Every year at this time, the best teams in independent school hockey descend upon the rinks of Milton and Nobles for a chance to claim the coveted championship titles of the Flood-Marr Tournament and the Harrington Invitational Tournament.
The annual Flood-Marr Holiday Hockey Tournament is named for Dick “Lefty” Marr and his college roommate, longtime friend, and rival hockey coach Dick Flood. Lefty Marr was a member of the Milton faculty from 1957 until 1980. Now in its 57th year, the three-day competition for boys’ teams includes Milton, Nobles, Hotchkiss, Andover, Westminster, Deerfield, Kimball Union and Salisbury.
On the same weekend, top girls’ talent takes to the ice at Milton and Nobles to compete in the 41st Annual Harrington Invitational. Milton will face off against Nobles, Lawrence, St. Paul’s, St. Mark’s, BB&N, Westminster, and Williston-Northampton.
The tournaments run from Friday, December 16, through Sunday, December 18.
For the first time, three seniors on Milton’s varsity football team were named Scholar-Athletes by the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Sam Jaffe ’22, Luke Thorbahn ’22, and Jackson Smith ’22 were recognized for excellence on and off the field.
“The award honors athletes who are not only great football players, but great students, and great kids,” said head coach Kevin MacDonald. “It’s also about the contributions they make to the school and the community at large.”
That three students, not two, were selected from Milton is “unprecedented,” and speaks to the caliber of the honorees, who proved to be great leaders for the team, which won the Independent School League in the fall, said MacDonald. Smith and Jaffe were the team’s captains.
Thorbahn said the award is a “tremendous honor” for him, and credited his parents for always stressing the importance of academics.
“I have always taken pride in doing well in the classroom,” he said. “I am thankful my parents set an example for me when I was younger. No matter how many sports I was playing at the time, I had to be doing well in my classes to continue playing. I’m well aware of the fact that you can’t play football forever, but when I look back on my journey, I was able to use the game I love to get an education that will last my whole life.”
Winning back-to-back ISL championships—Milton won the league in 2019, and the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic—in undefeated regular seasons taught Jaffe the importance of leadership and trust.
“I will take the model that the former captains showed me, and hopefully what Jack and I showed the team this year, into my future life and career,” he said. “The award is a validation to me that the work I put into my sport and my schooling is now paying dividends, which is amazing to see.”
Many boys in our society are conditioned from a young age to be tough, to hide their emotions, and to avoid any appearance of behaving “like a girl,” documentary filmmaker and anti-sexist activist Byron Hurt told student-athletes recently.
This mindset favors aggression, prevents boys from connecting with their emotions, and undervalues girls and women, sometimes leading to toxic masculinity and violence, said Hurt, who visited Milton athletes virtually as part of a series of speakers this fall who promote mental fitness.
“I grew up in a culture where you had to perform a certain kind of manhood and masculinity in order to be accepted by other guys and be seen as a ‘real man’” said Hurt. When boys and men feel like they can’t be vulnerable with their emotions, those emotions can be redirected in unhealthy ways: abuse, depression, violence, failed relationships, and out-of-control actions.
Boys hear words like “soft,” “gay,” and “girly” if they don’t meet the expectations of masculinity—and when those words are used as pejoratives it triggers the idea that women and gay men are weak, Hurt said. It also signals to boys that they must harden themselves to avoid any appearance of weakness.
He urged students to intervene when they witness someone using sexist and homophobic language. “It takes strength and courage to stand up and say, ‘That’s not what we do,’” Hurt said.
“This exaggerated sense of manhood is in the air that we breathe,” he said. “If the culture doesn’t give us permission to cry, to be soft, and to express the full range of our emotions beyond anger, there can be some negative consequences.”
Hurt majored in journalism at Northeastern University, where he played quarterback, and envisioned a career in radio and television broadcasting. During his last year, he was introduced to the work of the groundbreaking documentary filmmaker Marlon Riggs, whose films explored issues of race and sexuality.
After graduation, Hurt became involved with Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, working with its Mentors in Violence Prevention program. At the core of his mission was to get boys and men to speak up and stop sexism, gender-based violence, and homophobia. At first, he feared what his male friends would think about him working with these subjects; he’d grown up as a “jock” in a “deeply male culture where ‘locker-room talk’ was the norm.”
Hurt received an Emmy nomination for his television show, Reel Works with Byron Hurt. He made the documentaries Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which explores violence and sexism in hip hop music, and Soul Food Junkies, which received the Best Documentary award at the American Black Film Festival. His forthcoming documentary, Hazing: How Badly Do You Want In, explores the dangerous culture of hazing.
Milton athletes are working hard this fall season, practicing both remotely and on campus, despite the absence of regular team competition. As all fall teams began the season remotely, coaches had to think of creative ways to keep athletes moving and connected to each other.
Boys’ cross country coach Scott Bosworth said the team “approached this strange season with the same commitment and determination as in past seasons. We had active and engaging Zoom meetings where we talked about the challenges we face with the pandemic, motivational tools to get us through, and the need to stay together and be supportive of each other. We watched videos about Wilma Rudolph and Billy Mills, two athletes who overcame huge obstacles—physical, economic, racial, and substance abuse—to become Olympic gold medalists, and we had lively discussions afterward.”
“The soccer season has been great thus far in spite of the different forms it has been taking,” said Boys’ soccer coach Chris Kane. “We have a large and passionate group of soccer players and we used the remote learning period to build connections across students across the various levels of our program.”
When day students returned to campus in October, head football coach Kevin MacDonald said the players who were on campus focused on the “fundamentals of the game. We practice on the game field, but we are not running plays and not wearing equipment. And it’s gone great. Our philosophy is to make them better players.”
Britney Carr, assistant director of athletics and field hockey coach, said while it is a “challenging time for sports, we have been trying our best to make it fun.”
Kane said, “With the return of day students, we took on a hybrid model, which includes Zoom workouts and yoga sessions as well as in-person practices. We are thrilled to have this time to work together and the coaches have appreciated the awesome energy and enthusiasm that students have brought every day.”
Bosworth said, “Now that we are partially in-person, the team has experienced a bit of normalcy as we can train as we have in the past, albeit with masks. We have conducted two time trials so far and have two more planned. These are a good way to assess fitness, set goals, and create a bit of competitive energy. Our remote student athletes run by themselves on their own home route. As coach, I am very proud of the way the team has adapted to the situation and applaud their commitment, drive, and desire to be their best.”
The Athletics Department celebrated Milton’s athletes virtually during the annual M-Club Gala on Wednesday. Class I students were presented awards for their outstanding performance in athletics.
Caroline Guden, an outstanding athlete in field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse received the Priscilla Bailey Award. The award recognizes an athlete who “has been a most valuable asset to Milton Academy athletics and community, and who demonstrates exceptional individual skills and teamwork as well as sportsmanship.” Guden’s field hockey coach described her as “always giving 100 percent. She empowered her teammates. They could count on her to create a spark and make things happen.”
Football standout Kalel Mullings received the Robert Saltonstall Medal. Over Milton’s history, the Saltonstall has indicated “a distinguished record in all-around physical activity, with emphasis on leadership by example, conscientious training, good body mechanics, and observance of the code of the true sportsman.” In addition to his feats on the football field, Mullings excelled on the basketball court as a defender, and on the track and field team, where he was an impact member on medal-winning relay teams and running the 200M. His football coach said he was the most “kind, considerate, sincere, and friendly player who made it a point to know every player on the roster and made younger players feel important and valued.”
Will Livingston, who was on the ski team and played football and lacrosse, received the Alfred Elliott Award. This award honors an athlete whose “extraordinary self-sacrifice and unselfish devotion to the best interests of his teams; a boy who, regardless of skill, with inspiring example—either in practice or in competition—has given most unsparingly of himself for the good of all.” Livingston’s ski coach said he “demonstrated extraordinary self-sacrifice and unselfish devotion to his peers, coaches, and team. He represented Milton Academy as a model athlete on and off campus.”
Kate Dudley, who played field hockey, ice hockey and softball, won the Dorothy J Sullivan Award. This award signifies “good sportsmanship, leadership, dedication and commitment to athletics at Milton,” as well as being an “inspiration and model for others.” During her Milton ice hockey career, Dudley, described by her hockey coach as “arguably the most impactful player this season” earned a spot on the All-ISL team, was named to the Patriot Ledger All-Scholastic team and earned an Honorable Mention for the All-New England Team (NEPSAC Large School).
The ISL Awards for Excellence went to Zoe Katz and Shane O’Sullivan. This annual award recognizes student athletes for exhibiting the ISL ideals of integrity, sportsmanship, fair play, and good citizenship, while participating as multi-sport athletes during their Independent School League career.
Coach Jamie LaRochelle received the Marijke D. Alsbach Coaching Award for outstanding coaching as well as dedication to a program and to student athletes. It’s given annually to a coach who models the ideals of the coaching profession, leads by example, demonstrates knowledge and technical skills, as well as commitment to the physical and social well-being of the athletes.
Milton seniors Kalel Mullings and Mitchell Gonser were both recognized as outstanding scholar-athletes by the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.
The award honors senior football players who have excelled on the football field, in the classroom and within the school and community. The 45th-annual banquet, which was scheduled for May 17, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The recipients will receive a plaque and a commemorative program at a later date.
“As football players, Mitch and Kalel enjoyed tremendous careers at Milton,” said Kevin MacDonald, head coach of varsity football. “Both were named all-scholastic and all-state. Additionally, Kalel was a consensus first-team all-American. They were also outstanding leaders, consummate student-athletes, and beloved members of our team both in the estimation of their coaches and their peers.”
Both will continue to play football this fall—Mullings at the University of Michigan and Gonser at Harvard University.
The boys’ varsity squash team opened their season with a big win (7–0) against Phillips Exeter, setting the stage for a strong undefeated (6–0) winter season so far. “It was so exciting to start off with a bang with such a resounding victory,” says co-captain Andrew Willwerth ’20.
The top eight players on Milton are four seniors and four juniors, which brings some solid depth and leadership to the team.
“A lot of students have stepped up as leaders this year, more than ever in my four years on the team,” says co-captain Zac Ibrahim ‘20. “I don’t mean just the captains, but all the kids. There is an interest and passion from everyone to get better.“
The captains said they are focused on success in the ISL and at nationals, where the team has just been seeded in the first division. In past years, they’ve been seeded in the second or third.
Zac enjoys the close matches, such as when they competed against Phillips Andover and won 5–2. “It’s more exciting when you know it could go either way,” he says.
The toughest match will be Belmont Hill, a team that has long dominated the ISL, but Zac and Andrew believe that Milton is playing at that high level. Last year, Milton lost to Belmont Hill to come in second in the ISLs.
“I think we can do it,” says Zac. “Everyone will have to be on their A game. It will come down to how prepared we are.”
Over the first weekend of 2020, boys’ varsity hockey took to the ice against strong opponents in Tabor Academy’s New Year’s Tournament. On the first day, they beat St. George’s 4–2 and then Winchendon 6–3, setting them up for the championship game against Pomfret.
In an exciting game, senior forward Tyler Crist shot Milton’s two goals against Pomfret—one shorthanded to start the scoring and one on the power play to make it 2–0. Pomfret scored with 1:20 to go in the third period but Milton held on for the win (2–1). Milton also saw some stellar goaltending by junior Chris Demers, who turned back 26 of 27 shots that he faced.
Milton is now 6–5–1 for the season. This is their second Tabor Tournament Championship in the last three years.
Boys’ varsity soccer had an exciting and standout season. The team was undefeated in the ISLs (12-0-3) clinching the ISL championship title in the game against Noble and Greenough, another undefeated ISL team that came into the match with a one-point advantage in the standings.
“Winning that game was the most incredible experience of my time here,” says David Walley ’20. “In those last five minutes of the game, we were tied and I felt it was going to be like other years, with us coming in second, every time.” But in the last minute of the game, Aidan Farwell ’21 scored the winning goal and the home crowd was exuberant.
The beginning of the season (overall record 13-2-3) started off a bit sluggish for the team.
We had high expectations at the beginning of the year,” says Noah Jackson ’20. “We thought winning would just come to us. But a couple of early losses opened our eyes. We had a team meeting about expectations versus reality. We changed our approach to focusing one game at a time and then went on to be undefeated in the next 15 games or so.”
Head Coach Chris Kane said boys’ varsity soccer has consistently been a strong program over the years, “but this group very much had to prove something for themselves on their own terms.”
“They significantly improved from the start of the season to the end of the season,” says Coach Kane. “They knew they were talented, but thought early on that talent would be enough. So we worked on how talent is not the primary ingredient. We worked on how to embody values and qualities we thought we needed to develop. We talked about complete and consistent efforts. And being focused and consistent on whatever we were doing whether it was a weight room workout, a two-hour field training or a game. They used their hunger to do the work to improve.”
The team was seeded fifth for postseason play in the NEPSAC Boys’ Soccer Championship Class A and traveled to Connecticut for the first round where they beat the Taft School 3-1. In the semifinals, they traveled to Northfield Mount Hermon where they won 2-0. The final game was back in Connecticut against Worcester Academy. The game was tied 1-1 after regulation play so the winner was based on penalty kicks, with Worcester Academy coming out on top.
“We played the toughest games we could possibly play, all on the road, and just met the challenge of each of those moments,” says Coach Kane. “At each step, they played better and with more belief. To be close and not to win is tough, but it wasn’t like they felt like they did not rise to the moment, they stepped up and played incredibly well. They did it with class. They did it with toughness. They responded with a lot of resilience, and togetherness and support from one another, which was great.”
Each week, their opponents get tougher, but the varsity football team continues to dominate on the field with an undefeated season (6-0). Last Saturday, it was 48-25 victory against Belmont Hill, a team that also came into the game undefeated. The home game in front of a Parents’ Weekend crowd showed the deep depth of Milton, led by team captains Kalel Mullings ‘20 and Jake Willcox ‘20.
An exciting win (20-14) in overtime against Governor’s Academy the previous weekend saw wide receiver and defense back Mitchell Gosner ‘20 blocking a field goal to tie up the game and then scoring the winning touchdown, catching a stellar throw from quarterback Jake.
Before that game, Head Coach Kevin MacDonald anticipated that it would be a challenging game. “We are a pretty well-rounded team. Usually a high school team will have at least one glaring weakness. But, we are playing other teams that are also well-rounded and loaded with talent.”
Before the Governor’s game, Milton’s biggest win came against St. Sebastian’s (34-21), always a solid team and tough competitor. There are two more regular games of the season, including the Milton-Nobles game. Coach Mac said one of the team’s goals is to make the NEPSAC (New England Preparatory School Athletic Council) championship game.
Coach Mac said the team has great leadership in the two captains, Jake and Kalel, who was just selected to play in the All American Bowl game. Many of the seniors will go on to play college football, but for now they are focused on continuing their exciting winning season.
Milton’s varsity football linebacker and running back, Kalel Mullings (I), has been selected for the 2020 All-American Bowl, joining an elite group of athletes who have played in the all-star game. Surrounded by his coaches, teammates, family and friends, Kalel was presented with an honorary game jersey, commemorating his selection, during a ceremony in the FCC on Tuesday.
Kalel began his varsity football career as a 13-year-old freshman, playing against 18- and 19-year-olds in one of the top leagues in New England. He will attend and play at the University of Michigan next year.
“One would surmise that all this attention and notoriety would affect Kalel,” said Coach Kevin MacDonald. “However, he has never changed. He has continued to be the same kind, affable, humble and outgoing young man he has always been. Yes, Kalel is an outstanding football player with a bright future, but he is an even better young man who has left an indelible mark on our school.”
Past All-American Bowl participants include NFL players Reggie Bush, Tim Tebow, Joe Thomas, Andrew Luck, Odell Beckham Jr. and Trevor Lawrence. The honor recognizes top high school football players as they pursue their goals on the field, and provides opportunities for competition, learning and personal development that benefit student-athletes both on and off the field.
Kalel is the only Massachusetts athlete selected to play in the 2020 All-American Bowl, which takes place on Saturday, January 4, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas. It will air live on NBC.
Boston City Council Member Matt O’Malley, who represents Kalel’s West Roxbury neighborhood, presented him with a Certificate of Recognition from Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and a resolution for the City Council to acknowledge his achievements.
The varsity field hockey team is impressing fans early in the fall season with definitive wins (4-1) against strong teams. In one of its first games, against Phillips Exeter, the team scored in the first 30 seconds, dominating the entire game to win 5-1, which “set the tone for the season” according to co-captain Caroline Guden ’20.
Caroline, who plays midfield, and co-captain Charlotte Jordan ’20, who plays forward, say they are trying to lead the team by example, focusing on “instilling confidence in ourselves, knowing we are a good team and we can win.”
The Exeter win was followed by Milton’s first ISL win against Lawrence Academy and then a win against Thayer Academy this past Tuesday.
“We have a lot of depth, where in the past that was something we lacked,” says Caroline. “At the end of the Thayer game, we had all our starters off the field and we were still dominating.”
The day after the Thayer win, the team played Deerfield Academy on tired legs and faced its first loss (2-3). “It was a close game. They are a well-coached team and we didn’t have enough energy. The game exposed some of our weaknesses and what we need to work on,” says Caroline.
Charlotte says in a way the “loss was good for us because in our next game we will push ourselves harder.” The team travels on Saturday to face off against Middlesex.
Undefeated and breaking records, Amanda “Ify” Ofulue (I) wrapped up an amazing track and field season by winning the New England Championships (NEPSTA D1) in both shot put (41’ 10’’) and discus (129’ 10’’). In both events, she broke Milton school records and she set a facility record (Loomis Chaffee) in discus. Ify was also an ISL Champion in shot put, setting an ISL Championship record and an ISL Champion in discus. She topped it all off with second place in javelin, scoring a total of 28 of Milton’s total 72 points, which placed the girls third overall in ISLs.
“In my opinion, she will be remembered as the greatest female throw athlete in Milton Academy’s history and in the ISL,” says Coach Steve Darling. “I don’t foresee her records being broken for a very long time, maybe ever. An athlete like Ify only comes around once in a lifetime. I’m just glad I was here to witness it.”
Ify, a boarder from Nigeria, says she really committed to the sport when she came to Milton her sophomore year. This season, she switched her throw technique from the glide method to the rotational method with the encouragement of Coach Darling. “Coach thought I had reached my maximum potential using the glide method and that I would throw more consistently farther if I tried rotational. At first, it was weird to learn, but then I started getting really good results.”
Ify is one of three captains along with Cianna O’Flaherty (I) and Lily Wright (I). “She’s been a great captain,” says Coach Darling. “She’s always the first to arrive and one of the last to leave. Having Ify on the team is similar to having another assistant coach at practice due to her maturity and her experience competing. Ify is very easy to coach, but what I enjoy most is that she is comfortable sharing with me her own thoughts and opinions regarding her technique and therefore we both learn from each other.”
Ify will be attending Brown University this fall and will compete on Brown’s track and field team.
The boys’ varsity basketball team finished their impressive regular season (19-5) with a 65-50 win over rivals Noble and Greenough in front of packed bleachers in the ACC last Friday night. Seeded 5th in the NEPSAC Class A quarterfinals, the team traveled to Suffield Academy in Connecticut yesterday to pull off an exciting 62-54 win. The boys now advanced to the semifinals where they will play Phillips Exeter at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Exeter.
This year’s team had a deep bench and according to team co-captain Dan Schlakman (I), “Whether it was 10 points or 2 points or a pass or an assist, everyone contributed. No one cared about their personal stats, which was refreshing. We knew we could be a good team, and we went out excited to win every game.”
Rhett Carter (I), the other co-captain, agrees. “Between us, it’s not competitive. We support each other and want the best for each other.” Rhett will play at Claremont McKenna College next year and Dan will play at Amherst College.
Head coach Lamar Reddicks says he’s seen many “unselfish” Milton teams, “but this is one of the most unselfish teams I’ve coached. No one cares about their playing time; they are just in it for the good of team.”
Mert Bayturk ‘19 won an astounding three heavyweight wrestling championships over the past three weekends—the Northern New England Championship, the ISL Championships and the New England Championship. After competing in the 220-pound weight class the past few years, Mert found his groove this year by competing against other heavyweights (285-pound weight class). This weekend, he heads off to the Prep Nationals at Lehigh University, where he will compete against other heavyweights from private schools from across the country.
Mert started wrestling the summer before his freshman year at Yaşar Doğu Spor Salonu, a wrestling club in Ankara, Turkey, where he spends the summers with his family. He says what he loves about the sport is that it’s “like a chess game, involving strength and technique.” Before his junior year, he sought outside opportunities to wrestle, establishing a connection with the well-known wrestling club, the Dungeon Training Center in Hanover, Massachusetts.
Mert said he focused on gaining weight by increasing what he ate and lifting weights to move up to the higher weight class. “My mentality about wrestling shifted. I have a lot more willpower and desire to push myself. I’m really happy competing at this level.”
As Mert says, he was pretty much an unknown in his weight class before these tournaments.
Assistant coach Bill Hamel agrees. “The seeding committee had a challenging time placing Mert in the brackets.” Bill says. “The challenge arose from the fact that Mert had apparently come out of nowhere, a true underdog. Last year Mert wrestled a few matches for us at 220 pounds, but not much more than that.”
This week, Mert is busy preparing for this final tournament of the season. “Mert has the fifth seed going into the national tournament this weekend, with the sixth and seventh seeds being wrestlers that Mert has already beat this season,” says head coach Mike Martini. “We are very proud of his accomplishments thus far, but by no means is this over. The biggest obstacle is yet to come and we are looking forward to it.”
Mert is headed to New York University next year where he plans to wrestle.
Every holiday season, the best teams in prep school hockey descend upon the rinks of Milton and Nobles for a chance to claim the coveted championship titles of the Flood-Marr Tournament and the Harrington Invitational Tournament.
The annual Flood-Marr Holiday Hockey Tournament is named for Dick “Lefty” Marr and his college roommate, longtime friend and rival hockey coach Dick Flood. Lefty Marr was a member of the Milton faculty from 1957 until 1980. Now in its 54th year, the three-day competition for boys’ teams includes Milton, Nobles, Hotchkiss, Andover, Westminster, Deerfield, Kimball Union and Salisbury.
On the same weekend, the top girls’ talent takes to the ice at Milton and Nobles to compete in the 38th Annual Harrington Invitational. Milton will face off against Nobles, Lawrence, St. Paul’s, St. Mark’s, Middlesex, Westminster and Williston-Northampton.
The tournaments run from Friday, December 14, through Sunday, December 16.
The girls’ cross country team is having a solid run this season. Starting off with a win against Lawrence Academy, the 28-member team are about even with their wins vs. losses. Ellie Mraz (III) is a standout this season, undefeated in all her races. Ellie says the highlight of her day is practicing after school with both the girls’ and boys’ teams.
“There is a great group of new freshman on both teams and it is amazing to see everyone get stronger as the weeks go by,” says Ellie. “The girls’ captains are doing a great job and bring so much fun and energy to the team. My personal goals for this year are to break the Milton XC girls course record of 19:36, to place in the top five in the ISL Championships, and to place in the top 12 in the New England Championships. I used to get extremely nervous before races, but this year I have made it my goal to stay calm and to just enjoy the sport. Running is challenging physically and also mentally.”
Coach Scott Huntoon has coached the girls’ team since 2002 and says this year’s team is a young team, so he is looking forward to the next couple of years to see what they can do. On Mondays, he heads out with the girls for their long runs. Tuesdays and Thursdays are sprint or interval workout days and Wednesday and Friday days are lighter days for recovery. There are two more Saturday home meets in Cunningham Park before the ISLs and New England’s: October 20 at 1:20 p.m. and October 27 at 4:30 p.m. Swing by and cheer them on!
Milton seniors JJ Bussgang and Greg Livingston will be honored as top scholar-athletes at the 43rd awards dinner of the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame on May 3. The Scholar-Athlete award is one of the most prestigious in high school football. They were nominated for the award by Coach Kevin MacDonald.
“I was excited when I heard the news. Both academics and athletics are really important to me and I’m proud to be recognized for both of them,” says Greg, who will be attending Middlebury College this fall. He will play wide receiver on the football team. JJ, an offensive lineman, will be playing at another NESCAC school, Bowdoin College, where he hopes to study biology or biochemistry.
JJ says playing on Milton’s football team was “meaningful and fun. As a varsity player, especially senior year, you really get to know the coaches. You are working with them to make the team better rather than just being coached by them.”
by Andrew D’Ambrosio ‘19, Sports Section Editor, The Milton Measure
Milton Boys’ Varsity Basketball shined in its NEPSAC playoff run, advancing all the way to the championship game where they ultimately fell in a nail biter to Choate Rosemary Hall. The Mustangs battled ferociously in all three of their postseason games. Coach Lamar Reddicks said, “we had great contributions from all our guys.”
In their first playoff contest against Phillips Exeter, Milton was able to pull away late, winning by a score of 76-62. Although the game was close at times, Milton kept their composure and always maintained the lead. Cormac Ryan (I) lead the charge for Milton on his senior night. He scored double digits along with playing stellar defense. In the closing minutes of the game, Dan Schlakman (II) rattled the rim with a monstrous slam. The crowd erupted after the play and the Stangs never looked back.
Milton carried much of this momentum into the semi-final game, defeating Belmont Hill by a score of 75-49. The game was never particularly close. The Mustang defense, lead by Thomas Urquhart (I), recovered many steals throughout the game. On the offensive side of the ball, Rhett Carter (II) and Cam Shockley (I) led the charge.
In the highly anticipated championship game, Milton lost to Choate by a score of 59-56. In the first half, Ryan sizzled, scoring a whopping 20 points. He was virtually unstoppable in the half. Whether it was a deep three or driving layup, all of his shots seemed to be falling. Milton bigs played a huge role in stopping Choate’s penetration to the basket. However, as the game progressed into the final minutes of the second half, momentum began to swing. Choate guards caught fire from beyond the arc, eventually catapulting them to the lead. After a misplay on Milton’s part, Choate was able to capture a 3-point victory.
From the exuberant fans to the remarkable competition, the NEPSAC playoff was a fantastic way to close out the winter season. Coach Reddicks was thrilled with his team’s participation, saying, “I couldn’t be any prouder of this group of guys. They battled each and every day and every play. I’ve been lucky with the group of guys I’ve been able to coach!”
(This article was originally published in the March 6 issue of The Milton Measure)
Every holiday season, the best teams in prep school hockey descend upon the rinks of Milton and Nobles for a chance to claim the coveted championship titles of the Flood-Marr Tournament and the Harrington Invitational Tournament.
The annual Flood-Marr Holiday Hockey Tournament is named for Dick “Lefty” Marr and his college roommate, longtime friend and rival hockey coach Dick Flood. Lefty Marr was a member of the Milton faculty from 1957 until 1980. Now in its 53rd year, the three-day competition for boys’ teams includes Milton, Nobles, Hotchkiss, Andover, Westminster, Deerfield, Kimball Union and Salisbury.
On the same weekend, the top girls’ talent takes to the ice at Milton and Nobles to compete in the 37th Annual Harrington Invitational. Milton will face off against Nobles, Lawrence, St. Paul’s, St. Mark’s, BB&N, Westminster and Williston-Northampton.
The tournaments run from Friday, December 15, through Sunday, December 17.