Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Checking In With MKA’s Step Team

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

“I truly look forward to coming to practice everyday. The team is like a family and we have so much fun while stepping and our newest edition to the team; community service is so much fun!” says captain Sydney Freeman. The MKA step team is one of the most vital and enjoyable aspects of the MKA community. For basketball games, the gathering, and throughout all the other events, people look forward to watching them perform. This year, a new edition to their team is a mascot! This mascot cheers them on and often times accompanies them on their community service trips to the Boys and Girls Club, where they teach the children different steps. In addition, they really enjoy entertaining the faculty and students at the school. “One of our biggest goals this year is not only to cheer on both the boys and girls basketball teams, but also to give back to our community using our talents” explain Sydney. Interestingly, the step team also plans on incorporating music into their steps to make it more engaging! The step team season is so excited and filled with so much excitement and MKA pride. The step team is the pinnacle of MKA’s school spirit.

Puja Singh ‘13 Staff Writer

An Interview with Sarah Bradley: Marathon Runner

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Recently, MKA has received the news that Sarah Bradley, senior, completed the New York City Marathon. The following is an interview in which the young runner chronicles her experience.

1.     So, Sarah, what inspired you to run the marathon in the first place?

My biggest inspiration is my father. I cheered him on in 2009 when he participated for the first time, and I felt such a thrill as a bystander.  I thought it was incredible that my dad completed it, because at the time, I could not imagine embarking on such a journey myself. In addition to my dad as an inspiration, the supportive cheers of the spectators and the many helping hands inspired me to run the marathon.


2.     How has running track & field and cross-country prepared you for the marathon?  

Running track and cross-country helped prepare me for the Marathon tremendously.  My coaches, Tom Fleming and Alden Basmajian were very supportive during my training. I knew I was in the right hands, because Coach Basmajian is an experienced marathon runner and Coach Fleming is a 2-time winner of the NYC Marathon. I am very thankful to have such wonderful coaches, and I would not have been able to do it without them.


3.     Can you give a description of the race?

The hardest part for me was going to bed the night before.  I had a lot going through my head about what could go wrong, and the fact that the race was actually about to happen after months of training and anticipation was an incredible thought.


The beginning of the race was pretty intense because people were anxiously running around me everywhere. But after I ran over the first bridge, it became less claustrophobic and I began to enjoy myself. I gave millions of people high fives and people who didn’t even know me were cheering for me all over the city (I had my name on my shirt, which helped).  In the beginning of the race it was hard to look ahead and imagine everything I had to accomplish, but once I completed 18 miles and continued to work my way closer to the finish line I began to have faith in myself that I could finish the 26.2 miles. I completed something that I originally never thought I could do, and it felt incredible.


4.     How has completing the marathon affected your life? Can you apply any lessons that you have learned from completing the marathon to your life?

Completing the New York City Marathon affected my life in a positive way.  It was the longest and most extraordinary journey I have ever embarked on.  I believe anyone can run a marathon as long as they have the right mindset. Completing the Marathon made me realize that I could push through any obstacle.  It’s surreal to know that I finished something that originally seemed impossible.


5.     Do you plan to run the New York City Marathon again?

Despite the time commitment it took for me to train for it, I would definitely run it again, maybe even next year, depending on where I attend college.


Danielle Charpentier ‘13 Staff Writer

Boy’s Soccer Brings Home State Title

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

On Monday, November 14th, the boys’ soccer team played the NJSIAA Non-Public B State Championships against Gill St. Bernard in Ewing, NJ, at The College Of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ. The boys entered with a record of 21-2-2 after months of hard work and training. Armed with seasoned players like goalkeeper Matt Lane, senior defender Don Leone, senior Steve Piela, and freshman Malcolm Dixon, the cougars came out confident and had their minds set on only one thing: winning.

The first 15 minutes of the game were difficult for both MKA and Gill St. Bernard—neither team managed to keep possession of the ball. Sophomore forward Miles Hackett hit the crossbar of the Gill St. Bernard’s goal with just 17:29 left, and then a free kick by junior defender Justin Gonsalves just missed the opponent’s left post. MKA’s last opportunity in regulation was Sam Eisen’s left-footed shot in the box, which Gill St. Bernard’s goaltender denied.

Tension and excitement ran high as the teams entered overtime with a score of 0-0. One mistake could end the game in a matter of seconds, or some extra hustle could end the game in our favor. Stakes were high and the boys weren’t going to let Gill St. Bernard beat them for the third consecutive year in a row. With about 1:32 in the first overtime, forward Miles Hackett shot the ball towards the net, and Dixon sent it in for the winning goal, earning MKA its first state title since 2006. All the hard work and training paid off.

Hopefully next year the team will continue to learn and develop its skills, growing to become even better than it is now. If the team continues developing as it has, the boys may come home with another championship and more reasons to cheer.

Working with Horses: My Experience

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Last winter I was given a working student position with Phillip Dutton, a two time Olympic medalist for Eventing in West Grove, Pennsylvania. After I was given my working student job this past winter, I mainly kept in touch with Phillip’s wife Evie, until the time of my arrival, during the first week of July.

Tragedy struck in May, two months before I was to arrive at the farm, when one of the five barns on the property had an electrical malfunction in the middle of the night, causing it to go up in flames. There were eleven horses inside. Four of the horses were pulled out; sustaining severe burns and smoke inhalation.   One horse escaped on his own, unharmed, and six perished in the fire. Of the six horses that were trapped, a majority of them were on the short list for the 2012 London Olympics. A couple weeks after the fire I contacted Evie on whether my job was still available and she informed me that if I still wanted to come I could.  All of my contact with the farm still remained through Evie until I showed up in July.

The day I arrived at True Prospect farm with my horse, was the day I realized that no one at the barn knew that I was coming. I had called earlier to inform the barn manager Kelly of my arrival, something that Evie had told me to do a week prior.  But when I told her that I was new working student, she sounded as if she had not known that a new person was coming.  Thankfully when I got to the barn there was a stall for Kelly, Emma and me, Phillip’s head groom’s, were extremely welcoming.  It appeared as if all of the people working at Phillip’s were a few years older than me, had been at the farm longer than me and had obviously bonded over the events that had occurred at the end of May. The next day was my first day of work and the most awkward day of my life. The only person who talked to me was Kelly, and I thought I was not going to make it through the summer.  But I held in the back of my head that this opportunity was to good to pass up so I took on a “don’t speak until spoken to” mentality, taking on every bit of work that was given to me. My attitude must have helped me, because within a week I was helping Ryan Wood, a well-known professional in the Eventing discipline.  I helped get his horses shown and vetted for prospective buyers.

After a few weeks my relationship with my fellow working students had become a great bond.  I know I will keep them as friends for a long time. But as soon as I became comfortable, tragedy struck again. It was my third week working for Phillip Dutton, and his most experienced horse, Woodburn, had randomly fallen fatally ill in the field over night.

We all knew that Woodburn’s prognosis was not hopeful. Kevin Keane, the renowned vet that board’s on the property took charge of Woodburn’s care. Kevin began giving orders on what needed to be done for Woodburn. The job I was given was to assist Keane in hooking up Woodburn’s IV bags. It was surreal to me that I had just arrived a mere three weeks ago and now I was aiding one of the top vets in the country.

Jenny Osbun ‘12 Issue Contributor

Photo Courtesy of Brant Gamma

MKA Football on a Successful Streak

Monday, November 21st, 2011

40 Verona- 6 MKA. This was the score from 2010 when MKA lost to Verona. 35 MKA -0 Verona. This was the score from 2011, when MKA asserted its dominance over Verona High School. This years football team has been extremely successful, improving its ranking from 340th in the state two ago years to 104th this year.  On the other hand, Seton Hall Prep, a previously desirable school for aspiring football players, sits at 125th in the state.

MKA demolished Morristown- Beard 70-6, starting out the season strong.  The team has only gone uphill from there. The football team edged out Cedar Creek with a narrow victory of 25-21.  This win was collectively agreed to be the hardest earned win of the season thus far. And one of MKA’s oldest foes, Glen Ridge, who MKA has not beaten in over ten years, got a first hand demonstration of MKA’s exceptional football capabilities when they were ran off the field, beaten 40-12.

MKA is now 6-1, its only loss to Cedar Grove High School. So why has this years football team been so dominating? Head coach Lance Ramer says the team’s sterling record is a result of an aggressive attack each week, and working to always get better. “Football is a physical game, but the mental aspect of it cannot be ignored.” Says Coach Ramer.  During the pre pre-season this year, which started two days after school ended, the dedicated football players acquired a lot of the skills to play physical and smart football. “This years summer was our busiest and most productive,” says Coach Ramer.  In the 2011 season, MKA has scored a total of 253 points against its opponents.  In contrast, 61 points is the number of points scored by every other team that MKA has played so far…combined.  As far as individual stats go, quarterback Gabe DiMasi has thrown over 20 touchdown passes and is currently averaging over 222 passing yards per game.  Power Lawrence, MKA’s star running and defensive back ran the ball 12 times against Glen Ridge and totaled an impressive 218 rushing yards. That same game he scored two touchdowns, one rushing, and one receiving. Because of the football teams multiple victories and impressive statistical numbers, MKA’s football pride has been restored and its dominance has been reasserted.

 Graham Glusman ‘15 Issue Contributor

Photo by Kristyn Morisseau ‘13 Staff Photographer

Fall Sports: Hear it from the Captains

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Lauren Martin ’12

Staff Writer

The fall has come once again, Cougars. As the weather gets a bit chillier, the trees turn a bit brighter, and the work becomes a bit harder, the MKA athletic teams embark on their newest campaigns to make their mark in the county, state, and independent school levels. Fall athletes who began their training in mid-August show a hunger for banners like no other group before. The season is underway with each team competing for chances to earn county, state, and prep division championships. All of the teams have begun the year with exciting success and the air is filled with anticipation as the Cougar teams begin to claw for their titles.



Cougar football has turned over a new leaf. The days of 1-5 seasons seem to be a distant memory when watching the powerful 2011 squad in their first games of the season. Senior captain and quarterback Gabe DiMasi urges the MKA community to come out and support the newly successful team. “The first two games have been great; the team has come together, and we are playing great football.” The team is currently 2-0 with its first two wins coming rather easily against the Morristown-Beard team and the Emily Fisher Charter School.  However, DiMasi notes that the real challenges for the season are still to come. “The next three games will be very tough as we play the three big public schools.” Senior captains Gabe DiMasi, Blake Rhode, Greg Froelich, and Power Lawrence have all expressed their optimism for a successful football season and would like the MKA community to share in their coming success. The team returns the vast majority of its key players, having lost none of these positions with the last graduating class. This year, “support” is their message. “Our game against Cedar Grove will be a battle of wills because we beat them last year and they are looking for revenge. This is a new Cougar football team with familiar talent and unprecedented potential. Every student should try and come out and support us. The MKA football team is for real and legit.”

Football Captains: Greg Froelich, Black Rhode, Gabe DiMasi, Power Lawrence


Girls’ Soccer

The girls’ soccer team enters the 2011 season hopeful and ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Tess Meyer, four-year varsity starter and current captain is enthusiastic about her team and their potential. “This year we have a stellar crew, 16 players in total. The overall vibe of the team is that…we just want to spend all of our time together.” They are a close bunch for sure and hope that their tight-knit environment will foster success on the field. “With this strong family environment that we have created thus far, I believe that we can have a successful season this year. It is also great to see four freshmen on a varsity team, all of whom get a fair amount of playing time.”  Alex Kelly, Kim Kirnan, and Tess Meyer are in the midst of their fourth year on the varsity soccer squad. For them, this is the end of an important era and they hope to leave behind a legacy of success: “With myself, Alex, and Kim, we hope to have the best senior year possible” (Tess would like to acknowledge now that she realizes how cliché that last phrase was). “But it is true,” she says. “We have worked hard for the last three years and deserve to go out with a bang.” But the competition will be tough. In a conference with Verona, Millburn, Mount St. Dominic, and West Orange, every win will be hard-earned. “Any team could come out and win on any given day,” says Meyer. Tess has a parting message for all the Cougar fans: “COME SUPPORT.”

Girls' Soccer Captains: Alex Kelly, Tess Meyer



For Cougar volleyball, the aim is simple: win the Prep Tournament, take home the Essex County Tournament title, and in the words of Katie Goulder, senior captain, “Take the Super Essex Conference by storm.” The path towards this immense success has started off well for this blend of veterans and newcomers.  The girls’ volleyball team has started off their campaign for their titles with wins over Montclair, Science and East Side. Although the Cougar squad typically has success against the Mounties, “it is always a satisfying victory,” says Goulder. Those against Science High School and East Side High School were two exciting breakthrough games for the girls. They pulled through these victories to end a few years’ drought against these teams. Goulder notes that one of the most exciting games of their season is always the Dig Pink game against MHS that raises money for Break Cancer Awareness and Research. “Our goal is to raise $6,000 for research and win back possession of the pink volleyball for the upcoming year.” With a fantastic blend of ambition and talent, the girls’ volleyball team will surely go far this season and hopefully add to their impressive collection of banners in the Cougar gym.

Volleyball Captains: Jamie Buren, Allie Sweeney, Katie Goulder

Cross Country

With a talented group of veterans on both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams, MKA cross-country hopes to make its mark this year. Going into his senior season, captain Billy Lennon is more excited about this fall than any other before. Their goal for the season is to come out on top in the Prep Tournament and prove that this is one of the best at the County Tournament, the most important race for Lennon. After a shocking 5th place finish last year, beating teams like Montclair and Columbia, they realize they are no longer the underdogs. “We aren’t going to sneak up on anyone this year, and instead we’re going to be targets, and that is completely fine by us.” After a grueling summer workout schedule that often added up to more than forty miles a week, the Cougars look to face very tough competition in the late season and prove how well a small school can run come October.

Cross Country Captains: Billy Lennon, Sarah Bradley


Girls’ Tennis

The varsity girls’ tennis team begins their season hoping to build on the success that the program has had in years


past. The team is an even blend of girls from every grade with talent deep into the lineup. Facing one of the most competitive conferences in the state, the Cougars face Millburn, Livingston, and Newark Academy, all top 15 teamsin the state.Julia Perlmutter, junior captain and the number one for the Cougars is excited to get the season underway with her team. “

We believe this team has a lot of potential. We have a lot of new faces and two freshman to add some freshness to our veteran regime.” The goal for the Cougars this season is to defend their Prep B Championship, compete well in the County tournament, and hopefully end a five-year Non-Public B drought. The girls are determined to make this season a great one and continue their shared dominance of Essex County tennis.



Boys’ Soccer

Arguably the most promising sports team this fall is the boys’ varsity soccer team. They’ve started out the season in outstanding form, garnering a 3-0-1 record with wins over Newark Academy, Belleville, and Glen Ridge and an exciting tie against Essex County powerhouse Millburn High School. The simultaneously fresh and experienced squad did not concede a goal until the fourth game tie against Millburn. But this great start should come as no surprise to those who have followed the boys’ soccer team over the past few years. In fact, their past success stories have earned the team a move into a higher division within the Super Essex Conference. Steve Piela, a four-year varsity starter and captain this year has high expectations for his final season on Van Brunt. “We have to come ready to play every game,” he says, and ready they have been. In terms of key players, Steve grants recognition to the talented forwards Miles Hackett and Malcolm Dixon who have earned their reputations on nationally ranked teams. “They’re both extremely talented and big-time scorers,” notes Piela. On the other end of the field, the team looks to senior captain Dominic Leone and junior Justin Gonsalves to anchor the defense. “Without them we would be in trouble. The reason why we have not conceded a goal is mainly because of them,” complemented Piela, going into their Millburn game. In the net is Matt Lane, stellar goalie. Although he hasn’t had to face many shots this year, “Everyone on the team trusts him…he has come up big for us in the past and I know he’ll come up big again when we need him.” With a crew this talented, the team’s goal is “to win a state championship. We all know we can do it, but it just comes down to execution. We have the talent, the coaching, and the heart to do it, without a doubt,” says Piela. To put it bluntly, he says, “If we don’t finish as state champions, the season will not be a success.” For now, we will enjoy the beginnings of what will surely be an amazing season for the Cougars.

Boys' Soccer Captains: Dominic Leone, Steve Piela


We wish the best of luck to each and every fall athlete and hope this fall season will bring both expected and surprising success across all disciplines. With every game, match, and race comes a new opportunity to defend the blue and green. There could not be a more capable group of captains and students charged with the responsibility to lead our school to victory. So it begins, Cougars.

Field Hockey Captains: Olivia Haddock-Carter, Rebecca Strickland

The End to A Memorable Season: Cougars Vs. Minutemen Goes Down to The Wire

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

– Aaron Stagoff-Belfort

The MKA Cougars soccer team has been startlingly dominate this season, led by co-captains Travers Nammack and Kyle Duca.  This squad amassed a regular season record of 17-2-1 and has been poised for playoff excellence.  The Cougars had a heartbreaking OT loss to Gill Saint Bernard’s earlier this week, and then began to prepare to face rival Newark Academy in the semi-finals of their tournament.

As game time drew closer, the anticipation to see the game was felt by many MKA students.  Some of the students were let out early while others could only strain their heads out classroom windows trying to get a good look at the pitch.  Finally, when everyone was let out, fans came running down to the field to see the game.  The rivalry between the Minutemen and the Cougars has heated up considerably over the past year, as both teams thrived in the regular season.  A playoff matchup seemed imminent.  The Cougars had won the first two regular season matchups against the Minutemen with a 3-2 victory at Newark and a 3-0 blowout on Homecoming on the Cougars home turf.  This was the third matchup, a final chance to extend an already memorable season.

The Cougars quickly fell back 1-0 but they seemed primed to score at any second.  Using a balanced attack featuring Sophomore Miles Hackett and Junior Steve Piela, the Cougars stormed down the field.  However, it was Senior Michael Mitrovic who finally put the ball in the net towards the end of the first half, evening the score to 1-1.  The first half ended that way and it seemed MKA was making a comeback.

As the second half started, MKA remained in control of the ball, almost scoring several times.  Then disaster struck.  Newark finally brought the ball down to MKA’s side and took a shot.  The ball hit off an MKA defender, spiraling into the goal, giving Newark the lead.  For the rest of the second half the Cougars came brutally close to scoring many times.  With less then a minute left, MKA took a corner kick, surely their last shot.  With many cheers from the crowd, goalie Matt Lane came down to play offense and attempted to head it in.  He just missed and when the game ended Newark Academy emerged victorious.  While Newark fans stormed the field, some MKA players collapsed while the crowd was in a visible state of shock.

While the season may not have ended the way the Cougars desired, they played exceptionally well, accumulating one of the best records in MKA soccer history.  It was a memorable season indeed.