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Junior Emily Byrnes was the pride of the Eagles cross country team as she placed 8th in the Passaic County Championships earning All County honors. Senior Allie Steiginga also turned in a strong season and joined Emily on the All League 1st team. The future looks bright for our cross country program as a young middle school team that included just three 8th graders proved to be very competitive this fall. 6th grader Lucas Genuario won two races and turned in some great times at Goffle Brook Park. also medaling (6th place among all boys) at the 16 team, 200 runner Garfield Invitational!
Congratulations are in order for girls varsity soccer coach Laura (Kuiken) Royle and husband Simon as they expect their first child this spring! The team bid farewell to their coach with another solid season including 9 wins and a well played 1-1 tie in their rematch with Rutherford. Sophomore Amanda Faber took big steps forward, leading the team with 24 goals and tieing senior midfielder Tori Holmes with 10 assists on the season.
Boys soccer thrilled some large crowds with a 2-1 homecoming win over Veritas and a tough OT loss vs HCA. Finishing with 3 more wins than last year including a convincing 4-1 season finale over Elmwood Park, most of their young lineup returns next season though contributions by seniors Anthony Avilla on defense and Buddy New in goal will be missed.
The MS boys soccer team turned back to their winning ways this fall finishing with a 6-5 record. The Eagles attack was led and controlled by 8th-graders Evan Hopeck, Ben Visbeen, and Jack Veenema. The defensive line was anchored by 8th-graders Luke Parker, Danny Lazor, and goalkeeper Josh Steen, who finished with 5 shutouts.
Girls tennis, led by the singles trio of sophomore Cara Shotmeyer and seniors Rachel Liu and Brianne Veenstra, finished with another winning record including a rare victory over league rival Rutherford. A young Eagles volleyball team became more competitive as the season progressed, receiving strong performances from senior Tiffany Martin and sophomore Molly Boonstra.
We praise the Lord for a safe and productive season and look forward to competing for His glory in 2018.
LET’S GO EC!
Class of 2017 Senior Athletes
A rainy spring did not put a damper on our athletic program as many in it exceeded expectations and enjoyed fine seasons including some individual champions! The softball team finished with a winning record and 12 wins including two in the state tournament. Junior Tiffany Martin led the team with a .413 batting average and 27 RBI, while senior Carina Castagna batted .395 and sophomore Alex Griffin .391 with 21 RBI. Coach Ben Kuiken’s golf team had it’s best league tournament performance in many years, finishing 2nd behind the strong play of juniors Noah Hagedoorn and Clay Sietsma and freshman Judy Baiyunqiqige. Perhaps the spring season’s best performances came from the girl’s track team, where Brooke Van Lenten was crowned the league, county and state group champion in the javelin, Madison Wynbeek the league shot put title, and Emily Byrnes the league 800 meter champion. Emily and Madison were also part of the league champion 4 x 400 relay team with Stephanie Cabral and Katie Hefty, while Brooke Madison, Katie and Abby Rodriguez formed a school record breaking 4 x 100 relay team that won the state sectional! Congratulations to all of our coaches and athletes for a job well done!
The ECMS Eagles just completed a historic track and field season. Both the boys and the girls teams won The NJIC League Championship Meet and the girls also finished 2nd in The Ridgewood Invitational. The girls team was led by the school record setting performances of Madison Libby (long jump and triple jump) and Olivia Prescott (discus and shot put) as well as great all-around performances by Kristen Ghinelli, Kelly Steenstra and Katie Liao. The boys team was led by the throwing duo of Joe Hassanin and Tyler Dykhouse and sprinters Matias Cortes and James Blanco.
As part of the inaugural Eastern Christian School Crew season, the EC ladies rowing team, affectionately dubbed, “The Blue Crew,” took to practice for the first time this season. The long stretches of flat water required for the sport proved to be a difficult hurdle for the launch of the program, but that didn’t stop EC Athletic Director Barry Veenstra from being his typical creative self.
“A typical rowing race requires 2,000 meters of uninterrupted, waveless water,” said Veenstra. “Since that’s a natural feature not readily available in our area, the closest thing we could come up with was right down the street at Oldham Pond.” Veenstra added, “We also considered practicing in the slop water in the bottom of the Haledon Quarry, but there was a lot of red tape in the way there.”
At their home water of Oldham Pond, the Blue Crew, EC’s varsity coxed quadruple scull, is required to turn their craft every 13 strokes in order to go back the other direction. And this watercraft isn’t exactly built for turning. But, in the typical “can do” spirit of Eastern Christian School, the team can’t wait for their first home meet.
“We’ve been practicing our turning technique for days now, said Crew team captain Alyssa Botbyl. “In a competition, other schools will have no idea how to turn their scull. We’re down to only 12 minutes per turn!”
The 598 foot facility, less than one tenth the distance of a typical race, has proven to be a challenge in other ways as well. “We’re constantly dodging geese, great blue herons, egrets, even the occasional errant fishing lure from an exuberant local fisherman,” said Botbyl. “But as coach always yells to the back of the boat, those obstacles just make us stronger as a team. Every goose we dodge represents another stoke toward victory!”
Athletic Director Barry Veenstra appreciated the team’s spirit and hinted at even more uses for Oldham Pond in the future. “Who knows, maybe you’ll see more Eagles water sports in the future,” pondered Veenstra. “Water polo, swimming, even competitive bass fishing. The sky’s the limit when it comes to Oldham Pond! Well… the sky and that dam at the end of it. In another sense, that dam is quite a legitimate limit as well.”
For more information on ways to support the Crew program at EC, click here to visit the EC Crew official webpage.
At the Passaic County Coaches Association Honor Award dinner on 3/22 coach Joel Apol was honored for two elite milestone achievements: 100 wins in girls track and 200 wins in boy cross country!! Jeff Botbyl was also honored for his many years of service to the athletic department as a coach in the baseball, softball and soccer programs and most recently as an administrator. We give thanks for both of these men of faith and their dedication and significant contributions to our programs!