As distance learning continues, we are all finding ways to connect, whether it’s through video, email or simply talking on the phone. In times of hardship and uncertainty, being a part of a team and a community matters. For that reason, we are celebrating the Episcopal spring sports teams. These students have trained hard and we applaud them for their efforts. We also thank our seniors for setting an example for those who will come after them. (All photos courtesy of KnightPix)
When it comes to golf, Coach Randy Richard encourages athletes to “Respect the Game.” He advises his team to “get out and continue honing your craft. Golf is a sport that cannot be mastered, you must continue to build the different aspects of your game all year long, not just during golf season. Take a deep breath, be thankful for your many blessings, and continue to be a good representative of Episcopal.”
One outstanding representative of Episcopal is senior golfer Caroline Glynn. Caroline was a part of the Episcopal team that finished as runner up in the Division II state tournament last year. Coach Richard had the following message for his sole senior. “Caroline, you have had quite a run over the years in golf. I can still remember Coach McCrary telling me about you before you ever arrived at Episcopal. You have exceeded expectations on the course and you are a great representative for Episcopal. Thanks for all your hard work!”
The Episcopal softball Knights were ready to swing into action this spring with seniors Kennedy Clark, Sydney Summerville and Savannah York leading the way. Head Coach Heidi Hebert had this to say about the seniors. “You are an amazing group of young women. You have put in so much work to get where you are today and I could not be more proud of you. This year has thrown you some curve balls, but I know without a shadow of a doubt you are ready for what your next chapter holds for you. You are STRONG and COURAGEOUS, always reach for the stars!”
This year’s senior trio is joined by a strong and talented team. Coach Hebert offers the following advice for uncertain times. “I know your hopes for the 2020 season have changed from the excitement of our success to, will we step on the field again. Unfortunately, life does not always go as planned, but it is what has been put before us and my hope is that you have been able to find positives in your everyday life. I miss seeing your smiling faces, hearing your laughs and even hearing your groans when I tell you to run! You are KNIGHTS! You are capable of achieving many wonderful things. Continue striving for success in all you do!”
The Episcopal tennis team plays with the motto: Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard. Although the season was short, this year’s athletes certainly demonstrated tremendous talent and effort. The team was led by seniors Sarah Collier, Jared Levatino, Will McCarthy, Casey Rigby, Halle Roman and Jack Sulzer. Coach James Clayton had this to say about these talented students. “Thanks to all the seniors who put the hard work and commitment into the tennis program. The coaches appreciate the leadership given to the team during the short time our team had together in 2020. Though every senior did not earn a trophy they earned the coaches respect as young adults that will carry into their next chapter in life.”
Coach Clayton reminds the rest of the tennis squad that the future of the program is bright. “The coaches want to thank the team for working hard and building a strong chemistry during our short time together in 2020. The commitment that each player showed reciprocated throughout the program. This gave us so much motivation and potential as a tennis program. This will carry as a building block for what lies ahead for the program.”
Track & Field
In keeping with Episcopal tradition, the track and field team has already had a tremendous year. The boys squad won the indoor state title and the girls finished the state tournament third. While Coach Claney Duplechin says it would have been great to complete the year with the outdoor title as well, he is grateful to have completed the indoor season and to have earned the victory. He had these words of advice for his team. “I just want all of our team to know how proud I am of them. They were one of the hardest working teams I’ve ever had. I feel very confident we could have won the outdoor title as well. These last couple of weeks have been so hard on all of us. We’ve discussed taking punches and coming back hard. God is truly testing us in these times. We must continue to have faith that things will work out. I know we can’t see the future but I know our team will be better people having gone through these trying times. I so miss our daily routines, the stretching, the talk, the workouts, etc. But what I really miss is each of you.”
This year’s boys track and field team includes seniors Ian Begnaud, James Christian, Alex Harlan, Trevor Heath, Gautam Mahes, Joe Patterson and Kendric Washington. The girls team includes seniors Makenzie Daugherty and Ella Clair Kimbrough. Coach Bill Jones had the following message for his seniors. “I want to let these two girls know that whether we get to complete our season or not that they have both been a pleasure to coach and have contributed greatly to our program.”
“I would like for the rest of our team to know that they are in my thoughts and prayers,” says Coach Jones. “I miss each and every member of our team immensely and can’t wait to get back to coaching them. I feel blessed to be a Knight!”
The spring sports season didn’t turn out like anyone expected. However, there is still the bond of being a part of a team and the connections that players and coaches establish. While we may not be discussing stats, scores and records, we will always remember the lessons, love and camaraderie.
Go Knights. Good People. Have Fun. District, Regional, State Champs.
The sports honors keep coming in for the Knights. Congratulations on the following achievements!
Senior baseball player Peyton Sybrandt signed with the Auburn Tigers for next year. Congratulations!
Senior softball player Sydney Summerville has committed to continue her softball career at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS! Congratulations!
Episcopal basketball players Izzy Besselman, Annslee Bourgeois, Jewel Jones, Sydney Summerville, DJ Morgan and Ricky Volland have earned spots on the 1st Team on their respective All District Teams and Coach Taylor Mims was named the All District Coach of the Year. Congratulations!
“This building comes from love. Love of the experience people have had at Episcopal over 50 years.” That was the statement from Episcopal Head of School Hugh McIntosh at the Field House ribbon cutting. McIntosh was joined by the Episcopal student body, alumni, athletic supporters and donors in the historic occasion that marked the opening of the first new athletic facility on campus since the ‘80s.
In May of 2018, members of the Episcopal community gathered for the groundbreaking of this new facility which boasts more than 22,000 square feet of space for weight training, cardio training, individual sport locker rooms, coaching offices and collaboration spaces, conference rooms, classrooms, a concession stand and a sports medicine space. Since the summer of ’18, the community has watched in excitement and anticipation as the building progressed.
Ribbon cutting day had a pep rally feel, complete with the Episcopal cheerleaders, dance ensemble and members of the school’s drum corps. Cross country state champion James Christian '20 represented current Episcopal athletes on the stage. He was joined by Adele Broussard ’19 and Van Hiles ’93, who represented alumni athletes. PreK-4 student Isaiah Ricard was also on hand to represent the future of Episcopal athletics.
That future is certainly bright. Field House Lead Donor Todd Graves ’90 congratulated McIntosh on the “bold, challenging and fantastic vision” he had to make the Field House, the Academic Commons and Chapel renovations a reality. Field House Lead Donor Gwen Graves ’88 reminded the Episcopal community that the Field House is for everyone and is a great representation of Episcopal’s whole child philosophy. The two were also pleased that the facility will provide coaching staff the space they need to continue making a difference in the lives of students.
The Episcopal coaching staff, led by Athletic Director Randy Richard, were all smiles as the ribbon was cut. The building will allow them to encourage a focus on health and wellness among Episcopal students of all ages. As Reverend Skully Knight said in his introduction and blessing, the Field House truly is for everyone in every division.
The Field House ribbon cutting does not mark the end of the Spirit • Mind • Body effort at Episcopal. Numerous opportunities to be a part of the campaign remain and can be found here. Episcopal has certainly come a long way since the time 50+ years ago when ten families had a vision for a new, independent school option in Baton Rouge. It will be exciting to see where the next 50 years take us.
Thank you to everyone who made the Field House possible, including members of our Field House Giving Circles. A special thank you to Episcopal Director of Operations John Kojis, Cangelosi Ward General Contractors and Grace Hebert Curtis Architects.
The Mardi Gras break was anything but a break for many Episcopal athletes. Catch up with the latest Knights winter sports action.
Indoor Track and Field
The Knights indoor track and field teams were impressive at the recent state meet. The boys squad won their fifth consecutive state championship with multiple podium finishes. In addition, the girls finished third with sophomore Francie Oliver winning the triple jump and numerous podium finishes.
Francie Oliver - triple jump state champion
Paris Auzenne – 2nd place in the 400-meter run
4x400 meter relay – 2nd place, including Paris Auzenne, Tanya Mencer, Chloe Carmouche and Francie Oliver
2A State Champions
4X800 meter relay – 1st place, including Tucker Harrell, Logan LeBlanc, Gautam Mahes and Joe Patterson
4x200 meter relay - 5th place
Senior James Christian - 2nd in the 1600-meter run, 3rd in the 800-meter run and 4th in the 3200-meter run
Senior Joe Patterson - 4th place in the 800-meter run
Ethan Hook and Dryden Duggins - 2nd and 5th respectively in the 60-meter hurdles
Alex Hollier - 7th in the 3200-meter run
4x400 relay – 3rd place, including Thomas D’Armond, Austin Sybrandt, Ethan Hook and Joe Patterson
Oliver Jack - 3rd in the boys shot put
Dylan Mehrotra - 6th in the boys triple jump and tied for 4th in the high jump
Clayton Braud - 7th in the boys triple jump and 10th in the boys long jump
Congratulations to the girls soccer team who advanced to the state semifinal match and finished the season as the district champs. The team was the third seed going into the playoffs, earning them a first round bye then racking up home match wins versus Menard and Catholic New Iberia.
After earning a district title and entering the playoffs as the top ranked team, the Episcopal boys team rushed through the first rounds of the state playoffs, outscoring opponents 8-3. The team made it to the state championship game in Hammond and finished as the state runner-up. Congratulations on a great season!
The girls basketball squad had a successful season, advancing to the semifinal round before losing a tough game on the road. The team finished the season as the 8-2A district champs. They were also named the 94.1 High School Team of the Week. In addition, sophomore Izzy Besselman was named a Louisiana Girls Rankings Player of the Week for her performance against Catholic of New Iberia where she put up 29 points and made 10 rebounds and three blocks. Congratulations, Izzy!
The boys basketball team earned a big regional round playoff win against Northlake Christian on Friday. The team now prepares for the quarterfinal round of the playoffs against Lafayette Christian in Lafayette Tuesday night. The winner moves on to the semifinal round for the opportunity to continue toward a state title. The boys have had a great season so far. Senior DJ Morgan was selected to the 2020 All-Star Basketball team and Coach Chris Beckman was selected as a member of the coaching staff for the 2020 All-Star Basketball game.
The Knights wrestling team had an exciting season, competing at the metro tournament and the state wrestling tournament.
All students, parents and alumni are invited to join us for a schoolwide celebration of the new Episcopal Field House.
Monday, March 9th
Festivities begin on the Episcopal football field.
The new Episcopal Field House will be used by students in all divisions and is a symbol of Episcopal’s commitment to health and wellness. The building boasts more than 22,000 square feet of space for everything from weight and cardio training to physical education classroom space, an expansive terrace and coaching offices. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of this historic occasion.
Naming opportunities including individualized lockers, weight training equipment, terrace pavers and various indoor and outdoor locations are still available for those who are interested. Visit spiritmindbodybr.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Episcopal’s winter athletes have had a tremendous season and it’s not over yet!
The girls basketball team won the 8-2A district championship! The Knights went into the district tournament as the top seed and finished business with a victory over Northeast and Port Allen. With a record of 23 and 5, the team is on a 10 game winning streak that they hope to continue. In recognition of their successful season thus far, the girls were also named the 94.1 High School Team of the Week. The Knights wrap up the regular season tonight at Madison Prep Academy. Bi-district playoff action gets underway on February 20th.
The boys basketball team continues to battle through a successful season. The Knights defeated top ranked Dunham in the district tournament before falling to Port Allen in the final. The boys host Lusher on February 17th at 6 pm and Rapides at 5:30 pm on February 21st.
The third-seeded girls soccer team finished the regular season with a district title. After a first round bye in the playoffs, the Knights had a big win against Menard scoring six goals. The girls now prepare for the quarterfinal game that will take place on Monday, February 17th at 4 pm versus Catholic High New Iberia.
The boys soccer team also earned district championship honors. The number one ranked Knights faced Dunham in the regional round of the playoffs this week. Episcopal came out on top with a final score of one to zero. Tanner Morales scored with a header into the goal from Jett Turnley's free kick. The boys will now host the quarterfinal round on Monday, February 17th at 6:30 pm vs. Pope John Paul II High School.
Indoor Track & Field
The indoor track & field team will compete at the LHSAA State Indoor Track Championship on February 22nd at the LSU Carl Maddox Field House. There are a host of Episcopal boys and girls that have qualified for the meet in hopes of becoming state champs.
The Knights wrestlers had a successful showing at the Brother Martin High School event. William Thomas York placed third in the Middle School championships. JV wrestler Carter McLean finished runner up in the 113 pound weight class at the JV City Championship meet. Wrestling travels this weekend to Shreveport for the state wrestling match at the CenturyLink Center.
The powerlifters pressed their way to a first place finish at the Woodlawn Invitational Powerlifting meet. The team competes again at regionals on February 29th.
The Middle School navy boys and gold girls soccer teams are division champions! The squads won their divisions in the Baton Rouge Soccer Association tournament. Read more about Middle School soccer success here.
The girls eighth grade basketball team finished second in the league, losing by one point to Northwestern in the championship game.
The boys eighth grade basketball team plays for the league championship Saturday, February 15th at 2 pm versus Parkview Baptist. The boys finished third in the St. Thomas More tournament and first in the St. Alphonsus tournament.
The seventh grade boys finished first in the St. Alphonsus tournament.
Senior DJ Morgan has been selected to the 2020 All-Star Basketball Team! The game is set for Saturday, March 14th at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier, LA. In addition, Coach Chris Beckman was selected as a member of the coaching staff for the 2020 All Star Basketball Game.
Senior Tochi Mbagwu has been selected to the 2020 East All-Star Soccer Team! The game is set for Saturday, February 29th at 9 am in Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.
Congratulations to Episcopal defensive back Kolin Bilbrew for being named 1st Team All State and running back Ryan Armwood for being named 2nd Team All State. Both Knights were also selected All-Metro in football for classes 3A and below.
“This group is the rowdiest of fans and I am appreciative for the effort they put in.” Episcopal Athletic Director Randy Richard
If senior Jack Campbell walks away from an Episcopal sporting event unable to speak because he’s lost his voice, it’s been a good game for him. Campbell, who plays baseball for the Knights, is also the co-president of the Episcopal Fan Club. He and his counterpart, Griff Strain, want to see Episcopal represented at sporting events with the loudest, most passionate group of student fans possible. The two know they have done their job when they hear from the athletes that the student section was audible from the playing field. Campbell takes particular pride in knowing that during a recent rivalry game, the Episcopal student section was larger and louder than the fans on the other side of the field.
Campbell and Strain love sports and the sense of community that athletics generates. “We care about the school a lot,” says Strain, who plays football and baseball for the Knights. He says Fan Club members want to show support for Episcopal. They accomplish this in numerous ways. “It is crucial to have the student fan support for the Episcopal Athletic program,” says Athletic Director Randy Richard. “The Fan Club presidents coordinate our student population; from meeting locations and game day themes to athletic recognition during the school day.” Campbell and Strain are joined in their Fan Club efforts by fellow spirited students Joyner Brown, Sarah Collier, Ella Kimbrough and Will McCarthy.
Being a Fan Club member affords students the opportunity to get to know their classmates and make new connections. Strain says that sense of connection carries over to the school day as a Fan Club member compliments an athlete on a great game. “There’s a smile on their face when you talk to them,” he says. Campbell says attending athletic events has provided him an opportunity to see his classmates in action and to get to know them beyond sitting next to them in math class. The two avid sports fans say the Fan Club experience has also provided them the opportunity to learn more about different sports. For example, Campbell says he has learned more about volleyball and cross country just by being there to support his classmates.
As athletes themselves, Campbell and Strain recognize the importance of support. They say athletes are motivated by having a cheering section. “It means a lot to know that people care,” says Strain. Fan Club members self-organize in an effort to have someone at the majority of Episcopal sporting events so that all athletes can feel that support. This dedication is especially impressive when students attend those early Saturday morning games in the cold or the cross country championships in the rain.
With Fan Club members cheering them on, the Upper and Middle School Knights have done very well this school year with district and state championships. There is more action ahead. Mark these upcoming winter sports events on your calendar. You’re sure to see a Fan Club member there. Feel free to join in their cheers. Go Knights!
Upper School Events:
Monday, February 3rd
5 pm Freshman boys basketball hosts Woodlawn
6 pm Varsity girls basketball team hosts Mentorship Academy
6 pm Varsity girls soccer versus Central at Central
Wednesday, February 5th
5 pm Freshman boys basketball versus Madison Prep at Madison Prep
6 pm Junior varsity boys basketball versus Madison Prep at Madison Prep
7 pm Varsity boys basketball versus Madison Prep at Madison Prep
Thursday, February 6th – Saturday, February 8th
Varsity girls basketball district tournament at Episcopal
Saturday, February 8th
Indoor Track and Field Meet at LSU
Wrestling JV City
Middle School Events:
Monday, February 3rd
5 pm Boys sixth grade basketball versus UHigh
6 pm Boys seventh grade basketball versus UHigh
7 pm Boys eighth grade basketball versus UHigh
Tuesday, February 4th
5:30 pm Boys sixth grade basketball versus Hosanna Christian
6:30 pm Boys eighth grade basketball versus Glen Oaks
Wednesday, February 5th
6:30 pm Boys seventh grade basketball versus Parkview Baptist
The Middle School navy boys and gold girls soccer teams are champs! Both squads won their divisions in last weekend’s Baton Rouge Soccer Association tournament.
“There is an incredible amount of talent in Middle School,” says girls soccer coach James Moroney. This talent is enhanced by the positive, enthusiastic attitudes of the players. Moroney says the girls simply love to play and always play hard. For example, he says when the goalkeeper couldn’t play due to injury, another player who had never played the position gladly stepped up and did the job. He says when needed, the leading scorers willingly played defense. “Whatever is needed for the team, they were happy to do that,” he says. Fellow coach Rhys Lopiparo says she was happy for the opportunity to work with the girls. “They always went above and beyond my expectations, and I could not have asked for a better first season of my coaching career,” she says. “I am incredibly proud of the hard work the girls put in over the past few months, and I can’t wait to see how their knowledge of the game continues to grow.”
The gold team ended the season with a perfect record of 8 and 0, allowing only one goal all season in the final contest. The navy team advanced to a semi-final match, playing what Moroney considered their best outing of the season. Moroney says the girls were supportive of each other all season, helping each other develop their skills and grow in the game.
When he’s not coaching soccer, Moroney, who was a high school soccer player, can be found teaching eighth grade math. He sees coaching as a way to connect with students outside of the classroom. “It’s rewarding to see them be successful,” he says. “It’s a fulfillment of the time and hard work the girls and coaches put into the season.”
On the boys side, there was also tremendous success. The navy team won the Division I trophy. Coach and Episcopal dad Paolo Messina says this championship is especially meaningful because the boys were competing in the highest and toughest division of the tournament. The tournament includes teams from throughout the Baton Rouge region and competitions are set without regard to school size. Messina says the Episcopal squads included players who have never played soccer or haven’t played in years as well as highly competitive players who are training for the next level. He says the players really played hard with several leaders developing. “Not having the entire team for any game allowed kids to get playing time and improve their skills,” says Messina. “They meshed and played well together.” Fellow coach and recent Episcopal grad Eliott Reimann ’19 agrees. “I am extremely proud of how the team grew as the season progressed,” he says. “Not in a single game this season was our full roster present, but they never made excuses and stuck to the game plan. They played with heart, and tenacity, I couldn’t have asked for anything else.”
The navy team finished the season with five wins, two losses and one tie. The team fought through several close contests to finish the tournament with a perfect 3 and 0 record. Winning the championship was the highlight of the season. “It’s a pretty big deal,” says Messina. “This is a citywide tournament. I don’t think Episcopal has ever won the tournament.”
Messina, who is a full-time attorney, began coaching eight years ago as a way to spend time with his own children. As a high school soccer player, he always loved the game and he found he also loved coaching. He says when the opportunity arose to coach this year’s boys squad, he was excited for the chance to get involved. “It was a pleasure to watch them win it all,” says Messina.
It wasn’t only soccer fans who were excited about Middle School soccer this season. Soccer fever swept through Middle School with the trophies shared with classmates at Morning Meeting. “While what we care the most about is teamwork, effort, and character, it’s also true that those things in combination also commonly lend themselves to success,” says Division Head Mark Engstrom. “I’m so proud of our soccer teams for their recent victories. Their effort and attention to detail has led them to where they are now, and we couldn’t be happier for them and the example they are setting for those who will come after them.”
The final buzzer sounds, and the girls basketball team has done it again! The Knights are all smiles and the crowd roars their appreciation for a great team effort. This season, the Episcopal girls basketball team has earned wins against 5A schools Walker High and St. Joseph’s Academy. They’ve bested St. Michael and St. Scholastica. They have come together as a team and it’s exciting to watch.
Like most teams, this group of girls runs drills together, lifts weights together and spends hours practicing on the court. But it’s the behind the scenes focus on service that tells a bigger story. These athletes volunteered at a church youth camp and at the Shepherd’s Market Food Pantry gather the supplies they needed for their homes. For Christmas, the team wrapped gifts they donated to the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program. They have even attended Episcopal Lower School girls basketball games where they cheered on the mini Knights with enthusiasm and spirit. Why would a group of high school students dedicate so many hours to service?
“God gave us the talent of athleticism,” says senior forward Sydney Summerville. “God allows us to play on the court as a team. Service is our way to thank Him for that.”
This is a powerful reminder of why service is as much a part of life at Episcopal as academics, arts and athletics. Service examples can be found throughout every division. For example, a fifth grade lesson on the cultures of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas led to the creation of the global marketplace. Students sold handmade items to generate funds, which were donated to Heifer International to purchase livestock for residents in poverty-stricken nations. Middle School project-based lessons have benefitted Friends of the Animals, Catholic Charities and Support Our War Heroes. Ninth graders began this school year with a service learning retreat in August. Students volunteered at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Melrose Elementary, the Knock Knock Children’s Museum, Front Yard Bikes and the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired.
While service learning is required in Upper School, many students participate in the projects simply because they want to help. Coach Taylor Mims says the girls basketball team made a commitment to service this season. “We want to think outside of us,” she says. “We are fortunate to be here and this is our norm, but we must think about what we can do for others.”
This commitment to service runs throughout Upper School. To empower students and encourage participation, there is a student service learning team. This group of students meets monthly to discuss potential projects and how to make them enjoyable for the Upper School community. “As co-president of the center for service learning, I’ve tried to advertise service as a fun activity, not as a graduation requirement,” says senior Ryan Whaley. “By pushing groups of friends to complete service together and by working with administrators to find fun new service projects, I think that our team has done a great job branding service as a ‘fun activity.’”
Collectively, the Episcopal community can do tremendous good. In November, members of the community donated more than 3,000 pounds of food to the Shepherd’s Market Food Pantry. More than 3,000 pounds! Each year, members of the Episcopal community participate in a school supply drive benefiting our partner school Melrose Elementary. When Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and surrounding areas, members of the community donated supplies to help residents recover.
Next week, there are numerous opportunities for Episcopal students and staff to serve, including the 2020 MLK Fest presented by the Walls Project, City Year’s Day of Service and the Front Yard Bikes effort to refurbish their outdoor spaces. Beginning February 1st, Episcopal volunteers will once again work alongside a new homeowner to build a home through Habitat for Humanity. Summerville, who is great at the three point line, says the basketball team has plans to work a Habitat shift together. Episcopal students and staff have participated in the student Habitat build for nearly 20 years.
It is often said that those who serve others reap more benefits than the people they are serving. In an educational setting, service learning helps students connect what they learn in the classroom to real world issues. It helps spark innovation and imagination as they explore and work toward meaningful solutions. It also fosters empathy for others that will hopefully generate understanding, a willingness to help and a desire to make the world a better place.
Thank you to everyone who makes service a priority, especially our student volunteers.
In 2006, Assistant Athletic Director Jimmy Williams ’97 was in the middle of spring workouts with the Seattle Seahawks when he got word that he was to be inducted into the Episcopal Athletic Hall of Fame. He remembers his coach instantly advising him to return home for the ceremony. He recalls his teammates congratulating him and telling him that being selected to your school’s Hall of Fame is truly an honor. They said Hall of Fame recognition means people remember your contribution and you have left a lasting legacy.
The Episcopal Hall of Fame celebrates the legacy of outstanding athletes and non-athletes who have provided significant support to Episcopal athletics. There are currently 23 Knights among this elite group. Some of the high school standouts have gone on to become professional athletes. Meghan O’Leary ’03 is a World Cup medalist, a National Selection Regatta Champion and an Olympic rower. Williams and fellow 2006 inductee Van Hiles ’93 both went on to play football in the NFL. Episcopal Hall of Fame inductees, such as Dr. Rubin Patel ’90, have earned athletic scholarships to top-tier universities. These Knights are leaders in their communities. They are ambassadors for their school. “This is a prestigious honor,” says Episcopal Athletic Director Randy Richard. “It means you were one of the best and you continue to represent Episcopal well.”
Being a student athlete can be challenging. Richard says students spend a full day at school, attend practice for as long as three hours a day and then return home to complete homework and prepare for exams. During the summer, many athletes dedicate themselves to the strength and conditioning program, as well as summer leagues to continue to hone their skills. "The planning and communication that a student has to commit to is multiplied when a student participates in multiple activities,” says Richard. A spot in the Episcopal Hall of Fame is a way to recognize the hours and the effort. “It validates all the work,” says Williams. “For me it was bigger than winning a state championship.”
The Episcopal Hall of Fame is about more than records and championships. For an athletic program to truly be successful there must be a community of supporters who may never wear a blue and gold uniform, but nonetheless have a tremendous impact. The Hall of Fame committee recognizes these contributions and includes noteworthy supporters. One example is former Episcopal math teacher Kay Fenton, who was chosen for the Hall of Fame in 2009. While she was not an athlete or a coach, the athletics staff recognized the tremendous support Fenton provided to student athletes. “She wasn’t a coach, but she might as well have been,” says Williams. “She was special.” Williams says students always knew that Fenton would be in attendance when they took the field or the court. “It means a lot when faculty are there in the stands,” he says. “I don’t think they realize how much it means to our students.” Richard says Fenton was also recognized because she understood the challenges that student athletes face when juggling athletics and academics. “She was dedicated to making sure our athletes succeeded the right way in the classroom,” he says.
Another inductee who did not play for the Knights is longtime Episcopal supporter LaRon Phillips. Richard says Phillips has been an overwhelming source of support for Episcopal athletics over the years and he continues that commitment even now with his support of the new field house. In addition, Richard says last year’s inductee, Althea “Chinkie” Cointment, was recognized for her efforts in bolstering female athletics at Episcopal. She was also a key catalyst in establishing a successful girls Middle School athletics program.
Like inductees in years past, this year’s honoree will be invited to speak at the spring athletic ceremony in May. This is a special occasion for those being honored and the students who get to spend time with them. “The Hall of Fame serves as a compass that points to people who were successful in the past,” says Williams. “It also provides a way to merge the athletes of the past with the next generation.” Williams says it makes an impression on the young athletes when a professional offers them words of advice and wisdom. It is especially meaningful when those words are coming from someone who worked out in the same locker rooms or played in the same gym. “It makes it tangible and gives students a sense of history,” he says.
Williams wants his fellow inductees to know that they are serving as an example for today’s students. He regularly fields questions from students about the people listed on the honorary plaques in the gym. “It gives them a bar to work toward,” he says. Richard hopes student athletes gain inspiration from past successes. “I hope they think about the future and continuing to represent Episcopal,” he says. “I hope they reflect on the influence they have on future generations with what they are accomplishing today.”
We invite you to recognize someone who has made a significant contribution to Episcopal athletics by nominating them for the Hall of Fame. You can submit your nomination online by clicking here and scrolling to the nomination form. Completing the form is quick and easy. The deadline to submit your nomination is Friday, February 28th.
Whose contributions will you recognize?
Congratulations to members of the Episcopal Athletic Hall of Fame
2019 – Althea “Chinkie” Cointment
2018 – April Brown ’95
2017 – P. Holden Spaht Jr. ’92
2016 – Andrew G. Loupe ’07
2015 – Shelby Seger Vickers '83
2014 – Meghan O’Leary ’03
2013 – Joseph Finley Clark '78
2012 –Charles Sentrell Kennon Jr. '88
Robert Louis Sindelar II '86
2011 – Neil Abramson '85
2009 – Kay Fenton
N. LaRon Phillips
2008 – David Abramson '84
Mark Elliott '84
Nikki Seger '80
2007 – Stephen Underwood '94
Rubin Patel ’90
Baker Vinci '80
2006 – Frances Compton
Fran Teeter Flory '80
Van Hiles ’93
Jennifer Meade McCarthy '94
Jimmy Williams ’97
5 and 0! That’s how the boys basketball team has started this year’s run. Head Coach Chris Beckman says he’s very pleased with the Knights’ performance in the early contests. This year’s squad has a big goal – get to the semifinals for the fourth year in a row. If they accomplish this feat the group of five close-knit seniors will be the first to go to the semis every year of Upper School. Those seniors include Thomas Besselman, Kaplan McMains, DJ Morgan, Jack Ter Haar and Ricky Volland. Coach Beckman says the group has a special chemistry this year after having played together for so many years. In fact, Volland, McMains and Ter Haar have played together since Middle School. Also having a tremendous impact on the team this year is sophomore starter Stewart Bonnecaze. The Knights have already proven their skills with victories against 4A schools Nelville and Broadmoor. Coach Beckman says playing the larger teams only helps the Knights improve as they prepare for upcoming district play.
Mark your calendar for these key contests:
January 23 at 5:30 pm: Jehovah-Jireh at Istrouma High School
January 31 at 5:00 pm: Dunham at The Dunham School
Christian, culture, classroom, court and community. These 5C’s represent the team’s mindset. Coach Taylor Mims says the girls squad also has big goals for themselves. One goal has already been checked off the list – beat 5A Walker High School. After years of coming up close, but not earning the victory the Knights were able to best the Wildcats. With a record of 5 and 1 the girls team has also won against other large schools, including St. Michael and St. Scholastica.
Another goal for the girls this year is to host the district tournament. Coach Mims says the team with the best power ranking earns the right to host the eight-team tournament where the district champs are ultimately crowned. Coach Mims says home court advantage is important. “The players are more comfortable at home,” she says. “They’re in a routine, in their own locker room and shooting on their own goals.” Episcopal earned hosting duties last year, but came up short on the title. This year’s team hopes to win the title and make it to the final four.
The girls team is led by seniors Sydney Summerville, Kennedy Clark, Angel Batarseh and Dariah Deskins. Sophomore starter Izzy Besselman is also a big factor having put up 28 points against St. Michael and 22 against Walker. Coach Mims says the future is bright for girls basketball with a talented freshman class and impressive Middle School players.
When they’re not on the court, you can find the girls team making a difference in the community. Coach Mims says the team has a goal of performing community service as a team. Already this year they have participated in Operation Christmas and volunteered at the Shepherd’s Market. They hope to spend time with children at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital later this month.
Mark your calendar for these key games:
January 7 at 6:00 pm: St. Joseph’s Academy in the main gym
January 11 at 6:00 pm: Northlake Christian in the main gym
The girls soccer team is young and passionate. The group looks to be competitive as they head into district play which gets underway in January. Look for junior captain Grace Moraes to defend the goal well. In addition, junior Katherine Scarton, freshmen Caroline Chick and Katie Capron, and eighth grader Annaleigh Bruser will have an impact on the backline. Also watch out for Faith Johnston up top. The team hopes to build upon their wins at the Pineville Rebel Cup to catapult them to a successful season.
Mark your calendar for these key games:
January 14 at 6:00 pm: Pointe Coupee Catholic at home
January 18 at 1:00 pm: Runnels at home
The Episcopal boys soccer squad is currently ranked number one in the coaches poll! The team is off to an impressive 5-0-1 start, including a victory over top-ranked Newman. The team is looking to win the district title for a third year in a row and earn a playoff berth. The program is led by 10 seniors including Tochi Mbagwu, Jett Turnley, Anders Melton, Jared Levantino, Trevor Heath, Tanner Bodron, Tanner Morales, Casey Rigby, Grant Coffman and Joe Acierno. You can cheer on these seniors at Senior Knight on Wednesday, January 8th when the boys take on UHigh at home.
Mark your calendar for these key contests:
January 15 at 6:00 pm: Dunham at The Dunham School
January 18 at 11 am: Brighton at home
January 24 at 6:00 pm: Central in Central
January 29 at 6:00 pm: Runnels at Runnels
Track and Field
The Episcopal track team is lacing up their spikes for another season. Look for state championship runner James Christian to go the distance and have a significant impact for the Knights. Coach Claney Duplechin says there are numerous additional athletes to watch this season.
Oliver Jack – discus and shot put
Peyton Pontif – javelin
Ethan Hook – hurdles
Clayton Braud – high jump, long jump and hurdles
Dylan Mehrota – high jump and long jump
Ryan Armwood- sprint
Dryden Duggins- hurdles
Ian Begnaud - pole vault
Coach Bill Jones says the girls squad is also comprised of an exciting group of athletes.
Francie Oliver – long jump ,triple jump and high jump
Paris Auzenne – sprints
Tanya Mencer – hurdles, 400
Bethany Reid – hurdles, 400
Mia Pulliam – distance
Scarlett Spender – distance
Ivy Jiang – distance
Izzy Besselman – high jump, long jump and triple jump
Coach Dupe, Coach Jones and the rest of the coaching staff, including Kate Cramer, Charlie O’Brien and Ricky Sheldon will have the Knights ready for competition. “Competition is going to be tougher this year,” says Coach Dupe. “Expectations are high.” Coach Dupe says the boys team is facing tougher competitors this year such as Kentwood and Lafayette Christian, but the Knights will be ready.
Key dates for the Knights:
January 25th – LSU High School Qualifier
February 8th – LSU High School Last Chance Qualifier
February 22nd – State Championship Meet
The Episcopal wrestling squad is a cohesive team of self-motivated athletes. The group is led by seniors Jackson Morris, Wyatt Laiche and Max Reihs. Head coach Charlie O’Brien ’13 has also enlisted the help of last year’s captain and current LSU freshman Taner Morgan ’19. O’Brien says Taner knows the current players and offers good insight on the mat. O’Brien also counts on the advice of former Episcopal wrestling coach Phil Bode who started the program eight years ago. Coach Bode often comes by to give a quick lesson or cheer the team on at a tournament. Coach O’Brien says the team is working to finish matches strong this year. Already, Matthew Mohammadi has celebrated a match victory and Morris and Laiche won matches at the Griffin open.
Mark your calendar for these key events:
January 19: LA Classic Wrestling at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center
January 31 and February 1: Metro Tournament at Catholic High School
February 14 and 15: State Championship meet in Bossier City
Field House Update
Check out the video below for a look inside the new Episcopal Field House.