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The team experienced a tremendous year of growth this season by developing footwork, creating space, and finding passes. Coach Brenna Duffy encouraged the girls to exemplify Colossians 3:17 both on and off the field, encouraging one another and giving every game and practice 100%. The team had a great season filled with laughter, sweat, and quite a few goals. Many thanks to 8th graders Brooke Dykhouse, Kierra Faasse, Kaitlyn Greboweic, Brielle Heerema, and Abi Post, who helped inspire, teach, and encourage the team. Also noteworthy was the willingness of Hannah Leegwater to learn the goalkeeper position at the coach’s request and do a phenomenal job anchoring the defense!
Led by coach Kim Meserole, the middle school boys soccer team put the fun in fundamentals while focusing on what they could control: their effort, attitude, commitment and heart. Skill levels varied, but the boys worked hard to make one another better through focused practice, productive communication and a collective spirit of respect. Their efforts not only allowed for an 8-2 record, but created a season in which every member saw significant time on the pitch where they implemented skills and learned from gametime experience. Some take-away lessons included: we play best when we focus on our game; a team, not a player, scores a goal; and, strikers are the first line of defense while the goalie anchors the offense. Many thanks go to 8th graders Joey Baitzel, Briggs Elvgren, Carter Groen, Nick Hopeck, Adam Malastis, Jack Meserole and Gabe Tarta for living out these lessons and for sharing their soccer joy with the team!
First year coach Joe Gendy enjoyed instilling his own passion for running with his team of mostly novice runners who showed marked improvement from beginning to end. The season highlight came in the championship race at Garfield on a cold and blustery day when every team member set their personal record!
With only a few upperclassmen in the program, first year coach Nicole D’Augustine knew this would be a rebuilding season. The varsity rotation featured 4 freshmen and a sophomore who made a lot of progress and played some very competitive matches with the league’s best. Senior libero Joanna Mas anchored the team with solid play throughout and will be missed but with many talented younger players getting involved with playing in the off-season the future looks very bright for the Eagles!
With many of the best freshmen moving up to varsity in the preseason, coach Kelsi Bailey knew she would be teaching a lot of basics and fundamentals. Her hard work paid off as this young team became increasingly more competitive as the season progressed, playing several excellent matches with some of the largest schools in the league. The girls are very enthusiastic about the sport and are looking forward to next season already!
This season allowed the team to simultaneously celebrate the work God has done in the lives of our seniors while also creating great anticipation for what’s coming next for coach Seth Stadtlander’s group. Through the course of injuries and a slightly below .500 season, our seven seniors led by example and demonstrated what it means to represent Christ on the field. They also laid the groundwork for future success, understanding that “we practice like we play and we play to win.” Senior captain Sydney Heinold earned 2nd team all league honors at midfield and fellow captain and goalkeeper Gabbi Angelucci finished her career with 232 saves! Underclassmen also played key roles this season highlighted by Freshman Kirsten Braunius who led the team with 15 goals.
The 2021 Boys Varsity Soccer team will be remembered as one of our best in recent memory and the season provided everything you want in a high school soccer experience. Emotional and hard fought games, opportunities to learn from mistakes, growth in sportsmanship and quality of play, and big wins under the lights supported by incredible, loyal fans. Under 2nd year head coach Rich Troast the boys finished with an amazing end of the season run, winning 5 out of the last 7 games behind Evan Hopeck’s 11 goals and 5 assists in those games. Injuries, Covid and quarantine had sidelined much of the lineup prior to that final run which concluded with two 5-4 games in the state tournament! Even with 10 seniors graduating, the team still looks strong for next year with 7 returning players who earned starting positions or quality playing time this season.
Composed mostly of freshmen, the boys JV soccer team put together a very successful season finishing with a 9-8 record. Despite fielding a different lineup seemingly every game due to players being called up to help the varsity, the team played a consistent and attractive style of soccer that also translated into wins. Coach Max Harvell looks forward to seeing many of these players contribute at the varsity level next year.
The 2021 season proved to be a high water mark in recent history for coach Adam Culp’s girls varsity tennis team. Anchored by senior captain and first singles player Christy Kim, the ladies won 9 of their 14 team matches and finished 4th in the county! Christy posted a winning record against top players in the league and county while Kathy Kim had similar success at 2nd singles including her best played match of the year, a convincing win over powerhouse Villa Walsh in the state tournament. Juliana Hopeck added 8 wins at 3rd singles to round out a solid singles lineup. Doubles players Laurel Vander Pyl, Jamie Kim, Katherine Marshall, Victoria Baitzel, and regular substitute Jaclyn Steenstra all contributed to winning records at both doubles positions. Highlights included a 1st doubles draw and 2nd doubles win over league champion Glen Rock.
For 35 years coach Joel Apol has told his teams that “sports mirror life and unfortunately both come with some hard knocks.” After losing 4 of their top 6 returning runners including Luke Parker to injury and Peter Visser to illness, this season was no exception. The varsity gradually became a mostly freshmen team but demonstrated steady improvement under the invaluable positive leadership of upperclassmen including Luke, Peter and Matt VanderWall. Alex Culp set a new course record for a freshman and along with David Cho formed perhaps the best frosh duo in program history! The future indeed looks promising for ECXC!
Alex Culp: 2nd Team All County and All League
David (Minseo) Cho: Honorable Mention All County and All League
Luke Parker: 2nd Team All League and Honorable Mention All County
Joanna Mas: 2nd Team All County and League
Sadie Vander Pyl: Honorable Mention All County
Jennifer Braunius: Honorable Mention All County
Grace Ivanov: Honorable Mention All League
Christy Kim: 2nd Team All County and 1st Team All Leave
Juliana Hopeck: Honorable Mention All County
Kathy Kim: Honorable Mention All County, 2nd Team All League
Laurel Vander Pyl: 1st Team All League
Jamie Kim: 1st Team All League
Evan Hopeck: 2nd Team All County
Ben Visbeen: Honorable Mention All County
Jack Veenema: Honorable Mention All County
Sydney Heinold: Honorable Mention All County, 2nd Team All League
Gabbi Angelucci: Honorable Mention All County, 2nd Team All League
Kirsten Braunius: Honorable Mention All League
Congratulations for being recognized by the NJIC and/or Passaic County for the talents and gifts you have been blessed with! May the Lord continue working through you by developing your gifts for His glory!