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The Panther Press

The Panther Press

San Domenico winter sports teams make history

Hanyu (Kayla) Li
Students cheer at the NCS Championship on Feb. 23, 2024

The 2023-2024 season marks a significant milestone for our school’s athletics program. For the first time ever, every winter sports team has secured a spot in the playoffs. This accomplishment speaks volumes about the determination, perseverance, and unity demonstrated by our winter athletes throughout the season. It highlights not only their individual skills, but also their collective strengths as a team, showcasing their dedication and hard work on and off the fields and courts. 

If you’re a high school student, I’m sure you have been at a school sports event and experienced being a part of the “student section.”In the world of sports, the student section facilitates a lot of energy and excitement. Sophomore Matilda Hull has attended several games this season. 

“When our team does well, everyone in the student section gets pumped up,” Hull said. “Even when things aren’t going great, we stay positive and hopeful.” 

Win or lose, students stick together, cheering and staying enthusiastic. Their support helps the team keep going and makes the stadium feel alive with energy. Mark Churchill, the athletic director, has noticed how the student section makes a difference. 

“It makes it fun for the athletes… it makes it loud,” Churchill said. “So with all the spectators you know, it feels like ‘Oh my God, this is a big event.’”

Churchill believes that support from fellow classmates makes a difference, but it’s something more than that as well. 

“When it comes down to it, the athletes have to be skilled. They have to be motivated to put all their effort into it, and they have to be [ready] on game day,” Churchill said. 

Furthermore, men’s and women’s soccer and basketball teams reached new heights this year. For women’s soccer, this was the first time they have qualified for the NCS Playoffs. They won their first game against Convent 3-2 with two goals from Carmellina Chikuse and one from Sienna Hearing, advancing them to the NCS Quarterfinals against Urban. Sadly, their season ended at that game with Urban winning 4-1, but their season was still filled with hard work, dedication and laughter. 

Men’s soccer, too, had their season ended in the NCS Quarterfinals losing to Lick 2-1; however, the men had a breakthrough season as well, with it being their first time getting to the NCS Quarterfinals. The game prior they had an amazing upset to the #5 seed Roseland University Prep 1-0, thanks to a goal from Blake Hutchinson.

As far as it goes for women’s basketball, their past two seasons are hard ones to top. Going to the State Finals two years in a row is well deserved for this great group of hardworking women. Although this year they did not make it that far, they arguably had even better accomplishments. They won League Championships against University, as well as won the NCS Division Title. And as if that wasn’t enough, the girls got moved from Division V all the way to Division II. As the #15 seed in Division II, they had a tough game against the #2 seed Vanden which, although they fought hard the whole game and even had a lead for part of it, ended their season. 

At 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, San Domenico students cheered with excitement as the men’s basketball team was about to start the Division V NorCal Finals game. The #1 Seed Athenian was taking on the #2 San Domenico. The men fought hard the whole game, having a lead ending the half. But Athenian came out strong in the second half and secured the title of NorCal Champs, ending the game with a 10 point lead. 

This success has been in the works for several years, and didn’t happen overnight. 

“The goal over the last few years is to get all of our programs up to the point where we all qualify for BCL Championships, and CIFs Championships and then, if we can, the NorCal Championships,” Churchill said. “In fact, all four of our teams not only made it to the postseason, but also won some games and went pretty deep.”

The entire school is proud of these teams and knows how hard they worked to get here. Every practice, every setback and every success have contributed to the athletes’ journey. And win or lose, their sportsmanship and teamwork are evident, setting a strong example for the whole San Domenico community. 

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About the Contributor
Delaney Whaley
Delaney Whaley, Sports Editor
Delaney is a sophomore at San Domenico School. She is a contributor of The Panther Press. She enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.

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