2018 Fall Athletics Season in Review

Cross Country
Head Coach Caleb Flack and Assistant Coach Brett Laoruangroch
The Parker Cross Country team had a fun and memorable season, filled with many impressive accomplishments. The student-athletes started practice in August and consistently trained together for the next 10 weeks, while also regularly competing in races around the city. This was a hard-working group, who completed challenging runs on the lake path and pushed each other to improve. Their strong efforts were reflected in the steady improvement in times during the course of the season. Our runners also knew how to be positive and lighthearted, which made for a great team environment. A season highlight was the IHSA Regional Meet, where several personal bests were set, and the girls ultimately advanced to the Sectional Meet the following weekend. At the Conference Meet, freshman Kate Allen-Study and senior captain Audrey Shadle earned All-Conference Honors. Audrey would later go on to qualify for the State Meet in Peoria. Altogether, it was a terrific season, and with many freshmen and sophomores ready to compete again next year, the future is bright for Parker Cross Country.
Varsity Field Hockey
Head Coach Misha Geller and Assistant Coach Courtney Caron
The 2018 Field Hockey season was one for the books. We started strong with a solid win against Highland Park High School, a team that beat us in the last game of the season the previous year. Our win against Highland Park set the tone for an amazing season. We ended the regular season with a record of 13 wins and 6 losses, many of which came at the hands of top ranked opponents. Our structure was simple. We had a lean roster that was supported by bubble players who floated between JV and Varsity. Our defensive back line became a family in themselves, and our midfield and forwards developed a sense for where their teammates were on the field at all times. Watching games toward the end of the season was similar to watching coordinated dances. It flowed.
With an impressive season complete, we turned our sights on post season. Our official seed for the 2018 season was 7, up from our 2017 seed of 11. We met Highland Park again in the Regionals and, for the first time in more than a decade, advanced to Sectionals, where we played the number 2 seed, Lake Forest High School. We finished our post season with a loss against Lake Forest, but we held our heads high given our many accomplishments throughout the season. Ultimately we achieved our season goals: to advance to the Sectional round and jump a few spots in the post-season rankings.
Junior Varsity Field Hockey
Head Coach Betsy Ehlen and Assistant Coach Reilly Bruce
The JV Field Hockey team had a great season. These student-athletes were eager to learn and eager to improve, starting from pre-season and continuing through our very last game. I was impressed by how quickly the team came together as a cohesive group that worked well together on and off the field and always supported each other, assisted by strong leadership from their captains. The student-athletes, including some who had never played the sport before, all improved considerably during the season, including their individual skills and their understanding of positioning and team tactics. The team worked on some new short corner variations toward the end of the season and were able to pick up, and execute, the new plays with impressive speed and composure. Some highlights from the season include two very tightly contested ties vs. Latin and OPRF, as well as the St. Ignatius game, which tied in regulation and then went into a penalty shoot-out. We had some great wins, but I think these games are where the team truly showed their grit and toughness!
Head Coach Tim O’Connor and Assistant Coach Cameron Carone
The Parker Golf team had a successful season with a number of memorable high points. We scored our first head-to-head victory over Latin in recent memory while also compiling a 7-2 overall record. The team was led by senior co-captains Nathan Satterfield and Dylan Andrews, junior Scottie Ingall and sophomore Nick Skok. The Colonels finished in third place at the Lincoln Park HS Invitational—their highest finish since its inauguration. To cap off our season, we advanced to the IHSA Sectional as a team for the second straight season with a second-place finish at the Regional tournament. Overall there was a lot to feel positive about, and the team looks forward to adding more participants next fall season!
Varsity Soccer
Head Coach Neil Curran and Assistant Coach Patrick Stanton
The 2018 Boys’ Soccer team achieved a new accolade: winning the Pepsico Showdown, the largest high school soccer tournament in the country, for the first time in school history. The 2-0 victory vs. Homewood-Flossmoor in the final of the Pepsico Showdown was the best display of team focus and tactical awareness throughout the entire season. The team fell short of their conference goals, but was able to avenge a disappointing conference showing with a dominant 3-1 victory at North Shore Country Day in the Sectional Semifinal on their own field. The final achievement of the season came when Parker claimed the Sectional title with a 2-1 extra time win vs Cristo Rey St. Martin. The win marked the team’s third straight sectional championship. Parker advanced to the Super Sectional for the third straight season, but ultimately fell short of their preseason goal of making the state tournament by losing 2-0 to a very strong St. Edwards team. The Sectional title combined with the Pepsico Showdown championship make this the most successful Boys’ Soccer season in terms of on-field results in six seasons.
Junior Varsity Soccer―Blue
Head Coach Dylan Pender and Assistant Coach Clifton McDugle
The JV Blue Boys’ soccer team had a very successful season. The level of competition we faced from the very start was top notch. The strong competition made achieving the desired result difficult, but the boys worked hard to figure out how to play and win as a team. We had five draws and three losses before our first win, but once we figured it out, we won six of eight, including wins against Latin, U-High, NCSD and Northridge. The improvement throughout the season was consistent with evidence of our play. I hope our players take the experience they've gained from this year to help make a difference at the next level or to lead us again next year.
Junior Varsity Soccer―White
Head Coach Ephraim Beard and Assistant Coach Noah Wolff
The Parker JV White season was one of growth and development for the team made up of freshmen and sophomores. Head Coach Ephraim Beard returned for his third season with the team and was joined by Parker soccer legend Noah Wolff on the sidelines for his first season coaching at the high school level. Throughout the season, the student-athletes grew together as a team, which brought about the marquee moment of the season: coming from behind by multiple goals to tie neighborhood rival Lincoln Park at home on Homecoming in the Oz Park Derby. The growth of the student-athletes through the season was on clear display as many members of JV White were asked to continue their season on JV Blue in the Loyola Academy Invitational Tournament.
Varsity Tennis
Head Coach Jon Hall-Bryant and Assistant Coach Jacqueline Dawkins
This 2018 Girls’ Tennis team featured a unique balance on our eight-member team. We had equal representation from each class with two freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and two seniors. The mixture of youth and experience left us with a 7-7 overall record. After starting the season 2-4, the team rebounded to finish 5-3 over the final eight matches. We finished 3-3 in the conference, which gave us a fourth place overall finish. With the bulk of the team returning, we look forward to a successful 2019 season.
Junior Varsity Tennis
Head Coach Jacqueline Dawkins and Assistant Coach Anthony O’Neal
There were five additions to the JV Tennis team this season. Due to some conflicts with weather and scheduling, a few of the JV players were called upon to play on the Varsity squad to cover matches and avoid default. With the deficits, we were still able to play some competitive JV matches. A season highlight was the IHSA Sectional Meet where one of our freshmen, Mia Bronstein, made it to two rounds. The girls remained positive and upbeat throughout the season and will certainly see even more success next season.z
Varsity Volleyball
Head Coach Brittany Lo and Assistant Coach Jeremy Aniciete
In their efforts to establish a new identity, the volleyball team earned many accomplishments during the course of the season. The girls strived to compete in every match with intensity. They worked together to make each other better individually and collectively. Their hard work and dedication paid off with 10 wins out of their last 13 matches, which included an exciting 2-1 win against UHigh and the regional semifinal. With their commitment to each other and their determination to improve every practice, the girls proved to be the most competitive, athletic and cohesive team the program has seen in the last five years. Because of the legacy the seniors have left behind this season, the team is more than prepared for another successful season next year.

Junior Varsity Volleyball
Head Coach Mackenzie Holden and Assistant Coach Chris Riff
Our JV Girls’ volleyball team had a great developmental year, learning new skills and perfecting those of previous seasons. With many newcomers unfamiliar with the game, the girls worked together to gain a concrete understanding of both the fundamentals and strategic aspects of the game. Many of our players improved in a short amount of time, showing an impressive amount of commitment and intensity throughout the season. Although our record was a bit below 500, we triumphed in teamwork, technical skill growth and a collaborative nature that carried us throughout the season. With such big strides made in the short season, next year promises a more competitive nature of play.
Middle School Coed Cross Country
Head Coach Minnie Choudhury and Assistant Coach Igor Melnik
The 2018 season was a strong one for the Middle School Cross Country team! This hard-working crew of runners ran more miles, set more in-season personal records and earned more medals in races! Every student earned an in-season personal record in the 1 mile or 1.5 mile.

These impressive achievements reflect the training that each and every runner put in, day in and day out, at practice. Just as important, the runners had a lot of fun and came together as a team. In between the miles, they petted all the dogs in Lincoln Park, attended ice-cream socials and team breakfasts and DJ'd the best dance parties on the team bus! We are excited at our growing numbers and what future seasons will bring.
7th Grade Field Hockey
Head Coach Alex Cropley and Assistant Coach Ellen Sandquist
The 7th Grade Field Hockey team had an incredible season, full of enjoyment and successes. Each training session, the girls were determined to play and develop their skills further into great players on the field. Throughout the season we played extremely well and consistently improved; we only ever lost a game by a close one point. Our team defense improved dramatically from preseason—and helped keep the opposition away from our goal very well. The midfielders and forwards did a fantastic job of hustling up and down the field and keeping the ball in our possession. As the season progressed, the girls mastered their free hits and turned short corners into one of our best assets and advantages. Overall the girls had a fantastic season and worked well as a team. They are a hard-working group of girls and their positivity about the sport is admirable.
6th Grade Soccer
Head Coach Jonathan Utley and Assistant Coach Mimi Vaintrub
The 6th Grade Soccer season was a great success. Eighteen boys came to play. Some were new to the sport. Some had been playing on club teams for years. It is not uncommon on a team to see the more skilled players confine their play to other skilled players and avoid including teammates who are just learning to play the game. In training and especially in the flow of a match, these skilled players showed no favoritism. That says a great deal about the character of these 18 guys.
The second characteristic of these players was how they dealt with pressure. Our matches were almost always decided by one goal. There was no room to relax or let up. These guys continued to play at the highest intensity showing absolute confidence to the final whistle. Sometimes they won. Sometimes they tied. Sometimes they ran out of time. But in every match, they demonstrated a composure characteristic of true athletes.
Boys’ 8th Grade Soccer
Head Coach Mark Sandoval and Assistant Coach Clark Daggett
There were 21 8th grade boys on the soccer team. Overall this was a well-skilled, well-experienced team, many of whom also played on a club team outside of school. There were also a few players who had fewer skills and less experience, but the group blended together well. With a record of six wins and two losses, the team had a very successful season. While there were a number of lopsided victories, which gave all teammates a good amount of playing time, the two losses were very close, competitive games that could have gone either way.
The emphasis for this group was to control the ball and pass it to a teammate quickly so that the defense had little opportunity to surround a player who had possession of the ball. The team responded well, and the result was considerable passing of the ball and limited selfish play. Looking at the competition the team faced, the future of this group of talented student-athletes is bright—they should grow into a very solid varsity team over time.
Boys’ 7th Grade Soccer
Head Coach Jeff Hoders and Assistant Coach Sarena Marwah-Blanke
The 7th Grade Boys’ Soccer team by any measurement had an outstanding season. Beginning with our roster of 19 student-athletes that together, from the start of pre-season to our final competition, were committed to our team. While we had student-athletes of differing experience and skill levels, including those that were new to the game to a core of club/traveling team players, they all contributed to our winning season. Most impressive was the improvement shown by the whole team, regardless of experience. From passing and dribbling to an understanding of positioning and tactics, every practice and every match showed that growth.
Highlighting our 8-1-1 season were two wins over rival Latin, an aggressive offense that outscored our opponents almost 3 to 1 and a stout defense that had four shutouts.
As this group of student-athletes rises through Middle School and then on to the Upper School, it will be exciting to watch them as part of one of FWP’s signature programs.
Middle School Volleyball
Head Coach Marisela Palma and Assistant Coach Phenice Williams
The Middle School volleyball team set their goals together at the start of the season. Their most important goals were to have fun, improve their volleyball skills and, finally, to compete. By the end of the season, we successfully achieved all of our team goals! As coaches, we did not focus on wins and losses but rather, taught them how to train and feel part of a team. We had a total of 14 girls: eight from 8th grade, three from 7th grade and three from 6th grade. The 8th grade girls bonded well from the beginning and were welcoming to the 6th and 7th grade girls. We had the opportunity to practice with the Varsity Girls’ team, which was a great experience for the girls and coaches. By practicing the basic fundamentals, especially their serving skills, all the team members improved. As their coaches, we had fun watching the girls focus and work together as a team throughout the season. We finished the season very strong, learned to be competitive and drove our matches to third sets. Our record at the end of the season was 6-18.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.