Spring 2024

Gator Zone

Headshot of Carla diFilippo

Message from the Upper School Athletics Director

Ms. Carla Di Filippo

Hello Gators,

The spring athletics season at Havergal College has been a remarkable showcase of talent, dedication and sportsmanship. Our athletes have demonstrated talent across various sports, bringing pride and honour to our school. From all sporting arenas, Havergal’s students have excelled, showing not only their physical abilities but also their commitment to their teams and the spirit of competition.

This spring Havergal took home five CISAA championships in ultimate, tennis, rugby and track and field. Our Senior Ultimate Team had their best result to date, taking home the provincial bronze at the OFSAA championships. Best of luck to the Soccer Team as they compete from June 6 to 8 at the OFSAA (provincial) championship. Congratulations to our Rowing Team, who competed at CSSRA championships (aka high school national championships) in St. Catharines on the weekend of May 31 to June 2. The team came home with two bronze and one silver! The success of our athletes is not just measured in medals and trophies, but also in the inspiration they provide to their peers and the broader community. They exemplify the strength, resilience and leadership that girls and women bring to the world of sports.

On Tuesday, May 28, we celebrated all of our spring MVPs and Coaches Award recipients. The spring Athletics Assembly provided the Athletics Department with the chance to honour our most prestigious awards: Athletes of the Year and the Sonia Labatt Armstrong Sportsmanship Cup. Congratulations to Naio Martin, Middle School Athlete of the Year; Maria Annibale, Junior Athlete of the Year; and Scarlett Nowakowski, recipient of both the Suzanne Curtis Memorial Trophy (Senior Athlete of the Year). The Sonia Labatt Armstrong Sportsmanship Cup went to Kaitlyn Windover. View the full list of spring award recipients here and view the Overall Contribution to Athletics Award here.

Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners! 

Our athletes’ accomplishments this season would not have been possible without the commitment and passion of their coaches. The dedication and expertise of our coaching staff have been instrumental in honing the skills and boosting the confidence of our students. A huge shout out to Nicole, Gator Zone Student Editor, for all of your work this year. Your gentle nudges to meet deadlines were greatly appreciated! Lastly, I would like to acknowledge two of the most passionate, Gator-loving people at Havergal, our Sports Prefects Paige and Kaitlyn. It was an absolute pleasure to watch you both go above and beyond this year on all things Gators and work together to make athletics at Havergal special.

Have a wonderful summer!

Ms. Di Filippo

Headshot of Anna Bartlett

Message from the JS Athletics Director

Ms. Anna Bartlett

What a season it has been! For the first time in 10 years, Havergal’s U10, U11 and U12 teams swept Track and Field with every division winning the championship title! Many participants reached their personal best heights, lengths and times and built their confidence as they sprinted past the finish line. 

Sixteen students placed first in one or more of their events! It is hard to describe in words this remarkable accomplishment.

Congratulations to the U12 Softball Team, whose improvement over the season brought catching pop flys and home runs to the field on the final day. Havergal had more students participating in softball than any other CISAA school; we had two evenly-numbered teams playing this year. 

Our U12 Ultimate Team competed in their final event of the season against other co-ed schools on May 23. Being the only team with all girls, one would think we were doomed—but this was not the case! On the final day, all three games came down to overtime and Havergal beat Toronto French School with a diving catch in the end zone. 

Our Grade 1, 2 and 3 Multisport Squads were in full force this season and we were also fortunate to have the expertise of our external coaches Coach Aaliyah and Havergal Old Girl/Alum Coach Sydney to lead two Soccer/Basketball Squad Teams. This skill development that the Grade 3 and 4 students received will benefit our soccer and basketball program in the years to come. 

We want to wish our Grade 6 athletes well as they continue in their healthy, active journeys into Middle School.

Ms. Bartlett

Student Sports Corner

Headshot of Gator Zone student editor.

Message from the Student Editor

Nicole Stanley

Hey Havergal!

It’s hard to believe this year has come to an end. I have enjoyed every minute of growing up in the ivy walls we’re so lucky to call home. I know every student feels blessed to have the opportunities the athletics at Havergal provides. I cannot express how grateful I am to have been your Student Editor for the 2023-24 school year. 

It has also been an honour to highlight the accomplishments of the phenomenal students and staff at Havergal. I love hearing about your stories, successes, losses and comebacks—I am so proud from behind the pen. Our Gators have proven to be better than ever and are growing into accomplished athletes and people. 

Sports have shaped who I am today and have always provided me with opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone. If there is one word of advice that I leave with you, it would be to do the same: step outside of your comfort zone, try new things, be afraid, be better.

I want to extend a huge thank you to the candidly exceptional Athletic Department at Havergal. Thank you to all the talented writers, Ms. D., Ms. Bartlett and Ms. Pink for your contributions to Gator Zone

In this final issue for 2023-24, you will find a range of articles spotlighting our remarkable spring teams. As you’ve likely come to expect, our Gators proved to be nothing short of successful. As the term comes to an end, it’s important to recognize the resilience all athletes have shown over the past three seasons. Special thanks to our Sports Prefects Paige and Kaitlyn, and the Sports Council for their hard work planning Sports Assemblies, Gator Day, Hockey Day and many other events throughout the year. Without further ado, please enjoy this issue of Gator Zone!


Paige and Kaitlyn standing together in the gym wearing Havergal Basketball Team outfits.

Message from the Sports Prefects

Kaitlyn Windover and Paige Edwards

Hi Gators! We cannot believe that this year is coming to an end. It is so hard to say our goodbyes to Havergal sports. For our last issue of Gator Zone, we are delighted to say that we have had an incredible spring season with so many teams excelling and having fun in the warm weather. Huge shoutouts are in order for our U20 D1 Ultimate, U20 Tennis, U14 Touch Rugby and U14 Track and Field on their CISAA wins!

At the beginning of this year, we embarked on a journey to make our sports program more inclusive: a place where everyone could find their passion and be a part of a team. We are thrilled to share that we have taken significant strides towards this goal. Our Gator Day events and the Havergal Gators Instagram account have not only fostered a spirit of support for our athletes, but have also expanded our athletic community to include anyone who wants to enjoy sports and teamwork. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined us on this journey. Your contributions have made our athletics a positive, welcoming and spirited community!

In addition to all of the support we received from students, we would also like to say thank you to the important people who athletics at Havergal could not run without. Firstly, to all the coaches who don’t just show up every day, but who also put every extra moment of their busy lives into it: we could not have done it without you and we appreciate all the hard work you do for our teams. Secondly, to Ms. D., who works non-stop throughout the school year to ensure all of the background team organization is completed so we can be creative and run fun events for the school. Ms. D. makes everything run as smoothly as possible and supports us and all our crazy ideas. She could not be thanked enough for all that she does for this school—and she does it all with a smile on her face! Finally, a major shout-out goes to the Sports Council! If we didn’t have this council, we wouldn’t even be able to run one Athletic Assembly, Gator Day or event properly. Through their hard work, passion and awesome attitudes, we pulled off some amazing events while having the most fun possible. We could not have had a better group and we cannot thank you enough. 

Havergal, we cannot express how grateful we are to have been able to be at the front and centre of athletics this year. It has been an amazing experience and we are so thankful for the support we were given and hope we made your experience here more enjoyable. We will always love Havergal and, don’t worry, we will be visiting often in future years! We know HC athletics will continue to thrive next year when we are gone, but we can’t believe it’s our last time saying this: Roll Gators!

Paige and Kaitlyn

Havergal students playing rugby.

Rugby—New Junior Division in CISAA

Lauren Cheng

This season, Rugby Ontario implemented a new rule that disallowed Grade 9s from competing in Senior High School Rugby. Therefore, a new Junior Division was added, thus, allowing for increased playtimes for younger players and opportunities for Havergal students to play rugby.

The Junior Team showed immense courage and dedication by training with the seniors, and their efforts were evident in their dominating performances on the field. When Mx. Curtis was asked about the Junior Team’s performance this season, she said, “They’ve dominated. Their enthusiasm for the game has been really beautiful to watch.”

Many of the Grade 9 students previously played on the U14 Touch Rugby Team and most of the Grade 10s were on the Senior Team last year. The Grade 10s have done an amazing job leading the Junior Division Team and it is clear that the confidence and chemistry of the Junior players increased as the weeks went by. Together, they have demonstrated skill, teamwork and a promising future for the Havergal Rugby Program.

Our Juniors had an impressive first season. Coming out of playoffs, they had 151 points scored, 59 points scored against and an almost perfect record (due to one loss). In the Championship Finals, our Juniors fought hard and had an unlucky loss to Greenwood College School, finishing their campaign in second place overall.

The coaches and the Senior Team are incredibly proud of the Junior Team’s achievements. We cannot wait to watch them play again next year!

Kayless standing under OFSAA banners.

Badminton OFSAA Gold—Kaylee W

Eshal Shakir

Grade 11 student Kaylee Wang has been on the Badminton Team at Havergal since Grade 7 and currently also plays for Team Canada. She has been playing badminton since she was 11, placing second at OFSAA last year and, this year, she won OFSAA Gold! This spring, Kaylee went to the OFSAA badminton tournament with her Havergal teammates. There were singles and doubles matches, which consisted of players from high school teams and people who played outside of school, who were all combined into one category. 

There were three days of the badminton tournament, which was hosted in Berry, Quebec. The first day was easy for Kaylee: she defeated two girls in single matches who played mainly for their high school teams. On the second day, she played against someone who plays competitively outside of school, which was more challenging for her. On the final day, she was up against a national champion. Kaylee was the underdog since this player was pretty much undefeated. Yet, she proved her outstanding skills to everyone and won the gold!

Kaylee was saying how a big factor in this incredible achievement is having amazing coaches and teammates who are supportive and always push you to do your best, which is exactly what coaches Ms. Lau and Coach Lau do.

Faculty softball players.

Swinging Back into Tradition

Sarah McQuillen Young

A tradition was brought back to life this spring: the student-staff softball game! Before the pandemic, this was one of the most eagerly awaited sports games of the year. Although this may be the first time we have had this event in a few years, the fierce competition between faculty, staff and students was in full force.

The game gave our students a chance to enjoy one of the first sunny days out on the Ratcliffe Field, all assembled to cheer on their friends! The students got to see the athletic side of their teachers, particularly Coach Mike’s swing and Mr. Brown’s tactical job as third base coach. Although the game ended in an unfortunate 10-0 loss to the staff team (which may be attributed to staff umpires), the Havergal spirit was alive and well the whole game. Students celebrated every out, every hit and every catch with enthusiasm. Outfielder Peyton Furgiuele (Grade 11) said: “The student and staff cheering brought the game to life”. Despite the “Staff lose” sign needing to be changed back to “Staff don’t lose,” the game was a great way for every student to spend their lunch! We look forward to this tradition continuing in future years. To the staff… remember: “spirit always wins!”

Ms Dos-Santos standing in her Ultimate Canada team shirt.

Ultimate Canada Team Member Ms. Dos Santos

Camila Castillo

When you think of community hours, who do you think of? For many, Ms. Dos Santos comes to mind in her office in the Forum for Change. However, aside from her role as the Administrative Assistant to the VP of Experiential Education and Innovation, she is an extraordinary Ultimate player.

Ms. Dos Santos came from an active family and played many sports, like track and field and badminton. In Grade 9, Ms. Dos Santos started playing Ultimate, leading to her remarkable career. She played for the Top Ontario Junior Women’s team in 2015 and 2016, winning Bronze, and winning Silver in 2017. On the University of Toronto’s team, she played and won Silver in 2017 and Gold in 2019 and 2021. She also played for Team Canada, winning Bronze in 2018 and 2019 and Silver in 2023, and will compete in Australia later this year. This past month in May, Ms. Dos Santos went with Team Canada (and our amazing US Athletic Director, Ms. D., who is one of the team’s coaches), to Colombia to compete at the Torneio Eterna Primavera, placing third after a tough loss in the semis against Colombia. However, her proudest achievement is making the World Games team in 2022 and ranking #2 Best Female Player. 

In her role at Havergal, she has coached the U16 Ultimate Team for four years, helping the team win Silver in 2021 and 2022, gold in 2023 and silver this past term (2024). Ms. Dos Santos has made a huge impact since joining our community, instilling a sense of teamwork and resilience. We are so lucky to have her at Havergal with us! 

Ms. Lipovetsky smiling brightly.

Staff Profile—Daniela Lipovetzky

Sophia Liu

Despite this being her first year as a Gator, Ms. Lipovetzky has quickly immersed herself in the school community. She grew up in an artsy and athletic family, steering her to develop a strong love and passion for sports and the arts ever since childhood. After 10 years of teaching and coaching softball, baseball and volleyball in the Peel District School Board, she has brought her passions to our school. 

Ms. Lipovetzky teaches Grade 7 and 8 Middle School Drama and directed the Middle School Play, Rogue’s Gallery. She also teaches Grade 7 English and coaches the U14 Softball Team alongside Ms. Macer. Under the watch of Ms. Lipovetzky and Ms. Macer, the U14 Softball Team finished the regular season at the top! As an extremely athletic person, Ms. Lipovetzky enjoys a variety of sports and possesses a wide range of athletic skills, experiences and knowledge. From the ages of 9 to 15, she played co-ed hardball and eventually moved on to slow pitch as an adult. She also spent an impressive 10 years of her life skydiving (she has over 900 jumps!) and has experience as a skydiving videographer. Additionally, she is a snowboarder, no doubt maneuvering across the hills with skill. 

Ms. Lipovetzky has gained great wisdom from her experiences and would give the students of Havergal this piece of advice: “Progress is not linear; take feedback with grace, laugh at your mistakes and move forward. Nothing is going to be perfect the first time you do it!”