Congratulations, SSFS Athletes!
SSFS athletic teams had a great season, as our students athletes enjoyed coming together as a team, consistently learning and improving together, and, of course, having fun! SSFS teams also earned several more championship banners to adorn the Athletic Center gym walls this winter, including: Middle School Girls Basketball, Upper School JV Men’s Basketball, Upper School Varsity Men’s Basketball, and Upper School Swimming. In addition, three SSFS students competed as a part of the Sherwood Co-Op team within the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League (MSHL) and won the Montgomery Hockey Conference Crown. Highlights from each of the 2022-2023 winter teams are featured below. Go ‘Beests!
UPPER SCHOOL Men's Varsity Basketball
It was a basketball season for the history books, as the SSFS boy’s varsity basketball team finished the season 24-10 and with 3 championships. First the boys started the season winning the first ever Ben Uzzell Basketball invitational, beating Blake and RM. As they shifted their focus to 2023 and PVAC, the boys were able to stay focused and finish off PVAC regular season, winning the regular season championship. The boys entered the playoffs as the number one seed and were able to reach the final. In what turned out to be a great final, the boys pulled away late to win the PVAC tournament championship. For the first time in School's history, the boys were able to win back-to-back PVAC tournament championships. This young team was led by Cyrus Chisolm, Jake Tringone, Devin Johnson, and Donovan Blackman, who all received all conference honors. More so than the success on the court, this team will be remembered for the way they carried themselves off the court and in the classroom. They were the perfect representation of our SSFS family and culture.
UPPER SCHOOL Women's Varsity Basketball
The SSFS Varsity Girls basketball team made the playoffs this year, and put together a key 5-game win streak in conference. The team was led by sophomores Julia Platts and Noel Motley in both rebounds and scoring. The Varsity Girls competed in the prestigious O'Connell Jingle Ball Classic, and freshmen Elena Katzin advanced to the final round of the 3-point shootout. The team also placed 2nd in the Covenant Life Tournament where Elena Katzin and Quinn Griffith-Polyak were named to the All-Tournament team. The team looks to build upon their success, with many key players returning next year.
UPPER SCHOOL Men's JV Basketball
JV Men’s basketball, after a tough loss in the championship game during the 21-22 season, completed an undefeated season in the PVAC, winning banners for the Regular Season Championship and Tournament Championship, followed by winning the President’s Day Classic at Spencerville Adventist Academy. The team, led by a core of returning sophomores and joined by a single freshman and 2 stand-out 8th graders, showed how successful a group of friends can be when they push each other daily, compete through every practice and game, and hold each other accountable. They truly represent the SSFS family and culture of our basketball program!
MIDDLE SCHOOL Girl's Basketball
With an undefeated season and PVAC Champions, this team showed how grit, determination, and hard work pay off. Overcoming adversity with injuries and a rotating starting line-up when players were out, the MS Girls Green team stepped up when called upon and persevered game after game in dominant fashion. With a ferocious press that created turnover after turnover, they were able to score many of their points before having to set up an offense. They mastered trapping and became excellent at rebounding on both the offensive and defensive end. After going up 21-7 in the first quarter of their championship game, they battled to a final 44-30 finish and brought home the banner. Congratulations to the MS Girls Green Team on a most impressive season!
Ours may not have been an undefeated season—we finished with two wins and two losses—but those last two games were memorable. In the first, a win, we were able to put together a team defense, playing a zone with one-on-one principles. The team had practiced (with the help of a few Green team players) the day before how to pinch off drives, and where to be in order to take the next pass. It was an easy win (18-3), but the kind that a team sometimes needs to convince itself it was more than five individuals in the same color jersey on the court. The next game, a loss, showed a continued defensive progress, but we lost the ball almost as often as we were gaining possession through steals, deflections or rebounds. What was impressive, however, was that we were down 2-8 in the first quarter. We lost 20-21 (an away game), and had the ball in our hands for the last 7 seconds. These are the kind of games coaches and players should cherish. The team had every reason to be proud of putting itself back into a position to maybe win the game. It was a pleasure to work with the students on the Girls Gold Team!
The Middle school white team won their only home game of the season with intense defense and rebounding. The team looks to build upon their success and keep strong basketball tradition alive at SSFS!
MIDDLE SCHOOL Boy's Basketball
The Boys MS Green Team had a very productive season.. From the beginning of the season, the boys worked hard and had fun with one another in practice. That level of comfort and confidence helped us early. We lost our first game, but we then rebounded to win 10 straight games. Overall the team won 11 games and lost two. The team advanced to the semi-finals in the playoffs. Everyone played, and everyone scored in a game. Some of the boys were successful in making a three-point shot. Each year is a different chapter, and the boys will continue to build toward maintaining the standard of excellence within the SSFS basketball program.
Our MS Gold Basketball Team had a fun season this year. We competed in 6 games this year, and it was evident that as we reached the end of the season, this team had made tremendous progress. We worked hard in practice to learn basic offensive and defensive sets, and each player showed a commitment to getting better and better. The highlight of the season was the team treating each other with respect and truly showing what a basketball family should look like in good times and tough times. A huge thank you to all the players for making the season what it was.
Our MS White team had a wonderful time playing together this year. The focus of our season was to become fundamentally sound, learn the game of basketball, and have a lot of fun along the way. Our team of 19 players finished with 4 games, where we progressively got better. We competed in each game and everyone got better as the season progressed. Thanks to the team for a great season, and to the parents for their support.
Our SSFS Swim Team had a very productive year as we expanded our team from individual entrants in local meets to a bigger team. We were able to send 3 swimmers to the Stone Ridge Invitational before competing in the PVAC Championships. Our girls team of 7 athletes captured the PVAC championship banner, while our boys team of 1 athlete placed 4th in the conference. Two swimmers were named to the all-PVAC second team with their individual second place at the PVAC championships. One swimmer, Nani Jackson, achieved all-PVAC first team honors by placing first at the PVAC championships and was able to swim at the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Meet, where she placed 23rd as a team with schools from all over the metro area. It was a fantastic and fruitful season.
The SSFS climbing team had a great season! This year we had a lot of new people join the team; it's amazing to see new people find the sport. This season the team had fun together, which could be seen on the climbing walls and when we went out to dinner after competitions. The climbing team did a wonderful job creating an accepting environment for students to grow in their climbing, and as people. Everyone on the team improved in strength, power, knowledge, and technique! They really came together and connected with each other, and I'm so proud of each and every one of them.
UPPER SCHOOL: SHERWOOD HIGH SCHOOL MSHL CO-OP TEAM
For the past 13 years, Sandy Spring hockey players have been able to compete at the high school varsity level as a part of a Co-Op team within the Maryland Scholastic Hockey League (MSHL). This years’ players competed as a part of the Sherwood High School Co-Op. Sandy Spring students Noi Jonasson, Vincent Mele and Teddy Donaldson all competed for the Sherwood team this year. The team ended the regular season at 6-6, but had played well enough to earn a bid to the State Playoff tournament. Sherwood lost to rival Wootton High School in the 1st round, off-ramping them into the Montgomery Hockey Conference tournament. Over the next 3 games in the conference tournament, the team outscored its opponents overall 39-11 and notched victories over 2 opponents that had beaten them earlier in the season. In the Conference final, Sherwood again drew rival Wootton, this time defeating them to take the Conference Crown. All three Sandy Spring athletes contributed to the team’s success this year, with Forward Noi Jonasson being among the county point leaders and receiving 2nd Team All-Conference recognition. Head Coach Kevin Esser (father of 3 SSFS alumni) said “The team steadily improved over the course of the season and came together as a group to compete at a higher level each and every week. I am immensely proud of this team and again impressed by the out-sized contribution of Sandy Spring players on a roster that included athletes from 7 schools. They are all deserving of the title of Champion!” If you are interested in playing varsity hockey, and in helping us defend our County Championship title, please contact AD Bruce Nkala.