Plagued by injury and illness, every member of the boys’ varsity basketball team contributed directly to the Tiger’s on-court results this season. In addition to notable victories over Cheshire and Brimmer & May, the boys defeated #4 seed Salisbury 72-68 in the Class A playoffs. Senior Captain Jalin Sinclair eclipsed the 1,000-point threshold and finished off his Suffield career as the team’s highest scorer this season, earning him the coveted MVP title. Postgraduate Alex Pisacreta received the Coaches’ Award and sophomore Alijah Lovelace was named Most Improved. Seven other members of the Class of 2020 helped even out the Tigers’ season record 10-13: Leo Edo, Justin Barron, Tyler Sylvester, Larkin Flanagan, Nick Bray, Niko Bossinakis, Alex Pisacreta, and Will Rolapp. “Our program is always about more than wins and losses, and I am proud to see our student-athletes use basketball as a vehicle to develop both on and off the court,” said Head Coach Matthew Fava.
Girls’ Varsity Basketball
The pride concluded their season with twice as many wins than loses and a record 14-7. Led by senior Co-captain Karly Higgins and junior Co-captain Rose Caso, the Tigers earned a thrilling senior-day victory over Wilbraham & Monson and finished 2nd in the St. George’s Holiday Tournament. Caso was the team’s highest scorer leading with a 16 point-per-game and 8.7 rebound-per-game average while fellow junior Jenna DeGout earned 12 points per game in addition to 10.9 rebounds. Their efforts earned them both invites to the NEPSAC Class B All-Star game as well as securing them the team’s MVP Award.
With an end-of-season record 13-11, the Tigers finished 5th as the #6 seed in Class C and 21st overall in New England prep school squash. The team placed 3rd at the U.S. Squash National High School Championship (Division IV) upsetting #3 seed Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School 4-3. Notable victories this season included wins over Loomis, Avon, and Millbrook while Suffield also defeated rival Westminster for the second time in 20 years. Contributing to the team’s success were three formidable juniors: Omar Zakaria, Marwan El-Bendary, and Jangmi Song. Zakaria finished the season with 21 wins and only 3 losses and was undefeated at both Nationals and New Englands. El-Bendary earned 18 wins, was defeated only 6 times, and was also undefeated at Nationals and New Englands. Song had 15 wins and 9 losses, including important match-clinching victories at Nationals and New Englands. Zakaria and El-Bendary were the team’s MVPs and Judge Burke ’20 and Song shared the Coaches Award. Andrew Gingold ’21 was named Most Improved.
Led by Co-captains Vivian Riegel ’20 and Giselle Ciriaco ’22, the Tigers clawed their way to a strong start of the season with a stellar win at Pomfret, but injury and illness would quickly anchor the team’s momentum and spirit. Ciriaco would miss the entire second half of the season, forcing Coach Pistel to move players up in position and pull from the junior varsity program. Sophomores Caroline Greco and Ella Miller improved drastically at the varsity level to become excellent additions to the young group of athletes in addition to promising play from freshman Lauren Egan. Finally, senior Michaela Domino joins Riegel in concluding a fine career on the Suffield’s squash courts.
The Tigers earned the second wild card draw with a 934-season average and entered the State Championship to compete against four familiar opponents: Bunnell, Wilbraham, Ella Grasso, and Xavier. Five senior shooters would lead Suffield to a team score 951, marking Suffield’s highest score of the year and earning them a 3rd-place finish overall: Tim Cordes posted 194, Zane Hogkins 191, Alex Chen 190 (personal record), Sasha Skinner 189, and Sarah Park 187. Sam Power would score 182, satisfying a personal best in his last meet competing as a senior. Cordes held the season’s highest average (190), followed closely behind by Hodgkins (189.25) and Skinner (187.75). Senior Angela Su averaged 187 and junior Miles Henle 186.5. Park shot a personal best in her last match before the State Championships. Alex Chen added a personal best during States and Cam Parrow shot a personal record 192 in a late-season match-up. Not to be out done, seniors Annie Daramola and Amethyst McKenzie also made significant contributions. Of note, Suffield’s junior varsity team soared to yet another undefeated season and state championship.
In the 2020 WNEISWA Championships held at Brunswick School, 16 prep schools from across Connecticut fought for a spot at New Englands. Suffield brought eight wrestlers and seven placed in the top six to earn an invitation to the NEISWA Tournament. Together, the Tigers earned 135 points en route to a 5th-place team finish. Individually, junior Kechaun Bennett placed 1st in the 220-pound weight class. Senior captain Luis Perez (170lbs) placed 2nd along with fellow seniors Kareem Moumina (182lbs) and Peterson Monexant (182lbs) who also placed 2nd. Freshman Ken Pardo (138lbs) finished 4th. Sophomore Connor Smith (132lbs) and senior Jack Kent (145lbs) both earned 5th in their respective weight classes.
The 2020 NEISWA Prep Tournament is comprised of 42 teams from Maine to New York City. Suffield brought seven wrestlers and four of seven Tigers placed in the tournament to earn an invitation to Prep Nationals. The 2020 National Prep Wrestling Tournament was held at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and both Moumina and Perez competed. Moumina, unfortunately, lost his first match to the 2019 defending national champion before facing the 2019 5th-place finisher. Luis lost his first match, won his second, but lost his third. With 22 wins and only six losses, Kent earned the Most Improved Award, Perez received the Coaches Award, and Bennet was the season’s MVP.
Boys’ Varsity Swimming & Diving
Unable to find any divers for what has in recent years been one of Suffield’s strongest events, a win over Deerfield was an early achievement for the Tiger swimmers, followed by match-ups against Kingswood, Andover, Exeter, and Hopkins to produce fast swims and a 4-4 dual-meet season record. Leading the charge at Division I New Englands were captains and double finalists Marco Sechhiaroli ’20, Brett Smith ’20, and Joe Rusnock ’21. Secchiaroli (100 fly, 100 back), Smith (50 free, 100 back), and Rusnock (200 IM, 100 breast) amassed 81 individual event points and helped the sprint (medley and free) relays to 4th and 3rd-place finishes, the latter in consideration All-American time, and the former in near consideration All-American time. Rusnock, an All-American from his sophomore year in the breaststroke, set a new Academy record (56.11) in winning the event. Helping the medley relay was double consolation finalist (200 IM, 100 breast) Will Kainen ’22, and aiding the freestyle relay was another sophomore, Thomas Bowers, who swam a speedy 21.6 leg. As a team, Suffield would finish in 6th place at the Division I Championships.
Just missing scoring consolation points, and representing the future of Suffield swimming as a talented, youthful core, were Bowers (200, 100 free), Tyler Cooper ’22 (100 fly, 100 breast), Connor Booth ’23 (200, 100 free), Chase Stevens ’23 (200 IM, 100 breast), Ben Bryan ’23 (50, 100 free), and Nate Morrin ‘23 (100 fly, 100 back). Also, co-captain Oscar Ceria ’20, Mikey Ford ’20, Neil Budge ’21, Oliver Roberts ’21, Theo Bass ’22, Fedor Vlasov ’22, Josh Ruimy ’23, Ryan Piela ’23 added much needed depth to the boys’ team.
Girls’ Varsity Swimming & Diving
Led by three senior (Samantha Hagberg, Amanda Kikonyogo, Sophia Roche) and two junior captains (Maddy Lemza, Emma Krasemann), the twenty-plus member squad worked consistently across a near four-month season, including training trips to Naples, Florida and Bermuda, to achieve at a high level in dual and championship meet competition.
Diving continued to be a strong suit for Suffield, as diving captain Krasemann was undefeated in dual-meet competition, besting a number of top four finishers from the 2019 championships along the way. Her supporting cast included three sophomores: Avery Rappaport, Erin Lally, and Lily Flint. Krasemann captured 5th place and Rappaport 7th place in the deeply talented field of divers at the Division I Championships hosted by Deerfield at season’s end. Krasemann (461.40) and Rappaport (401.60) bested their 11-dive totals from the previous year by a wide margin, with Krasemann’s mark establishing a new Academy record.
Another school record was set by new junior Erin Jachym, who swam to a 4:55.93 mark in the 500-yard freestyle, crushing a 30-year-old record—the oldest on the books—by more than five seconds. Jachym and teammates Roche, Hagberg, Nicole Boutry ’21, Salli Lubbe ’21, and Cambell Rosow ’23 sped to fast 2nd-place finishes in the 200- and 400-freestyle relays at the Division I Championships, while Roche, Lubbe, Boutry, and Anna Calkins ’23 earned 4th-place honors in the 200-medley relay at the same meet. Scoring key championship finalist points in individual events for the girls were Boutry (50, 100 free), Hagberg (100 fly, 100 back), Roche (50 free, 100 back), Karrah Hayes (200 IM, 500 free), Lubbe (200 free, 100 fly), Calkins (100 breast), and the aforementioned Jachym (200, 500 free). Notching key consolation final points were Lemza (100 breast), Sophia Tosone ’22 (200, 500 free), Calkins (200 IM), and Rosow (100 free, 100 back).
Excellent supporting effort and achievement was contributed by the other Tigerwomen swimmers, who each achieved personal bests during the season: Kikonyogo (sprint freestyle), Maeve Moylan ’22 (sprint freestyle), Steph Karmitz ’22 (fly/breast), Bella Lutton ’22 (free/breast), Sarah Phillips ’21 (back/fly), Emilia Boino ’23 (IM, breast), Alex Cieplinsky ’23 (free/back), Kira McCreesh ’23 (free/breast), Hope Clark ‘23, Catherine McCarthy ’22 (free/breast), and Hailey Suller ’22 (sprint free).
Despite another nearly snowless winter, the 2020 boys’ alpine ski team championed its third consecutive year as Brigham Ski League winners led by 25-year head coach Hillary Rockwell Cahn ’88. Four-year senior and captain Jack Cobb was Suffield’s top finisher and team MVP. His swift times and technical skills earned him Class A All New England status for the fourth consecutive year. Fellow senior Lexi Roberts held the captain role for the girls and had an impressive season of her own. Carving her way to earn the Coaches Award was junior Sophie Pirondini, who shared success on the slopes with Hani Chung ’21, Gabby Reim ’21, Sarah Dale ’22, Lili Lindahl ’22, Grace Kotchen ’22, and Caitlin Dale ’23. The boys will welcome back key returners Ben Warner ’22, Jack Fletcher ’22, and Harrison Cahn ’22, who all scored points in every team race. Sophomores Tyler Milne, Cole Vandevanter, and Frank Roberts will also return to the varsity line-up. Lastly, the Tigers say goodbye to graduating senior and four-year skier Ethan Ash, who contributed consistently in his final season through the gates. Suffield’s end-of-season record was an impressive 10-2.