The new athletics year welcomed returning Vikings, new ninth grade athletes, and new-to-King upper school fall athletes to the fields, courts, courses, and water.
Fall teams introduced new coaches to the programs, including new head coaches for Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, and Crew, and new associate head coaches in Volleyball, Girls Soccer, and Boys Soccer. All of the hard work the athletes and coaches put into the offseason and summer, including a commitment by many in the weight room with King strength coaches Bonnie and Ron, has started to show, with strong results for Vikings teams in preseason scrimmages and competitions.
Field Hockey opened things up with a great effort and several wins at an early weekend jamboree, followed by wins over Hackley and Danbury High School. Boys Soccer played tough against Hackley and earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over New Canaan High School. Girls Volleyball took part in the Wilton High School jamboree, splitting sets with the hosts before taking the final three sets over New Canaan High School for a thrilling 3-2 comeback win on the road. Football welcomed Capital Prep Bridgeport and blanked the visitors in an impressive 13-0 win. Cross Country and Crew athletes have been putting in the miles to help lead to successful seasons. Finally, Girls Soccer played in the first regular season game of the fall on Wednesday, dominating play on the road at FAA opponent Holy Child in a 0-0 tie.
In addition to training and games, coaches and athletes participated in the following special preseason events:
August 22 - Upper School All-Coaches Opening Meeting and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Workshop
The very first meeting of the new athletics year welcomed all upper school coaches together for the annual all-coaches meeting. Culture building, growing together, athlete commitment expectations, and preparing for the new year were all on the agenda. Coaches were also introduced to leaders from around campus. Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Dr. Clyde Beverly, and Athletics Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Coordinator, Nate Jean-Baptiste, also presented the coaches.
August 23 - Upper School Fall Captain’s Workshop and Opening All-Fall Athlete Orientation
Every August, Varsity captains take part in a leadership and character development workshop to help kick off the athletics preseason. Program leaders Nate Jean-Baptiste, Emma Jonsson, and Emily Prince worked with the captains on this year’s community theme of “Growing Together” through the development of inclusive and positive team cultures with the idea of leaving no teammates behind. Other areas of focus included different leadership and communication styles, managing expectations around commitment, putting into words and actions team core values, and beginning to establish a mission statement for Captain’s Council.
Several captains took to the stage at the Fall Athlete Orientation to talk about the upcoming season and applied what they had learned to the experiences and benefits of all fall athletes. Orientation is also an important event where new coaches and new students who are taking part in our fall teams are welcomed, and fall senior athletes are recognized for all they have done for King Athletics and the King community.
August 29 - Women of Will Leadership Day
Each fall, King celebrates and recognizes its female athletes during the Women of Will Leadership Day. All female-identifying athletes were invited to participate, with activities ranging from a campus-wide history of King scavenger hunt, enjoying a catered lunch together, listening to remarks from a Growing Leaders, Inc. keynote speaker, and an afternoon at the beach of relaxation, yoga, and paddle boarding. Keynote presenter Tree Beeckman helped participants get outside of their comfort zones by “embracing the corny” and gain a clearer understanding that belonging is being able to be their authentic selves without needing to change to fit in. Beeckman got the group moving with a high-five challenge and a "Just Dance" off. Finally, participants listened as Beeckman spoke passionately about the true importance of being brave and confident, living by values while adding value, believing the best about people and about themselves, and how one can set the emotional temperature of a room by being a thermostat instead of a thermometer
Special thanks to Emma Jonsson and Emily Prince for helping to coordinate the event. Over 75 female-identifying athletes and coaches took part in this engaging, interactive, and fun event that kept the athletes moving and thinking throughout the day!
August 26 - Fall Athlete Appreciation Day
Athletes celebrated the return to fall sports and all of the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that goes into preseason at the end of the first week with Fall Athlete Appreciation Day. After a morning of practices, our Vikings athletes got to enjoy Gatorade products and giveaways as well as delicious and healthy acai and fruit bowls from Playa Bowls. Participants learned about the importance of hydration and enjoyed spending time with their teammates, coaches, and fellow athletes.
September 1 - Family Cookout and Meet the Coach Night
Parents and siblings of our fall athletes were welcomed to the family cookout and meet the coach night on the final Thursday of the summer. More than 300 members of the community come out to celebrate the preseason and all of our fall athletes teams, meet coaches, and share in a great night of coming and growing together! Special thanks to Flik for catering the event.
Fall 2022 looks to be an exciting season for the Vikings with all teams poised for success on and off the fields, courts, and water. Follow the action on our new and improved Game Schedules and Scores page and keep up with team and athlete accomplishments on the King Athletics Instagram and Twitter feeds.