Fall'23 Sports Awards Celebrates Four ESIAC Players of the Year

Fall'23 Sports Awards Celebrates Four ESIAC Players of the Year
Twenty-nine students earned recognition by the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference

Twenty-nine students earned recognition by the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference for the Fall 2023 sports season.

By Athletic Director Josh Breto

The Gunston Herons had 220 student athletes participate in athletics and fitness this fall, which is over 90% of the student body. This includes three team managers across four different teams, with Madi Lutz ’24 managing two teams by herself. There were 11 students participating in independent sports, ranging from equestrian to dance. We had 25 coaches across 12 total teams and finally (and most notably), of those 220 fall student athletes, 56 of them were seniors who completed their final fall season at Gunston. 

Five of our teams earned ESIAC Runner Up for 2023 with one earning the number one spot in their field for the third year in a row. Twenty-two students made ESIAC All-Conference Teams with seven honorable mentions and four ESIAC Players of the Year for volleyball, girls soccer, and boys and girls cross country. 

Join us in celebrating their accomplishments!

Cross Country

2023 ESIAC Boys Cross Country Champions

Cross Country competed in two invitational meets this season, drawing teams from all over the state and region. The first invitational meet this year was the 8th Annual Rumble in the Jungle meet hosted by Cambridge-South Dorchester. Out of a field of over 100 hundred runners, the girls team had two top 25 finishers and placed third overall as a team! The boys also excelled with two top 25 finishers of their own in a field of over 150 runners, earning them 8th place overall out of 18 teams.

The last invitational of the season was the Tidewater Classic in Salisbury where girls finished 13th out of 27 competing teams and had a top 15 finisher out of a field of 200 runners. The boys team placed 21st out of 30 teams and had a top 3 finisher out of over 300 runners. In conference this season the girls won 2 out of 3 meets on their way to becoming the 2023 ESIAC Girls Cross Country Runner ups! Though they missed the championship by a slim margin, Gunston had two top 6 finishers, including the overall first place finisher, Ms. Zoe Buzzelli. In conference this year the boys team went undefeated. At the ESIAC Championship meet, the boys also had two top 6 finishers and the overall first place finisher, Colin Hallmark! 

Good luck to both teams in their last home meet of the season this Thursday before they go on to the MD Private School State Championship on November 9th!
A special thank you to the Seniors: Ben Cook, Colin Hallmark, Devin Merton, Tilghman Overton, Luke Roser, Zoe Buzzelli, Allie Fitzgerald, Taylor Rainer and Isabella Taylor.

Varsity Volleyball

2023 ESIAC Runner Up

The varsity girls team flipped their record from last season, finishing with a regular season record of 12 wins and 2 loses! Out of the 44 sets that the varsity girls volleyball team played this season, they lost a grand total of 6 sets! All 12 of their wins were 3-0 shut-outs. The varsity girls put an exclamation point on their revenge tour of a season by making it to the ESIAC Championship game in just their third year in existence! 

The heart and grit that you guys showed in the finals made us all very proud. Thank you to the Seniors who have truly left their mark on the program: Alice Crouch, Jess Hammond, Madi Lutz and Josie Merton.

JV Volleyball

The JV girls finished with an overall record of 9 wins and 1 loss, and with only one other team in our conference having a JV team, the girls beat some very big and well known programs! Some quick context for anyone not familiar with volleyball scoring so that this next stat truly resonates. To win a JV volleyball game, essentially, it’s best out of 3 sets, or in other words, the first team to win 2 sets, wins. For varsity volleyball, it’s best out of 5 sets or first team to win 3 sets, wins.

Out of the 21 sets that the JV girls team played this season the team lost a grand total of 2 sets! All 9 of their wins were 2-0 shut-outs. In their only loss this year, they forced 3 sets and narrowly lost to IAAM opponent, Indian Creek! 

Girls Soccer (also known as Soccer Island!)

2023 ESIAC Girls Soccer Runner up

Congratulations on an historic season! This season the team nearly flipped their record from last year by finishing 7-2-1 in the regular season and they tripled their scoring from last year, tallying 48 goals in just 10 games! Two of the most thrilling games of the season came against the same opponent—Saints Peter and Paul. The first time was at home early in the regular season and the teams traded goals the whole game and finished with a 3-3 tie after playing double overtime!

The second time was in the ESIAC Semi-Finals at SSPP last Wednesday. After giving up a goal, the Herons stormed back to score 3 unanswered goals and ultimately win 3-2! That win sent the team to their first ESIAC Finals in Gunston Girls Soccer history!
Thank you to the Seniors for all of your contributions to the team: Ellie Hodge, Amber Tormey and Arielle Tyler.

Field Hockey

2023 ESIAC Runner Ups

Field Hockey hit the ground running this year. They started off the season by beating Laurel High School 7-0 (a Delaware public school triple our size), and Annapolis Area Christian School 9-0 and Indian Creek 5-0 (both of whom are part of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland). The team didn’t give up a single goal until their fourth game of the season! The team finished with an overall regular season record of 7-2 and in all 7 wins they gave up a grand total of 0 goals! That is 420 minutes of play without allowing a single goal! Over the course of the regular season, the team scored 39 goals in 9 games! That’s an average of 4 goals a game! Which is even higher than their record setting year from last year. 

Before last season, it had been over a decade since we had a Field Hockey team make it to the ESIAC Championship game. You have now gone to the finals two years in a row!  You all have absolutely established yourselves as one of the better field hockey programs in the area. A special thank you to the Seniors for everything that you’ve done for the program: Abbie Houseknecht, Samantha Jayne, Sophia Kent, Caitlin Myers, Anna Szwaya, Drew Tolley and Ari Triandos.

Varsity Boys Soccer

2023 ESIAC Runner Ups

The Varsity Boys Soccer finished with a regular season record of 7-2. In those 9 games the team scored 35 goals, which is an average of 4 goals per game — and just as impressive, they had 5 clean sheets — which means that they gave up 0 goals in over 400 minutes of play! That performance earned them the number two seed going into the conference playoffs. In the ESIAC semi final game vs Delmarva Christian, the team had another clean sheet, in a decisive 7-0 win!

For the third straight season, the team advanced to the championship game. As Coach Angarita said at this year’s Senior Day ceremony, “Reaching the finals is now the expectation. But it took so much hard work to come from the perennial number six seed to now the perennial number two seed.” 

A special thank you to the Seniors who have helped get the Varsity and JV soccer programs where they are today: Shawn Barry, Quinn Baughman, Michael Billings, Aiden Dunlap, Harrison Dunstan, Josh Nuessel, Mariner Schut, Eddie Gillespie, Tyler Hanson, Caeden Harrison, Rowan Larkin, Jaden Mahaffey, Jan Serraviñals and Jonah Smith.

JV Boys Soccer 

Gunston is the only team in our conference with a JV boys soccer team, and not only do we have a JV team, but we have enough players to have a stand alone JV team, which speaks to the health and growth of the boys soccer program. Along with a brand new JV coaching staff, thank you Coaches Barnes and Armstrong, and with over three quarters of this year’s JV soccer team being new to Gunston and/or new to soccer, the team played 3 of the best high school programs in the area (St. Mary's and Queen Anne’s who both only lost 1 game all season and Colonel Richardson who went 6-4-1 in the Bayside Conference)

In their last game, the JV boys kept a clean sheet and scored 3 goals in a win over primary sport soccer players at Bayshore Soccer Club.Thank you for all of your hard work and energy this season! We’re very excited for the future of the soccer program.


2023 ESIAC Runner Up

For those that aren’t familiar, the format of a high school golf match is that each player on the team plays a 9-hole round of golf and the lowest 4 scores from that team are added together to make your overall “Team Score.” For reference, a typical professional golfer will generally shoot between 35-37 during a 9-hole round of golf. So, shooting in the 40s is very good for a high schooler! Our golfers shot in the 40’s 12 times over the course of the regular season! With our regular season low score of 42 shot by RP Johnson ’25. That is tremendously tough to do and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the coaches and players! Under the guidance of new Head Coach, Mr. Graham Shearer and returning Asst. Coach Mr. C.O. Johnson, the Gunston Golf team finished as the ESIAC runner ups! 


The Crew team has competed in two regattas this season, and will compete in two more prior to their season closing. The team opened their season on October first by attending Head of the Christina, which draws top programs from the tri-state area. We had a large number of athletes that were competing for the very first time! Our boats went head to head against schools like Walter Johnson High School with a student body of 2,900 students and Unionville High School with a student body of 1,400. The Men’s JV 4 had a personal best 5k record with a time of 17:02! 

The crew team then competed in the Navy Day Regatta in Philadelphia. Navy Day draws a massive field full of the top programs from multiple states, such as St. Joe’s Prep, Haverford, and The Hun School. Our Men’s Varsity 4 crushed their goal of 16:30 with a time of 16:27. The Varsity Women’s four also had an impressive day, pushing past teams such as Merion Mercy Academy, Villa Maria, and Haddonfeild.

A special Thank you to the Seniors for all of your hard work and dedication to the program: Turner Day, Liam Dickey, Samantha Keith, Maren Kneeland, Ben Lutz, Rowan Lutz, Kate Porter, Kayla Raley, Ava Runz, Jackson Wood.


The sailing team has had a phenomenal fall season! After competing in nearly 100 individual races both our JV and Varsity Sailing Teams teams ranked in the top 10 within Maryland Interscholastic Sailing Association (MDISA). This league is comprised of 40 JV teams and 30 varsity teams including schools such as Indian Creek, Severn, Saints Peter and Paul, and Spalding. 

Beyond that, we qualified for the Mid Atlantic's Sailing Association (MASSA) Silver fleet championship hosted this season in Buffalo, New York. Meaning, we are ranked within the top 48 teams from Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Virgina. The team earned 6th place at the T1 Championship this past weekend! They surpassed Broadneck, Gillman, Spalding, Key School and Great Mills just to name a few—securing their spot in the top third of teams in the league! 

The team also heads out this weekend for the Tier 2 championship and will defend last year's championship title against 18 teams including Spalding, Walt Whitman, Saints Peter and Paul, and Great Mills. Good luck as you head to Baltimore!

Thank you to the Seniors for the tremendous impact that you’ve had on the program: Tommy McGeady, Matthew Periconi, and Annabelle Sinatra. 

ESIAC Player of the Year for Volleyball: Phoebe Kelly ’25

ESIAC Player of the Year for Girls Soccer: Amber Tormey ’24

ESIAC Runner of the Year for Boys Cross Country: Colin Hallmark ’24

ESIAC Runner of the Year for Girls Cross Country: Zoe Buzzelli ’24

ESIAC All-Conference Team for Field Hockey

  • Sophia Kent ’24
  • Layla Kent ’26
  • Grace Shepherd ’25 
  • Caitlin Myers ’24
  • Genevieve Baughman ’26
  • Abbie Houseknecht ’24
  • Honorable Mention: Samantha Jayne ’24

ESIAC All-Conference Team for Boys Soccer

  • Rowan Larkin ’24
  • Jaden Mahaffy ’24
  • Jan Serraviñals ’24
  • Quinn Baughman ’24
  • Honorable Mention: Ethan Harper ’26

ESIAC All-Conference Team for Girls Soccer

  • Amber Tormey ’24
  • V. McCluskey ’25
  • Abby Philippon ’27
  • Honorable Mention: Aurora Baughman ’26 

ESIAC All-Conference Team for Girls Volleyball

  • Phoebe Kelly ’25
  • Liv Labrador ’27 
  • Emma Nkanza ’26
  • Honorable Mention: Jessica Hammond ’24 & Scotia Hopper ’27

ESIAC All-Conference Team for Golf

  • RP Johnson ’25
  • Jack Beasley ’25 

ESIAC All-Conference Team for Boys Cross Country

  • Colin Hallmark ’24
  • Zach Steinberg ’25 
  • Honorable Mention: Ben Cook ’24

ESIAC All-Conference Team for Girls Cross Country

  • Zoe Buzzelli ’24
  • Grace Hanlon ’25 
  • Honorable Mention: Emma Walker ’27


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