Recognizing Our Spring Senior Athletes
Remote learning means—among other things—no spring sports. For our seniors who were poised to represent Solebury School on one of our sports teams, this was yet another thing taken away from them in their last trimester on campus. I wish I could give everyone their senior seasons back, but I can't. What I can do is foster recognition by highlighting our senior athletes. Each week a new sport will be highlighted, with content from the coaching staff of each team.
-Director of Athletics, Robert Eichem
Becca Bozzo always gave her best on the track and in the pit. She was genuinely excited each time she set a new personal record (PR). Becca was a vital member of the girls 4 x 100m relay team the past two seasons; she also ran the 100m and competed in the long jump. Becca came to practice each day asking the coaches what more she could do to improve.
Ben Bunting joined the team his sophomore year, earning 19.5 points that first season. He earned 84.25 points and a varsity letter the next. Ben has an indispensable member of our distance team and was a team captain last season. Over his two-year career at Solebury, he has run the 400m, 800m, 1600m, 3200m, 4 x 400m, 4 x 800m, and he has even tried his hand at the 300m and 400m hurdles. Ben also ran the steeplechase at TCNJ's big meet last spring and finished 2nd in the 1600m at the 2019 Penn-Jersey League Championship Meet.
Massawa El began his track and field career as a sophomore, and it was fun to watch him grow as an athlete over the last two seasons. At the long jump pit, he approached each event with a smile and an attitude of "sure, I'll try again." Massawa earned a varsity letter as a junior after earning 28.25 points for the team that season. Massawa was a long and triple jumper and threw the shot put. He also ran the 100m, 200m, and at times was part of our 4 x 100m relay team.
Erik Hallberg has been a part of our distance team since his freshman year. It has been an absolute joy watching Erik's growth over time. He has run the 800m, 1600m, 3200m, and been a part of our 4 x 800m and 4 x 400m relay teams. Erik earned a varsity letter the last two seasons, and he received a Most Improved Award and Coaches Award award after his sophomore and junior seasons, respectively. Of note, Erik finished 4th in the 3200m at the 2019 Penn-Jersey League Championship Meet.
Shizhen Liu, aka "The Shiz," has been a member of the team since his sophomore year. Shizhen has run the 800m, 1600m, 3200m, and even been a part of our 4 x 800m relay team at times. He received a Most Improved Award his first year with the team.
Troy McGregor was a member of the team his freshman year, and the coaches were really looking forward to his return this season as Troy was a versatile athlete with so much natural talent. Troy earned a varsity letter his freshman year with the 25.25 points he earned from running the 100m and 4 x 100m, and long and high jumping as well.
Amel Ouji joined track and field her sophomore year and was always a positive member of the team. She lifted up her fellow throwers, cheered on the runners going around the track past the throwing events, and never missed an opportunity to encourage all of her teammates. Amel earned a varsity letter as a junior and earned 45 points for the team over her high school career throwing the javelin, discus, and shot put. Amel also ran the 4 x 100m relay.
Arlene Ricks joined the track and field team her sophomore year and has been a tremendous thrower, scoring 109 points for the team her first year with the team and 142 points the next. Arlene earned varsity letters and Most Valuable Player Awards both seasons. In her sophomore season, Arlene placed 1st in the shot put and discus, and 6th in the javelin, at the 2018 Penn-Jersey League Championship Meet. She finished 1st in the shot put and discus and 2nd in the javelin at last year's league Championship Meet. Arlene qualified for the state meet in all three of her events (shot put, javelin, discus) both seasons. She finished 8th overall in the discus and 4th in the shot put her sophomore year and 5th in the discus and 4th in the shot put her junior year.
Ethan Stein has been a member of the team since his freshman year. He has shown tremendous growth and maturity over his high school career. Ethan has been another vital member of our distance team, running the 400m, 800m, 1600m, 3200m, 4 x 800m and 4 x 400m relays. He received a Most Improved Award his first year with the team.
David Zaketa joined the track and field team last spring and made an immediate impact. He did a tremendous job in the jumping events--long, triple and high--and was a vital member of our 4 x 100m relay team.
Kevin Zhou was one of the most hard-working, mature, and engaged players we've had the privilege of coaching. He showed up early and left late, and he worked hard each offseason to continue his development. Kevin’s two-handed backhand and cross-court forehand were fundamentally excellent strokes and beautiful to watch. He earned the position of #1 Singles and was primed and ready to be our “go-to” player this spring. We know he’ll take all the skills he has learned on the tennis court at Solebury with him, and that he will continue to push himself off the court going forward. Kevin, you are a fantastic young man, and we appreciate you putting up with all of Coach Matt's jokes!
It has been my deep pleasure to be associated with Kyle Schlegel. Rarely have I seen such passion for golf. He loves golf. He breathes golf. He is a living encyclopedia of golf. He has a terrific swing and was just getting to the point of making a big breakthrough as a golfer when the Coronavirus triple bogeyed us all and sent us home. I will always have fond memories of the competition Kyle and I had on the putting green. He is a fearless golfer who knows “never up, never in.” Additionally, Kyle is a young man of outstanding character and enthusiasm. He was the manager of the team, and this year he was our captain, if only in spirit. He was always there to help some of the less experienced golfers work on the game. Kyle wants to make a career out of golf, and he should. The game is lucky to have him--and I will always be grateful to have had him on the team.
Libby Li brought such a refreshing attitude to our practices. She was always enthusiastic and became a very good student of the game. She was eager to learn various techniques and never got frustrated in the most frustrating game invented by man. Libby developed a pretty good swing and got better and better on the putting green. I’m sure her attitude, her good nature, and her kind heart will serve her well on the “course of life.”
Lily Shen's golf swing is natural and smooth. She has excellent timing, and a wonderful smile to match. Lily was a true joy to have on the team. At the end of every practice the team would line up for the 'long putt closest to the hole competition.' The putt would be at least 60 feet. I will always remember the day Lily SANK the putt! She was in shock, but I said, “Don’t be shocked, Lily. You have talent…and more important luck.” I know Lily will ride the winds of talent and luck in all her future endeavors. Best of luck, Lily!
Nicole Cosner joined the softball team as a seventh grader and has definitely left her mark on the program. She shined in all areas of the game and never complained about being moved around the diamond; she played wherever she was needed the most. She excelled, though, at pitching and playing shortstop and third base. Not only a fantastic team player, Nicole is a natural born leader on the field, encouraging her teammates to give their best and taking extra time at the end of practices to help them improve. After every game, whether the team won or lost, all the girls would gather near second base and Nicole would start the postgame talk with, “Ladies...I am so proud of all of you!” Her energy, experience, and skills will be greatly missed, and Nicole...we are so proud of YOU!
When Cate Cole arrived at Solebury, she may have been new to the game of softball but you couldn’t tell because of the confidence she exuded on the field. With seemingly endless energy and a willingness to try anything that was asked of her, Cate was usually one of the first to arrive at practice every day and one of the last to leave, often staying late to hit extra buckets of balls. She played first base and was the anchor on the field. She took on the position with enthusiasm and positivity, expecting the best performance possible from herself and the players around her. Cate led with that infectious energy and always worked hard to keep the team smiling. We will miss you and your smile so much, Cate!
Anisha Adya joined the team her junior year and made an impact in her first season as a team player with an incredible attitude and never an unkind word to say. She made steady improvement at the plate through a lot of hard work. Over the course of the season she strove to learn and to grow as a player whenever she stepped out on that field. Anisha always played with a smile on her face and never gave up trying to do whatever she could to support the team around her.
Apparently tall since birth, Grayson Baker joined the baseball team as an eighth grader at Solebury. He was a 3-year varsity letter winner and earned team MVP honors last season after hitting .500 and leading the team in multiple categories including hits and innings pitched. "Melman," his nickname for obvious reasons, finished his Solebury baseball career with a .316 batting average. He leaves some very, very, very big shoes to fill.
Morgan Cowperthwaite had been on the team since his freshman year, earning a varsity letter, a Most Improved Award, and a Coaches Award over his high school career. Morgan, or "Dad" as his teammates liked to call him, was always a mature voice in the dugout, did everything with a smile on his face, and came to practice every day determined to get a little better than he was the day before.
Grayson and Morgan had been named team captains for the 2020 season at the end of last season, along with sophomore Daniel Cosner.
Jupiter Shi joined the team his sophomore year and played for two seasons; he earned a varsity letter after his junior campaign. Jupiter's growth over those two seasons was impressive, and it was the tangible result of his quiet intensity and genuine desire for improvement. Strong like an ox, I feel sorry for those lumps of clay he molds into beautiful works of art in the ceramics studio.
Griffin Schenker was a fantastic addition to the team--and to the Solebury community overall--last year. He hit .348 last spring, his first in a Solebury uniform. His passion for the game was infectious and he was a joy to coach. On a side note, Griffin's hair is believed to have magical powers; the flow was quite impressive, especially when he was rounding first on his way to second.
This would have been Henry Sharp's first season on the baseball team, but the coaches were looking forward to seeing him bring the same grit and determination that he showed in the fall as one of the standouts on the boys soccer team. During preseason practices, Henry was often the first one there and the last to leave.