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Winter sports brought us championship performances, personal bests, new school records and great sportsmanship.

Congratulations to all of our athletes and coaches, and In alphabetical order from basketball to wrestling, here is a look back at the season. Plus, a shoutout to students who committed to play their sport in college.

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball team, headed by first-year coach John Owens, was in a transition year and finished the season 11-15. The team will be returning six key contributors, three of them underclassmen, for next season. Next year will also be highlighted by guard Ryan Holmes who earned 2nd team All-Inter-Ac this year. Holmes ended the season averaging 17 points, six rebounds and four assists per game. He will look to lead the young team to a better and improved record next season. And he scored, and celebrated (above) his 1,000th point.

Ryan will be joined by this year’s youngest player in the Inter-Ac, eighth grader Mark Butler, who started all but two games this past season. Butler averaged just under five assists per game and was second on the team in scoring. The boys basketball team is looking forward to a summer of training and team camps to ensure better seasons ahead.

Girls Basketball

The 2018-19 girls basketball season saw the team reach many of its goals. They broke the school record for wins in a season by a girls basketball team, going 23-7; finished Inter-Ac play at 9-3; and tied for second place and earned the #2 seed in the PAISAA Tournament. The season produced many highlights: beating Shipley, the two-time defending PAISAA State Champion; defeating defending Friends League Champion Abington Friends; and avenging an early-season loss to the Catholic League’s Archbishop Ryan, a win that got us off to an 8-2 start before boarding a plane to Phoenix for the Nike Tournament of Champions.

In Phoenix (shown here), we were in a bracket with teams from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon. We did not know what to expect when we arrived, but we came out on top, winning four games in four days. The teams we beat were among the strongest in the 16-team tournament: three of the opponents went 3-1, and they finished the tournament in second, third and fifth place. Winning the tournament certainly enhanced our time in Arizona, but the experiences we had will make the trip unforgettable for the girls: They were able to hike mountains, share meals together, visit Arizona State’s campus and just enjoy each other’s company for the week.

In January and February, we won most of our league games by double digits, and a highlight of the Inter-Ac season came at Notre Dame when Kelsey Bess hit the game-winning shot as time was expiring. We began the PAISAA Tournament as #2 seed and with a first-round bye. We defeated the Hill School 53-40 in a complete team effort. This was the theme with our team: We were exactly that, a TEAM. We were fortunate to have three players named All-Inter-Ac, junior Carmen Williams, 1st Team; junior Kait Carter and senior Emma Maley, 2nd Team. Having returned many players this season, we jumped from a 13-16 to a 23-7 record, from fifth place in the Inter-Ac to second, and from the #8 seed in the PAISAA Tournament to the #2 seed.

Boys Indoor Track and Field

The boys winter track and field teams had another successful season. Further expanding our schedule from previous seasons, the team competed at the Armory in NYC, Ocean Breeze on Staten Island, Lehigh University, Haverford College, Ursinus College and Penn State University.

John Davis and Alex Turner, two four-year runners, provided leadership and, with many of our older, more experienced athletes sidelined with nagging injuries from previous sports seasons, the team relied on a new crop of talented athletes. Patrick Fehm (shown here) was our most accomplished athlete, qualifying for the state meet in both the triple jump and the high jump, where he went on to finish sixth in the high jump. In addition to

Patrick’s success, Matt Marshall qualified for the Meet of Champions, the state’s second biggest race, in the 60m dash. The other Meet of Champions qualifiers were Fehm, Chandler Turner, Oliver Leedale-Brown and Demetrius deRamus.

With our experienced runners gaining solid fitness and returning to good health, our winter track successes should springboard us into another successful spring season.

Girls Indoor Track and Field

Girls track and field had a breakout season this winter. While the accolades speak for themselves, there were far more important aspects to the development of the program. Our roster grew substantially to include 34 girls. The competition schedule afforded the team the opportunity to compete at the Armory in Manhattan, at Lehigh University and at Ocean Breeze facility in Staten Island. There was a balance in the four classes, which made for strong relays and individual performances. The team was led by its strong senior class. Ainyae Holmes and Mia Murphy anchored the sprint crew. Mary McDavid and Abby Zwall provided leadership and experience for the distance squad. Haley Joyce brought the team together with her energy and leadership. All in all, practice was fun, consistent and very focused. It led to many fantastic performances.

Penn Charter girls were the only Inter-Ac and private school team to qualify for all four relays at the Pennsylvania indoor state meet and, going into the competition, three of the relays were ranked in the top 10. Three members of the group decided to scratch their individual races in order to focus on placement in team standings. The results — 4x200(20th),  4x400(15th), 4x800(4th) and DMR (1st, new school record) — placed the Penn Charter girls 15 out of 66 in the team standings. The highlight of the season was the girls Distance Medley Relay winning the state competition at Penn State. The state meet, which is open to all teams in Pennsylvania regardless of classification or size, is the biggest meet of the year. McDavid, Peyton Parker, Sara Shipon and Emma Zwall set a new school record to win by nine seconds. That same foursome returned two weeks later (shown below) to place ninth in the Championship Section of the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City, lowering their PC record by an additional 8 seconds to 12:02.90. That time was one of the fastest in the country and in state track history.

In addition to that relay, the girls team was the only team in the state to qualify all four relays to the state meet. The 4x200 (Jalynn Johnson, Holmes, Parker, Lizzie McLaughlin), the 4x400 (Johnson, Charlotte Hodgson, Shipon, Parker), the 4x800 (McDavid, Shipon, A Zwall, E Zwall) and the DMR all competed at Penn State. In addition to the relays qualifying, McDavid and Emma Zwall qualified in the mile run and Shipon qualified in the 800.

For the Meet of Champions, all athletes mentioned above qualified for the multiple events. In addition to the relays mentioned, Holmes made the 60m dash and 200m dash, and Shipon qualified in the 800. 

The girls set six school records and one class record this season. Julia Dolce set the school record for the freshman mile. In addition to the Distance Medley Relay team, our 4x800 finished fourth in the state, set a new school record of 9:27 and qualified for the Championship Section at Nationals. Our 4x400 and 4x200 teams set school records on the last day of the season (4:06 and 1:49 respectively). Individually, McDavid set both the 1600m record (5:08) and the mile record (5:07).

Overall, the season served as a culmination of the work put in over the last four years by coaches Khayla Atte and David Tidey and the senior girls. Four years ago, there were about 10 girls on the team. Now they are 34 strong and competing for state and national titles across all events on the track. The season also served as a great springboard for spring track season, where the girls team looks to move up one spot from its second-place finish at last year's Inter-Ac Champs.

Boys Squash

The 2018-19 boys squash season got off to a rocky start as the team lost its first six matches against top Inter-Ac and MASA opponents. But with hard work during practices and conditioning sessions, the season turned around after winter break with six wins in the final 11 matches. The team placed 36th out of 120 teams at U.S. High School Nationals and 11th in the Mid-Atlantic Squash Association end-of-season tournament.

Freshman Hyun Su Price had a 13-3 record in the #3 position and junior Jack Kennedy went 12-4 in the #7 spot. All-League recognition was awarded to Max Lubowitz, 1st team Inter-Ac and 2nd team MASA, and to  Hyun Su Price, Inter-Ac 2nd team).

Girls Squash

The girls squash team had a successful season of competition, placing 12th in the High School Nationals

Championships out of 98 teams, and finishing sixth in the Division 1 bracket for MASA (Mid-Atlantic Squash Association). Team highlights included a very competitive 5-4 loss against Episcopal, and winning the top-three ladder positions against National Finalists AIS. All-League recognition was awarded to Elisabeth Ross, Inter-Ac and MASA 1st Team; Amanda Cowhey, Inter-Ac 1st Team and MASA 2nd Team; and Hatti Specter, Inter-Ac 2nd Team.

Elisabeth Ross at #1 was unbeaten for her second season in a row and closes out a stellar PC squash career in which she lost only six matches in six varsity seasons! Elisabeth is the current #2-ranked player in the U.S. and will go on to play at Yale University in the fall.

 

 

Boys Swimming and Diving

The boys swim team had a successful year on many counts. Because of the size of the team rather than effort or quality, the boys did not win any dual meets this year. With 11 swimmers and one diver, we were unable to fill all the lanes in our meets and therefore it was difficult to match up against much larger teams. The focus for the boys this year was training hard during the season in hope of seeing solid time drops at our Easterns Championship meet.

Although small in numbers, the boys team swam incredibly well at Easterns and, in combination with the girls team, placed fifth out of 45 teams in the combined competition. Cooper Berkoff, Lance Rainer and Tyler Juskalian all swam in the finals of individual events at Easterns, and all three of our relays come back and swim at finals. Those relay swimmers included Juskalian, Rainer, Zion Weeks (shown here), Berkoff, Zack Kaplan, Liam McLafferty and Bret Brogan. With everyone returning next year, we look forward to the new season.

Girls Swimming and Diving

The girls swim team continued its historic run,  repeating as Inter-Ac champions and Easterns champions. The year was highlighted by a big home victory against Germantown Academy and a one-point victory on the road against Episcopal Academy. A huge shoutout to Avery Myers for her diving victory in that meet, which helped secure the win. Over the course of the season, the girls team broke nine (out of 12) team records. Over the last two years the girls have rewritten the record board by breaking team records in 11 of 12 events. This year’s team also featured seven individuals who made the All-Inter-Ac team and six swims that are All-American qualifying times. The strong depth, along with top-level talent, helped this team not only be a formidable opponent in dual meets but also in championship meets. Many swimmers had incredible swims at the Easterns; overall highlights that weekend included two relay wins (200 and 400 free) and an individual victory by Sally Foley in the 100 breaststroke. With many swimmers returning next year, the team hopes to continue its run in the 2019-2020 season.

All Inter-Ac
Sally Foley: 1st Team
Camille Weiss: 1st Team
Sam Boyes: 1st Team
Gabby Lopez-Ona: 1st Team
Marissa Lopez-Ona: 2nd Team
Lane Murray: 2nd Team
Sabrina Shaffer: 2nd Team

All-American Swims
200 Medley Relay: Lane Murray, Sally Foley, Ayana Opong, Camille Weiss
200 IM: Sally Foley
200 Freestyle Relay: Sam Boyes, Gabby Lopez-Ona, Annika Murray, Lane Murray
500 Freestyle: Camille Weiss
100 Breaststroke: Sally Foley
400 Freestyle Relay: Sam Boyes, Gabby Lopez-Ona, Camille Weiss, Sally Foley

Team Records
200 Medley Relay: Lane Murray, Sally Foley, Ayana Opong, Camille Weiss
200 IM: Sally Foley
50 Freestyle: Sam Boyes
100 Butterfly: Gabby Lopez-Ona
100 Freestyle: Sam Boyes
200 Freestyle Relay: Sam Boyes, Gabby Lopez-Ona, Annika Murray, Lane Murray
500 Freestyle: Camille Weiss
100 Breaststroke: Sally Foley
400 Freestyle Relay: Sam Boyes, Gabby Lopez-Ona, Camille Weiss, Sally Foley

Wrestling

This year started with the mantra “Exceed expectations!” The team did just that. While forfeiting three or four matches each time out, the team was still able to turn in an impressive 15-10 record and a third-place finish in the league.

The dual meet part of the season was rewarding, because not only did the team have to give up between 18 and 24 points, they also had two or three other wrestlers competing at weight classes above what they weighed naturally. With a 2-1 record in both the Upper Merion Duals and the Ryan Duals, the team had a great start in December. No one would have expected a 4-2 record heading into the holidays. January started with Malvern beating us easily, but upset wins against Springside Chestnut Hill and Episcopal followed along with an impressive second-place finish at the Lions Duals. The team finished the month with an impressive 11-6 record.

During the individual portion of the season, the team really impressed. And, at the state tournament, the team surpassed expectations: With nine national prep qualifiers and a fourth-place team finish, it was an incredible weekend. The team’s performance helped Coach Pete Shaifer win recognition as Pennsylvania’s Coach of the Year. This honor is well deserved as the team has risen to achieve success and garner recognition not only for its performance but even more its effort, improvement and character.

14 students in college sweatshirts pose together in Penn Charter's Gummere Library

On to College ... 

In February, 14 more student-athletes signed to play their sport in college. Read more

 

Penn Charter wrestling coach Pete Shaifer OPC '82 won the award for Head Coach of the Year at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Wrestling Tournament in late February. Shaifer’s fellow coaches elected him to receive the honor following a top-five performance by the Quakers at the event.

Shaifer has coached wrestling for 33 years at the high school and college level, including a stint as head coach at William & Mary. Five years ago, he took the reins at PC, where he also teaches middle school math.

Shaifer credits the team’s breakout performance at the PAISWT tournament with elevating him into the spotlight. The Quakers finished fourth out of 18 independent school teams, while nine wrestlers placed in their weight classes and qualified to participate in nationals. Historically, it was Penn Charter wrestling's highest number of qualifiers in more than 25 years.

“These guys really need to be celebrated for their successes,” said Shaifer. “This season has been one of many surprises.”

The Quakers knew they would be at a disadvantage going into the tournament as a small team with no year-round wrestlers. But, early in the season, they had identified “exceeding expectations” as a goal for this year. Shaifer sees last month’s performance as making good on that commitment.

“The kids we have right now wanted to be better, they wanted to be pushed harder. And they responded pretty well to that.”

Penn Charter's girls indoor track Distance Medley Relay team broke a school record and finished ninth in the country on March 8 at the New Balance Nationals in New York City.

Mary McDavid, Peyton Parker, Sara Shipon and Emma Zwall finished as the top runners in Pennsylvania, set a new PC record of 12:02.90 – one of the fastest times in state history – and earned a spot at this year's Penn Relays and Outdoor Nationals.

"The girls ran great," said PC track coach Bryan Skelly. "For indoor track nationals, there are no classifications or divisions, it's just the best teams in the country. To finish ninth is a huge deal." 

Watch a video of the girls' performance here.

The girls qualified for the New Balance Nationals after winning the Distance Medley Relay at the PTFCA Indoor State Championships last month. 

They finished that race with a time of 12:10.97, outpacing a large field of public, Catholic and independent schools. Watch a post-race interview with the championship team here.

In just a few short weeks, Penn Charter athletes will take the field on a new baseball facility that will not only elevate their performance but complete the first building project in a bold plan to transform PC's campus.

Join us to celebrate this milestone when Penn Charter baseball takes on Inter-Ac rival Germantown Academy on Friday, April 5, at 4 p.m.

Arrive early for an opening ceremony honoring former baseball coaches, players and How Far? capital campaign donors committed to securing PC's future. Stay to cheer on the team, enjoy concessions and get excited about what's to come.

Save the date and, if you can't join us, check in on social media. It's happening!

Penn Charter vs. Germantown Academy

Friday, April 5

3:30 p.m. Opening Ceremony

4:00 p.m. First Pitch

The new multisport turf field, just across the street on the Strawbridge Campus, clears the way for the next project in the campus transformation: an Athletics and Wellness Center on the site of the former field.

The culminating project, completing all that we need to achieve our goals in academics, arts and athletics, is a new Lower School.

More about the How Far? Campaign

Penn Charter Athletics celebrated another terrific season on Wednesday evening and honored 27 athletes for outstanding contributions to their teams. Twenty-two PC athletes were also recognized by the Inter-Academic League for outstanding performances in the Inter-Ac this season. And, in our Middle School, winter athletes won awards for sportsmanship and dedication, which were announced during a daytime assembly in Balderston Commons.

Enjoy photographs by Zamani Feelings of our seniors in action this winter.

Upper School Honors

Sport Athlete Award
Basketball Kaitlyn Carter Coach's
Basketball Anthony Ciarrocchi  Coach's
Basketball Jayce Dyer Coach's
Basketball Ryan Holmes Coach's
Basketball Emma Maley Coach's
Basketball Carmen Williams Coach's
     
Indoor Track John Davis Coach's
Indoor Track Patrick Fehm Coach's
Indoor Track Mary McDavid Coach's
Indoor Track Peyton Parker Coach's
Indoor Track Sara Shipon Coach's
Indoor Track Alex Turner Coach's
     
Squash Mia Bezar Coach's
Squash Tom Bradbeer Coach's
Squash Jack Kennedy Coach's
Squash Max Lubowitz Coach's
Squash Elisabeth Ross Coach's
Squash Hatti Specter Coach's
     
Swimming Cooper Berkoff Coach's
Swimming Natalie Driscoll Coach's
Swimming Sally Foley Coach's
Swimming Tyler Juskalian Coach's
Swimming Sabrina Shaffer Coach's
Swimming Zion Weeks Coach's
     
Wrestling Wayne Derkotch Coach's
Wrestling TJ Henry Coach's
Wrestling Sam Shemtov Coach's

 

Inter-Ac Honors

All of the honors below were bestowed by the Inter-Academic League.

Sport Athlete Team
Basketball Kaitlyn Carter Second
Basketball Ryan Holmes Second
Basketball Emma Maley Second
Basketball Carmen Williams First
     
Squash Amanda Cowhey First
Squash Max Lubowitz First
Squash Hyun Su Price Second
Squash Elisabeth Ross First
Squash Hatti Specter Second
     
Swimming Samantha Boyes First
Swimming Sally Foley First
Swimming Gabriella Lopez-Ona First
Swimming Marissa Lopez-Ona Second
Swimming Lane Murray Second
Swimming Sabrina Shaffer Second
Swimming Camille Weiss First
     
Wrestling Jess Anderson Second
Wrestling Danny Back Second
Wrestling Wayne Derkotch Second
Wrestling John Giuffrida Second
Wrestling TJ Henry Second
Wrestling Matthew McGlinchey Second

 

Middle School Honors

Sport Athlete Award
Basketball (JV) Will Veira Dedication
Basketball (JV) Sammy Davey Sportsmanship
Basketball (JV) Amira Kravitz Dedication
Basketball (JV) Elissa Hsu Sportsmanship
     
Basketball (V) Lance Kay Dedication
Basketball (V) Scott Doran Sportsmanship
Basketball (V) Maya Brightbill Dedication
Basketball (V) Olivia Summers Sportsmanship
     
Squash (JV ) Oliver Zulick Dedication
Squash (JV ) Jake Dittus Sportsmanship
     
Squash (V) Jacob Kestenbaum Dedication
Squash (V) Steven Bernstein Sportsmanship
Squash (V) Lexi Bari Dedication
Squash (V) Alex Glomb Sportsmanship
     
Swimming Juan Tovar Dedication
Swimming Scott Sweeney Sportsmanship
     
Diving Sarah Price Dedication
Diving Hadley Evans Sportsmanship
     
Wrestling Jack Bowen Dedication
Wrestling James Glomb Sportsmanship