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Posted Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014 

Football beats Berkshire 12-8

The Wilbraham & Monson Academy Football team earned another great win for the 2014 season, beating the Berkshire School 12-8 on the turf at WMA Sept. 27.

The game came down to the final play, with the Titans winning after forcing a pass by the Berkshire quarterback to sail out of the end zone.

“It was a really hot day and we hadn’t been in that type of heat for a little while, so for our guys to come through was incredibly fun to watch and it was exciting to see them pull out the win,” WMA Coach Jeff Vartabedian said. “We’re so incredibly proud of the effort the guys put in.

“The guys dug down deep. The d-line and linebackers played really well. The effort and pursuit on the defensive side of the ball was a key to the game.”

The Titans, who are off to a 2-0 start for the first in more than seven years, have allowed just three touchdowns this season.

Caelen Etti ’17 scored on a one-yard run late in the first quarter, and quarterback Jack Faulstick ’16 found Max Alpert ’15 for a 14-yard strike midway through the third quarter as WMA took a 12-0 lead. Berkshire scored early in the fourth quarter to pull within 12-8 before the game was decided on the final two series.

Jack gave WMA a huge lift when he converted a third-and-long situation with a 22-yard run with five minutes remaining, putting the ball in Berkshire territory. The Titans eventually punted, but they took key time off the clock and pushed the Bears back to their 15-yard line.

Berkshire moved the ball down the field on its final position, and had a first down-and-goal from the six-yard line with less than a minute to play. A holding penalty against the Bears pushed them back, and the Titans’ defense held strong on the final four plays of the game.

Overall, WMA stopped Berkshire three times on fourth down situations – all inside the Titans’ 35-yard line. Defensively, Aaron Louis ’15 and Miles Nallen ’15 led WMA with 15 tackles, with Drew Mele ’15 had nine. Shungo Tanaka ’17 picked off a pass for the first interception of his young career, accounting for the only turnover of the game.

Posted Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014 

Girls' Soccer blanks Williston

The Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls’ Soccer team extended its undefeated season, pumping in three first half goals to beat the visiting Williston Northampton School 3-0 Sept. 27.

“This game with Williston is certainly a rivalry game, and this past Saturday was no different," WMA Coach Don Nicholson ’79 said. “This is always a very intense match and our girls had to play their best to beat this very good Williston team 3-0.

“WMA has a very good balance on the team right now as the contributions are coming from so many different players, both offensively and defensively. The three goals scored against Williston were put in by three different players, and the assists were also added by two other members of the team.”

The Titans improved to 5-0-1 and already have four shutouts in 2014.

Annika Bruce ’17, Gianna Mitchell ’17 and Molly Socha ’15 scored 15 minutes apart late in the first half against the Wildcats, with Nica Bernardo ’15 and Katie Cronin ’15 earning assists.

The midfield play of Molly, Nica, Gianna, Annika, Payton Grande ’16 and Mary Sparago ’17 never allowed Williston to get going offensively.


Posted Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014 

Field Hockey ties Suffield

It was a game of firsts for the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Field Hockey team Sept. 27.

First, goalie Emma Stoll ’18 made her debut as a field player, and before too long she recorded her first goal.

And in the end, for the first time since the program began roughly 10 years ago, WMA didn’t lose to Suffield Academy.

Emma scored in the first half and the Titans continued to play solid field hockey, earning a 1-1 tie at rival Suffield.

The tie moved WMA’s record to 2-1-2.

“The team is gelling really well,” WMA Coach Liz Fontaine said. “We didn’t graduate many people, and most of the new girls have played before. I’m able to move girls to different positions and they know the game very well, which allows us to work on the tactical areas of the game.”

Emma scored on her own rebound following a pass from Hannah Clewes ’15.

“Since I had never played in the field before that week, I felt good that I was able to score and help the team,” Emma said.

WMA’s defense was led by Sydney Liptak ’16, Alex Garrison ’18, Zoe Bloomfield ’18, Hope Williams ’15 and goalie Jenna Paszek ’17.

Posted Monday, Sep 29, 2014 

WMAction helps Northampton with urban forest canopy

Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s WMAction took volunteering to a rare level Sept. 13.

Not only did Coach John Lombard and four of his team members generously donate their time off campus, but they worked side by side with and learned from people regarded as experts in their respective field.

For seven hours, the WMAction members collaborated with an arborist, forester and professor in Northampton regarding the city’s current and future tree situation.

“Trees might be our simplest low-hanging fruit for cooling off urban centers that have urban hot zones - that means people are using less electricity, using less fossil fuels, and that will have a direct way in how to slow down our, what seems like an inescapable, path we’re on,” Coach Lombard said. “We’ll pass two degrees warming fairly soon, and if we pass six degrees, it’s incompatible of human life as we know it.

“Trees are critical background for our future survival.”

WMAction’s James Sabatino ’16, Sally Qiu ’16, David Zhang ’17 and Samantha Pajak ’15 surveyed 5-7% of the city’s trees that are within 10 feet of a street. The group used an i-Tree application.

Coach Lombard was involved in a similar activity for his WMA-sponsored Global Educator Grant, where he went to Toronto and met with forestry leaders on how to help with that city’s carbon footprint. With a 40% urban forest canopy rating, Toronto is regarded as a world leader in that area.

“This was a unique volunteer project for a high school student,” Coach Lombard said. “There was a lot of intellectual engagement, working with software, and working toward something that’s very important for the city of Northampton.

“Having an academic, real world component to that volunteering was very exciting, and it also had an activist component.”

Sally worked alongside a professor from the University of Massachusetts, measuring various trees regarding their type and size.

“The researcher taught us how to use the i-Tree application,” Sally explained. “At first I thought it was going to be very hard to use because it’s such a sophisticated app, but it’s actually very easy as long as you know how to do it.

“The opportunity to work with a professional let me learn . . . it was like taking a university lecture.”

Coach Lombard said the sample size WMAction helped provide will help the city of Northampton determine how many more trees it will need to improve the urban forest canopy.

“The value of homes goes way up when they have tree-lined neighborhoods,” Coach Lombard said. “There’s a rule of thumb: for every dollar spent on a tree you get four dollars back.”


Posted Friday, Sep 26, 2014 

Girls' Soccer top defending New England champ

How good is this season’s Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls’ Soccer team?

Good enough to beat the defending New England Class B champion.

Alex Baltazar ’15 scored on a pair of set plays from Molly Socha ’15 in the second half as the host Titans stunned Tabor Academy 2-0 Sept. 24.

“With this victory over the Class B defending New England champion, Tabor Academy, the Titans now stand at 4-0-1,” WMA Coach Don Nicholson ’79 said. “Playing a team from eastern New England helps to promote the message across the region that WMA Girls’ Soccer has something special going on this season. This team plays with intensity and great heart. They play well together and are tremendously close to each other off the field.”

Alex scored 14 minutes into the second half and then again with five minutes remaining.

The back line of Tori Bernardo ’15, Nicole Cronin ’15, Meg Harrington ’15, Val MacEachern ’17 and Julia Sparago ’17 helped the team record its third shutout in its last four matches. Goalie Madison Shuttleworth ’17 recorded eight saves.


Posted Friday, Sep 26, 2014 

Boys' Soccer beats Suffield 3-1

Four days after suffering a result it didn’t want, host and undermanned Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys’ Soccer rebounded by beating rival Suffield Academy Sept. 24.

The Titans rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to beat the Tigers and improve to 2-1-2.

“I’m very proud of how the team played today, from the leadership of our veterans to the poise of some of our younger guys,” Coach Gary Cook said. “It was rewarding to observe and their hard work is beginning to pay off.

“We lost a key player to injury on Saturday, Jomei Bean Lindo ’16, who left the game in an ambulance. He will be back we hope before long but his teammates really stepped in to fill the void today. This was a result the boys needed and they earned – together. Coach (Sean) McGrath ’07 and I are pleased to say the least. The road ahead only gets tougher, but these guys will compete, that's for sure.”

WMA was coming off a 3-3 tie at Cushing Academy, where the Titans led 3-1 late into the match before allowing two goals. The Academy allowed the first goal against Suffield and had very little flow to its game before the match changed, with Rahmi Shawki ’15, Macauley Rouette ’18 and Chris Kalil ’17 giving the Titans a big lift with their play.

Rahmi scored on a penalty kick after Evan Roy ’15 was taken down in the box 10 minutes into the second half. Jazario Brimmer ’17 and Jan Li ’15 scored soon thereafter, with assists from Jahkeem Hunt ’16 and Brendan Kane ’17.


Posted Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014 

Football wins opener

The bus taking the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Football team to its game Saturday broke down.

The Titans, though, did not.

Led by a strong defensive performance, particularly in the second half, WMA defeated the Canterbury School 26-13 in its season opener on the road under the lights.

“Our guys were really excited to go there,” WMA Coach Jeff Vartabedian said. “The bus broke down on the way there about six miles from campus so that was a little distraction, but it didn’t faze the guys. We were a little bit rushed when we got there but we came out and you could tell our guys were ready to play right away.”

Shawn Boston ’15, who finished with 152 yards on 17 carries, scored on a 62 yard run in the first quarter to give the Academy the lead. Canterbury responded with a touchdown on a long pass, but quarterback Jack Faulstick ’16 snuck in from one yard out as the Titans led 12-7 at halftime.

Jack again scored on a one yard quarterback sneak to put WMA ahead 20-7 in the third quarter. Canterbury came back with another touchdown pass, but Julian Santos ’15 gave the Academy another two-touchdown lead when he scored on a four yard run in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

WMA’s defense caused four turnovers in the second half, with Anthony Garro ’15 (two) and Aaron Louis ’15 coming through with interceptions, and Shawn forcing a fumble.

“I thought the team played really, really hard,” Coach Vartabedian said. “It was a complete team effort: offense, defense and special teams played a big part in the game. The defense set the tone. We let up a couple big plays which led to scores for them, but other than that we were forcing three-and-outs on a lot of possessions. That gave us a lot of good field position for our offense. Anthony Garro was phenomenal for us in the punting game – he changed the field for us a couple times.

“The offensive line was terrific. They created some good seams and Shawn benefitted. He ran really well, and Mecca had a huge 40-yard rushing play for us as well. Being able to run the ball was good and made a big difference.”

The teams tied last year 21-21 in the season opener. The Titans host the Berkshire School Saturday at 3 p.m. on the turf.


Posted Friday, Sep 19, 2014 

Gayle Hsiao to volunteer at the Clinton Global Initiative

Director of the International Student Program Gayle Hsiao will be volunteering this weekend at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City. Mrs. Hsiao, who volunteered at the event once before, will be meeting and greeting guests and assisting in seating.
The event, held Sept. 21-24, 2014, will take place at the Sheraton and has a theme of "Reimagining Impact," challenging attendees to "rethink how we create value through new approaches to address complex global challenges going forward."

Mrs. Hsiao's daughter Katherine works for the Cllinton Foundation and was able to secure Mrs. Hsiao a volunteer position at the annual meeting, where she will also have the opportunity to attend sessions.

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