Breadcrumbs

PC SportsZone Athletics Blog Header

 

Ray Bailey

At long last, it’s arrived: another exciting school year has officially begun on School House Lane, meaning 10 Penn Charter varsity fall athletic programs have convened for the start of their respective seasons. Through PC/GA Day on November 12, this space will serve as a twice-a-week update for all things Quaker sports. With the season underway, let’s take a closer team-by-team look at the action so far.

Note: This report covers results from athletic events through Sept. 20

Football

Record: 2-0 

After a season-opening 21-0 shutout victory over Neumann-Goretti on Sept. 3 in South Philadelphia, the Quakers had to wait two weeks to play their home opener against Blair Academy (NJ) at Maguire Field this past Saturday. 

It was well worth the wait, as senior captain and linebacker Liam Rowan recovered a Blair fumble in the endzone with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the decisive score in a gritty 17-13 Quaker victory. Senior quarterback Colin Schumm passed for 172 yards and ran for 48 more (all rushing yards came in the second half), while senior wideout Isaiah Grimes caught six passes for 96 yards and PC’s lone offensive score, and junior Zack Curtin rushed 15 times for 74 yards in support of a stout Quaker defense that was mostly impenetrable after an early blip. 

“A lot of heart on that defense, a lot of desire,” said Rowan, who lined up at all three linebacker spots, as well as cornerback and defensive end during the game. “We get together every day during lunch or free periods to watch film, and we just never give up. It’s a ‘just us’ thing, being aggressive, being confident and rallying to the football.”

The two-week layoff produced a bit of rust, as well as the difficulties that come from being short-handed due to injury and playing in unseasonably hot weather, and that was evident early: the Quakers allowed a 14-play, 70-yard touchdown drive to open the game that ate almost nine minutes of game clock, and managed only a 31-yard Jimmy Melnick field goal on offense in the first half. But the team stayed together despite not playing its sharpest, and Blair’s next three drives ended in two punts and a turnover on downs, allowing PC to head into halftime trailing just 6-3. 

With the defense standing tall, Schumm led an 8-play, 78-yard scoring drive to open the second half, culminating with an 18-yard strike to Grimes in the corner of the end zone to give PC a 10-6 lead, its first advantage of the game. 

It would be short-lived, as Blair needed just three plays to go back in front 13-10 thanks to a 36-yard passing score with 8:11 left in the third. The next two PC drives ended in a turnover on downs and a punt, and a promising drive to open the fourth was quelled when a Schumm pass from the Blair 11 went off Grimes’ hands and was intercepted deep in the red zone.

“Turnovers happen in this game,” PC head coach Tom Coyle said. “Our offense turned the ball over, and the defense had to come out, be aggressive and try to make a play to make up for that disappointment.”

The interception could have taken the wind out of the Quakers’ sails, but that’s not what happened. Instead, with Blair pinned deep in its own zone starting the drive from its own 6-yard line, an errant snap on the very next play led to a fumble in the end zone. Before Blair’s quarterback could fall on the ball for a safety — which would have kept the visitors in front 13-12—Rowan burst through the line and ripped the 50/50 ball from the QB’s grasp for a PC touchdown. 

“As soon as it happened,” Rowan said. “I just knew that was our moment for the defense to pick up the offense. I saw resilience. Our guys really stepped up when we were down, and we never gave up. We fought as hard as we could.”

Through two games, Rowan and the PC defense have allowed just 13 points. Blair’s final two drives ended with a turnover on downs and a punt, and the Quakers picked up two huge first downs on their final drive—an 11-yard pass from Schumm to senior Seamus McCain on third-and-eight and a seven-yard first-down run by Curtin, which allowed Penn Charter to run out the clock. 

It wasn’t perfect, but football doesn’t have to be. After two games, the Quakers are a 2-0 team, with the opportunity to push that to 3-0 on Friday afternoon at home against Father Judge (4 p.m.), where Coyle was the head coach for 13 years before coming to Penn Charter in 2013.

“We’re becoming a better football team,” Coyle said. “We’re not a good team yet, but we’re working to become one. We could’ve dipped our heads and felt sorry for ourselves when things weren’t going our way. But after that turnover, we made a play on defense and then got a couple stops after we scored. That’s a winning football team. We’re going to coach them up and get ready to try to do it again on Friday against a good Father Judge football team.”


Boys Soccer

Record: 5-3 

The boys soccer team already has eight games under its belt, as its coaches have assembled a jam-packed and difficult non-league schedule to prepare the team for its grueling Inter-Ac slate, which will begin the first week of October. 

Thus far, the Quakers have scored wins over two Catholic League powers (Saint Joseph’s Prep, Roman Catholic), a Public League challenger (Boys Latin) and two out-of-state opponents (Archbishop Curley, Maryland and Summit Country Day School, Ohio). The three defeats have come at the hands of local stalwart Archbishop Ryan and two more non-Pennsylvania teams in Gonzaga College High (D.C.) and New Jersey’s St. Benedict’s Prep, the latter being one of the top-ranked teams in the country.

“The strength of our early season schedule will definitely have us prepared to play in a very strong Inter-Ac League,” head coach Bobby DiBenedetto said. “This year’s team combines a few young players added to the roster coupled with several returning starters.”

DiBenedetto pointed out several key players, including program veterans like senior Owen Black and juniors Jimmy Melnick and Britton Armbrister, while freshmen Willem van Beelen and Will Adair have both stepped into critical varsity roles already and, according to DiBenedetto, “have been welcome additions on attack.”

The team’s Wednesday game against Father Judge was canceled. The next scheduled game is Sept. 27 at home against Plymouth Whitemarsh (3:45 p.m.), though DiBenedetto and company are looking to add a game between now and then. 
 

Girls Soccer

Record: 4-1

After a season-opening 4-1 loss to Summit Country Day School (Ohio) on Sept. 4, the Quakers have ripped off four consecutive wins over St. Hubert (5-2), Little Flower (8-3) and Germantown Friends (6-1), as well as picking up their first league win, a demonstrative 6-0 showing against Baldwin on Sept. 19. The 25-goal explosion during the win streak has been a major lift for new head coach Ashley Maher, who officially takes the reins as program leader after serving as the interim coach in 2021 and as an assistant since 2013. Penn Charter has won four league titles and two PAISAA crowns in that time, so the team is hoping for much of that same success under Maher moving forward.

“Starting this season as head coach has been very exciting, though not that different from my last nine seasons,” Maher said. “We’ve always coached as a team and will continue to do so.”

Because of some early injuries, Maher has had to move girls around in a plug-and-play approach. Some early headliners have been freshman Cassidy McCusker, who has scored three goals after moving up front from the back line; junior Haley Lewinski, returning from ACL surgery in her knee, also has netted three scores; sophomore Tristan Raymond, a spark plug on the outside, has tallied five goals; and junior Olivia Linus, a threat to both score a goal or assist on one, scored twice against Baldwin in the league opener. 

Maher also pointed out the contributions of senior Bella Toomey, who has had to jump into net the last few games due to an injury to starting sophomore goalkeeper Rosey McNamee. The Quakers are weathering the early storm and still finding success despite adversity, which will come in handy when the league schedule begins this week.

“Our league is very, very competitive,” Maher said. “There are no easy games, so we’ve been preparing and training the players hard over the last month. We have exciting young players, and it will be fun to watch them continue to mix it up with our veteran players.”

Maher and company will continue Inter-Ac play on Friday, Sept. 23 vs. SCH Academy at 4 p.m.

 

Boys Water Polo

Record: 3-5

It’s been a busy start to the fall for boys water polo, tying boys soccer with eight games played so far. The Quakers have scored victories against two Maryland-based schools in Loyola-Blakefield and Mount St. Joseph’s in the Philmore Cup on Sept. 2-3, and another against Calvert Hall on Sept. 10. PC has fallen to two local schools (Hill School & Wissahickon) while also losing to three out-of-towners (Gonzaga College High in D.C., Gilman in Maryland and Y Pro, from Brooklyn). 

The competition has been fierce, as head coach Bobby Wurtz is preparing the boys for a challenging league schedule, which begins on Oct. 7 at Haverford. Early standouts for PC, according to Wurtz, have been leading goal-scorer and senior Cormac Stevens, fellow seniors Scott Sweeney (the team’s best defensive player) and Juan Tovar, and junior P.J. Duffy. The team’s primary goalie, sophomore James Walters, has shined despite his underclassman status. 

“The boys water polo team is led by a strong group of four seniors,” Wurtz said. “Although we have failed to close out some winnable games, I am happy with the improvements that have been made since last year. We have a lot of confidence as we move into the second half of our season.”

Up next for the Quakers is the Beast of the East Tournament in Berks County this Friday,  where they will take on Wissahickon first; Saturday’s opponent will be determined by results from Friday’s contests.


Girls Water Polo

Record: 3-0

Head coach Brian Hecker and the PC girls water polo team are off to an undefeated start, winning each of its first three games: a 14-8 triumph over Hill School on Sept. 14 and a pair of victories over Lawrenceville (20-9) and Pingry (17-6) this past Saturday. 

Against Hill, the Quakers had seven different goal scorers, led by four apiece from senior captains Merrill Gadsden and Lindsay Gadsden, while sophomore Eliza Black paced the defense with three steals. 

Meanwhile, in Saturday’s doubleheader, PC exploded for 37 goals: against Lawrenceville, Merrill Gadsden posted eight goals and four assists, while eighth-grader Chelsea Gadsden made 11 saves in goal, and sophomores Black, Ryan Hatty and Zoe Page all scored twice. Later that day against Pingry, the Quakers picked up where they left off, with Hatty tallying four goals and three assists and Merrill Gadsden continuing her hot start by picking up six assists. The team again showed its depth with nine different goal scorers, with Lindsay Gadsden and sophomore Grace Magee finding the back of the net three times each.

“Coming off their Eastern Prep Championship from last year, the girls team is off to a great start after their first three games,” Hecker said. “Their hard work and dedication to getting better each and every day is preparing them to have another great season.”

Like their male counterparts, girls water polo will participate in the Beast of the East Tournament this weekend, taking on Cumberland on Friday, with Saturday’s opponent to be determined by results from Friday’s contests.


Boys Cross Country

Results: 9/10: 3rd place, Abington Invitational; 9/13: 1st place, Inter-Ac dual meet; 9/17: 4th place, George School Invitational; 9/20: 2nd place, Inter-Ac dual meet

Despite head coach Tim Zwall estimating the Quakers to have the fewest number of runners on their roster in the Inter-Ac at 11, the team has had a strong showing in its first three races of the season. Seniors Wes Trautwein, Jack Frank and James Glomb, along with sophomores TJ Zwall and Nate Johnson, will be PC’s headliners this season and five runners for whom Coach Zwall has high hopes. Rounding out the roster is junior Elijah Leckerman, sophomore Ross Lee and freshmen Liam Stewart, Alex Coupas, Peyton Burnett and Myles Jacobs. 

Johnson (3rd), Trautwein (7th) and Zwall (8th) all had top-eight finishes in the season-opening Abington Invitational in which the Quakers placed third, while Trautwein, TJ Zwall, Johnson and Frank finished first through fourth, respectively, in last week’s Inter-Ac race, which saw PC upend Malvern and Haverford. 

This past Saturday at the George School Invitational, Penn Charter finished fourth out of 19 competing teams, with TJ Zwall (11th), Trautwein (15th) and Johnson (20th) all securing top-20 overall finishes. The Quakers followed the weekend’s strong showing with another solid effort on Sept. 20, finishing second out of six in an Inter-Ac Invitational at Belmont Plateau, trailing only Episcopal. Trautwein, TJ Zwall and Johnson placed sixth through eighth, while Frank (10th) made it four finishers in the top-10.

“Things have gone great so far,” Tim Zwall said. “James Glomb just joined us, as he had been tied up with prior commitments to his primary sport of crew. James will give us a big boost in the team standings as the season moves forward.”

Next up, the boys will participate in this week’s Six Flags Invitational on Sept. 24. 


Girls Cross Country

Results: 9/10: 10th place, Abington Invitational; 9/13- 1st place, Inter-Ac dual meet; 9/17- 3rd place, George School Invitational; 9/20: 1st place, Inter-Ac dual meet

Fresh off winning league and PAISAA titles last spring as the head girls track coach, Candice Lee is back for more with the PC cross country squad. Lee’s headliners are expected to be sophomores Alli DeLisi, Sam Jaffe and Alex Jaffe, as well as junior Grace Neuwirth, with senior Veronica Lentz, freshman Natalia Modzelewski and sophomore Louella Whitaker rounding out the varsity rotation. 

The team kicked off its season by finishing 10th at the Abington Invitational, with DeLisi placing second overall. In the dual meet with GA, Baldwin and Agnes Irwin, the Quakers finished first, with DeLisi also finishing first, trailed by Sam Jaffe (fourth), Alex Jaffe (sixth), Neuwirth (seventh) and Lentz (10th). 

Most recently at the George School Invitational this past weekend, PC finished third out of 16 teams, with DeLisi (second) and Sam Jaffe (18th) both placing in the top 20. The Quakers followed that event up on Sept. 20 by besting both GA (19 points to GA’s 39) and SCH Academy (15 to 50), with six PC runners finishing among the 10 best. 

“The season is going great so far,” Lee said. “We lost four seniors that graduated and were lucky to add a large freshman class of runners to this year’s team. They have been putting in the work and continue to improve each week. The varsity team continues to work together and push each other at practice each day, and their hard work and dedication shows in the final results from each meet.”

The Quaker girls will also participate in the Six Flags Invitational on Sept. 24.
 

Field Hockey

Record: 2-0

Led by head coach Gretta Ehret OPC ’05, the PC field hockey team is also off to an unbeaten start. The Quakers picked up season-opening victories over Shipley (2-0) on Sept. 13 and Friends Select (4-3) on Sept. 15.

According to Ehret, seniors and future collegiate athletes have led the way during the team’s promising start. Ashlee Bucksar, who will play field hockey at Liberty, and Alex Glomb, a Penn lacrosse recruit, have created scoring opportunities on the front line. Drexel lacrosse signee Bea Buckley and Sydney DelBello (Johns Hopkins field hockey) have been solid in transition in the midfield, while junior Zady Hasse has anchored the defensive line. Young players getting their first varsity experience that have Ehret excited for more include sophomores Fiona Brady and Kaylinn Bethea and freshman Ava Diaz.

“Our team is full of competitive athletes who want to improve every day,” Ehret said. “The girls have been showing good chemistry on and off the field while beginning to pick up higher-level concepts of the game. I look forward to watching the growth of this team throughout the season.”

The Quakers will next be in action on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Academy of the New Church (4 p.m.) before returning home the following day to host SCH Academy at 3:30. 
 

Girls Tennis

Record: 2-1

Led by new head coach Josh Victor, the PC girls tennis team is another squad off to a promising start to its 2022 season. Victor came to the Quakers from Cheltenham, the school he coincidentally picked up his first Penn Charter win over on Sept. 9, a 6-1 decision to kick off his tenure in East Falls. 

PC fell to Baldwin 5-2 on Sept. 13 but has since picked up another victory against SCH Academy on Sept. 16 (4-3). Senior captain Lexi Barr is the Quakers’ No. 1 singles player for the fourth consecutive year, and Victor is also excited about some of the program’s youth. For example, the match against SCH came down to an exciting No. 1 doubles match, and sophomores Leila Feldman and Bridgitte Gold secured the win for Penn Charter. 

“We have a strong contingent of freshmen and sophomores who set us up nicely for the future as well as the present,” Victor said. “These are exciting times in the Inter-Ac, which is very competitive at the moment. The first few wins have been great, and I look forward to many more. It feels great to be a Quaker. I am proud to be part of a community that values good citizenry, hard work and equity.” 

The Quakers will be on the road for their next two matches: Sept. 21 at Hill School (3:45 p.m.) and Sept. 23 at Notre Dame (3:30). 


Golf

The Penn Charter golf team has been at it since the final day of August, playing in three matches so far this season. 

The Quakers fell to La Salle on Aug. 31 at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club by a score of 219-267 before rebounding with a win over Abington (314-332) on Sept. 7. Another match with La Salle last week saw the same result, with the Explorers narrowly prevailing 189-196.

Penn Charter got its first taste of Inter-Ac play on Sept. 20, finishing fourth out of six with a total of 213 points, trailing GA (200), Haverford (205) and Malvern (206).

Head coach Jim Sullivan’s squad continues its busy week against Springfield Township on Wednesday (3:30, Sandy Run CC) and Saint Joseph’s Prep on Friday (3:30, Huntingdon Valley CC).

Ed Morrone OPC ‘04

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.

Girls Lacrosse

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.”
 

Girls Track

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.
 

Boys Lacrosse

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.”

 

Boys Track

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. 

 

Boys Tennis

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."
 

Baseball

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.”
 

Softball

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.”
 

Co-Ed Rowing

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.”
 

Ed Morrone OPC '04

Before we can finally call a wrap on the 2021-22 Penn Charter athletics season, let’s take one final look at the three spring teams that were still competing as the calendar shifted us all into holiday mode. Two squads played out their schedules in the PAISAA Tournament while another hit the water one final time. Now that plans to scatter for the summer are starting to unfold with graduation right around the corner, let’s check to see how things ended for the Quakers.

Girls Lacrosse

Penn Charter had to fight off four yellow cards in the PAISAA title game on May 26, with the fourth triggering a scenario that forced PC to compete down a player for the final 18:22 of the second half against league rival SCH Academy.

No matter — the Quakers still had Maddie Shoup.

Shoup scored three times, including PC’s lone second half tally in what amounted to the game-winner with 4:20 left, leading the Quakers to their first-ever PAISAA championship crown in a tight 8-7 victory over the Blue Devils at Cabrini College. In Penn Charter’s three-game PAISAA run, Shoup scored 16 goals, bringing her total on the season to 71, one more than senior teammate Darcy Felter. 

The fact that SCH face-guarded Shoup early on didn’t stop her, nor did the team playing 10-on-11 for nearly an entire half of a championship game. Quite frankly, nothing could get in the way of Shoup’s determination to end her career as a champion after four long years of scaling the mountain.

“She just took over the games,” head coach Colleen Kelly said of her star player’s run of excellence. “Every time she touched the ball, it was either an assist or it ended up in the back of the net.”

Shoup, who will play collegiately at Colorado, was the leader of a senior class that ran 12 deep. Whether it was Shoup, Felter (North Carolina), Charlotte Hodgson (Harvard) or five-year varsity player Grace Turner, the Quakers had no shortage of players who had been through it all. They were part of a freshman class that lost to Agnes Irwin in the PAISAA semifinals in 2019, lost their sophomore seasons entirely to the pandemic in 2020 and again fell to Agnes Irwin last year, this time in the championship game of an Inter-Ac tournament that stood in for PAISAA thanks to lingering COVID concerns.

And while Penn Charter (20-4-1) finished second behind Episcopal in the regular season, the PAISAA bracket represented an opportunity for those dozen seniors to end their stellar careers with their final game being a win. It was the perfect culmination of the team’s journey over the last four years.

“I wanted nothing more than for this group to end with a championship, because they were so deserving of it,” Kelly said. “At the beginning of their careers, we weren’t even close. It’s an accumulation of all the hard work they put in to get better under their leadership. They were two one-goal losses away [to EA] from winning an Inter-Ac championship, and they adjusted and learned from those losses to put us in a position to finish it. For it to finally come together with a championship is amazing.”

It sure wasn’t easy against SCH (17-5), but the Quakers had become battle tested in these types of close games throughout the season. They suffered through those two one-goal defeats to Episcopal, and even lost to SCH 12-9 back on April 5, so the team knew what it took to get over the proverbial hump. Shoup scored her first goal at the 21:15 mark of the first half to put PC up 2-0, and scored another a little more than a minute later to push the lead to three. Felter, who had three assists, found Hodgson for a pair of first-half tallies, the second of which put the Quakers up 6-3 with 10:54 remaining. 

“It’s a blessing as a coach to have those three out there, because nothing ever really scares me,” Kelly said. “If Maddie is face-guarded, we have so many more weapons. Darcy was awesome whenever she had opportunities, and Charlotte stepped up and took over when she needed to. We have such flexibility on our attack, and they’re all so unselfish. It’s not like they’re trying to score more than the other — it’s allowing for whoever’s day it is to let that person shine.”

Aided by PC competing with a player down for much of the second half, SCH rallied, cutting the deficit to 7-6 with 8:49 to play. Things were tense, especially with PC deploying a cat-and-mouse strategy to play keep-away and help drain the clock, but Shoup delivered what ended up being the final blow with a little more than four minutes remaining. 

“We would’ve loved to win the Inter-Ac too, but this was everything we could have hoped for,” Kelly said. “With this title, this senior group pretty much started what I was trying to create. In the beginning, it was more trying to get them to believe they could do it; now that it’s happened, there was never a belief that we wouldn’t get here. It’s exactly the culture I wanted to have with Penn Charter girls lacrosse, and they helped fulfill that.”

In addition to Shoup, Felter, Hodgson and Walter, the 2022 senior class also includes: Lauren Anderson, Kayla Bradby, Ella Curci, Tayanna Kelly, Lauren Martz, Brenna McCafferty, Lane Murray and Kaila Rahn. While they will be graduating imminently, there will be plenty of talent returning for the 2023 season, including talented juniors in goalie Kayla Joyce, Shoup’s younger sister, Gracie, who scored in the PAISAA final, and Bea Buckley, who scored twice.

“From here on out, we can’t go backwards,” Kelly said. “The aim is to do this every single year. We’ll take it one day at a time, but that’s our goal. We’re no longer at the bottom of the Inter-Ac anymore. This represents the top.”

 

Box score vs. SCH:

Maddie Shoup: 3 goals, 1 draw control, 1 ground ball
Charlotte Hodgson: 2 goals, 1 assist, 4 draw controls, 2 ground balls, 2 caused turnovers
Bea Buckley: 2 goals
Gracie Shoup: 1 goal, 3 draw controls
Darcy Felter: 3 assists, 1 draw control, 1 ground ball, 1 caused turnover
Grace Turner: 2 caused turnovers
Lauren Anderson: 1 caused turnover
Kayla Joyce: 5 saves

 

Baseball

Through five innings, Penn Charter baseball was sitting pretty. On their home field, the Quakers held a 3-0 lead over Inter-Ac rival Haverford School in a May 26 PAISAA semifinal matchup. Not only that, but sophomore starting pitcher Christian Clauss was dealing on the mound, surrendering just one hit through the first five frames. 

A win against the Fords would have sent PC to the championship game against Malvern Prep, with the team’s ace, Scott Doran, rested and ready to go on the hill. But baseball is a cruel, unforgiving game to those who play it, and Haverford had just enough left in the tank to break Penn Charter’s hearts and end the team’s season.

With Clauss still in control, the Fords finally broke through in the sixth, getting a two-out, two-run single off the bat of Jake LaRocca. Freshman Caleb Barnett relieved Clauss in the sixth after the lead was cut to 3-2, and Haverford’s Colby McNeely delivered the knockout punch in the visiting seventh, a two-run double that gave the Fords a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.

“We were in control for almost six innings, then we had the rug pulled out from under us,” Penn Charter head coach Justin Hanley said. “It was a frustrating finish, but this game had it all in terms of going back and forth with these high pressure moments. It was just one of those days, and that’s baseball for you.”

Hanley called Clauss’s effort “phenomenal, and I told him when I made the change that it was the best I’ve ever een him throw.” As for Barnett, he had entered in relief against Haverford twice already this season and, despite his freshman standing, was the player Hanley wanted on the mound with the season on the line. 

“He wanted that moment, and he was the right guy in that spot having delivered for us all year,” Hanley said of Barnett. “Their best hitter drove in the deciding two-run double, and that’s a lesson learned for Caleb. I couldn’t be prouder of the way he battled all year as a freshman.”

The Quakers (12-13-1) had an opportunity to walk it off in the home seventh, putting runners on first and second with one out. Freshman catcher Kyle McKernan had doubled with one out, and senior Vince Fattore was subsequently hit by a pitch. Liam Rowan hit into a fielder’s choice with Fattore forced out at second, and while Rowan beat the throw to first, McKernan’s courtesy runner took too wide a turn around third base and was caught in a rundown between third and home plate, eventually getting tagged as the final out of PC’s season.

On top of this missed opportunity, Rowan had another golden opportunity in the second inning that nearly blew the game open. With the bases loaded and PC already holding a 3-0 lead, Rowan ripped a missile into the right field gap that was run down by Haverford (17-10) center fielder Will Ferris in the form of a tremendous diving catch near the wall that thwarted the big inning.

“With Liam’s speed, that’s at least a triple if it falls and a 6-0 game,” Hanley said. “Just an incredible running catch, and that was the turning point. Man, it’s 6-0 if that drops … but again, that’s baseball. We were confident heading into the sixth inning, but the baseball gods thought otherwise. As a coach and a fan, these types of games are kind of cool to see all of the back and forth action.”

Despite the crushing and abrupt end, the little three-game mini-run the Quakers went on reinvigorated a program that went just 3-7 in the Inter-Ac this season after losing ace pitcher Andrew Healy to a season-ending injury. PC got mercy ruled off its own field in a 13-1 loss to Episcopal that ended the regular season a week earlier, so to see the team rally to win games over Hill and Perkiomen (the lineup crushed five home runs in the team’s final win of the season) before narrowly falling to Haverford was a testament to Hanley’s coaching, his 10 senior leaders, and talented underclassmen like Clauss, Barnett and McKernan, all of whom will return for the 2023 season.

“That EA game was a debacle, so we had to lean on our senior leadership to tell our guys that we weren’t looking forward to the summer just yet,” Hanley said. “Our goal was to face Malvern again in the finals, and that was the carrot we kept dangled in front of us. It was a nice run with a good win at home against Hill, as well as the explosion at Perkiomen. It was a testament to our senior leadership, because these kids did not quit. We’ve also seen the future, so it’s an optimistic vision moving forward.”

PC won eight league games in 2021, so a quick turnaround in 2023 does not fall outside the realm of possibility. For the senior class of Fattore, Healy, Henry Davis, Andrew Duffy, Ed Guarnaccia, Jackson Handler, Jack Larrabee, Aidan Mehta, Alex Nadol and Charlie Weiss, the 4-3 loss to Haverford represented the end of the line in their Penn Charter careers (Fattore and Healy will both play college ball at Duke). The rest will remember this three-game run as an appetizer to enter the offseason focused and determined before next season comes around.

“The last three games of our season, that was Penn Charter baseball,” Hanley said. “We tested the senior leadership and put it on them, and it was awesome for them to take that to heart and go on a nice run. We got it back to playing to the ability we all knew that we could. To make that run took every ounce of energy and effort, and they brought it. I couldn’t have asked for anything more from these 10 seniors.

“The last three games showed us that we can compete with anybody. Everybody chipped in. I’m happy with some of the young guys who will be guiding our team next season. It’s really exciting for me to end the year the way we did heading into next season.”

 

Rowing

PC was back on the water over Memorial Day weekend in the team’s final regatta of the season, this time with four qualified boats competing in the SRAA Nationals, a championship for all North American rowing crews. Instead of the familiar setting of Boathouse Row on the Schuylkill River, this time the Quakers trekked over the bridge to race on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.

Duncan Riley placed 5th in the Boys Varsity 1x with a time of 6:22.81; in the Varsity 2x, James Glomb and Scott Sweeney finished 4th with a final posting of 5:31.34. Elsewhere, in the JV 4x, the boat of Mackenzie Haines, Jack Bowen, James Foley and Elias Moulton produced a 6th-place finish with a time of 5:20.93. Finally, the lone girls boat of Ella Bretschneider, Lindsay Gadsden, Merrill Gadsden and Ellie Choate finished 5th, clocking in with a time of 6:10.36 in the Girls JV 4x. 

“These were the four boats that were top finishers this season that led them to row at Nationals,” assistant coach Michael Moulton said. “It was a big accomplishment.”

As for the season as a whole, the Quakers often battled rainy skies and windy river conditions, sometimes being unable to get on the water at all. When the team was able to compete, it shined, even if the sun was often stubborn in doing so itself. 

“Mother Nature this spring made for some interesting stories and logistical nightmares, but despite the flooding, thunderstorms, high winds and heat waves, the crew team experienced a most successful season,” Moulton said. “We found success at the Manny Flick Regattas, where we had many top finishes and great races. In the pinnacle event of the season — the Stotesbury Cup Regatta (the largest scholastic regatta in the world, with 6,000 competitors)  — 22 rowers made it through time trials and qualified for and progressed to the semi-finals and finals. This is the largest group of PC boats to do so in the history of the program.”

Ed Morrone OPC '04

This week has been a continuation of the PAISAA postseason tournament for three Penn Charter spring teams. As of May 25, two were still alive, with one landing in the semifinals and another having a championship game on deck. Let’s take a closer look at how we got there:

Girls Lacrosse

Before the spectators could even finish filing into the Perrott Field bleachers for Penn Charter’s May 24 PAISAA semifinal game against the Hill School, the Quakers had raced out to a 4-0 lead in less than five minutes. Three of those goals came off the sticks of seniors Maddie Shoup (twice) and Darcy Felter, and it seemed like PC might run its opposition right off the field. Then, just like that, after some questionable whistles that yielded second-chance opportunities, Hill mounted a rally, scoring four consecutive goals and entering halftime with the score knotted at 4. 

A suddenly close game with the season on the line? No problem, just call on Shoup and Felter to put out the fire. 

Led by Shoup’s seven goals and Felter’s four, the Quakers blitzed Hill in the second half, out-scoring their opponent 12-2 en route to a 16-6 win. PC advanced to the May 26 PAISAA title game against SCH Academy, which will be played at 4 p.m. on the campus of Cabrini College. 

This 16-goal onslaught was on the heels of last week’s 16-7 first-round win over GA, in which Shoup took that one over as well with a six-goal output. Shoup scored the first three goals out of the break against Hill in just over three minutes of game time, and Felter added another less than a minute later to push the lead to 8-4. Hill cut it to a two-goal lead one more time with 15:03 to go but never scored again, thanks to a stingy Quaker defense as well as strong play in goal from Kayla Joyce. When Shoup and Felter are scoring at this rate and the back line is doing its job, Penn Charter is hard to stop.

“If I had to pick someone to go to battle with, I’m picking Maddie Shoup,” said Felter, who also added two assists, six draw controls and two ground balls. “She’s the one who will fight for that ground ball and put her shots away. She’s so shifty, and it’s hard to defend her when she slips the seams. Get her the ball, and good things are going to happen.”

There are many things that make the PC offense lethal, but one of the main reasons is how much the girls support one another. There is no competition over who scores the most goals. 

“At the end of the day, if the game is tied with two seconds left, Darcy is who I want with the ball,” said Shoup, who added an assist, four draw controls, a ground ball, and three caused turnovers. “She has such a high lacrosse IQ. Everything comes so naturally to her, and when she’s on the field and sees an opportunity, she always puts it away.”

Penn Charter won 19 games this season compared to just four losses, yet still finished second in the Inter-Ac standings this year behind Episcopal (EA defeated the Quakers in both regular season meetings and is not playing in this tournament). So, for seniors such as Shoup and Felter, the PAISAA Tournament represents another opportunity to end their careers as champions. Not many high school athletes get the opportunity to say the last game they ever played ended in a title win, but that’s what Shoup, Felter and the 10 other seniors have directly in front of them.

“During our freshman year, we’d lose 14-0 to successful teams like Agnes Irwin and Episcopal, and now we’re playing one-goal games and beating teams like that, so it just shows how far we’ve come,” Felter said. “This group of seniors is really special.”

None of these seniors have won a PAISAA title, which makes all of them supremely motivated. When Shoup sliced and diced her way to three immediate second-half goals, it was evident she was playing with a little extra pep in her step. She was fiercely determined to win the game for her team, and the 13 goals she’s scored already in this tournament are proof of that fact.

Not only that, but Shoup, Felter and company lost only four games this season, with one of those being a 12-9 defeat at SCH Academy on April 5. PC finished a game in front of the Blue Devils in the standings, but that defeat still looms large in the players’ minds. Before they shook hands with Hill after the game, the Quakers were informed by the coaching staff that they would get another shot at SCH, who edged Agnes Irwin 9-8 in the other semifinal. Every single one of them audibly cheered at the outcome.

“We’re definitely very excited,” Shoup said. “I remember how I felt when we lost to them. We all do. None of us have forgotten that, so getting the chance to play them again is huge for us. With all that we’ve been through, the chance to finally win PAISAA is something that we all want so badly.”

The Quakers will get their chance today at 4 p.m. at Cabrini College. Follow the action live on YouTube
 

The rest of the Penn Charter box score from Tuesday is listed below:
 

Charlotte Hodgson: 2 goals, 4 draw controls, ground ball
Bea Buckley: goal, assist, ground ball, caused turnover
Gracie Shoup: goal, draw control
Alex Glomb: goal, 3 ground balls, 2 caused turnovers
Grace Walter: assist, ground ball
Lane Murray: assist, ground ball, 2 caused turnovers
Ella Curci: 3 ground balls, 3 caused turnovers
Kayla Joyce: 2 saves

 

Baseball

Typically, home runs are not an enormous part of the high school baseball landscape. 

Apparently, nobody told Penn Charter about that.

Following last week’s opening-round PAISAA win over the Hill School, the No. 6 Quakers traveled to No. 3 Perkiomen on May 24 and turned the field into their own personal launch pad. In the third inning alone, PC smashed four round-trippers off the bats of Shawn Flynn (2-for-3, HR, RBI), Vince Fattore (HR, 2 RBI), Aidan Mehta (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI) and Tim Ford (1-for-2, HR, 3 RBI). The team raced out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back, and starting pitcher Scott Doran got in on the fun himself by clubbing a home run in the top of the fourth to increase the lead to 12-1, which ended up being the final score of the contest. Following his two innings of strong pitching against Hill, Doran was again exceptional on the mound against Perkiomen, allowing just one run and one hit while striking out eight in five innings of work. 

The win pushed Penn Charter into the semifinals, where they will host Inter-Ac rival No. 7 Haverford at Palaia Field at 4 p.m. on May 26. Should the Quakers advance, the championship game will be played against the winner of Malvern-SCH Academy at 3 p.m. on May 28 at Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth in Plymouth Meeting. 

 

Softball

The softball team was originally scheduled to kick off its PAISAA run last week, but inclement weather twice pushed PC’s first-round game at Perkiomen to May 23. In the end, the wait was more than worth it, as the No. 9 Quakers’ bats exploded with multiple home runs to knock off host eighth-seeded Perkiomen with an emphatic 19-1 victory. Macie Bergmann and Maddie Brooks each socked three-run home runs in the second inning as PC raced out to a 9-0 lead. Bergmann added another three-run home run later in the game, and she also contributed a double. Lauren Gedraitis shut the opposition down from the pitching circle, allowing just one run as the game was called after three innings.

“Lauren pitched great, and the girls’ bats were on fire,” head coach Melissa O’Connor said. “It was our best hitting as a team throughout the entire season.”

Unfortunately, due to the bad weather and compressed schedule, the Quakers did not have much time to bask in the glow of victory as they were right back at it the next day at top-seeded SCH Academy. PC was able to scatter eight hits across five innings, but none of those runners crossed the plate in a game the Blue Devils ultimately won 10-0. While the loss ended Penn Charter’s season, there was still much to be proud of, as well as lots to look forward to next season.

“It was a tough year with a new coaching staff and limited help,” O’Connor said. “The captains stepped up tremendously in practices and games, pushing everyone to play their best. The highlight of the season was seeing every girl make improvements, offensively and defensively. The team camaraderie grew stronger as the season went on, and they fought hard together towards the end of the season and PAISAA tournament. This is a young team, and I look forward to seeing what the girls bring next year.”

 

Rowing

Just as a reminder, PC will be back on the water May 26-28 in the team’s final regatta of the season, this time with four qualified boats competing in the SRAA Nationals, a championship for all North American rowing crews, on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.
 

Ed Morrone OPC '04

While the season has ended for two of Penn Charter’s spring teams — tennis and boys lacrosse — it was PAISAA time for a handful of others, and the Quaker rowing squad was busy competing in multiple events this past weekend. Summer may indeed be on the horizon, but there’s still some athletic action to resolve on campus before the PC community scatters for the warmer months. Here’s a closer look at where the remaining teams stand:
 

Girls Track

On the heels of its team title at the Inter-Ac championships the previous weekend, head coach Candice Lee’s girls track squad made it two titles in two weeks by capturing the PAISAA crown on May 21 with a total of 136.5 points. As has been the case all season, there were a plethora of individual and relay performances to highlight:


100M: Michaela Poland, 4th (12.53); Olivia Roland, 5th (12.84)
100 Hurdles: Veronica Lentz, 4th (16.06); Amanda Ehrenhalt, 5th (16.32)
300 Hurdles: Amanda Ehrenhalt, 1st (44.62); Olivia Roland, 3rd (48.23)
400M: Michaela Poland, 1st (58.87); Dani Shipon, 5th (1:01.19)
800M: Alli DeLisi, 3rd (2:16.60); Dani Shipon, 4th (2:21.12); Julia Dolce, 6th (2:21.58)
1600M: Alli DeLisi, 1st (4:59.69); Julia Dolce, 3rd (5:22.09)
3200M: Olivia Montini, 1st (11:36.20)
Discus: Mariah Mays, 2nd (94-11)
High Jump: Olivia Roland, 4th (5-00.00)
Long Jump: Cassidy Scott, 5th (16-02.25)
Shot Put: Mariah Mays, 3rd (31-06.50)
Triple Jump: Cassidy Scott, 2nd (33-07.75)
4x100 Relay: Alex Jaffe/Sam Jaffe/Kelsey Maley/Olivia Roland, 2nd (51.00)
4x400 Relay: Alex Jaffe/Sam Jaffe/Alli DeLisi/Michaela Poland, 2nd (4:11.53)
4x800 Relay: Dabney Baum/Aisling Brady/Elena Coupas/Zady Hasse, 1st (10:19.19)

“Once again, the girls competed wherever they were needed to maximize the points to successfully win states,” Lee said. 

 

Girls Lacrosse

Less than two minutes had elapsed in Penn Charter’s opening-round PAISAA matchup against archrival Germantown Academy on Friday when dark storm clouds yielded loud thunderclaps over Perrott Field. Soon, the skies opened and sent both teams scrambling inside Dooney Field House to wait out a roughly 90-minute rain delay. 

The score was knotted at 1 at the time, and PC senior Maddie Shoup was concerned the unwanted downtime might disrupt the Quakers’ rhythm.

That myth was quickly dispelled, in large part thanks to Shoup herself. The Quakers scored nine consecutive goals coming out of the rain delay, five of them from Shoup, who scored six times total in PC’s 16-7 win. The victory propelled Penn Charter to the next round, where the team will host the Hill School at 3:30 on May 24.

“I was scared we might come out flat, but the rain delay really got us up,” said Shoup, who also added two ground balls and caused a turnover. “We were in the gym having a dance-off and playing games, and I just thought our energy was through the roof.”

What makes the Quakers so dangerous and what allowed them to earn the top seed in this tournament is that they have so many players capable of a game like the one Shoup produced on Friday. It was her time to shine, but it stands to reason that against Hill, it could be a handful of others to step up, or it could just be Shoup herself once again. It’s a pick-your-poison scenario for any opposing team that gets in PC’s way.

“We are not a team that is a one-person kind of show,” Shoup said. “If one person is locked up or having a rough day, we have so much talent on offense that we don’t have to worry. We could have three or four girls play a bad game and still have a chance because we have so much talent all over the field.”

To Shoup’s point, Charlotte Hodgson (3 goals, assist, 7 draw controls, ground ball), Darcy Felter (2 goals, 5 assists, 5 draw controls, 3 ground balls) and Bea Buckley (2 goals) all found the back of the net multiple times for the Quakers. Shoup’s younger sister, Gracie, also scored a goal, as did Grace Walter and Alex Glomb. 

Penn Charter has won 18 games against just four losses this season, but many of the bigger games recently were tight, including a few that PC had to sweat out in overtime. So, it was nice to win one running away, especially considering it came against GA, whose season ended following the game.

“We’ve had a rough few games lately where we’ve struggled, whether it was winning by one or going to overtime, so it was nice to finally be able to play a full game,” Shoup said. “We got our offense working, and it really came together. Once our offense started to play, they couldn’t get through our zone on defense.”

The PAISAA Tournament represents a new opportunity for the Quakers, who finished second in the Inter-Ac this season thanks to two one-goal losses against eventual champion Episcopal. Unfortunately, EA isn’t participating in this tournament, so there will be no revenge opportunities there. That said, it still represents a golden opportunity for the team’s 12 seniors to end their Penn Charter careers with a championship.

“Finishing second, it was rough for us,” Shoup said. “We lost on our home turf to EA and were really upset about it. We’d love to be able to play them again, but PAISAA is another opportunity for us to prove that we deserve it after everything that’s happened. We still want to sharpen some things on offense, but right now it’s looking good. We all want it so badly.”

 

Baseball

After losing back-to-back league contests to finish the regular season, the Penn Charter baseball team was looking to rebound in a big way against The Hill School on May 20 in an opening-round PAISAA Tournament match-up. It was an up-and-down season for the Quakers, but the postseason represents a fresh start, and PC entered as the No. 6 seed hosting 11th-seeded Hill.

Following two separate rain delays, the boys came together to win the game 5-0 while only giving up two hits on the day, thanks to strong pitching performances from the trio of Scott Doran, Tazio Perkins and closer Caleb Barnett.

The pitching was not the only superb part of the game on Friday, as Penn Charter got on base at a regular rate, tagging Hill pitchers for seven hits while drawing six walks. Freshman catcher Kyle McKernan went 2-for-3 on the day with two singles as the lead-off hitter, while sophomore first baseman James Langham also went 2-for-3 at the dish, including a key two-run single in the first inning to get the Quaker bats going. Meanwhile, the senior trio of Vince Fattore, Aidan Mehta and Ed Guarnaccia combined to walk three times, knocked in two runs and scored key runs as the game went along. Shortstop Tim Ford went 1-for-3 with an RBI double while making beautiful plays in the field for the Quakers. All in all, it was a complete effort for the Quakers, who advanced to the next round to play at No. 3 Perkiomen School on Tuesday at 4 p.m. 

“We have to get guys on base,” head coach Justin Hanley said. “We have to grind out at-bats and we did that today. It shows our discipline at the plate has improved big time at this point, and we played smart heads-up baseball as a team. We have been selfish in the past, but today was a total team win.”

Hanley also spoke of the opportunity to get his seniors a few more at-bats on their home field. 

“It was great to have the seniors have their last at-bats at home, especially guys like Henry Davis and Andrew Healy, who are pitchers, to go out there and swing the bat,” he said. “It was really cool to see those guys get a chance to play, and you can feel the energy in the dugout on how exciting it was for those guys to have an opportunity to have an impact in the game.”

 

Softball

After postponements on Thursday and Saturday of last week, No. 9 Penn Charter softball will play its first-round PAISAA contest at No. 8 Perkiomen School on May 23 at 3:30 p.m. That game will be recapped in Thursday’s SportsZone report; should the Quakers advance, they will play at top-seeded SCH Academy on May 24. 

 

Boys Track

Boys track also competed at the PAISAA championships over the weekend, with Penn Charter placing 9th overall with a team total of 20 points. Wes Trautwein finished in second place in the 3200, clocking a time of 10:17.91. Elsewhere, Eddie Kennedy placed third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 41.52. Finally, Jack Frank (2:03.68) and TJ Zwall (4:40.94) each placed 5th in the 800 and 1600, respectively. 

 

Rowing

On May 20-21, Penn Charter rowing hit the Schuylkill River for two days of racing in the Stotesbury Regatta, the largest high school regatta in the world. Below is a list of the races that the Quakers participated in, as well as where they finished:

 

Friday, May 20:

Girls Junior Double Heat: Charlotte Baker/Grace Agosto, 9th (5:55.45)
Girls Freshman Quads Heat: Alison Sweeney/Brea Turner/Zoe Page/Grace Magee, 6th (5:57.92)
Boys Junior Quad Heat: Elias Moulton/James Foley/Jack Bowen/Mackenzie Haines, 6th (5:06.21)
Girls Junior Quad Heat: Elizabeth Choate/Merrill Gadsden/Lindsay Gadsden/Ella Bretschneider, 8th (5:41.79)
Girls Senior Double Heat: Claire Lewis/Isabella Salvi, 12th (6:30.65)
Boys Senior Double Heat: James Glomb/Scott Sweeney, 9th (5:42.74)
Boys Senior Quad Heat: Jakob Lanfranco/Harrison Signorello/Matthew Clarke/William Kopf, 12th (5:10.74)
Boys Senior Single Heat: Duncan Riley, 19th (6:02.76)

 

Saturday, May 21:

Girls Senior Double Semi-Final 1: Claire Lewis/Isabella Salvi, 6th (6:02.12)
Boys Senior Double Semi-Final 1: James Glomb/Scott Sweeney, 6th (5:07.01)
Boys Senior Quad Semi-Final 1: Jakob Lanfranco/Harrison Signorello/Matthew Clarke/William Kopf, 6th (5:07.73)
Girls Freshman Quads Final: Alison Sweeney/Brea Turner/Zoe Page/Grace Magee, 6th (7:04.60)
Boys Junior Quad Final: Elias Moulton/James Foley/Jack Bowen/Mackenzie Haines, 6th (5:29.12)
 

The Quakers weren’t done there, as the team returned to Boathouse Row on Sunday to participate in the rescheduled PSRA City Championships. Penn Charter competed in nine races on the day:

Boys Freshman/Novice 2x: Griffin LaMent/Jack Davey, 10th (6:21.74)
Girls Novice 4x Final: Alison Sweeney/Zoe Page/Brea Turner/Grace Magee, 2nd (6:10.72)
Boys JV 1x Final: Duncan Riley, 5th (6:12.62)
Girls JV 2x Final: Charlotte Baker/Grace Agosto, 6th (6:32.40)
Girls JV 4x Final: Elizabeth Choate/Merrill Gadsden/Lindsay Gadsden/Ella Bretschneider, 6th (5:52.95)
Boys JV 4x Final: Elias Moulton/James Foley/Jack Bowen/Mackenzie Haines, 4th (5:11.44)
Girls Varsity 2x Final: Claire Lewis/Isabella Salvi, 8th (6:39.70)
Boys Varsity 2x Final: James Glomb/Scott Sweeney, 4th (5:37.51)
Boys Varsity 4x Final: Jakob Lanfranco/Harrison Signorello/Matthew Clarke/William Kopf, 9th (5:50.78)


PC will be back on the water May 26-28, this time with four qualified boats competing in the SRAA Nationals, a championship for all North American rowing crews, on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.

PC Athletics on Social Media