Dwight Lions Turned up the Heat in Winter Sports!

On the basketball court, in the pool, and on the track, our scholar-athletes spent the winter competing ferociously, making us roar with Lion pride!

Our coaches and students share the highlights — from championship wins and personal bests to league-leading point totals, blowout victories, and All-State honors. 

Varsity Swimming

The team made waves this winter! Our Lions claimed the overall ISAL League Championship. The boys team also placed first and the girls took second. 

Coach Miguel Rodriguez sends special shoutouts to all of the first through third individual and relay place finishes:

  • Girls: Georgiana Bailey ’21, Sara Debs ’20, Maya ’25, Maggie ’25, Deba Kermanshah ’20, Lily Harari ’20, Ava ’25, Elizabeth Porotsky ’22, and Annika Dhingra ’23
  • Boys: Justice Carrenard ’21, Killian Terrisse Flagg ’21, Jake Swain ’20, Daniel Halpern ’21, Rory Paltridge ’22, and Jorge Sanchez-Lara Alonso ’21

Junior Georgiana shares, “There were too many successes to count this season! Everyone on the team made massive improvements from last year and we had a very strong bond. During meets, the majority of the team would be on the side of the pool cheering each other on.” 

“Thank you to our super seniors, who spent the last years helping build our Dwight swimming community: Nefeli Brandhorst, Sara Debs, Lily Harari, Deba Kermanshah, Jake Swain, and Pepe Valles Fons,” Coach Rodriguez says. “And a round of applause for our entire team who have made strong commitments and provided tremendous dedication. We look forward to another superb year of Dwight Varsity Swimming!”

Varsity Indoor Track

Coaches Mike Scott and Chelsea Swift proudly report that two scholar-athletes, Jack Yoon ’23 and Alexander Rich ’21, competed at the NYSAIS State Championship meet. Alexander placed fourth in the 1,600 meter run. 

Throughout the season, five runners — Alexander, Jack, Matthew Armstrong ’21, William Lu ’21, and Jack Xia ’21 — showed their dedication by pushing themselves at every practice and bringing their competitive spirit to each race. Jack Xia posted a personal best of 7.29 seconds in the 55-meter dash, while Alexander ran 4:35 minutes in the 1,600-meter run. 

“Jack Xia showed tremendous leadership at every practice — leading warm-ups and holding other athletes accountable. He also is always willing to help younger athletes,” Coach Scott reports. “We praise Matthew for his effort in practice and ability to lighten up tough workouts with humor and a positive attitude! He created a great foundation for success in upcoming seasons.” 

Boys Varsity Basketball 

Our Lions played another extremely successful season. They won 48-41 against Packer, clinching the ACIS regular season championship and securing an automatic bid in the NYSAIS Tournament. They also won the ACIS Playoff Championship against Friends Seminary, 73-49! Finally, they then went on to prevail 58-51 over Riverdale, earning them a spot in the NYSAIS semi-finals. 

Coach David Brown proudly provides a recap of outstanding scholar-athlete performances: 
“Dwight Varsity Basketball had a tremendous season with many great successes, led by the play of senior Alex Putzer. A brilliant do-it-all talent, he provided leadership and energy throughout the season. 

“Junior co-captain Chaz Jackson continued to play a role in every possession on the court as the team’s floor general on offense and a truly helpful defender. 

“Throughout the season, Richard Nweke ’22 dominated the boards and the paint with his athletic ability, raising his profile as the top sophomore wing player in the State. In recognition, Richard was named to New York's 4th Team All-State — he is the third student-athlete in Dwight's history to receive All-State honors!

“Richard’s fellow comrade on the wing, sharpshooter Johnik Moore ’22, led the team in scoring for nine of our games, and his passion for improvement made our whole team better. 

“Sophomore big man, Ethan Wong-Chassine, continued to develop this season, making an impact in the paint, on defense, and every time he was on the court, along with some fantastic moments on offense. This bright sophomore has tremendous room for growth and should reach his potential as he is a truly hard worker. 

“When it comes to working hard, no one who puts on a Dwight uniform exemplified toughness, effort, and character more than Harrison Rich ’22, whose effort was infectious and made a true difference in the team’s progress. 

“Freshman sensation Nick Padilla sealed the ACIS regular season championship with the biggest basket of the season, along with playing with a tenacity and toughness that sets the tone for the squad. He is a difference-maker day in and day out.

“The remainder of the bench contributed effort, energy, and camaraderie each day! Our team is grateful for all of the support from the faculty, administration, and students who came out to support us all season long.”

Scholar-athlete Richard ’22 reflects on the season as well, sharing, “The team this year was one of the most exciting to be a part of because everyone respected each other. We always made jokes and really cared for one another. We won our conference and league playoffs, qualified for the State Championship, and fought our way up to the semi-finals. This season was fun because I learned to play with my teammates — and that’s all you need to have a good team!”

Varsity Basketball Girls 

The team enjoyed a successful season on the court! They earned the fourth seed in the ACIS League playoffs. Their season ended at the semi-finals, with a loss to the number-one seed team. 

Coach Brett Madarasz celebrates some tremendous performances throughout the season and notes high scorers and rebounders:

  • Jacey Hootstein ’21: 169 points, 43 three-pointers made 
  • Apolline Marcel ’21: 129 points, 110 rebounds
  • Victoria Pauwels ’22: 63 points, 140 rebounds
  • Gine Grydeland ’22: 160 rebounds

He reports, “Co-captain Jacey provided terrific defense and was one of the better three-point shooters in the league. Co-captain Apolline was an all-around player and helped lead us to the playoffs, and Co-captain Lexi Colodne was a great leader on the court. She ran the point and controlled the offense. Sophomores Victoria and Gine were important players on our team who anchored the defense and provided scoring from down low. They both played with great heart and never took a play off!

“Jacey, Lexi, and Apolline were great captains for us because they got everyone else on the team to buy in and play hard every game. There wasn't a single game that they thought we couldn't win.”  

“Our team was able to make it to the playoffs without any seniors, which makes us all very proud,” says Co-captain Apolline. “Next year will be our year!” 

Varsity Squash

Coach Jamal Callender reports, “It was amazing to see the commitment from all the players in Dwight's first season of a squash program. Despite the team being mostly comprised of newcomers to the game, improvements were seen across the board! I can't wait to see what next year holds; looking forward to building on the foundation set in our first year!" 

He also extends praise to senior captains Jonathan Dever and Malachy O'Hare for helping to keep the team as a cohesive unit, especially while navigating the challenges faced by a brand- new team. 

Jonathan reflects on the season: "For me, it was definitely a learning experience! As I haven’t often been in leadership positions, I sometimes wondered what worked best for everyone. It was clear how much we all progressed in building skills throughout the season."

Kyra Spahn '23 shares, "I really enjoyed being on the Dwight Squash team this year! The atmosphere was fun, and it really helped me and my friends to develop our skills and understanding of the sport."

JV Basketball Boys 

Team Co-captain Shaun Felts ’24 describes a challenging, but ultimately successful season: 
“Our team’s success during the season was hard-fought. One of our greatest accomplishments was getting into the playoffs. Another was our first win. This game was the biggest blowout we had and it boosted our confidence for the rest of the season!”

Coach Richard Geiger reports, “Our captains Enzo Palaci Zani ’22, Jude Brooks ’22, and Shaun did a fantastic job of leading this young group of players throughout the season.”

Coach Siwale Chabala recaps the season: “The players came in, day in and day out and worked their tails off during the season! Shaun was our best player and one of the best talents in the league — he led the league in scoring and assists.

“In a nail-biter and one of our biggest wins, Jack Koczan ’23 came up big at the free-throw line and sank two free throws late in the game against Friends Seminary. Even though Jude only played five games, he showed us from day one how hard-working and unselfish he is. He played with so much heart and we missed him greatly for the rest of the season because of an injury.

“Enzo ’22 showed his selflessness and passion for the game. He made sure his teammates were in good spirits and kept practices fun and light for them. He always had a smile on his face coming to practice and games!”

Girls Middle School Basketball 

Coach Katherine Arnold reports, “The girls really grew as players and made leaps and bounds in their understanding of the game. They stayed positive through the entire season and were really great to work with. Tia McKernan ’25 stood out as a star player and really helped the team seal some wins!”

She also praises all-around team leaders Ela Ozyel ’24, Danielle ’25, and Tia for keeping the team organized and motivated to play hard. 

Tabitha Hill ’24 recalls a memorably big win against Brooklyn Friends, 54-9: “It was a huge deal for the team!” Her teammate Ela reflects on the progress that the squad made together. “We came a long way! Our season didn’t start off that great, but we never gave up as a team. When we won our first game, it showed that we were good enough to keep winning. And we did. We won almost every game after that!”

Boys Middle School Basketball

The squad showed great improvement over the winter and supported each other admirably all season. “The guys really improved each game and stuck together,” Coach Steven Ruple reports. He shouts out Co-captain Jeremy ’25, whom he describes as a leader and natural talent on the court. 

Co-captain Jonny Goldenberg ’24 shares that in addition to some exciting wins, he enjoyed how the team gelled together and improved throughout the season. 

Middle School Swimming

Coach Matthew Orio has nothing but high praise for his swimmers: “The team as a whole worked tremendously hard throughout the season to continue to develop their swim strokes and endurance. From the first meet to the last one, each swimmer demonstrated how much better they had gotten by improving their personal records and winning most of the events! I am proud of all of them. The whole team deserves a shout out for coming to practice and meets with a positive attitude and willingness to learn and improve. From Kevin ’25 wanting to come for diving practice on Sundays to Kilian Bouet '24 actively seeking out Varsity swimmers to help teach him underwater pullouts, the commitment was there!”

Coach Orio looks forward to more success in these swimmers’ futures and concludes, “It was a great learning experience for them all as they prepare to swim at the high school level going forward.”

Congratulations to all our proud winter Lions!

Thank you to My Mannucci '21 for our main photo and more great shots of the Boys Varsity Basketball team! 

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