GFA winter sports preview
Published 11:49 am, Tuesday, December 3, 2013
GFA is riding coming off one of its most successful seasons. In 2012-13, the Dragons went 24-2, won the New England Class L Championship and captured both the FAA regular season and tournament titles. Three graduates of that team, Sean Obi, Hunter Eggers and Pat Ryan are now playing for Division I college teams.
Leading GFA will be FAA All-League point guard, senior, Matt Tate and New England Championship game MVP, junior Zach Baines. Tate led all New England prep school players in total assists last year. Baines led the team in blocked shots in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Newcomers are junior Jim Djema, and freshman Sunday Okeke, who is from Nigeria.
Tate will be joined by classmate and co-captain Andrew Chase and supported by other seniors Brendan Bieder, Sam Hodge and Max Tarika. Filling out the roster are Dugald Shannon, Patrick Seegers, Matt Smith and Robert Clark.
The Draogons open the season at home Dec. 4 against Chase Collegiate.
The Dragons, who take on Convent of the Sacred Heart Dec. 9, will field just one senior this year in Caroline Kruk. She will be surrounded by a host of juniors including Claire Comey, Lisa Johnson, Campbell Goldsmith, Jenny Ross and transfer Daly Naughton.
GFA, which finished 5-13 last year, also returns second-leading scorer in freshman Lexi Kimball, who also earned FAA Honorable Mention last year as an eighth grader. She will be joined in the backcourt by Goldsmith, and Erin Reilly.
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The GFA roster includes seniors Ryan Schendel, Arthur Doelp, juniors Harry Berman, Scott Brown, Rui Aguiar, Alexander Williams, Colton Manning, Reilly Carter, Colin Hughes and sophomores Jack Davenport , Jack Mackle. Junior Alexander Berman, sophomore Uday Avula, freshmen Robert Marcus and Anders Bottger are all newcomers to the team.
The Dragons have 11 returners including seniors Olivia Taylor, Tia Carson (Westport), Kaitlin Ball, Rachel Cohen (Westport), Arabella Crawford (Westport), Cole Vanacore, juniors Charlotte Kreitler and Page Soper, and sophomores Julia McGonagle, Avery Vanacore, and Isabella Kallassy. Newcomers include sophomores Ingrid Backe, Mary Foster and freshman Emma Peelle.
GFA lost just one wrestler to graduation. Junior captain Riley Grady (126 pounds) returns and will look to stand atop the podium at this year WNEISWA tournament. Junior captain Jad Qaddurah (160) will look to turn a summer of freestyle experience into a championship winning regular season performance. Returning as starters are sophomore Alex McCall (120), junior Kourosh Saghri (132), junior Colin Tauck (145), sophomore George Garland (152), sophomore Seth Henriquez (170), junior Jake Berman (182) and junior Trent Turner (195).