Winter Athletics: Bringing Lion Grit to Challenging Times

Dwight student-athletes participated in clubs this winter designed to help them stay active and further develop their skills and confidence while the pandemic continued to preempt interscholastic league competitions.

They brought their best to this unique season — here’s a roundup from our Lion coaches: 

Boys High School Basketball 
Dwight’s Boys Basketball Club was a great experience all around this winter. While socially distanced and sometimes in smaller groups than usual, players demonstrated wonderful teamwork and spirited competition. They bonded both on the court and in transit to our Lions’ home at the Dwight School Athletic Center. During practice, the focus was on skill development — particularly improving footwork, ball-handling skills, and scoring ability. Coach Michalak shares that even more beneficial for players was being active and participating in a sport that is so important to so many high school students. We cannot wait for next year — we look forward to returning to competition and to a more regular basketball season with Lion fans in the stands!

Boys Middle School Basketball 
Middle School boys had the opportunity to participate in Basketball Club on our Main Campus. Coach Ascher reports how it was incredibly rewarding to watch so many students improve their dribbling, passing, footwork, and overall basketball IQ. Players really focused on their game in all facets, as many are heading into high school — a new level of competition is fast approaching! It was also encouraging to see so many new students who did not have much prior experience make such strong improvements, as they will be joining fellow players at the high school level in the years to come.

Girls High School Basketball 
Our Girls High School Basketball Club was a great success. While many Varsity players yearned for a true high school season, they made the absolute most of a trying time. Coach Madarasz credits his returning Varsity players, Jacey Hootstein ’21, Victoria Pauwels Romero ’21, Jade Abramson ’22, and Olivia Salerno ’22, for coming to practice each day with a positive attitude and motivation to improve. While the team goals were to develop and enhance skills, the main focus was remembering how fun the game of basketball is and how important being part of a team can be. As we close the 2021 season, a huge shout out goes to Jacey Hootstein ‘21 on her incredible career in Dwight’s Basketball program — we wish you all the best in your future endeavors! 

Girls Middle School Basketball 
Coaches Spiegel and Arnold had a tremendous time this winter with girls in their Middle School Basketball Club. They showed up every day with a willingness to get better and work hard no matter what. Coach Spiegel shares how encouraging it was to see such a positive outlook from the girls day in and day out: “With the pandemic and everything going on, it was so rewarding and fun to be surrounded by such a great group of girls who truly love basketball and that makes it not only fun for them, but for me as well.” Thank you to our eighth graders who set the tone for the program, and we wish you the best of luck as you continue your playing careers at the high school level!

Swimming
The 2020-21 swim season was definitely different than in years past, but that didn’t stop Lions from making waves all season long! Coaches Rodriguez and Jeffries attribute a lot of the swimmers’ successes to strong mental toughness. Coach Rodriguez explains, “This year brought its challenges. There was no competition and the team was broken up into cohorts so the camaraderie was different, but I am so proud of the dedication and hard work that every student brought to the pool.” Our Swim program continues to grow and our team looks forward to making a huge splash next year — and to defending Dwight’s 2019-20 ISAL championship honors!

Track
Congratulations to all the students who participated in the winter track season, who absolutely have something to brag about, as this year was nothing like years past. Coach Scott explains that the team missed traveling to the Armory for training and competitions, as well as bonding with fellow teammates; however, runners made the best of the season, whether at School for practice or following workouts remotely from home. Coaches Scott and Sklar are looking forward to next season and remind runners to “stay focused — your time is now, Jack Yoon ’23, Sonya Pesselev ’22, Anoushna Bardhan ’22, Jack Yoon ’23, and Izzie Venturini ’23!" 

Recognition for All Our Graduating Lions!
As a scholar-athlete, senior year is meant to be the most memorable and exciting time spent participating in team sports. For the Class of 2021, unfortunately COVID-19 prevented us from enjoying a competitive year filled with victories, triumphs, and celebrations. While this past year has come with many trials and tribulations, we are so incredibly proud of the character and efforts shown from our senior athletes. We thank you for your strength, courage, and willingness to set an exemplary standard for our community — congratulations on a riveting and illustrious four years at Dwight and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors:

  • Boys Basketball: Ross Brodsky, Luca Daly, Chaz Jackson, and Aidan Friedson, Blake Masterson
  • Girls Basketball: Merle Boelens, Lexi Colodne, Jacey Hootstein, Sasha Kroutoii, Apolline Marcel, and Mey Ozyel 
  • Boys Swim: Justice Carrenard, Daniel Halpern, Jorge Sanchez-Lara Alonzo, and Killian Terrisse Flagg
  • Girls Swim: Georgiana Bailey, Jeanne Rondot, Stacey Soh, and Andie Valles Fons 
  • Track: Matthew Armstrong, Alessandro Dal Bon, Fynn Haagen, and Jack Xia 
     
  • Athletics