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

2024 Spring Sports in review

Photo courtesy of Churchill Athletics Department
Many WCHS spring sports teams had a great record during the 2024 spring sport season, boys tennis had a clean sweep of 12-0.

Varsity Boys Volleyball (12-0)

The Boys’ Varsity Volleyball team, led by Coach Rajesh Rathnam and captained by senior setter JP Chin and sophomore outside hitter Cian Tenney, had an undefeated regular season of 11-0, dropping only two out of 35 sets. The Bulldogs won the county championship, the highest level for boys volleyball as there is no state tournament in Maryland, for the first time since 1998 without dropping a single set in the postseason.

Offensively the team was led by Tenney who had a season total of 127 kills, 85 in the regular season and 42 in playoffs, along with 26 total aces. Chin had an incredible season total of 318 assists, 204 in the regular season and 114 in the playoffs. Sophomore libero Brian Chen dominated defense with 61 season digs alongside junior outside hitter Andrew Lam who had had a 2.35 serve receive average. Tenney, sophomore opposite hitter Blake Marshall and sophomore middle hitter Peter Debiec have been invited to the National Team Development program.

Co-ed Volleyball (10-2)

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Led by Coach Cynthia Sheng and captained by seniors setter Anneliese Leo, middle and right side hitter Ben Wu, outside hitter Adrina Roostaei, defensive specialist Yasmina Samrakandi, outside, middle and right side hitter Hagan Yeoh and middle hitter Parker Michaels, the co-ed volleyball team had a near undefeated regular season of 10-1 but unfortunately lost to Clarksburg in the first round of playoffs.

Leo led the team in both assists and aces as she did in the Girls Volleyball season earlier in the school year. Michaels led the team in kills and Samrakandi led the team in digs. Despite the disappointing ending, this season saw tremendous growth for the Dawgs.

Softball (7-7)

The Varsity Softball team was led by Coach Andrew Sonnabend and captained by seniors outfielder Celine Le and shortstop Julia Irwin and juniors pitcher Maggie King and catcher Natalie Gumagay. After a slow start to the season, the Dawgs picked up steam and made it to the regional semifinals where they unfortunately lost to Walter Johnson.

Pitcher King dominated all aspects of the game with a .622 batting average, the highest in the division and possibly county, 29 runs batted in, 146 strikeouts in 71.1 innings pitched and a 2.06 earned run average. King had an incredible 8.1 strikeouts to one base on balls ratio, the team’s only home run along with 16 stolen bases. She was tied with sophomore outfielder Jacqueline Le with 19 total runs. The team is losing six seniors who have played a key role in the Dawg’s success so Varsity Softball will enter next year as somewhat of an unknown.

Baseball (9-7)

Coach Brock Hunter and senior captains pitcher Christian Kim, catcher Luke Bookoff, shortstop Lance Hersch and Dylan Norman led the team through a successful season. The Bulldogs made it to the regional semifinals where they unfortunately lost to Whitman but Kim and Bookoff made first team all division and junior third baseman Joey King.

Kim led the team on the mound with 39 strikeouts and a 1.662 earned run average in 46.1 innings pitched along with junior Owen Singer who had 50 strikeouts and a 3.345 earned run average in 37.2 innings pitched. The Dawgs were a powerhouse in the batter’s box with five players hitting over .300. King and Bookoff each hit a homerun with a .448 and .358 batting average respectively. Norman hit .364, senior Charlie Siegel hit .362 and Hersch hit .350.

Boys Tennis (12-0)

Coach Peter Goodman and junior captains singles player Albert Mackey, doubles player Ben Wu and Kai Zou led the team to a very successful season. The team won the county tournament and regional tournament and sent Mackey and doubles players Roshan Deodhar and Aakash Deodhar to the state tournament. 

Mackey led the team in singles with an undefeated season along with A. Deodhar, R. Deodhar and Michael Song. Mackey won regional champion in singles and A. Deodhar and R. Deodhar won regional championships in doubles. In the county championship, Mackey won first place in singles followed by A. Deodhar, R. Deodhar and Michael Song. The doubles county championship was dominated by duos Aaron Han and Eric Wu, Luke Mehta and William Ma and Jeremy Chung and Aakash Reddy.

Girls Tennis (10-2)

Led by Coach Benjamin Woods and captained by senior doubles player Ingrid Yang and junior singles players Lily Ganjbaksh and Sasha Stupak, the Varsity Girls Tennis team dominated the court. The Bulldogs won second place overall at the MCPS tournament with multiple individual county champions. Ganjbaksh won first place in singles and Yang and freshman Kyra Kuriakose won first place in doubles. Ganjbaksh is the Maryland State Region 2 Girls Singles champion and played in the state tournament.

Boys Lacrosse (9-3)

The Varsity Boys Lacrosse team was led by Coach Dan Oliver and captained by senior attackers Xander Frey and Declan Carnathan, defenders Charlie Butler and Will Stanish and midfielder Matt Glassman. The Bulldogs won their ninth straight regional championship with a 12-5 win against Whitman and made it to the state semi finals. 

Frey led the county in both goals and assists with 61 goals and 52 assists for a combined total of 113 points. Defense was led by seniors Stanish and Matt Kim with junior Bobby Cohen defending the goal. The Dawgs were an unstoppable force on the field this season as Frey made All American, Kim made first team all county and Stanish, Glassman, Carnathan, Cohen, senior Taigh Merola, senior Layton Johnson and junior Jack Thompson all made second team all division. Frey will be playing lacrosse at Bates College and Thompson has committed to Christopher Newport University.

Girls Lacrosse (5-7)

Led by Coach Casey Fletcher and captained by senior defenders Tessa Meretta and Kendyl Groisser and junior midfielder Izzy Grabo, the Girls’ Lacrosse team underwent a rebuilding year. While the team unfortunately lost in the first round of playoffs, they improved in both their record from the previous year and closed the gap in score between many opponents from last season.

Sophomore Katie Campion was the leading scorer with 26 season goals followed by Grabo, junior Justine Gumuncio and freshman Julia Grabo who each had 22 goals. Meretta led the team in defense with 16 caused turnovers and 18 ground balls. The team did not have a goalie but, after an injury prevented her from running, freshman Madison Halvorsen stepped up for the team and made an incredible 82 saves.

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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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