Moments in Sports That Will Never Sell Short
Issue 17, Volume 110
By Krish Gupta, Shivali Korgaonkar, Rudolph Merlin, Tausif Tamim, Sam Levine, Matt Melucci, Caroline Ji, Aki Yamaguchi, Samir Hassan
2009-2010 Academic Year: Vixens Volley for 11th Straight Division Title
By Aki Yamaguchi
The Vixens, the girls’ varsity volleyball team, has an illustrious history of consecutive division titles. The Vixens lost five seniors, three of whom were starters, which put more pressure on the seven underclassmen to make up for their collective lack of experience. The team persevered despite this challenge, harnessing its young talent to win its 11th consecutive division title.
2010-2011 Academic Year: Four Stuyvesant Students Selected to All-Star Team
By Shivali Korgaonkar
Sports are generally not the main priority of most Stuyvesant students, but for four students, one football game embodies their most treasured experience from Stuyvesant. Former co-captains Ming Li, Michael Bucaoto, and Mohit Kumar, along with Vasilis Tzallas, represented Stuyvesant on the Bronx-Manhattan team at the 2010 Fugazzi Senior Bowl. Despite size disparities between them and players from other schools, the four players were full of pride, confident that their skills were on par with some of the city’s best players. In fact, Li was the only player from Manhattan to start on the Bronx-Manhattan team.
2011-2012 Academic Year: Distance Medley Relay Breaks PSAL Record, Places Fourth Nationally
By Samir Hassan
The Greyducks, the boys’ track and field team, is one of Stuyvesant’s strongest teams, boasting the city’s top runners. After months of arduous training, the distance medley relay (DMR) team, which consists of junior Jack Stevenson, senior Genghis Chau, senior and co-captain Mark Schramm, and senior and co-captain Konrad Surkont, broke the previous DMR PSAL record and earned the prestigious All-American title for a top-six finish at the New Balance Indoor National Championships. Surkont even broke the PSAL 1600-meter record in his leg.
2012-2013 Academic Year: Stuy Alum Prescod Fences in Olympics
By Rudolph Merlin
Nzingha Prescod, a former member of the girls’ varsity fencing team, took her fencing career to the next level, competing in the 2012 London Olympics while attending Columbia University. Her talent with the foil nearly led the U.S. Women's Fencing Team to the podium. Additionally, Prescod won a bronze medal in the Individual Foil at the 2015 World Fencing Championships and a gold medal for the Foil Team during the 2018 World Fencing Championships.
2013-2014 Academic Year: Stuyvesant Wins First Ever Table Tennis Championship
By Krish Gupta
In a nail-biter that came down to the last game in a best-of-five series, senior Alan Baranov and freshman Eric Amstislavsky rose to the occasion to claim the decisive first doubles game and earn Stuyvesant the coveted inaugural title. Stuyvesant claimed revenge over Brooklyn Tech after losing to them in their regular-season showdown, starting a victorious table tennis legacy that would continue for years.
2014-2015 Academic Year: Penguins Cruise Through the Playoffs
By Tausif Tamim
The Penguins, the girls’ swimming and diving team, claimed a victory against Bronx Science in the semifinals after a strong showing against Tottenville in the quarterfinals led by freshman Maddie Wong and senior Sappha O'Meara. The Penguins went on to eventually win the PSAL City Championships for their seventh consecutive year, solidifying their title as perennial winners.
2015-2016 Academic Year: Taking Talent to the Next Level
By Shivali Korgaonkar
Krystal Lara holds numerous PSAL and nearly all of Stuyvesant’s girls’ swimming records. She committed to Northwestern University in 2015 and soon after, qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 100-meter backstroke, where she placed 158th overall. Nathan Chandler, another successful Stuyvesant athlete, started playing on the Peglegs, the boys’ varsity baseball team, in his sophomore year. Chandler committed to Kenyon University, where he was able to prioritize both his academics and athletics. Aaron Glas, another athletic star, led the Pirates, the boys’ swimming team, to four consecutive championship titles. Glas was later recruited by Princeton University. While their journeys were surely filled with sacrifice and hard work, Lara, Chandler, and Glas are evidence that success in both athletics and academics are not mutually exclusive at Stuyvesant.
2016-2017 Academic Year: Colin Kaepernick Kneels During National Anthem, Sparks Huge Controversy
By Sam Levine
Now more than ever, the topic of race has become extremely prevalent. Colin Kaepernick sparked a large national controversy when he took a kneel during the National Anthem before a NFL game to protest police brutality. Many athletes and prominent figures, such as former President Barack Obama, stood in solidarity with him. Kaepernick would finish the season as a starter but struggled to get recruited upon entering free agency, as no teams showed real interest in signing him and owners blackballed Kaepernick. Kaepernick later filed a grievance against the NFL for collusion, which was eventually settled. Though he hasn’t played in the league since, his impactful message of resistance and protest still rings true today.
2017-2018 Academic Year: Pirates Secure PSAL Championship Again
By Matt Melucci
After a season filled with obstacles, the Pirates, the boys’ swimming team, ended its season with a bang as PSAL champions for the second consecutive year. Experience on the team was initially a concern after a loss of talented seniors, along with a coaching change that brought in coach Silvana Choy to take former girls’ and boys’ swimming coach Peter Bologna’s position. The Pirates swept through an undefeated season nonetheless and dominated at the championship. The team also found success individually, as it sent seven swimmers to the state championship.
2018-2019 Academic Year: Civil Rights Activist, NBA Hall of Fame Inductee, and Stuyvesant Alum
By Caroline Ji
Stuyvesant alum Charles Thomas Scott broke many barriers throughout his illustrious career. Not only was he one of the first African Americans offered an athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina, but Scott also led the Tar Heels to two Final Four appearances, turning the disreputable, substandard team into a strong NCAA contender. His talent was also exhibited on the professional level as he won a NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in the ‘75-‘76 season and an Olympic gold medal in 1968. His success, however, was met with great hardship, as he experienced immense racial prejudice characteristic of the Jim Crow era. Scott was robbed of the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year award when he clearly deserved it, wrongfully detained by the police for allegedly harassing a white woman. He also often felt misunderstood by his peers. Scott persevered despite these struggles, paving the way for future African American athletes while shedding light on the rampant racism entrenched in the American sports system.
2019-2020 Academic Year: The Beginning of the End of Spring Sports
By Krish Gupta
In an unprecedented move, Mayor Bill de Blasio shut down the PSAL in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Seniors from all 16 spring sports teams were forced to miss out on their final seasons, with months of preparation going to waste. Though several teams have attempted to continue training remotely, nothing will ever replace the authenticity, team spirit, and comradery that come with in-person practices. Despite this setback, teams understand the extenuating circumstances and are continuing to remain optimistic for the future of their respective sports.