Loomis Chaffee Fall Sports Preview


LC girls varsity volleyball posing for a team photo.

Connor Bankoff '24, Contributor

Loomis Athletics is back in full swing on the Island this fall, and expectations are higher than ever. Pelicans have every reason to be excited about the upcoming athletic season. Nine varsity squads look to compete with many favored for postseason play.
After winning only three games two years ago, varsity football took home the NEPSAC Todd Marble Bowl Championship last season. This year, they look to do the same with new Head Coach Adam Banks, Quarterback Dante Reno ’24 (South Carolina Commit), and twin defensive stars Jacob and Jerod Smith ’24. The team starts their campaign at home on Pratt Field against Andover, followed by a massive rivalry game away at Avon Old Farms.
When considering the team’s skill and chemistry, Defensive End Jacob Smith ’24 said, “This team is highly talented and well-coached on both sides of the ball. There’s a strong connection between everyone, and I hope people are ready to watch us show out on Saturday nights.”
Boys varsity soccer, finishing their season last year as semi-finalists in the NEPSAC Class A championship, seeks to live up to their New England Soccer Journal’s Pre-Season Ranking of 4th this coming year. While they graduated many talented focal players, Head Coach David Malloy aims to fill the voids in the squad with new recruits. In their home opener on Helfrich Field, the boys emerged victorious in a 9-0 win over Brunswick.
Varsity volleyball, the three-time defending Founders League Champions are back in business and are in the hunt for a fourth consecutive trophy this season. After going 17-1 last year, the girls lost a competitive 2-3 game against Deerfield in the NEPSAC championships Final.
This year, they started strong in the Loomis Playday, going 4-0, beating Williston, Suffield, Saint Luke’s, and last year’s rival, Deerfield. This year, a notable player on the squad to watch out for is Captain Kori Meissner ’23, who looks to help make another memorable postseason run this fall.
Varsity field hockey welcomes former Assistant Coach Lauren Williams to call the shots. Campbell Hanson ’24 was excited to share the new team dynamic when asked about the coaching change.
“Coach Williams is a great role model to all the girls on the team. Her enthusiasm and optimism help us stay motivated even after an abrupt change within the team. She’s a coach everyone wants to play for,” Hanson said.
The girls backed up their words after Captain Fiona Murphy ’23 scored the lone goal for a 1-0 win against St. Mark’s. The team looks to carry this momentum into their hectic, action-packed schedule.
Last year, girls varsity soccer lost 3-0 to Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in the first round of the NEPSAC playoffs after a solid 10-4-1 season. Since, Head Coach Linda Hathorn has added a few new players to the roster. The girls are off to a hot start, beating Sacred Heart 4-0 and following up with a 1-1 tie against Noble and Greenough.
Boys varsity water polo fell to Hopkins to start their season. After a tough season last year due to inexperience on the team, Senior Captains Charlie Bourne and Edward DeVos look to turn the ship around in their final season on the Island. The boys have a loaded schedule this year, with multiple double headers and long travel days ahead.
Jake Yu ’24 hopes to shine on Coach Edward Pond’s roster this fall and help bring some more buzz back to the program.
When asked about the team, Yu said, “Every guy comes to practice each day looking to contribute any way they can, and I think that’s what makes the team special. It’s a great group of guys.”
Cross Country, one of Loomis’ most reputable programs, looks to maintain its respected status as the boys’ squad aims to get back on top of the Founders League after a second-place finish in 2021. The girls attempt to defend their crown as Founders League champions, which topped off a historic undefeated season led by Head Coach Rebecca Purdy.
Both squads begin their road to the top away at the Canterbury Invitational, and Evan Gackstetter ’24 is very optimistic that both teams will get off to a hot start.
“I think our teams are so consistently strong year in and year out because everyone in the program buys into this family, and we all enjoy going out to practice each day, excited about getting fitter and faster,” Gackstetter said. “That’s the main secret to producing good results.”