Whether it was winter, spring, or fall, Greenwich High School’s sports teams gave the opposition all it could handle and more.
The Cardinals captured numerous championships each season and their athletic success didn’t go unnoticed by the FCIAC.
Greenwich was recently presented with the FCIAC Cup, which is awarded to the conference’s top athletic program in 2017-18 in terms of participation, scholarship, service and competitive results.
“I could not be prouder of our kids and coaches for truly outstanding accomplishments,” said Greenwich athletic director Gus Lindine, whose program received the honor at last week’s FCIAC Awards Banquet. “Expectations are always high for our teams, but I think we might have exceeded them as an athletic program.”
In addition, a wealth of Cardinals coaches received accolades. Betsy Underhill, Greenwich’s girls tennis coach, was inducted into the FCIAC Hall of Fame at the banquet and Cardinals girls cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field coach Evan Dubin was selected as the FCIAC Coach of the Year.
Underhill has guided the Cardinals’ girls tennis team to a number of FCIAC and state titles during her two decades at the helm and always has her squad in contention for each title. This past spring, Greenwich reached the FCIAC Tournament semifinals and Class L quarterfinal-round.
“I always feel it is such a privilege to be able to coach, even with all the headaches that can occur. This year especially, was a really good year with the girls,” Underhill said. “The team meshed from day one, and all of them got the concept of being part of a tennis team and did not have the “me first” mentality, when it came to positions needed.”
Greenwich lost only four matches this spring and was defeated by only two foes, as Darien and Staples beat them twice.
“We didn’t win anything per say, but I feel it was one of the best years ever,” Underhill said. “I feel losing only twice to the two schools that were in the finals of the state tournament, says something about the strength we had as well. I enjoyed coaching every second of our 2018 season.”
Dubin’s girls indoor track and field team won the triple crown for the first time this past winter — the State Open, Class LL and FCIAC titles — and captured the cross country title in the fall. The spring season saw a wealth of Cardinals runners flourish. He was chosen as FCIAC Coach of the Year, including all sports (overall coach of the year).
“I was shocked and speechless to have received such an award,” Dubin said. “Given what other coaches there were in the room that night. For them to recognize me is shocking and humbling. It shows that they paid a lot of attention to our team.”
Indeed the whole scholastic season was one to remember for the Cardinals cross country and track teams.
“It was certainly a great year to be a part of the Greenwich cross country and track programs,” Dubin said. “Each season a talented group of athletes came out and contributed and it wasn’t only the same five or six girls each season. For the girls to really step up to the plate when they needed to and shine when the pressure was on was rewarding to watch.”
Cardinals senior Emily Philippides, who won the State Open and Class LL titles in the 800-meter run, was named the Connecticut Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Sue Knight, whose Greenwich gymnastics team won the FCIAC, Class L and State Open championships, was chosen as the FCIAC Gymnastics Coach of the Year.
Senior Adnerys DeJesus, who put on dazzling displays at the FCIAC, Class L, State Open and New England Championships, received Connecticut Gymnast of the Year honors in the winter.
Ally Orrico, was awarded as the FCIAC Field Hockey Coach of the Year at the banquet. Earlier this year, Orrico received CHSCA Field Hockey Coach of the Year honors.
“This is definitely more of a program award,” Orrico said. “We have a really good staff of coaches and we work really well together. The girls on our team are amazing athletes and great people.”
Orrico especially enjoyed the qualities of last fall’s Cardinals squad.
“Every year the team takes on a different personality and this past season it was so awesome to have been around those girls,” Orrico said. “They had great energy, provided a lot of laughs and it was a thrill to coach such talented and dedicated athletes.”
Kaitlin Gaghan was rewarded for having a strong season in her year as the Greenwich girls lacrosse coach. Gaghan whose squad advanced to the FCIAC Tournament semifinals and Class L quarterfinals, lost just four times on the season. She was the recipient of the FCIAC Girls Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
John Marinelli’s third season as coach of the Cardinals’ football team saw the squad reach the Class LL Tournament finals for the first time since 2007. Greenwich also won the FCIAC title, after going undefeated during the regular season. Marinelli was given the FCIAC Football Coach of the Year at last week’s FCIAC banquet.
The Cardinals achieved significant success during each season. In the fall, the Greenwich girls swimming team captured the FCIAC, Class LL and State Open titles, while the girls volleyball team won the FCIAC and Class LL titles.
The Cardinals’ girls cross country team claimed the FCIAC title and the football team finished with the best regular season record in the FCIAC, giving them the conference title. Greenwich’s boys soccer team garnered the winner’s trophy in the FCIAC Tournament.
The winter saw Greenwich’s boys swimming team win the FCIAC, Class LL and State Open championships and the Cardinals’ gymnastics team take the triple crown — the FCIAC, Class LL and State Open titles. Greenwich’s girls indoor track and field team had a memorable winter, winning the FCIAC, Class LL and State Open championships. The school’s girls hockey team skated to the FCIAC championship. In boys hockey action, Greenwich was the runner-up in the FCIAC and state tournaments, while senior Alex Mozian was the state’s player of the year.
Greenwich’s boys golf team headlined the spring season, winning the FCIAC and Division I state titles, while having junior Jackson Fretty be selected as the state’s Player of the Year. The Cardinals’ rugby team claimed their 11th straight state championship, while the girls lacrosse team and girls tennis team each advanced to the state quarterfinals. The boys tennis team advanced to the FCIAC finals and placed second in the Class LL Tournament.
“To have the success we had each season and four state players of the year is really impressive,” Lindine said. “Our players and coaches put so much time and effort into all they do, so I am very happy to see them rewarded.”