At the Winter Sports and Drama Celebration on March 6, students and faculty recognized the efforts of their peers in Shore's Upper School athletics and drama programs.
Athletic Director Nancy McNall kicked off the celebration by calling out sports highlights of the winter. Girls Varsity Basketball had an undefeated season. Said McNall, "The ninth grade captains were great leaders and very inclusive of the younger players." Talent ran deep, with one player scoring over 100 points for the season. "Regardless of the opponent, everyone played hard, hustled, and worked together as a team," said McNall. "This was truly an amazing season with a group of talented athletes."
The Boys Varsity Basketball team returned five players from last year's team, led by ninth graders Charlie Faldi and Jerry Edokpa. According to McNall, "Competition was fierce in the first half of the season, but these tests made the team better, and by the end of the year the boys were playing their best basketball. The highlight was back-to-back victories against Governor's and Landmark to close out the season." These exciting games showcased the growth of the players as individuals and their ability to work together as a team.
The Boys JV Basketball team finished the season with a record of 8-4, winning 3 of these games by 3 or fewer points. "Their hard work and solid teamwork contributed to success on both offense and defense, outscoring opponents this season 301-256," McNall noted. "The JV team had numerous moments in games that certain serve as highlights, but, overall, what stands out to me is the focus and engagement the boys showed us during practices every day. Whether covering fundamentals or offensive plays, this team expressed a genuine desire to learn more about basketball."
Meanwhile, IM Basketball honed their skills and understanding of the sport with daily practices and scrimmages. "Both the boys and girls IM squads capped their seasons with two games in February," said McNall. "The boys roared to victory in both of their contests. The girls enjoyed a victory in their second game, which was a credit to how much they had gained from their first game."
The Conditioning program enjoyed two days of cross fit style workouts at Iron Village each week along a session of spin class at Inner Cycle Studio in Beverly. The group enjoyed fast-paced workouts that helped to improve their endurance, strength, and agility.
Shore Squash + Paddle
athletes spent the winter learning the finer points of squash from a local pro and experiencing the outdoor fun of paddle. This group played in one squash meet vs. Fay School. Noted McNall, "Shore players hustled and scrapped their way through each point, often striking decisive winners. The squad learned much in the defeat, with clear pointers for how to improve their game for matches in future seasons."
Turning to the winter theater arts program, an alternative form of "sport" that remains popular year after year, Upper School Spanish teacher Gretchen Bowder highlighted the efforts of the sixth graders she and fourth grade homeroom teacher Amanda Berg directed in their winter play, The Timid Dragon,
by Tim Kelly. Of the cast, Bowder said, "This one was one of the most cohesive and supportive casts we have ever coached. They brought unparalleled creativity, enthusiasm, and optimism to the rehearsal process." Added Berg, "The kids helped each other to remember their lines and blocking, exits and entrances, and they effortlessly covered for one another if someone forgot a line, helping to keep the play on track. They worked as an ensemble in the truest sense of the word."
Meanwhile, said theater arts teacher Sarah Carlin, seventh through ninth graders worked through the winter on Oliver!, Lionel Bart's classic musical based on the adventures of Dickens' Oliver Twist. Carlin, who directed and choreographed the musical alongside music director and Upper School music teacher Jenn Boyum and assistant director and second grade teacher Laura Thompson, the nearly two-hundred-year-old story presented Upper School students with some unique challenges. "Our young performers were asked to jump into the dark world of Victorian England—where life was often especially hard for poor children on their own in a cruel world—and find moments of humanity, humor, and joy. Taking on characters so far from their own experiences required curiosity, open hearts, and much hard work."
In addition to the winter musical, this year Shore offered a Musical Theater Basics workshop as a training opportunity for students aspiring to be a part of the mainstage musical in years to come. Five students participated in daily workshops that focused on the musical theater skills of singing, dance combinations, and acting. Under the tutelage of Georgia Bills, a teaching artist from North Shore Music Theatre, the students learned choreography and music from four different musicals, giving them a chance to explore a variety of styles. There season culminated in a musical theater review performance for their parents and Lower School students. Said Sarah Carlin, "The students felt that it provided them with a great foundation from which to grow as performers."