2024 Spring Sports Preview: Bearcat Teams Offer Many Reasons to Roar

With almost 400 students playing on 20 different teams this spring, there will be countless opportunities to cheer for the Bearcats throughout the season. Three faculty will also be making their head varsity coaching debuts, Andrew D’Ambrosio (boys golf), JR Mastro (boys lacrosse) and Britt Giacco (girls lacrosse). so it should be an exciting spring. Follow along with us @hotchkissathletics for information on games, scores, and players/teams to watch! Or join Bearcat Army and be loud, be proud, and BE TRUE!

Hotchkiss Girls Lacrosse R2R

Head Coach: Britt Giacco (1st season)
Captains: Avery Doran ’24, Etta Coburn ’24, Zoe Bye ’24
2023 Record: 12-3, Founders League Champions, Founders League Tournament Champions
2024 Home Opener: Wednesday, March 27 vs Westminster
Instagram account:  @hotchkissgvl

Reasons to Roar: The girls varsity lacrosse team kicked off the season with a convincing 20-3 win over league rival Westminster. The girls seem to have started exactly where they left off last season. The 2023 campaign witnessed a banner year for the Bearcats as they finished the season as Founders League Champions and Founders League Tournament Champions, outscoring their opponents 2 to 1. Coaches Britt Giacco and Anna Traggio are exchanging roles this season and Britt will be at the helm. The team returns many of their top players from last season including Avery Doran, Etta Coburn, Zoe Bye, Eleanor Helm ’25, MaryHelen McCooey ’25, and Charlotte Dorman ’25. In goal the Bearcats will rely on Zoe Froimovitz ’24 who was a standout for the Bearcats last season and continues to look in peak condition so far this year. Newcomers, Grace Backus ’25, Allison Wick ’26, Addison Kosiewicz ’26 and Coco Sheronas ’26, will add good depth and firepower to the already loaded team.

Hotchkiss Baseball R2R

Head Coach: Matt Altieri (3rd year)
Captains: Quillan Oberto ’24, Teddy Loescher ’24, Nick Vulliez ’24 & Adam Wright ’24
2024 Home Opener: Monday, April 1 vs Canterbury
Instagram account:  @HotchkissBaseball 

Reasons to Roar: The baseball team will be looking to have a great season this year. Coach Altieri has been able to recruit some players to the team which will bode well for the future and present. There are the returning senior captains, Quillan Oberto, Nick Vulliez, Adam Wright and Teddy Loescher, as well as seniors, Graham Prinz ’24 and Gavin Nataraj ’24. Newcomers and post graduates, Jonathan Decker ’24 and Lucas Carfi ’24, will add some well needed experience at the plate and in the field. Lower mids Carlose Lalane ’26 and Aiden Anderson ’26 and Tyler Cassamajor ’26 will also be strong contributors. 

The pitching staff will be led by Cam Freeman ’26 and Sahil Shah ’26, both are right-handers with great accuracy and velocity. The team is working hard to compete in the Founders League and improve on last year’s record.

Hotchkiss Boys Tennis R2R

Director of the Tennis Program: Edgar Giffenig P’12,’15,’19
Head Coach: Josh Smith (3rd season)
Captains: Sahil Annamaneni ’24, Xander Farrington ’24 & Ken Matanachai ’24
2023 Record: 9-3
2024 Home Opener: Friday, April 5 vs Lawrenceville
Instagram account:  @hotchkissbvt

Reasons to Roar: The Boys Varsity Tennis team is excited to begin their 2024 season. With seven returning players– including Matias Acevedo ’24, Sahil Annamaneni ’24, Sebby Brown ’24, Xander Farrington ’24, Daniel Li ’24, Ken Matanachai ’24, and Yury Tsibikov ’26–we have both depth and experience. New this year are Jai Rizvi ’26 and Arvid Vucetic ’25, and we look forward to the impact they will have on our squad. In addition to 12 dual matches, we will compete in the Kingswood Invitational Tennis Tournament (KITT), the Southern New England Tennis League tournament (SNETL), and hopefully the New England Class A Tournament. Fingers crossed for sunny skies! 

Hotchkiss Girls Tennis R2R

Director of the Tennis Program: Edgar Giffenig P’12,’15,’19
Head Coach: Maja Clark P ’28 (4th season)
Captains: Eva Lependorf ’24, Tory Dana ’24 & Eleni Kontakosta ’25 
2023 Record: 9-1, Founders League Champions, 5th in NE
2024 Home Opener: Saturday, April 6 vs Hoosac
Instagram account:  @hotchkisstennis

Reasons to Roar: The Girls Varsity Tennis team has many reasons to roar for our 2024 season. We are a young and promising team with high hopes for this season. We are looking powerful in the singles department and solid down the doubles ladder. Many of our key players were able to play over the winter and so their tennis is sharp. Returners, Eva Lependorf ’24, Minnie Li ’26, Eleni Kontokosta ’25, Addie Cirulis ’25, Tory Dana ’24 and Lara Jayanti ’25 will lead the charge with their experience and solid tennis. Newcomer Stella Liao ’27 has already made an impression with big groundstrokes off of both wings. We are looking forward to our season opener and hoping for sunny weather on game days! Success for us will be defending the Founders League title and making it to at least the semis at New Englands. 

Hotchkiss Sailing R2R

Head Coach: Richard Davis (4th season)
Captains: Phoebe Hackett ’24, Nolan Jennings ’24 & Samara Walshe ’25
2023 Record: 9-2: 2nd place NE Team Race Championship, 3rd place NE Fleet Race Championship. 3rd place National Team Race Championship; 12th place National Fleet Race Championship
2024 Home Opener: 4/6 Super Saturday at Indian Harbor YC, Greenwich, CT
Instagram account:  @hotchkiss_sailing

Reasons to Roar: Hotchkiss Sailing is aiming high this year. We are coming off of a season in which we placed 2nd in New England and 3rd at Nationals in team racing, and earned our third consecutive trip to Nationals in fleet racing–we want to put ourselves in a position to return to Nationals this year. Only the top 2 or 3 schools in New England earn the right to go to Nationals, so this is not an easy task. NESSA is one of the deepest and most competitive leagues in the country with over 70 schools. To prepare, we have put together what may be the most competitive schedule the team has ever had, and we aim to develop as much as we can in our short season. Our team is largely intact from last year, and many have found additional opportunities to keep their racing skills honed since last season. Among many highlights, Cal Kinnear ’25 won the New England Singlehanded Championship this fall in the ILCA 7, earning a spot at Nationals where he placed 3rd. Thomas O’Grady ‘26 recently earned a 4th place finish in a 150 boat fleet at Club 420 Midwinters, and twins Fynn Olsen ’25 and Pierce Olsen ’25 are fresh off a win at the Youth Worlds Qualifier in the 29er, and they will represent the United States this summer at the World Championship. We are sailing better every day and looking forward to a great season. 

Hotchkiss Rowing R2R

Head Coach: Wayne Berger (2nd season)
Captains: Vladislav Grass​ ’24, Leighton Smith ’24 & Bridget Reece ’24, Wyat Towner ‘24, Daniel Qu ’25, Mimi Emswiler ’24
2023 Record:  Boys First Boat,13th at NEIRA Championships; Girls First Boat, 9th at NEIRA Championships; Girls Second Boat 14th at NEIRA Championships
2024 Home Opener:  April 6th @ Lake Quinsagmond. Shrewsbury HS and Bedford HS
Instagram account:  @hotchkiss_rowing

Reasons to Roar: Under second year head coach, Wayne Berger, the rowing team has high expectations for the spring season. Six veteran captains will help lead the team of 50 rowers, a team full of depth and talent. Both top boats for boys and girls should fare well in all competitions.

Hotchkiss Girls Golf R2R

Head Coach: Doug Kneeland (4th season)
Captains: Angela Li ’24
2023 Record: 8-4, 2nd in the Founders League
2024 Home Opener: Wednesday, April 10 vs Williston
Instagram account:  @hotchkissvarsitygolf

Reasons to Roar: We have a strong returning squad with 5 returners from last year's ladder, and a couple new faces who should contribute immediately. Captain Angela Li returns for her 4th season and is joined by second year senior Hannah Oberman ’24. UMs Petal Hammam ’25 and Sadie Salter ’25 look to build on strong seasons from last year, while LM Evelyn Anderson ’26 will play towards the top of this year's ladder as she did during her prep season. Prep Sienna Hwang ’27 will compete to top the ladder, and prep Olivia Hicks ’27 will add further depth to this already deep group.

Hotchkiss Boys Lacrosse R2R

Head Coach: J.R. Mastro (1st season)
Captains: Liam Burke ’24, Devon Christian ’24, and Rett Zeigler ’24
2023 Record: 8-9, 3rd  place in Founders League Tournament
2024 Home Opener: Wednesday, April 10 vs Loomis
Instagram account:  @hotchkissmlax

Reasons to Roar: Led by new Head Coach J.R. Mastro, Hotchkiss' Boys Varsity Lacrosse team embarks on the 2024 season with a formidable roster blending seasoned veterans and emerging talents. With captains Liam Burke ’24 (Hopkins), Devon Christian ’24 (Amherst), and Rett Zeigler ’24 (Colgate) steering the ship, complemented by post-graduates Ryan Ornstein ’24 (Colgate) and Andrew Lehrman ’24 (Colgate), the Bearcats are ready to compete at the highest level.

This season promises to be one of intense competition as Hotchkiss takes on five nationally ranked top-25 opponents in their pursuit of a spot in the end-of-year Founders League tournament. The journey begins on Saturday, March 30th, as the Bearcats take on Andover. Mark your calendars for the home opener on Wednesday, April 10th, where Hotchkiss will face league opponent Loomis Chaffee.

Hotchkiss Ultimate R2R

Head Coach:  David Thompson P’27 (20th season)
Captains: Solfe López Escobar ’24, Elliot Marken ’24, Jeff Shi ’24 & Isaiah Stephens ’25
2023 Record: 14-5; 2nd at New England Championships; Spirit of the Game Award and finish 4th in CT D1 State Tournament
2024 Home Opener: Wednesday, April 10 vs Wooster 
Instagram account:  @hotchkissultimate

Reasons to Roar: Building off of last year’s second place finish at New Englands, the Varsity Ultimate team is excited for the Xavier scrimmage tournament on April 6, where we will see three of the strongest teams in CT. 

There are a number of new players out this spring, who bring great experience from other sports, and the returning players have been nothing but encouraging as they learn the game. With 12 returners and five members of the JV team moving up, our “ultimate IQ” is strong, and we have a good level of fitness and athleticism. 

Varsity captains Solfe López Escobar, Elliot Marken, Jeff Shi & Isaiah Stephens bring a combined 13 years of experience with Hotchkiss Ultimate, and four year player Alejandro Zheng Zuo ’24 is one of the foundations of our handler group, bolstered by great energy from Ben Wistar ’26, and new varsity handlers Michael Matte ’25 and Luke Warner ’26.

We are excited to continue with the tradition of single gender games. On two dates players from the Var. and JV will combine to play Porters and Choate. We have great skill and confidence in returning varsity players Skyler DiMeola ’24, Quisha Lee ’24, Rebekah Oppeheimer ’24, and Kayla Rosenblum ’24. Two of last year’s JV captains, Ishani Kalavagunta ’25, and Marisin McLain ’25, and returning JV player Ashe Johnson ’26 give us a strong starting seven.  

Hotchkiss Boys Golf R2R

Head Coach: Andrew D’Ambrosio (1st season)
Captains: TBD
2023 Record: 14-5-1, Founders League Champions
2024 Home Opener: Wednesday, April 12 vs Kingswood-Oxford 
Instagram account:  @hotchkissgolf

Reasons to Roar: With longtime coach Jason Maier on sabbatical for the 2023-2024 school year, Andrew D’Ambrosio will man the helm of the boys varsity golf team for the 2024 spring season. The team has a lot to be excited about coming off of their Founder’s League title last year with five of the eight players from that team returning. Bolstered by some strong senior leadership from the likes of Cam Holland ’24 and Alex Zhang ’24, the golfing Bearcats will work hard to manage expectations and develop consistently over the course of the season. With a mild winter, the Hotchkiss Golf Course should open fairly quickly, and the boys will be off and running. Highlights for the season include our annual trip out to Newport Country Club for the Andover Invitational and our matches against Choate and Taft.

Hotchkiss Girls Track R2R

Head Coach:  Nate Seidenberg (7th season)
Captains: Axl Nzi ’24, Maxwell Gathuru ’24, Anji Ashaye ’24, Boffi Lin ’24, Julia Widen ’24 &  Gabriella Mensah ’25
2023 Record: Girls’ 8-1, Boys’ 6-3
2024 Home Opener: Wednesday April 24 vs Trinity Pawling & Brunswick 
Instagram account:  @hotchkisstrackandfield

Reasons to Roar: We are preparing for another exhilarating track and field season as spring arrives. We have a mix of new athletes and experienced returners. While we graduated some key New England Champions, the boys' and girls' distance runners look strong this year, including returners Copey Rollins '26 and Sawyer Eaton '25 and new Bearcats Caleigh Lane '27 and Cooper Grace '27. As always, we have a strong core of sprinters led by Maxwell Gathuru '24, Anji Ashaye '24, and Julia Widen '24.

Both squads are looking to better their second-place finishes at the Founders League Championship last year. We are determined to push ourselves beyond our limits, form bonds with our teammates, and discover our full potential, yet also have fun and appreciate being with each other.  

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