By Ava Lee ’21
Winter sports at The Gunnery are a very exciting time of the year. There are different levels of hockey and basketball offered, and a co-ed ski team. This year, there were a total of ten sports teams during The Gunnery’s 2019-2020 winter term. These ten teams do not include x-term, mind and body, art, robotics, or the musical; which many students do instead of a sports team. All of the co-curricular groups on campus worked hard during winter term.
Boys Varsity Basketball
Boys Varsity Basketball fought hard all season against their opponents. Led by coaches Dr. Konik and Mr. Swenson, the boys played many close games, including a home game against Sailsbury, in which they lost by only one point, 56-57. Many students came to these close home games; the crowd was always excited. Some of the teams highlights were a 80-67 win over Hamden Hall Country Day and a 58-57 win over Millbrook.
Boys JV Basketball
Boys JV Basketball faced a tough season but turned it all around with their first win in two consecutive seasons. They had a great win over Sailsbury, it was a very close and low scoring game but it got the entire Gunnery community very excited. After an announcement at a school meeting, many students on campus were ready to show their school spirit at the teams home game. When they won their game, the crowd went wild. After an intense game and overtime, the final score was 34-33. Everyone was excited to see the team finally win a game. Other than that, the team continued to practice and get better every practice.
Mr. Cantlay and Mr. Perkins are coaches of the Boys JV Basketball team. When asked about the season, Mr. Perkins said “The players grew as athletes and gained a better sense of what it means to compete at this level, as opposed to playing a pick up game at open gym on a Sunday afternoon. The team also grew closer and a lot of players who might not have met otherwise became friends. Our greatest strength was our senior leadership. Jason Searles and Nathaniel Ince did a great job of keeping everyone focused every day while still having fun and hitting some important shots for us in games. Henry Hoyt and Garrett Argentino raised the expectations for effort and intensity on the court and led by example doing the less glamorous jobs of playing great defense and getting rebounds.”
Mr. Cantlay wrapped up the season in just a few words, “We won a game!”
Boys Thirds Basketball
Boys Thirds Basketball won three hard fought games throughout their season. The team was mostly underclassmen, but there were some seniors and juniors. The three games they won were against Forman, the boys pushed themselves for the wins. On their senior day, Mathes Payne ‘20 scored 24 points; 24 is also his jersey number. This was very exciting and emotional for the whole team.
Girls Varsity Basketball
Led by their talented seniors, Girls Varsity Basketball had a victorious season winning many difficult games. Every game the girls played was both high scoring and exciting to watch. A mixture of young and old talent on the team resulted in so many wins. The seven seniors continuously push the team to play their best. They taught the lower classman how to be a part of the supportive team. Some of the most exciting games were a 54-40 win against Canterbury, a 41-38 win against Kent. The team made the playoffs and the first game was at The Gunnery. The girls won their first playoff game against Montrose. They played a second well fought game against Vermont Academy, but unfortunately lost. Everyone is proud of the girls for maintaining the best record out of any other winter sports team in the 2020 season.
The girls are coached by Ms. Rucsz and Ms. Paulekas. Ms. Paulekas was very proud of the season. Reflecting on the season, she said: “Overall the season was awesome. The team has worked hard from day one in November and have found a lot of success along the way. The first round tournament win was definitely special. The girls played their best start to finish game. The crowd brought the energy the whole time! The gym was so loud. As a team they have grown a great deal in the versatility of their game. They adjust well based on their opponent and being able to play hard and strong against any team has led to their success.”
Girls JV Basketball
Girls JV Basketball played hard all season and won the majority of their games. Around campus, the team is thought of as a very talented team but also one of the most fun to be a part of. The returning players make every practice and game exciting. The successful season they had was helped by the amount of girls on the team. Unlike any other year, lots of girls tried out for the team. This helped the girls maintain a winning season. Some of the most successful games were against Canterbury and Westover. Mrs. Gritti and Mr. Doody coach the team. When asked about how their season was going, Mrs Gritti said, “We ended up fielding a solid team of girls with a wide range of experience varying from Miranda Smith who provides leadership as our only four year member of our team to our two freshmen players, Ashleen and Maeren Hay, who provided immediate impact at point guard.”
Coed Varsity Ski Team
The Varsity Ski Team changed a lot since last year and made many improvements. They practice and compete off campus so they are not always seen, but they always work hard. This season, they competed in many races at which they got great results. They competed in the Brigham Ski League, where they raced in Slalom and Giant Slalom races. Some of the teams they compete against are Berkshire, Taft, Suffield, Salisbury, Loomis Chafee and Forman. They saw really great results, getting 2nd place in two races. They came in as the underdog in these events as a class C group competing against mostly class A and B groups. The team has three captains, Sean Christansen ‘21, Ella McKhann ‘21, and Henry Barthelemy ‘21. All of the captains have helped the team become more well known on campus.
Mr. Arkin and Mr. McKhann coach the team. Mr. McKhann says: “Everyone on the team worked really hard and made great progress during the season and it was a fun, tight-knit group.”
Boys Varsity Hockey
The boys’ varsity hockey team had really impressive wins over many tough teams as well as a fun season. Their season was exciting for the whole school because they won the New England Championships! The final game was against Pomfret. The final score of the game was 5-3; it was intense and emotional for the whole team. Other than that, the team played many high scoring games, some of these games were a 5-0 win against Phillips Exeter, a 7-1 win against Canterbury, and an 8-2 win against Brunswick.
Mr. Badger, one of the team’s coaches, discusses his thoughts on the season; “The team’s season has been solid as we have qualified for the small school tournament. The results were a bit all over the place; our team is super talented but we often struggled to find consistency. As always, we are hopeful that the experiences they had this year will make them better both on and off the ice moving forward.”
Boys JV Hockey
The Boys JV Hockey team worked all season to learn how they play best together, they became closer and started playing as a strong team by the end of the season. Some of their most exciting games were the ones where they came back in the final seconds. In their games against Kent and Brunswick the team scored in the final seconds to flip the score. The team also scored two points in the Gunnery-Canterbury Cup. The team is coached by Mr. Marich and Mr. Cox.
When asked about how the teams season was successful, Mr. Cox stated: “The team has been most successful in playing as one unit. Even when we were losing in games, the guys kept battling and stuck together. We didn’t have a lot of depth this year, but we were difficult for teams to play against because of how we played together and didn’t give up. I was pleased with how guys were able to step up when we got hit by injuries and illnesses. We were definitely a team that worked hard to have fun and had fun working hard.”
Mr. Marich also explained what he thought of the season by saying: “We always measure the success of a team, not by the wins and losses, but if we got better from the last day to the first day. This was definitely the case with this team. They really came together as a unit and we became a better team because of their work and dedication to each other.”
Girls Varsity Hockey
Led by their four captains, Grace Genest ‘20, Savannah Popick ‘20, Sofia Patillo ‘20, and Corinne Boulding ‘20 the girls’ varsity hockey team had a successful season, beating their last season’s record. The team had many new players that contributed to the team and grew throughout the season. Their coaches, Ms. Goldsmith and Mr. Balben, led them through challenging games against challenging teams such as Kent, Berkshire, and Westminster. The team also had many successful games including one against Canterbury, who they beat 4-1.
When asked about the season, Corinne Bolding “20 said, “We had a great season with a lot of close games. We struggled getting pucks in the net, but always trusted the process and learned a lot from the season. The most fun game of the year was beating Vermont Academy 5-3 in the Whale hockey rink at Yale.”
Highlander Hockey is a team on campus that everyone loves to watch. Despite not playing very many games, the team continues to improve every year with new additions. They played five games, losing them all, but kept up a great presence on campus. The team chemistry keeps them together. The team has dance parties during practice to keep the energy up. The team is coached by Mr. McMann and has four captains, Catie Stamman ‘20, Gwen Brown ‘20, Kelly Hill ‘20, and Alexa Lugo ‘20. Kelly Hill was unable to get a point for the team, but she did get a penalty; this was a goal for her since her sophomore year. The team definitely experienced some hardships.
Captain, Kelly Hill ‘20, said, “We played some tough games and some teams that were pretty good but everyone improved over the season. There were a lot of kids that came in and did not know how to skate and then they improved by the end of the season. After three seasons of highlander hockey I am very sad to leave it behind.”