in a timeout huddle with possession of the ball, 10 seconds left, and a 60-60 tie. Facing elimination and with our season on the line, senior Trey Provost came through in the clutch and buried a mid-range pull-up jump shot as time expired. The ensuing pandemonium was well earned as we found ourselves heading into the quarterfinals against the defending 2A State Champions, the Beaver Beavers.
The game versus Beaver was another physical, tooth-and-nail battle. The Beavers were well coached and prepared for everything we threw at them. They slowed down the pace and dictated the style of the game. However, we were able to execute enough times down the stretch and secure a 40-37 win with free throws, punching our ticket into the semifinals against preseason favorites Layton Christian Academy. We found ourselves on the wrong side of the 76-59 score in that game and moved on to play against Kanab the next day.
This game for third place started as expected after playing three games in three days. The boys battled back from a 13-point deficit by halftime, and it was all Rowland Hall in the second half as we went on to claim victory, 66-58. This game will always be remembered for the huge offensive game we saw from senior Zander Smith and the absolutely devastating full-court press and suffocating defense of junior Boston Ballard, junior Isaiah Adams, senior Maya Royer, and sophomore Galib Ibrahima.
We finished the season with a record of 19-6, an undefeated Region championship, and a third-place showing at the State Tournament—all amazing accomplishments that we're very proud of. Isaiah Adams, Boston Ballard, Trey Provost, and junior Oscar Percy earned All-Region honors. Deseret News All-State honorees included Isaiah Adams (first team), Trey Provost (third team), Boston Ballard (honorable mention), and Oscar Percy (honorable mention). In addition, Provost, Ballard, and Zander Smith were invited to participate in the Monroe Lions sponsored 2A All-Star game.
Thank you again to our five seniors and their teammates, Isaiah Adams, George Adondakis, Sam Andrew, Boston Ballard, Briggs Ballard, Sam Fouche, Giorgio Gianoulis, Augustus Hickman, Isaac Holbrook, Ben Houden, Connor Hughes-Bellen, Galib Ibrahima, Christian McCartney, Andy Merrill, Lorenzo Parker-Pillow, Gus Percy, Oscar Percy, Gosha Polishchuk, Ozzie Smith, and Alex Tokita for a wonderful season. Many thanks, also, to our faculty, the operations staff, administration, and parents for helping make this season successful!
A shoutout to those who earned awards presented at our end-of-season team celebration, including MVP Isaiah Adams, Most Improved Player Oscar Percy, Coaches’ Award recipient Zander Smith, Impact Player of the Year Trey Provost, Leadership Award winner Maya Royer, and Defensive Player of the Year Boston Ballard.
Swim Team Finishes Strong
by Amelia Wolfgramm, Head Coach
It was another very successful season for the Rowland Hall swim team. The girls team captured their second-consecutive Region title and went on to earn a second-place finish at the State 3A Meet, a mere one point behind first-place Carbon High! The boys team finished in 11th place at State, an amazing feat for a meet squad of only four swimmers!
Assistant coaches Cole Jackman and Hope Feliciano and I watched in awe at the progress of the team as a whole this season. The team grew to 27 athletes this year, all of whom showed exemplary leadership, work ethic, and dedication to the sport. Led by captains Mia Chamberlain, Grace Macintyre, Ali Puri, Connor Johansson, and Lucas Erickson, the Winged Lions swam their way to successful results.
During the Region Meet at South Summit Aquatic Center, our girls scored 443 points—88 points ahead of second-place Judge Memorial. Finishers in the top six at Region included Alison Puri (first in 50 Free, fourth in 200 Free); Grace Smith (first in 200 IM and 100 Breast); Ella Vitek (first in 100 Free and 100 Back); Katie Moore (sixth in 100 Fly and 100 Back); Charlotte Orford (fifth in 200 IM and 100 Breast); and Isabelle Louis (third in 50 Free). The 200 Medley Relay team of Katie Moore, Samantha Lehman, Olivia Milavetz, and Isabelle Louis placed third; and the 200 Free Relay team of Ella Vitek, Grace Smith, Isabelle Louis, and Alison Puri placed first, as did the 400 Free Relay team of Puri, Moore, Smith, and Vitek.
At Region, our boys team finished sixth. Top-six finishers in their events included Lucas Erickson (second in 50 and 100 Free) and Matthew Goh (fifth in 200 IM and 100 Breast). The 400 Free Relay team of Erickson, Goh, Daniel McNally, and Connor Johansson placed third. The boys and girls combined score gave us an overall third-place finish at Region.
State Meet notable performances included four of our boys team members swimming personal best times. Junior captain Lucas Erickson won two medals by taking fifth in both the 50 Free and 100 free. Sophomore Matthew Goh placed 11th in the 200 IM and 13th in the 100 Breast. Both the 200 and 400 Free Relays, consisting of junior Lucas Erickson, senior Connor Johansson, sophomore Matthew Goh, and freshman Daniel McNally, finished sixth.
Nine members of our girls team competed at State: junior Ella Bagley, senior Mia Chamberlain, freshman Samantha Lehman, freshman Isabelle Louis, sophomore Katie Moore, junior Charlotte Orford, senior Alison Puri, sophomore Grace Smith, and junior Ella Vitek. We had an excellent mix of achievements: personal-best times, an individual state champion in two events, and first-place finishes in two relay races!
Grace Smith swam to state titles in both the 200 IM and the 100 Breast; Ella Vitek took second in both the 50 Free and 100 Back; Alison Puri placed fifth in the 100 and 200 Free; Mia Chamberlain was 14th in the 500 Free; Samantha Lehman took 12th in the 100 Fly; Isabelle Louis placed 10th in the 50 Free and 7th in the 100 Free; Katie Moore finished eighth in the 100 Fly and ninth in the 100 Back; and Charlotte Orford took ninth in the 100 Breast. The girls also finished as State Champions in the 200 and 400 Free Relay races, swam by Ali Puri, Isabelle Louis, Ella Vitek, and Grace Smith.
A thank you to all of the swimmers who went to State as well as teammates Caroline Applegate, Cate Christiansen, Sasha Diamandis, Maddy Eatchel, Ava Erickson, Jaden Jensen, Alex Kahler, Grayson King, Grace Macintyre, Patrick McNally, Olivia Milavetz, Max Murphy, Cambrin Taylor, and Sarah Wahlen—it was an amazing season with you all!
Congratulations to those who were honored at our team awards celebration, including Most Valuable Swimmers Grace Smith and Lucas Erickson; Coaches’ Award recipients Isabelle Louis and Matthew Goh; and Most Improved Swimmers Grayson King and Daniel McNally.
Way to go, “Finned” Lions!
Girls Basketball Players and Program Receive Academic Honors
Three of our Winged Lion girls basketball team players were named to this year’s Region 17 Academic All-Region Team. Congratulations to Leah Button, Sam Carlisle, and Kat Lanham on receiving this prestigious honor.
These three led the way for our Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators’ Association (UIAAA) designation as the 2A Girls Varsity Basketball Team with the Top GPA. We had a team average GPA of 3.96—the highest of any high school classification in the state! The UIAAA recognized the Winged Lions at halftime of the State 2A championship game, held at Weber State University. Congratulations!
Postseason Basketball Honors for Winged Lions
Several Winged Lion basketball players on both the boys and girls teams have received postseason honors.
Senior Trey Provost was named to the Deseret News 2A All-Tournament Team following an outstanding performance at the State Tournament; the Deseret News All-State Third Team; and the All-Region Team. He was also tapped to participate in the Monroe Lions Club 2A All-Star game.
Junior Isaiah Adams earned All-Region Team status, and radio station 1280 The Zone named him player of the week for his outstanding performance at the State Tournament. Deseret News also named him to their All-State First Team.
Senior Zander Smith and junior Boston Ballard were selected to the 2A All-Star Team and invited to play in the Monroe Lions Club All-Star games on March 9. In addition, Boston Ballard was named to the All-Region 17 Team, and the Deseret News Honorable Mention All-State squad. Junior Oscar Percy was also named to the All-Region 17 Team and the Deseret News Honorable Mention All-State squad.
Three players on our girls team were named All-Region, including senior Claire Sanderson, senior Ally Hansen, and junior Sophie Stinnett. Sanderson and Hansen were also selected to participate in the 1A vs. 2A Senior All-Star game held March 16 at Stansbury High School.
Congratulations to all of these student-athletes—you represented yourself and our school community with class!
Winged Lion Soccer Coaches Honored
Both of our head soccer coaches were recently recognized as the Coach of the Year by different organizations.
Boys Head Coach Scott Langone was named the 2017-2018 Utah Coach of the Year for Boys Soccer by the Utah High School Activities Association in conjunction with the National Federation of State High School Associations. This comes on the heels of Coach Langone being named the 2017-2018 Utah High School Boys Soccer Coach of the Year for Private/Parochial Schools. Scott led our boys team to a Region title last spring and to a second-place finish at the State 2A Tournament.
Girls Head Coach Bobby Kennedy was recently selected by the United Soccer Coaches organization as the 2018 Utah High School Girls Soccer Coach of the Year for Private/Parochial Schools, the second-consecutive year he’s been so honored. Coach Kennedy led our girls team to a Region title this season and followed that with a second-consecutive State 2A championship.
Congratulations, Scott and Bobby!
Thanks to Booster Club Parent Liaisons
Upper School Athletics would like to give a shoutout to those who volunteered as Booster Club parent liaisons for our winter teams. A huge thank you to Ashley Holbrook for boys basketball; Sarah Button and Jackie Stinnett for girls basketball; and Gwen Creel-Erickson for swimming. They put endless time and energy into communicating with other parents, scheduling ticket/concession table volunteers (basketball), covering snacks and drinks for teams, and making arrangements for end-of-season awards celebrations. Your help is invaluable, and we could not function at full steam without you. Many thanks!
A heartfelt thank you to all parents of our winter athletes—your willingness to help as needed is truly appreciated.