Message from the Upper School Athletics Director
Ms. Carla Di Filippo
Our first full fall season since 2019 is in the books and we could not be more proud of the athletes and coaches who wore our green and gold. From the newly formed Flag Football Team to the swimmers in the pool and the athletes in our gymnasiums, the Havergal spirit is thriving. Leading the way are two of the most energetic, Gator-loving, bleeding green and gold Sport Prefects in Beats Tura and Piper Nixon. Thank you, Piper and Beats, for leading us with pride and passion.
Get your brooms out because this fall Havergal experienced our very own “sweep” of CISAA soccer. Ratcliffe Field was full of excitement as all three Soccer Teams (Senior D1, U15 D1 and U14 D1) won the CISAA Championships. There is almost no better feeling than walking outside to Ratcliffe Field to see (and hear) it packed with students dressed in green and gold cheering on their friends. The U13 Basketball Team also came out as CISAA champions after an undefeated season and our Senior Field Hockey Team competed at the provincial OFSAA championships. Shout out to Emma Wagman, who competed at OFSAA Cross Country last week and finished in the top third of runners! We also hope the Senior Basketball Team has a lot of fun at the upcoming CAIS National Basketball Tournament in Sherbrooke, Québec, from November 23 to 26.
It has been a busy and rewarding fall. Congratulations goes out to all of our athletes and coaches who displayed courage and determination this season. Your effort at practices and games, your growth through wins and loses, and your love for Havergal is why we play.
On Thursday, November 17, we celebrated the accomplishment of our fall athletics season at the Awards Assembly. At this event, each team announced their MVP and Coaches Award for the term. As well, two major awards were given out: The Friedland Cup (soccer) and The Doritty Trophy (field hockey). You can view the full list of award recipients HERE.
I look forward to the winter season!
Carla Di Filippo
Message from the JS Athletic Director
Ms. Anna Bartlett
Athletics at the Junior School was at full capacity with 204 Grade 1 to 6 students participating. As it is the first fall season since 2019, this group of students were spreading the Gator spirit as they competed in the CISAA.
Congratulations to our largest team to date—120 students participating in cross country from Grades 1 to 6 (read more in the story “Junior School Cross Country”) and to our U12 Swim Team for winning the Bishop’s Cup. For the first time ever we were able to offer five Basketball Teams, who utilized the new gym and built the skills needed to successfully compete against the other independent schools. We also had four Soccer Teams, who showed their dedication and commitment throughout the season.
I am honoured to work with a group of coaches who deeply care for the girls and their development. I look forward to what’s to come with winter athletics!
Student Sports Corner
A Message from the Student Editor
Hello Havergal and welcome to the fall 2022 Gator Zone newsletter! It is my pleasure to be this year’s Student Editor. As a graduating student reflecting back on my time at Havergal, sports shines through as one of the most integral parts of my experience. Many of the memories I will take with me in my life after graduating took place on the court, field or on long bus rides to and from away games. I’ve tried nearly every sport Havergal has to offer, which has guided me to find my true passion in running.
This year, the Gators started off stronger than ever. In all my 14 years at Havergal, I’ve never seen so much enthusiasm around athletics. Although HC has always been a leading school in athletics, we’ve taken it to the next level this year with the help of Ms. D, the Athletics Department and our Sports Prefects Piper and Beats. The Gator Zone Team and I are excited to give you insight into some of the highlights of our fall season. In this issue you can find staff and student highlights, an exciting new addition to the fall sports roster, Gator Day highlights and more! I would like to congratulate all athletes who participated in sports this season, whether it was inside or outside the ivy walls. It has truly been an amazing start to the year and I cannot wait to see what the winter season has in store! With that, I hope you enjoy the first Gator Zone issue of the year.
Gators Are In the Zone: A Message from the Sports Prefects
Beats Tura and Piper Nixon
As our fall term comes to a close, we want to take a moment and reflect on all the incredible things Havergal athletics has accomplished so far. As the Sports Prefects for the 2022-23 school year, we are blown away by the dedication, talent, sportsmanship and spirit that was brought to every game. This fall term can only be described as FAN-tastic! Whether it’s staying after school to watch basketball games or making signs during lunch for our athletes, the spirit this year has reached a whole new level.
In October, we hosted this year’s first Gator Day, where our U20 Soccer Team took on our rivals, the BSS Bobcats! Despite the cold and the rain, our athletes not only managed to come out on top with a 3 to 0 win, but we also had students from all grades come decked out in green and gold, cheering on until the very end.
What’s more, our teams (respectfully) cleaned up the competition this season! U20 Varsity Field Hockey and U20 Varsity Basketball qualified for OFSAA, U14 Soccer and U13 Basketball were CISAA champs, and U20 Flag Football had an amazing first season! We’d also like to give a massive shoutout to our rowers, who had an outstanding performance at the Head of the Charles Regatta. #ProudGatorMoment
In addition, new this year was our House Games competition. On Tuesday mornings, all 10 Havergal Houses competed in an ultimate chicken throwdown, which we must say, was nothing short of “ultimate.” Never in our time at Havergal have we seen such grit and determination. Each House left everything they had on the Ratcliffe Field and we could not be more proud. A huge congratulations to the Francis Ridley House for being crowned the “Ultimate Chicken Champs” for the 2022-2023 school year.
The school spirit this year has truly blown us away and we can’t wait for what’s in store for the rest of the year! Stay tuned for more Gator Days, House Games and a Hockey Day like you’ve never seen before. Get excited because we’re just getting started, HC!
Beats & Piper
New sport at HC—Flag Football
Ready, set, HUT! Havergal College’s first ever Flag Football Team has been in play all season. As the fall semester comes to an end, we start to recognize how exciting it is to have new sports at Havergal. I have been on several HC sports teams, however this season has been the most exciting for me. I like to call myself an NFL fan who watches the Cowboys sometimes, but in no way was I ready for the adrenaline and excitement that came with playing this game. With three Toronto Flag Football League (TFFL) coaches and some prestigious Havergal teachers who were as excited to play as we were, the season was underway.
Tuesday, September 13 was our first tryout. Walking onto Cohen Field to play a sport I’ve never played on a field I’ve only ever seen from a distance was quite nerve racking. Flag football, like many other team sports, requires co-operation, teamwork, determination and, most of all, excitement. With 80 sign ups for tryouts, which broke a Havergal record, the adrenaline was rushing through all of us.
After just one practice, we were ready to face our rivals BSS in an unfamiliar and quite confusing sport. Four quarters, a whole lot of timeouts and many questions later, the Gators pulled away with a small 6 to 0 win. My favourite part of the game is hanging out with the three other grades on the team. I enjoyed getting to talk to some people I’ve never met before and rekindling friendships with some people I haven’t seen since last school year. Moreover, listening to the TFFL coaches talk about the game with the level of knowledge and experience they have was truly game-changing. They were so far away from the level that we were at, but in no way did they alter the way they helped guide us through the game.
Just a few weeks later, the Gators played BSS once again for the playoffs. Stakes were high, the sun was out, stress was there and we were ready. Over these last few weeks, my teammates and I have grown into the flag football players that we are (take that with a grain of salt). My favorite part of the game is kickoff. Switching gears from fall soccer this year gave me the opportunity to have the role of kicker. At the beginning of the game (or at half), the football is placed on the tee and I get to kick it as far and hard as I want. Once the ball is kicked, the game is in full swing. One touchdown HC made in the first five minutes was an awesome running play by our lead scorer Emma Tam (Grade 10). The adrenaline was high and we all had huge smiles on our faces. The Gators ended up taking the win of that game, and we moved into the CISAA championships against the number one ranked team: Crestwood Preparatory. Although we ended up losing against them, it was a great game and we scored the first touchdown that had been against Crestwood all season.
We walked away with smiles on our faces, excited for next year’s season. Saying goodbye to our coaches was sad, but we promised them they’d see us next year. The first year of flag football at Havergal was quite the experience. A new sport, with new people and coaches, taught us all more about teamwork and hard work. I may be biased, but next year, come out and try out! Aside from it being a learning opportunity, it was so much fun and I am so glad that I got this opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.
Fall Rowing at HC!
Aimee McCurdy-Franks and Ella Carrique
We’re back, HC! For the first fall Rowing season since 2019, the Gators certainly brought their A-game! We sent out a boat of four rowers and a coxswain to Boston’s prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta, the largest international rowing regatta in the world. The competition was fierce, with many highly experienced crews coming from all over the world. Our girls fought hard and came out strong, placing 28th out of 90 boats in their race! A huge congratulations goes out to Rachel Dirks, Isabella Janczewski, Julia Aitkens, Hadley Michael and their coxswain Kate Newton who steered an amazing course!
Earlier in the season, our fall Rowing Team competed at the Head of Trent Regatta in Peterborough, where they took home gold! This was their first race together as a crew and they definitely showed up. These girls trained vigorously, meeting for practices almost every morning down at Hanlan Boat Club, accompanied with sessions on the rowing machines and in the fitness center with Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Haddock. We are so proud of this season’s results and we hope this sets the stage for the upcoming winter and spring seasons.
In September, we held two try-it rowing weekends where curious students interested in the Rowing Program had the opportunity to learn more about the sport. They spent a day at Havergal, trying out the different components to the winter training. On the second day, they met at the boat club and tried out a variety of aspects involved in the spring training.
We would like to congratulate Michael Greig on being promoted to the position of new Head Coach of the Rowing Team. Congrats Michael!
Good luck to everyone who is trying out in the next few weeks and we look forward to the upcoming season!
Junior School Cross Country
Kendall Oravecz and Sarah Botha
Havergal Junior School athletics is back and better than ever this year! With Havergal hosting their first cross country meet in six years, and the U9’s attending their first away athletic event of the year, the Junior School Cross Country Teams did not disappoint. The U9 Team, which consists of 52 students in Grades 1 to 3, travelled to Crestwood Preparatory School for a fun run for their first away meet of the year. They were pumped to go to Crestwood on a bus and they had a lot of fun keeping the Gator spirit alive. The U12 Team, which includes students in Grades 4 to 6, had 70 Junior School students sign up. The U12 Team attended four meets this season, including the recent meet the Havergal Junior School hosted.
Havergal was finally able to host a meet after the renovations in the Junior School and the participation was unmatched with 70 students in Grades 4 to 6 signing up for the U12 Team. The route at HC had the runners going up and around Cohen Field and through the Lisa Hardie Trail. Havergal placed very well, with the U10 and U12 Teams coming in second overall. In Grade 6, Emily Toma placed second overall and Leigh Silber in Grade 4 placed fourth. Although it was a rainy and cold day, the Havergal runners kept their spirits up as they persevered! This meet is the first of many to come in the years ahead. The Junior School Athletic Director, Anna Bartlett, is hoping to host an annual cross country meet and will invite more schools in the coming years. Way to go Gators!
Aly Donoghue and Shira Levine
The fall, Gator Day was most definitely one to remember! Although the rainy weather wasn’t ideal, it didn’t stop Havergal College fans from getting decked out in green and gold and coming out to support the U20 Soccer Team.
The Havergal College Sports Network Club reported, “The Gator signs were high, the green and gold was bright and the HC team did not disappoint.” Playing BSS certainly added to the excitement of the day due to the intense rivalry between the two schools. Natalie Chisolm, who scored one of the goals for Havergal said, “We played BSS, who we thought was competition, but they didn’t stand a chance.”
The beginning of the game started off slow, but the Gators offense was just too much for BSS as goals by Sarah McQuillen Young (Grade 10), Mackenzie Johnson (Grade 11) and Natalie Chisholm (Grade 12) sealed the 3 to 0 victory. Well done, Gators!
All in all, Gator Day 2022 was a huge success. We loved being able to show our Havergal spirit and support our Soccer Team, who finished the season as CISAA champions. We are looking forward to the next Gator Day in the winter season.
New Gator Gear
Izzy Tubbe and Lauren LaCalamita
Whether you’re on the field or in the classroom, the new Havergal athletic wear will follow you wherever you are on campus. You have probably noticed our new Gator logo all throughout the school, located in both gyms, on the windows outside the Athletic Wing, on the wall inside the Athletic Wing and outside the pool viewing area. With this new logo, an addition to the uniform was vital. We are so grateful that we were able to introduce two new items: the first is an athletics quarter-zip and the other is a Nike track jacket! The quarter-zip has the new logo on the front along with “Havergal Gators” stitched on the back. Guess what? This quarter zip can also be worn inside the classroom. It gives you the perfect chance to stay warm and cozy on the field, at the rink, in the gym, down by the water or at your desk.
The Nike track jacket is perfect for rainy days or cool mornings and is the best piece of clothing for any sporting event. Although most athletes despise playing and practising in the rain, this track jacket is the perfect solution. It keeps your uniform safe from any wind or water!
There are also other forms of merchandise with our new logo, including socks and warmup shirts, which are available for athletes on teams. This is the perfect way to show off your HC pride and spirit as a student athlete! So Gators, when you place an order for your winter athletic uniforms, don’t forget to order these exciting new items as well!
Senior School Spotlight: Natalie Chisholm
Abby Smith and Kaitlyn Dean
Natalie Chisholm is a Grade 12 student who plays on Havergal’s U20 Soccer Team. She started playing soccer at the age of four in the North Toronto Nitros house league program and immediately fell in love. It has always been her favourite sport to play, watch or even talk about. When reflecting on her time playing soccer, Natalie says, “I love the environment around the sport and the community it creates, and I am so happy that I stuck with it for all this time.” In addition to playing on the school team, she plays soccer outside of school for the North Toronto Nitros, IModel 2005 girls team.
As her Havergal soccer career comes to an end this fall, a highlight from this season for her was Gator Day against BSS. Natalie remarked, “Though it was only the second Gator Day for the U20 Soccer Team ever, it felt like it was a long-held tradition already.” Havergal’s spirit during Gator Day was unmatched. Natalie said, “the team had so much fun, and so did I!”
Natalie is a leader on the field and helped lead the team to victory by scoring a goal. Gator Day was a highlight for all the athletes and the entire school. Natalie ended the interview with a message to anyone considering playing soccer in the future: “Try out for the Soccer Team! The coaches are incredible; even if you don’t play, give it a chance! You never know!” Her words of wisdom can help inspire any athlete considering trying out for a team. As we had into the winter season, we hope students consider putting themselves out there and trying out for whatever sport it may be! You never know what might happen.
Staff Highlight: Ms. Dos Santos
Carol Rong and Dana Copeland
Ms. Dos Santos is someone you may have seen in the halls, but who exactly is she? Well, that’s certainly a big question. As a new faculty member, Ms. Dos Santos is the full time Administrative Assistant to the VP of Strategic Innovation and Design. The long title consists of helping oversee HC-X and Forum for Change, managing volunteer hours, completing vulnerable sector checks, as well as scheduling meetings. Prior to her full-time position, Ms. Dos Santos helped coach many Havergal sports teams including the U16 Ultimate Team, the U16 D2 Volleyball Team and the U14 Cross Country Team. Being a coach interested Ms. Dos Santos to work at Havergal full-time because she particularly enjoyed the environment fostered by those she worked with.
Outside of school, Ms. Dos Santos is also an Ultimate player who has represented Team Canada at Worlds and plays with the Toronto 6ixers, the top women’s club team in Canada! Ms. Dos Santos started playing recreationally in Grade 9 and joined her first club team in Grade 10. At the most recent North American Nationals that took place in October 2022, her team placed third. Additionally, this past summer, Ms. Dos Santos represented Team Canada at the World Games Championships in Alabama. On top of all those amazing achievements, Ms. Dos Santos was awarded the Canadian Junior Female Athlete of the year in 2017 and the North American Breakout Player of the Year in 2018. She was awarded the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year Runner Up and the 2022 All-club Women’s First Team, meaning the best seven-women line in the division.
As an extremely accomplished athlete, Ms. Dos Santos wants to tell younger athletes that it’s never too late to start a new sport. Always play and practise as much as possible and get involved in the junior programs. Most importantly, take advantage of meeting new people in the sporting community. If you want to learn more about Ms. Dos Santos and all the impressive things she does, certainly don’t hesitate to talk to her!