Friends Academy Spring Sports Teams Record Phenomenal SeasonsWritten by Amanda Ghysel
Despite the challenges and uncertainties that faced student-athletes and coaches across the region this school year, Friends Academy’s athletics program exemplified the determination, work ethic, and teamwork necessary to have one of the most successful years in recent memory. The spring teams were no exception, putting up incredible and record-breaking performances on the field, court, course, track, and diamond. (Recaps in alphabetical order by sport.)
The Varsity Boys Baseball Team had a great season, finishing the year 10-3-1, including a walk-off win in their final game of the season. Sophomore Cole Beyer finished the season 4-0 on the mound.
After a highly successful regular season, the Varsity Boys Golf Team finished as the No. 2 team in Nassau County! Brothers Sean and Zach Shallat finished as the second and third individual golfers in the county, respectively (see Newsday article).
The Varsity Girls Golf Team finished the regular season as conference champions, advancing to the Nassau County Tournament. Senior co-captain Mary Droesch, who had been named one of Newsday’s Top 25 Girls Golfers on Long Island, moved on to the second day of competition at the County Tournament, finishing 20th overall.
The Varsity Boys Lacrosse Team captured their first Long Island Championship title in program history on Saturday, June 19, following an exciting double-overtime and hard-fought 15-14 win over Port Jefferson (see Varsity Media Post-Game Show). Overcoming a 14-10 deficit, senior midfielder Albert Paniccia, who was selected as one of four recipients of the annual James C. Metzger Leadership Award for Nassau County, scored five goals in the championship match. Last week in post-season play, the Quakers clinched their second county title after their 13-7 win over Oyster Bay (see Newsday article).
"The LIC is a milestone for our Boys Lacrosse program, which is the culmination of preparation, training and hard work over the past two years,” praised Friends Academy Athletic Director Alan Quackenbush, who spoke of the team’s determined mindset that grew even deeper in the face of obstacles.
“At a point in the fourth quarter when it looked like they might not get there, the entire team dug down and were determined to bring it home. This represents the contributions of every team member and their commitment to one goal… it was very special to watch!" he added.
After a strong regular season, the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team beat Division, 12-5, in the first round of the Class C County Playoffs, advancing to the quarterfinals. Sophomore Paris Panagopoulos was named one of Newsday's Top 100 Long Island High School Girls Lacrosse players.
The Varsity Softball Team had a strong season, winning four games, including three of their first four.
The Boys Varsity Tennis team went 6-1 in the regular season, earning a spot in the Nassau County Tournament. Sophomore Allistair Wright and senior John Donohue won three of their four doubles matches at the county tournament, advancing to the quarterfinals.
Track and Field
The Boys and Girls Varsity Track and Field Teams both earned Division IVB Championships, picking up 10 titles in relays and individual events, before both teams finished second at the Nassau County Class County A Championships. In addition, at the Sectional championships (known as State Qualifier in previous years) four individual athletes in six events and one relay team won championships in their events, with many teammates posting personal bests in jumping, throwing, and running.
Senior Caroline Green, who was featured in Newsday, won the County Class A title in the 400m dash and 400m hurdles and Dijaye Carpenter won the triple jump. On the boys side, senior Billy Daal picked up a County championship in the 100m dash, while classmate Skyler Mott won the high jump and triple jump. Thirteen Friends Academy athletes received All-County honors. Click here for full results from County Championships.
Daal also went on to win the overall County title in the 100m dash and the long jump at the Nassau County Sectional Meet (see Newsday article). Eighth grader Aislinn Frazer won the overall County championship in the 3000m at 10:47, a 45-second personal best.
Three athletes also set new school records throughout the season – Green in the 400m hurdles (1:05.59), Daal in the long jump (22 feet, 6.5 inches), and Mott in the triple jump (42 feet, 3 inches).