Spring Sports Update

Mira Bansal and Maeve Goldman


Win or lose, the Ultimate Frisbee Team is excited to come together and put their hearts out on the field, Tuhin Ghosh (12) said. “We are amped up to do better.”

The team played their first game on Monday against the Joshua Abraham Heschel School, and although the team lost, it was a good game for their first time playing together as a team this season, Ghosh said. “Even though we are still adjusting, we all played really really well,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we bounce back in future games.”

During practice, the team focuses on building frisbee skills and team bonds to physically and mentally excel on and off the field, Ghosh said. “Our drills tie together a fun and competitive spirit,” he said. 

Drills target essential ultimate frisbee skills such as marking, running, and catching, Ghosh said. One of the team’s favorite drills is a drill called Big Dog, where one person throws the frisbee and two people compete to see who can catch it, he said. The team also works on one-on-one marking drills attempting to block a teammate so they can’t move or throw the frisbee to someone else, he said. 

Drills have been very beneficial in allowing the team to focus on and grow their skills, Sareena Parikh (12) said. “We have definitely improved on our throws so far this season.” 

Practices have been slightly difficult as Van Cortlandt Park, where the team practices, is infamous for its wind, Ghosh said. “Throwing a 200-gram piece of plastic in the wind is a struggle but ultimately benefits the team,” he said. “Being able to throw in the wind gives us an advantage when playing home games at the park and an advantage if there are difficult conditions at away games.”

Practices end with a communal chant to rally up team sentiment, Ghosh said. Sometimes we recite a famous chant such as the Empire Insurance jingle or stand in a circle cheering “Intensity,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what we are saying, it just matters that we are saying it together.” 



After a successful first meet, the Boys and Girls Varsity Track Teams can’t wait to continue leaving everything they have out on the track, Girls Track Coach Taylor Quilty said. 

On Tuesday the team competed in their first Ivy League Developmental Meet of the season, Christine Tao (10) said. 

The meet was a great marker of where everyone is at the start of the season, Quilty said. It allowed runners to reflect on where they are, where they can get, and how they can get there, she said. 

Prior to the season, the coaches pre-prepped workouts, Quilty said. The workouts specialize depending on whether they target sprints, mid-distance, or long distance, she said. “We try to cater to the wide variety of athletes on the team so that every runner will experience success.”

Whether the team is practicing at Van Cortlandt Park or training in the fitness center, they work on conditioning long distances and repeating shorter ones, Tao said. “We start off with a half-mile warmup then branch off into three groups based on what events we run.

It can be hard to stay motivated during practice, Tao said. “Training can feel like you’re running around a hamster wheel, making no progress,” she said.

Luckily, the team has developed close bonds to motivate each other during runs, Tao said. “For example, one time we were doing dynamic warmups, and this kid started doing his high knees in a hilarious manner,” Tao said. “After that, everyone laughed and felt rejuvenated to run more.”

The team is progressing in large strides, Tao said. Tao has enjoyed observing the growth of her teammates, she said. “Everyone is becoming more accustomed to our workouts and has beaten their previous times by at least one second.” 

The team is enthusiastic about the remainder of the season, Quilty said. “We are a very vibrant, lively, and active team,” she said. “Every student actually wants to be here and get better.”



“Every match feels electric,” Patrick Stinebaugh (12) said. The Boys Volleyball team has had a promising start to the season, with every player willing to put in the necessary work, he said. 

The team started the season on a high, beating the High School of Math and Science during a pre-season scrimmage 3-2, Dylan Montbach (9) said. 

After their early victory, the team had a motivating first official game, closely losing to the defending State Champions Calhoun 3-1, Stinebaugh said. The team exemplified mental and physical strength by fighting to the very end and refusing to let the ball drop, Stinebaugh said. 

To prepare for games, the team warms up with hitting and serving drills then transitions to scrimmages or splits into practice groups, Stinebaugh said. “We practice the various aspects of the game such as blocking, receiving serves, and setting.” 

Seniors have played an essential role in the team on and off the court, Torres said. “Our seniors — Stephen Chien, Rowan Mally, Elias Romero- have great skills such as spiking and serving,” Torres said. The seniors have stood out as mentors bridging the gap between new and returning players, he said. 
With the seniors’ leadership, the team has adopted a growth-driven mindset. “The other captains and I have worked hard to instill in everyone’s minds that we can be the best team in the league if we work for it,” Stinebaugh said. 

The team is quickly improving, Montbach said. “At the beginning of the year a lot of us were rusty in our volleyball skills since we hadn’t played in so long,” he said. “We are now getting used to our positions and opening up to the team environment.” 

Overall, the team hopes to bounce off of their early momentum and make it all the way to playoffs on May 13, Stinebaugh said. “If there’s any team that can go all the way to the state championship, it’s the one we have right now,” he said. “I fully believe we can and will do it.” 



“This year every match will be a battle,” Boys Varsity Tennis coach Patrick Westoo said. 

The season started off with some close games, with the team losing against Hackley 3-2, but winning against Poly Prep 3-2, Westoo said. The coaches analyzed the game and addressed the team’s weaknesses.

Training includes drilling techniques, challenge matches, and conditioning, Westoo said. “Assistant Coach Ken Burton and I assess the strengths and weaknesses of players then assign them the appropriate drills,” he said. 

A supportive team is always a benefit of team sports like tennis, but it is even more important in the neck-to-neck games that HM has played in this season, Westoo said. In their game against Poly Prep, team members were “cheering for every point,” he said. This helped improve the bond between team members and keep the team motivated during games, he said.

Although the tennis team had a strong reputation for several years, they have recently struggled as the league increases its competitiveness, Westoo said.  “Early in the season, doubles matches didn’t do that well,” Westoo said. The team is working to address challenges by testing out new combinations of doubles partners to find the perfect matchups, he said.

Overall, Westoo is proud of how the tennis team has improved by stepping up and confronting the challenges they face, he said.



The Boys Varsity Lacrosse team is excited to improve every day and for their first win, Boys Varsity Lacrosse coach Joe Del Visco said. “We are working really hard and everyday playing faster, stronger, and more technically.” 

So far both the Boys and Girls team have each played two games, Del Visco said. Although the games were pretty tough on the teams, they are continuing to practice hard and with good energy, he said. “I could never be mad at the team when I know they are running and training as hard as possible,” he said. 

“We’ve gotten the two hardest games of the year over with first,” Girls Lacrosse co-captain Rachel Kuhn (12) said. As the team settles into the season and gains a better understanding of both offensive and defensive strategies their playing will improve, Kuhn said. 

The Boys team started the season at the beginning by focusing on fundamentals, Del Visco said. “We have a pretty young team,” he said. Half of the players are underclassmen and a quarter are new to the sport, he said. 

Practices are centered around a theme to guide players, Del Visco said. Drills center around basic techniques such as stick, ground, and ball work,” he said. The team runs exercises such as odd man situations where one team of players has more players than the other and then see how the skills they learned apply to actual games, he said. 

The Girls team begins practices with running and dynamic stretches and then transitions into basic skills such as catching, running, and throwing ground balls, Kuhn said. The team then runs mini scrimmages so they can practice running transitions going up the field, she said. 

The Girls team is overcoming obstacles, Kuhn said. “The majority of the team is not 100% comfortable playing defense,” she said. Defense requires a lot of contact without protection, which many of the new players are not used to. The team comes into practice with the mindset of working as hard as possible and because of this we are getting much better at marking players and defending, she said. 

In the end, Del Visco can’t wait to see the team improve and hopefully win their first game, he said. 



The Golf team was “all smiles” as they mounted the greens to win their first match of the season, Girls Varsity Golf Coach Surhoff said. “The team has camaraderie, confidence, and good vibes.” 

On Wednesday, the team emerged victorious after beating Holy Child with a score of 3-2, Sofia Filardo (10) said. “Although we were all a little rusty, it felt good to shake off our nerves and get back out there,” she said. They won the match in the last seconds via a tiebreaker from a new freshmen player Julia Eizenstat, Filardo said. “I was super impressed with how she pulled it together under pressure.” 

Prior to their first match, the team began their season at the driving range, re-familiarizing returning players and teaching new ones the basics of golf, Surhoff said. “We went through the different types of golf clubs such as wedges and got comfortable with swinging,” she said. 

After the first week of practice, players transitioned to playing at the Sunningdale Country Club and around Van Cortlandt Park, Surhan said. “We have been getting familiar with the holes and working on shots such as T shots, fairway shots, and pro shots.” 

Although the team has started playing, it is not yet at optimal conditions, Surhan said. March and February had rainy conditions, she said. It is still pretty early in terms of coarse readiness, she said. 

The conditions will soon improve to around mid-70s by the end of the school year, Filardo said. 

In spite of weather challenges, the team has persevered, Filardo said. “The team’s energy is immaculate,” she said. “If practice is canceled we are so upset [that] we rally outside our coach’s office.” 

Physically, the team is swiftly progressing in time for their first few games, Surhan said. “The team is strong and playing well,” she said. Even less consistent players are learning from others to gradually improve, she said. 

Filardo can’t wait to see the golf team continue their success, she said. “I’m excited for an undefeated season,” she said. “I know we have what it takes to win.” 



Baseball Coach Matt Russo’s advice for a winning season: “Making sacrifices for your team is key for the team to win.” 

Although the baseball team has not had much practice, their season is off to a great start. “The energy is really amazing during our games. We all have a common goal, and that’s to make it far in the playoffs,” Aden Soroca (11) said. 

So far, the baseball team has had three games, Soroca said. Their first game against Hackley was cut short because it got dark, and despite losing to Poly Prep 2-16, they beat Collegiate 7-2, he said. “We are looking great as a team for the amount of practice we’ve had.” 

During practice, the team starts off with a team stretch led by Coach Russo followed by fly ball and ground ball drills before taking some swings in the batting cage; Soroca finds field drills particularly helpful for improving the team’s footwork and communication.  

“When participating in drills, the team is motivated to stay on track and complete the workout to the best of their ability,” Russo said. We try to put a focus on putting the team above ourselves.”

The team aims to steadily increase their skill as the season goes on, Soroca said. “We haven’t had as many practices as we would have liked [for weather reasons] and only had one scrimmage during break,” he said. 

Matthew Baumann (12) has seen a lot of improvement in the team’s performance as they’ve practiced mechanics and fundamentals. 

Soroca said the team is progressing as they become more comfortable playing together. “Coach Russo is really motivated to make us better players and keep us on a straight line in terms of what we need to improve,” he said.

The team has developed a supportive and high-energy spirit which is crucial to the team’s performance, Baumann said. “Anytime one of us goes up to bat we’ll all try to cheer the person on as much as possible,” he said. “It’s really about making people feel confident.”  

Soroca looks forward to a great season in which he can grow closer with his team and have a winning season, he said. 



While many of the team’s rugby players are new to the sport, the Girls Rugby team has had a fantastic start to their season. “The environment is so supportive and driven at the same time,” Clementine Bondor (11) said. 

Practices are divided by days of the week so that players can focus on preparing physically for the sport and mentally learning the rules of rugby, Bondor said. “The majority of the team is people who have never played rugby before so we are all working towards the same goal to learn to play the game and win.”

On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays the team focuses on conditioning drills, Bondor said.  “We spend the whole practice running around and playing simple games such as tag or dodge ball,” she said. “We get used to thinking under pressure and making decisions on the fly.”
On Thursdays, the team practices tackling, marking the first season since 2019 the team will play full-contact games, Bondor said. The team then played an hour long full contact game, she said. 

“Last week we had a brilliant scrimmage during practice,” Catherine Mignone (12) said. “All of our training sessions are filled with fun.” 

The team has used their shared experience of learning a new sport to grow close bonds, Bondor said. “We have this understanding of each other and support of each other so we get along on and off the field,” she said. The closeness the team establishes during practice will be critical to their communication at games, Bondor said. 

The team is progressing immensely, Bondor said. “This is the fastest we have progressed in the three years I’ve been on the team,” she said. “We are all driven to win.” 

The growth of the team reflects the growth of the schools’ rugby program, Mignone said. “All of the team [members are] now true rugby players,” Mignone said. “Rugby started out as a new sport in 2019, and now we have a full squad of excellent players.” 

The team can’t wait for their first match on April 27, Mignone said. “Everyone has picked up the sport, and as we develop our tackling technique, our progress makes me very excited.” 



After some relearning and practicing often, softball coach Ray Barile sees major development in the softball team. “From day one, when we started throwing, fielding, and catching, to now, we’re significantly better,” Barile said. 

The team had a rough start losing their first game against poly prep 11-1. “I think that was just our nerves,” Barile said. After the first five innings, when the team got less nervous, they began playing a lot better, he said. 

“It was a really difficult game to start the season with,” Pakar said. “But we played alright and I think we’ll be a competitive team this season.”

The softball team uses practices to strengthen their foundation, Barille said. “We work on our fundamentals: how we field the ball, and how we throw the ball,” Barile said. Improving the players’ forms is essential to playing better during games, he said.

Practices include a combination of indoor and outdoor training sessions, Zeba Pakar (10) said. “When we’re indoors, we’ll hit against the pitching machines in the batting cages,” Pakar said. “When we’re outdoors on the field, we work on our fielding by practicing different situations and going over our cut-offs.”

The team’s energy helps keep players motivated during games, Pakar said. “We are constantly cheering and supporting each other even when we make a mistake on the field or strike out,” she said. “Its realy nice to have a team focused on lifting each other up.”

Barile looks forward to gradually improving from each game, by reducing the amount of mistakes team members make. “Physical mistakes are going to happen, but mental mistakes, that’s something I would hope that we could keep on getting rid of,” he said.



For the first time in two years the Crew team will row on a boat instead of a stationary erg, Crew Coach Matthew Boller said. “We are all really excited to get on the water,” he said. 

Before the team can row on the water, rowers first had to master their skills on land, Boller said. Most of the indoor practice is spent using rowing machines and simulating rowing motions to build endurance and technique on the erg, he said. “We are training athletes to be able to row on the water for long periods of time.”

Even though the team has only been practicing for a few weeks they are rapidly advancing, Boller said. “Students went from not knowing anything about the sport to being able to row good pieces on land,” he said. 

The team was extremely excited to start actually rowing, Bowler said. “Every day students would ask about the boathouse and the water,” he said. 

On Tuesday, the team entered the boathouse for the first time since 2019. “It’s a lot of students’ first time on a boat,” Boller said. “We focus on instruction and technique before students can start to apply what they already know to the new environment,” he said. 

The team’s seniors- Mekhala Mantravadi and Lauren Ho have stepped up to demonstrate what being a rower means, Boller said. They bring a lot of necessary leadership to the team, he said. “They demonstrate to underclassmen both rowing strokes and the strokes’ correct form.” 

The crew team is excited for their first regada on May 1st, Boller said. “Everyone can’t wait to try something new!”