A Huge Fall Season for Middle School Sports!
Penn Charter Middle School athletics had an outstanding fall season.
- Girls and boys cross country both won Inter-Ac titles.
- The Middle School boys varsity soccer and the football team both were undefeated.
- A whopping 80 percent of students participated in fall sports.
What a season!
Students, teachers and coaches gathered on Friday to celebrate with awards, speeches and a pizza party. With the whole division gathered in Balderston Commons, coaches spoke of season highlights, memories, and commendable athletes at assembly in the morning.
Each team was applauded, and cheers rang out when the Dedication and Sportsmanship award winners were named for each team. And to top it off, everyone enjoyed a pizza party during lunch and the Athletics department surprised the participating athletes with t-shirts celebrating the highly successful season.
Director of Middle School Wilson Felter was pleased to hear that many athletes were willing to play any position to help the team, a real sign of sportsmanship, a focus on collective good, and, of course, the breadth and depth of skill of our Middle School athletes. Further, the eighth graders supported and encouraged the younger players to work hard and get better.
“When our boys JV soccer team lost their first three Inter-Ac games, they did not get down on themselves, but became more motivated to improve as a team,” Felter said. “When the JV boys played those teams a second time, they earned a win and two ties. What a great example of resilience!”
Penn Charter has begun a renewed focus on player development – for both skill and character – for several teams. The success in Middle School this year has positive implications for Upper School sports teams into the future.
“The effort toward more vertically integrated athletic programs has meant that coaches meet student athletes where they are and work to improve the skill set of the individual. This leads to the growth and development of the team,” said Jim Phillips, director of Middle School athletics. “This process – and our success – should help feed greater success at the high school level for both individual players and our teams.”
Middle School boys varsity soccer coaches Paul Blackwood and Josh Oberfield praised the undefeated team and said it was one of the best groups they have ever seen at Penn Charter. “You exemplified what it means to be a team,” Blackwood said. “Even when we struggled against Episcopal, you, as a team, just decided you would win the game. And you played hard and together and you did win.”
Girls cross country coaches Renee Skelly and Eve Schwartz commended their runners for being empowering, welcoming and committed. “A cross country team thrives when runners from the top of the leaderboard to the bottom give maximum effort and support each other,” Skelly said.
Deputy Director of Middle School Jim Fiorile said of his boys cross country team, “When something is hard, new or uncomfortable and you aren’t the fastest runner on the team, it takes guts just to stand at the starting line and run. We won Inter-Ac, but everyone on the team should also take pride in the guts you showed.”
Each team gave awards for dedication and sportsmanship. The Sportsmanship Award was given to the athlete who demonstrated the qualities of good sportsmanship. He or she is a player who demonstrated a positive attitude towards their teammates, coaches and opponents, which led to the success of the team. The Dedication Award is given to the athlete who has demonstrated commitment to his or her sport and team through a persistent daily effort and hard work. The athlete exemplifies the determination that allows the team and themselves to be successful.
Director of Athletics and Athletic Planning John Thiel said athletics in Middle School, “is an integral part of our educational program. Middle School is when our students learn what sports they are interested in and where their talents can best be applied. They learn how to be teammates and leaders while learning about respect, responsibility, hard work, integrity and self-reflection. We had a great fall this year and hope it becomes the norm at Penn Charter.”
A full list of the winners is below.
Avery Myers Sportsmanship
Olivia Harbison Dedication
Varsity Girls Soccer
Olivia Primerano Sportsmanship
Lauren Cubbin Dedication
Evelyn Eisenstein Sportsmanship
Olivia Piechoski Dedication
JV Girls Soccer
Amanda Raphael Sportsmanship
Lily Aparin-Buck Dedication
Varsity Boys Soccer
Nicholas Case Sportsmanship
William Fleming, Jude Shorr-Parks and Daniel Will Dedication
JV Boys Soccer
Noah Brooks Sportsmanship
Walker Ball Dedication
Noah Evans & Akeel Blake Sportsmanship
Kyle Jones Dedication
Girls Cross Country
Madeleine Riley Sportsmanship
Leah Sax Dedication
Boys Cross Country
Finnegan Glew Sportsmanship
Luke Jaspan Dedication