How Williston’s Athletes Stay Sharp in the Off Season



DA VFH vs. SPS 100822

As the fall sports season begins to wind down, many Williston students and teams are already gearing up for the winter season. Williston offers open pool, court, and rink times for athletes in their off-season to ensure teams are in shape and ready to go, and our reigning champions have been taking advantage of these much as possible.

Last year Williston had two winter teams win NEPSAC championships: Boys Swimming and Girls Ice Hockey. Both teams had impressive seasons and incredible records: Boys swimming went 9-1 in regular season meets. while Girls Hockey was 24-1.

During the fall, many of the members of the Boys Swim team compete on the water polo team. This gives them the opportunity to stay in shape while also getting some much-needed time in the pool.

Senior Swim and Water Polo captain Jack Coscia has been on both teams since he was in middle school.

“Playing water polo in the fall helps me prepare physically for the season ahead, both in the pool and in the weight room” Jack, a day student from Holyoke, Mass., said. “The amount of swimming we do in transitions during a water polo game helps me get my endurance, and swim-offs help me get my speed up. Water polo weight training also helps me stay strong and explosive for swimming.”

David Koritkoski, the Head Coach for both the Boys and the Girls Swim teams, urges many swimmers to play water polo.

“It is great cross training” he said. “It’s always good to be in the water. Coach [Bill] Berghoff does a great job of getting the boys in shape.”

Jack and Dyson Haaland are the only two swimmers on the team who have been members since freshman year. Over the past three years, both swimmers have a regular season record of 23-1.

Last year the Boys Swim team had four seniors graduate. Each was instrumental to their NEPSAC win, leaving the team with many people who need to fill their roles.

“We have some super big shoes to fill this year,” Jack explained. “I am really looking forward to the season because I know the Boys team has a lot of potential.”

The Girls Varsity Hockey team was arguably one of the most talked about teams on campus last year. Their games were a hot commodity around campus; students and faculty packed the rink to watch the championship team.

Four-year senior Emily Crovo knows this year is different than last, but is taking the initiative to bring her relatively new group of girls together.

“I am keeping an open mindset because this is a very different team from last year. We graduated seven seniors last season and had seven new players come in this year,” she said. “We have done a really good job at gelling with the team and have really tried to bring the newcomers under our wing.”

Similarly to the Boys Swim team, members of the Girls Hockey team also compete on various other teams in the fall.

Head Girls Hockey Coach and Williston Alumni Christa Talbot Syfu, class of ’98, explained the importance of playing sports in the off-season.

“I believe if you want to be the best athlete you can be, then you need to be an athlete every day,” she said. “Field hockey and soccer have some transferable skills, but more importantly, the girls on these teams are competing hard every day, pushing themselves and others, working on their mental skills, and are part of a team.”

Even while out of season for their main sports, the members of the Hockey team are both leaders on and off the field. Two seniors from the Hockey team are captains for their fall sports: Emily is one of the captains for the Girls Soccer Team while Katherine Kang is a captain for the Girls Field Hockey team.

The Girls Hockey team puts in the work even when they are not at Williston in order to better themselves and the team as a whole.

“The girls on our team all play club hockey,” Talbot Syfu said. “These teams start in the spring with tryouts, practice and play over the summer, fall and spring. These teams are generally composed of prep school players, who also aspire to play college hockey.  All of the girls also train in the summer to work on their strength and fitness.”

With only three weeks left until the start of the season, many are eager to begin.

Jenna Guglielmi, a new Post-Graduate from Branford, CT., admitted she has a mix of anticipation and stress leading up to the season.

“Coming in as a new player to a team that has already won adds a lot of pressure. I am nervous to uphold the expectations the team has,” she said. “Being a new upperclassman is also hard as I am nervous to be a leader. I am just looking forward to being able to produce on the ice.”