Coach’s Corner “I want to win,” said new swim coach Bill Burris. A swimmer and product of Mount Laurel’s Larchmont Swim Club, Burris joins MFS with no previous coaching experience. However, he and assistant coach Allison Kural are determined to improve the successes of the swim program. “My goals for the season are to progress from where we finished last year,” said Kural. In addition to a new positive energy from Coach Burris and raised expectations for the team, the Foxes have implemented optional Friday morning practices at the Community House pool before school. “We added this morning practice to get in more pool days,” said Kural. “With four pool days this year we will be able to focus our energy and time on training.”
Players to Watch The Foxes will surely miss last year’s sole male senior, superstar swimmer Brandon Beach, but looking to fill that role is freshman Evan Fenska. Fenska has been swimming for Jersey Wahoos since he was nine years old. His main strokes are backstroke and freestyle, though he is extremely talented in all events. His most recent 100 yard freestyle time was 54.51, which would place 1st in FSL competition. When asked how he would help the team win, Fenska humbly replied, “I’ll have to see my competition.”
On the girls’ side, star swimmer Stephanie Walker’s graduation last year leaves a void that will likely be filled in part by senior Marirose Aleardi. Swimming in her fourth year at MFS and co-captaining the team, Aleardi has consistently placed well in Friends School meets. In last season’s Friends League Championships, she earned third in both the 100 yard freestyle and backstroke, and aims to do even better this year. “A first or second place finish would be amazing, but that will require a lot of work. I at least hope to keep that third place title…Hopefully this season will be another successful one.”
Last Season The boys’ team finished 2-7 last year, while the girls posted a 3-7 record. The Foxes enjoyed individual success in the Friends League Championships with a 4th place finish from sophomore Rebecca Berg in the 100 yard breaststroke, a 6th place finish from junior Ed Gelernt in the 500 yard freestyle, 2nd in the girls’ 200 yard medley relay and 4th in both the boys’ and girls’ 200 yard freestyle relays. Both teams earned 4th place overall in the meet.
The Foxes opened their season with a 112-64 loss to West Deptford on December 10th. They kick off Friends League competition on January 9th against Shipley and Westtown.
Coach’s Corner This year, the fencing team has undergone a change in practice location. South Jersey Fencing Academy closed down, forcing the Foxes to practice in the West Building and practice gym along with some practices in the fitness center with a personal fencing trainer. “[The fitness center] will allow us to be a stronger team as the season wears on compared to previous years,” commented first year head coach Michael McGinn. The team lost several key players due to graduation, but McGinn believes that they have the depth to fill in the gaps. “Leah Gimeno could step up big for us this year for épée. On the boys side, I think John Barton, Michael Le, and Calum Boone can make strong gains this year.” Although they may rely on underclassmen to step up, the team’s goals “are always to do well in every meet… The boys’ team, even after losing several strong guys from last years class, look to continue the growth in every weapon.”
Players to Watch Senior Erin Chen has been fencing since she was 14 years old and has competed with the varsity squad at MFS since her freshman year. Last year, Chen earned 9th place in the Sabre Individual New Jersey State Championships and ended her season with a stunning 24-2 record. She remarked that she wants “to do the best I can, hopefully go to states, [and] compete.”
On the boys’ team, junior Jacob Desman will hope to be a leader on the sabre squad. Desman, who fences year round at Infinity Fencing Alliance in Swedesboro, also began the sport his freshman year. “I’m trying to improve on my performance from last year,” he commented. “Hopefully that will help the sabre squad in districts and our success as a team.”
Last Season The boys’ squad had a tough season last year, garnering a 1-7 record, but nonetheless remain positive. “We have a lot of newbies, so we can build up our épée and our foil squad,” said senior Jake Rosvold.
The girls fenced their way to more success with a 6-3 record, as the sabre squad earned 2nd in Districts and went on to place 6th out of a total of 20 schools in the sabre state competition.
The boys will start the new season on December 17th against St. Benedict’s, and the girls will face W. Windsor North on January 5th.
Last Year Last season saw marked improvement for the Foxes, as their Friends League record reached the .500 mark for the first time in several years. They won four more games than the previous year and took home the Quaker cup championship at the end of the season. Then-senior Joe Beideman earned All Friends League Honorable Mention, the first Fox to receive the honor in five years.
Coach’s Corner Coach Colin Haynes hopes that the Foxes can build on last year’s success. “Fortunately we return many players who have received Varsity minutes last season. Our hope is with that experience, and continuing to improve, they will be ready to step up into more significant roles this season.” His goals include having fun, winning the Audubon Holiday Tournament, and making the Friends League and NJSIAA playoffs.
Players to Watch Coach Haynes stressed that the team is returning a strong nucleus of players who have plenty of experience together. In particular, Haynes advised to watch out for a breakout season from junior Jordan White. “He has worked extremely hard over the summer improving his game and skills.” A three year Varsity veteran, White led the team with 40 3-point field goals last year.
Last Year Last season was a successful one for the girls’ basketball team. They went 15-7 and capped the season with a Quaker Cup championship. Then-senior Alaina Shivers broke the school record for most 3-pointers in a single season and was named Honorable Mention All Friends League.
Coach’s Corner Coach Mike Brunswick said that his goals for this team include making the state tournament and the Friends League playoffs. He thinks this year’s team should be very well-rounded. He emphasized that avoiding injuries is paramount to the team’s success. “If we stay healthy, we can do at least as well [as], if not be better than, last year.”
Players to Watch Coach Brunswick stressed that this year it is really about a team effort. “That’s the great thing about this team. They all have the ability to score, play defense, rebound…It could be two or three people at any given game or time taking the lead.”