As we enter into the closing weeks of September, Malvern fall sports are in full swing, and expectations are high.
Last fall, numerous Malvern fall sports teams took home championships in the Inter-Ac, including Golf, Water Polo, Cross Country, and Football. This year, what can we expect?
Last year, the Water Polo team won its second consecutive Inter-Ac championship. This year, the team started off 4-1.
“This year, we have a very young team, but with some very good senior leadership in our captains Tait McGlinn and Harrison Grant, ” Head Coach Mr. Jay Schiller said. “Also, Aaron Salinas is one of our best defenders, and maybe one of the best defenders in the history of the school.”
Feeding off the leadership, the underclassmen have contributed to the team’s success. Two sophomores, Isaac Salinas and Steven Salle, are currently the top two goal scorers on the team.
Other major contributors to the team are Sean Oates ’18, Zach Maher ’17, and Nick Calvaresi ’17.
Schiller has high expectations for this year. “I very much expect Malvern Prep to be in the mix for the Inter-Ac championship. I certainly think that we will be able to compete with our competition.”
Coming up on September 25-26, the team has the “Beast of the East” tournament, which will be a good test against the top PIAA schools in the state of Pennsylvania.
“This will be a good match before we have our first league match on September 29th, and we would love to have some student body support for that,” Schiller said.
The Malvern football team started the year with a bang, winning its opener 37-0 over St. Rita at Soldier Field in Chicago. They followed this win with another impressive victory against Holy Spirit.
“I think this year has been going great,” Head Coach Aaron Brady said. “We have had great senior leadership. Throughout the offseason and over the summer, the guys were prepared, and we have had great success from that preparation.”
One of the team’s top performers is sophomore O’Shaan Allison. According to Brady, following the game last week, Philly.com named him Player of the Week.
“He had an incredible night,” Brady said. “We always talk about how it takes 64 guys to make the team succeed. Even though there are 11 people on the field, all 64 guys helped with the preparation in practice by increasing their skills and getting the techniques down. Whenever we see a player get his name in the paper, that represents our whole program.”
With such a great start to the year, winning the Inter-Ac is becoming more of a reality instead of just a goal.
“I would say that we have high expectations,” said Brady. “Our biggest goal is to win the Inter-Ac. That should be our goal every year. Hopefully we will able to do that this year.”
“The biggest thing is to keep the success going, and that just comes from hard work, and consistent humility,” said Brady. “We always tell our guys to ‘stay humble, and stay hungry.”
The Malvern Golf team started its season with a 3-0 record, beating St. Joseph’s Prep, Holy Ghost Prep, and Monsignor Bonner.
The team has many standouts from the Freshman class to the Senior class. “It’s a nice mix of kids,” said Head Coach Gary Duda. “We have some really outstanding young players, and we have a great mix of young and veteran players.”
The senior leaders of the team include Marty McGuckin, Jim Murray and Evan Tate, along with good underclassman support from sophomore Matt Davis, junior Nick Miller, and freshmen John Updike and Andrew Curran.
“We are expecting some big things,” said Duda. “This could be, on paper, one of the best teams we have ever had, in terms of talent from top to bottom.”
The golf team starts it pursuit of winning an Inter-Ac championship with its first league match against Penn Charter on Thursday, Sept. 24.
This year, the Malvern Cross Country team has to deal with some major setbacks. After winning the Inter-Ac last year, the team has lost many of its top runners, setting its expectations back from last year.
“We graduated a lot of talent,” said Coach Mike Koenig. “We still have fairly high aspirations. But compared to last year, we had national level aspirations, and this year we had to scale it back a little bit.”
The team still hopes to win the league and place in the top three at the State Championship meet.
“We still have a ton of talent on the team,” said Koenig. “[Senior] Colin Wills is our clear number one runner, and he’s probably favored to win the entire league and the state meet.”
The team has a solid supporting cast, including senior Anthony Ciro and sophomores Peter Borger, Danny Malloy and John Powers.
“There’s always a big jump between Freshman and Sophomore year for runners,” said Koenig. “Right now, we have a lot of good younger runners that are coming up.”
The Malvern soccer team is off to a great start this year.
“Our goal was to go at least 4-1 in our first five games,” said Head Coach Andrew Kummerer. We thought we’d have a challenge with highly-rated WC Henderson, but we felt comfortable in our other four match ups.”
The team ended up winning against WC Henderson before tying with Friends Central. However, they bounced back to win the next couple of games to hold a 4-0-1 record.
“Our expectations for the year are to win 75% of our games through hard work, discipline, organization, and great team chemistry,” Kummerer said.
Leading the offensive charge are senior captains Mike Narzikul and David Bettenhausen, while the defensive stand outs include sophomore goalkeeper Jake Hodlofski and seniors Andrew Panzo and Chris Savino.
“We feel all games are key to growth and development,” Kummerer said.