“It’s not how you start but how you finish!” would have been a fitting motto for our team this season. After winning the regular season last year and losing in the playoffs to a rowdy Loyola team, the boys knew from the final out last season that we had our work cut out for us if we were going to repeat without last year’s league MVP, Alec Morea ‘15, who graduated. The boys took it upon themselves to get their bodies ready to compete and their skills up to par. After two easy wins to start the season, Browning struggled to maintain our swagger and poise which made us so tough in years past.
We dropped six league contests in a row (and seven overall) headed in to the final week tied for last place in the NYCAL. This is when the boys flipped the switch, winning our final two regular season games to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot. Although we were set to face off with undefeated league champion Columbia Prep, we had completely regained our team “grit!” In the two regular season games, Columbia had beaten us 13-3 and 12-4, so it wasn’t going to be easy. The boys dismantled the Lions, 6-0, in the semi-finals, thanks to a dominant performance by freshman sensation Shazeb Dayani on the hill and supported by the whole team. This set the table for the final rematch between Loyola and Browning. Like last year, we led by four runs headed into the late innings, and also like last year, Loyola battled back to tie the game late. But unlike last year, this time the boys showed their “Panther pride” and scored in the top of the final inning to bring home the title where it belongs. This was a special group of boys and one that we have been very proud to coach and even more proud to have represent Browning! Here’s to the 2016 NYCAL Postseason Champions!
-Coaches Andrew West, Mike Cohn, Matt Brown and Lauck Blake
Lead by co-captains Del Schunk ‘16 and Andrew Bendo ‘16, the varsity tennis team finished the season as league runner-up with a record of 6-2, and as league tournament runner-up, missing our sixth straight title by only one point. The team showed great chemistry in supporting each other, and every player had an opportunity to gain valuable match play experience.
Our starting singles players earned Browning MVP Awards for winning seven out of their eight league matches. Del earned an All League Team Player Award and the All League Team MVP Award, while George earned an All League Team Player Award.
Equally impressive, the team earned the All League Sportsmanship Award.
Del ends his Browning tennis career as the “winningest” player in the last 25 years, having not lost one of his 34 league matches (he retired from one due to leg cramps) and going undefeated in six straight League Tournaments. Interest continued to be large with over 22 boys vying for a limited number of spots during pre-Spring Break tryouts.
-Coach Michael Klein
On May 16, the boys participated with determination and great spirit in the NYCAL championships at River Banks Stadium. Given the difficult context, I simply asked our runners to enjoy the meet, have a pleasant time and concentrate their energy on our strongest areas, the three relay races. This strategy worked rather well, and the boys did satisfactorily in those three events. We placed fourth overall, and we can be very proud of the boys. The relays are really the most spectacular races, and watching them gave me chills. Yvan Maslennikov, Brandon Keno, Gubbins Connor and Jack Germano placed third in the 4 x 800. The quartet of Michael O’Connor, David Eisman, Alexander Young and Connor Harkins ran the 4 x 400 with poise and courage. The same runners did not do as well as expected in the 4 x 1000 (fourth). Captain Connor Harkins, who had been impeccable during the entire season, finished second in the 400 and the long jump. We did not have any runners qualifying for the 1600 and the 200, which prevented Browning from gaining a few more points in the general classification and maybe coming before Columbia Prep. Browning came in fourth (40) of seven schools in terms of team rankings, with 10 events scored.
-Coach Dominique Bernard
With only one senior on the team and the majority of the players from seventh and eighth grades, it looked to be a tough season playing at the Mosholu Golf Course in the Bronx. Early on in the campaign, the boys struggled with course conditions and weather but eventually came to grips, and the scores started to lower. By the end of the season, our lowest score for nine holes was 24 strokes better than our highest score! That is some improvement!
The Golfing Panthers tied for second place in the league with a 4-4 record. Next year’s team should be able to build on their experiences from this year.
I look forward to any new talent that may come up through the ranks, keeping the golfing tradition going here at Browning.
-Coach David Watson
The varsity basketball team had an up and down season marked by inspiring victories, outstanding team and individual efforts, and some growing pains. After reaching the LREI Tournament Championship game early in the season, the boys participated in the annual Thanksgiving Barclays game against Churchill and turned in a valiant performance.
League play wasn’t as kind to the Panthers, but the team finally hit its stride late in the season. In addition to winning four of their final eight games, the Panthers competed neck and neck with two of the top teams in the league, nearly earning a post-season bid during the final week of competition. The Panthers doubled their win total from last year, showed tremendous growth as a team, and finished the season playing their best basketball. The boys have much to proud of and are rightly optimistic about the future. We thank our Form VI players, Will Jacob ’16, Karsten Monteverde ’16 and Harris Russell ’16, for all of their hard work and leadership, and we wish them all the best in the future. View photos.
–Coaches Dan Ragsdale, Michael Cohn and Matt Formato
The season for the junior varsity Panthers was an eventful one. Through the ups and downs, the team stuck together, dealt with injuries and persevered through some dramatic games. This year’s promising freshman class was the backbone of the team for much of the season. Despite their neophyte status, several members of the freshman class grew immensely throughout the season.
The Panthers finished 9-12 overall and 4-8 in league play. For the first time in a long time, the JV squad had a chance to clinch a playoff berth but were unable to beat a talented Calhoun team to earn the spot in late January. Despite the disappointing loss, the team continued to fight and ended the season on a high note against Trinity in what may have been the highlight of the entire season.
Buoyed by the support of their rabid fans comprised not only of the student body but also many of the faculty, the JV team made a valiant comeback at home to win the game by 11 points. Emotions were at an all-time high in a positive way and, given the circumstances, the season could not have ended any better for the JV squad. The future is bright for Browning basketball on all levels, and we are looking forward to more success next year. View photos.
–Coach James Miller
The Browning varsity squash team finished its first year with an impressive record of six wins and three losses. This stat is all the more impressive because we faced much older and experienced players. Our varsity team is relatively young – the four oldest players are in Form IV and the other eight are in the younger grades. The age and size discrepancy largely contributed to our losses, which were nonetheless all close matches. Most important, everyone had fun, and we look forward to a much more competitive season next year. View photos.
–Coach Roland Lafontant
The seventh and eighth grade Red team had a strong season, winning 13 out of 15 games (10-2 conference), and defeating the top seed in the league, Columbia Prep, on their home court. Browning led the league in defense, only allowing on average 20 points a game. The team was well known for their pressure “havoc” trapping style defense. Leading that pressure were William Bousquette ’21 and Maxwell Beem ’20. The Browning Big-3 comprised of William Hatfield ’20, Robert Michaelson ’20 and Hercules Sotos ’21, were a dominant back line who valued rebounding and blocking shots. Skyler Bell ’21 led the offense, and his speed and dribbling skills created lots of scoring opportunities for him and his teammates. Skyler also led the team in points per game with just over 12 per game. Every player contributed to the success of the team, and in 10 out of 15 games, every player on the team scored at least once. View photos.
–Coaches Lauck Blake and Gerald Colds
With this collection of 16 young men, the phrase “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” could not be more true. Individually this team was made up of some beginners and some boys who lacked confidence, but once they came together they were a force to be reckoned with.
With hard work, trust and the occasional happenstance of remembering a play, this team finished the season 10-2. While it took a lot to get there, the great thing is that they arrived together... as a TEAM! The lessons learned on the basketball court this season will be invaluable tools in each boy's game of life. It was a pleasure taking this journey with this team, and to all Browning Panthers... Excelsior! View photos.
–Coaches Lance Williams, Elijah Franze and Andrew Wolf
The sixth grade team had big sneakers to fill this year, after last year's undefeated season. The team started strong, winning games that on paper they could have easily lost. The best game of the season was against a strong and big Allen Stevenson, which the Mini Panthers won by one point. Although the team finished with a 3-5 record, at no time did the boys throw in the towel; they should be proud of their commitment and their ability to stick to the task and give their all.
A special mention must go to William Rich ’22, who was our top scorer for the season with 87 points from eight games and led the team by example. I look forward to watching these youngsters compete for spots on the seventh and eighth grade team next year. View photos.
–Coach David Watson
The fifth grade team had a great learning experience in their first season of Browning athletics. The purpose of fifth grade basketball is to teach fundamental skills, sportsmanship and how to be a good teammate. These boys are a tight-knit group of friends who competed with class. Though the boys finished the season with only one win, they learned the fundamental skills and tactical awareness necessary to be successful at the next level. View photos.
–Coach Matthew Brown
This season started with a successful soccer camp in late August with a record number of players in attendance. But no sooner that the boys had returned than the first match was upon them, taking them by surprise. Although the match was a tie, the Panthers allowed a late-tying goal, and, unfortunately, that seemed to be the theme for most of the season.
The boys played hard and competed well in every match but would lose by the odd goal in a number of fixtures. Added to that, the squad lost two of their defensive starters in mid-season, which affected the make-up of the team.
However, the players certainly improved over the course of the year, and I look forward to 2016 with the core of players returning to do battle on the fields at Randall’s Island. View photos.
--Coach David Watson
This was a rebuilding year for junior varsity as we welcomed many new players to the team, a number of whom were new to the sport. Despite the challenges, the group became a solid unit by the end of the year. We started building from the back, focusing on making our opponents earn (almost) every goal they scored. By mid-season, we were adept at the possession game, often holding the ball for the majority of matches even when we came up short on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, the goal-scoring aspect of the game eluded us through the end of the season, and consequently, looking at our results does not adequately represent the progress this team made over the course of the season. This was a team that played like a team. We had no single player who stood out, but rather, the coordinated efforts of each boy made this season a valuable experience. View photos.
--Coaches Jeff Lisciandrello and Lauck Blake
The varsity cross country team participated in the NYCAL Championships at Van Cortland Park. With a slight breeze and a sunny sky, the running conditions were excellent, but the tone of the event was somber following the loss of the young man from Loyola earlier in the week. Spectators, coaches and participants observed a moving minute of silence in his memory. In terms of Browning’s runners, Ivan Maslennikov, the captain and best runner on the team, was suffering from a cold and made the wise decision not to run. Moreover, two weeks ago, one the five top runners decided to quit the cross-country squad for personal reasons. As a result, Browning's remaining runners, feeling diminished both in number and morale, struggled to generate the energy and focus required for a strong finish. I, along with the boys who are committed to the sport, are eager to put this season behind us and focus on energy in the 2016 season. View photos.
--Coach Dominique Bernard
The seventh and eighth grade soccer team had a very successful season. We had a very deep team of boys who competed all season long, showing marked improvement both individually and as a team. The boys were quite possibly playing their best soccer as the season came to a close. We finished with a 6-4-1 overall record, finishing the season strong with three straight victories. It was a pleasure coaching the boys this season, and as coaches we were very pleased with the progress they made since the start of the year. The future is bright for next year’s team as we bring back a lot of talent and experience. We wish our departing eight graders good luck, and we know they will have a profound impact on the Upper School soccer program next year. Thanks for a great season! View photos.
--Coaches Matt Brown and Mike Cohn
Having just completed my second season with the Middle School cross country runners, I am pleased to report that interest in running and enthusiasm for the team remains high and has even increased since last year. The team boasted 10 runners this year. Ryan Aotani’s injury early on put him on the disabled list for the entirety of the season, which was a setback that revealed some weaknesses in the team. Co-captains Alex Kwok and Sharif Nsouli did an excellent job of marshaling the runners, leading stretching circles, keeping times, and suggesting routes. Giovanni Taveras and Alex Naber proved themselves the fastest of their teammates, finishing in the top 10 at the final meet. The competition between them was healthy and invigorating for the whole team. Logan Flynn, Alec Candidato, Keaton Ramey and Christian Kim were consistently ready to run with good attitudes, each of them getting stronger and more confident every week. Eric Sigg taught us all valuable techniques and demonstrated the value of regular running on one’s own time. His dedication to the sport and the enthusiasm of all the runners promise great things for next year’s Middle School and varsity teams. Indeed, a good number of our runners are interested in doing more this year by petitioning to join the Winter Running Club and Track teams. View photos.
--Coach John Young
On November 3, the Randall's Island soccer season concluded with a game in Central Park vs. St. Bernard's involving a select group of Browning fifth and sixth grade boys who show real promise in soccer. St. Bernard's dominated play throughout the game, with a final score of 8-1. The Browning boys exhibited good citizenship on and off the field, day in and day out. The young Panthers fared much better in a game held last week vs. St. David's, where Browning was victorious by a score of 2-0.
However, the bulk of the season is not reflected in these two very special games played by 20 Browning boys, but rather in an intramural tournament involving all 57 of the boys.
Coach West, Coach Wolf and I felt that this was one of our best seasons ever, with a high level of play on the field and with an ever-increasing level of sportsmanship and positive teamwork amongst the boys. Our focus was to help each boy grow stronger and more confident in his soccer abilities and to help them realize that they each have a valuable contribution to make to the team.
Please congratulate these young men on a job well done. View photos.
--Coach Marcia Wallace
The varsity baseball team had a very successful 2015 season. Finishing with a 6-4 regular season record, the team clinched the NYCAL 2015 regular season championship and secured a berth in the NYSAIS Tournament. Led by co-captains Alec Morea ’15 and Junior Anthony Carrasco ’16, the boys had both the most prolific offense and the stingiest pitching staff in the league. The team played excellent defense and displayed great team chemistry, jumpstarted with our spring training trip to Florida in the pre-season.
With a young, deep and talented team returning next year, Browning is poised to build on their excellent season in the future, but it will be tough to replace our ace, Alec! We have never been more proud to be the coaches of such a wonderful group of gentlemen. Go, Panthers! –Coaches West, Zeuner, Brown and Cohn
The Panthers had a very successful season, finishing 6-2 in league play and 7-3 overall. They ended the season by earning their unprecedented fifth straight NYCAL Tournament title.
Singles players Del Schunk ’16 at #1, George Allen ’17 at #2 and Jaime Gomez-Sotomayor-Roel ’18 at #3 anchored the team, with George and Del earning medals in the tournament.
Doubles teams Oliver Obeid ’20 and Calvin Sherman ’19 playing as #1 doubles won a medal in the tournament. William Abelt ’15 and Peter Florescu ’15 playing as # 2 doubles evolved their play consistently throughout the season, culminating with their last tournament match victory to secure the title for Browning by one point.
Each of the alternate players, Teddy Florescu ’18, Grant Thompson ’18 and Sharif “Reef” Nsouli ’20, gained valuable match experience and contributed to the team’s success.
Del Schunk earned the MVP award for his fifth straight undefeated season in league play, and Oliver Obeid earned the Rookie of the Year award for his multiple victories in both doubles and singles.
Above all, our captains Peter Florescu ’15 and William Abelt ’15 led by example, with our players exhibiting respect for the game through their sportsmanship all season. Thank you to the Browning community for their support.–Coach Klein