Packer’s 2018-19 winter athletic season was a time for building stronger teams, surpassing personal bests, and experiencing the challenge of athletic competition. Read on to learn how all of Packer’s varsity sports teams fared this winter.
Packer’s co-ed varsity squash team completed the regular season with three wins and seven loses. However, the highlight of the season, according to Coach Barry Stelzner, was the team’s participation in the High School National Championships in Connecticut. Representing Packer in the 210-team competition were team captains Henry S. ’19, Grace S. ’19, and Caroline A. ’19, as well as Joseph F. ’22, Noor V. ’20, Alex H. ’20, Callie W. ’22, and Tom S. ’19. Packer’s squad has strived to develop a team consciousness over the past 10 years. As such, the remaining team members travelled to the Greater Hartford area to cheer them on.
After dropping its first match to Brookline School, the team won its second match against Berkshire School, its third against Groton School, and its final against Horace Mann. Ending on such a high note has Stelzner and Assistant Coach Nicholas Kirkbride looking forward to next season.
It was a record-breaking season for Packer’s girls and boys swim teams. For the third year in a row, the girls captured first place in both the regular season and the Athletic Conference of Independent Schools (ACIS) championship meet. The team also broke six school records.
The boys finished in second place in both the regular season and the ACIS championship meet and broke seven school records. Both teams, trained by Head Coach Chris Ruck and assistant coaches Tori Flowers and Jennifer Votaw, finished the season with five wins and one loss in the ACIS league.
Carolyn C. ’22 and Olivia D. ’24 were both league All-Stars this season for the girls team. Dare Rose ’20 and Ryan M. ’22 earned the title for the boys team. Fifteen swimmers qualified for the NYSAIS championships.
Girls Varsity Basketball
With only eight players this season, the girls varsity basketball team worked extremely hard, committing to a team-first philosophy and striving for a common goal, according to Head Coach Russell Tombline. This small but mighty team finished the season with 19 wins and five losses, and they won the Athletic Association of Independent Schools (AAIS) regular season, the play-off championship and the ACIS regular season championship. The team earned the No. 10 seed in the NYSAIS State tournament.
On December 19, 2018, Jordana S. ’21 scored her 1,000th point as a member of Packer’s girls varsity basketball team, a milestone rarely achieved before senior year. Jordana and Jolie K. ’20 were named All-Stars in both the AAIS and ACIS.
Boys Varsity Basketball
Packer’s boys varsity basketball team closed the season with 12 wins and 12 loses, ranking fifth out of the seven teams in the ACIS league. In the NYSAIS tournament, the team earned seventh seed in the C bracket and made it to the quarter finals. Team captains Jack H. ’19 and Peter (P.J.) Y. ’19 represented Packer in the ACIS vs. Ivy League senior all-star game.
Although the season “sometimes seemed like a roller coaster ride,” according to Coach George Boutis, one thing that remained steady was outstanding leadership by the team’s five seniors. They played an integral role in creating a strong foundation for the boys basketball program to build on.
“Our young, talented players gained valuable experience,” said Boutis, who coached the team with the assistance of Michael Cunningham. “They were resilient, gritty, and accountable. These players embodied what it means to be a student/athlete at the highest level.”
Packer’s varsity indoor track and field team members kicked off the season breaking records. Many achieved personal bests and even the newest members earned times beyond expectations. Under the guidance of Head Coach Trevor Watson and assistant coaches Alem Kahsay and Charlene Kohler-Britton, the team displayed a strong showing in seven meets this season.
Eighteen team members qualified for the New York State Association of Independent School (NYSAIS) Championship, where they placed seventh overall. Two runners earned entry into the prestigious Federation Championship—Alec K. ’20 for the 600m and Peter C. ’20 for the 3200m.
Other outstanding performances included Sylvan W. ’21, who broke both the mile and two-mile indoor records, and John B. ’22 and Nicholas Y. ’21 for outstanding times in the 1000m. Boys team captain Peter C. and the girls team captain Annabel B. ’20 were supportive champions for the team. Both captains enjoyed a very successful season.