The LAS Athletics program is built around the idea of growth. Our coaches strive to strengthen their teams and seek success on the field of play, while also working to help our students grow as athletes and as individuals.
A successful season lies less in numbers of wins and losses, but more in how far each athlete has come in their development as a competitor and as a good representative of our school. With this philosophy guiding our teams, I am pleased to report that we had a very successful fall season of sports here at LAS. Of course, we had teams finish with great records, but I can honestly say that every student athlete has improved over the course of the year and learned something not only about the game that they play, but also lessons on motivation, perseverance, and winning or losing gracefully.
Volleyball is a sport near and dear to our hearts here at LAS as both the SGIS and ADISR tournaments are held here in Leysin. This year our Girls volleyball team, under the leadership of coach Gadiel Rachelson, was one of our strongest sides. Although the girls struggled and lost some very close matches in the SGIS tournament, they came back strong to win the silver medal for their second place finish in the ADISR tournament. Seniors Daniela G. ’16, Robyn B. ’16, and Ana Clara M. ’16 showed great leadership and set excellent examples for our talented group of younger girls. A special thanks goes to the team manager, Yuma Y. ’17, for his motivational talents and his meticulous stats keeping.
The Boys Volleyball team also featured a group of young, talented players. In a similar fashion to the girls team, the boys struggled a bit at the SGIS tournament but really came together as a team to finish with a bronze medal at the ADISR tournament. Rather than mentioning one or two players, one must really commend all the boys on a great team effort throughout the season and expertise of coaches James McKenna and Gadiel Rachelson.
The Girls Football team was very young this year, with many players relatively new to the sport. Coaches Ben Hall and Rachel Galvin did an excellent job of cultivating not only football skill but also the right attitude on the field. This was evident by the girls team winning the sportsmanship award at the SGIS football tournament. Although their overall record showed more losses than wins, the girls learned a lot, and many talented players will return to the squad next year. This years team was led by goalkeeper Liza C. ’19 and seniors Robyn B. ’16 and Masha B. ’16.
The Boys Football team was under new leadership this year with coaches Brian Rusher and Bob Hodgman-Burns ’17P, ’20P taking on coaching responsibilities. The team started the year well with wins versus Bern and against our Leysin rival Kumon. They went on to the SGIS tournament in Lugano and finished a respectable 5th place. Back at home, the boys had some tough matches against the sides from the larger schools in Geneva, but at the end of the day all the players learned more about the game and improved their skills on the field. The boys were led by seniors Dennis L. ’16 and Manuel M. ’16.
The Girls Basketball team was full of energy and enthusiasm both on and off the court. Our girls learned a lot from coach Laura Sommariva, a previous LAS girls basketball coach who returned to the mountain this year. She brought her own high level of enthusiasm and experience as both a coach and athlete to our girls team and helped each player improve. Despite some tough losses in ADISR league games, our girls played well to finish a very respectable 4th place at the SGIS tournament, held at Aiglon College in Villars. The girls team was led by co-captains Tia M. ’16 and Meagan M-B. ’16.
The Boys Basketball team, showcased some very talented players including top scorers Kene N. ’16 and Vlad C. ’16. Coach James McKenna brought his high level of expertise and knowledge of the game to a talented group of players and they were very successful with an overall record of 8 wins and 3 losses. The boys fought hard at the ultra-competitive SGIS Championship, narrowly missing the final four. In the end, they won a nail-biter vs Kumon and finished in 5th place. This team was absolutely one of the most exciting LAS sides to watch this year.
The Boys Rugby team continues to develop under the leadership of coach Ben Hall. Rugby has come and gone over the years at LAS, but with coach Hall’s dedication to teaching the game, and a core group of boys who are eager to learn and work hard, we are surprising some more established teams in Switzerland. The boys played in the annual tournament at the Lyceum Alpinum in Zuoz where they received many compliments on their play and sportsmanship. At the Zurich International School 7s tournament they fared well among many squads with more experience. The team was led by McHale W. ’17 and Michael P. ’17.
Our Cross Country team, led by runner extraordinaire coach Alena Kovarova, trained hard on the undulous roads and trails of high-altitude Leysin. We entered competitions locally and also participated in the SGIS meet in Zurich, where Sai C. ’19 finished second in his age group. The runners will continue to train over the course of the spring and enter more races such as the Lausanne 10k in April.
Both the Tennis and Swim teams began training and competition this fall and will continue throughout the winter and spring. The tennis team played to solid results at our Leysin singles tournament. The team is led by coach Daryl Hitchcock and number one players Jenna S. ’16 and Nat T. ’17. The swim team, coached by Mike Brinkmeyer and Mark Kolman, has competed in one meet thus far, the Neuchatel Invitational, finishing an impressive 3rd place overall. The team was led by a strong group of boys who came together to win both relays and take several individual gold and silver medals. The group includes seniors Maxime B. ’16 and Kevin M. ’16 along with Louis B. ’18 and Mateusz H. ’18.
We will also report at a later date on the results of our Ski team led by coach Andie Flett.
A big thanks for the hard work of our coaches, which has resulted in not only many successful teams, but also a group of over 120 student athletes who have learned the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and the importance of developing strong character.
- Panorama 2016