Weekly Athletics Update—Jan. 17, 2022

                                                Weekly Athletics Update—January 17, 2022
While some NEPSAC schools have moved to not allow spectators or in some instances to limit on-site attendance to family members only, Worcester Academy at this time is welcoming fans to attend our home contests. Please continue to abide by our mask requirement for all indoor athletic activities here at Worcester Academy as well as at our satellite venues (Worcester Ice Center and NESC) as well. 
To better inform our families and fans, the schedules posted on our team pages will indicate (top fold above listed contest) the restrictions, if any, for attending away contests. Please refer to this guide for your travel plans, and I can always be reached to confirm at: 508-754-5302 x123 as these institutional decisions remain fluid. 
After nearly a three week break from competition our winter teams eagerly returned to action this past week. Undeterred by the lack of practice time and the on-going “starts and stops” in response to the Omicron variant, the results were quite encouraging. 
  • Boys varsity basketball (9-3) has a healthy roster now and their play has steadied and consistently improved. A 3-0 week with wins over Proctor (66-43), Vermont Academy (80-70) and Loomis-Chaffee (79-61) has the team poised for Wednesday’s big AA contest with Wilbraham & Monson. Junior backcourt player, Tre Norman has been the scoring leader of late, but the Hilltoppers are sharing the ball and offer a balance that is fun to watch. 

  • Girls basketball is also out of the gate with two impressive outings, posting home wins over Loomis-Chaffee (63-45) and the Rivers School (58-44). The win over Rivers avenged an earlier road loss and demonstrates the improved play and connection the team is building. Balanced scoring and a renewed commitment on the defensive end have been evident in their last two contests. Oluchi Okananwa ’23 has been the scoring leader but is receiving strong support from Lola Lesmond, Cameron Rust and Alesandra Eldredge.
  • Boys ice hockey returned to play on Saturday afternoon, travelling to Albany Academy in a late game addition. The road trip was a satisfying one as the team came away with a well-played 4-3 OT win as Nate Palumbo ’22 scored the game winner on a penalty shot! The Pomfret School will host the Hilltoppers on Wednesday afternoon in Connecticut.
  • Girls ice hockey split two contests as they beat Portsmouth Abbey in RI on Wednesday and lost at home on Sunday to Choate by a 5-2 count.

  • The WA swim team had multiple double winners on Saturday as they hosted a strong Milton Academy team. On the girls’ side (49-45 defeat), Olivia Bull captured both the 200/500 free, Claire Puffer the 50 free and 100 butterfly and Grace Qiu the 200IM and the 100 breaststroke. Donovan Sappet continues his fine season capturing both the 200IM and the 500 free but it wasn’t enough as Milton prevailed in good fashion.
  • Varsity ski team braved the cold conditions and had their 1st race of the season on Friday. Kayzie Salmon excelled on the girls’ side accumulating 110 combined points with a 3rd and 4th place finish in the two heats. Edward Jiao and Harrison Martel led the charge on the boys’ side with a combined 148-point total to position the WA teams in a 3rd place overall standing after week number one. Great job on the mountain!

  • Varsity 2 basketball split a pair of contests falling against St. Andrew’s in Rhode Island on Wednesday (65-57) and then beating Deerfield on the road on Saturday (53-30). JR Robinson ’22 (a recent D I golf commit to Merrimack University) scored 19 points against St. Andrew’s and Jimmy Railsback nailed three 3-pointers to lead the way against Deerfield.
  • The junior varsity girls’ basketball team dropped a contest to a strong Loomis team on Wednesday despite a game high 13 points from Delaney Martin.

  • The boys’ 3rds team travelled to the Fenn School, challenged for a half, and then fell to the host team, 48-39. Parker Greene made his debut and chipped in a team high 13 points while Michael Deangelis scored 12.
  • The JV ice hockey team dropped their 1st contest of the season in OT, falling on Wednesday to Dexter-Southfield by a 5-4 count.
  • The MS boys’ basketball team ran into a taller, more experienced St. Peter’s Central Catholic and lost a close contest on Wednesday. 
Co-Athletes of the Week:
Olivia Bull ’23 – Varsity Swim Team
Tre Norman ’23 – Varsity Basketball
Around the Rim:
Congratulations and accolades continue for our varsity soccer teams and team members. On the heels of an undefeated regular season, team members will be recognized with a Silver Bowl to commemorate this special feat. Additionally, congratulations to Colin Hughes ’22 (Colgate) recently named the Co-MVP of NEPSAC by the Boston Globe. Ally Murphy ’22 (Princeton) was the Class A/B MVP and along with junior, Elizabeth Finn was a Boston Globe All-Scholastic honoree. Congratulations to all!