Thayer Athletics spring season recap

While there were no official league standings due to protocols brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, ISL teams did compete this spring, and Thayer teams once again made their school proud. 

Below, please find a message from Athletics Director Rick Foresteire P ‘19, ‘21 and individual team summaries; this information was first shared with the student body during a spring assembly. 

The 2020-21 Spring Season Athletics Review 

The Athletics Department would like to share with the Thayer community a review of team highlights and recognition awards. In my role as athletics director, I once again want to thank all Athletics Department staff, the nurses, facilities personnel, faculty, staff, administration, and parents/guardians for all their help navigating the choppy waters of athletics through the pandemic. It was great to see the fields, track, courts, courses, and water alive again, and most teams had the opportunity to play a solid schedule. Though we still had no league standings or all-league selections, the athletes and coaches worked hard, maintained their enthusiasm, and (most importantly) had fun. The overall spirited play and team camaraderie was truly outstanding.

I would now like to send a special recognition to all the senior athletes. Though they lost much at the end of their Thayer careers, they remained positive and displayed tremendous leadership throughout the spring season. All senior athletes will receive the Independent School League Council Senior Appreciation Award in recognition of their senior spring season during the 2020-21 COVID-19 pandemic. All senior certificates, coaches awards, and MVP awards will be mailed directly to the recipients’ home addresses. I want to wish everyone a wonderful summer, and I look forward to returning in the fall to regular athletic operations and typical ISL & NEPSAC competition.

On behalf of the Athletics Department, I hope you enjoy reading through the review. Go, Tigers!

Sincerely,

Rick Foresteire P ’19, ‘21
Athletics Director

Baseball
The varsity team, led by captains James Foresteire, Evan Vieira, Matt Fallon, and seniors Jack Wipf and Myles Wilson, had a solid 2021 campaign. Though there were no official ISL league standings, the team played stiff competition and battled each weekend. It’s hard to believe it has not been since 2019 that the team had a full preseason or a Florida trip, and so many valuable days of individual and program development have been lost. Through it all, though, the players have shown great perseverance and tremendous spirit. This tight-knit, hardworking, and fun
group has been a pleasure to coach. The seniors will be dearly missed, but the program has an outstanding group of young players returning and eager to compete for an ISL championship.

Team MVP: James Foresteire ‘21
Coaches Award: Evan Vieira ‘21
 
Golf
The 2021 Thayer varsity golf team had a successful season. We were able to play all schools during these difficult but improving times and finished with a .500 record. We welcomed back three starting veterans – Matt Weber ‘21, Rey Yu ‘21, and Chris Carrabes ‘21 – and they will be sorely missed. We wish them the best in their college years ahead. New to the varsity program this year were a bunch of young, very talented golfers. Sascha Robinson ‘24, Jack McCarthy ‘24, Sam Taylor ‘23, and Henry Fan ‘24 all have promising futures at the varsity level. Cooper McNally ’22 also rounded out the varsity squad with clutch wins in more than one match. The highlight of the season was ending with three consecutive wins, which was a proper send-off for our graduating seniors. We’re all excited as we look forward to next year!

Team MVP: Matt Weber ‘21
Coaches Award: Rey Yu ’21 & Chris Carrabes ‘21

Girls Track & Field
This season presented many challenges for such a large team. Working in pods separated by event was the right formula for social distancing, and we began a season that required more learning than ever. The sophomores, who had lost their freshman spring season due to the pandemic, and the freshmen were all on the same page, starting a sport they had never done before. The team stepped it up and spent a long time in a steep learning curve, guided by the leadership and experience of juniors and seniors. It was indeed a full-team effort to pull off this challenging season. 

Led by Captains Eden Donnellan ‘21, Judith Walker ‘21, Cassie Davidson ‘21, Lilly Bradley ‘21, and Leonie Kuehberger ‘21, the team dominated all the meets they competed in. 

There were some outstanding performances throughout the 17 events, but we also had several "bests" in the ISL: Aoibhe Gormley ‘23 in the 400m; Bella Balducci ‘24 and Lauren Grattan ‘24 in the high jump; Leonie Kuehberger ‘21 in the discus; Alenka Cetkovic ‘23 in the shot put; Liv Walker ‘23 in the javelin; and Bella Milano ‘22 in the pole vault. 

We also had some notable #2 performances with Taryn Madsen ‘24 in the 400m, Anna Kester ‘22 in the pole vault, Caitlin Fitzgerald ‘22 in the intermediate hurdles, Chloe Clifford ‘22 in the 800m, Bella Balducci ‘24 in the high hurdles, and Lilly Bradley ‘21 in the 1500 and 3000.

In a year where many other teams lost their momentum after sacrificing a year of practice and competition, Thayer’s veterans bonded well with the rookies to build a team that will be a force next year. The future looks bright.

The 2021 Girls Track & Field team can be proud of an enormously productive season under very unusual circumstances. They got to work and never looked back! And we got to do this all at our brand new Track & Field facility!

Girls Tennis
Lead by captains Ally Gilbert ‘21 and Caitlin Hayes ’21, we finished with an overall record of 5-6. We had strong single performances from Jordan Ruddick ‘22, Meg Corry ’24, and Magda Lazowski ’22 and solid doubles matches from Annabel May ‘22, Eloise Daniello ‘22, Mary Costello ‘23, and Tess Meyers ’23. With a young and talented JV team and the returning varsity players, we are looking forward to a bright future for the girls tennis program. Best of luck to both Ally and Caitlin next year!

Team MVP: Ally Gilbert ‘21
Coaches Award: Caitlin Hayes ‘21

Softball
The varsity softball team was led by senior captains Isabella Bodio and Sophie Butner. The team has consistently improved throughout the season while hurdling challenges like practicing and playing at a new facility and abiding by the numerous guidelines brought on by the pandemic. Our biggest highlight was a great win against St. George’s – the team was losing 8-3 in the bottom of the 7th and came from behind to score six runs in a walk-off win! We will miss our two seniors next year, and we want to wish Bella and Sophie best of luck at college! Looking forward to next season. 

Team MVP: Alena Mulhern ‘23
Coaches Award: Sophie Butner ‘21

Girls Lacrosse
The girls varsity lacrosse team was thrilled to return to play this season. With a competitive COVID-19 schedule in place, the team finished 11-2. To accomplish all that they have in eight weeks’ time required incredible dedication and leadership. The team fully embraced a steep learning curve under tremendous leadership captained by Mikaila Kitchen ‘21 and Reedie Warwick ’21 alongside a star-studded senior class including: Caroline Corcoran, Emily English, Claire Kennedy, Elizabeth Kirk, Chase Perry, and Allie Wetterberg.

End to end in field play, this team displayed the highest levels of talent. Our powerhouse
defensive unit was anchored by Emily English, a top goaltender in the region. Emily was flanked
by phenom starters: Kasey Devaney, Claire Kennedy, Mikaila Kitchen, Caroline Lally, and Lindsey Wilmot. The dominant midfield play of Caroline Kendall, Anna Kenney, Brooke McLoy, and Caroline Lally balanced both sides of the field with relentless grit, speed and skill. Our deep and extremely talented attacking unit brought multiple weapons and incredible goal-scoring efforts from Izzy Amonte, Eva Chouinard, Caroline Corcoran, Elizabeth Gill, Sophia Hansen,
Emily Johnson, Kelly Morrison, and Lindsay Warwick.

And it’s not over yet ...

Thayer varsity girls lacrosse will compete in the Girls High School Lacrosse National
Championship. This tournament is comprised of top high school teams from across the
country. We are both honored and proud to represent Thayer Academy athletics on such an
outstanding stage. 

The team is excited to continue its hard work and play out the next month of our season at
the highest level of lacrosse we can produce. 

Thank you to assistant coaches Tracey Sullivan, Katie Currie, and Liz Bruno for everything this season and a huge thank-you to Alexandra Rooney ’17, who coached our JV program to an undefeated season!

Team MVP: Emily English ‘21
Coaches Award: Mikaila Kitchen ’21 & Reedie Warwick ‘21

Boys Varsity Lacrosse
The Thayer boys varsity program took a giant leap forward in 2021. Our 13 seniors decided that they were going to change the program and leave it better than they found it, and they did. From a 5-11 record and 12th-place finish two years ago (the season before the canceled 2020 season), we finished 2021 with an 8-3 record and tied for 2nd place in the ISL. 

As we all know, it was a different season. We wore masks underneath our helmets for the majority of the season. We spent our first two weeks of scheduled competition in quarantine. We had a different schedule than normal in which we played the same team twice per weekend, in a back-to-back, home-and-home arrangement on Fridays and Saturdays. This was a season that could have been wasted if not for the leadership and commitment of a great senior class.

We started the season with a quarantine, which left only two days of practice before our first game against Nobles. The game was very close until the end of the fourth quarter when Nobles pulled away. On the following Saturday, we controlled the game and had the ball in overtime on EMO to win it. We ended up losing, but the team showed significant improvement from Friday to Saturday and an emotional poise which we hadn’t shown in years past.

From there, we went on a five-game winning streak, beating Milton, BB&N, Tabor (twice), and St. Sebastian’s, which was a team that had been ranked in the top 25 nationally to begin the season. The St. Sebastian’s game was indicative of our season. We did not play a perfect game, but we kept our cool, focused on the next play, and found a way to overcome adversity to win by one goal, 8-7. On the following Saturday, our Senior Day, we played our second of two games with St. Sebastian’s and unfortunately lost. 

The team set a goal at the beginning of the year to finish with a winning record. We refocused going into our two-game series with Roxbury Latin and compartmentalized Senior Prom, which took away a Wednesday practice day. We clawed our way to another one-goal win against Roxbury Latin, which sealed our winning record for the season. On the following Saturday we beat Roxbury Latin decisively in front of our first big, maskless home crowd on a hot day. Our last game pitted us against Rivers, a very good and senior-laden team. We were down 6-4 at halftime. In the 2nd half, we responded and found a way to win 14-12. This was scheduled to be the first year of a postseason tournament. It would have been nice for our team to compete for a championship in a playoff-type format because we were peaking at the right time. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful season led by a great group of seniors.

We also had a great group of coaches to lead these young men – Dan Chouinard (Defensive Coordinator), Alex Krawec (Goalie Coach & Defensive Coach), Michael Babcock (Box Coach), Thomas Foote (Head JV Coach), and Michael Rogazzo (JV Defensive Coordinator). These guys showed extraordinary commitment to the team and the development of the young men.

And, as we all know, a program is not a program without a good undersquad, and … the JV went undefeated! We are very proud of those players and coaches for such a huge accomplishment.

Team MVP: Quinn McConnaughey ‘21
Coaches Award: C.J. Monturio ‘21

Boys Track & Field
This spring track & field season was like no other. As with all sports this year, we faced numerous challenges, playing catch-up after everyone lost a year of training and experience. We broke the team up into small event pods and went to work: finding the right balance of an abbreviated conditioning period, passing on the technical skills necessary, and ramping up the intensity. Half the team was new to us; this year both freshmen and sophomores had little to no experience. But, despite the obstacles, the Thayer boys came through with dedication and determination, fiercely taking on the challenges of 2021. We focused our attention, as always, on personal improvements and redefining limitations. We worked on the little things each day that make big differences. The team committed to what we could control - the hard, daily work and the effort we put into our craft. We trained and competed with humility, praising our teammates and our opponents, as we are all one in setting the same goals to be better versions of ourselves.

Thayer boys were outstandingly led by captains Ryan Chiari ‘22, Evan Friedel ‘22, Michael Marshall ‘21, Marvin Musiime-Kamali ‘22, Matt Steffan ‘21, and Ethan Wilson ‘21. A smaller team of 26 active boys, we covered all 17 track & field events, with 27 ISL performances ranked in the top 15, and among them 17 in the top 10. Notable is Seneca Wallace ‘24, the #1 ISL-ranked freshman in the high hurdles, intermediate hurdles, and triple jump; he is also a member of our 4x400 relay team. His marks rank him overall among upperclassman 6th in the high hurdles, 7th in the intermediates, 4th in the triple jump, and 10th in the 400. Best in the ISL among long jumpers and high jumpers, Michael Marshall ’21 went 6 feet, 8.75 inches to break the school high jump record previously held by Coach Mike Jones ‘03. Marshall's triple jump also ranked him 3rd in the ISL. A notable ISL #2 ranking, Ryan Chiari ‘22 has been knocking on the door to a pole vault school record and quickly elevated to new heights that had him beating the #1 ranked ISL vaulter in a head-to-head competition. As impressive, Rosbald Tejeda ’22  worked his way into top ISL ranking for four different events, including #2 in the 400, #2 in the 800, #5 in the 1500, and #6 in the 3000.

Certainly it would have been no surprise if we had lost a step or struggled to adjust as many teams experienced after losing a year to isolation, but Thayer boys were more than ready to take leaps and bounds forward. We formed a tight family that celebrated each other’s personal achievements and encouraged each other in times of hardship. The coaches are so proud of this team and the marvelous young men they are all becoming on and off the track and field. We look forward to the wonderful seasons ahead and hearing about the great things our graduating seniors will achieve.

Girls and Boys Crew
I am very proud of all of the rowers this season! We had a bit of a rocky start with our numbers being down, but all team members showed real determination to learn the sport and better themselves. We spent most of the beginning of the season with dryland training, putting in six to 10 hours per week in the gym. Going on the water in April brought a new energy to our team, and we shared a lot of laughs and created some good memories along the way. The team made great strides this season and showed real potential. I am excited to see what they can do next year when they face a full NEPSAC rowing schedule. 

Team MVP: Lindley Day ‘22
Coaches Award: Oliver Vonnegut ‘21

Boys Tennis
Led by a senior-laden class, the boys varsity tennis team achieved a .500 record! Our senior captains – John Carbone, Vinh Tran, and Ryan Manning – had great years with the program. Both Vinh Tran and Ryan Manning have been with our tennis program since 6th grade! Hobey Galvin and Aidan Kealy added great depth to our roster. Our only underclassman, number-one player Ryan Gill, had a great season as well; he will be a force to reckon with in the future. The boys varsity tennis team is losing many great seniors this year, but we are looking forward to bringing up some players from our talented JV program next year and competing next spring! 

Team MVP: John Carbone ‘21
Coaches Award: Vinh Tran ’21 & Ryan Manning ‘21

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