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Varsity Volleyball Team Wins Sectional Title

For the first time in Valhalla history, the high school varsity volleyball team is the Section One champion in Class C.

The team – who soared through an undefeated 19-0 season – played a tough match against Haldane High School, the defending champion. The Vikings won by three sets to one (25-17, 26-28, 25-9, 25-16) at Pace University on Nov. 3.

Viking Swimmer Isabella Fountain shines at Sectionals

For yet another year, Valhalla swimming phenom Isabella Fountain will compete at States against the best high school swimmers in New York.

Isabella, a junior, will contend at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s 2018 girls swimming and diving championships on Nov. 16 and 17. She qualified in the 50-yard freestyle capturing the section I title, the 100-yard freestyle and 200 IM relay. 

Last year, as a sophomore, Isabella swam in four events at the state competition, and won three medals. She placed 6th in the 50-yard freestyle, 6th in the 200-yard freestyle relay and 11th in the 200-yard medley relay.

Boys Varsity Soccer Team Earns Academic Award

For the third time in four years, United Soccer Coaches recognized the Viking boys varsity soccer team of 2017-18 with an educational award for their high grade point averages.

In mid-October, the organization announced that Valhalla was one of 312 high school teams nationwide that earned the prestigious Academic Award. The award is merited if the combined GPA of the team is 3.25 or higher throughout the entire school year. Valhalla’s 21-member team had a collective 3.31 GPA.

“This is about as good of an award as you can win,” said coach Sandro Prosperino, who has coached Valhalla Schools’ soccer programs for 21 years, 13 of which as varsity coach. “This is a true reflection of a student-athlete. They are holding themselves accountable for their grades.”

Of the 312 high school teams selected for United Soccer Coaches’ Academic Award, 107 were boys teams. Valhalla was one of only three boys teams from New York to win. 

“They put their studies first,” Mr. Prosperino said. “This is very cool. They help each other. They can lean on each other – academically and for moral support. It’s wonderful that their priorities and friendships extend to the classroom, which is the most important place for them to excel.”

During pre-season, he and assistant coach Marko Loncar make a point of not only discussing the team’s soccer goals, but also its academic goals. They reviewed the importance of cultivating a strong education and performing well in class.

“We’re called ‘coaches’ but we’re teachers,” Mr. Prosperino said. “We teach them about soccer, but also about integrity, respect, discipline and staying together. We’re really happy that they won this award for themselves.”

United Soccer Coaches is the largest soccer coaches’ organization in the world, composed of over 32,000 members that lead at every level of the game – from recreational to collegiate. Its mission is to provide programs and services that enhance, encourage and contribute to the development and recognition of soccer, its coaches and their players.

Field Hockey Goalie Hannah Etlinger Named LoHud’s Player of the Week

Senior Hannah Etlinger, the Viking field hockey goalie, earned LoHud’s “Player of the Week” recognition after performing exceptionally well during an exciting game late last month.

In early October, The Journal News announced that Hannah had beaten seven other standout field hockey athletes from nearby schools for the special honor. The media outlet recognized her spectacular 30 saves during the Vikings’ loss to Albertus Magnus High School.

“I wasn’t really expecting to win ‘Player of the Week,’” Hannah said. “It was kind of crazy. I didn’t know I had so many people voting for me. I’ve never had that many people behind me before.”

In addition to Hannah’s teammates and classmates, several Valhalla alumni saw Hannah’s name on the list and were happy to support their alma mater. Thanks to that support, Hannah narrowly defeated the runner-up from Clarkstown South High School by 35 votes in a tight race.

This fall season is currently Hannah’s second year playing field hockey. She made the switch from lacrosse, which she played in 9th- and 10th-grade on the varsity team.

“I love my team,” she said. “Being the goalie is a good leadership role for me where I can be loud and assertive. Our team works really well together. Some athletes play for themselves, but we play for each other.”

Two Juniors Medal in Grand Cross Country 5K Race

At an invitational 5K race featuring hundreds of runners, two Valhalla High School student-athletes earned medals thanks to their fast times.

Juniors Mary Henry and Gwen Lileika finished in the top 25 of their race during the Six Flags Safari Invitational in New Jersey on Sept. 29. The race featured top runners from high schools in the Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey.

“Both Mary and Gwen are really hard workers and are dedicated to the team,” said coach and teacher Ashley Fetzer, adding that Mary set a personal record during the race. “We’re happy that they performed so well.”

The invitational hosted several hundreds of runners, who were divided into groups of approximately 150 athletes. The top 25 finishers in each group earned medals. Mary and Gwen finished with times of 24:22 and 24:16, respectively.

Following the race, the team spent the rest of the day touring the park, enjoying each other’s company and engaging in team-building activities.

Always striving to develop their skills, both girls have improved their 5K times since the Six Flags Safari Invitational. Mary shaved nearly a minute off of her time by setting a personal record of 23:23 at the Brewster Invitational, and Gwen bettered that with a 22:46 finish at the League Meet.

Winter Sports Registration for high school athletes is open now on FamilyID.

Go, Vikings!!!