Winter Athletics Recap

Upper School

Varsity Boys’ Basketball
Head Coach Kevin Snider and Assistant Coach Paul Samano
The Varsity Boys’ Basketball team had a successful season, and we saw a lot of growth from start to finish. The team began the season playing some very tough competition, which prepared us for the grind of the season ahead. The experience of playing superior competition helped the boys to understand the hard work and preparation it takes to be successful. One of the highlights of the season came in an incredibly hard-fought battle with Legal Prep, when we won on a last-second shot. The team never gave up and time and time again rose to the occasion to earn the victory. Looking toward the future, we have a strong group of young men willing to put in the work to continue to build on the success of Parker basketball.
Junior Varsity Blue Boys’ Basketball
Head Coach Alan Ferguson and Assistant Coach Jarrick McGee
The JV Blue Boys’ Basketball team had an excellent season that culminated in winning the ISL Tournament. The team began the season with a loss in our home opener to Latin; however, through ups and downs and battling some injuries and adversity, we turned it around. The JV blue team won our last eight of nine games, including the aforementioned ISL Championship, which had not been accomplished since 2002. The boys bought into what we wanted to accomplish this year, and it was reflected in their on-court performance. Other big highlights of the season were beating U-High for the first time in three years including a high-scoring overtime victory in the ISL Tournament, defeating Latin and defeating Northridge Prep for the first time in four years. It was truly a remarkable season and one that the entire JV Blue squad will never forget.
Junior Varsity White Boys’ Basketball
Head Coach Jarrick McGee and Assistant Coach Alan Ferguson
The JV White Boys’ Basketball team finished the season with a record of 4-7. The team’s record, however, is not indicative of the enormous amount of progress they made throughout the season. They started the season off strong with wins against Latin, Walter Payton, North Shore and DePaul Prep. The highlight of the season was the comeback at Northridge Prep, when they were down 26 with five minutes left to play. The boys never gave up and scored 22 points to get the game within four points; however, ultimately ran out of time. The effort the boys showed during this particular game was a true reflection of the entire JV White season.
Varsity Girls’ Basketball
Head Coach Alix King and Assistant Coach Chris Bielizna
This season the Girls’ Varsity Basketball team started off strong with a win against Senn. They became a defensive threat and, the end of the season, stepped up the pressure on the court and worked to expand their defensive skills. Each student-athlete played an important role on and off the court. They came together as a team and worked hard, never backing down to their opponents. I can confidently say they gave it their all and left it all on the court. This season the team finished 9-11. They are a great group of young ladies who work hard and give it their all out there. I look forward to working with them in the seasons to come.

Junior Varsity Girls’ Basketball
Head Coach Marisela Palma and Assistant Coach Labrenthia Murdock-Pearson
The JV Girls’ Basketball team finished the season strong, winning two of its final games to end the season with a 2-8 record. Some highlights from the season included playing a very hard-fought game against our rival Latin with excellent team defense. Additionally, the girls played a very close game with Holy Trinity only to be defeated on a buzzer beater. The game that stood out the most, however, was against Elgin Academy, where our girls played against taller, Varsity players and did very well. Our girls learned a lot this season, played tough and never gave up, and for that, I am proud of each player on the team.
Middle School

8th Grade Girls’ Basketball
Head Coach Phenice Williams
The 8th Grade Girls’ Basketball team had a very successful season. Given the number of participants, the girls were forced to play a lot of minutes, but they never gave up. The team often played with few to no subs and pushed themselves to the end. The girls fought hard against Latin and Stanley Clark schools despite both teams having much deeper benches. They steadily improved throughout the season, and I know they will be a force to be reckoned with next year in Upper School Basketball. More importantly, the girls were a pleasure to work with, and I enjoyed seeing them grow not only on the court but off as well.
8th Grade Boys’ Basketball
Head Coach Clark Daggett and Assistant Coach Noah Wolff
The 8th Grade Boys’ Basketball team had a very successful season, accumulating a record of 12 wins and 4 losses. This group of highly skilled, talented players put forth strong effort in practices and played some excellent basketball throughout the season. Highlights included two victories versus archrival Latin and two overtime victories against Morgan Park Academy. The game at Morgan Park Academy was as competitive and physical as interscholastic athletics get at the middle school level, and the team acquitted themselves very well both with their play and in terms of sportsmanship. During the course of the season, all players improved their skill and their understanding of the game. The future of Parker Boys’ Basketball is in very capable hands as this group moves forward through the Upper School.
7th Grade Girls’ Basketball
Head Coach Alexandra Cropley and Assistant Coach Carissa Rojas
The 7th Grade Girls’ Basketball team had a very successful and enjoyable season. The girls worked very hard and bonded well as a team. The girls’ efforts in training and their commitment to the games paid off, winning 9 of the 15 games we played. A handful of those wins were also against our rival Latin. Their skills developed enormously throughout the season, and their encouragement toward one another on the court was admirable. Our team culture this season was fantastic, a result of their attitudes to playing and working well as a team. Parker will have a fantastic 8th grade team next year. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for their basketball careers! 
7th Grade Boys’ Basketball
Head Coach Tray White and Assistant Coach Jeff Hoders
The 7th Grade Boys’ Basketball team made tremendous leaps and bounds over the course of the 2018–19 season. From start to finish, these young men worked earnestly to grow and improve as a team and establish themselves as competitors who were committed to making every game a tough outing for their opponents. After completing the season with 6 wins and 7 losses and accumulating a .462 winning percentage, they did just that! Day in and day out this group brought a positive and fun-loving attitude to each practice and every game. The future is very bright for this group of young men. With their ability and talent combined with a continued focus and commitment to adopting a growth mindset, this group can be a force to be reckoned with in years to come.
6th Grade Girls’ Basketball
Head Coach Jennifer Marshall and Assistant Coach Kendall Okner
The 6th Grade Girls’ Basketball team focused their season on developing individual skills and working effectively as a team. In these regards, the season was incredibly successful and rewarding. Their record for the season was 3-6, but what the record does not reflect is the incredible growth and encouragement demonstrated by each individual throughout the season. The athletes brought a focused and determined attitude to each practice and game. They maintained a positive mindset throughout each quarter no matter what the score. Ultimately, the team’s performance was strongest when they were able to communicate well and work together. Each player demonstrated outstanding growth, and I am sure they will all continue developing into exceptional athletes.
6th Grade Boys’ Basketball
Head Coach Dylan Pender and Assistant Coach Sarena Marwah-Blanke
The 6th Grade Boys’ Basketball season was a tremendous success. The team had high attendance rates for all practices and games, which allowed us to learn and run plays while constantly improving. From the first game to the last, this was evident in our ball movement, support of each other, ability to convert in offensive execution and defensive prowess. We ended the season at 6-4 with a time-expiring buzzer beater at our rival Latin. This feat allowed us to finish with a winning record. I look forward to seeing what this group brings to the future of Parker basketball and athletics.
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.