2017-2018 Winter Sports Preview

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As fall sports are starting to end, winter sports are right around the corner. All the sports start Monday, November 6 and end by the first week of March. This year SEM offers four winter sports: fencing, basketball, junior and varsity bowling and squash. The sign-up email was sent out this Wednesday, Oct. 11 asking girls to pick which one they would like to participate in.

There has been some commotion about the athletic department which has cut out two sports. Last year, winter sports included A.B.C. which stood for Athletic Boot Camp and winter crew. Some girls were very upset over the loss of their favorite winter sport. Shelby Kmidowski ’18 said referring to A.B.C., “It was such a great workout, it’s sad to see it go especially without a warning.” Referring to the loss of winter crew, Anya Casey ’19 said, “I’m still going to erg, it just sucks that all that work doesn’t count as a sport.”

The fencing coach is still to be determined after the coach of the last four years, Wesley Roberts was deployed to Germany, where he is a Marine. That will not stop the team from starting practices on November 6. The practices take place at SEM in the gym, every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Last year there were seven girls on the team. Maddie Love ’19 started fencing at her first year at SEM and now is the captain, as a junior. “Last year it was a very strict sport and many girls didn’t follow that, so hopefully the new coach is a little more sympathetic yet still structured to help get the girls inspired,” Maddie said.  “SEM girls should sign up for Varsity fencing because it’s such a rare sport, like honestly how many girls can actually say that they fenced for their school?” 

Aileen Cotter ’18 working on her strike at practice.

JV and Varsity bowling are known around SEM as being one of the most fun sports to join. Both teams are coached by Edi and Jim Dref, who also coach the golf team. The practices are at Classic Lanes and Tonawanda Lanes on Monday through Thursday, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The matches take place at Classic Lanes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Last year on bowling, there were seven girls on JV and five on varsity. Two seniors at SEM, Madison Rich and Janie Wyckoff, are both excited to start the season yet also saddened to know that this is there last year. They both started sophomore year and have done it ever since. Janie said that girls should join bowling because “You don’t have to know a lot about bowling to have fun. It’s a great time!”

Cara DeRose ’18 practicing with her sister Petra DeRose ’20 in SEM’s squash courts.

One of SEM’s most popular sports is squash. Last year it was the second largest team, with twelve girls. The coach is Phil Barth, who has been coaching SEM’s squash team for many years now. The practices are held in SEM’s own squash courts in the gym every Monday through Friday from 3:45-5:45 p.m. The past three years, the team has traveled to the US Squash National Championships and won Division V each time. The team’s goal is to win it again this year but it may be difficult because three of last year’s most experienced team members have graduated, including the captain. Erin Griffis ’19 however still believes. “We have a chance, it may be harder but that just means we have got to try more and practice harder. We did great last year and we’re going to do it again this year.” Erin said girls should sign up for varsity squash because “It’s a great bonding experience and you make awesome new friends while playing a fun sport.”

Last but certainly not least is basketball. The coaches are SEM’s athletic directors, Eva Cunningham and Kacie Mills. Last year there were fourteen girls, making it the largest winter sports team. The practices start November 6 at the Knights of Columbus gym. The practices and games are every weekday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Like squash, the basketball team lost a significant number of girls at graduation (6). While this is a setback, the girls this year are ready to fill the shoes last year’s seniors have left for them.

Bridget Conboy ’19 has played basketball her every year since her first at SEM, and before that she started playing in second grade. “We did lose many valuable players, but the whole team still has a great mindset going into this season. I think we can all live up to what was there last year.” Bridget believes that new girls should join the basketball team because it’s fun and it’s a learning experience.

If SEM’s winter sports aren’t calling there is UGOSEM, a new program designed by our athletic directors and SEM’s new personal trainer, Jordan Marwin. Students follow a personalized plan throughout the trimester and log the hours online – which replaces traditional gym class. No matter what the choice, SEM students can stay fit and healthy, all while having fun.