Resilience and Determination: Recapping the Fall Sports Season

written by Athletic Director, Derek Summers

As the 2023 fall sports season drew to a close, I took a moment to reflect with immense pride and gratitude upon the accomplishments of our PCA athletes and teams.  There are lots of triumphs to highlight and many victories that took place on the playing surface, but there were also many adversities overcome behind the scenes.  PCA coaches challenge our athletes on a daily basis to maximize their God-given potential on the field and on the court, while also challenging them in their personal development as competitors and leaders.  PCA athletes not only grew in knowledge and skill in their sport but also in their preparation for life ahead… and I hope to shed light on both aspects in the paragraphs ahead.

In Cross Country, our varsity men’s team qualified for the Meet of Champions for the first time in school history!  They were led by senior and captain, Jonas Teeter, who broke our school’s course record, and went on to qualify for the New England Championship Race.  At the Middle School level, we had 4 athletes (2 boys and 2 girls) finish in the top 10 of the D4 Championship races!

Our soccer program saw record numbers come out for teams this fall!  With 27 men coming out for high school soccer, we were able to start a men’s JV team this season.  The men’s varsity team improved their record from last year, finishing the regular season 1 game away from hosting a playoff game.  The middle school boys’ soccer team had a record-breaking season finishing with a 9-1-2 record and outscoring their opponents 63-10!  The middle school girls’ soccer team also had a record number of girls come out for the team.  They finished with an improved 5-2-2 record.  Our varsity women’s soccer team had to replace 8 seniors from last year’s championship run.  The new and young athletes were up to the challenge and this year’s team actually finished with a better record than the previous year at 12-4, falling in the quarterfinal round of the NHIAA State Tournament.

PCA’s high school volleyball program also had a record number of athletes come out for the program this year.  Our JV team made it to the semi-finals of the D3 tournament (which PCA hosted) this year.  Our varsity team also made it to the semi-finals of the NHIAA D3 State Tournament and took an undefeated team to the brink before falling just short to the 17-0 Somersworth.  Along the way, senior Kailey Holt broke the school’s career and single-season aces record. The MS volleyball program was also much improved this season and saw many successes on the court.

We had a number of athletes that had outstanding individual performances this season and were recognized by opposing coaches and voted to All-State teams.  In soccer, senior Tatiana Stockbower made 1st team.  Senior Isaac Kohl and freshman Jaela Stockbower made the 2nd team, and senior Ella Walsh and junior Tatum Smith were Honorable Mentions.  In Volleyball, Kailey Holt, Quinn Arico, and Heidi Geyer were all voted 2nd team.  

In addition to these highlights and acheivments, I also saw freshmen gaining confidence and a willingness to put forth their best effort… understanding that failing at times is part of the learning process, and it is how we respond to our failures that is most important.  I saw athletes filling in new roles that might take them out of their comfort zone but willing to stretch themselves for the benefit of the team.  I saw athletes learning that honoring God with our actions in the heat of competitive moments can mean and say more than words.  I saw athletes learning to work through conflicts, setting aside differences to accomplish the goals of the team.  I saw athletes giving their all in situations that might be considered unfair or while under adverse circumstances that were beyond their control.  I saw athletes forced to strengthen their mental toughness in order to succeed.  I saw athletes encouraging one another in tough situations, and I saw them celebrate with one another in moments of victory!  I saw athletes learning what commitment and dedication look like… while also learning to deal with the pressures of having others depend on you.

It is clear, that beyond the victories etched on the fields and courts, it is the unseen battles, the triumphs against adversities behind the scenes, that truly exemplify the essence of sportsmanship and dedication that we want to see in our athletic teams.  Our coaches at PCA have not only shaped remarkable athletes but have nurtured individuals that are growing into resilient competitors and future leaders. 

As we reflect on the diverse achievements across our sports programs and honor individual accolades, let’s also celebrate the intangibles – the courage, perseverance, and unity that defined our athletes’ journeys this season.  As we move into the next season, let’s carry these invaluable lessons forward knowing that, beyond the scores and the trophies, the true victories lie in the character built and the bonds strengthened within our PCA family as we seek to honor God in every aspect of our lives.