All about the Wildcats

Athletes of the Week

Duncan LeXander ’18- Varsity Boys Basketball  

Despite two tough team losses, Duncan continued his fine play as one of the team’s veteran leaders.  On Wednesday against Suffield, he scored 18 points and helped keep the team within striking distance. On Saturday he followed up with another 14 points against MacDuffie, including 3 three pointers. As the team’s best free throw shooter, he was 9 of 10 in both games.  Duncan’s positive competitive spirit and commitment to being the best teammate he can be is a big part of his terrific contribution to this year’s team. The team will continue to look to Duncan’s leadership to help them through the rest of their challenging season.

Gabby Jones ’18- Girls Varsity Hockey

Gabby has had a tremendous stretch and had some big goals for the Wildcats this season. At the Winchendon Tournament right after the new year, she was named to the All-Tournament team for her efforts. In the past week, she continues to be a leader and offensive force for the team as she contributed three goals and an assist in the 5-0 over Berkshire. Many of her goals and line-mates’ goals have come from her outstanding efforts on the defensive side of the puck.  Additionally, Gabby continued her contributions on Friday night as she tallied a big goal and assist in the 5-4 win vs. St. Marks. Gabby’s play and leadership have been crucial to the team’s success this season.

Henry Poehlein ’18 – Boys Varsity Squash

Henry has been a crucial part of the Wildcat’s success this season. On Saturday, it proved to be no different. He was under tremendous pressure to get the win, as St. Mark’s fought from behind to take a 3-2 advantage and only needed one more match to seal the overall win. Falling down 2 sets to 1 early on, he turned on the “afterburners” in the 4th set and shocked his opponent with blinding speed and accuracy. Henry dug deep and won the match for himself and for Williston!

Nico Gomes-Rapozza ’22- Co-ed 3rds Squash

Since the start of the season, Nico has demonstrated a continuous and contagious love for the game of squash. Nico regularly arrives early to practice and he is often the last one to leave the court. He frequently assists novice players to improve their serving and return technique while fostering their confidence in the sport. This past Saturday, Nico led the thirds squash team to an exciting and challenging match against Bement, encouraging his teammates to keep an eye on their opponent throughout the match and maintain control of the court. Nico embodies a can-do mindset to learning new skills by watching the homework videos and then putting them to practice the following day.

Jade Chan ’20 – Girls JV Hockey

Jade has been a force in net for the Wildcats this season.  In the squad’s recent come from behind 5-3 win over Berkshire, Jade recorded 22 saves and helped keep her team in the game. On Saturday against Westminster, Jade managed to again produce another 22 saves in the eventual loss for the Wildcats. Jade has slid into the squad’s starting goalie spot this season and has been vital to the team’s success so far.

Mateo Bratt ’23- Boys 4ths Basketball

Mateo has had a great season so far for the Wildcats. On Wednesday, against Kingswood-Oxford, he played a key role in getting the squad started by knocking down two big 3’s early in the game. On Saturday against Bement, he continued his fantastic play, as he led the team with 8 points. Not only was he stellar on the offensive end of the floor, but he was disruptive on the defensive end, forcing turnovers which created opportunities for his teammates. Mateo has been a great leader this season for the Mighty Fourths.

 

Athletes of the Week

Filip Rebraca ‘18 – Boys Varsity Basketball

Filip has been a key cog in the early season success for varsity boys basketball.  As the anchor of the team’s defense, he sets the tone with his great determination and energy.  An uncanny shot blocker, Filip’s ability to defend 4 to 5 positions on the court are unique.  In an exciting three point win over Deerfield, Filip rebounded from a challenging Friday evening to have a terrific game.  He provided great interior defense and timely scoring with 11 points including a three pointer and a halftime tip at the buzzer to give Williston its first lead.

Sarah Sullivan ‘19- Girls Varsity Basketball 

Sarah has been a relentless force offensively and defensively this season for the Wildcats. Before the break, at the teams annual Ray Brown Holiday tournament she put up an impressive 30 points, 4 blocks, and 11 boards to help the Wildcats beat BB&N in the championship game of the tournament. This week against Berkshire, she tallied 20 points, went 6/6 from the foul line, and finished with 10 boards, accumulating her sixth double-double on the season. The Wildcats will continue to look to Sarah to be a consistent play maker and leader for the remainder of this competitive season.

Molly Kinstle ‘21- Girls Varsity Swimming

Molly has been a force in the water for the Wildcats this season. On Saturday at the KO Invitational, she continued her streak as she won both her races, making her 8 for 8 on the season in her individual swims. In addition to her wildly successful individual performances she has been a vital part of the relay team, as her performance helped the squad nab 6 relay victories. Molly’s work ethic, team first mentality and performance in the pool has greatly helped the team achieve an early undefeated season.

Vishnu Sekar ‘19- Boys Varsity Squash

Vishnu has been playing very well for the boys varsity squash team so far this season. On Saturday, he won a tough match for the team against a talented Trinity Pawling squad. The win for the Wildcats did not come easy, as lengthy points and lengthy games, made it that much more difficult. Fighting through numerous momentum shifts, Vishnu went the distance to take the win in the fifth set. In addition to his stellar play, Vishnu’s work ethic on and off the court provide a positive example for the whole squad. Vishnu’s positive attitude is contagious, helping to create a great environment during practice and matches.

Atah Okaisabor ‘18– Girls JV Squash

As senior co-captain for the Wildcats, Atah has been a big part of the teams’ success this season. On Saturday, she won her match against Berkshire. Playing against a competitive team and player, she played every point. Fighting through fatigue, she ended up playing all 5 of her games and refused to give up. She makes tremendous progress day in and day out, and it clearly shows. Atah’s work ethic provides a great example for the whole squad and has developed into a great leader for the team.

Jackson Frechette ‘22- Coed Thirds Squash

Since day one of the squash season, Jackson has demonstrated purpose, passion, and integrity on and off the court. He always works with purpose to perfect his skills on the court and has demonstrated passion for the team by volunteering to instruct novice players as they practice the basics of serving and returning the ball. His integrity to the Thirds team is evident in how he fosters team spirit by rallying everyone to be and play their best regardless of the points in the match and the size of their opponent. Jackson is quickly developing into a fantastic leader and the team will continue to look to him to lead them in the best direction.

 

Athletic Director Conroy Named to Coaches’ Hall of Fame

Coach Mark Conroy

You could make the case that Mark Conroy’s career began in second grade when he started playing organized football. Throughout his school days, he played the game, captaining his team at Middlebury College, where he earned All East honors and a nod as Honorable Mention All American.

Conroy has spent 33 years coaching (mostly football but also basketball and baseball) at boarding schools, 30 of those serving in the Athletic Director role, as he has at Williston for the last 18 years. He stepped down as football coach at the end of the 2015-16 school year, continuing on as AD. As a fitting tribute to a career devoted to inspiring excellence and modeling leadership for young people, Conroy has been elected to the NEPSFCA Coaches’ Hall of Fame. Continue reading

Athletes of the Week

Abood Abuissa ’18- Boys Varsity Basketball

Abood’s inspired play has been instrumental in leading varsity boys basketball to a 3-0 start this season.   In consecutive wins over AA schools Gould Academy and Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Abood made a number of “winning plays” on both ends of the court to spark his team.  His infectious positive energy and leadership have made a tremendous difference in helping the team get off to a great start. Continue reading

Athletes of the Week

Mike Manley ’18- Boys Varsity Basketball

Mike had a terrific game on Saturday, leading varsity boys’ basketball to a gritty 64-59 season opening victory at Noble and Greenough. Mike demonstrated great poise and competitiveness in making a number of big plays at critical junctures of the game.   He led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points while also doing a terrific job of defending Noble’s high scoring point guard. Varsity boys basketball will continue to look to Mike as one of its team leaders this winter. Continue reading

Basketball Star Abood Abuissa’s Comeback Season

By Jake Durocher ’18, Staff Writer, The Willistonian

Aboooood! This is how senior basketball player Abdulraheem Abuissa is greeted everyday as he walks to class with a smile on his face.

“It is hard to find Abood not in a good mood,” Senior Jack Phelan said. “With a constant smile and same greeting every time, ‘what’s up man?’ there is nothing you can’t like about him.”

Williston is a long way from home for the basketball standout; Abood is from Doha, Qatar. “Every break I am lucky enough to go home and see my family,” Abood said. “At the very least I will be able to see my dad in New York on the weekends, because he works there a lot.” Abood knows how lucky this is for an international student, and does not take this for granted. Continue reading

Assembly Highlights Fall Athletic Achievements

Athletic Director Mark Conroy stood before the school during an assembly on November 29 and listed the highlights of the nine fall athletic programs.

Horseback Riding
Seven Williston students participated in horseback riding at Fuller Horse Farm in Westhampton under the direction of Laura Etzel. The seven riders brought a range of riding experience to the program. “Coach Laura Etzel says that the group was a great pleasure to work with and improved tremendously this fall,” Conroy said.

Varsity Riders:
Most Valuable Rider: Momoka Oda ‘18, Aiden Alden ‘18
Most Improved Rider: Noel Song ‘21
Sportsmanship Award: Hana Tsukamoto ‘20

JV Riders:
MVP: Izzy Epstein ‘23
JV Most Improved Rider: Sophi Edmunds ‘23
Sportsmanship Award: Elsa Frankel ’23 Continue reading

Duncan LeXander to Play Basketball for Charleston Southern

Florence, South Carolina’s Duncan LeXander, agreed to play basketball at Charleston Southern’s Division I program. He signed a national letter of intent during a Nov. 10 ceremony recognizing seven Williston students signing to play college sports at the Division I and II levels.

Duncan is a forward who has played for the Wildcats for two years. His coach, Ben Farmer, enthused about his skills on and off the court: “Duncan LeXander set the bar very high for our basketball program here at Williston. His versatility on the basketball court will serve him well at the next level; his ability to shoot the basketball and guard multiple positions is what separates him from other players. Duncan’s approach in the classroom, on the court, and in the community has been remarkable.  He set a great example every day for everyone around him. I am very proud of everything he has accomplished up to this point in his life and am looking forward to following his career at Charleston Southern.  They are getting a good one!  We will miss him dearly but wish him nothing but the best.”

“Our offense flows best when we have forwards that can really shoot the ball,” Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh told The (Charleston, South Carolina) Post and Courier. “Duncan is a 6-8 forward that is supremely skilled on the offensive end. His ability to handle the ball, pass and shoot, combined with his size, is very hard to find and recruit.”

Tori Palumbo to Play Ice Hockey, Field Hockey for UNH

Senior Victoria Palumbo of Ayer, Massachusetts, agreed to play ice hockey and field hockey for the University of New Hampshire’s Division I programs. She signed a national letter of intent during a Nov. 10 ceremony recognizing seven Williston students signing to play college sports at the Division I and II levels.

Tori plays midfield in field hockey and defense on the ice. She’s been on skates for 13 years, and involved in field hockey for six years. During her tenure at Williston, the teams she’s played for won the New England Championships in field hockey, and the Harrington Invitational Hockey Tournament in ice hockey.

“I hope to play both D1 field hockey and ice hockey to the best of my ability and to continue to grow as an athlete,” she said. “At Williston, I have been able to play at the highest level with great coaches who push me every day to be better.”

Her field hockey coach, Kate Garrity, praised Tori’s play at Williston. “Her skills and athleticism have always been strong,” she said. “Tori’s grown as a leader. As an underclassman, she just led by example. As a senior captain, it’s great to hear her voice out there, supporting, teaching, and leading her teammates.”

Her ice hockey coach, Christa Talbot Syfu said, “Tori is a four-year player who made an impact as soon as she stepped on the ice. Tori is an excellent skater and is relied on in all situations. Despite her small stature, she plays much bigger and uses her body very well to protect the puck. She has a strong hockey IQ and isn’t afraid to jump-start the offense from the defensive end. She will continue to be an integral part of our defense core and we look forward to seeing her continue to elevate her game.”

Shana Hecht to Play Lacrosse for Sacred Heart University

Delray Beach, Florida’s Shana Hecht agreed to play lacrosse for Fairfield, Connecticut-based Sacred Heart University’s Division I program. Shana signed a national letter of intent during a Nov. 10 ceremony recognizing seven Williston Northampton School students signing to play college sports at the Division I and II levels.

A goalie, Shana has been playing lacrosse since she was 11. At her post, her mind is on “making sure I do everything in my power to keep my team in the game,” she said. “Being goalie is all mental, you can’t stress over a goal going in. You need to keep playing.”

She came to Williston as a junior, and has found the experience rewarding. “If I didn’t come to Williston I don’t think I would have had the opportunities I have encountered or be where I am today,” she said.

Her coach, Jen Fulcher, praised Shana’s winning mindset and skillset. “Shana is an outstanding goal keeper who has a contagious competitive spirit,” she said. “She is also an amazing teammate, always looking to bring out the best in everyone on and off the field. She was a huge part of our success last season and will be again this season!”