Fall 2023

Gator Zone

Headshot of Carla diFilippo

Message from the Upper School Athletics Director

Ms. Carla Di Filippo

Hello Gators,

The fall athletics term at Havergal was one of our most successful to date. Even though the Gators won many CISAA championships and earned numerous top three finishes, for us the highest indicator of success is the number of students who played on a fall sports team, which was 407! 

I’m thrilled that more than 400 students had the opportunity to participate in athletics this term, benefitting from the positive outcomes that are associated with sports such as: physical health; teamwork and collaboration; discipline and time-management; resilience and perseverance; and so much more. At Havergal, we are very lucky to have excellent facilities to offer a wide range of programming and experienced, dedicated coaches who guide our students in their athletic journeys, whether that is a CISAA championship or trying a sport for the first time. At Havergal, sport is for everyone. 

A few specific highlights from the fall term:

  • Havergal’s Head of the Charles boat finished 25th and qualified for the prestigious regatta next year. 
  • All of our Upper School soccer teams won CISAA championships for the second year in a row
  • Our U13 Basketball teams both qualified for the CISAA semi-finals and our U20 Team played in the CISAA finals for the first time in many years.
  • Two athletes on our Disc Golf Team won the girls doubles division at the high school championships.
  • Our Flag Football Team delivered an upset to host school, Crestwood Preparatory College, to win the CISAA championships in only its second year of the program. 

On Thursday, November 23, we celebrated the accomplishments of our fall athletics season at our awards assembly. It was here that 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). Here is a list of our award recipients

Thank you to Sports Prefects Kaitlyn and Paige for getting the fall season off to a great start! As well, I’d like to recognize Coach Lia for completing a large amount of work behind the scenes. I look forward to the winter term and Hockey Day (which is on Tuesday, February 13—mark your calendars!).

Go Gators!

Ms. Di Filippo

Headshot of Anna Bartlett

Message from the JS Athletics Director

Ms. Anna Bartlett

Fall 2023 brought us incredible weather and committed athletes. 

We had more than 125 cross country runners participate on both our U9 and U12 teams. The U9 team hosted a fun run that saw 320 participants run around our 22-acre campus. Congrats to our U10 Cross Country Team for having more than five athletes in the top 20 at the finals. A special congrats to Charlotte Goldthorpe, who ran her way to first place out of 133 runners in the CISAA. 

In the pool, we saw our biggest U12 Swim Team to date. All participants had a taste of what it’s like to dive off blocks and compete in a swim race. Congratulations to the U12 team who brought home the Bishop’s Cup! 

On the courts, the six Basketball Teams from Grades 4 to 6 developed their skills and worked together to pass the ball around to open teammates to score. The U10 teams had students taking their very first layups in a game while the U12 teams continued to practise their rebounds and defence. 

The tennis courts were filled this season with pickleball players from our newly formed U10 Pickleball Squad Team. They developed the skills to be lifelong active participants.

On the fields, our U9 Soccer Team had fun learning new skills while our two U12 teams worked to set each other up to score. 

I am very proud of the dedication we see from each athlete and am grateful to work with a group of coaches who deeply care for the girls and their development. 

We are looking forward to the winter season with our Volleyball, Badminton, Multisport Swim and Hockey Teams all getting into the action. 

Ms. Bartlett

Student Sports Corner

Headshot of Nicole.

Message from the Student Editor

Nicole Stanley

Welcome to the fall 2023-2024 Gator Zone newsletter! 

I am honoured to be your Student Editor this year and would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Havergal Athletic community. Sports have always been a significant part of my life, whether I’m entering survival mode on the rugby field or hoping I don’t get hit in the face by a volleyball. Through athletics, I have learned life lessons around perseverance, teamwork and competition. I have experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The culture at Havergal is enriched by its Athletics community. Whether playing for a varsity team or screaming for our hockey stars on Hockey Day, sports is an important part of our HC experience.

This year, the Gator Zone team and I will search high and low to share individual highlights, team accomplishments and inspiring community spirit recognition. We have assembled a group of enthusiastic writers who are keen to share their stories of HC sports!

As the fall season turns to winter, let’s look back at the AMAZING start we have had to the school year. Already our Gator superstars have won a number of major titles:

  • U20 Soccer
  • U16 Soccer
  • U14 Basketball
  • U20 Flag Football
  • Disc Golf

On behalf of our Sport Prefects Kaitlyn and Paige and the Gator Zone contributors, I would like to congratulate all athletes who performed incredibly within and outside of Havergal’s ivy walls. As editor of Gator Zone, I am excited to showcase our school’s athletes, coaches and supporters. 

In this issue, you will find interesting articles on staff highlights, team achievements, Gator Day and more! I would like to thank Ms. Di Filippo, Ms. Bartlett, Ms. Pink, as well as all of the talented writers. We hope you enjoy the first Gator Zone edition of the 2023-24 school year!


Kaitlyn and Paige standing in a sports field with their arms open wide as they wear yellow and green hazmat suits.

Message from the Sports Prefects 

Kaitlyn Windover and Paige Edwards

The leaves may be falling, but our HC teams are rising in the ranks this year! Hey Gators, to close out the fall athletic term this year, we would like to recognize the incredible achievements we’ve made as a school in only ONE term! It was fantastic to see the excitement our teams had practising and competing every day. There was so much energy from not only our athletes, but also from everyone who came to support them. This energy had to be celebrated, so, to show our appreciation, we decided to bring back highlighting an Athlete of the Week who is nominated by their teammates, and it has been a total success! Early in the year, we noticed that the community wanted to watch and cheer on the HC teams more than ever before, so the week’s games are posted every Monday on our @Havergal_Gators Instagram account. This sparked bigger crowds in our home games, elevating our amazing sense of community here at Havergal!

Many teams went above and beyond this season. Congratulations to U20 Soccer, U16 Soccer, U14 Basketball, U20 Flag Football and Disc Golf Teams on winning first place at CISAA championships. Another shoutout must go to the U20 Soccer Team for competing and winning CAIS soccer in Oakville this past term. We’d also like to congratulate the fall rowers who competed at Head of the Trent and took home gold medals to make all of us back at school proud. You all deserve your excellent results!

This fall’s Gator Day was like no other before; hosting four home games at Havergal, we wanted to take Gator Day to the next level. Students went out to both fields and gyms to watch U20 Soccer, U20 Basketball, U16 D2 Basketball and U20 Field Hockey! Seeing everyone in their green and gold outfits in the morning had everyone excited! The turnout was incredible, with lots of signs and cheers from our spirited community! 

We would further like to thank and congratulate every athlete who participated in the fall athletic term this year. We can’t express how awesome it is to be on a Havergal team and to form the friendships and connections that come with it. You are all what makes our teams incredibly special. Stay excited as we still have two thrilling terms left of sports and so much to look forward to. We know you will continue to blow us away this year with your spirit, dedication, skill and teamwork!

Your Sports Prefects,

Paige and Kaitlyn

Disc Golf Championships

Zhifan Ye

On October 23, 2023, athletes in the U20 Disc Golf Team went to Haute Goat in Port Hope, Ontario, to compete against eight other schools. It was one of the largest disc golf tournaments in Havergal’s disc golf history!

The course consisted of 18 holes and 28 baskets on the epic 200-acre farm. Similar to golf, the purpose is to throw the disc into the basket in three strokes. The pair of players with the lowest overall score wins. For the High School Invitational, the basket with the shorter distance was used, but the distance still made it appear tiny on the landscape. Many goals were par four, and one of the longest goals required as many as five strokes for professional disc golfers. 

Throughout the course, players had to throw the disc over tall trees, duck below thick bushes for an opening and delicately control the roll, pitch and yaw of the disc. Gators faced strong teams from southern Ontario and the Durham District School Board, learning from their mistakes and perfecting their skills along the way. Havergal athletes played hard and came out strong, winning as the champion in the doubles tournament. Congratulations Gators! We cannot wait to see your accomplishments next year. 

CAIS U20 Basketball in Winnipeg

Peyton Price 

From November 29 to December 3, our very own U20 Varsity Basketball Team will be making the long journey to Winnipeg to participate in the CAIS National Basketball Tournament! Schools from all over Canada will be participating alongside our Havergal Gators. The U20 Basketball Team has shown so much growth this season and are beyond excited to be competing in the upcoming tournament.

Recently, the U20 Gators participated in a tournament at University of Toronto Schools, where they truly came together and they won third place! Facing teams they had never faced before, they stuck together and achieved incredible results. 

Furthermore, in the regular CISAA season, the Varsity Basketball Team has shown their teamwork once again. On November 3, they travelled to Trinity College School (TCS) to play the undefeated Bears in the semi-finals. It was a very close game, leaving TCS trailing by just a few points for most of the game. With a home-court advantage, the crowd definitely was not on our Gator’s side. Yet, after an immense amount of hard work, grit and determination, the Gators took home an incredible win. With a very close final score of 42 to 39, our HC team really earned their place in the CISAA Finals!

We wish the best of luck to the U20 Varsity Basketball Team, not just in the CISAA finals, but also in their CAIS tournament! As the team’s coined motto goes, the Gators #believe. 

Havergal's 8 Rowing Team rowing during the Head of the Trent.

New 8 Rowing Boat to Head of the Trent

Ella Carrique

Catch. Lock in. Send. Eight blades. One sound. 

For a moment, I let myself break my laser focus from the square of back in front of me to take in the colours that surround me. Reds, yellows and oranges, blue sky and sun. This, I decide, is the epitome of fall rowing. 

With such strong interest in the fall rowing season, a new boat of 8 was introduced in addition to a 4. The boat of 8 trained on weekends and competed at the Head of the Trent Regatta, offering returning rowers a fantastic opportunity to ease back into the season. Maia, a current Grade 12 rower, remarks, “I was so excited when the coaches decided to enter an 8 at Trent. Being able to have the experience of a head race added a great memory to my last year at Havergal.” While the spring season entails shorter distances, 2 km races, the fall (or “head season”) consists of longer distance courses of about five to six kilometres—a first for all of the rowers in the boat. With only five practices in before the race, the crew proved strong by finishing second overall. This fall season certainly showed a strong and promising preview for the rest of the year to come. 

A special shoutout to our 4 who placed first in their event at Trent, and 25th of 90 entries at Boston’s prestigious Head of the Charles regatta. We couldn’t be more proud of our Gators!

CAIS U20 Soccer

Audrea Au-Pronovost

Havergal’s U20 Soccer Team set off for Oakville on October 11 to participate in a CAIS tournament in which independent schools from all over Canada travelled to compete in. After being shut down since COVID-19, this was the first time in three years CAIS was held. The Gators played Greenwood College and left with an astounding 9 to 0 win! With a great start to the tournament, our Gators stayed undefeated throughout the rest of the tournament. After the 7 to 0 win against the Sacred Hearts of Montreal School, our Gators faced Lower Canada College in the finals. This match was by far the toughest. With five minutes left in the game, neither team had scored. Luckily, HC won a free kick outside the box and our striker, Maria Annibale, took the shot, giving Havergal the upper hand. With four minutes left, our Gators kept the lead and won gold in this CAIS competition! 

Despite earning gold, the team’s journey wasn’t solely about winning. It was about friendship, leadership and teamwork. Each player played a vital role in winning the gold medal and the team learned how to work together to draw on each other’s strengths. The tournament provided an amazing opportunity for teammates to connect with each other and form intergrade relationships. I cannot wait to see what this team will accomplish next year!     

Students wearing green and gold spirit wear cheering.

Gator Day

Sarah McQuillen Young

On any regular Monday, students anxiously watch the clock until it strikes 3:30 pm. However, on Monday, October 16, students were waiting for something special: the first Gator Day of the 2023-24 school year! This was the first chance students had to go all out in green in gold since the spring. Our Gators naturally rose to the challenge, arriving at school with the most aesthetically pleasing combinations of green and gold ready to go. 

This year, Gator Day expanded. In previous years, the school would come to support the U20 Soccer Team on Ratcliffe Field. However, Havergal is too talented to be limited to one sport. This year, it was exciting to cheer on four teams at the swamp:

  • The U20 Basketball Team defeated St. Clements School with a whopping score of 48 to 16.
  • Meanwhile, on Cohen Field, our field hockey stars beat Branksome Hall 1 to 0 with an amazing goal by our very own Lauren Campbell.
  • Our U16 D2 Basketball Team put on a show for the fans with a close game, losing by a mere two baskets to Albert College. (We know you’ll get them next year!)
  • Finally, on Ratcliffe Field, was the stellar match between our U20 Soccer Team and Branksome Hall. The Gators came out on top with a 4 to 0 win, with two goals from Maria Annibale. 

These wins would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the Gator Nation! No matter what sport you chose to watch, there was a crowd of supporters cheering on their friends. The spirit was contagious! A sea of green and gold spread out across campus to create a very memorable Gator Day.

Congratulations to all athletes who participated, and thank you to everyone who came to watch the games! Let’s keep this spirit going into our winter season… stay tuned for upcoming Gator Days this academic year! Roll Gators!

Photo of Mrs. Shotbolt holding a basketball.

Staff Profile—Mrs. Shotbolt

Eshal Shakir

Mrs. Shotbolt is a new member of the Havergal community and as she has just started her journey at Havergal, we thought it would be great for you all to get to know her a little bit deeper beyond the gym walls. While Mrs. Shotbolt teaches Health and Physical Education and coaches the U13 Basketball Team, she is also a long-time athlete with an inspiring story. 

She started playing basketball at the age of 10, having grown up around sports all her life and in an athletic family. It all started when a teacher came up to her and suggested she try out for the basketball team. From there, she played the sport competitively, attending Bill Crothers Secondary School in her high school years and then being recruited by Carleton University’s Women’s Basketball.

Mrs. Shotbolt’s time at Carleton was met with tons of fun as she met so many new people and grew her love for the game while competing in local and out-of-town tournaments. She spent a total of four years at Carleton. Unfortunately, her smooth journey ended when she tore her ACL nearing the end of her university career. As a result, this severely impacted her mental health and disconnected her from her community. This, amongst other external factors and her environment, altered her love for the game for the worse. 

After Carleton, she attended Teachers College at York University and continued her basketball journey by joining the team at York, where she used her last year of eligibility. Fortunately, her brother had spoken to the coaches, urging them to support his sister by talking to her about the amazing team they have to offer at the school. Thus, Mrs. Shotbolt was able to regain her love for the sport.

While Mrs. Shotbolt faced many obstacles and challenges, she’s left a few words of wisdom: “Continue to practise the skill of balancing academics and athletics as a student athlete, surround yourself with people who support you and find ways to give back to your community. You never know who you will inspire.” 

Thank you for this great advice, Mrs. Shotbolt!