Senior Athletes Reflect

The Sports Editors asked Senior athletes to look back on memories of their time at the school. Reflections were lightly edited for clarity.  


Julia Chai

Throughout my time at Hotchkiss, I have been on the Girls Varsity Lacrosse, Girls Varsity Squash, and Varsity Field Hockey team. Each of those teams has helped me develop as an athlete and as a person, by teaching me important lessons about being a good teammate, always working hard, and having confidence. The lacrosse team’s motto, “Hold the Rope,” embodies these three qualities and has motivated me to improve the intangibles for the past four years. Most importantly, I have made some of my best memories at Hotchkiss on the field or on the court with my teammates. Being able to go to Downing Field each day with my friends in the fall and spring was the highlight of many of my days, and I am forever grateful for the relationships that I have been able to form with my teammates and coaches. 

While my time as an athlete at Hotchkiss got cut short due to the global pandemic, it will be my memories on the field that I will take with me as I move forward in life. To all the returning students: cherish every second on the field, court, or ice with your teams, because you never know when it might end. 


Spencer Tuohy

I will always be thankful for sports at Hotchkiss. They opened up an incredible side of Hotchkiss that gave me some of the tightest bonds, fondest memories, and life-long lessons. 

Boys JV Hockey aka “Tulsa” and Lacrosse have been my primary focus. I have been on “Tulsa” for all four years and became co-captain my Senior year. This team had an amazing culture that made me look forward to the winter season every year. I especially thank the other Seniors this year and the coaches for that. 

Lacrosse, though, has had the biggest impact on me. I played for two years on the JV team and served as a captain my Lower Mid year. This team and Head Coach Ted Weihman helped me become the player I was on Varsity during my Junior year.

I was extremely grateful both when I made Varsity Lacrosse as an Upper Mid and eventually contributed as a starter, where I was given the opportunity to play against highly competitive teams. From my Freshman year to this year, I also saw the team grow tremendously both talent-wise and culturally, with Head Coach Andrew D’Ambrosio. He has been a great coach to me and the rest of the team, and I know that he will continue this progress well into the future, which I’m excited to see.


Lucas Mastrodomenico

I’ve been lucky to be very involved in athletics at Hotchkiss, and it has taught me many lessons that I will carry with me. In my first year on the football team in 2018, we went 0-8; we didn’t win a single game. To play a sport like football, where there is a large time commitment and everyone is all-in, it was tough dealing with that. But the boys bounced back and we started making changes to help turn our program around. Thanks to sustained hard work by our returners, as well as many talented PGs and younger recruits that Coach Danny Smith P ’18, ’20, ’24 brought in, we were able to foster a competitive culture and bring our team back to a 4-4 record. This season, all of our Seniors provided leadership, and it will be no different next fall, as we once again have a compelling group of returners who will strongly represent this program for years to come. 


Alex McLane

Many of my best Hotchkiss memories come from the Varsity Water Polo team. It is where I made my first, and eventually, some of my best friends at Hotchkiss. Our practices and games are physically and mentally demanding, but it is our collective struggle that fosters a camaraderie and bond as strong as any other team on campus. I’m incredibly proud of the team for how far we’ve come; this season we finished only one game (a couple points against Suffield!) out from clinching a playoff berth. Most of all, I am proud because our strength comes from our deep roster and unselfish play; everyone plays a part in the team’s success.

The annual Lake Swim (which I was terrified of as a Prep, and even as a Lower Mid), the Liquid Miracle, our pregame chants, this year’s inspiring victories, especially over Deerfield and Choate, and singing along to “Country Roads” after a win – these are memories I will cherish for a lifetime. Thank you Head Coach Kurt Hinck, Assistant Coach Carita Gardiner P’17, ’20, and Assistant Coach Katie Fleishman for giving this team the tools to succeed. You helped make possible the best athletic team experience of my life. Thank you Eden Oostenink ’20 for being the best manager for three years; there’s not much better than a batch of delicious cookies after a tough practice!

Finally, to the Water Polo boys, it has truly been the greatest privilege to captain this team this year. You are all incredibly talented, upstanding, charismatic people. There is very little in my time at Hotchkiss that has brought me more joy than watching this group grow together. Never look back, keep your passion and drive that I saw ignited this year alive, and most of all, always stay hungry. I’ll proudly come watch you play in the Liquid Four next year.


Arabella Katz

Even though I was never the greatest athlete, Hotchkiss has allowed me to develop my athletic skills and find a love for sports I never knew I could have. As a Prep, Thirds Soccer was the first place I felt a true sense of belonging. Coach Liz Buckles always pushed us to better our soccer skills, but most of all, she trained us to be good people. “Leave your ovaries on the bench!” she said before every game, her metaphor for challenging us to put our own interests aside and play as a team. The captains of my first three seasons were my role models, and I was so excited to have the same effect as a captain for new players this season. 

On JV Basketball, I was never the best on the team, but I learned so much from watching my teammates play. They pushed me to be better, and it was an honor to play alongside them. The team is a rambunctious, talented, hilarious group of girls, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished together. We sing, we dance, and we make Tik Toks. Head Coach Eileen Sullivan and Assistant Coach Kristin Glasheen always cheered for us, win or lose, and they made us into better players and people. Hotchkiss sports teams accept everyone, and I am so grateful for the experience.