Winter Athletics Heat Up

Image by Alejandro Izurieta ’25

Leaves have fallen from the trees, marking the end of fall sports at Grace. With their absence, students are encouraged to continue celebrating athleticism through winter sports, despite the colder weather.  

Several sports are offered this season: Boys Varsity and JV Basketball, Girls Varsity and JV Basketball, Fencing, Squash, Swim, and Indoor Track. 

Boys Varsity Basketball

Boys Varsity Basketball games have been full of student participation and spirit. While the boy’s team has endured a journey of many ups and downs this year, the team’s captains are confident about the team’s ability to win. 

Captain LJ H. ’24 explained how, in “past years, Grace Varsity Basketball hasn’t been too good and it was rough, [yet] we have a team this year that works off one another really well and can win many games in the future.” 

This newfound confidence in the team’s ability has increased LJ’s confidence during games. LJ shares how, “the team looked good in its first game,” giving the players more confidence to keep up the wins. 

The Grace community has supported the team, with a huge student turnout and stellar performances from the cheer team. On Nov. 15th, the Village Cup was held in the Grace gym. There was fanfare and snacks and cheer team performances, leading to a packed and noisy gym.  Students witnessed the team’s close-knit relationships on and off the court. Good luck to Boys Varsity Basketball this season!

Boys JV Basketball

The team is focused on development. Rostam S. ’26 and Felix W. ‘26, the team captains, according to Rostam, are focused on “trying to develop a team that is both fun and skilled. ” 

The team has directed their focus on building skills this year, rather than wins, which is  a great approach to mastering the sport.

“The most rewarding part of basketball this season,” Rostam said, “is seeing our practice pay off.”  

As they “run the correct play and it works,” the rewarding aspect of their work is exemplified. 

Girls Varsity Basketball

Girls Varsity Basketball has taken Grace by storm. So far, this season, the team  achieved a great deal, with a win at the Village Cup and a D1 recruit as one of the captains. 

Captains Lina M. ’24 and Alana A. ’24, the recruit, have big hopes for the upcoming season, as students eagerly watch on the sidelines, rooting for their team’s success. 

Girls’ Varsity basketball games have had large student turnout and interest, making the sport a highlight of community events. At the Village Cup, students showed up to Cheer on the team, shouting in joy each time the players scored a point. 

Lina shared that there is also a prominent sense of community within the Girl’s team: “For me, the most rewarding part of being a part of a sport at Grace has been the people. The friendships I have made have been some of my best at Grace.” 

These friendships have allowed for huge success on the court. Lina’s favorite moment from basketball  “was the secret snowflake both Varsity and JV did together. [We]all bought small gifts for another person and had a holiday party before the break.” 

The team has been able to achieve a great deal, leading to Alana’s D1 recruitment. . Alana committed to playing basketball for Cornell University before the season began and is happy to know that her recruitment can inspire other basketball players at Grace. 

Alana said her acceptance into a D1 school, “signifies that Grace might not be triple-A, but they do have the facilities to help achieve [students’] goals.” 

Image by Abby Glusker ’25

Alana sees Grace’s athletic program improving in the future, exclaiming, “I hope it continues to get better and better. I think that each year, we have a team that gets on to be one of the best in their league and we’ve moved up leagues in the past couple of years. Hopefully, we continue to improve and I’m excited to see us improve as a school.”

Girls Varsity basketball has continued to make a mark on the court and has had a great start to the season. 

Girls JV Basketball

Last year, a new team joined the winter sports options: Girls JV Basketball, giving more students a chance to try the sport. 

Captain Miranda H. ’26 reports that the team has been able “to grow…and improve together,” despite the short time the team has existed. 

The team also has a strong sense of friendship, with traditions being formed quickly. Miranda shared a story, where the team made “memories such as secret snowflakes.” The close bond between team members has translated to comradery on the court, leading to a successful season in the first year. With a strong connection between players, Girls JV Basketball is looking forward to a great season. 


Among the more conventional sports offered at Grace, there are unique standouts like Varsity Fencing. Varsity Fencing has proven to be a sport filled with student engagement and competition. 

Captain Capes C. ’25 explains how students enjoy “how fast-paced” the sport is, leading to recurring student participation. The team plans to fight for wins this year against teams that have previously been tough competition. Capes reports that Riverdale and Horace Mann are especially tough, but the team plans to push and hopefully score a win this year.

Squash Team

This season, participation in Squash has risen at the high school, leading to a prediction that this could be a season filled with wins. 

“I know we will win,” said Adam H. ‘24, the team captain. 

Another feature of quash is the range of students participating. The squash team builds cross-grade connections, allowing students to make new friendships. 

Adam said  team members are able to “branch out and talk to more juniors, underclassmen, and even our eighth graders.” 

Squash has proven to be a sport that connects students, and this year Grace’s prospects are promising. 

Sofia U. ’24, a captain, says Grace plays “a lot of really competitive teams such as Saint Anns and Packer, but [she is] not worried.” 

With squash’s broad range of students participating and the team-wide confidence, the wins are looking promising.

Swim Team

With an increasing number of students diving into swimming, the team has grown a lot this season. 

Sayjel T. ’24, captain of the Varsity Swim Team, is enthusiastic about the team’s improvement, declaring: “Two years ago when I first joined the team, we had one win for the girls … and last year, we had 4-5 wins.” 

Sayjel said his year has seen a huge improvement in sign-ups. She continued: “There were 5 girls last year, but this year there’s 16. We’ve built a bigger family.” 

Swim’s steady improvement leaves Grace students hopeful for the future of the sport, as participation rises, and wins rise as well.

Indoor Track

Despite being in the midst of a cold winter, runners continue their beloved sport at Grace. 

Hallie R. ’25, a captain, shares a big success for the Girls’ Indoor Track from last year: “We broke the 4×4 relay record for Grace on the same day as the boys did. It was a great day with so much excitement and joy.” 

The team, described by Hallie, is “a small but mighty team with sprinters and distance runners.” Despite the size of the roster, the team has been successful and this year they continue to set new goals. Hallie explains that she hopes to “accomplish a NYCAL title for the girls.” 


Some people, unbeknownst to all that Grace’s Cheer team encapsulates, believe that the team is solely here to support the basketball team. However, this preconceived notion could not be farther from the truth, as this season features a Cheer competition and other independent team activities. 

Captain Kristina E. ’24, said the team’s goal is “to bring spirit and fun to Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball home games, be able to participate in a Cheer competition later this winter, and grow our stunting and tumbling skills as a team.” 

The participation in Cheer  at Grace is substantial and close-knit, uniting the team members in new ways. Kristina cherishes “the community they [we] have created within the Cheer team and it is so nice to be able to come together and laugh.” 

The Cheer team, not only being united in itself, also works to unite the entire school. During pep rallies, the team performs routines that support a school filled with spirit. Moreover, during the village cup, the Cheer team was highlighted as an incentive for students to attend, promising routines and high energy. Students responded accordingly, leading to bleachers packed to the brim with students who eagerly awaited each game and the energetic and captivating Cheer performance that ensued.

Cheer is a valuable part of Grace’s athletic roster, bringing school spirit to Grace while holding its own in competitions.

Winter sports at Grace have formed a bond across the school, uniting the student-athletes and viewers. The school looks forward to more games, as the season progresses. 

Students can also look forward to the Gazette-streamed basketball games, with a girl’s game on Jan. 11th at 5:30 pm and a boy’s game on Jan. 17th at 4 pm.

Zarina Medeiros is a staff writer for The Grace Gazette and a member of Grace’s girls varsity tennis team.