16 days ago
At first glance, you’d swear the Deerfield Academy boys lacrosse team had chalked up another typical season for itself this spring.
The Big Green won 16 of 17 games, “which tied our record for the most wins in a season,” said coach Chip Davis, who is well aware of the win column. His clubs have registered 17 consecutive winning seasons and have amassed a 161-14 record since the turn of the century.
Plus, the three dot com sites that peruse the prep school/high school scene all had the Big Green ranked among the top 10 teams in the country once again when the season closed up shop.
What separates this season from seven of the past eight flings through the spring is that Deerfield failed to grab at least a share of the Western New England Division I title. The Big Green’s lone setback, a 9-6 loss to Salisbury School, enabled the Crimson Knights to finish their league play undefeated. The single loss marked the first time that one miscue had resulted in Deerfield finishing second.
“We usually get a little help from our friends … but this year we didn’t,” said Davis, alluding to the fact that no other league member was able to pin a loss on Salisbury.
“The last time we finished second in the league was in 2006,” said Davis, whose clubs have won the league title outright in 2002 and 2007 – via undefeated seasons – and shared the crown in 2003,’04, ’05, ’08 and ’09, “and we had three losses that year.”
Overall, the Big Green proved to be a frequent visitor to the medals podium this spring. Deerfield’s golf team, which registered a 19-5-1 regular-season record, heard its name called first to “come on down” and pick up its hardware as it captured its third Kingswood Oxford Tournament title in the past five years.
Silver medals were in abundance. Boys tennis went 12-1 before placing second in the New England Class A Tournament, while girls water polo (12-7 overall and 11-4 in league play) finished second in its New England tourney. Cycling, meanwhile, rang up three firsts, a second and a third-place finish during the regular season to place second out of 19 teams in the final points standings.
A bronze medal was handed out to boys crew at the New England Rowing Association Regatta, as the Big Green’s No. 1 boat finished third to medal for the first time since 2005. Its No. 2 boat, meanwhile, placed second. Girls tennis overcame an injury-plagued regular season with a 10-3 record and then wound up third in the deVilla Franca Tournament.
Girls crew finished fourth in its regatta competition as it just missed out on a spot on the podium, finishing one point behind bronze medalist Buckingham, Brown and Nichols. It’s No. 2 boat proved to be the flagship for the Deerfield flotilla, as it capped off a 9-0 season with a New England crown. That blue-ribbon crew consisted of Taylor Kniffin (’10), Ellie Parker (’11), Claire Hutchins (’12), Lindsey Shea (’11) and Elizabeth Wood (’10)
The boys and girls teams placed seventh and 11th respectively at the New England Track and Field Championships, while Big Green baseball finished off a 9-11 season on a winning note by capturing the Walker Tournament at Choate. Girls lacrosse ended up at 7-7, while softball finished at 2-9. It doesn’t get much better than 16-1 – unless somebody else finishes at 17-0.
A near-perfect season wasn’t quite good enough to allow the Deerfield Academy boys lacrosse team to grab at least a share of its eighth Western New England Division I crown in the past nine years.
Deerfield saw its title hopes and its undefeated season take a nose dive with just 10 days remaining in the season when Salisbury School handed the Big Green a 9-6 setback. From there, the Knights would go on to win their remaining two games, as would Deerfield, “but we just didn’t get any help from our friends,” said Coach Chip Davis, in reference to no other league team being able to knock off the Knights.
“It’s hard to put into words,” said Davis, when asked to describe the past season … a season that ran the gamut from exhilaration to frustration.
It was a frustrating campaign for the Big Green because it tied a school record for the most wins in a season, yet finished second in the standings. It was frustrating because Salisbury won three one-goal games this spring, causing one to wonder, what if the Knights had lost just one of them. It was frustrating because this band of brothers endured some key injuries this season, but hung together and overcame them.
It was an exhilarating season because, as Davis noted, “the kids had a tremendous work ethic … had a good team chemistry … enjoyed playing with each other … and they never tired of the season.”
It would seem as though their opponents would have tired of the season rather quickly, however, after the Big Green got through with them. Deerfield outscored the opposition by a 226-82 margin – an average victory bulge of 13-4. While the offense reached double figures in all but three games, not one opponent hit double figures on this vaunted Deerfield defense.
“Once again, the defense was the signature of the team,” said Davis of a unit that has not allowed a team to score 10 or more goals on it in 63 games.
Goaltender Peter Reiley (’10) was the ringleader of this stingy crew, as he started between the pipes the past two years and finished his stint with a 31-2 record.
“In fact, I think Peter saved his best for last,” said Davis of the Colby-bound goalie. “It proved to be the last save he’d make for Deerfield. He stopped a point-blank shot in the final minute of the final game of the season to preserve a 7-6 win over Navy Prep.”
Reiley would be the first to admit that he had plenty of help out in front of him, however. And that assistance was supplied by a fearsome foursome who are all headed off to play college ball on the Division I level.
John Rose, a long-stick midfielder, who earned All-American and all-league honors, is bound for Harvard, while defensemen Harley Brown and John Zurlo are Denver bound, while Derek Katchis will be playing at Colgate next year. Both Rose and Zurlo were nominated to play in the Senior East-West All-Star Game as well.
“They’re just a tremendous group of athletes who were consistently able to shut down opposing teams,” said Davis. “And as a coach, you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
Davis couldn’t have asked much more of his offense, either, as it roughed up opposing goalies for 15 or more goals on eight occasions.
Christian Walsh (’10) was the Big Green’s top gun this spring, posting 82 points on 48 goals and 34 assists.
Walsh, who will help Duke defend its NCAA Division I title next spring won this year’s Stew Lindsay Award as the league’s outstanding attackman. The presentation gives the Big Green three winners in the past four year – and places Walsh in pretty good company.
Bill Bitter (’07) and Rob Pannell (’08) won the award for their exploits at Deerfield and have gone on to enjoy outstanding collegiate careers. Bitter, who is attending the University of North Carolina, was named the ACC Player of the Year this spring, while Pannell, who plays at Cornell, was named the Ivy League’s outstanding player.
Walsh also earned All-League honors, along with long-stick midfielder Bob Osgood (’11) and midfielder Steve Chmil (’10).
Ian Ardrey (’12) was the team’s No. 2 scorer with 45 points on 39 goals and six assists. Jim Bitter (’11) meanwhile, missed six games with a broken thumb and played the last half of the season with a pin in it, still finished with 30 points on 17 goals and 13 assists. Chmil led the midfielders in scoring with a 30-point effort. Sean Connors (’12) meanwhile, finished with 28 points while Peter Sullivan (’10) was “one of the premier face-off men in the league,” said Davis.
Walsh won the team’s Rhodes Cup, while Jackson Logie (’10) was the recipient of the Benjamin C. Haviland Trophy. Next year’s co-captains will be Bitter and Will Swindell (’11).
It took a while, but the Deerfield Academy golf team finally figured out its lucky charm – even-numbered years.
The Big Green has captured three of the past five Kingswood-Oxford Tournaments, and guess which ones they were? You got it, 2006, 2008 and … 2010. And if you so wish, you can toss the 2000 championship on the title pile as well, which gives this program four crowns since the turn of the century.
“Now, we’ve just got to start working on those odd-numbered years,” quipped Nick Albertson, the Big Green golf mentor.
Any progress Deerfield should make on that 2011 calendar will be done so, minus the biggest club in its bag.
Charlie von Arentschildt (’10) had left the locker room and he ain’t coming back. But while he was here, “he was one of the very best golfers we’ve ever had at Deerfield … and we’ve had some darn good ones,” said Albertson.
Von Arentschildt ended his illustrious career at Deerfield the exact same way he began it – with a second-place finish in the Kingswood tourney. And, he did so with identical scores – 74.
“Charlie had an outstanding four-year career here,” said Albertson of von Arentschildt, who is taking his clubs to Georgetown, which won the Big East title this spring.
Von Arentschildt concluded his season with the lowest match play average with a 36.43 showing. He also posted the most sub-par rounds with four.
“But Charlie wasn’t just an outstanding golfer,” said Albertson. “He was an outstanding captain as well. He always took the younger kids under his wing and showed them how to improve their game.”
And for those two reasons, von Arentschildt was named recipient of the Daley Cup for the second consecutive year, “and that’s the first time a Deerfield golfer has ever won that award twice,” explained Albertson.
With von Arentschildt leading the way down the fairway and onto the greens, the Big Green posted a 19-5-1 record during the regular season.
So, come Kingswood time Deerfield was well into the swing of things and ready to rebound from the middle-of-the-pack showing it produced last year. And it did.
“It’s a tough format,” said Albertson of the tourney. “You play five players and you count all five scores. There’s no discarding your highest score, so that means everybody’s got to be on their game.”
And so, the Fab Five got on the same page and put together some of their best golf of the season to finish atop the medals podium.
As usual, von Arentschildt led the charge by finishing fourth with a 74, but just one stroke off the pace of the tourney’s three medalists.
Izzy Marley (’11), Deerfield’s No. 3 golfer, finished the tourney with a 76, while No. 2 James Park (’13) carded a 79. No. 4 man Pat Hilbert (’11) and No. 5 Dave Buoymaster (’13) both ended up at 83.
Deerfield’s team stroke total for the tourney was 395, while Choate finished second, just three swings back at 398.
“The sweet thing about that score was that not only did we win with it, but we also beat Choate by three strokes,” said Albertson. “Just two weeks before the tourney, Choate had beaten us by six strokes, (204-198).”
Marley – who will serve as one of the Big Green co-captains next year along with Hilbert – is a member of the Jamaican Women’s National Team and had quite a year for herself, as well. During the Kingswood tourney, a showcase that consisted of 110 golfers, she finished in the top 10. Marley, who won the New England Girls Tournament as a sophomore, fell short in her bid to defend the title this spring, finishing second among a field of 71 golfers.
Deerfield’s long and winding road to what would have been its third New England Class A championship, had one curve too many on it.
The Green Machine put the pedal to the metal this spring and never glanced even once in its rear-view mirror. There was no need to, with a 12-1 regular season mark, it would have seen no one closing in on them, all it would have seen were victims strewn along the roadside. In fact, with the exception of one speed bump over its two-month journey, the Big Green remained in cruise control all the way to the Class A finals.
That’s where Hotchkiss, the squad that pinned both losses on a Deerfield team that would finish the spring with an overall showing of 14-2, let the air out of the Green Machine’s tires with a 4-3 win in the title tilt.
“I’m really proud of the kids,” said coach Jay Morsman, and it wasn’t just because his charges provided Deerfield with its best finish in the past four years. “Just 10 days before the tournament, that same Hotchkiss team handed us our only setback of the regular season … and they beat us convincingly,” said Morsman of a 7-0 setback.
“And to think that these kids could come back so quickly, take on that same team in the tourney finals and nearly beat them, it says a lot about their character … their heart … their work ethic … their athletic ability.”
Furthermore, this year’s edition of Big Green boys tennis had very little experience with close contests. For example, its 14-2 record consisted of nine 7-0 shutouts, while it won two other matches by 6-1 counts and another by a 5-2 margin. Only a 4-3 win over Loomis caused any nail nibbling.
For the third straight year, Andrew Siderides (’10) was Deerfield No. 1 guy in singles and for the second consecutive season, his level of play earned him the James L. Ford Deerfield tennis Trophy.
George Wheatley (’11), Siderides’ partner on Deerfield’s No. 1 doubles team, was the No. 2 guy in the singles lineup, while Alex Ward (’11) was No. 3 and Kyle Wieczorek (’10) No. 4. Robert Long (’11) and Ilya Kovalenko (’10) rounded things out in the fifth and sixth slots respectively.
The remainder of the doubles combinations saw Wieczorek, who won the Holton Sayce Memorial Award for the second straight year, and Ward make up the second unit, while Long and Kovalenko were listed at No. 3.
And there should be more winning tennis to come for the Big Green. Although Morsman is losing Siderides, Wieczorek and Kovalenko, that marks the end of the graduation woes. The veteran mentor has six lettermen returning to the fold, including three starters. He will also have the best of the best of an undefeated JV team to choose from, as well as “a couple of outstanding freshmen who are come to Deerfield in the fall.”
The Deerfield Academy girls water polo team continues to climb the ladder of success and the steps of the medals podium.
Last spring, these Gals in Green wound up hoisting a bronze medal as they drip dried following their third-place finish at the New England Prep School Water polo Tournament. This spring, they hoisted a silver medal.
The Big Green, which posted an 11-4 record in league play during the regular season and a 12-7 showing overall. Played what coach Mark Scandling would describe as “its best game of the season,” during an 8-6 semifinal round victory over Exeter.
In the finals, “we played well against Choate for the first half and trailed at halftime by a score of 6-3,” said Scandling.
“But,” added the veteran skipper, “I think physical and emotional fatigue took their toll in the second half and the game slipped away from us,” as Choate swam to the gold medal with a 15-3 decision.
The Big Green, which entered postseason play tied with Exeter for second spot in the league standings, tallied three goals in the final four minutes of play to seal a spot in the finals.
Of the four league losses Deerfield sustained during the regular season, its two Final Four opponents owned three of them.
Choate owned a pair, downing Deerfield, 12-4, and 5-4. Gusty Clark (’10), who was the Big Green’s leading scorer this season and earned a berth on the All-New England squad, tallied four goals during the regular season against Choate. Both Liza Bragg (’13) and Kirsten Vaughan (’10) posted two goals each against the eventual champs. At the other end of the pool, meanwhile, goalie Caroline Dickey (’10) turned away 18 shots during the two games.
During the 10-9 victory over Exeter, Clark, who also received the Coaches’ Award, tallied eight goals, while Julia Pielock (’10), who also earned All-New England laurels, tallied a pair of goals. Dickey finished with a dozen saves.
“I’m proud of the way the girls rebounded from a midseason slump to rediscover their desire and commitment to being at their best when the stakes were at their highest,” said Scandling. “Our 10 seniors certainly worked hard to help the team stand together.”
Despite losing 10 seniors to graduation, the program’s future looks bright. Scandling still has some experience to build around in the spring. Heading up that list of returnees will be next year’s co-captains Hannah Broadhurst (’11) and Nastassia Adkins (’11), as well as Bragg, who, along with Pielock, are all at home in the water. Last winter they played key roles in helping the Big Green girls swim team grab a third-place finish at the New England Swimming and Diving Championships. “Plus, we have a number of other players who earned a significant amount of playing time that are coming back as well,” said Scandling.
There was no sophomore jinx for senior Tom Burrow this spring.
During Deerfield Academy’s maiden voyage into the world of New England Prep School Cycling last spring, Burrow paced the Big Green pedal pushers to a third-place finish in the New England Championships by winding up fourth in the individual standings.
This year, Burrow placed third to lead his Deerfield mates to a second-place finish to eliminate any fears that the Big Green bikers would pedal into a sophomore jinx as well.
“It was a fantastic sophomore season,” said Deerfield coach Rich Calhoun, “and I couldn’t have been more proud of the accolades won by the riders.”
Overall, the Big Green’s second-place finish in the league standings – which consisted of 19 teams – came via three first-place finishes, one second and one third.
As for the individual finishers, Burrow made it to the medals podium on five occasions during the season, winning one gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Rhys Louis (’12), who was voted next year’s captain, captured one gold and one silver medal.
Burrow and Louis weren’t the only cyclists on the team, however.
“We had a number of role players,” explained Calhoun, “and they all did an excellent job performing their specific roles.”
West Hubbard (’10) Andy Harris (’10) and Brad Marshall (’12) served as set-up men. At certain points in the race, they would take the lead in front of Burrow and Louis and cut the air friction for them.
“It’s like drafting in auto racing,” explained Calhoun. “They would take the lead, Burrow and Louis would fall in behind them and they’d split the air resistance in front of them so Burrow and Louis could save up their energy for the final push when they’d break out of the pack and sprint to the finish line.
“They’re like offensive linemen in football,” added Calhoun. “They don’t get a lot of credit and they don’t get any headlines, but they certainly make life a lot easier for those guys who do make the headlines. And if they didn’t do such a good job, those guys who win the races probably wouldn’t be winning them.”
Deerfield’s hopes of finishing with a gold medal in hand, faded the day the Big Green competed in the time trials, for that’s the day Burrow caught a pedal on a corner and went down hard. And so did Deerfield, as it finished last in that event.
“Tom got up and pedaled through the pain the rest of the way,” said Calhoun, “but he wasn’t able to make up for the time he spent on the asphalt.
“We finished the season in second place, 20 points behind Andover,” added Calhoun, “and we lost 85 points on Tom’s crash, so, if he hadn’t fallen, we would have won the title quite easily.”
But, as Calhoun quickly pointed out, “that’s a part of cycling and if it hadn’t been for Tom, we never would have even come close to finishing second.”
Burrow, would earn All-New England honors this spring and was also named recipient of The Coach’s Award
A two, a three and a pair of fours meant the Deerfield Academy boys crew program hit the lottery at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association regatta at Lake Quinsigamond this spring. Those four finishes by the Deerfield armada earned the Big Green sailors a trip to the podium as they collected a bronze medal for their efforts.
And coach Ben Hamilton must have felt as though he really hit the jackpot when his No. 1 boat medaled for the first time in this regatta since 2005. It returned to the podium following a four-year drought to pick up a bronze medal.
“This was a special boat,” said Hamilton. “They were a bunch of hard workers and were a great bunch of guys to work with.”
The crew, which was one of the biggest in the league this year, according to Hamilton, consisted of two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore.
The two seniors -David Mackasey and Jack Heise, who shared this year’s Coach’s Award – “were two of the strongest guys around … they made up our engine room,” quipped Hamilton. The remainder of the crew included Tanner Larson (’11), one of next year’s co-captains, along with Brad Hicks (’11) Brad Tingley (’11) and John Hakes (’12). This was a boat that didn’t lose a contest until the final day of the regular season, when it came up short to Choate. It went into the regatta rated third and that’s exactly where it finished – behind Belmont Hill and Choate.
The crew of the fourth boat, which posted a silver-medal finish, needed name tags to identify each other at the beginning of the season, “but they came together to form one of the best four boats in New England,” said Hamilton.
In fact, the boat led the top-seeded Belmont Hill crew most of the way in the regatta finals, before it was overtaken near the finish line and placed second by about two boat lengths. This silver medalist was made up of Alfonso Velasco, (’11), Mike Yang (’11), Alex Berner (’11), Miles Evans (’11) and Mack Chandler (’12).
The third boat was comprised of Thomas Earle (’11), Harrison Weidner (’10), Chris Miao (’12), Nash Larmoyeaux (’11) and Conner Romeyn (’13).
The second boat, meanwhile, which also wound up fourth at the regatta, was made up of Whitney Nudo (’10), Brooks Walker (’10), Erik Bertin (’10), Jaime Castello (’10) and Connor Dougherty (’10).
“I’m very proud of all four of these boats,” said Hamilton. “They were all highly motivated and very coachable and as a coach, you certainly can’t ask for anything more that ”
Dave Dickinson has been playing and coaching tennis since he was tall enough to peek over the net – rather than through it. But this spring, the veteran mentor did something he’s never done before. “I awarded a varsity letter to one of our JV managers (Francis Lauw) … for playing,” said Dickinson
“That just goes to show the lengths we had to go to this season to field a team … it was the worst season I can ever remember as far as injuries were concerned,” added the Big Green mentor.
And some of those injuries weren’t exactly tennis elbow. They included some season-ending injuries as No. 3 singles player Mary Cherna (’12), who underwent hip surgery and No. 1 doubles player Chelsea Weller (’10) suffered from a sciatic nerve. Plus numerous other injuries that weren’t long term, but caused Dickinson to install a hot line to the JV team.
Despite the assorted injuries, the Big Green managed to string together a 10-3 record during the regular season. “Which marked the first time we suffered three losses in the same season since 1995,” said Dickinson. “But given the number of injuries, I can’t complain … the kids really stepped up all season long.”
Nor could Dickinson complain about his squad’s performance in postseason play as his charges produced a third-place finish out of a 12-team field at the Kent School deVilla Franca Tournament.
Obviously, Dickinson, whose clubs have won two deVilla tournaments and finished second on six other occasions, was able to put together a formidable lineup despite the rash of injuries.
Ritchey Howe (’12) was situated in the No. 1 singles slot where she produced a 10-3 record on the season. She also won the consolation finale at the deVilla affair and for her efforts, earned the Tennis Coaches’ Award. The No. 2 slot was handled by Lilly Havens (’10). She finished up at 11-2 on the season, lost in the consolation finals at deVille and was the recipient of the Sara Schewe Trophy.
Libby Burrus (’10) was No. 3 in the lineup and posted a 9-1 record on the season, while Bea Crawford (’10) finished up at 9-2 in the No. 4 slot. Finn Leslie, meanwhile, filled in at the No. 5 singles slot whenever needed.
The injuries also forced Dickinson to place a revolving door on the doubles department as a host of players made contributions there.
Among them were Howe, Havens, and Leslie, as well as Josephine Wilson (’10), Estelle Kim (’11) and Charlotte McLaughry (’11).
“It’s a real tribute to the kids the way they just kept grinding it out despite the injuries,” said Dickinson. “And I know from a coach’s standpoint, this was certainly one of the most challenging seasons I’ve ever been through.”
It was the perfect ending to the perfect season: A New England Championship.
The Deerfield Academy girls crew team saw its No. 2 boat finish No. 1 at the New England Interscholastic Rowing Regatta this spring on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester.
With the No. 2 boat – which consisted of Taylor Kniffin (’10), Ellie Parker (’11), Claire Hutchins (’12), Lindsey Shea (’11) and Elizabeth Wood (’10) – serving as the flotilla’s flagship for the day, the Big Green finished fourth in the final standings.
“But just by a whisker,” stated coach Oli Rosenbladt. “We finished one point out of third.”
Deerfield’s No. 2 boat not only went undefeated this season through nine regular-season races and a first-place finish at the Wayland-Weston Invitational midway through the spring, it also defeated Groton by a half-second in the Grand Final of the New England Championships.
“That means that we won the race by about nine feet,” explained Rosenbladt. “And that’s really something when you think about it. Those two boats battled it out for a mile and when they got to the finish line, just a half-second separated them.”
The Deerfield mentor wasn’t surprised by the victory, however, as the Big Green had defeated Groton earlier in the regular season.
In addition to the No. 2’s 9-0 regular season showing, the No. 4 boat also posted a 9-0 mark, while No. 1 went 6-4 and No. 3 went 9-1. Combined, the four posted a record of 33-5 which proved to be the program’s most productive season ever, bettering the 30 wins the boathouse mustered in 2006.
The Big Green’s No. 1 boat placed fourth at the regatta, as it found itself amidst a deep field of competition.
“There were 12 very good teams in the No. 1 bracket,” said Rosenbladt. “In fact, Nobles … the No. 3 seed … didn’t even make it to the finals.
“It just goes to show how difficult it is to win in these regattas, especially at the No. 1 level, where most of the teams are made up of bigger, heavier crews than ours.
“This lack of size put us at a disadvantage,” added Rosenbladt, “but the kids battled through it and I’m really proud of them.
The crew of Boat 1 consisted of Hally Sheldon, (’10), Rose Pember, (’11), Julia Trehu (’10), Lizzy Nelson (’10) and Elizabeth Earle (’10).
The No. 3 boat ran into some equipment problems at the regatta and wound up sixth in the final standings.
“We suffered some damage to the tiller, which allows you to steer,” explained Rosenbladt. “We tried to fix it as best we could prior to the finals, but the girls ended up having to overcompensate to keep the boat on a straight course and it put us out of contention.”
The unlucky boat’s crew consisted of Alex Smith (’12), Blair Scott (’11), Beth Lawless (’12), Muriel Solberg (’12) and Audrey Cho (’11).
The fourth boat listed its roster as Hayley Lawless (’10), Marly Morgus (’12), Ryan Logie (’13), Katherine Miller (’12) and Grace Mermel (’12).
Kniffin and Sheldon shared this year’s Coaches’ Award, while Parker and Shea were elected co-captains of next year’s team.
Boys & Girls Track
Although the Big green played host and hostess to the 2010 New England Prep School Track and Field Championships this spring, neither used their home-field advantage to the fullest.
The boys placed seventh in their final standings, while the girls wound up last in their competition.
There were a pair of gold medals earned by the home teams. On the boys side of the ledger, Laddie Trees (’11) tossed the javelin 190-3 to set a New England meet record. It didn’t quite meet up to the Deerfield mark, however, as that remains safe at 194-0.
“He’s one of the best around,” said coach Dennis Cullinane of Trees, who is ranked No. 18 in the javelin on the high school/prep school level in the country. “He’s had an outstanding season and should have a great year next year as a senior. I know he’s already looking ahead to defending his title and setting a new school record.”
The girls finished their competition with a gold-medal performance, as Ariel Beauregard-Breton (’11) finished first in the 3,000-meter run in a school-record time of 10:31. It broke the old mark, set by Molly Yazwinski, by three seconds. Rose Fisher (’13) was sixth in the event in 11:35.
“Ariel is one of the most outstanding distance runners we’ve ever had here at Deerfield,” said Cullinane. “In fact, she’s hoping to compete in the steeple chase this summer for the Canadian National Team.
Sam Belcher (’11), meanwhile, captured a silver medal in the boys 3,000-meter event, “and if he had another 50 meters, I think he would have won the race,” said Cullinane. “He was closing fast on the first-place finisher when the race ended.”
Andrew Sutphin (’11) was fifth in the 800-meter race in 2 minutes flat, while Jeff Van Oot (’13), who received the Boys 1983 Team Award, was fifth in the shot put with a heave of 44-4.
Tatum McInerney (’13) placed fifth in the 800-meter race in a time of 2:26, while she helped lead the 4×400 relay team to a fifth spot in 4:10. Her teammates were Shelbi Kilcollins (’12), Carla Porter (’13) and Elizabeth Tubridy (’10), who was the recipient of the Deerfield Academy Girls Track Award and the Girls 1983 Team Award.
Ricardo Welsh (’10) was sixth in the 100-meter dash, while the 4×400 relay team posted a sixth-place finish as well. That unit, which was clocked in 3:35, consisted of Belcher, Will Henry (’11), Omari Maxwell (’10) and Hayden (’11)
Deerfield Academy was unable to defend its Central New England Baseball League crown this spring. The reason being, it wasn’t invited to the tourney.
The league invites only the top four teams to its tournament. And although Deerfield finished the regular season tied for fourth place with Northfield Mount Hermon School, the Hoggers went because they owned the tie-breaker. The two teams split their two meetings during the regular season, the Hoggers winning the first, 16-7, while Deerfield took the second, 10-4. NMH got the nod, however by having scored more runs during the two games: 21-17.
So, they went to another tourney, instead. And they won it.
“We went to the Walker Tournament, at Choate,” said Phil Blood, the Deerfield skipper. “It hosts the league teams that don’t make the tourney in Worcester.”
And Deerfield made the most of the invite as it knocked off Choate in the first game, 6-5, then Tabor for the title, 5-2.
The kids were disappointed that they didn’t get into the tourney in Worcester,” said Blood, “but this gave them a nice way to end the season”
Overall, the Big Green finished at 9-11, but considering it started out at 1-8 and 0-6 in the league, the Choate tourney allowed it to end the season with an exclamation mark.
Offensively, the Big Green hit .300 as a team this spring. Oddly enough “last year’s team … the team that won the league crown …hit just 283,” said Blood.
Jack Cone (’10) was the Big Green’s top hitter this season, “as he flirted with .400 for quite a bit of the season,” according to Blood, before finally ended up at .365. He produced a pair of doubles and drove in 16 runs.
Blood would have five other players hitting above the .300 mark when the season finally shut down. Steve Kelley (’10) was next in line as Deerfield’s cleanup hitter posted a .339 average, while clubbing a pair of home runs and six doubles. He also drove in 19 and scored another dozen himself.
Matt DeNunzio (’11), who was elected captain of next year’s team, sported a .328 average as he produced 22 hits, five of them going for doubles. He also drove in 17 runs and scored another 16. Cyrus Wittig (’10) meanwhile, had a .327 average, a pair of doubles, 11 RBI and 17 runs scored. Jack Kowalski (’10) was the No. 9 hitter in the lineup but served as a second leadoff hitter, producing a .302 average, with one home run, two triples, two doubles, drove in 13 and scored 11. Walt Tavares (’11) finished at .324 with eight runs driven in.
As for pitching, Nolan Doyle (’12) “was our catalyst,” according to Blood. He produced a 4-2 record and a 5.3 ERA on the season and every one of his five starts “were quality starts,” said his mentor.
Gus Meloy (’10) was 1-0 with three saves and a 5.17 ERA. He pitched 22 innings and worked in 14 of Deerfield’s 20 games. Noah Bakker (’11) was 1-4 with a 5.54 ERA, while Matt McKelvey (’10) was 1-1 on the season.
“We got off to a real slow start this spring,” said Blood, “but the kids kept working hard and it paid off for them with that tourney victory. It was a real positive way to end the season and I think it will give the kids who are returning, something to build on.”
Blood also gave a tip of the cap to his two captains: Doyle and Kelley.
“They’re two of the best captains I’ve ever been associated with,” said Blood. “I may have lost my patience once in a while, but they never did.”
And for those qualities, both Kelley and Doyle shared this year’s Reverend G. Richard McKelvey Spirit Award, while Wittig received the Arthur S. Williams Jr. Baseball Trophy.
It had to be a frustrating way for the Big Green’s Big Three – Madeline Keeshan, Sam Anderson and Alex Philie – to culminate their storied three-sport careers at Deerfield. Their final trek through the Western New England Division I Lacrosse League ended with a 7-7 record. It could have easily closed down with a 13-1 mark, however, as six of those losses were dropped by a total deficit of 10 goals. The Gals in Green dropped an overtime loss to Exeter, while a one-goal margin also separated it from Hotchkiss. The two-goal losses came at the hands of Andover, Choate, Taft and Longmeadow, which lost in the state high school Division I finals.
Halley Dewey (’11) registered 62 points on the season with 48 goals and 14 assists to pace the Big Green attack and earned All-League honors for her contributions. Anderson, who was the winner of the Benjamin C. Haviland Trophy, was next in line with 44 points on 29 goals and 15 assists. Next came Keeshan, who received the Deerfield Lacrosse Coaches’ Award, after she accounted for 42 points on 33 goals and nine assists. And she, like Dewey drew an All-League nomination.
Also contributing to the high-powered offense was Charlotte Dewey (’11) who had 29 goals and 10 assists for 39 points, while Phoebe Burr (’11) collected 13 goals and four assists for 17 points.
Philie headed up the defense, along with Julie Wardwell (’11) Karen Seabolt (’10) and Jean Witmer (’10)
The Big Green also had a pair of goalies who both saw action. Seldy Gray (’11) played in 11 games and stopped 40 percent of the shots on her, while Olivia Koufakis (’11) played in six games and stopped 46 percent of the shots put on her.
Coach Andy Harcourt went with a youth movement this spring, as seven freshmen played in every game this season. The long-term success of this move will likely make the program stronger and its youthful players more experienced. The short-term side effects however was a 2-9 record.
“We started by building on the basics of the game,” said Harcourt, as seven of his 15 players were freshmen, while another two were sophomores. “We spent a lot of time on the fundamentals and although we didn’t win many games this season, we won two of our last three, so we have something to build next year.”
Co-captain elect Jacki Tavella (’11) earned All-League honors at shotstop and picked up the Deerfield Softball Award after leading the team in batting (.300 plus average) and was the team RBI leader as well. Hanna Insuik (’13) also earned All-League honors as a catcher. Third baseman Kristy Hong (’10) clouted three home runs on the season, while Alexa Napolitan (’12) will return to second base next spring. Willa Gustavson (’12) will handle the first base chores again to give the Big Green an experienced infield.
The outfield, meanwhile, will have a youthful experience as well as it will feature Anna Pettee (’13) and Elisabeth Perez (’13) for the second of what should be a four-year career there. Kayla Corcoran (’10) has departed the outfield, while pitcher Catherine Schopp (’10) has left the scene as well.
by Bob York