Radnor Sports Roundup: Edition #1

Prelude:

Many define sports as societal glue, something that brings together communities and allows fans to express their passions. Especially in stressful and unprecedented times, sports not only allow athletes to let off steam but also allow spectators to get behind and be excited about a common cause.

While professional sports do hold communities together, there is something just a little more powerful to me about local sports. When I attended my first Radnor Football game as a freshman, there was something special about seeing people I know work hard and compete at a high level. This special feeling is something I wish to bring forward to other people. Published every two weeks, each edition of the Radnor Sports Roundup will give an executive summary of each Radnor High School sporting team, ranging from Soccer to Ultimate Frisbee. 

A note: This publication would not be possible without The Radnorite’s amazing Sports Editorial Board. This group of individuals has made putting together a collection like this possible, and I thank every one of them for their work. Without further ado, we present to you the Radnor Sports Roundup.

—Nathan Kellerman

Photo from Meghan Moyer and Alesa Robinson.

Cheerleading – Meghan Moyer

Kicking off the season into high gear, Radnor Cheerleading’s preseason lasted from early August and finished with their annual cheerleading camp in the Poconos. At camp, Radnor took home a whopping five trophies and lots of valuable lessons. Captains Meghan Moyer, Lanie Walsh, and Claudia Ball have been working extra hard to prepare the squad for football season, and the team has certainly excelled. When needed, Kelsey Dunkel has stepped up to try new stunting positions, and sophomore Jordyn Weitzman has improved tremendously as a flyer. Gracie and Gabby Mercado, the twin-tastic duo, have wowed the team with their incredible stunts and fun personalities. With Rad Cheer gearing up for competition season, Claudia Ball is just grateful that she is able to have a somewhat normal senior year—”It’s super exciting that things are starting to go back to normal and we’re able to do things that we missed out on last year.” Despite the football team’s 1-5 record, the cheerleaders have kept their spirits high and are excited to continue the season strong. 

Photo from Travis Schilling.

Crew (girls and boys) – Ellie Davis

Radnor Girls Crew started off their school year with a hot yet peaceful and fun pre-season; unfortunately, Hurricane Ida cut their practices short. Record-breaking flooding in the Skullkyll River Valley left seven feet of water in the Girls’ and Boys’ boathouse and a layer of mud covering everything from boats to toolboxes. “There was a lot of work to be done after the hurricane,” said girls team captain Lily Wagner. “Everything, and I mean everything, was covered in mud from the Schuylkill. It took days of cleaning things over and over again to get the boathouse up and running.” The flooding didn’t damage any of the teams’ boats, but it did ruin nearly all of the boys’ ergs. Down on boathouse row in Philadelphia, the flood caused $5 million in damage. Because of repairs, the team’s first race, The Navy Day Regatta, was canceled. Despite a rocky start, the teams are back on the water after a few cleanup days. “We have just finished cleaning up our boathouse,” said boys captain Frederick Mehra. “The first few days on the river are looking excellent as we progress into the start of our racing season.” The athletes and parents alike hosted tables at Porchfest and at Fall Fest, and are organizing to host their annual Ergathon event on October 10th! 

Photo from Lisa Delaney.

Field Hockey – Margarita Moreland and Sadie Schultz

Radnor Field Hockey has started off strong this season, and their domination of Harriton on September 21 is no exception. Within two minutes, sophomore Sadie Schultz fired the ball on a corner to Miami of Ohio commit Riley Mazzalupi. She drove the ball to the corner, where Schultz then tipped it in for the Raptors’ first goal of the game. Junior Fiona Ryan helped Radnor’s defense shine, ensuring a complete shutout. Goals scored: Hope Delaney (3), Sadie Schultz (2), Alex DeCain (2), Grayson Buono (1), Gracie Bookbinder (1), Jillian Matunis (1), Lilly Elaneh (1), Grace Purcell (1), Riley Mazzalupi (1). The final score was Radnor 13 – Harriton 0. When asked the biggest contributor to the win, Radnor Field Hockey captain and Princeton commit Hope Delaney responded, “definitely working together as a team…we struggled with that in the beginning of our season.” That following Saturday, the girls went on the road to face Downingtown West. The game ended in a tough loss: Radnor 1 – Downingtown West 4. The next Tuesday, the team met Springfield on the Cougars’ turf. With a straight shot, freshman Alex DeCain gained one for the Raptors. Shortly thereafter, Sadie Schultz succeeded a one-touch sweep into the goal, assisted by DeCain. Hope Delaney, during a penalty stroke in the second quarter, secured a goal for her team. Once again, DeCain drove the ball from the top of the circle into the goal to give the Raptors a 4 – 0 lead. Due to dangerous weather conditions, there was a delay in the game play at 9:50 in the third quarter. The referees called the final score, 4 – 0: Radnor victory. Looking forward, the team is hosting their Senior Night on Tuesday, October 5th vs. Marple at home. Go Radnor!

Photo from Mr. Brown.

Football – Kethan Kalra and Nathan Kellerman

Radnor’s game against the Oxford Hornets on August 29 was fit for a season opener. In the scoring thriller, Radnor’s offense looked electric but eventually fell in a heartbreaking yet promising 25-22 defeat. In week 2, the offensive trio Jude Wallen, Tommy Deshan, and Dante Hopson proved a force to be reckoned with, helping the team ride their momentum to a  35-7 blowout victory over Penncrest. Against Upper Darby, the offense wasn’t able to get any points on the board, but the defense was able to hold the Royals to only 17. The next week versus Springfield, Radnor struggled to find their early-season form and took a 23-14 loss. In their next matchup, Radnor took on the then-undefeated Green Raiders. Radnor’s only scores came in the form of a big kick return by Tommy Deshan and a Jude Wallen QB-sneak which turned into a 14 yard TD run. The final score was 45-14, but senior captain Damian Falcone has hope: “Ridley is a good team…but there were three times we got into the red zone and didn’t score…you can do the math on there, but [if we can convert those possessions,] we’re not far off from a team like Ridley.” Falcone says the boys are working hard in practice and are excited to continue the season. Several winnable games are in Radnor’s upcoming schedule, and we are excited to see hard work come together against teams like Garnet Valley, Harriton, Haverford, Strath Haven, and Lower Merion. Cheering on the team always goes a long way, so make sure to stop by local games and show your Radnor pride! 

Golf (girls and boys) – Edy MacKenzie and Tegan Kelsall

Radnor Golf came in fourth overall for the central league, unfortunately missing the District 1 championships cut by a single stroke. However, senior Molly Haas, senior Chase Stephano, junior Tegan Kelsall, and sophomore Shaun Mazzalupi have each earned an individual place in districts this season. Radnor Golf 2021 has one of the youngest varsity teams in Radnor Golf history, with 5 underclassmen and 3 upperclassmen; the future of golf at Radnor looks extremely bright.

Photo from Melyce Lucchesi and Margarita Moreland.

Soccer (boys) – Margarita Moreland and Sebastian Moreland

The Gents are running hot right now, riding the momentum of a seven-game win streak. Back on September 14th, The Gents played Harriton High School on our home turf at 4:00pm. With two minutes left in the first half, senior Logan Jacobs netted one for Radnor. One minute into the second half, the Rams equalized. With 15:00 left in the match, junior Jacob Shalev pounced on a Danny Rosenblum long throw and sent a bullet of a header into the top corner of the net. “…Getting that goal was huge…but I think the team as a whole really stepped up,” says Boys Soccer Captain Sebastian Kaper. Ultimately, the Gents held out and bagged a 2-1 win. To kick off—no pun intended—the following weekend, the boys met Episcopal Academy on Saturday morning. Drew Warren struck early with a goal forty seconds into the match. With seven minutes left in the first half, Warren lashed a half volley into the opposition net. Warren’s addition to the squad has been vital after a remarkable comeback from an appendicitis injury. With both goals, Drew led the Raptors to a 2-0 win. That following Tuesday, the boys put in a collective effort and prevailed over the Springfield Cougars. Sebastian Kaper left it all on the field with two goals and a formidable defensive performance. Drew Warren, Ryan Goldstein, and Caden Cleffi piled it on as well, ending in a 5-0 win for Caroulo’s boys. The Gents have hit a recent run of form, and it has become evident that the boys are a progressively strong team. “I think that we had an important meeting…outside of school that really brought us closer. It’s that closeness that enables us to beat other teams on the field in the middle of adversity,” says Kaper. 

Photo from Margarita Moreland.

Soccer (girls) – Edy MacKenzie

Radnor Girls Soccer started their 2021 season off strong, with a crowd-pleasing 3-2 win over private school rival Agnes Irwin. The game didn’t appear promising when AIS led by two goals in the second half, but no one can underestimate the persistence of RGS. Two Radnor goals later, Senior Captain Kate Boujoukos secured a game-winning header with 11 seconds left. Since then, Radnor has dominated the Central League with 6 consecutive wins (Agnes Irwin (3-2), Conestoga (2-1), Downingtown West (3-2), Haverford (1-0), Pheonixville (1-0), Harriton (1-0)) and only two recent losses to Episcopal Academy and Springfield. Despite these minor setbacks, the girls remain willing to fight for their position as the first seed in PIAA 3A Girls soccer. Last Thursday, RGS had their first blowout win, tromping Penncrest on the road 4-0 to the satisfaction of the 6-man Ruckus and the rowdiest Radnor bench. Senior Captain Emily Daiutolo, freshman Ivy Chaskelson, and sophomore Selah Koleth are battling for this season’s Golden Boot award. Mallory Toomey, RGS’s goalie and back-up goalie, carries the team with both impressive saves and encouraging words every match. RGS is looking forward to the remainder of the season, and is pumped for a Tuesday matchup versus Marple.

Tennis (girls) – Debby Armstrong

Radnor girls tennis preseason began with some spacing difficulty, as six of the ten courts were closed for campus construction, leaving only four courts for over forty players. However, RGT persevered and began a busy week of matches during preseason in late August. Through high temperatures and long matches, #1 seed Leina Ciarrocchi and #2 singles Mia Xie were both victorious against tough competitors at Springfield, Conestoga, and Strath Haven, leading the varsity group to several wins. Simultaneously, the JV doubles teams utilized aggressive net skills and quick footwork to win lots of lines (and even tiebreaks). As a team, Radnor won their matches against West Chester East, Garnet Valley, and even long-standing rival school Lower Merion. Recently, #1 varsity player Leina won the Central Athletic League Singles Championships. Senior captain Josie Soloman exclaims, “we are so proud of Leina she absolutely killed it! I am also so proud of everyone and their hard work throughout the whole season, also considering we got unlucky with the courts.” As the season comes to a close, RGT is preparing for fast-approaching district matches and hope to make it to states!

Photo from Gwyn Carrigan.

Volleyball – Margarita Moreland

Despite numerous injuries on both the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams, Radnor Girls Volleyball players have persevered. At Penn Wood High School, on September 17, the girls secured a win. Freshman prodigy Kinsey Carrigan led the team with nine serving aces. Bryn, her older sister, contributed to the victory with stellar outside hitting.  

Game 1: Radnor 25 – Penn Wood 10 

Game 2: Radnor 25 – Penn Wood 9 

Game 3: Radnor 25 – Penn Wood 5 

Following the game at Penn Wood, the ladies stood strong on their home court against Conestoga. Alas, the team fell short. 

Game 1: Radnor 20 – Conestoga 25 

Game 2: Radnor 11 – Conestoga 25 

Game 3: Radnor 22 – Conestoga 25 

Nonetheless, sophomore sensation Yleina Sanchez was a defensive powerhouse. The legendary Samantha Gasink, in addition to Sanchez, put her area of expertise (setting) on display. Following their tough loss, the girls faced Haverford High School, on September 22. “Radnor battled through some early injuries in the first game to come back and take the second game from the Fords,” says Varsity head coach Anne-Marie Goldstein.  

Game 1: Radnor 13 – Haverford 25 

Game 2: Radnor 25 – Haverford 23 

Game 3: Radnor 19 – Haverford 25 

Game 4: Radnor 19 – Haverford 25 

Once again, Yleina Sanchez gave it her all and had three aces, three assists, and seventeen digs. The team put in the hard work but were unfortunately defeated by Haverford. That following Friday, Merion Mercy overcame the Raptors. 

Game 1: Radnor 4 – Merion Mercy 25 

Game 2: Radnor 16 – Merion Mercy 25 

Game 3: Radnor 25 – Merion Mercy 21 

Game 4: Radnor 14 – Merion Mercy 25 

The girls met Harriton on September 27 at 5:15pm. Sophomore setter Caroline Monahan stepped up with 21 assists and four digs. Freshman phenom Monika Mortensen succeeded as a middle hitter; she had ten kills, three blocks, and one ace. After a close fight, the Rams gained a victory.

Game 1: Radnor 16 – Harriton 25

Game 2: Radnor 25 – Harriton 17

Game 3: Radnor 21 – Harriton 25

Game 4: Radnor 23 – Harriton 25

Photo from Maureen Seasholtz and Erin Hill.

Cross Country (girls and boys) – Tess Brennan and Payton Breck

The Radnor girls and boys cross country team had their fifth Central League Meet at Rose Tree Park on Monday, September 27th. Our runners raced against Lower Merion, Marple Newton, Ridley, Haverford and Penncrest, with both teams coming in third place. 

Jimmy Kurtz finished strong in first place for Radnor following multiple meets of fast times. “I think the conditions for the race were a bit rough, and it was pretty hot outside,” he said. “But once we got a mile into the race it was smooth running from there.” 

The Rose Tree course is very popular among the various schools but not popular amongst the runners. The first half of the course is flat, with only a few small hills; however, two back-to-back grueling hills come up right before and after the second mile mark. These conditions were not ideal, but Radnor runners still shone. 

This meet, the spotlight was on up-and-coming cross country star Preston Breck, who claimed a victory over fellow runner Aidan Leonard on Monday. When asked to comment, Aidan dodgingly stated the following: “I’m not sure it would be correct to characterize either of our successes as a victory. You know the institutions of the race are certainly subjective and certainly subject to change and there’s no way to properly classify the events of the last race without delving into some deeper moral issues.” 

Here are the top seven runners from the meet: 

Boys 

  1. Jimmy Kurtz (17:51.80)
  2. Luke Bodden (18:11.20)
  3. Jack Halberstadt (18:11.60)
  4. Preston Breck (18:50.80)
  5. Dave Kenney (18:59.70)
  6. Aidan Leonard (19:05.00)
  7. Max Rubenstein (19:42.50)

Girls

  1. Zoe Margolis (21:21.50)
  2. Naomi Gross (22:34.00)
  3. Emma Hyde (23:15.30)
  4. Leni Hartman (23:43.40)
  5. Olivia Dhavale (23:58.60)
  6. Amelia Dole (24:21.60)
  7. Lauren Kelley (24:58.30)
Photo from Sofia Floody and Diana Huang.

Ultimate Frisbee (girls) – Reese Hillman

The Radnor Girls Ultimate Frisbee Team opened their competitive season with an 11-5 win on Thursday, 9/30, at an away game against Strath Haven. After a few weeks of practice at Dittmar, the girls were thrilled to come together and face another team. Sophomore Sofia Dillon commented, “the game was a good outline of how we do against other teams and together. It was super nice because ultimate is a small sport, so a lot of our players were friends with players on the other team!” Seniors Nandita Ganesh and Anika Jaswal and sophomore Rona Lui-Zhong all scored two points apiece with senior Isabelle Deputy and sophomore Diana Huang making four assists. Diana also made four D’s, an Ultimate term standing for defense, which means slapping or catching an opponent’s disc and turning it over to your team. Spirit was also running high, especially when sophomore Sofia Dillon revealed, during halftime, that she had brought a cowbell. Ultimately (no pun intended), the girls gave their all, had an amazing time, and are very excited for games and tournaments in the upcoming weeks.