Editor’s Note: All listed class standings of PC student-athletes are as of the 2021-22 school year.
The calendar lurching toward August can only mean one thing: before we know it, the 2022-23 school year will be upon us! Fear not, Quaker students, faculty and parents: there’s still more than a month left of summer vacation left to go. That being said, it’s never too late to start thinking about the start of a new school year, and with it, the beginning of a fresh fall sports season. Soon, this space will be filled with updates on Penn Charter football, soccer, cross country, field hockey, golf, girls tennis and water polo. But before we cross that bridge to begin anew, let us take one final look back to the spring sports season at PC. In total, eight varsity teams bequeathed us thrilling competition and respectful sportsmanship, while a few even won championships. All student-athletes on every team dedicated their time, effort and passion to Penn Charter, serving as athletic ambassadors to our community.
So, before we shift the conversation to touchdowns, corner kicks and putting greens, let us shine the spotlight one final time on the 2022 spring season. Be sure to check back throughout the rest of the summer for a few more SportsZone updates.
Final Record: 20-4-1, 9-3 Inter-Ac
All-League Selections: First team: Darcy Felter, senior; Charlotte Hodgson, senior; Maddie Shoup, senior; Grace Turner, senior; Second team: Kayla Joyce, junior; Gracie Shoup, junior
Despite the fact that Penn Charter girls lacrosse finished second in the league standings behind champion Episcopal, head coach Colleen Kelly’s team saved its best for last. The Quakers won the program’s first-ever PAISAA title as the tournament’s top seed, dispatching Germantown Academy and Hill School at home before prevailing in a thrilling 8-7 championship victory at Cabrini College over league rival SCH Academy. It was the culmination of four years of hard work and pandemic obstacles for the program’s 12 seniors, each of whom had crucial roles in earning such a milestone achievement.
Maddie Shoup and Darcy Felter scored 71 and 70 goals, respectively, in their final season, and were the engines that made the team go on offense. The Quakers placed six players on the All Inter-Ac teams, as Felter and Shoup were joined by Charlotte Hodgson, Grace Turner, goalie Kayla Joyce and Gracie Shoup, Maddie’s younger sister. Additionally, Felter, Maddie Shoup and Turner were named All-Americans, while Felter, Turner and Hodgson were honored as Academic All-Americans. Felter and Turner also participated in the Senior Under Armour All-American game. When all was said and done, the 2022 season ended up being one of the very best in program history.
“This season was everything a coach could hope for,” Kelly said. “An amazing group of girls working together for something bigger than themselves. This group of seniors was unselfish, hard-working and determined to get better every day. I will never forget this team and what they have accomplished for the first state title PC has won.”
Of course, with the 12 seniors getting ready to begin their freshman year of college, it will be up to Kelly and her staff to reshape and restock the cupboard if the Quakers are going to defend their PAISAA crown while also trying to reclaim the league title that eluded them in 2022. PC will lose an exceptional amount of talent, but good programs have strong players at all levels, and the Quakers are no different. The team will return two all-league selections in juniors Joyce and Gracie Shoup, while other players who also had strong seasons — juniors Bea Buckley and Alex Glomb and sophomore Nora Maione, to name a few — will be back. Not only that, but they have some experience and knowledge now on what is required to become champions.
“I am excited for next year as we rebuild with young talent and a core group of returners,” Kelly said. “Now, they know what it takes to win and how to get there.”
All-League Selections: First team: Alli DeLisi, freshman (400m, 800m, 4x400); Amanda Ehrenhalt, senior (330 hurdles); Mariah Mays, freshman (shot put); Olivia Montini, senior (1600m); Cassidy Scott, senior (triple jump); Alex Jaffe, freshman (4x400, 4x800); Sam Jaffe, freshman (4x400); Michaela Poland, senior (4x400); Aisling Brady, junior (4x800); Elena Coupas, senior (4x800); Zady Hasse, sophomore (4x800); Second team: Julia Dolce, senior; Olivia Roland, sophomore; Dani Shipon, junior
Judging by the sheer amount of all-league selections listed above, it’s no surprise that Candice Lee’s girls track team is the only spring squad that is able to claim both league and PAISAA crowns. The Quakers scored a whopping 166.5 points at the league meet, and earned 136.5 at PAISAA’s, more than 20 points ahead of second-place Episcopal in both events.
In one of the most accomplished seasons in program history, the Quakers set new school records in the following events:
1600: Alli DeLisi, 4:49.69
800: Alli DeLisi, 5:02.62
400: Alli DeLisi, 56.56
300 hurdles: Amanda Ehrenhalt, 44.62
100 hurdles: Amanda Ehrenhalt, 15.99
Discus: Mariah Mays, 31-6.5
4x800: Olivia Montini, Julia Dolce, Dani Shipon, Alli DeLisi, 9:22.31
At leagues, the individual PC champions were:
1600: Olivia Montini
300 hurdles: Amanda Ehrenhalt
Triple jump: Cassidy Scott
Shot put: Mariah Mays
400: Alli DeLisi
800: Alli DeLisi
4x800: Aisling Brady, Zady Hasse, Elena Coupas, Alex Jaffe
4x400: Alex Jaffe, Sam Jaffe, Michaela Poland, Alli DeLisi
And the individual champs at PAISAA:
400: Michaela Poland
1600: Alli DeLisi
3200: Olivia Montini
100 hurdles: Amanda Ehrenhalt
300 hurdles: Amanda Ehrenhalt
High jump: Olivia Roland
“The most important meet the team won this season was the league championship,” Lee said. “Winning states was another huge accomplishment, just for the team to keep the intensity and come back a week later competing on a bigger stage and delivering another huge win was amazing.”
At the historic 126th Penn Relays, the 4x800 relay team of Dolce, Montini, Shipon and DeLisi posted a 9:22.31 for 6th place in the Championship of America. DeLisi also placed 13th overall in the Championship of America mile run with a time of 5:02.62.
Perhaps the most exciting element of the girls track program is how many of the names listed above will be returning next season. In fact, the team of 34 student-athletes contained just six seniors who graduated, so the Quakers could be a force to be reckoned with for years to come in the Inter-Ac. They will be in good hands under the tutelage of Lee, who was named Pennsylvania’s Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Final Record: 13-12, 3-7 Inter-Ac
All-League Selections: Petey Malitas, senior; Colin Michener, senior
It was a year of growing together as one for the Penn Charter boys lacrosse team. In head coach Pat McDonough’s first 20 seasons as head coach, he estimated the Quakers had only failed to qualify for the postseason two times. After missing out in 2021, PC was dangerously close to missing the playoffs for the second straight year; however, luckily for them, the Quakers had Colin Michener, one of the program’s all-time great players. In the final regular season game at home against archrival GA, Michener intercepted a pass in overtime and buried the game winner in a 9-8 triumph. Had PC lost, the team would have indeed missed the Inter-Ac’s four-team playoff bracket. As a result, the Quakers got to play one more game against a stacked Malvern Prep team before heading into the offseason. For a team with only six seniors (Michener among them), the win over GA gave the departing players one final brilliant memory, while also providing momentum for the program’s returners heading into 2023.
“We always talk about leaving the program better than how you found it, and this group of seniors helped get us back to the playoffs,” McDonough said. “Obviously, you want to win every game you play, but we had some ups and downs that ultimately made us a better team and allowed us to be there at the end. When you win a tight game against GA to put you in the playoffs, it shows the growth of our team throughout the season. We had some hard-fought battles.”
The Quakers were much more competitive than their league record indicated, as the team was often in games and of the 12 total games the team lost, six of them were by one goal. Michener, who will play collegiately nearby at Villanova, left everything he had out on the field: he scored 84 goals and assisted on 65 others for an eye-popping 149 points and now holds the school’s single-season record in all three categories. Additionally, Michener was an all-league, all-state and All-American selection, was named co-player of the year by Philly Lacrosse and led the Inter-Ac in points as a senior. Michener may have graduated, but the Quakers still have two more seasons to look forward to with younger brother Gavin still in tow; as a sophomore, Gavin was second on the team and in the league with 49 goals, while also adding 18 assists. Malitas, who will play at Duke, tallied 34 goals, while juniors Chet Kempinski and Owen Black scored 32 and 31 goals, respectively. With so much talent returning next season, the Quakers are aiming to launch themselves back atop the league standings.
“Coming out of the pandemic years, my juniors hadn’t gotten to play a lot of lacrosse,” McDonough said. “This season was their first full season in terms of normal day-to-day activities. It’s a pretty good group, and we bring back some good leadership and players while filling in underneath with some younger guys. It’s a good core group coming back, and we’ll rely on them to lead us into next season. The goal is to always win the league, and we will do everything we can to prepare both in the offseason and in-season to achieve that.”
All-League Selections: First team: Jack Frank, junior (4x800); Nate Johnson, sophomore (4x800); Nate Luzi, senior (4x800); Liam McLafferty, senior (4x800); Second team: Eddie Kennedy, sophomore
Steve Bonnie has been the boys track coach at Penn Charter since 1976, so it’s safe to say he’s seen just about every possible outcome to a season. And while Bonnie freely admitted the boys had a down season in 2022, at the same time he is already excited for 2023, because nobody is more aware than Bonnie that the only way for this group to go from here is up.
“There’s promise for the future, and one of the most fun things for me as a coach, honestly, is to have a team that I know is on the way up,” Bonnie said. “We have more young guys coming up than older guys heading out the door, and if they can get on a roll next season, we’ll be OK.”
Bonnie’s hope is that the Quakers, who finished sixth at the league championships with 37 points and placed 9th (of 16) at PAISAAs with 20, can improve by scoring 50 percent more points in 2023. He specifically singled out the efforts of PC’s 4x800 relay team of Jack Frank, Nate Johnson, Nate Luzi and Liam McLafferty, which placed first at league champs, as well as Eddie Kennedy, who finished second in the 300 hurdles at the Inter-Ac meet and third in the subsequent PAISAA event. Frank (who also placed fifth in the 800 at league champs), Johnson and Kennedy will all return in 2023. Other returning student-athletes include Christian Black (third in the triple jump at leagues), Wes Trautwein & TJ Zwall (fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 3200 at Inter-Ac champs, while Trautwein finished second in that event at PAISAA). Frank and Zwall each placed fifth in the 800 and 1600, respectively, at the PAISAA meet.
“We’ll be better,” Bonnie said.
Final Record: 6-6, 5-5 Inter-Ac
All-League Selections: First team: Liam Birnie, senior (Inter-Ac Player of the Year); Nate Arnold, freshman; Second team: Justin Cockerham, junior
Boys tennis may not have won the Inter-Ac in 2022 (that honor was shared by GA and Haverford), but it was the only spring team that can say it boasted the league Player of the Year. For the second consecutive year, senior Liam Birnie was named the Inter-Ac’s top player, and it was his third time qualifying for all-league honors. Birnie was as dominant as ever on the court as a senior and he finished his PC career with a 36-3 overall record, which includes a 30-1 mark in Inter-Ac competition and a completely undefeated slate his junior and senior campaigns. If Birnie now represents the past greatness of the tennis program, then Nate Arnold is the future. Arnold, playing as a freshman in 2022, matched Birnie’s consistency throughout the entire season with an 11-1 record, and both found themselves on the all-league team at the end of the year. Not only that, but Birnie and Arnold were the last two singles players standing at league champs and battled each other in the final match, with Birnie securing the league title with an 8-1 win over his teammate. The future is indeed bright for head coach Philip Stevens’s program, as junior Justin Cockerham, who went 7-5 and made tremendous strides as the No. 3 singles player who was named to the league’s second team, will also return in 2023.
"It was a pleasure to coach the boys this year — they were positive and hardworking throughout the season,” head coach Philip Stevens said. “We had five boys step up to play varsity for the first time this year and they all learned and grew throughout the year. They all contributed by the end of the season, and it was great to witness that. We may have lost several matches by a single point, but the boys all fought to the end of each of their matches. You really can't ask for any more than that."
Final Record: 14-12-1, 3-7 Inter-Ac
All-League Selections: First team: Aidan Mehta, senior; Second team: Vincent Fattore, senior
Penn Charter baseball may have had a bit of an uneven season, at least in Inter-Ac play, but the Quakers saved their hardest punch for late, going on a run to the PAISAA semifinals as the tournament’s No. 6 seed. PC even led a home semifinal contest 3-0 against Haverford through five innings, before the eventual champion Fords stormed ahead late in a 4-3 victory.
The Quakers had strong contributions up and down the lineup and on the pitching mound from seniors all the way down to the freshman class. Mehta, the team’s lone first team all-league selection, closed out his career in style by batting .343 with a team-leading 18 RBI, four of which came on the biggest hit of the season, a thrilling walk-off grand slam at home against GA. Fattore, who made the second team and will play in college at Duke, batted .364 with a team-leading 24 hits and an eye-popping 27 stolen bases (Liam Rowan’s nine swipes were second best). Kyle McKernan, who won the starting catching job as a freshman, hit a team-leading .400 on the season while scattering 20 hits. The Quakers will also return a pair of talented pitchers next season to throw to McKernan in junior Scott Doran, a Pitt commit who posted 71 strikeouts in 44 ⅔ innings, and sophomore Christian Clauss, who tallied a 3.36 ERA in 33 ⅓ innings.
“By my, and PC baseball standards, this was a down year, but I was very pleased with how we finished the season in reaching the PAISAA semis,” Head Coach Justin Hanley said. “After losing our ace, lefty Andrew Healy, to injury in late March, our young pitching staff really stepped up, led by Scott Doran. †
“I am very optimistic about next year's team, as our pitching staff will be very seasoned, and we'll get back Boston College commit Liam Rowan, who was limited in innings last season while coming back from an arm injury. Offensively, we'll be led by Kyle McKernan, shortstop Tim Ford and third baseman Shawn Flynn.”
Final Record: 6-13, 4-8 Inter-Ac
All-League Selections: First team: Madison Brooks, senior
The overall young Penn Charter softball team was led by three four-year senior captains in Madison Brooks, Lucianna Boggi and Kamryn Koslosky. Due to a plethora of injuries, several players found themselves learning new positions and adapting to a variety of lineup configurations from game to game. Freshman pitcher and first baseman Lauren Gedraitis led the team in batting average and was tied for the lead in hits and runs scored along with Brooks, a center fielder and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute commit. Sophomore third baseman Macie Bergmann led the team with three home runs and was tied with catcher and Chestnut Hill College recruit Boggi for the team lead in RBI. Gedraitis and fellow freshman Ryan Hatty anchored the pitching duties for the entire season, including busy weeks that featured three or four games. The future is bright for the youthful Quakers, who also awarded ample playing time this season to eighth-grader Madison Wray.
“This team was young with only three seniors and a majority of players being freshmen and sophomores,” interim head coach Melissa O’Connor said. “Many improvements were seen as the season went on, and I look forward to seeing how much they improved over the off-season. There are big shoes to fill (with the graduation of Brooks, Boggi and Koslosky), and I'm excited to see who steps up and leads the team next season.”
“I am proud of how this team competed and learned in each and every game,” added assistant coach Doug Gorham. “Many adapted to new positions as the lineup often differed from game to game. Captains took on leadership duties from day one, leading infield and outfield drills and game day warm ups, as well as motivating younger players throughout the season. I am excited for the future of this team.”
The rowing team had to combat torrential rains, choppy waters and unforgiving winds at times throughout the season, and no team was more affected by Mother Nature than this one. When the team was able to compete, it shined, even if the sun was often stubborn in doing so itself.
The team found success at four Manny Flick Regattas, with a multitude of top finishes and great races, among them:
- First Flick, March 20: two boats finished in first place, two in second and one in third
- Third Flick, April 3: one first-place finish, two in second
- Fourth Flick, April 10: two third-place finishes
- Fifth Flick, April 24: three second place, three third place, one fourth
In the pinnacle event of the season — the Stotesbury Cup Regatta on May 21 (the largest scholastic regatta in the world, with 6,000 competitors) — 22 rowers made it through time trials and qualified for/progressed to semifinals and finals. This mark doubled the previous record of 11 in 2019. At city champs the following day, of the nine boats that raced for the Quakers, four of them finished races in fifth place or better.
“Mother Nature this spring made for some interesting stories and logistical nightmares,” assistant coach Michael Moulton said. “But despite the flooding, thunderstorms, high winds and heat waves, the crew team experienced another successful season.”