The 2014-2015 school year has at last reached its conclusion, and it’s time to take a look back at some of the instances that made it memorable.
After a slow start, the football team rebounded oto reel off win after win, including victories over The Potomac School and Brentsville. Then, with its playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the Wolves pulled off one of the most memorable victories in the brief historyof John Paul athletics, defeating rival Bishop Ireton at home to clinch a spot in the four team VISAA playoffs. Because of the way the seeding worked out, it was to be a rematch with Ireton the following Saturday.
Who could forget the week that followed? There was a buzz in the air; a tangible excitement among the student body backing the team as it sought varsity football’s first ever playoff victory. There was a pep-rally for the team, filled with school-wide chants of “I believe” and of course, the iconic splits of Mr. Malebranche.
While a victory was not to be in the game, it was a feat of itself to beat Ireton in the first place just to get there. The team showed that it wasn’t as much of a push-over as others thought they were, and they went out and proved it all season long.
As the final leaves fell from the trees, as Uggs came out in full force, and as the temperatures plummeted, it was time for the winter sports to get underway.
In their first home game of the season, varsity boys basketball faced a tall task in Clinton Christian. Ranked in the top-five at the time in the Washington Post, and with college scouts in attendance, it seemed John Paul would be out-matched. However, the Wolves came out strong and took them down, in what was another statement victory for John Paul athletics.
The crystal-ball dropped in Times Square, and as the calendar turned to 2015, the Wolves were not nearly done with their notable events. The annual Orange Out in memory of Sarah Jakielski took place in January, and varsity boys basketball suffered a heart-breaking, narrow defeat in a thriller of a game. A short time later it was ESPN Night at a basketball game. Then, senior Josh Cox added his name to the list of John Paul athletes to sign Division I National Letters of Intent, as he penned his to William and Mary for Soccer. The winter season also saw the addition of an 18th varsity sport, indoor track. You can read more about all of those significant events, plus summaries of all the Winter Sports, by clicking here.
One last mammoth of a win awaited, this time on the boys basketball senior night when they took on powerhouse Benedictine from Richmond. Like Clinton Christian, it would take a gargantuan effort to come away as the victors, but this task did not daunt the Wolves. They emerged with the win, capping off their season in grand fashion.
In March, it was a notable gesture rather than an event that stood out among the rest. Junior Josh Holmes (who has since been elected Student Body President) contacted the cheerleaders for the Washington Wizards to see if they would be willing to do anything for Options student Natalie Beck. Natalie, an avid cheerleader at JP herself, had recently lost her father unexpectedly. The cheerleaders were happy to help with the situation, and it was a very moving event when Josh presented Natalie with the package after Mass one day. Be sure to read all about it here.
The spring was highlighted first by two additional Division I signings. Seniors Katherine Duquiatan and Sean Tully signed their National Letters of Intent to the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Radford University, respectively.
While many spring sports struggled with difficult schedules, track and field stood out. The boys team won Catholic States for the second year in a row and the third time in four years, and the girls team was victorious for the first time. It was a sweep of Catholic States for the first time for the Wolves, and you can read about it in more detail here.
As I conclude my last article for Johnpaulwolfpack.com, I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who read the articles and supported the site along the way. I started the site not knowing what kind of reception it would receive, but over the last two years I have appreciated all of the feedback and support. I have truly enjoyed bringing the athletic news of Saint John Paul the Great to you, and I hope you have liked reading them in turn.
So once again, thank you to everyone who supported this site and made my job fun and enjoyable.