Time is short and winter sports are off to a fast start. The Mills Athletic Center is a hive of activity as the gym, squash courts, and hockey rink are in heavy use. For most Mustangs, constant training and preparation mean that there is no off-season. In this way, at least, this year is like any other.
In his fourth season at the helm, girls varsity basketball head coach Pat Stewart has been steadily building the program. At 15-9, the 2019-2020 season was the team's best in recent memory. Building on that achievement, this year’s team was poised to continue their winning ways. “Their togetherness was fantastic,” said Coach Stewart of his squad. “Everyone came back,” he added, “They came in in-shape and ready to play.”
According to Coach Stewart, the girls kept in close contact after last spring’s abrupt end to on-campus life at Millbrook, working out via Zoom and sharpening their skills as individuals. Kimmie Jenkins ’21 and Khya Jenkins ’21, committed to playing college ball at the University of Georgia and Coppin State respectively, never let up in their preparation. The leadership of senior role-players Anna Metzger, Paeten Parker, Sophie Stark, and Zoe Tucker has also been vital to integrating new players into the program. Coach Stewart credits the entire team for working hard despite the uncertainty of this season: “This is a motivated and special group of kids.”
Boys Varsity Hockey Coach and Director of Athletics Vinnie Sorriento has structured practices to include more competitive elements than previous years to compensate for the lack of interscholastic matches. Acknowledging the difficulty of scheduling games with Millbrook’s traditional rivals during the pandemic, Coach Sorriento admits, “it’s a completely different year and everything is on the table.”
Coach Sorriento has live-streamed parts of practice and plans to live-stream an inter-squad scrimmage next week. He has gotten positive feedback from college coaches who have tuned in, and, though not exactly true game action, it’s been a way for players to get some exposure.
Many students will likely play in other leagues, tournaments, and groups during the long winter break and time away from campus. Once students are back on campus in January, Coach Sorriento, in his AD role, will be in regular contact with ADs at other schools to determine if interscholastic competition is possible. Keeping in mind hopeful vaccine news and ongoing improvements in testing, “Whatever is possible will be done, and we will be as creative as we can be,” says Coach Sorriento.