Achieving goals

This past December, MB senior Luis H. ’16, was one of three Rhode Islanders named as an All-New England selection. This was the first time in MB history that a student was named as an NSCAA All-New England player. Luis was also named Division II Player of the Year. Here he reflects upon his time playing soccer at MB.

Project GOAL opened my eyes to private school, and with the help of them and Moses Brown alum David Ortiz ’97, I applied to MB and nothing has been the same. It has been the best five years of my life, and I am so glad to have made that decision. Project GOAL helped me whenever I needed tutors and they were always there to support me and guide me throughout the way.

DSC_1407I also think that Coach Aaronian and Coach Rich really helped me out a lot – they’ve prepared me since freshman year to be the goalie I was this year, and they were very positive before every game which gave me the confidence to play well. One of the unsung heroes this season would have to be Karim Sow, although he didn’t coach this year. He was one of my first teachers at MB and one of the first people I actually bonded with. Throughout the first three years of high school, Karim was always there to talk to me. He would also stay after practice my freshman year and shoot on me (even with that bad knee of his). If it wasn’t for him always being there, and his jokes, I don’t think I would’ve integrated myself as well into the team as I did.

Playing with MB was the best soccer experience I have ever had in my life (and I’ve played soccer for 10 years now). The team really becomes your family and it’s nice knowing that everyone has your back after a mistake, and you have theirs. My favorite memory was after we lost the state final and Rio H. ’18 came up to me and gave me a hug after the ball had gone over my head. I think it really symbolizes how close the team was, and to me that is the most important part of a team, having each other’s back. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to accomplish what I did without the rest of the team. I did post a lot of shutouts, and had few goals against, but it was only because our team played great, and I think that all started because of the great friendships and chemistry that we established.

Luis’ teammates were also recognized with the Sportsmanship Award for the 6th consecutive year, as well as Head Coach Eric Aaronian being named twice as Coach of the Year. Congratulations all around to the Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team!

A fine glimpse of MB football mid-season

Football1By John Romano, MB parent

(John produces these team updates each week and shares them, along with the fantastic photos he takes, with MB football families. Now that we are well into the football season, we thought we’d publish an example of his fine work for the entire community to see.)

MB Football: MB 39, North Kingstown 13

Every once in a while there is a game which seems to have more electricity than we might expect during the regular season. Such was the case Friday night in North Kingstown. To all the players and coaches, this felt like the playoffs. Both teams came with attitude and something to prove so early in the season.

North Kingstown felt they needed to show why they went undefeated in the regular season last year yet lost in the first round of the playoffs. MB needed to vindicate our only loss (to North Kingstown!) and demonstrate why we are the champs. Friday night lights and a big fan base for both teams made this game that much more exciting.

Both teams were aggressive throughout the night, and after a slow first drive, MB began firing on 12 cylinders with all aspects of our game contributing to victory. On offense, we had some great passes with amazing catches.

One of several strikes down field.

One of several strikes down field.

We had a solid running game…

Abe bringing it all night.

Abe bringing it all night.

…which became airborne with Tyler’s three touchdown runs.

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#3 about to score for the second of three rushing touchdowns earning him Game Ball this week.

On special teams we had some great kicks and terrific down field coverage leading to a couple of fresh possessions.

The North Kingstown offense had some talent as evidenced by a few great passes and a solid running game by one of their stars, but our defense clearly prevailed. Our D-Line controlled the line of scrimmage…

That's how you wrap up!

That’s how you wrap up!

….. and our secondary had a field day… more like a summer vacation. Both Kuba and Cris each had three interceptions, Billy had another for a total of seven for the day. SEVEN.

Kuba's second pick.

Kuba’s second pick.

Moses Brown is now 2-0 in our Division. This was an important victory at many levels and the best part is the realization that we still have so many ways we will improve!

Junior Varsity

Speaking of improving, the JV players are putting together some great teamwork and really looked terrific  especially in the second half of the game on Monday. Each one of these players has come so very far since early July! Congratulations to the coaches and players on their achievement.

#34 got really stoked for this JV game.

#34 got really stoked for this JV game.

Mount Pleasant Kilties

This coming Saturday, “electric” may not be the word to describe the game atmosphere. Newer families may be unfamiliar with our team’s long and sometimes tense history with Mt. Pleasant.

Briefly, both MB and Mt. Pleasant were in Division III for many years. The Kilties were alternately competitive or less competitive. One year in particular they were struggling. Moses Brown on the other hand was stacked with incredible talent and, according to a sportswriter at the time, we were favored to win 50-0 on an incredibly cold day. To say we were stunned and humiliated when we lost that game at Conley is an understatement and something many of us will forever recall. Coach CJ remembers it well, he was a freshman on the team at that time!

Fast forward a few years, Mt. Pleasant becomes competitive with a few outstanding athletes, moves back up to D III from D IV, and beats us in a couple of really important and fiery, competitive games including the very emotional Super Bowl 2013. That one really hurt.

Last year, in our third game of the regular season after having just lost to North Kingstown the prior week with our young team, we went back to Conley Stadium for what felt like the rematch of that Super Bowl loss against Mt. Pleasant. We were fired up and came away with a supercharged emotional win. It was awesome!

That game (punctuated by Roberto’s incredible pop-up!) was the launching point for what became our incredible season of 2015.

The Kilties players and coaches know all this and they are eager to upset. We welcome them to our home (for a change) and be prepared, this will not feel warm and fuzzy.

See more of John’s photos here.

Keep it simple

Several years ago I sat in wonderment at the National Athletic Administrators conference. Greg Dale Ph.D., a sports psychologist from Duke University, addressed the pressures on youth athletes. He offered a simple way to alleviate them: Let them play.

I invited Greg to visit with us at Moses Brown last month. His session with the students started the momentum for the afternoon, and involved the children as active participants. He advised them that pressure comes from within, and theIMG_0050 release of that pressure also comes from within. One technique Greg introduced to help students move on from making mistakes and avoid dwelling on them is to “flush” them away. Many of the teams have already reported that they are beginning to use this method.

Greg’s message in the coaches’ session was to be open-minded, and to keep lines of communication open. He pushed us to think about the culture that we create for our student-athletes. In one particularly interesting activity, Greg asked coaches to move to opposite sides of the room if we agreed or disagreed with a statement. Given the statement “openly gay students are fully accepted by their team,” many moved to the agreement side. However, when one coach suggested that “fully” is certainly not the norm, healthy dialogue convinced some that perhaps we need to think more carefully about this particular situation.

The parents’ session was by far the most lively and provocative of Greg’s presentations. With more than 70 parents in attendance, his message to them was simple: Get a life. He showed a slide titled: “You know you need to get a life when…” The first response was “You attend practices.” Greg asked which parents attend practices, and why. Raising his IMG_0030hand, one parent answered: “Because it’s fun.” Greg responded, “For you or your son?” He advised that parent to go home and ask his child if his father’s attendance at practice was fun for him. Another parent suggested that she attended practices to provide her daughter with comfort and to make sure she was safe. Greg suggested that this mother had “trust issues”. While Greg delivered some tough messages to the parents, his presentation was light, fun, and filled with energetic interaction.

In the days following, I received many emails and phone calls praising Greg’s presentations. Several parents attended because they’d been told to do so by their children. My most veteran coach (with over 300 wins) told me that Greg’s presentation was the best professional development activity she had ever attended.

As a community, we need to remember the messages Greg Dale delivered: Let them play, communicate, and get a life. Keep youth sports in perspective. Kids play sports to have fun. If we contribute to their experience in a negative way, then we need to re-think our involvement.

– Jeff Maidment

MaidmentJeff Maidment is director of athletics at Moses Brown School and first heard renowned Duke sports psychologist Greg Dale speak at a National Athletic Administrators conference. Jeff invited Dale to share his important message with MB students, coaches and parents at the start of this school year. Dale spoke to parents about helping their children excel at athletics while keeping things in perspective for long-term well-being and healthy development. He consults with collegiate and professional teams and organizations around the world, including The World Bank, Habitat for Humanity International, Airports Council International, and Pfizer. Dale has written four books on leadership and performance, including The Fulfilling Ride: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Athletes Have a Successful Sports Experience, and has offered expert advice in a series of videos for coaches, athletes and parents. Featured on Good Morning America, MSNBC and numerous national radio programs, Dale also is a member of the sports psychology staff for USA Track and Field.

Ice Side: Michael Farber ’69

Moses Brown is pleased to share thoughts from Michael Farber, Class of 1969, who will be in Sochi, covering the men’s hockey tournament, primarily. Since Michael joined Sports Illustrated in 1994, hockey has been his principal Olympic assignment:

“These are my tenth Winter Olympic Games, and 18th overall, and almost certainly my last. I am leaving Sports Illustrated‘s staff after Sochi although I will stay on with the magazine as a special contributor.

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     “What makes my last working Games special is they coincide with being the first for my daughter, at least as a journalist. (She came to Vancouver 2010 as a tourist for a few days.) Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, 25 this month, is a reporter with The Moscow Times, the English daily newspaper in Russia, although she is working for NBC in Sochi as a ‘platform supervisor,’ working in research and helping with translation. French is her mother’s tongue, and she is fluent in Russian. Gabrielle has been living in Moscow since October.
     “Starting with ‘The Miracle on Ice’ in Lake Placid 1980, I have had the best seat in the house for some of the sporting moments that have gripped the globe. Some of my highlights revolve around hockey – Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal for Canada in Vancouver and Peter Forsberg’s spectacular shootout winner for Sweden in Lillehammer 1994 – but most do not. I have been privileged to watch Ben Johnson run faster than any human before – 9.79 for 100 meters at the Seoul Olympics. (The positive dope test is a side issue. I had witnessed mankind surpassing itself.) I have seen Muhammad Ali light the Olympic cauldron in Atlanta. I also was lucky enough to see many of Michael Phelps’ races, including a relay in Beijing, in which the USA anchor, freestyler Jason Lezak, had a near miraculous leg to defeat the French and keep Phelps’ chance for eight gold medals alive.
     “As you might have guessed, I have had the most privileged professional life of anyone I know. I have travelled the world, seen where-were-you-when moments? and had many laughs in the course of four-plus decades of sportswriting.”
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     Thanks to Michael Farber for sharing these thoughts from Sochi. Michael was a boarding student at Moses Brown who scored one point for the MB varsity basketball team, 1968-69, and was sports editor for The Quaker. He is a member of the Moses Brown Athletic Hall of Fame and has been recognized for his sports writing by the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was named Canada’s Sportswriter of the Year. Post-Sochi, Michael will continue writing and doing feature/documentary work and also appear as a weekly regular on TSN (“sort of the ESPN of Canada”). Since August, Michael has been a consultant with NBC Sports on its mid-week hockey rivalry and top 10 shows. Follow Michael on twitter @michaelfarber3. 
     Read Michael’s thoughts on Storytelling from Cupola, the MB alumni magazine: