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Ed Morrone OPC '04

It’s hard to believe since it’s been such a mild winter, but February has arrived, meaning we have reached the home stretch of our winter sports season. It’s an exciting time in Penn Charter athletics, so let’s take a closer look at how our Upper School varsity teams fared Jan. 24-31.

Girls Basketball 

For the first time in program history, the Quakers will be Inter-Ac champions in back-to-back years — all that’s left to decide is whether they will share the title or claim the prize outright.

Penn Charter continued its dominant run through the league, picking up three convincing wins in the last week to push their league record to 10-0 with the average margin of victory in those contests a staggering 21.8 points. In the team’s 57-29 win at SCH Academy on Jan. 24, the Quakers shared the ball well the entire game, picking up 20 assists in the process. Eighth grader Ryan Carter registered a team-high eight assists along with seven points, five rebounds and four steals, while two of her teammates reached double figures in scoring: sophomore Kaylinn Bethea (15 points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals) and senior Bella Toomey (12 points, five rebounds, two assists, three blocks). 

Back at the Graham on Jan. 27, PC (14-9, 10-0) cruised past Episcopal in a 52-31 win on Senior Night. The program’s three senior stalwarts made their typical big impacts, with Toomey scoring 11 points and grabbing eight rebounds, Aleah Snead leading the way with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Gracie Shoup playing well on both ends of the court en route to five points, three rebounds and two steals. Additionally, senior Kelsey Bess, who has been a program mainstay for five years, scored the first two varsity points of her career while also grabbing a rebound.

“We shared the ball really well in those two wins,” head coach Joe Maguire said. “We pride ourselves on making the right play and we played together both offensively and defensively. Having that versatility makes us tough to cover and is something we take advantage of.”

The Quakers hosted Notre Dame on Jan. 31, with the Irish being the only Inter-Ac team that PC had not defeated by 10 points or more. This time around, Penn Charter jumped out to a 16-7 lead after one quarter and Notre Dame never got within single digits again after PC took an 18-8 advantage early in the second period. Snead had a great all-around game in the 63-45 win, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and six steals. Bethea (15 points, eight steals), Toomey (11 points, eight rebounds, four blocks) and Carter (11 points, four assists) all reached double digits in scoring.

With the win, PC moved three games in front of Notre Dame in the standings with two to play, making Germantown Academy the only other Inter-Ac squad with less than three losses (two, both to Penn Charter). If Notre Dame wins at GA on Feb. 3, the Quakers will be outright league champions; if GA wins, PC will have to beat Baldwin on Feb. 7 at the Graham (5:30 p.m. tip) to make it official. The only scenario in which PC can share the title is by losing its final two games and GA winning out. 

“It’s great,” Maguire said. “Every year that’s the goal: to win a championship. Last year we talked about getting a banner, which we did at 11-1; this year, we want to go 12-0. No team here has ever done that, and we want to be the first.”

The Quakers will take a brief pause from Inter-Ac play when they host Cardinal O’Hara on Friday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m before finishing next week against Baldwin and at Agnes Irwin on Feb. 10.

Boys Basketball

After losing a 57-52 heartbreaker in overtime at SCH Academy in front of a capacity crowd on Jan. 27, it’s a two-team race to the finish line for the league title with three games remaining. One year after PC shared the Inter-Ac crown with Malvern Prep after each team finished 8-2, it will again be the Quakers and Friars duking it out for league supremacy, with the only question being will the two share the title again or will one claim it outright?

Although PC lost at SCH for the first time in six league games — and just the second time in 21 games this season — it was an instant classic. The Quakers led for most of the contest, but neither team ever held an advantage of more than five points. After PC took a 15-14 lead early in the second period, the Blue Devils didn’t lead again until it was 41-39 early in the fourth. The rivals traded blows for the rest of regulation — a three-pointer by sophomore Kai Shinholster tied the score at 42, and senior Mark Butler gave PC a 44-42 lead on a pull-up with 2:06 left. Following an SCH triple, Butler (11 points) scored again to give the Quakers a 46-45 lead until junior Blue Devils guard Cam Burns made two free throws with 14.2 seconds left. PC senior Isaiah Grimes made the front end of a one-and-one with 0.4 seconds remaining to tie the score at 47, but the second rolled in and out.

Unfortunately, SCH made more plays in the extra session, with PC’s only field goal being a triple by senior Colin Schumm. Senior Keith Gee (12 points) had a good look at a game-tying trey with 15 seconds left but it was slightly off the mark, and the Blue Devils closed it out at the foul line. Senior Trey Shinholster led PC with 13 points.

“It’s hard to win on the road in the Inter-Ac, and the atmosphere was electric as expected,” interim head coach Dave Bass said. “Kudos to SCH: they came ready to play and earned it.”

Bass said that he hoped the loss would add “fuel to our fire” to stay the course and win out, and that scenario played out in the team’s next game, a 67-38 victory over Haverford at the Graham on Jan. 31. After Haverford scored the first bucket of the game, the Quakers (20-2, 6-1) ripped off 14 straight and led by double digits for the rest of the game after junior Kevin Cotton connected on a three-pointer to make it 20-9 early in the second quarter.

Kai Shinholster led a balanced PC attack with 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. Trey Shinholster also contributed 14 points, while Grimes had 11 and Butler dished out seven assists. 

“Before SCH we were really rolling, so it was just a matter of getting back into our flow,” Kai Shinholster said. “We really needed more energy defensively, and we just had to play more aggressively from the beginning with no let up. We got back on track and looked like our old selves.”

With three league games to play, the stage is set for a dramatic finish. Both PC and Malvern are 6-1 and each will be on the road Friday night — the Quakers at last-place Episcopal (1-6) and the Friars at GA (3-4). Then, the Friars will visit the Graham on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m., with the Quakers closing out the season Feb. 10 at GA and Malvern hosting SCH that same night. 

“We understand that we can’t look past anyone,” Kai Shinholster said. “One game at a time. No game is bigger than any other, so we aren’t going to look ahead to Malvern even if they have a better record than Episcopal. After this Haverford game, our confidence is going to skyrocket. We had our hiccup, but our goal of winning the Inter-Ac is still the same.”

Girls Swimming & Diving

The Quakers began their season with a loss to Germantown Academy on Dec. 13 and have not been defeated since. Penn Charter picked up three wins in the past week, running the team’s win streak to five.

On Jan. 24, the Quakers hit the road to square off against league rival Agnes Irwin. The girls won 10 of the 12 events on the day, getting out to a fast start by placing first, second and third in the medley relay and never looked back in the 113-50 victory. 

A few days later it was deja vu as PC knocked off visiting Lawrenceville 125.5-59.5 on Jan. 27 in a non-league contest. This time, the girls won 11 of 12 events and began with first and second-place finishes in the medley relay. 

“To win 21 of 24 events in a two-meet span is an incredible accomplishment,” head coach Brian Hecker said. 

The Quakers completed their league schedule on Jan. 31, securing an 82-26 win at Baldwin to improve their record to 5-1 overall and 4-1 against Inter-Ac competition. As they did the prior week, the girls jumped on Baldwin right away by placing first and second in the opening race. The ‘A’ relay team consisted of sophomores Eliza Black, Georgia Baran, and Eva McIver- Jenkins, and senior Aisling Brady, while the ‘B’ team featured junior Kala Zingle, sophomore Ali Sweeney, eighth grader Arden Keitel and sophomore Ava Gonnella. Elsewhere, junior Abby Steinbrook, freshman Ryan Zinser and eighth grader Eloisa Tovar dominated the 200 freestyle by placing first through third.

According to Hecker, the girls were so locked in that they also broke two Baldwin pool records. The girls 200 freestyle relay team of Molly Lo, Ava Coombs, Brady and Steinbrook beat a 10-year-old record that had been set by Episcopal, while the 400 freestyle relay crew of Steinbrook, Coombs, Lo and McIver-Jenkins also broke a standing record that Germantown Academy had set more than a decade ago. 

With the regular season finished, the girls will now look to keep their hot streak going on the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 4 when the swimmers compete in the Inter-Ac Invitational at Episcopal. The divers will also compete in the event, with their portion to be held at GA. Any swimmer or diver who wins an event will be automatically named an all-league selection. 

Boys Swimming & Diving

While not having the same luck as the girls program in terms of wins, the boys competed hard in two meets last week, ultimately coming up short against Haverford on Jan. 24 (103-78) and Lawrenceville on Jan. 27 (123-60). The defeats dropped the team to 0-5 on the season, but according to Hecker, the Quakers have been a lot closer than it may look on the surface.

“Although the boys continued to struggle to put enough team points on the board to win the meet, they had some great individual swims,” he said.

Highlights included senior Alex Zoldan winning the 200 IM and 500 freestyle against the Fords before picking up wins in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle against Lawrenceville. Junior PJ Duffy dropped his time and improved his sprint speed with strong showings in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle events. The diving trio of senior Elliot Langford, sophomore Aidan Trautwein and freshman Calvin Zulick competed with fearlessness as they continued honing their skills. 

The boys will also compete in the Inter-Ac Invitational at Episcopal on Feb. 4, with their portion of the event to be held in the morning. The male divers will be at GA as well. 

Wrestling

The Quakers won their lone match last week in dominant fashion, knocking off a thin but tough and motivated SCH Academy squad 71-3 on Jan. 27. It was the third win in four league matches for PC, with the only defeat coming at the hands of powerhouse Malvern Prep on Jan. 14.

Penn Charter (15-3, 3-1) went 4-1 against the Blue Devils, with eighth grader Carter Mangan opening the match with a pin. He was followed by freshman Simon Bethea, who hit a big move early, and then recovered from being reversed to his back to win by fall. Junior Jack Bowen wrestled smart and avoided a late throw to secure a tech fall with no time left on the clock, and senior Pat Rullo won by fall over an experienced opponent.

Eight additional PC wrestlers won via forfeit. The Quakers will be at Germantown Academy on Friday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. to wrap up their league schedule before returning to the Graham the next morning to host the Penn Charter Duals at 9 a.m.

“If we are victorious against GA, we will officially clinch a second-place finish in the league for the second year in a row,” head coach Peter Shaifer said. “GA is short on numbers but tough, so we will need to wrestle to our fullest ability.”

Girls Squash

The girls squash squad started its week off strong by picking up a 10-1 victory over Conestoga on Jan. 24. Senior captains Lexi Bari, Sydney DelBello and Alex Glomb led by example while claiming impressive 3-0 victories from the third, fifth and sixth positions, respectively.

“We played consistently well throughout the ladder,” head coach Damon Leedale-Brown said. 

The next day, the Quakers (4-4, 0-4) hit the road to face a powerhouse Baldwin squad and competed admirably in an eventual 7-2 loss. 

“An exceptionally strong Baldwin team that will start as one of the favorites to win High School Nationals at the end of February,” Leedale-Brown said. 

Sophomore Sam and Alex Jaffe were fantastic as usual from the top two positions on the PC ladder, with each maintaining their unbeaten records in convincing 3-0 victories.

The next SportsZone report will take a look back at PC’s lone match of this week, a 4 p.m. non-league battle with Shipley on Thursday, Feb. 2. 

Boys Squash

The Quakers picked up a pair of wins in the last week, the first being a 7-0 shutout over league rival Malvern Prep on Jan. 24. Six of the seven PC players who competed secured dominant 3-0 wins, with the lone exception being sophomore Wills Kaiser, who fell behind 2-0 before finding his rhythm and rallying for a 3-2 triumph.

On Jan. 26, the Quakers (5-3, 2-2) delivered on an opportunity to avenge last season’s narrow 5-4 loss to Shipley by picking up a 7-2 victory. Senior Ramsay Killinger secured a 3-1 win from the top spot in the ladder, as did senior Steven Bernstein at the fifth position. Also earning wins against Shipley were juniors Griffin Yeatman (second), Marko Vucetic (third) and Grant Roshkoff (sixth), as well as sophomores Jacob Kestenbaum (seventh) and Dean Kaiser (eighth).

“Quality play from all of our boys,” assistant coach Peter Lubowitz said.

The team’s previously-scheduled match at Haverford on Jan. 31 was moved to Feb. 9, so PC’s lone match this week will be against Harriton at The Cynwyd Club on Feb. 2 at 3:15 p.m.

Girls Track & Field

For the second consecutive Friday, the Quakers were at Lehigh for a DVGTCA meet, with head coach Candice Lee saying she opted to rest runners who have already qualified for the Meet of Champs on Feb. 18, as well as states the following weekend.

Junior Olivia Roland and freshman Michaela Poland each secured top-five finishes in their events, with Roland placing fourth in the high jump (4-11) and Poland coming in fifth place in the 400m dash (1:01.24).

“This was a meet to give people more practice at learning how to compete,” Lee said. “For the upcoming meets, we are still focusing on qualifying for states.”

There are still two meets between now and the Meet of Champs: The Ocean Breeze Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 5 in Staten Island, N.Y., followed by the PTFCA Indoor Track Carnival at Lehigh on Saturday, Feb. 11.

So far, the Quakers have qualified for Meet of Champs in the following events: 60 hurdles; the 200, 400, 800 and 1600m races; the 4x200 and 4x800 relays; and the shot put and high jump. PC has also qualified for states (Feb. 26, Penn State University) in the 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 4x400 relay, and nationals (March 10-12, Armory Track & Field Center in New York City) in the 400, 800, 1600 and 4x400. 

Boys Track & Field

The Quakers returned to Glen Mills for the second consecutive Friday and came away with several impressive performances. Sophomores Nate Johnson (800m) and T.J. Zwall (3000m) each secured second-place finishes to qualify for the Meet of Champs on Feb. 18, as did the 4x200 relay team of freshman Jaden Black, sophomores Mason Knight and Jaxon Adams and junior Britton Armbrister. 

Armbrister had a fourth-place finish in the hurdles, a Meet of Champs event he has already qualified for, and he will be joined by junior Zahir Kalam Id-Din in the 60m dash and sophomore Luis Rincon in the pole vault. The Quakers have also qualified in both the distance medley relay and the 4x800.

“We got hot at Glen Mills,” head coach Steve Bonnie said. “I’m not sure the last time we had three relay teams qualify, which is pretty amazing. We’re getting better, but we’re not there yet.”

The Quakers have two meets left before Meet of Champs: The Ocean Breeze Invitational in Staten Island on Feb. 4, followed by a last chance meet at Lehigh on Feb. 10. There will be no qualifying for Meet of Champs at Ocean Breeze since the event features athletes from outside of Pennsylvania, but Bonnie said that PC could still qualify athletes for states and nationals. Feb. 10 will be the final opportunity to qualify for Meet of Champs, and Bonnie said he is hopeful that seniors Wes Trautwein and Jack Frank — already in as relay team members — will be able to qualify in individual events. Bonnie also said that there is historical precedent for one or two surprises qualifying in the last chance meet, but even if not, the Quakers will have a strong contingent in Lehigh on Feb. 18.

Ed Morrone OPC '04

As we enter the final week of January, the seasons for our Penn Charter winter sports teams are entering the home stretch. Let’s take a look back on all Jan. 17-22 athletic events to see how the Quakers fared during another exciting week of competition.

Boys Basketball

PC boys basketball player moves the ball up the court

Penn Charter’s magical run continued last week, with the Quakers picking up a pair of Inter-Ac wins to run their current win streak to 10 games. 

First up was a long bus ride out to Malvern Prep on Jan. 17 for a showdown with the Friars, one PC would have to win without one of its biggest contributors, as sophomore Kai Shinholster was under the weather. As a result, sophomore T.J. Bryson was next in line, and he confidently scored seven points during his increased minutes. The Quakers jumped out to a 21-8 lead after one quarter and were mostly in control throughout, even as the Friars shaved the deficit down to five points heading into the final quarter.

In addition to Bryson, senior Keith Gee had a big game with nine points, including a clutch three-pointer with four minutes to play in the fourth that pushed PC’s lead to 47-39. The Quakers ultimately left Malvern with a 55-52 victory, with seniors Mark Butler and Isaiah Grimes leading the way with 14 and 11 points, respectively, while fellow seniors Trey Shinholster (nine points) and Colin Schumm (five points) also contributed. 

“It was ‘next men up,’ not ‘next man up,’” interim head coach Dave Bass said. “T.J. got some of Kai’s minutes and made the most of them.”

Added Bryson: “My confidence is skyrocketing.”

Sure enough, Bryson was right back in the mix a few nights later when Germantown Academy visited the Graham for Senior Night on Jan. 20. Even with Kai Shinholster back on the court, Bryson was one of four Quakers to reach double digits in points with 11 in the convincing 71-47 victory. Schumm and Grimes led the way with 15 points apiece, while Butler tallied 13. 

Butler scored the first bucket of the game on a put-back and the Quakers never trailed, leading by eight after one, 12 at halftime and 17 heading into the final quarter.

“Sometimes it’s been hard to show what I can do when there’s so many players with more experience than me,” Bryson said. “But every day in practice they encourage and teach me. When I mess up, they are there to show me how I can improve. It’s been a fantastic experience, and I’m close to my best self right now.”

The wins over the Friars and Patriots pushed PC’s record to 19-1 overall and 5-0 in Inter-Ac play. Bookended around the team’s only loss this season — a 65-64 heartbreaker to Friends Select on Dec. 20 — are a nine-game win streak and now a 10-game counterpart. The Quakers have five league games left on the schedule, beginning with a Friday night road tilt at SCH Academy on Jan. 27 (7 p.m. tip). With Malvern still just one game behind in the standings, PC is approaching each contest as if it's a championship game. 

“We aren’t looking ahead,” Bass said. “Just one game at a time. We know that everyone in the Inter-Ac is going to give us their best shot, so we need to be well-prepared.”
 

Girls Basketball

PC girls  basketball player moves the ball up the court with intensity

The girls basketball squad had three games last week, picking up critical Inter-Ac wins in two of them.

Agnes Irwin visited the Graham on Jan. 17, and despite a slow offensive start, the Quakers righted the ship en route to a 65-47 victory to run their league record to a perfect 6-0. Eighth grader Ryan Carter was the star of the show in compiling 20 points and 14 rebounds, while seniors Aleah Snead (19 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and Bella Toomey (10 points, six rebounds, three steals) also had great all-around games. Additionally, sophomore Kaylinn Bethea reached double figures with 12 points while adding eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. 

Later that week, Germantown Academy visited the Graham on Jan. 20 and there would be no slow start in this one. A three-pointer from Bethea and two from Toomey on three straight possessions saw the Quakers jump out to an early 11-3 lead. From there, GA never got closer than six points the rest of the way, as PC led by nine after one, 10 at halftime and 17 after three quarters in the eventual 54-39 victory.

Snead led the way with 17 points while also chipping in six rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Toomey (11 points, six rebounds), Bethea (eight points, six rebounds, five assists) and Carter (eight points, three rebounds, three assists) were their normal dependable selves. 

The Quakers also got a boost from three of their “glue players” who often eschew scoring in favor of rebounding, defense and hustle plays: senior Gracie Shoup, junior Aditi Foster and freshman Liv Vieira. Shoup led the way with seven points and six rebounds and provided grit on both ends of the court, while Vieira hit a second-quarter triple that pushed PC’s lead to 28-13 and Foster was a defensive force in contributing three rebounds and two steals. 

“Being on the floor with four Division-I players, I know my job isn’t to score the most points,” said Shoup, PC’s fifth starter who will play lacrosse at Ohio State. “I’m here to be physical, get rebounds and keep us together as one. I never turn the engine off and just keep going the entire game.”

The contributions of players like Shoup, Foster and Vieira is not lost on coach Joe Maguire, even when they are not filling the box score with points.

“They star in their roles,” he said. “They are glue players, and we need them to win these games. Offensively, we trust them to shoot it when they are open and to make the right plays. They are all great teammates who don’t have me-first attitudes. They want to help the team win in any way they can.”

The win over GA pushed the Quakers to 11-8 overall and 7-0 in Inter-Ac play. With a two-game lead over both GA and Notre Dame in the standings, PC controls its own destiny with five league games remaining in its quest to become the first-ever repeat champions in program history.

“It’s exactly where we wanted to be,” Shoup said. “We love the pressure in these big games. We want to keep our foot on the gas, win out and secure back-to-back championships.”

The Quakers ended the week with a 61-33 loss to Lansdale Catholic in the Maggie Lucas Showcase at Jefferson University on Jan. 22. 

Next week’s SportsZone report will review PC’s next two league showdowns: a 57-29 victory at SCH Academy on Jan. 24 and Friday, Jan. 27 for Senior Night versus Episcopal at the Graham (5:30 p.m. tip). 

Boys Swimming & Diving

The boys swimming & diving team traveled to Malvern Prep on Jan. 17 to square off with a very talented Friars squad. Malvern ultimately came away with a 108-72 victory to drop the Quakers to 0-3 on the season, but even in defeat there were many commendable performances to highlight.

Senior Juan Tovar had a strong race in the 200 freestyle, placing second. Fellow senior Alex Zoldan’s successful season continued to pay dividends, as he won the 500 freestyle and finished second in the 200 individual medley. 

For the second consecutive week, the diving contingent produced solid results, with senior Elliot Langford, sophomore Aidan Trautwein and freshman Harry Baker finishing first, second and fourth, respectively.

“Although the places may not have come through for the PC boys to pull out a win, they continued to post season-best times and have put themselves in a good position to continue to get faster as the season progresses,” coach Brian Hecker said.

Next week’s SportsZone will feature highlights from a pair of home meets: a tough 103-78 loss to Haverford on Jan. 24 as well as a non-league battle against Lawrenceville on Friday, Jan. 27 at 3:45 p.m.

Girls Swimming & Diving

Penn Charter girls swimmer mid-race takes a breath

The girls swimming and diving program also was at Malvern Prep on the same day last week to take on Notre Dame, with the Quakers picking up their second straight victory, a 108-75 decision over the Irish. 

Junior Abby Steinbrook delivered a win in the 200 freestyle, while the triumvirate of sophomores Eva McIver-Jenkins and Georgia Baran and senior Aisling Brady finished first through third, respectively, in the 50 freestyle. 

Penn Charter also earned top three finishes in the 100 freestyle from Steinbrook, eighth grader Molly Lo and Brady. Brady, sophomore Ava Coombs, freshman Ryan Zinser and Steinbrook claimed victory in the 200 freestyle relay, with the quartet of freshman Harbor Campbell, sophomore Ava Gonnella and eighth graders Arden Keitel and Eloisa Tovar finishing second right behind the victors. 

Baran and Campbell were first and second in the 100 breaststroke, and McIver-Jenkins, Coombs, Lo and Steinbrook finished the meet with a win in the 400 freestyle relay. Elsewhere, junior Katie Fitzpatrick placed first in the diving event.

“The PC girls were able to pull away, demonstrating their incredibly strong depth against a talented Notre Dame team,” coach Brian Hecker said. 

Penn Charter’s 103-50 victory over Agnes Irwin on Jan. 24 — as well as the upcoming non-league match-up versus Lawrenceville at home on Friday, Jan. 27 at 3:45 — will be featured in next week’s recap. 
 

Wrestling

PC wrestler takes down his opponent

The excellent season for the Penn Charter wrestling squad continued with a pair of wins this past weekend.

First up, Haverford visited the Graham on Jan. 20 for a huge Inter-Ac battle, as both the Quakers and Fords entered with identical 1-1 league records. Following an extremely competitive bout, PC emerged with a 39-30 victory, pushing their overall record to 14-3 and 2-1.

The squad was back at the Graham the next morning to host the first-ever Penn Charter Invitational, beating out seven other schools to take first place with a total of 219 points. Roman Catholic was second with 151.5 points, followed by Central (139), Westtown (116), Academy Park (75), Palumbo (61), Friends Central (56) and Maryland-based West Nottingham Academy (32.5). 

The Quakers produced seven champions on the day: junior Lucas Weinstein pinned Central’s Ethan Lam at 127 pounds; sophomore Hugh Maley won at 139 by pinning Palumbo’s Jayden O’Halloran; sophomore Greyson Catlow-Sidler continued his dominant season at 145 by pinning Central’s Alexandre Kerelashvili; junior Jack Bowen picked up a 20-5 fall of Palumbo’s Amir Faublas at 160; senior Pat Rullo pinned Westtown’s Nick Ross at 166; senior James Glomb pinned Central’s Ronald Cordero at 215; and junior C.J. English took care of business at 285, pinning Central’s Brandon Fenty. 

Elsewhere, sophomore Leo Pritchett finished in second place at 152 pounds, while five Quakers secured third-place wins —  eighth grader Carter Mangan at 114, sophomore Munir German at 121, freshman Simon Bethea at 152, freshman Augie Turner at 166 and junior James Joel at 189. 

Up next for the sizzling Quakers is a league showdown on the road at SCH Academy on Jan. 27 at 5 p.m.

Boys Squash

PC boys squash team being silly

The boys squash program had one match last week, hitting the road for a showdown with a highly-regarded Conestoga team. The Quakers competed admirably but ultimately left with an 8-1 defeat.

Senior captain Ramsay Killinger kept it rolling from the top spot in PC’s ladder, claiming another quality 3-0 win. Junior Grant Roshkoff also fought hard in his match in a 3-1 defeat.

“A tough loss to one of the top teams in the area,” assistant coach Peter Lubowitz said. “Ramsay is playing the best squash of his career, while Grant’s game has taken a huge leap from last year when he was playing JV.”

Yesterday, the boys defeated Malvern Prep 7-0. 

Next week, SportsZone will take a look back at a busy week for the Quakers, now 4-3 after defeating Malvern, and will take on Shipley on Jan. 26 at the Kline & Specter Squash Center (4 p.m. start).
 

Girls Squash

The girls squash squad opened its week on Jan. 17 against an Agnes Irwin team that finished last season ranked fourth nationally, ultimately dropping a tough 7-2 match to an Owls squad that looks just as strong in 2022-23. 

PC girls squash player pretends her racquet is a guitar

Both of the Quaker wins on the day came from sophomores Sam and Alex Jaffe, who continued their dominant seasons with another pair of convincing 3-0 victories from the top two positions on the PC ladder. 

“Despite losing, senior captain Alex Glomb put in a very competitive performance at the number six position and continues to improve as a player each week,” head coach Damon Leedale-Brown said.

The Quakers were back in action two days later when they squared off against Harriton High School at the Cynwyd Club. This time, Leedale-Brown’s squad was able to snap a three-match losing streak en route to a flawless 9-0 triumph. Over the nine matches, the team did not lose a single game, improving its record to 3-3 overall this season.

“After a series of matches against top-ranked teams in the country, it was great to come back with a convincing win,” Leedale-Brown said. “Many of the themes we have been working on in practice came through on the court.”

Next week, SportsZone will revisit a pair of girls squash matches — the team’s 10-1 win on Jan. 24 over Conestoga and Jan. 25 at Baldwin.

Boys Indoor Track & Field

For the first time this season, the boys indoor track & field squad competed in Glen Mills at The Indoor Fieldhouse after the Quakers had run the majority of their TFCAofGP races at Lehigh University. With just a few meets remaining before the Meet of Champs on Feb. 18, several PC runners produced strong performances.

Junior Britton Armbrister continued his recent string of success, finishing second in the 55m hurdles with a season-best time of 8.83. Elsewhere, senior Christian Black remained consistent in the long jump, placing fourth at 18-3.75. The 4x200 relay team of junior Zahir Kalam Id-Din, freshman Jaden Black and juniors Eian Kilpatrick and Gavin Michener finished just outside of the top-five, placing sixth with a time of 1:42.61.

Elsewhere, sophomore Jaxon Adams earned a 10th-place finish in the 200m dash (26.39), while fellow sophomore Mason Knight was 15th in the 400m dash at 1:02.21.

The Quakers have qualified for the Meet of Champs in five events so far: Armbrister in the hurdles, Kalam Id-Din in the 60m, sophomore Luis Rincon in the pole vault, as well as in the distance medley (senior Jack Frank, sophomore Nate Johnson, Knight, sophomore TJ Zwall) and 4x800 (Zwall, Frank, senior Wes Trautwein, Johnson) relays. 

Head coach Steve Bonnie’s team will be back in action at Glen Mills on Friday, Jan. 27 for the next TFCAofGP meet at 5 p.m.

Girls Track & Field

After competing in DVGTCA meets primarily at Alvernia University up until this point in the season, the indoor girls track & field squad coached by Candice Lee was at Lehigh on Jan. 20 for its next scheduled competition. In a strong showing the Quakers qualified for five more events in the Meet of Champs on Feb. 18.

PC runners Dani Shpon and Alli DeLisi stand back to back on Media Day

Junior Olivia Roland had the best overall performance, winning the high jump at 4-11. Senior Veronica Lentz placed second in the 60m hurdles (9.75), while sophomore Mariah Mays continued her consistency in shot put by finishing fourth (32-8.5). The 4x200 relay team of junior Nora Maione, Roland, junior Haley Lewinski and freshman Michaela Poland completed their race in fourth place with a time of 1:51.86, while senior Dani Shipon placed eighth in the 400m dash at 1:03.07.

Elsewhere that same weekend, sophomore Alli DeLisi returned to compete at The Armory Track & Field Center in New York City for the fourth consecutive week, this time for the U.S. Army Officials Hall of Fame Invitational on Jan. 21. DeLisi earned a pair of sixth-place finishes in the 1500m run (4:45.59) and one-mile run (5:06.38). 

Next week’s edition of SportsZone will take a look back at the final DVGTCA meet of the season, which will take place on Friday, Jan. 27 at Lehigh at 6:30 p.m. 
 

PC hurdler Veronica Lentz
Ed Morrone OPC '04

All nine of the Penn Charter winter varsity teams have been busy to start 2023, so let’s get caught up on how each has fared over the first two weeks of January competition (Jan. 3-15).

Wrestling

The Quakers began their 2023 schedule on Jan. 6, hosting Lawrenceville and Bristol at the Graham. Both were won by healthy margins, with PC prevailing 51-15 over Lawrenceville before beating Bristol 63-18. The two victories propelled head coach Peter Shaifer’s squad to a 6-2 overall record this season. Seniors James and George Glomb each had strong showings, as did sophomore Henry Greenberg.

At the Lion Duals at Academy of the New Church (ANC) on Jan. 7, the Quakers defeated all five of their opponents to win the event and improve their record to 11-2 — Pope John Paul II (57-15 win); Cheltenham (48-18); ANC (54-7); Lower Moreland (67-6); and Upper Dublin (37-33). 

“A truly awesome day for our program,” Shaifer said.

The Glomb brothers went a combined 10-0 with nine pins, while sophomore Greyson Catlow-Sidler won all seven of his matches. Junior James Joel went 3-0 in his first varsity appearance, and senior Pat Rullo won both of his matches in dominant fashion. In the title bout against Upper Dublin, sophomore Hugh Maley rallied from behind to score a huge fall; junior Jack Bowen battled to win his match in double overtime; and junior Charles English sealed the win with a late pin.

The Quakers stayed hot on Jan. 13, traveling to Episcopal for the start of league duals, picking up a 43-32 win. Thanks to strong early showings from Rullo and freshman Simon Bethea, as well as a forfeit win for Catlow-Sidler, PC had to win just one of its final three matches to clinch — a quick pin by George Glomb made it official, and James Glomb also gritted out a 1-0 win over a tough opponent.

On Jan. 14, PC welcomed both Malvern Prep and the Hopkins School (CT) to School House Lane. The Quakers fell 56-9 to Malvern before earning a 59-16 win over Hopkins, a team coached by Adam Sperling OPC ’00. George Glomb continued his dominant senior campaign with PC’s only head-to-head win against the Friars, with Greenberg and Bowen also coming close against the Inter-Ac powerhouse. After the match concluded, both PC and Hopkins volunteered at Cradles for Crayons.

“On Saturday, we both won and learned,” Shaifer said. “These are genuinely good young men and we are very proud of them.”

The Quakers, now 13-3 overall, will host Haverford on Friday, Jan. 20 inside the Graham at 5 p.m. in what Shaifer called “one of the most important matches of the year.” PC will also host an invitational on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 9 a.m., featuring seven area high schools. 

Boys Basketball

After winning the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational over winter break, the Quakers have stayed hot in their first four games of 2023.

Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy visited the Graham on Jan. 6 for the first league battle of the season, and it was a good one. Deadlocked at 50 with under 20 seconds to play, the Quaker offense passed the ball around until it landed in the hands of senior guard Keith Gee right in front of the PC bench. Gee drove strong into the paint and put up a floater that rimmed out, but a Blue Devils defender was whistled for a blocking foul, sending Gee to the line with 1.7 seconds left. In a pressure-packed situation, Gee calmly sank both shots to give his squad a 52-50 win.

The Quakers next visited Haverford on Jan. 10, and for three quarters a win appeared unlikely. The Fords built a 40-20 lead late in the third quarter, with nothing going right offensively for Penn Charter. PC then flipped a switch and embarked on a 33-8 run that featured tremendous defense and clutch foul shooting down the stretch in what became a thrilling 53-48 victory. 

“SCH came in fully prepared, and we really respect them,” interim head coach Dave Bass said. “They scouted us really well, and we had to make adjustments before Keith did his job on the final possession.

“As for Haverford, they were also well-prepared for us and really intentional about making us shoot from the outside. We weren’t shooting well at the start, so when we fell behind there was not much we could do but play with energy and try to turn defense into offense. They started turning the ball over, which allowed us to make a run once the shots started falling. When we can speed you up, it plays to our advantage.”

Following the close call against the Fords, the Quakers returned home to host Episcopal at the Graham on Jan. 13. With the game tied at 8 in the first quarter, PC ripped off 20 straight points and appeared headed for a rout, leading by 17 at halftime and 19 after three. The Churchmen fought hard and won the final quarter 22-10, but the deficit was too much to overcome and PC claimed a 56-49 victory that improved them to 16-1 overall and 3-0 in league play.

Senior Mark Butler led the way with 17 points, while classmate Isaiah Grimes scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half as the Quakers built a sizable advantage. The 6-foot-3 Grimes, a first team all-league football selection and one of the taller players on the team, takes pride in bringing a physical style of play and his inside-outside game and penchant for hustle plays are a major reason why PC has been so successful this season.

“Not having a set guy we go to, it can be any one of us who has a big game,” Grimes said afterward. “Our starting five is so good and we build off each other, knowing who’s hot and who to feed the ball to. It’s a very unselfish team and we care about each other. I’m playing with my best friends, so this season has been all I could ask for. This is the high school dream: doing the things you love with the people you love.”

The next afternoon, the Quakers welcomed Frankford to the Graham, using a 29-4 third quarter run to pull away for a 73-51 win, improving the team to 17-1 overall. 

Next week's SportsZone will cover PC’s 55-52 victory at Malvern Prep on Jan. 17, as well as the home showdown against Germantown Academy at the Graham on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Following an 0-3 showing at the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational, the girls basketball team has returned to their winning ways, going 5-2 over a 13-day stretch from Jan. 3-15.

The Quakers began 2023 with a pair of Inter-Ac victories — a 63-38 win over Episcopal on Jan. 3, followed by a 51-43 triumph against Notre Dame on Jan. 6. Against EA, PC was carried by seniors Aleah Snead (23 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, five steals) and Bella Toomey (12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals). That duo also had success against the Irish, with Snead leading the way with 13 points and Toomey right on her heels with 12. Sophomore Kaylinn Bethea also reached double figures with 11 points, pushing PC’s league record to 4-0 in the team’s quest to repeat as sole champions of the Inter-Ac. 

“We don’t want to share the title,” Maguire said. “Going into those games, we picked up the defensive intensity and focused on tempo and pace while making them work hard to score against us.”

PC fell 58-48 to St. John’s (DC) on Jan. 8, but the team celebrated anyway as Snead reached the 1,000-point milestone for her career.

After the 2-1 week, the Quakers had four more games the following week, finishing 3-1. First up was a 69-45 win at Imhotep Charter on Jan. 9, highlighted by Snead’s 28 points and seven rebounds. Bethea had 15 and four assists, while Toomey (12 points, eight rebounds, four blocks) and eighth grader Ryan Carter (eight points, eight assists) also contributed to the victory.

PC returned to league action on Jan. 13, picking up a 53-21 win at Baldwin. The lopsided score allowed Maguire to give extended action to some of his younger players, with freshman Molly Dougherty delivering a team-high 14 points as the Quakers improved to 5-0 in the Inter-Ac. 

“Our first rotation played an efficient, disciplined game and executed their plays very well in limited time,” Maguire said.

The Quakers split a pair of non-league games over the weekend, defeating Archbishop Carroll 42-35 on Jan. 14 in an ALS awareness showcase at Father Judge, Maguire’s alma mater. Snead led the team with 18 points, while Carter chipped in 13.

Against Archbishop Wood the next day in the Hoops for Hope Tournament at Ursinus College, Wood used a 27-9 second-quarter explosion en route to a 54-41 win. The Quakers held Wood to 27 points combined in the other three periods, but still fell to 9-8 overall on the season.

“The goals we’ve had since the beginning of the season are still in front of us and there for us to control,” Maguire said. 

Next week's SportsZone will look back on PC’s 65-49 victory against Agnes Irwin on Jan. 17, as well as the upcoming contests against Germantown Academy at the Graham on Friday, Jan. 20 (5:30 p.m.) and Spring-Ford on Sunday, Jan. 22 at Jefferson University at the Maggie Lucas Showcase (7:30 p.m.).
 

Boys Indoor Track & Field

Head coach Steve Bonnie’s boys indoor track squad re-convened on Jan. 7 for TFCAofGP Meet #5 at Lehigh for the team’s first race of 2023. 

It was a relay bonanza for the Quakers, who placed in the top-five in three separate events. The 4x800 team of seniors Jack Frank and Wes Trautwein and sophomores Nate Johnson and TJ Zwall were victorious, finishing first with a season-best time of 8:25.55. The same quartet also ran in the 4x400, placing fifth at 3:49.34. Elsewhere, the 4x200 team consisting of sophomores Jaxon Adams and Eian Kilpatrick and juniors Zahir Kalam Id-Din and Gavin Michener finished fourth at 1:38.85. 

Freshman Jaden Black placed eighth in the 200m (24.56), while other top-10 finishers included: senior Christian Black, fifth in the long jump (19-1) and ninth in triple jump (34-4.25); sophomore Luis Rincon placed third in pole vault (10-0); and junior Owen Larrabee, fifth in the shot put at 39-11.25.

On Jan. 13, the boys returned to Lehigh TFCAofGP Meet #6, and Bonnie was delighted to witness Kalam Id-Din win the 60m dash in 7.18. 

“We knew Zahir was a fine young man with decent speed, but he just came out smoking,” Bonnie said. “He was a showstopper and qualified for the Meet of Champs. If he gets his time down to 7.05-10, he’s got a shot to be in the mix at states.”

The distance medley relay team of Frank, Johnson, Zwall and sophomore Mason Knight also secured a first-place finish in 11:09.57, while Christian Black, Rincon and Larrabee all placed third in the long jump, pole vault and shot put, respectively. The final top-10 finish belonged to junior Britton Armbrister, who earned a sixth-place finish in the 60m hurdles (9.63).

“Britton is a strong soccer player who did a little track last year,” Bonnie said. “He’s bigger, stronger and more focused this year and has really come on strong. If he stays with it during the outdoor season, he could be very good.”

Finally, at the Kristian Marche Memorial Invitational on Jan. 15 at the Armory in New York City, the 4x800 relay team placed fifth with a time of 8:29.83, while Zwall won the 3000m race in 9:10.10.

The next TFCAofGP meet will take place on Friday, Jan. 20 at Glen Mills at 6 p.m. 
 

Girls Indoor Track & Field

It has been an action-packed start to 2023 for head coach Candice Lee’s squad, as the girls have participated in three meets thus far.

First up was DVGTCA Meet #4 at Alvernia on Jan. 6. Freshman Michaela Poland had the best finish of the event, placing third in the 400m with a time of 1:01.73. Elsewhere, sophomore Mariah Mays finished fourth in shot put (30-11), while junior Olivia Roland was fifth in the high jump (4-9). 

Other strong showings included: junior Nora Maione was eighth in the long jump (15-3); senior Olivia Summers, competing for the first time in two years, finished 14th in the triple jump (30-3.25); and the 4x200 relay team of seniors Bea Buckley and Veronica Lentz, Roland and Poland dropped seven seconds from their previous best showing, running it in 1:55.42. 

Elsewhere the same weekend, sophomore Alli DeLisi and senior Dani Shipon were back in New York City for a second consecutive weekend to compete in the Armory Hispanic Games. DeLisi and Shipon each ran in the 800m, with DeLisi placing second (2:15.78) and Shipon finishing sixth (2:21.04). DeLisi also competed in the 1500m, placing 10th (4:45.49), as well as the one-mile run (11th, 5:07.52).

Finally, the girls were scheduled to compete in DVGTCA Meet #5 at Alvernia on Jan. 13 but instead returned to the Armory in New York for the Kristian Marche Memorial Invitational on Jan. 15. According to Lee, Kristian Marche mimics the exact order of events for the state meet that will take place on Feb. 26. She sent those who have already qualified for states, or are close to it, so they could get a feel for what to expect when the time comes. 

DeLisi (second place) and Shipon (seventh) each dropped their 800m times, running season bests of 2:15.12 and 2:18.97, respectively. Poland ran the 400 in 1:00.57, finishing ninth; and the 4x400 relay team of Shipon, Poland, Lentz and DeLisi — currently ranked second in the state — finished first with a time of 4:04.34, good enough to qualify for both states and nationals. 

“I feel really optimistic with the remaining meets,” Lee said. “I would like more individuals to qualify for the Meet of Champs.”

The next DVGTCA meet is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 20 at Lehigh at 6:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming & Diving

Competing for the first time since a 133-53 loss at Germantown Academy on Dec. 13, the Quakers were back in the pool to host Episcopal on Jan. 11. 

“Although the boys were unable to walk away with a victory, losing 112-74, they had a spectacular meet,” head coach Brian Hecker said.

The meet got off to a thrilling start, as the 200 medley relay team of seniors Cormac Stevens and Alex Zoldan, junior PJ Duffy and sophomore Joe Repetto defeated the Churchmen by 0.06 seconds. Senior Juan Tovar and Repetto swam to first and second-place finishes in the 100 butterfly, while Zoldan claimed victories in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle. Duffy also picked up a win in the 50 freestyle. 

The Quakers (0-2) also won the diving portion of the meet, as sophomore Aidan Trautwein, senior Elliot Langford and freshman Calvin Zulick placed second through fourth, respectively. 

Next week, SportsZone will take a look back at PC’s 100-72 loss to Malvern Prep on Jan. 17, as well as the upcoming home meet versus Lawrenceville on Friday, Jan. 20 at 3:45 p.m.
 

Girls Swimming & Diving

Back in action for the first time in almost a month, the Quakers picked up their first win of the season, a 118-67 decision against visiting Episcopal on Jan. 11. 

Hecker’s squad took control right from the start, earning first and second-place finishes in the 200 medley relay — the winning squad consisted of eighth grader Molly Lo, freshman Zoe Page, sophomore Eva McIver-Jenkins and senior Aisling Brady, while the runner-up crew featured sophomore Eliza Black, freshman Harbor Campbell, sophomore Ava Coombs and junior Abby Steinbrook.

The Quakers (1-1) bookended the meet with another one-two finish in the 400 freestyle relay: Campbell, McIver-Jenkins, Lo and sophomore Ava Gonnella were the victors, while Black, Steinbrook, Coombs and freshman Ryan Zinser were right on their heels in second. 

Other standouts from the EA win included McIver-Jenkins, who took first place in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly; Steinbrook, who won both the 50 & 100 freestyle events; eighth grader Arden Keitel was victorious in the 500 freestyle, while Lo (100 backstroke) and sophomore Georgia Baran (100 breaststroke) also claimed big wins.

Hecker was also impressed with junior Katie Fitzpatrick, who placed fourth in her first ever diving event.

“All in all, the girls had a dominant performance,” Hecker said. 

Next week, SportsZone will revisit PC’s 100-75 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 17, as well as the forthcoming home meet against Lawrenceville on Friday, Jan. 20 at 3:45 p.m.

Boys Squash

After a three-week rest, the Quakers returned to the court for the first time in 2023 on Jan. 5 to battle nationally-ranked Haverford School. Unfortunately, the Fords were too strong, posting a 9-0 victory to remain undefeated while dealing Penn Charter its first loss of the season. All nine matches were won in straight games, 3-0.

“Haverford finished number three in the country last year and appear to be similarly strong this season,” assistant coach Peter Lubowitz said. “Still, good efforts from PC’s top six boys.”

The challenging road continued in the Quakers’ next match on Jan. 10 against Episcopal, another Inter-Ac team yet to lose a match this season. PC (3-2, 1-2) fared slightly better against the Churchmen than they did versus Haverford, but EA ultimately picked up an 8-1 win. Episcopal won the Nos. 2-9 matches 3-0, with senior captain Ramsay Killinger the lone victor from the top position on PC’s ladder.

“EA’s squad is deep,” Lubowitz said. “But a great win by our senior captain Ramsay, who overcame a 2-1 deficit to win 11-9 in the fifth game.”

The Quakers’ 8-1 loss to Conestoga — one of the top boys squash teams in the area — on Jan. 17 will be chronicled in next week’s SportsZone.

Girls Squash

Following a layoff that spanned almost a month, head coach Damon Leedale-Brown’s girls squash program returned to action on Jan. 10, losing a tough 6-3 match to Episcopal. 

“A tough loss against an EA team with excellent depth throughout their lineup,” Leedale-Brown said. 

Sophomores Sam and Alex Jaffe continued their dominant seasons, with each securing 3-0 wins over nationally-ranked opponents.

“Sam and Alex continue to dominate the number one and number two positions in the lineup,” Leedale-Brown said. 

The other big winner against EA was freshman Audrey Abernethy, who claimed a back-and-forth 3-2 victory from the no. 8 position in the lineup. She is unbeaten so far this season for the Quakers (2-2, 0-2).

Next week’s SportsZone will take a closer look at Penn Charter’s 7-2 loss to Agnes Irwin on Jan. 17, as well as the subsequent road game against Harriton at the Cynwyd Club in Bala Cynwyd on Thursday, Jan. 19 (3:30 p.m. start time). 

Ed Morrone OPC '04

With the end of Winter Break comes a brand new year with plenty of exciting opportunities for our Penn Charter teams to shine. Before we start chronicling these 2023 athletic efforts, let’s take a look at how some of these teams fared during the holiday season.


BOYS BASKETBALL
The Penn Charter boys basketball team began a new win streak over break, winning their final four games of 2022 to push their overall record to 13-1 heading into the New Year. The team hosted the Speedy Morris Invitational on Dec. 22 in the Graham, defeating the Simon Gratz Bulldogs 71-28. Day two of the tournament named for legendary Hall of Fame coach Speedy Morris, who led PC’s basketball team in the 1980s, was canceled due to inclement weather. 

 

PC boys basketball player attempts a layup in the lane

“We cannot ever underestimate the opponent and their strengths,” coach Dave Bass said. “Everybody on the team has a job on the court to take care of. In the games since [the team’s last loss on Dec. 20], we’ve zoned in a little more on that.”


After the tournament, the Quakers headed south for the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational, a three-day showcase featuring multiple teams from Florida, as well as squads from Ohio, Kentucky and the Bahamas. Penn Charter earned three wins in three days and returned to Philadelphia as tournament champions. All of the wins came against Florida schools: a 60-49 win over Barron Collier on Dec. 29; a 66-63 overtime thriller over Miami Palmetto on Dec. 30; and a 57-43 championship victory against Downey Christian on New Year’s Eve. 


Sophomore Kai Shinholster continued his consistent play this season by winning MVP of the tournament. His older brother, senior Trey, was especially strong on the defensive end while being assigned to cover each opponent’s best player. Senior guard Keith Gee made some big shots in the OT win, while reigning Inter-Ac Player of the Year Mark Butler shined in the title game, calmly sinking 9 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter to help seal the narrow win.


“Our senior leadership was poised and confident and persevered through adversity,” Bass said. “Our competition was very good, and that overtime game was incredible — we’ve been in three overtime games already this season and won them all.”


Beyond the three wins on the court, the multi-day trip also did wonders for the team’s camaraderie away from the hardwood. While this is a veteran group that features many players who have been playing together for a few years, there are also some fresh faces, and a trip like this allows the team to bond.


Bass said the boys didn’t want a strict itinerary in which all off-court activities were pre-programmed. They spent time hanging out with one another at the beach while also attending some of the PC girls basketball games, who were also in Tampa playing in the same tournament.


“A lot of these kids know each other, but [the trip's activities] also provided the younger and newer kids an opportunity to have more of a voice,” Bass said. “Everyone felt like they were a part of it.”


GIRLS BASKETBALL

pc girls basketball player holds the ball and looks for a pass

The Penn Charter girls basketball team has already played teams from Maryland, North Carolina and New Jersey. After the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational, Florida and Kentucky were added to that list. Further tests against a Washington, D.C. school, as well as top-flight local teams from the city and its surrounding suburbs, await in the new year


“Going into the season, I knew we weren’t going to go undefeated,” coach Joe Maguire said. “I wanted challenges in the schedule. It’s good for us to test ourselves to see if we can compete nationally while revealing the little things that we need to continue to work on.”


Before Tampa, the girls welcomed Abington High School — a team that was 12-2 overall at the time of this writing — to Penn Charter for the Speedy Morris Invitational, dropping a close 67-63 contest to push PC’s overall record to 4-3 on the season. The girls then jetted south for three games in four days — a 57-45 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) on Dec. 28; a 68-60 overtime defeat at the hands of DME National (FL) on Dec. 30; and a 44-37 loss to George Rogers Clark (KY). 


While the losses were frustrating, Maguire said that the Quakers were in every game. They trailed the first one 46-45 before hitting a cold shooting streak, with St. Thomas Aquinas closing the contest on a 13-0 run; the overtime game may have gone differently had PC not missed 13 free throws; and the final contest was played at 8:30 a.m. after the overtime game the night before.


“We had complete effort in every game, but some of the little things we need to perfect are not there yet,” Maguire said. “Everyone had some really good moments, and there were others we could have done differently, myself included.”


Despite going 0-3, Maguire said the Florida trip was a high point for the team. Not only did the Quakers get to test themselves against great competition outside of Pennsylvania, but they also got to travel on an airplane together and spend a few days outside of their natural environments. 

For the veteran players such as Bella Toomey, Gracie Shoup and Aleah Snead, it was also another opportunity to put their leadership stamp on a program that has achieved a sustained run of success over the last couple of seasons. Others, such as eighth grader Ryan Carter and sophomore Kaylinn Bethea, got to spend valuable time with upperclass students away from the court.


“I’m a big proponent of these trips,” said Maguire, in his eighth year as head coach. “There are kids from all over the area, so having this time together is good. There’s good life lessons, and it benefits us both this year and next year moving forward as a valuable experience for our 10 underclass students.”


WRESTLING
Penn Charter competed in the Ralph Wetzel Classic, a two-day event hosted by Hatboro-Horsham High School on Dec. 28-29. The Quakers finished in ninth place overall out of 33 participating teams with a total of 98.5 points. Catholic League squad Conwell-Egan won the event with 209 points.


Sophomore Greyson Catlow-Sidler continued his strong start to the season, picking up four wins and the first first-place finish of his high school career. Catlow-Sidler pinned Nathan Hughes of St. Mark’s (DE) in round two and Beknazar Baiyshbekov of Neshaminy in the quarterfinals before upsetting number-one seed Jack Duffy of Tower Hill (DE) 12-9. Catlow-Sidler prevailed 15-6 over Christopher Staub of Hatboro-Horsham in the championship round.


“Grey continues to build upon a strong start to his sophomore season,” Shaifer said. “His ability to hit big moves makes him a dangerous opponent in every match.”

PC wrestler holds down opponent with arm behind back move


Other PC wrestlers who picked up multiple wins at the event include junior Jack Bowen (three wins at 160); senior George Glomb (five wins in six matches at 189); and junior C.J. English (four wins in five attempts at 285). George Glomb secured a third-place finish by pinning George Washington’s Daniel Shulgin in 50 seconds (after Shulgin had pinned him earlier in the event), while English also finished third by prevailing in a tight 3-2 decision over Lower Merion’s Temitayo Seyi-David. Bowen dropped his third-place match 12-1 to Neshaminy’s Ernazar Baiyshbekov.


“Bowen had a strong showing at his natural weight, placing fourth and wrestling tough in all his bouts while sticking to his game plan,” coach Peter Shaifer said. “George recovered from a disappointing loss to wrestle through the consolation bracket back to third place — there is no question about his desire to win. 


“CJ has been an awesome addition to our program, getting yet another high finish in a deep heavyweight bracket. We are extremely excited to see him in the second half of the year.”


BOYS TRACK

The relay team for PC boys indoor track wear cleats over shoulders and are serious for the camera

Steve Bonnie’s boys indoor track team competed in TFCAofGP Meet #3 back on Dec. 22 at Lehigh University with several strong showings, as the youthful Quakers continue to make tremendous strides from week to week.


The 4x200 team of sophomores Jaxon Adams, Ben Zabierek and Mason Knight and freshman Jaden Black scored a second-place finish with a time of 1:42.30. Elsewhere, the distance medley relay team of senior Jack Frank, junior Eddie Kennedy and sophomores Nate Johnson and TJ Zwall also placed second, finishing their event in 11:15.85. 


In other track events, freshman Peyton Burnett continued his solid start to the season, placing 10th in the one-mile run (5:27.57), while Adams finished 19th in the 200m at 24.88.


In field events, senior Christian Black had another good showing in the long jump, finishing in sixth place (19-8). Finally, juniors Owen Larrabee and Matthew Martz continued to impress in the shot put, with Larrabee placing fourth (39-7) and Martz not far behind in 10th (31-7.5). 


GIRLS TRACK

Alli DeLisi in her penn charter uniform holds cleats over her shoulder

Unfortunately for head coach Candice Lee’s girls indoor track program, inclement weather canceled DVGTCA Meet #3, which was scheduled for Dec. 23 at Lehigh. Luckily, a pair of student-athletes didn’t have to wait until 2023 to compete again, as Lee took sophomores Alli DeLisi and Mariah Mays to compete in The Armory High School Holiday Classic in New York City on Dec. 29, a quick detour from the familiar venues of Lehigh and Alvernia back home.


“This meet has good competition due to it being over the holidays, with people traveling from different states to compete,” Lee said. 


DeLisi’s star continued to shine during her brilliant sophomore season that has featured a plethora of top finishes, first in cross country during the fall and now in indoor track. In New York, DeLisi earned a first-place finish in the 800m with a time of 2:17.40. She placed second in the 400m dash in 58.98.


Meanwhile, Mays finished second in the shot put with a distance of 32-7.75.


“Both athletes competed very well, especially with it being so early in the season,” Lee said. “This was actually Mariah’s first meet. I was very impressed with both of their performances, especially competing against other individuals from outside of the state.”


SQUASH and SWIMMING & DIVING
Both boys and girls squash teams, as well as the boys and girls swimming and diving squads, were idle from competition over winter break. We’ll catch up with all four of these squads in the next SportsZone.


Editor’s note: This SportsZone report covers athletic contests that took place between December 22-31. Next week’s update will cover the first two weeks of January — athletic contests played between Jan. 3-15.

Ed Morrone OPC '04

The Quakers worked and played hard leading up to PC's winter break. Read up on what happened, with the knowledge that the teams continued in competitions and tournaments over break, with more to come. 

PC girls basketball player drives to the basket during a game

Girls Basketball

After picking up a 55-37 win at Germantown Academy to begin Inter-Ac play on Dec. 13, head coach Joe Maguire’s squad stayed hot over the past week in claiming two more victories.

First up was another league tilt, this time against SCH Academy on Dec. 16. The Quakers led wire-to-wire before ultimately earning a 56-22 victory over the Blue Devils. Ten different players scored for PC, led by seniors Aleah Snead (15 points) and Bella Toomey (11). Junior Aditi Foster chipped in seven, while sophomore Kaylinn Bethea and eighth grader Ryan Carter each contributed six. 

With a big lead, Maguire was able to get some of the younger players in on the action as well. Sophomores Kendall Small and Ava DiBenedetto each scored two points, while freshmen Natalia Modzelewski (four), Marleigh Jackson (two) and Liv Vieira (one) also cracked the box score.

“Going into the GA game, the girls were focused,” Maguire said. “They know what they have to accomplish this year to win a championship again. In their minds, the goal is to go undefeated in the Inter-Ac, and these were two steps of 12 to doing that. Just go in and take care of business and worry about what we do and not what others are doing.”

The very next morning, Maguire and company hit the road to square off against Life Center Academy (NJ) in the She Got Game Classic in Oceanport, N.J. While this one was much closer than the game against SCH Academy, the result remained the same as PC claimed a thrilling 67-63 victory. Just as she did against Friends Central on Dec. 6, Carter (21 points) drained the game-winning shot, this time with 13 seconds remaining off an assist from Toomey (team-high 23 points). 

“The cool thing with Ryan’s two game-winning shots is that Friends Central came off an assist from Aleah and then against Life Center Bella gets one,” Maguire said. “Bella had a great offensive day and very easily could have gone 1-on-1 for the last shot, but she trusted Ryan to make the right play. Same thing for Aleah in the other game. That’s the way we want to play, because it makes it difficult for the other team to defend us. The trust they have in one another is how we do things as a program, and it’s two unbelievable examples where two first-team All Inter-Ac players trusted an eighth grader who’s been on the team for a month because it was the right basketball play.”

Snead also hit double figures against Life Center with 15 points. The win was the third straight for the Quakers (4-2, 2-0), who will next be in action on Dec. 22-23 as both the Penn Charter varsity basketball programs will host the Speedy Morris Tournament at PC. On Thursday Dec. 22, the girls will take on Abington at 7:30 p.m. before returning Friday night to play Cardinal O’Hara at 6. After that, the girls will be in Tampa for a holiday tournament between Christmas and New Year’s before returning home to resume league play on Jan. 3 at Episcopal. 

 

Boys Basketball

After ripping off seven consecutive wins to start their season, the Quakers kept up those winning ways on Dec. 16-17 in the James Fenerty Make-a-Wish Tournament at Germantown Academy. The now annual event is held in honor of Fenerty, GA’s longtime boys basketball coach and athletic director, who passed away in May 2021 at the age of 70. 

PC basketball player takes a jump shot

On Dec. 16, the Quakers took on Shipley, building a 38-14 halftime lead off the strength of a dominant second quarter in which they outscored the Gators 20-4. Shipley was able to whittle a 28-point deficit down to 10 in the final frame, but Penn Charter held strong and claimed its eighth victory of the season.

Eight different players scored for the Quakers, who were led by senior Trey Shinholster and sophomore Kai Shinholster, each of whom tallied 13 points. Senior Colin Schumm scored nine of his 11 in the first half, including two dunks that got the PC spectators and bench buzzing. Seniors Mark Butler and Isaiah Grimes chipped in eight points apiece, while senior Keith Gee added six and junior Kevin Cotton had five. Junior Ohifame Ijeboi rounded out the scoring with two points.

“We’re not just teammates — we’re friends and brothers off the court, and that translates when we play,” Schumm said. “We all want to get each other passes and points to share that spotlight together. The sky's the limit for us, and in my opinion, we haven’t even played our best basketball yet. We’ve had some slow starts, or like today we started fast and didn’t have the best finish. When we put everything together and play four full quarters, we’ll be even scarier and tougher to beat.”

The next day, Penn Charter dispatched Palumbo 75-51 to improve to 9-0. Trey Shinholster was the leading scorer with 16, while his younger brother was not far behind with 15. Butler and Grimes recorded nine points each, while sophomore Travien Bryson Jr. (seven), Gee (six), Ijeboi (five), sophomore Mason Smith (four), Schumm (two) and freshman Jadon Driver (two) all scored, allowing the Quakers to showcase their depth once again. 

“This is the best group of guys I’ve ever played with,” said Butler, now in his fifth varsity season with the program. “We don’t care who gets the points or credit — we just want to win. We’re having a lot of fun right now. A lot of us have grown up together, and the results are starting to show. I’m happy and excited at where this team is going. Our motto is to win the week, and when we’re winning, it keeps us all motivated.”

Unfortunately for PC, the flawless season came to an end on Dec. 20 at home against Friends Select. The Quakers built a 55-31 lead after three quarters, but Friends Select staged a furious rally in the final frame, outscoring Penn Charter 33-8 to claim a 64-63 victory. 

“We needed to be humbled, but not in that way,” interim head coach Dave Bass said. “We put the bench in too early and lost momentum. No excuses though — the coaching has to be better.”

This time around, Kai Shinholster paced the Quakers with 16. Grimes and Schumm tallied 10 points each.

PC will have two more opportunities to win the week at the Speedy Morris Tournament on Dec. 22-23 at Penn Charter. The Quakers (9-1) will take on Simon Gratz Thursday night at 6 p.m., followed by a 7:30 tip Friday evening against John Bartram. The boys will be in Tampa for a holiday tournament between Christmas and New Year’s before returning home to resume league play at the Graham in a Friday night game on Jan. 6 against SCH Academy.

 

Girls Indoor Track

Following a successful meet to kick off the indoor track season on Dec. 9, head coach Candice Lee’s squad was back at it again on Dec. 16 for Delaware Valley Girls Track Coaches Association (DVGTCA) Meet Two at Alvernia University. 

members of the PC girls indoor track team pose for the camera

After finishing in first place in the 800m race in the first meet, sophomore Alli DeLisi again picked up a first-place finish, this time in the one-mile run with a time of 5:10.81. With the two winning performances, DeLisi has already qualified for the Meet of Champs (Feb. 17) and states (Feb. 26) in both events. Elsewhere in DVGTCA Meet Two action, senior Dani Shipon finished third in the 800m (2:23.32) and qualified for the Meet of Champs. 

The 4x400 relay team of senior Veronica Lentz, junior Olivia Roland, Peyton Duran and Shipon shaved 15 seconds off their previous time, finishing the race in 10th place with a time of 4:28.57. The distance medley relay team also picked up a top-20 result, finishing 18th with a time of 14:54.26.

In field events, Olivia Roland (ninth, 4-9) and Harper Roland (19th, 4-5) each finished in the top-20 of high jump competitors. 

One more item of note is that freshman Michaela Poland ran the 200m in 27.33 at DVGTCA Meet One, qualifying for the Meet of Champs. 

“The team is making improvements each week,” Lee said. “They are putting the work in to drop their times on the track.”

DVGTCA Meet Three is scheduled for Dec. 23 at 3:30 p.m., with the venue changing from Alvernia to Lehigh University.

 

Boys Indoor Track

After a season-opening meet on Dec. 10, the boys indoor track team was right back at Lehigh University on Dec. 17 for the Track and Field Coaches Association of Greater Philadelphia (TFCAofGP) Meet Number Two. 

The boys made some major improvements between the meets, and the results reflected as much, with 10 top-20 finishes, double the amount from the first event. On the track, senior Jack Frank claimed third place in the 800m (2:05.13), while sophomores TJ Zwall (fourth, 9:22.38) and Nate Johnson (11th, 9:52.09) had strong showings in the 3000m. Junior Britton Armbrister placed 11th in the 60m hurdles (10.31); freshman Peyton Burnett ran a 5:11.15 in the mile, good for 14th place; and junior Eddie Kennedy was 16th in the 200m (25.05). Additionally, the 4x200 (12th, 1:41.01) and 4x400 (14th, 4:11.56) relay teams each finished in the top-15. 

In field events, senior Christian Black was sixth in the long jump (19-11), while juniors Owen Larrabee (fourth, 41-1.5) and Matthew Martz (20th, 32-7.25) each did well in the shot put.

“I need to see three meets before I can babble effectively on our potential, but I think we’re within the range of where I thought we would be through the first two,” head coach Steve Bonnie said. “We’re young and are still developing with the potential to have a good winter and a much better spring than we did last season.”

Bonnie and company will head back to Lehigh for TFCAofGP Meet Three on Dec. 22 at 3 p.m.

 

Wrestling

Following a first-place finish at the SCH Invitational on Dec. 10, the wrestling team was back on the mat on Dec. 17 for the Travis Manion ‘99 Memorial Duals at La Salle College High School. 

members of pc wrestling squad pretend to begin a match on media day

The Quakers faced off against five squads, picking up wins against Northeast (35-24), William Tennent (48-21) and Marple Newtown (53-24). PC fell to Warwick (47-29) and Sun Valley (50-18). 

George Glomb had a perfect 5-0 day wrestling at 189 pounds, running his record to a perfect 9-0 to begin his senior season. All five of Glomb’s wins at La Salle were via pin — four of which came between one and two minutes, while Glomb pinned Warwick’s Jack Koons in 3:29.

“George flat-out loves to compete and hates to lose,” head coach Peter Shaifer said. “There is never a concern about him being ready for a match — he always goes out and takes what is given to him. He is competing up a weight class thus far this year and having great success. We are anxious to see him elevate his technique against high-level competition.”

Senior James Glomb went 4-0 on the day at 215 and is now 9-0 just like his twin brother, while sophomore Greyson Catlow-Sidler (145) and C.J. English (285) each went 4-1. 

“Grey has the ability to be a major issue on the national level this year and shows frequently why he is a dangerous opponent,” Shaifer said. “James continues to raise eyebrows… his hard work on and off the mat is contributing to a huge level of success this season. And C.J. is a phenomenal athlete for the weight with great poise — he is calm late in matches and continues to figure out positional wrestling and ways to score.”

Other wrestlers who picked up multiple wins were junior Jack Bowen (160, 172) and sophomore Hugh Maley (138), each with three; sophomores Henry Greenberg (120) and Leo Pritchett (160) and freshman Simon Bethea (152) all earned two victories. 

Sophomores Munir German (126) and Griffin LaMent (132), junior James Joel (215) and senior Patrick Rullo (172) each picked up one victory on the day. 

Penn Charter will next be in action Dec. 28-29 when the team will compete in the Ralph Wetzel Classic at Hatboro-Horsham High School. 

 

Girls Squash

After winning their first two matches of the season, Penn Charter dropped a 5-4 thriller to SCH Academy on Dec. 15. Despite the loss, the battle between the Quakers and Blue Devils featured “some high level squash,” according to head coach Damon Leedale-Brown. 

pc 2022-23 squash team

Sophomores Sam and Alex Jaffe each claimed 3-0 victories from the top two spots on the PC ladder, while freshmen Audrey Abernethy and Ana Buckley also achieved 3-0 wins from the bottom two spots of the lineup. Despite losing 14-12 in her fifth and deciding game, junior Frances Guenther fought back from two games down to put herself within a point of victory.

“Sam and Alex Jaffe continue to show why they are ranked as two of the top players in the country with excellent 3-0 victories against nationally-ranked opposition,” Leedale-Brown said. “Ana and Audrey continued their winning form, and Frances showed exceptional determination and grit.”

The Quakers (2-1, 0-1) will return to the court on Jan. 5 when they host Agnes Irwin at 4 p.m.

 

Boys Squash

Leedale-Brown’s boys squash squad remained unbeaten after picking up an 8-1 win on Dec. 15 over SquashSmarts, Philadelphia’s urban squash program that was launched in 2000. 

“Visiting SquashSmarts is always a good experience for the PC players, with an opportunity to see the program and facility and to meet kids with different upbringings,” Penn Charter assistant coach Peter Lubowitz said. 

In their first varsity match, sophomores Andrew Tanner and Luke Markovitz picked up victories in the bottom two spots on the ladder. Additionally, sophomores Wills and Dean Kaiser also prevailed from the No. 6 and No. 7 positions. 

The Quakers (3-0, 1-0) will be back in action on Jan. 5 at 4 p.m. against Haverford. 

PC boys squash player poses for a low shot on media day

Swimming & Diving

The PC boys and girls swimming & diving teams have been idle since Dec. 13, when each squad dropped their first meet of the season on the road at Germantown Academy. The Quakers will next be in action on Jan. 11 at 3:45 p.m. when Episcopal visits School House Lane.

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