Fall Sports Preview
This upcoming fall season is looking to be a prolific and enjoyable one for the Packer Athletics program. The fall sports include varsity and junior varsity girls volleyball, varsity and junior varsity girls and boys soccer, as well as cross country.
Junior Varsity Boys Soccer:
This season the junior varsity boys soccer team will look to repeat last year’s success and win back to back titles. This year’s captain Chaz Saferstein (‘20) spoke about his expectations for the season.
“I am expecting good things,” he said. He expects “nothing less than a finals appearance. We really have the capability to go undefeated.”
Coaches Jon Vaughan and Eden Spinks have taught the team an exciting style of play. The JV team likes to play a controlled game with many quick, short passes.
“I think that Jon has helped us with his upbeat coaching and his progressive way of coaching. it is really paying off and [we are] playing really well with it,” said Chaz.
“I want to empower the team to improve both individually and collectively. I want to build a team spirit which is inclusive to all,” said Coach Jon. This is especially effective on a team that has the “dynamics of my skillful and attacking midfield,” and the “fast and strong strikers.”
“Our togetherness and resilience is our team’s greatest strength and will take us far and deep into a successful Fall season,” he said. This past week, the team defeated local rival Saint Ann’s in a close match, with the final of 2-1. The junior varsity boys soccer team look forward to an exciting season.
Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball:
The junior varsity girls volleyball team are looking forward to an exciting season ahead. One of the coaches of the team, Ms. Ashley Greene, talked about the upcoming season. With only four returning sophomores, Ms. Greene said that she believes “this year will be more of a building year.” The team consists of many freshman who will use this season to “improve their team dynamic,” as well as “develop into a stronger team.” Ms. Greene also mentioned three key players for the season, Christina Young (‘20), Pilar Bylinsky (‘20), and Chloe Ford (‘20).
Team captain Christina said “Our goal is to make it to the playoffs and have a shot at the championship… it would be rewarding after losing in previous years.” Pilar said that in leadership roles that it has been “fun to lead the freshman and set a good example for them.” The team will continue to develop as the season continues and head towards a successful year.
Varsity Boys Soccer:
This year the varsity boys soccer team will look to deliver the ACIS championship. Last year’s team came incredibly close to winning the title, coming one penalty kick short against Friends Seminary. This year’s team captains Theo Eagle (‘18), Guy Milling (‘18), and Cameron Oliver (‘18), as well as coach Ivan Perez, all cited their goal of a championship.
When asked about a realistic goal for this season, Cameron said “We don’t only want to win the ACIS championship, but take states [NYSAIS tournament] as well.”
“There are no doubts” going into this season and he said “the team’s camaraderie will help us,” said Theo. In leadership positions, Cameron said “I want to work on being the best leader I can be” and Theo “supporting the team and taking us to a championship.”
“We have a lot of potential generally as a group and through hard work we can achieve a lot this season.” said Guy Milling (‘18). Coach Ivan Perez also said “we are a very dynamic team” and “I want us to click as a team and play to our higher potential.” He also said “I want to be able to set [the team] up in a way I can get the best out of [the team].” The varsity boys soccer team will look to deliver the ACIS title at the end of this season.
This season, the cross country team has a simple goal.
“I hope we win a lot of meets,” said Lucy Shotts (‘18), the captain of the team. “I think it’d be cool to lead the league.”
She also listed some key runners to look out for this season, which included Alexi Judge (‘20), Peter Cembalest (‘20), Eve Berrie (‘18), Audrey Aberg (‘18), Lucy Pascarosa (‘18), and Davis Robertson (‘20). The cross country team recently had an event in Philadelphia where they placed among the Top-10 schools at the event.
Junior Varsity Girls Soccer:
This year marks the first edition of a junior varsity girls soccer team at Packer. This is the school’s first time fielding a junior varsity team on the girl’s side and the team is very excited. The team captains, Jessica Gross (‘19), Sofia Saldanha (‘19), and Kaitlin Flores (‘19), are all juniors .
“We are a really good team- there are just a few things we need to work on definitely, but I think we are going to do that,” said Sofia. “We definitely have to work on communication, and aggressiveness, like going after the ball, and winning 50/50’s. We need to work on things like our first touch and ball control. My personal goal is for everyone on the team to just work hard, because I want everyone to be able to accomplish their own goals.”
The team has done well so far and look to go on towards a successful season.
Varsity Girls Soccer:
The girls varsity soccer team is coming off of a very successful year; they managed to get to the quarterfinal in which they lost to Horace Mann with a final score of 1-0. They are looking to build off of this success and bring home the championship this year.
“Our team has a lot of talent on it,” said Claire French (‘20), starting defender for the team, “People are very hardworking.” The team is led by captains Natasha Brecht (‘18) and Abby Wade (‘18).
“This year we are entering with a very strong group of girls, all very talented.” Claire said “some outstanding players are Natasha Brecht, Abby Wade, and Mikayla Katz just because they really lead us and they’re very talented players. I think our team has a lot of talent on it and we are very confident and hardworking.”
“We are hoping this year to make it past the second round,” said captains Natasha and Abby. The team will be hoping to continue their success and make an even deeper run into the NYSAIS tournament later this fall.The future is looking good for varsity girls soccer.
Varsity Girls Volleyball
The varsity girls volleyball team plans on going as far as they possibly can in the playoffs and are hopeful to win the ACIS league this year. The two captains of the team, Natasha Wong (‘18) and Lucy Alsop (‘18), spoke about the team’s secondary goal of developing a toughness as a team. When asked about who the key players were, they cited their two star freshman, Julia Latham (‘21) and Lea Wong (‘21).
“They have really stepped up to the plate and have been putting in the work at practice to make their game stronger,” Lucy said of the Freshman. She also mentioned her fellow captain Natasha as another one of their centerpieces. When asked about their personal goals, Lucy said hers was “to be confident in myself and be aggressive at the net,” while Natasha said that she would “work on limiting my hitting errors as much as possible, and work on covering my teammates when they go up to hit.” The team will look forward to an exciting season ahead.
Overall, this year’s teams look very promising and full of potential. You can look forward to yet another exciting season of Packer Athletics and hopefully a couple more championships.