Alex Cho ‘23, Matthew Taverez ‘22, and Josh Terris ‘22
The fall 2021 athletic season will be remembered for one thing: the return of interscholastic athletic competitions after COVID. At the outset, some athletes had never competed in a Blue Storm uniform. The season brought thrilling contests, painful losses, and moments to remember and celebrate.
Mercersburg football finished its season with a 7-1 record, going on to win the Keystone State Football League championship against Perkiomen School. Captain Chris Jetter ‘22 said, “I think the season was great. It was the culmination of all of the team’s hard work and as a result, we won the championship.” The highlight of the season was, clearly, the nail-biting championship game, which concluded with an overtime, game-winning interception by Griffin Lange ‘22. However, not all of the games against Perkiomen went quite as well. The low moment of the season came with the second game against Perkiomen, which Mercersburg lost after the starting quarterback, Luke Golumbic, suffered an injury. Andy Brown, head coach, ended the season by leaving the athletes with his perennial motto: “Make this season’s ceiling the next year’s floor.”
The Mercersburg field hockey team closed out its season with an historic win against Forbes Road, bringing the record up to 6-6. The team, composed partly of beginners to the sport, improved greatly throughout the season. Captain Kelly Powell ‘22 believes the turnaround moment occurred during the 2-0 loss to Lawrenceville in the middle of the season. “Even though we did not win that game, we still played fantastic. I think that was the day where we really clicked as a team, not only socially but on the field, and everything came together. We were a different team after that game.” Powell believes the bonds on the field hockey team are incredibly strong, even going on to proclaim that field hockey is “the closest team on campus.”
Girls’ soccer had a stunning run this fall. Kristen Pixler, head coach, said, “The season was a whirlwind and a real roller coaster. If you look at the scores of our games we either won big or we lost big.” Peyton Gesell ‘22, captain, said, “The season overall was really fun. I loved the team this year and we worked well together.” According to Gesell, the highlight of the season came with a hat trick by Cate Vickery ‘22. “It was so fun to see a teammate perform so well.” However, the squad ended its season with a tough loss against The Hill School, which came after a slew of injuries and widespread exhaustion. Looking forward, Pixler said, “I want to bring some stability to our defensive play and build confidence going into high stakes games.”
The girls’ cross country team notably finished third at the MAPL meet. Betsy Cunningham, head coach, said, “This year we really focused on trying several different racing strategies which allowed the girls time to practice our MAPL strategy. I think it went really well and I will certainly do it again next year. Each year brings a new sense of excitement when we start in August.” Captain Maddie Schermerhorn ‘22 said, “The season was great: we really bonded as a group. Everyone got so much better as time went on, and I’m really proud of their progression.” Schermerhorn identified the Paul Short Run in early October as a key bonding experience. “Paul Short was my absolute favorite meet ever and it was a lot of fun having an overnight meet with the top 7 people.” For seniors like Schermerhorn, the only low point of the season was its end.
The boys’ cross country team had a solid season this fall. Though plagued by injury for a large part of the season, the boys on the team worked passionately and tirelessly every practice. The addition of Rich Heffron to the coaching staff placed the team under the auspices of a decorated runner, coaching the runners to new bests. The Kiski meet brought an especially strong showing from the team, which won the meet by a landslide. In contrast, the MAPL meet was underwhelming; coming out of Long Fall Weekend, the team was not able to perform to its full potential. The team came in 4th and 10th place in MAPL and PAISAA meets respectively and went 3-0 in other dual meets. While 4 of the top 8 boys will graduate at the end of this year, the underclassmen possess a strong passion and an inclination for hard work. “We have a core group of younger runners who made good progress this season. If they train over the summer, we are hoping for a stronger showing in the MAPL and PAISAA meets,” said head coach David Grady.
With the departure of previous head coach, Eric Hicks, the girls tennis team started fresh with a new coach, Mike Sweeney. He said, “I coached the girls’ tennis team from 2004 to 2018, so, while this wasn’t a new job for me, it was new for the girls to have someone else in charge. But, we were able to move ahead together.” Izzy Jones ‘22, captain, said, “We ended up with a winning record and had a lot of fun during the season, on and off the court.” A highlight of the season came with a 7-0 win against Madeira, easily clinching a point for the M Cup. Nevertheless, the team experienced some painfully close losses to Bullis School and The Hun School of Princeton. “The addition of ninth grader Hisano Enomoto as our #1 player helped tremendously, allowing the rest of the returning players to settle into roles that didn’t require a major step up in terms of competitiveness,” said Sweeney. “Isabel Su, Day Kim, Camille Smith, Izzy Jones, and Sam Jacobs made up the core of a varsity squad that got better and better throughout the season.” The team finished the season with a 6-5 record and picked up two MAPL victories.
Referred to as the most underrated team on campus, Blue Storm golf broke the school record at the IPSL championships and placed second in both the Keystone cup and the PAISSA state championship. Kenneth Yonke ‘22, captain, said, “The season was amazing: overall, everyone was determined and wanted to see how far we could go.” The team won against The Kiski School for the first time this year, but still suffered a tough loss against The Hill School during the Keystone cup. Yonke is optimistic about the future of the golf team and “looking forward to a very successful spring season.” The team finished the season with a 26-2 record As head coach Doug Smith said, “I view this as the halfway point, we have another season to grow and mature.”
After a slow start, the volleyball team exploded, finishing the season with a 8-6 record and winning the last three contests. The athletes agreed that the highlight of their season was beating Saint James School in 5 sets on the road and then beating them again in the IPSL Cup championship game 3-1. The season, however, was not just full of winning – the team had to endure losses as well. Head coach Erin Caretti said, “Trials this season were many, including an in season coaching change, where I was promoted to head coach. It was an adjustment for the team, but the players did a great job rallying and supporting me in this new role.” Nicole Treml ‘22 said, “I hope the team carries on the same team culture and they continue to build off of our success. I am really happy with how it ended.”
Boys soccer had a very rocky season. Peter Kallin, head coach, said, “We had a tough schedule to start off the season playing highly ranked teams.” But he also added that they were able to “string together a run of good games but also lost some close matches.” Captain Foday Bangura ‘22 said, “The season was very unique this year. The squad had people of different levels but we all came together as a whole and had great attitudes and worked very hard. I’m proud of all the guys, especially the younger kids facing adversity.” Bangura continued, “My highlight of the season was definitely watching star boy Miles Maggioncalda ‘23 score 5 goals.” Kallin said, “It was nice to have a season under our belt with actual games, as last year we were not able to play.” The team finished the season with a 5-10 record and hopes to see improvement next year.