Maverick Athletes Take on the Winter Season

If you have been near the A&A the past few days, you may have heard the squeak of sneakers as basketball players run up and down the court. You may have seen track participants jumping over hurdles in the cafeteria. When walking through Founder’s Hall, you may have noticed members of Mindfulness Strength Training stretching on their mats. 

  We are fortunate to have winter sports at Montrose this year, despite Covid. This winter Montrose is offering Middle School Basketball, JV Basketball, Varsity Basketball, Indoor Track, and Mindfulness Training. 

The Varsity Basketball team, which is coached by Brigid Koenen and assistant coach Kailyn Aguiar, will not have the opportunity to defend its IGC title this year. But, the coaches continue to work hard in hopes of competing sometime this season. The Varsity Basketball team members are scrimmaging amongst themselves and are working on building to scrimmage against some other teams in the coming months.”

Ms. Hanrahan and Mrs. Bettinelli are coaching JV Basketball this year. They have been leading a variety of exercises including planks, squats, sprints, and mountain climbers. Liana Petruzziello ‘24 said: “This year I am excited to grow as a team player and get to know some of the younger girls in middle school.” 

Middle school basketball, which is coached by Mrs. Boynton and Montrose alum Devyn Gianino ‘20, is a great way for middle schoolers to get to know each other better and learn the basics of basketball. Annabella Kelly ‘27 said: “It’s fun to be on a team with a bunch of my friends, but we are still learning many new basketball skills — so that’s fun”. 

Elizabeth Crehan, a mother of three Montrose students and yoga instructor, leads Upper School Mindfulness Strength Training. During their sessions, girls try new poses to test their flexibility and strength. Many of the stretches are specifically designed to stretch your back after carrying backpacks and sitting in chairs. Mrs. Crehan also leads the girls through breathing exercises. An anonymous upper school Mindfulness Strength Training participant said: “I am glad to have Mindfulness Strength training as an option this year and to get to know other girls in high school.” Mindfulness Strength Training is helpful to deal with stress. 

Coach Kerr and Coach Lechner are running  Strength & Conditioning / Indoor Track this year. Girls run outside as well as do workouts and practice hurdles inside at Vinebrook and in the cafeteria. Many girls not only use Indoor Track to prepare for their spring track season but also try to stay in good condition for their spring sports. Leslie Baker ‘24 said: “I love that we get to run outside even though we do not have a track. It helps me improve my endurance for the soccer and lacrosse season.”

Thanks to Mrs. Boynton and all the other coaches, we are able to have a winter sports season with 76 total students participating. A challenge this winter season is that all of the sports (except Track) occur indoors. When preparing for the winter season, Mrs. Boynton had to think about how to space people six feet apart so that every athlete could remain safe while exercising inside. To accomplish this, there were tapes placed six feet apart in the mezzanine, the A&A stage, and two rooms in the Vinebrook building. Mrs. Boynton also changed the timing of some practices because only 25 people are allowed on the basketball court at a time. Rules in basketball also changed this year for safety purposes (no jump balls this season, minimal contact allowed, fewer players permitted in the ring during free throws). This winter, temperature checks and COVID screening before practice sessions are mandated. The basketballs and other equipment are sanitized and masks must be worn at all times indoors. Coaches ensure players are getting mask breaks when needed. 

Mrs. Boynton is hopeful to be able to schedule some non-league competition or scrimmages at the end of January or beginning of February. Regardless of the competition, goals for winter sports this season are to work on skill development, team building, and to allow students to be a part of something outside of the classroom. Mrs. Boynton said: “If we cannot have any competitions, then I would love to set up another COVID Cup for our athletes. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that our athletes will be able to compete against other schools!” Some IGC schools have expressed interest in playing. Since the MIAA (public school league) is actually competing in games, Mrs. Boynton is hopeful that we will be able to in 2021. If we end up hosting any games there will be several different safety measures that will need to be put in place prior to hosting. 

Cate Lynch ‘24, Contributing Writer