All about the Wildcats

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. Continue reading

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!”

Rob Champigny Signs to Play Lacrosse for Rollins College

East Longmeadow’s Rob Champigny agreed to play lacrosse for Florida-based Rollins College’s Division II 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.

Rob, a two-way midfielder, has been playing lacrosse since third grade. His proudest moment on the field came last season. “We were able to win our league and then go on to win the Colonial Tournament. It was a great way to end our season and I loved playing with that group of guys.”

As a leader, Rob has “very high expectation for myself and my teammates,” he said. “There is a certain level that we are expected to perform at, and when we are not playing at that level it is challenging to keep everybody calm and focused on our goal as a team.”

That goal? Simply, to win. “I think the most rewarding part, for any athlete, is winning a hard game and really feeling like you earned the victory. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take any victory, but really working hard and winning a close game feels amazing.”

He credits his time at Williston for supporting him on his road to college sports. “Williston has always been there to support my athletic aspirations. The facilities on campus constantly allow me to practice and improve my game. My coaches really walked me through the college process and contacted multiple coaches for me. Overall, something or someone was always there for me to help me improve and find my new home for the next four years.”

As he prepares for his final season at Williston, he looks to a promising future in college. “I want to be an impact player who is helpful with the overall success of my team. I am really looking forward to heading down to Florida and competing extremely hard for my new coaches and teammates.”

Rob’s lacrosse coach, Christopher Dietrich, spoke highly about his performance: “Rob Champigny is not only one of the best athletes we have had, but he is also one of the most selfless players I have worked with in many years. Rob is gifted with speed, agility, and talent that many other players simply do not have, but he never rests of those talents and he is always pushing himself to be faster, stronger, and better. He established himself as one of our best two-way middies during his freshman year in spring 2015, and played a major role in what was ultimately our most successful season in decades. During his junior year, Rob truly established himself as one of our top offensive threats and he, along with a talented group of juniors, helped to create one of the most prolific offenses we have had here at Williston. We will rely heavily on his leadership by example this spring, and I truly cannot wait to see the impact he will undoubtedly have as a member of the Rollins lacrosse program next year.”