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Winter Season: Our Tenacious Lions Roared to the End!

Our Lions left all they had on the courts and fields and in the pools of New York City this Winter Season—win or lose, they gave every showing their best. 

Some highlights: Our Varsity Swim team had a wonderful season as the swimmers in the girls and boys division earned 1st place in the ISAL, with boys placing 4th and girls also taking first in the ACIS Championships! A few runners from our Varsity Indoor Track team even made an appearance at the NYSAIS Championship Meet.

Continue reading for more insight on how our Lions braved the competition of the Winter Season. 

Varsity Swim | Coaches Elizabeth Heiss, Brandon Saavedra, and Christian Carpio-Ramos
Our Varsity swim team had a stellar season filled with an impressive array of victories and personal milestones. Our female swimmers took the Championship titles for both the ISAL and the ACIS leagues! Following up were the male swimmers who won the ISAL and then placed 4th in the ACIS. We roar in celebration of all these firsts for the Dwight Varsity Swim program!

The path to success was not without its challenges — to make it to NYSAIS, swimmers had to meet rigorous qualifications in a limited number of meets. But, through their resilience and valiant efforts, several of our swimmers made a splash at the NYSAIS Championships.
The coaches shared, “This wouldn’t have been possible if the team hadn’t mentally prepared and shaken off the nerves.” The pre-meet sing-alongs on bus rides brought the athletes together with a shared sense of calm and resolve. Team captains Chinmay Ravindra ’24, Hannah Klamkin ’24, Natalie Fear ’24, and Oliver Kaminsky ’25 were also contributing factors to this sense of calm. They also proved to be exemplary leaders who could guide their teammates along with an immense devotion to the program. 

The legacy of this year’s swim team will surely be remembered here at Dwight and will set the standard for all swimmers moving forward. 

Boys Varsity Basketball | Coaches Dave Brown, Perun Kovacevic, and Jason Poser
Boys Varsity fought through a tough season to make it all the way to the ACIS finals. The team’s point guard, Milan Foye ’28, was injured during the semi-final game, but seniors Shaun Felts and Jack Huniford stepped up when the team needed them the most — and in the end saw these underdogs through to a victory against the #1 seed.

Coach Dave Brown tells us that Senior Captains Jack, Shaun, and Jordan were the calm in the storm and helped the team navigate through the difficult obstacles that arose. Ultimately, their leadership served as a guiding light, inspiring their teammates to rise to the occasion, and push beyond their limits.

Despite being one of the youngest teams in the country, they defied expectations with four of the rotation of 8-9 players per game being 8th and 9th graders: Lucas Nino ‘28, Milan Foye ‘28, Adrian Sadelain ‘27, and Sam Schagrin ‘27, who all displayed the program's commitment to growth and development. The future that lies ahead is bright!

Boys JV Basketball | Coaches Mia Marcus and Nate Birchwood
Boys JV had their ups and downs, but they held on until the very end and put up a fight each step of the way. The team ended the regular season 7th in the ISAL.

The most memorable game for Coach Marcus was the nail-biter against St. Ann's. With just a minute left on the clock, and trailing by two points, the team rallied and tied the game. Although the team was not able to claim victory, it was a moment when the athletes fought to stay in the game and pushed it into overtime, playing as a cohesive unit that displayed the essence of team sports. As Coach Marcus says, “It's been a pleasure to get to know them all better and watch them come together as a team.”

Looking on to the next season, the team is eager to improve and build on the grit they showed throughout this season.

Girls Varsity Basketball | Coaches Brett Madarasz and Jordan Rivera
The Girls Varsity Basketball team ended a strong season as 6th seed in the ACIS playoffs. The team fell short, losing to Friends Seminary in the quarterfinals, but still left their mark on the court.

Sophomore captain Eloise Oppy led the team in scoring this season, with 408 points — averaging 22 points and 9.8 rebounds a game. Senior Captain Mia Abramson provided terrific defense all season, consistently locking up the other team's best players. Senior Captain Tabby Hill provided great leadership all year. Junior Captain Grace Capiraso ‘25 and Leah Bacall ‘26 provided strong scoring — with Grace scoring 85 points and Leah scoring 90 points throughout the season. Alexa Lopez ‘26 provided excellent rebounding and defense in every game. 

The whole team played with heart and never let up all season. The Girls Varsity Basketball team will be returning several players, and we are looking forward to another successful season.

Girls JV Basketball | Coach Kenny Pendergast
Ending the season as the runners-up of the ISAL is none other than our Girls JV Basketball team! These Lions also placed 2nd in ISAL regular season standings.

Although they didn’t claim victory in the finals, the runners-up finish was a great achievement. Coach Kenny emphasized the pivotal role of perseverance and camaraderie in the team's success. “The players' unwavering positivity transformed every challenge into a rewarding experience,” he said, “fostering a sense of unity that transcended wins and losses.”

The playoff game against Berkeley Carroll stands out as a defining moment in the season to Coach Kenny. It was an intense match-up throughout, but it was a game-winning assist from Rye Burton ’27 and the game-winning layup by Maia Magoulakis ’27 that will go down in the record books. 

Coach Kenny also shared that Maddie York ’26 displayed exceptional leadership as captain, and that her guidance was a big contributor to the team’s success this season. He also described witnessing the growth of freshman Autumn Pettress '27 as truly inspiring. Alma Rosengren '26 was consistent throughout the season and became known for her attention to detail. Coach Kenny added, “It was nice to see these athletes evolve, not just as players but also as leaders.”

Coach Kenny is excited, now more than ever, about next season as he is devoted to the growth of returning players and new additions to the team.

Boys MS Basketball | Coaches Jonathan Ascher and Peter Harrison
It was a great season overall for this year’s Boys MS Basketball Team. Not only did they dominate on the court, but they learned valuable lessons along the way.

As with any new team, it took a bit for the players to become truly unified, but once they came together, it was fantastic to see them play for one another. The coaches were pleased to report that every member of the team was able to contribute to the team’s success in some way. “We couldn’t be happier because of it,” they said.

Looking onto the future, both coaches anticipate their athletes will improve and come back even stronger next Winter Season. Until then, they’ll hold on to the fond memories provided by our Lions.

Girls MS Basketball | Coaches Peter Boylan and Sarah Benton
The Middle School Girls Basketball season was filled with development, fun, and rewarding experiences. In fact, the level of enthusiasm the girls displayed in both practice and games was infectious.

Coach Boylan says, “We thoroughly enjoyed how coachable the players were, as each athlete was able to absorb and incorporate feedback into their gameplay.” A notable highlight for the team was the players' commitment to taking realistic shots that mirrored game situations  — contributing to their success on the court.
Looking back on the season, it's clear that the journey these Lions took from games 1-12 was a transformative one. Their passion, coachability, and dedication to improvement were key factors in their success, making it a season to remember for all those involved in Girls Middle School Basketball.

Varsity Fencing | Coach Ted Belcher
The Varsity Fencing team had a great time jousting this Winter Season. Our fencers trained all Winter long to sharpen their skills, and their hard work paid off in competition. Coach Belcher expressed his pride in the team's hard work and highlighted the fresh energy brought to the team by several new fencers this season. 

One match that stood out this season happened before Winter Break, when our Lions faced off against Grace Church and won with an overall score of 32-13.

Coach Belcher said, “I’m delighted to have this team of fencers for another season. With new additions to the program, the fun just keeps on rolling.” Coach also shared how the program will miss graduating senior Zoe Lenz ’24. 

Next season, the team is looking to practice even harder, refine their skills, and compete again at the Fencers Club.

Varsity Indoor Track | Coaches Holly Nohavitza and Shanna Bess
The presence of so many new students added a vibrant energy to the team dynamic this season. It was deeply rewarding to the coaching staff of the Varsity Indoor Track team to witness their athletes’ transformation from novices to confident competitors. Coach Nohavitza said, “The blend of exhaustion and satisfaction on each athlete's face after each race spoke volumes about the joy of pushing boundaries and achieving personal milestones.”

An amazing highlight from the season — Brody Shuffler '25 made the courageous decision to tackle both the 600m and 1000m races, one after the other. Brody embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and ultimately exceeded his own expectations despite initial hesitations. In fact, Brody was grateful to have his coaches' support as they pushed him beyond his comfort zone.

With the season at its end, the team reflected on their progress and looked ahead optimistically, with several gearing up to run again in the Spring. 

After a rigorous season of overcoming challenges, working as a team, and achieving personal bests, we can't wait to see how our Lions bloom in the Spring season.