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Penn Charter softball coach Donald "Doc" Mittica earned his 400th win with the Quakers in a 4-2 victory over Springside Chestnut Hill on May 7. At the conclusion of Friday's home game, PC players and assistant coaches presented Mittica with a celebratory banner and posed for team photos to mark the occasion.

Mittica, a practicing chiropractor based in Lafayette Hill, has been head coach of PC's softball program since its inception in 1992. During that time, he has led the Quakers to nine Inter-Ac League championships and five Pennsylvania Independent School Athletics Association (PAISAA) state championships, accruing an overall record of 401-174-1 with the team.

Assistant coach Gab Tareila cites Mittica's decades-long experience, knowledge of the game and rapport with players as foundational to his success as a coach. "He really gets to know the girls, so he understands their personalities and their strengths and weaknesses. He helps the whole team fit together."

Mittica's connections to Penn Charter run deep, with two sons who graduated from PC in the early 2000s and two grandchildren currently enrolled in the Lower School. Mittica himself has made appearances in PC science classes from pre-K to Upper School, guest lecturing on anatomy and physiology. Outside Penn Charter, Mittica coached softball for a USA Softball travel team in the early 2000s and at Conestoga High School, where he taught biology in the 1970s.

After a 2020 season lost to the pandemic, the Quakers returned to competition this March for the first time since a fiery 2019 season in which they won the Inter-Ac undefeated and took home the PAISAA state title. The team is 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the Inter-Ac so far this season, led by senior captains Abby Brown, Neilee Koslosky and Averie Schnupp.

Penn Charter rowers put in a formidable performance at the Philadelphia City Championships last weekend, taking home three gold medals and one title plaque. 

In a Covid-friendly, modified competition format on Saturday, freshman and novice events were limited to a single round of races, called flights. Rather than advancing to a championship round, the top boat in each flight was awarded medals, and the fastest time across all flights was recognized with a title plaque for each event.

The Quakers' first medal came early in the day when Eli Moulton, James Foley, Jack Bowen and Mac Haines won their flight in the freshman boys' quad class, finishing a tight race two seconds ahead of Haverford and placing third overall.

Next, the girls' novice quad of sophomores Merrill Gadsden, Charlotte Baker, Lindsay Gadsden, and Ella Bretschneider won gold in their flight and finished second in their class.

A standout race by the boys' novice quad boat–with sophomores Scott Sweeney, James Glomb, Matthew Clarke and Harrison Signorello–resulted in a third gold medal and the Quakers' single title plaque of the weekend. The foursome won their flight by a commanding 27-second margin and outpaced the second-place finishers in their class by 10 seconds.

Lauren Montgomery and Grace Agosto rounded out the Quakers' performance on Saturday with a third-place finish in their freshman girls' doubles flight.

In varsity and JV races on Sunday, junior Bella Salvi finished fourth in time trials and advanced to the finals, where she finished fifth overall. Sunday's race marked Salvi's first time competing in singles since the 2019 season. Strong rowing by the boys' JV quad (Tyler Mangan, Jakob Lanfranco, Duncan Riley, Billy Kopf) and boys' varsity quad (Taylor Whitehead, Kees Lynch, James Tanner, Isaiah Woods-Kolsky) left both boats just seconds shy of qualifying for finals. Varsity rowers Taylor Lokoff and Amanda Cowhey finished out the day for the Quakers, putting it all out there in their doubles time trial. 

In a socially distant ceremony on April 28, Penn Charter celebrated six student-athletes who have committed to play their sport in college. Families, coaches and administrators gathered on Perrott Turf Field to recognize the students and pose for photos. 

Wednesday’s signing was the third such ceremony at Penn Charter this school year. Twenty-nine members of the Class of 2021 have signed NLIs or made similar commitments. See signees from November and December, 2020.

“We are incredibly proud of our student athletes,” said Director of Athletics and Athletic Planning John Thiel. “In this year's senior class, more than 25 percent of our graduates will continue their athletic careers at some of the finest colleges in the country.”

Congratulations! 

View photos from the ceremony on Flickr.
 

ATHLETE

SPORT

SCHOOL

Amanda Cowhey

Squash

Bowdoin College

Jamie Kubach

Lacrosse

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Molly McMahon

Soccer

DeSales University

Jake Siani

Baseball

Johns Hopkins University

Augie Smith

Soccer

Oberlin College

Ryan Wreath

Football

Muhlenberg College

 

The girls varsity lacrosse team has rolled past its opponents thus far and is currently undefeated, with one tie this season.

Initially ranked 25th in the nation by US Lacrosse and ranked second in the region, the Quakers have steadily climbed the national charts after wins against major opponents and a double-overtime tie against Conestoga High School (#9 in the nation, #1 in the region). On April 24, PC overcame a 5-goal deficit to beat Sacred Heart (CT) 12-11, completing a four-win week.

As of April 27, the team is ranked 16th in the nation. Go Charter!

girls lacrosse player carries ball. wears white uniform number 2 with Quakers across front. Wears a black mask over her face

In mid-April, junior Darcy Felter (pictured) was named Player of the Week in the Mid-Atlantic region for her outstanding play in several games early in the season. Senior Kaylee Dyer and juniors Charlotte Hodgson and Maddie Shoup all have been recognized by US Lacrosse this season as "notable" in the Mid-Atlantic region.

University of California-Berkeley junior Reece Whitley OPC '18 was named Scholar-Athlete of the Week by Berkeley’s Athletic Study Center on March 1. Whitley, 21, is a nationally renowned swimmer and committed advocate for social justice.

A statement from Berkeley’s Athletic Study Center cited Whitley’s “athletics and academic excellence” and record of “cultivating accountability for diversity, inclusivity, and advocacy within and outside the Cal community.”

“He has leaned on actively sharing his own lived experiences, while simultaneously listening to various voices and perspectives,” the statement continued. “His dedication to empowering others via social change is truly inspiring!” Read the full statement below.

A native of Lafayette Hill, Pa., Whitley has been leaving his mark on the competitive swimming world since age 12, when he broke his first national age-group record. He would go on to break 22 more while competing with the Penn Charter Aquatics Club and PC’s varsity swimming and diving team. In 2015 he was named Sports Illustrated’s SportsKid of the Year.

More recently, Whitley has been a vocal advocate for Black swimmers, serving as a core member of USA Swimming’s Black Leadership in Aquatics Coalition (BLAC). His work with that organization has brought Whitley to swim clubs around the country to speak about race and equity in the sport. After the historic Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, Whitley published an article on Berkeley’s website describing his commitment to racial justice within the swimming community and beyond.

During the 2019-20 season, Whitley, a Business Administration major, was named freshman swimmer of the year by the Pacific-12 Conference and also made the Pac-12’s academic honor roll. That season he helped lead Cal to its third straight Pac-12 Championship, picking up 62 total points in individual and relay competition and winning the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events outright. His time in the 200-meter breaststroke broke the Pac-12 championship record.

Whitley finished as a semifinalist in the 2016 Olympic trials, and this June he will attempt to qualify for the rescheduled Tokyo games, where his coach at Berkeley, David Durden, will be leading Team USA. Trials will be held in Omaha, Nebr., from June 13-20. 
 

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