The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Fall sports in review

Photo courtesy of Dawgs Sports Instagram
The WCHS Bulldogs had a very successful season with two division champions, two MCPS team champions, three individual MCPS champions, three regional champions, one individual region champion, one state quarter finalist, one state semi finalist and two state runners up.

Varsity Cheer
While the cheer team is arguably best known for elevating school spirit during football games, they also compete in tournaments. The team, led by coaches Sheila Saunders and Bryanna Simpson and captained by seniors Emily Ho, Sophie Michnick, Hailey Spott, junior Andrea Gracia and sophomore Ava Johnson, made it all the way to states.

The Bulldogs placed second in regionals and fourth at states with a score of 120.85. Despite ending behind WJ at regionals, the team placed as the top Montgomery County team at the state tournament.

Varsity Cross Country (3-1)
Coach Paul Jacobson led the cross country team to another incredible season with wins at the county, regional and state level. The boys team was captained by seniors Griffin White and Ryan Farid and juniors Nate Swanson and Stepan Volkov. The girls team was captained by seniors Hallie Muniz, Sabrina Chou, Katerina Silvestre, Caroline Zuba and junior Noor Aly.

Bulldog history was made when freshman Katie Morey and Swanson won the MCPS Cross Country title, both placing first in their respective races. Swanson is the first male and Morey the third female Bulldog to win this title. The girls placed fourth overall and the boys third. Morey led the girls to fifth in regionals by placing first individually. Swanson and Volkov led the team to second by placing fourth and sixth respectively. At states, Morey led the girls to seventh by placing ninth individually with a time of 19:59 and Swanson and Volkov led the boys to second by placing fourth and ninth with times of 16:14 and 16:42 respectively.

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Varsity Field Hockey (16-2)
The field hockey team, led by Coach Catherine Miller and captained by senior midfielder Emma Datch, junior forward Julieta Matus and junior defender Jenna Pigott, had a record breaking regular season record of 11-2. The Bulldogs beat Whitman 1-0 in overtime to win their third straight county title, Quince Orchard for their seventh straight regional title and advanced to states by beating Whitman once again. This was the only Bulldog team to make it to the state championship, where they fell to Crofton 5-0.

Offensively, the team was led by Matus with 16 goals and Datch with 10 assists. Junior goalkeeper Blythe Cook had a stellar 27 saves. Numerous players were recognized at the division and county level, with all three captains making all-central division first team and all-county first team. Pigott was named MCPS co-defensive player of the year and Datch was named MCPS offensive player of the year; she will continue playing field hockey at Davidson College next year.

Varsity Football (11-2)
Led by Head Coach Joe Rydzewski and captained by seniors linebacker Diezel Ducket, quarterback and receiver Layton Johnson Jr., offensive lineman Jackson Rood and junior quarterback Vasi Hallas, the Dawgs took their first regional championship in 28 years, becoming state semifinalists and setting multiple individual and team records.

Senior running back David Avit rushed for a combined total of 2487 yards and scored 34 touchdowns, which according to Maxpreps are both Maryland state records. These accomplishments would not have been possible without the incredible performance of the offensive linemen seniors Rood, Charlie Trenkamp, Luke Ferrer, Andrew Cho, and junior Chris Tran. Senior receiver Lance Hersch combined 400 yards receiving with four touchdowns. The Dawgs defense was led by seniors Diezel Duckett and Kris Paul, each with over 70 tackles. Junior Drew Mennick led the team in sacks. Hersch led the secondary with over 50 tackles and five interceptions, while junior Allen Huebel had four interceptions.

Varsity Golf (16-1-1)
The golf team, led by Coach Robert Tarzy and captained by junior Victoria Diaz, placed first in most of their tournaments, won the county scramble title and district championship and played competitively in the state tournament.

The Dawgs won the district championship with a team total of 296 points. Sophomore Zoe Cusack placed first with an unconfirmed event record of 65 points, winning her second girls district championship in a row. Diaz shot under par to finish fourth, and sophomore Ethan Goldsborough finished in the top 10 amongst the boys. Cusack, Diaz and Goldsborough were joined by sophomore Sam Bawden at states, where the Bulldogs finished in fourth place with a combined total of 636 points. Cusack shot four under for the tournament and placed second overall in the state.

Varsity Boys’ Soccer (7-5-1)
In Coach Arnold Tarzy’s 16th and final year as coach of the boys’ varsity soccer team, the squad had a regular season record of 7-4-1 and lost in the first round of regional playoffs. The team was captained by senior defenders Dominic Radice and Matt Hsuan.

Seniors Radice, center back Yuki Matsuoka and midfielder Adam Field were tied for the team lead in goals scored. Goalie Bobby Cohen led the team in saves. Radice earned first team all-state and first team all-south honors as well as being named MCPS’ No.1 player.

Varsity Girls’ Soccer (8-5-1)
Led by Coach Haroot “H” Hakopian and captained by seniors winger Layla Flack, defensive left back Lauren Sarrat and striker Rosa Saavedra, the girls’ varsity soccer team finished the season with a record of 8-5-1. The team lost to Quince Orchard 4-1 in the regional semifinals.

The Bulldogs offense was led by Saavedra who bagged 9 goals and 19 assists as well as being awarded second team all-state. The Dawg’s defense was led by junior goalkeeper Sarah Galbraith making 61 saves in 11 games after coming back from an injury last year. All three senior captains made the MCPS All-Star Game, an impressive end to their high school soccer careers.

Varsity Girls’ Volleyball (12-5)
The volleyball team, led by Coach Cindy Hillard, entered the 2023 season as an unknown. Led by captains senior setter Anneliese Leo, junior outside hitter Sonia Breslawec and junior defensive specialist Kareena Rathnam, the team finished with a regular season record of 9-4 and a regional title. The Bulldogs fell to Urbana 3-1 in both the regular season and the state quarterfinals, but clinched their second regional title in a row and set high standards for next season.

Offensively, the team was led by Breslawec and junior Brooke Roberts with 163 and 85 kills respectively. Rathnam and junior Sherry Ye dominated defense with 125 and 156 digs respectively, along with Breslawec’s 97 digs. Leo had an incredible 280 assists and served 39 aces. Breslawec earned first team all county and Leo, Rathnam and Ye earned second team all county titles.

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About the Contributor
Leah Kreisler
Leah Kreisler, Sports Editor
Leah Kreisler is a junior at WCHS and the Sports Editor for the Observer. In her free time, Leah enjoys playing volleyball, going to the gym, reading and writing and spending time with her friends and family.

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