St. Mark’s Day Previews

St. Mark’s Day marks the end of the regular season for most varsity athletes. Depending on the team, coaches used different strategies to prepare for the big day: some focused on increasing fitness while others use the time to improve technical work. Unfortunately, St. Mark’s does not have a volleyball team; therefore, Groton’s team will be sticking to normal practices until the end of the season. For other teams on campus, however, anticipated builds for the coveted final game.

Walker Davey ’19, boys varsity soccer captain, said the team is “having another great season,” and hopes to finish it off with a win against the Lions. He noted St. Mark’s loss of a star striker last year as being to their advantage. “However, in every game I have played against them in my four years here,” he said, “every game has been close, so you can expect to have another close game this year.” Chewy Bruni ’19 said, “a traditional part of St. Mark’s Day preparation is the team bonding, which involves the boys getting crazy haircuts done by some of the boys on the team. This works as a great way to build the excitement and hype for the game.”

Field hockey captain Sarah Conner ’19 said, “Some of our games haven’t gone our way this season but we’re excited to pull all our hard work together for our last game. It’s definitely going to be a close game but we have a good chance of winning!” Their head coach Ms. Hamlin mentioned preparation with fitness, and in particular, penalty corners as she says the team has been struggling with those.

When talking to varsity football captain, Clement Banwell ’19, his excitement for St. Mark’s Day was apparent. The team members, especially the senior players, are ready for revenge after three years of unfortunate defeat. Although they have been plagued with injury this season, they have kept their record fairly even with wins and losses. Matt Kandel ’20, who will be playing wide receiver against St. Mark’s, said, “We’ve been upping the intensity of practice a lot this week … and staying out later to prepare for the biggest game of the year.”

Mr. Spring, the head coach of girls varsity soccer, planned for a week of the sixth formers’ favorite drills and a team dinner the night before to promote team bonding. He said, “The keys for us will be the speed of play, winning fifty-fifty balls, and staying connected to one another offensively and defensively.”  Captain Lyndsey Toce ’19 added, “I think being a team and spending time together after practice or in the dining hall is going to be really important … we have a good chance of [beating St. Mark’s] as long as we stay connected both mentally and physically on the field.”

At the Independent School League Championships last weekend, the girls cross country team successfully beat St. Mark’s by a margin of 102 points (sum of individual runner rankings on each team). The boys were not so lucky, losing to the Lions by 57 points. The girls will face off again this weekend at the NEPSAC New England Championships running in Division II, but St. Mark’s is not in the same division for the boys’ race. Both have high hopes for their standings overall, and a win against St. Mark’s will make the girls team’s successes even sweeter.

No matter the preparation tactic, all teams must step up today and BEAT ST. MARK’S!