Junior Team Set to Rebuild After a Successful Season

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Nate Boak ’20 (Photo: Mr. Mchael Aldridge).

Northwood’s Junior Hockey Team has had a lot of success in the past few years, including ending last season ranked 4th out of 139 teams. Led by celebrated coaches Trevor Gilligan and Chadd Cassidy, the 2018-19 squad made it to the USA Hockey Tier I U18 National Championships but lost in the semi finals.

With only three returning players from last year’s team, this is a rebuilding year. When asked how the team is doing so far, head coach Chadd Cassidy said, “To be honest I don’t know what the potential of the team is yet, because we are just getting started and the players are getting acclimated. We have so many players that aren’t used to the style and the system that we play and haven’t played at this level before. So it’s going to be a learning process in the beginning, but we have three really good returning players that are great leaders for us.”

Defenseman Nate Boak ‘20, one of the returning players, said, “It is different since there are only three returners on the team, but we see it more as an opportunity than a challenge. We will have to battle through adversity at some points and things might not go the way we want all the time but that’s a part of growing,” said Boak. “Just like past years, our team will develop into a family. The most important factor is time, it’s not gonna happen overnight,” he added.

Cassidy, Boak and rest of the team are ready to face new challenges and help this new team evolve into something greater. Boak is optimistic. “Just like past years our team will develop into a family,” he said.

The Huskies lost a 2-game home-and-home against New York State Tier I rival CP Dynamo and this weekend they face stiffer opponents. Husky-watchers are asking: Can they continue the legacy?

Soccer Bests Berkshire

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Northwood School’s starting eleven versus Berkshire School on September 11, 2019 (Source: Black Rock FC).

The Northwood boys’ soccer team believed they were the best prep team in the country last season, but they never had the chance to prove it. Berkshire School, which held the top spot in the rankings, cancelled a fall 2018 game with Northwood, preventing the Huskies from ascending to the top of the prep soccer rankings in their first year of the elite soccer program.

The expectations for the game last Wednesday, September 11th, were high, especially for John Sinclair  ‘20, a postgraduate who graduated from Berkshire School last year. “I knew it would be high tensions,” Sinclair said, “and it would be a very physical and intense match.”

Indeed, it was a tough game for Northwood, who got their first goal with an amazing kick by Luke Smith ‘21 from outside the eighteen. Eitan Rosen  ‘20 said, “It was a phenomenal goal–a real piece of class that broke the ice in a tight game.”

Video: Luke Smith ’21 scored the first goal versus Berkshire (Video credit: Berkshire School)

The Huskies were able to maintain the advantage until the second half, when Berkshire scored on a penalty kick to tie the game. But this setback didn’t deflate the Huskies. “I felt we had to keep playing our style of play: don’t force anything and eventually we would get the goal,” said Ryan Combe ‘20.

Northwood had never given up on a victory that seemed reachable. With about five minutes remaining in the game, Mateo Rodriguez  ‘20 headed a corner kick ball into Berkshire’s net, scoring the game-winning goal. Despite Berkshire’s attempts to tie the game, the Huskies controlled the game until the end.

When the final whistle was heard and the game finished, the rivals became friends again. “After the game, a lot of my friends at Berkshire came over to me, and it was a really great feeling to see them stay after the game and greet me!” said Sinclair, who described the Northwood win as “bittersweet” at a school meeting assembly last Friday.

Rankings haven’t been released since the game, but Northwood’s players and coaches expect the Huskies to earn the top spot when national prep rankings are updated on Top Drawer Soccer.

Northwood coach Mr. John Moodey was the soccer coach at Berkshire before starting Northwood’s program two years ago. “It was a good outcome,” said Moodey. “[The team] has only been together for a week, so I am happy with the result. There were really good moments for us, and we showed some of our potential,” he added. “Obviously we made some mistakes and weren’t perfect, but it was a good first step as we begin our season.” He had always believed that the Northwood soccer players had the ability, the chemistry, and the character to win the game.

Now that the boys have overcome this first challenge, the main goal for this year is to build a strong sense of community within the team to get the strongest chemistry possible and to continue getting great results.

26 Prizes Awarded at Banquet

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Recipients of athletic and co-curricular awards at the banquet on May 7, 2019.

At the opening of the Athletics and Co-Curricular Awards Banquet, Athletic Director Mr. Gino Riffle said, “The Athletic Banquet is the beginning of the end for the Seniors.” It marks the start of graduation season. The Athletic Banquet is a tradition that honors every athlete and cocurricular participant. For each sport and cocurricular, a coaches award is presented. In other sports, such as tennis and skiing there are awards given that honor notable members of the sports community that are given to the athletes that the coaches feel best honor the ideals of said person. This year, a total of 26 awards were given to 23 students ranging from Hockey to Theater. [Read more…]

Soccer Team Easily Defeats VT State Champ

The inaugural year of Black Rock Residential Academy at Northwood soccer is coming to an end, and it’s been a successful season. Recently, a mixture of U17 and U19 players traveled to Vermont to face Black Watch Premier, the current champion of their section in Vermont.

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Alvaro Garcia ’21 in action earlier this season (photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

Home field advantage wasn’t enough to stop the Black Rock team. Black Rock had a good start in the game where they scored 3 goals in the first 20 minutes and then the goal differential kept getting bigger. The score at the end of the first half was 6-0. Then in the second half, the Black Rock team changed its strategy and the final result of the game was 7-2.

Goal scorers included:

Alvaro Garcia ’21 with two

Luke “Smudge” Smith ’21 with two

Cory Booth ’19 with two

Matias Valenzuela ’19 with one

U19 Soccer Falls Just Short in Semis at Dallas Cup

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Soccer players pose for a photo in Dallas (Photo: Black Rock FC).

Over Spring Break, the Black Rock FC traveled to Dallas, Texas to compete in the annual Dr. Pepper Cup, which is one of the most premier youth soccer competitions held in the United States. The U17s placed second in their group, and the U19’s were edged out by Dynamo Academy in the semi-finals.

U19 Weekend Results: 3-1-1

Game 1: vs Liverpool Football College
Score: Tied 2-2

Game 2: vs RSL-AZ North
Score: Won 2-0

Game 3: vs American Academy of Soccer
Score: Won 4-0

Game 4 (Quarterfinal): vs Barca Academy
Score: Won 4-1

Game 5 (Semi-final): vs Houston Dynamo
Score: Lost in Penalty Kicks

Goalkeeper Bernardo Simoes ‘19 reflected, It was an amazing experience to play against the best teams in the country at the biggest tournament in the U.S. Compared to last year, it was an improvement in terms of results since Black Rock last year only got one point. We made it to the semi-finals this year. It was unfortunate that we didn’t make it to the finals, but we are going to use the experience to do better next year”.

 

U17 Weekend Results: 2-1

Game 1: vs Club Menedy
Score: Won 6-1

Game 2: vs Albion SC
Score: Won 2-0

Game 3: vs FC Dallas Youth Premier
Score: Lost 2-0

Francisco Castillo ‘19 said, “In the beginning, it was very cold. It was getting colder and colder, until you went out and then your body felt better.”

After competing in Dallas, both teams celebrated the successful week with a farewell dinner.

Northwood Spring Sports Preview

It’s been a great school year thus far, and as the snow melts, Northwood turns its attention to the short but sweet spring sports season. This spring, Northwood is fielding boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams, a golf team, and a tennis team. In addition to these spring sports, both of Northwood’s soccer teams and its crew team are finishing up their seasons this spring as well. And as if all of this wasn’t enough, Northwood is also offering a rock climbing club, a mountain biking club, a whitewater rafting club, a water activities club, a basketball club, an art club, and a music club. Every Northwood student must participate in one of these activities.

Now, many of the athletes who only play spring sports are expressing disappointment about the short length of the spring sports season. But while Northwood’s spring sports schedule may only stretch from April 23 to May 11, these three weeks are sure to be packed with excitement. If you don’t believe me, then read on, as I break down what is to come for all of our Northwood sports teams and clubs in the next few weeks.

Boys’ Lacrosse

Boys’ Lacrosse has six games scheduled, with three home games and three road games:

4/30/19 – @ Lasalle – 4:30 PM

5/1/19 – Plattsburgh – 4:00 PM

5/3/19 – @ IHC – 6:30 PM

5/4/19 – @ Massena – 6:00 PM

5/10/19 – Northwood – 4:00 PM

5/11/19 – Northwood – 10:00 AM

 

Girls’ Lacrosse

Girls’ lacrosse has three games scheduled, with one home game and two away games:

4/30/19 – Ogdensburg – 5:00 PM

5/4/19 – @ Massena – 4:00 PM

5/9/19 – @ Canton (Partridge Run) – 5:00 PM

 

Golf

The Golf Team has a three-game schedule, with one home game and two away games:

4/30/19 – @ Massena – 3:15 PM

5/2/19 – @ Canton (Partridge Run) – 3:00 PM

5/3/19 – Massena – 4:00 PM

 

Tennis

The Tennis Team doesn’t have any games planned, but Mr. Donatello is currently working on scheduling the team some matches.

 

Crew Team

Crew Team will be closing out their season with two final meets:

5/4/19 – Scrimmage on Hudson River in Mechanicville, NY – 5:00 PM

5/11/19 – 5/12/19  – New York State Scholastic Rowing Championships on Fish Creek, Saratoga Springs, NY

 

U19 And U17 Soccer Teams

4/28/19 – Both the U19’s and U17’s will be taking Leadership Training and competing in Friendly Games at Roots Sports Complex in Westfield, MA)

5/5/19 – Both the U19’s and U17’s will be competing in the BRFC Prep Academy Spring Showcase – Location TBD

5/11/19 to 5/12/19 – End of Year Retreat

 

It certainly is shaping up to be another fantastic sports season here at Northwood. So if you want to show your school pride and cheer on the Huskies this spring, I highly suggest coming out to some of the games and events these next few weeks.

Quinn Revisits NBA Predictions

Staff writer Kevin Quinn revists and revises his NBA predictions as the regular season comes to a close:

nbaNBA Champion: Golden State Warriors

Midseason Prediction: Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are still one of the greatest teams ever in NBA history. Sure they haven’t quite captured the regular season success of 2015-2016 team who went 73-9, the best ever regular season, despite sporting a much better roster. Draymond Green has been disappointing this season with a dip in his scoring numbers and field goal percentages and Demarcus Cousins hasn’t looked like the player once referred to as the best Center in the NBA since returning from an achilles injury. Still a team with three 2019 All Stars, 2 more former All Stars, and two former league MVPs shouldn’t have trouble winning their third consecutive championship. Midway through the second round of the playoffs, the Warriors are currently facing what many see as their biggest challenge in the Houston Rockets. Cousins went down with a season ending injury in the first round, and Curry has not looked like his MVP self in the Houston series, but it will still be tough to bet against Golden State.

Eastern Conference Champion: Milwaukee Bucks

Midseason Prediction: Toronto Raptors

The Raptors didn’t have a bad second half of the season at all, they continued to be a top team in the Eastern Conference, and made one of the bigger splashes of the trade deadline by trading for veteran Center Marc Gasol. Gasol’s fit with the team still feels awkward. Toronto, a team who likes to run in transition more than almost any other team in the NBA doesn’t seem like the best fit for Gasol, who at 34 has definitely seen better days in his career. The team just seems destined to crumble sometime in the playoffs as they have been known to in years past. The Bucks on the other hand added Forward Nikola Mirotic at the trade deadline who fits their system very well. Mirotic adds height and shooting to a Bucks team that wants to put as much shooting as possible around star Giannis Antetokounmpo. Mirotic hasn’t been exceptional for the Bucks since the trade but he fills a void that the team had before the deadline. When the playoffs begin Malcolm Brogdon should be returning from a foot injury that saw his miss the last month of the season. Brogdon, while not the flashiest player, has had a historic shooting season, joining the elusive 50-40-90 club and is a key to Milwaukee’s success. While I’m not 100% confident in the Bucks, it will be interesting to see if Antetokounmpo can carry the team to the Finals. The Bucks ran through the Detroit Pistons in the first round, a series so lopsided it saw little media coverage. Now they face a big challenge in a very talented Boston Celtics team. Despite dropping game one of the Boston series at home, the Bucks rallied to take the next two games. I still like their chances to come out of the east.

Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo- Milwaukee Bucks

Midseason Prediction: Giannis Antetokounmpo- Milwaukee Bucks

The debate between Antetokounmpo and James Harden of the Houston Rockets for the MVP award is one that’s being had by NBA fans and analysts everyday. Harden has had an amazing offensive season average a ridiculous 36.4 points per game, but I still think the award should go to Antetokounmpo. He plays on a team with a better record, anchors his team’s defense, and gets his way more often than not when attacking the rim. While both players are the lone star carrying teams that would be far out of the playoffs without them, Antetokounmpo should win the award due to his efficiency as a scorer and his presence on the defensive end, an area where Harden has been criticized his whole career.

Rookie of the Year: Luka Doncic- Dallas Mavericks

Midseason Prediction: Luka Doncic- Dallas Mavericks

Midseason the Rookie of the Year award race was cut and dry, Doncic was leaps and bounds above all other first year players in the first half of the season. That was until Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks decided to explode in the second half of the season. Young got off to a slow start but since the All Star Break he has been on a tear. The rookie point guard is averaging 25.0 points per game and 9.2 assists per game since the all star break, before the break he averaged 16.9 points and 7.6 assists on much worse efficiency. Young’s recent hot streak and clutch moments have had players like Donovan Mitchell and Blake Griffin coming out in support of him for the award, but the recent hot streak shouldn’t be enough. Doncic’s efficiency has gone down in the second half of the season, but his year long consistency and more well rounded game should still earn him the honors of Rookie of the Year.

Sixth Man of the Year: Lou Williams- Los Angeles Clippers

Midseason Prediction: Derrick Rose- Minnesota Timberwolves

It was a magical season for Rose, who added new elements to his game and showed flashes of the player he was before injuries. If the NBA had a comeback player of the year award Rose would win it without question. As good as it was for Rose, he missed the tail end of the season with an elbow injury and the Timberwolves are far out of the playoffs in the Western Conference. The Clippers have been one of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season and Williams is a big key to their success. After trading their best player Tobias Harris to Philadelphia at the trade deadline many thought the Clippers were taking a step back and trying to secure a lottery pick in this years draft, but since the trade the Clippers have been one of the NBA’s hottest teams and have already clinched a playoff spot. Williams at 20.2 points per game leads the team in scoring and assists with 5.3 per game, all while coming off the bench. This season Williams passed Dell Curry for all time bench points, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest 6th men of all time. Williams has already one the award twice in 2015 and 2018, and him being honored for a third time seems very likely.

Defensive Player of the Year: Myles Turner- Indiana Pacers

Midseason Prediction: Paul George- Oklahoma City Thunder

A late season collapse saw the Thunder slip all the way down to the bottom of the Western Conference setting up a possible first round matchup, and probable first round exit, with the Golden State Warriors. Part of this was due to time that George missed due to injury. The Pacers seemed doomed and likely to collapse after a season ending injury to All Star guard Victor Oladipo just before the all star break, but have held their own with a roster with no true star. The Pacers are currently 5th in the Eastern Conference, right about where they were when Oladipo went down. Turner anchoring their defense has been a huge key to this success. His 2.7 blocks per game lead the NBA, and the Pacers defense suffers when he’s not on the court. Turner is no sure thing to win the award. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, two of the games best centers, could just as easily take the honors. Turner should be honored for being a big part of the Pacers staying together and winning games when so many people thought they were doomed.

Most Improved Player: Pascal Siakam- Toronto Raptors

Midseason Prediction: Julius Randle- New Orleans Pelicans

Randle has taken a big step this season and his growth this year makes him one of the NBA’s most exciting young talents, but the Pelicans season has been highlighted by the messiness of Anthony Davis’ trade request and his uncertain future with the team. Every other player on the team not named Davis seems to be overshadowed.

Pascal Siakam’s leap forward has seen him go from an important role player to the second leading scorer on a team looking to make a deep run in the Eastern Conference. Siakam’s stats don’t tell the whole story of his contributions to his team, he is a guy who plays with high energy and toughness and does a little bit of everything on the court. He’s deadly in transition and already an elite defender who can guard pretty much every position. He’s makes defenses play tight on him with an ability to score from anywhere on the floor, but doesn’t always need the ball in his hands. D’angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets is also a pick for many to win the award. Russell is making every single Lakers fan scratch their head after the team gave up on the former number 2 overall draft pick after just two seasons. Russell is the leader of a Brooklyn team that surprised many and is currently in a playoff spot and earned his first All Star game selection this year, but Siakam’s ability to do anything on the floor should earn him the award.

Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer- Milwaukee Bucks

Midseason Prediction: Mike Budenholzer- Milwaukee Bucks

There isn’t much to say that I didn’t already say about Budenholzer midseason, in his first year in Milwaukee he has lead a team that was at the bottom of the playoffs a season ago to a championship contender in just one year. This isn’t the first time Budenholzer has had a great regular season as a coach. In 2015 he coached the Atlanta Hawks to a franchise best 60 wins and the best record in the Eastern Conference, but they were swept by Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. It will be interesting to see if an amazing regular season will lead to a postseason collapse for Budenholzer again or if he can take his team all the way to the Finals.

All NBA Teams

1st Team:

G: Stephen Curry- Golden State Warriors

G: James Harden- Houston Rockets

F: Giannis Antetokounmpo- Milwaukee Bucks

F: Kevin Durant- Golden State Warriors

C: Joel Embiid- Philadelphia 76ers

 

2nd Team:

G: Russell Westbrook- Oklahoma City Thunder

G: Damian Lillard- Portland Trail Blazers

F: Paul George- Oklahoma City Thunder

F: Kawhi Leonard- Toronto Raptors

C: Nikola Jokic- Denver Nuggets

 

3rd Team:

G: Kyrie Irving- Boston Celtics

G: Bradley Beal- Washington Wizards

F: Lebron James- Los Angeles Lakers

F: Blake Griffin- Detroit Pistons

C: Karl-Anthony Towns- Minnesota Timberwolves

 

Breaking: Northwood to Add Elite Water Polo Club to Athletic Offerings

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The Grey Stone Water Polo Club believes in developing players with good character and strong values. Beyond the pool, players are committed to excellence in the classroom and throughout their school communities. Over the years, team members have consistently earned some of the highest leadership positions and honors at their respective schools.

April 1, 2019 — High-level water polo will join ice hockey, soccer, and ski racing as signature athletic programs at Northwood School for the 2019-20 school year, according to school officials.

Elite scholastic water polo is found mostly in Southern California and Florida, but Northwood Athletic Director Mr. Gino Riffle believes the Adirondacks will soon be known as one of the sport’s hot spots.

Northwood plans to partner with the well-respected Grey Stone Water Polo Club, based in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Jim Fickle is the head coach and program director at GSWC.

With the abundant lakes and rivers of the Adirondack region, water activities have been featured at Northwood School throughout its history, and the school has well-respected spring offerings in whitewater kayaking and fly fishing, but it offers no aquatic sports at the competitive level equivalent to hockey, skiing, and soccer. Until now.

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Coach Jim Fickle will bring his elite Grey Stone Water Polo Club to Northwood School in the fall of 2019 (Photo provided)

“The idea of building signature academic and athletic programs at Northwood has been here since [Head of School] Mr. Maher came to campus,” said Mr. Riffle. According to Riffle, with water polo, and before that soccer, Northwood is doing more than adding sports; it is building what he called Centers of Excellence. “Athletically, we feel we have Centers of Excellence today in skiing, soccer, and in hockey, and academically, with robotics and innovation and design programs. Water polo will be at that level.”

When news of the water polo program spread on campus, questions emerged, including “Where are they going to get players from?” and “What will their travel be like?”

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Water polo, which will be new to Northwood School in 2019-20, is an exciting and fast-paced sport.

Mr. Riffle had answers. Coach Fickle has already started recruiting players. “He spent a week in California and another in Florida this winter, and I think 800 teams were in Florida for the event,” said Mr. Riffle, who noted the travel for the new water polo athletes will be similar to those of the soccer team. “They will play weekends in the fall against other prep schools. They will travel to four showcase events in the winter and spring months. The schedule will be similar to our current soccer travel.”

Another question was, “How are these athletes going to be able to train in the rough winters of Lake Placid?” Again, Mr. Riffle was able to clear that up. “We are looking into the possibility of an indoor pool facility on campus for training sessions during the winter months. It looks like we can convert our squash court into an indoor pool. In the spring and fall, we will rope off a section of Mirror Lake for training sessions and meets, if that’s what they call water polo games,” said Mr. Riffle.

Student and faculty response to the news was mixed. “I’m not thrilled about sharing our lakefront space with a bunch of ball-throwers,” said crew coach Mr. Howard C. Runyon, “but at least water polo doesn’t smell like hockey.” Fran Castillo ‘19, a soccer player from the Dominican Republic, was incredulous when he learned of the plans. “Water polo? At Northwood? It doesn’t make sense. We are a school known for soccer, and also ice hockey and skiing. I don’t see how anyone will come to Northwood for water polo.”

The team’s first game is tentatively scheduled for September 14, 2019 against Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, which is a national water polo power.

Gilligan Named Head Girls’ Hockey Coach

 

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Trevor Gilligan ’03 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

March 22, 2019 –  At a Girls’ Hockey team meeting yesterday morning, Dean of Students and Athletic Director Gino Riffle announced that Trevor Gilligan ‘03 would be the Head Girls’ Hockey coach for next season, taking over the team from Riffle who has coached Girls’ Hockey for the past two seasons. [Read more…]

Skate it Forward to Raise Funds for 9/11 First Responders

Skate it Forward is a hockey tournament organized by Northwood’s community service group CARE as a fundraiser for an organization dedicated to the first responders of 9/11, the Ray Pfeifer Foundation. [Read more…]

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