Fall Sports Preview: Bearcats Offer Many Reasons to Roar

With seven championship-eligible teams at the varsity level and more than 350 athletes playing on 17 different teams, there are countless opportunities to cheer for the Bearcats throughout the fall season. Join the Bearcat Army on the sidelines and be loud, be proud, and be true!


Girls soccer

Girls Varsity Soccer
Head Coach: Christy Cooper (23rd year)
2021 Record: 14-4-2
2022 Home Opener: Sept. 17, Lawrenceville @ 2:30 p.m.
Reasons to Roar: The Bearcats have 12 returning players from the 2021 team that made a quarterfinal appearance in the New England Tournament as the seventh seed. Newcomers Lyyli Stern ’26, Quinn Pollack ’25 and Stella Goss ’26 will add some depth to the core group of returners. Playing well for the Bearcats so far this season are Emmanuella Frimpomaa ’24, Emily Wang ’25, and Darcy Dwyer ’25. There has also been great leadership from captains Nell Dwyer ’24 and Etta Coburn ’24. Nothing will come easy for the Bearcats this season so they will need to stay healthy, especially when they play Choate, Worcester, and Westy. The major goals of this season will be to build team culture and unity, bring along some younger players, and be competitive.


Boys soccer

Boys Varsity Soccer
Head Coach: Mario Williams (2nd season)
2021 Record: 7-7-4
2022 Home Opener: Sept. 17, Lawrenceville @ 2:30 p.m.
Reasons to Roar: Key returners include Preseason High School All-America Watchlist selectee Mohammed Nuhu ’23, defensive stalwart and team captain Thomas Navab ’24, Benjamin Brown ’24, Oscar Emus ’23, Alex Cheng ’23, Quillan Oberto ’24, and Anish Reid ’23. New players Samuel Bobrek ’23, Emiliano Leal ’23, and Matias Acevedo ’24 should make strong contributions to an already solid nucleus of players. The team’s primary goal for the season is to play deep into November by staying healthy, training intensely, and continuously improving as a team. Qualifying for the NEPSAC playoffs is another important team goal. Games of note include Taft, Northfield Mount Hermon, Loomis Chaffee, and Avon.


Volleyball players

Varsity Volleyball
Head Coach:
Bill Fenton (1st year)
2021 Record: 8-10
2022 Home Opener: Sept. 21 vs. Williston @ 3:15 p.m.
Reasons to Roar: With seven returning players, three coming up from last year’s JV team as well as the addition of three new preps, the Bearcats are looking to make big strides in Fenton’s first season at the helm. The team will rely on captains Paige Dzenutis ’23 and Kate McCormick ’23 as well as returning starters Mimi Emswiler ’24 and Ella Yu ’24 for some veteran leadership. Newcomer Lillie Dase ’26 has impressed the coaches with her play so far and should make an immediate impact. At last year’s Taft Day, the Bearcats ended the season with a thrilling victory, upsetting the Rhinos at home in five sets. The team is looking to continue that winning streak this year down in Watertown on Nov. 12.


Field Hockey

Varsity Field Hockey
Head Coach:
Kait Perrelle Leonard ’06 (5th year)
2021 Record: 11-4, New England Tournament semifinalists
2022 Home Opener: Sept. 21 vs. Walker’s @ 3 p.m.
Reasons to Roar: Even with the graduation of seven starters from the 2021 team, nothing seems to hold this group back from being successful year after year. Captain Willa Merton ’23 and her Bearcats are once again looking to be in the hunt for the NEPSAC title. Eleven returning players will offer a great foundation on which to build. Newcomers Mia Griffith ’26 and Charlotte deVillier ’26 have impressed the coaches so far, and Tory Dana ’24, up from last year’s JV team, has been a terrific addition. GA, CSH and Taft will all be key games for the Bearcats. The team is celebrating its 49th season on the Class of 1949 Fields. History is very important to this group.


Football players

Varsity Football
Head Coach:
Dempsey Quinn (1st year)
2021 Record: 2-6
2022 Home Opener: Sept. 23 vs. Trinity Pawling @ 6:30 p.m.
Reasons to Roar: The Bearcats return six starters on offense and five starters on defense. Hotchkiss will lean heavily on their four captains, including West Point commit Sean Donovan ’22, Cole Foster ’22, Liam Burke ’23, and starting quarterback Cam Holland ’23. New players to watch for an immediate impact are PGs Johnny Bennett ’23, Car Lund ’23, and Max Smith ’23. Hotchkiss features a very young roster with hopes of rebuilding for the future. The culture is in place and the growth of the team over the course of the season will serve as the best measuring stick.
The Bearcats will christen the new lights at Avon Old Farms on Friday, Oct. 14, in what will be a homecoming of sorts for new head coach Dempsey Quinn (AOF Class of 2007). Most important, all roads lead to Nov. 12 in Watertown, CT.


Girls cross country team

Girls Varsity Cross Country
Head Coach:
Kira Shaikh (1st season)
2021 Record & Highlights: 4-3, 4th in the Founders League and 11th in the New England Class A Championship
2022 Home Opener: Oct. 1 vs. Berkshire @ 3:30 p.m.
Reasons to Roar: With eight returning runners, the Hotchkiss girls cross country program is excited to have a strong combination of returning athletes as well as new runners. Returning runners like Daphne Barrett ’24, Grace Gordan ’24, Eva Serebrova ’24, and Ella Mohanram ’23 will be leading the pack throughout 5K races. However, fans should keep an eye out for newcomers like Jami Huang ’25, Dasha Grecheva ’26, and Juniper Rogers ’26 as they have been racing through early season time trials and scrimmages quite well. As it is Coach Shaikh’s first season leading the girls cross country program, she will rely on captains Darina Huang ’23 and Nicole Ocampo Montoya ’23 for help in continuing to build some of the wonderful team traditions like Fun Fridays. With meets every Saturday, the team is looking forward to hosting Berkshire on Oct. 1 and Choate Rosemary during Family Weekend to share the beautiful, rolling hills of Hotchkiss including the famous change of elevation: Cardiac Hill. 

Varsity Mountain Biking
Head Coach: Mike Fitzgerald (7th Season)
2021 Results: 2nd place, Housatonic Mountain Bike League
2022 Home Race: Oct. 5 @ 3:30 p.m.
Reasons to Roar: After graduating eight seniors last year, the team will lean heavily on multiyear veterans to continue the traditions of the team. Senior Michael O'Brien ’23 returns for his fourth season, while returners Adam Wright ’24, Sawyer Dillon ’24, and Wilson Knapp ’25 provide a strong and skilled foundation for the team. Last year's new riders are also back to continue their progression in skills and strength on the bike, including Sadie Panaro ’25, Sonia Rashid ’25, and Jeff Shi ’24. Eight new riders bring a diverse range of experience and strengths, and they are rebuilding the program from the senior departures last season. Hotchkiss should be strong contenders this year across the race classes, and never before has the program had so many skilled riders toe the starting line. The whole team is committed to an increased training regimen, with lots of Riga climbs in its future. Returners are already helping continue the team culture of taking on personal and collective challenges, dedicating themselves to developing physical skills and fitness, and gaining the grit necessary to push through their limits and overcome doubts and fears.  

Boys Varsity Cross Country
Head Coach:
Pierre Yoo (12th year)
2021 Record & Highlights: 9-1, Canterbury Invitational Champions, Founders League Champions and 4th in the New England Class A Championship
2022 Home Opener: Oct. 22 vs. Choate @ 3 p.m.
Reasons to Roar: The defending Founders League champions are looking to build upon their recent success under Head Coach Pierre Yoo P’21, P’23. Since 2017, the team has won 30 races and dropped only seven. What’s even more impressive is that they have consistently finished in the top four of New England since 2016. Captain Chase Dobson ’23, who epitomizes hard work and dedication, plans to continue blazing this trail of success with a new crop of runners. The team will look to the leadership of the varsity returners of Ciaran Groom ’24 (2nd overall Founders League finisher in 2021) and Axel-Ryan Nzi ’24. Four-year senior Marston Lufkin ’23 put in his summer miles and is ready to compete at the varsity level. The rookie runners of Stephen Hicks ’26, Bastien Sever ’26, Copey Rollins ’26, Eli Seol ’26, Isaiah Stevens ’25, and Mark Zhu ’26 are already making an impact with their refreshing and uplifting spirits. The team is also looking forward to impactful seasons from returners Elliot Marken ’24, Evan Huang ’25, and four-year member Eric Han ’23. Yoo, head coach since 2011, is energized by the focus on fun and is excited to see how each team member commits to run for each other.

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