An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

Winter Athletics Preview: Basketball, Fencing, Hockey, Alpine, Nordic, Boys' Swim and Dive

Boys’ Basketball

After graduating four starters and a total of seven seniors, the SPA boys’ basketball team will look a little different this season. The team will be led by senior captain Adam Holod who is a three-year starter, 1000-point career scorer, and one of the top players in the IMAC conference. Adam will be joined by six fellow senior classmen — co-captain Ivan Stachook, Noah Lindeman, Levi Mellin, Ahmed Umer, Evan Reynolds, and Patrick Hooley — who demonstrate on-court leadership and experience playing together for many years. Finally, juniors Brandt Baskerville, Gregory Forsberg, Clarke Baskerville, and Charlie Johnson are also sure to be impact players for the Spartans. Head Coach Kevin Keto is excited to get back on the court and hopes to improve every single day in order to put together a winning season.


Girls’ Basketball

This year's Spartan girls’ basketball team is small in numbers but mighty in spirit. Be on the lookout for the dynamic trio of seniors back for their final year: Julia Baron is the team’s captain and defensive aficionado; Annabelle Bond has solid fundamentals and is aggressive under the boards; and look for Jane Christakos who is sure to make her mark behind the three-point line. The team is also excited to have Lindsay Browne back following an incredible freshman season. Finally, watch for junior Naomi Straub who is quick on the steal, as well as the Spartan’s ninth-grade point guard Naomi Kempcke who cannot be stopped when she hits a shooting hot streak!


Fencing

Due to COVID-19, Spartan Fencing will not compete in any tournaments this season. The team will continue to practice and plan to compete internally as a team. The Spartan’s goal for the year is to use the sport of fencing as a tool to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and have fun.


Boys’ Hockey

Boys’ hockey, a cooperative team between SPA, Great River, TCA, St. Agnes, and NOVA, is excited to begin the season under the new leadership of Head Coach Brian Murphy. Coach Murphy has been impressed with the team in their first few days of practice and plans to focus this year on mastering fundamentals, playing as a cohesive unit, and competing at the highest level. Watch for leadership from captains Michael Bagnoli ’21, Judah Thomas ’21, and Will Schavee ‘21, as well as strong gameplay from senior Evan Thissen and John Becker, and youngster George Peltier ’23.


Girls’ Hockey

SPA is excited to begin its inaugural season in a new girls’ hockey co-op. Brandishing the name "United", the team is composed of players from SPA, Minnehaha Academy, DeLaSalle, Providence Academy, and St. Agnes. United will compete in the IMAC Conference and in Section 6AA with several of the state's best hockey teams. Among the players to watch on this year's United team is SPA junior Lucie Bond who racked up 34 points last season as a sophomore. Junior Ava Wasserman from Providence Academy is another to keep an eye on in 2021; Ava led her team in scoring last season with 35 goals. Defensively, the team will be led by SPA senior Erin Magnuson and St. Agnes senior Emma Bettencourt. Senior SPA goalie Allison Audette will lead a trio of solid United netminders.


Alpine Skiing

With no postseason meets taking place this year, Spartan Alpine is laser-focused on winning the IMAC this season. The girls’ team will look to improve upon their fourth-place IMAC finish from last season; Blake will be tough to top but the Spartans are confident they can finish in second place if they put up strong times throughout the season. Top returning girls include senior captain Julia Scott, senior Isabelle Wolpert, and sophomore Maya Sachs. Despite graduating the #1 IMAC skier last season and another Top 5 skier taking the season off, SPA’s boys’ team is confident their depth will be enough to maintain their second-place standing in the IMAC from last year. Top returning boys include junior Will Sedo, sophomore Soren Mishra, and senior captains Matthew Degnan and Phineas Tait, with high hopes for new team member freshman Henry Giles. Finally, Alpine is excited to welcome 13 new members to the team this season!


Nordic Skiing

With people wanting to find a way to stay active safely during the pandemic, Spartan Nordic Skiing is excited to welcome a lot of new skiers this year! The Spartans will be captained by seniors Jonas Bray, Sara Browne, Isabel Toghramadjian, and Anthony Chen who are excited to bring together both the old and the new skiers. SPA will also look for leadership from eighth-grader Inga Wing who represented SPA at the 2019-20 State Meet and placed in the Top 35 skiers. Overall, the team’s goals this winter are “to find joy on the snow, learn challenging techniques, and keep ourselves and each other safe.”


 Boys’ Swimming and Diving

The Trojans, a cooperative program between SPA and Highland Park Senior High, are excited to be back in the pool and are ready to defend the St. Paul City Conference title for the seventh year in a row. Additionally, the team has set a goal to win all their dual meets in 2021. With a short season and limited preparation, the team knows they will need to come together, work hard, and push each other in order to accomplish their objectives. Notable SPA boys to watch for include freshman Rishi Bhargava who is a breaststroke and sprint freestyle specialist; senior Sean Stephenson who swims freestyle; and junior Sutton Lillygreen whose focus is freestyle sprints.