Julia Veith OPC '21 won a world championship this weekend rowing for the USA at the 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships in Bulgaria.
Veith rowed stroke seat in the Junior Women’s Coxed Four that won the gold; Italy finished second and Germany third.
Veith (shown here, far left) was recruited to row for Stanford University and begins her studies soon.
A swimmer, she didn’t start rowing until ninth grade, when she joined the Penn Charter crew team. The PC team rows out of Undine Barge Club on Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row. Veith also rowed for the Whitemarsh Boat Club.
Debbie White, longtime coach and physical education teacher at Penn Charter, was surprised at a ceremony May 26 to honor her as an exemplary teacher-coach in the Inter-Academic League.
White received the Michael F. Mayock Distinguished Teacher-Coach Award, which honors and thanks teacher-coaches who have inspired young people in the classroom and on the playing field. She is the 25th educator to receive the award.
White began at Penn Charter in 1988 and oversaw the introduction of girls athletics at PC as the Upper School transitioned to co-education. She was the girls varsity lacrosse coach from 1988 to 2007 and girls athletics director from 1988 to 2006.
For the surprise ceremony, Head of School Darryl J. Ford interrupted girls lacrosse practice to usher White and members of the team to the perimeter of Maguire Field, where White's colleagues and former players were gathered for the ceremony.
Director of Athletics and Athletic Planning John Thiel presented the award along with John "Hench" Murray, a former PC teacher, administrator and football coach who coached against Mayock. Michael Mayock's son Matt also participated in the presentation.
In the photo above with Head of School Darryl J. Ford and Assistant Head of School Beth Glascott, White is shown with three previous Mayock Award winners from Penn Charter: Rick Mellor OPC '69, Stephen Bonnie OPC '66 and Val Erdmanis Hon. 1689.
Chelsea Erdmanis Greenspon OPC '02, in a video announcement to honor Debbie White by naming the girls locker room in Penn Charter's new William A. Graham IV OPC '58 Athletics & Wellness Center, said: "Anyone who has played for Debbie knows she is much more than a coach. She is also a mentor and lifelong friend. And when you play for Debbie, she takes you in and you truly become part of her family."
Michael Mayock, a football coach and teacher of Latin, math, English and history at The Haverford School, so inspired his students that when he retired from Haverford, in 1996, former students created and funded the award in his name. The award now is bestowed by the schools within the Inter-Academic League. Mayock died in January 2021 and a memorial will be held June 24.
Three Penn Charter athletes captured top honors in the Inter-Academic League’s 11-week spring season for five varsity sports.
Darcy Felter was named league MVP for girls lacrosse and Liam Birnie is MVP for boys tennis, and Danny Will shares co-MVP honors in baseball with Malvern’s Fran Oschell.
Darcy Felter, a junior, scored 110 total points (49 goals and 61 assists) and 76 draw controls in the season. Her performance brings her career points to 179, before her senior year and without playing a Covid-cancelled sophomore year.
“Darcy is an extremely talented player,” said Colleen Kelly, head girls lacrosse coach and associate director of PC Athletics. “The biggest thing that sticks out about her is her IQ and ability to feed the ball. Having 61 assists in a single season is very impressive and there are games where you do not even realize how many assists she has as it looks effortless. She leads people to the exact spot and sees the game like a point guard out there. She is a great teammate who pushes herself and everyone else around her to another level.”
Felter has committed to the University of North Carolina.
Liam Birnie, also a junior, did not lose a set all season and ended the spring season 12-0 against league opponents and 14-0 overall.
"Liam's on-court contributions can't be overestimated,” said boys tennis head coach Philip Stevens. “He is an enormous athletic talent with an unwavering work ethic and focus.
“Liam was an automatic win every time he stepped on the court this season, but his effect on his teammates goes far beyond those wins. Whether it was an early season practice in the cold and wind, or supporting his teammates in a tight tournament match, Liam was 100 percent positive and present, modeling intensity, concentration, and patience at every turn. I can't wait to see what he achieves next season and beyond," Stevens said.
Danny Will, in 28.2 innings pitched, recorded 3 wins and 0 losses, and 37 strikeouts. His 0.488 ERA was the best in the Inter-Ac. He also produced for the team as a designated hitter, with a batting average of .429 with four runs batted in.
"Danny put the team on his back every Friday this season and delivered every time,” said baseball head coach Justin Hanley.
“The ultimate competitor and student-athlete, Danny is a tremendous ambassador for our program and Penn Charter academic community."
A senior, Will has signed to play at Dartmouth.
(Photos: Zamani Feelings, Zamani Feelings, Mike Nance)
Penn Charter athletes enjoyed an abbreviated but exciting spring Inter-Ac season and finished strong.
Crew did well across the board in the Stotesbury Cup Regatta. That sculling competition draws teams from around the nation and Penn Charter sent three boats to the finals and had the best outcome among the local teams: a silver Stotesbury medal for our boys freshman quad (pictured below). Stotesbury details in Chestnut Hill Local.
Girls track had an outstanding day at the final Inter-Ac meet, at Germantown Academy. Peyton Parker (300m hurdles), Dani Shipon (800m) and Olivia Montini (3,200m) each won first place. And the girls – Julia Dolce, Montini, Zwall and Shipon – won the 4 x 800 relay. Zwall won second in a photo-finish 1,600m race, and Amanda Ehrenhalt took third in the 100m hurdles.
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.