Kinkaid finishes strong fall season by Charles Garrison and Ayush Krishnamoorti

After hard fought seasons, Kinkaid was well represented by their fall teams with impressive performances in the SPC tournament, including multiple first place finishes.

SPC weekend was filled with different teams all vying for the coveted first place spot. All teams from Kinkaid made their way into their respective tournaments, following dominant regular seasons. Both boys and girls volleyball teams finished in 7th place, and boys Ccoss country ended in 8th place.

Girls cross country recieved second place while the Field Hockey and Football teams reigned supreme, both winning their respective SPC tournaments.

Field Hockey finished with a thrilling win over Trinity Valley in penalty strokes. The football team capped off their season, beating Episcopal 38-21 at TDECU stadium,  claiming the championship.

Finishing with an impressive 7-3 regular season record, the Football team suffered only one SPC loss to Episcopal early in the season, with a final score of 37-27.

Head Coach Nathan Larned said that the reason they lost that game was because of the many turnovers: “[Kinkaid] had four turnovers on offense and two on special teams, and yet it was such a close game. So we knew we could play with them, unlike 2015.”

He compared preparing for the SPC game to a “good little chess match” and said that the strategy was just to relax and eliminate distractions. Their strategy clearly succeeded, as Kinkaid dominated with a 38-21 win at TDECU stadium.

Defining moments included a blocked kick and multiple stops on Jaylen Waddle, star receiver at Episcopal. Larned said his personal favorite moment was “Wyatt Young’s run where he trucked a guy,” which, he felt, proved that they could play with Episcopal. While it didn’t take the same miracle as 2015, this year’s title was just as exciting and important.

Football was not the only fall sport in which the Falcons finished in first place. The field hockey team took home the first place trophy for the first time since 1999, ending an 18-year drought.

They boasted a regular season record of 9-3, as well as a perfect 8-0 record against SPC opponents. After starting their season 2-3, the team never looked back, riding an incredible seven-game winning streak into the SPC tournament.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, the field hockey team headed to Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth to compete for the SPC title. In the tournament, Kinkaid started off by facing Episcopal School of Dallas in the quarterfinals, beating them 2-1.

They prevailed in the semifinals as well, winning 1-0 against arch-rival St. John’s. Prior to the tournament, Kinkaid had faced St. John’s three times, twice outside of league play and one time within league play, going 1-2 in total.

Kinkaid clinched the SPC South Zone championship and number one seed for the SPC tournament a week prior to the SPC tournament, beating St. John’s 4-2.

“[Kinkaid] was anticipating St. John’s in the championship, as they were a very difficult opponent and had multiple players committed to college for field hockey” said goalkeeper Annabel Skubisz (10).

While the game against St. John’s may have been the most forecasted, the win against Trinity Valley in the finals was probably the most exciting.

As the game went into penalty strokes, a series of one on one showdowns between the goalie and the shooters after double overtime ended scoreless.

Skubisz described the experience as stressful and said that the whole team’s drive was needed to win the final game. She stayed calm and focused, leading to three saves and ultimately, a victory in the SPC championship.

The 2-1 victory against Trinity Valley was a thriller, ending a fantastic season that can hopefully be repeated next year.

Cross country, on the other hand, ended in second and eigth places. After many top finishes throughout the year, both boys and girls’ cross country runners placed well individually in the Saturday morning SPC race in Fort Worth.

Head coaches Ryan Gillentine and Cheryl Mitchell  called the SPC course “one of the hardest courses of the year, because of the hills.” In Houston, hill training has grown harder because Hurricane Harvey wiped out many parks, hindering the runners from access to the necessary training to successfully complete the SPC course.

Despite the difficulty of the course, many runners on the boys’ cross country team ran close to their best times of the year, with DZ Zavitsanos (12) finishing in sixth place, and Socs Zavitsanos (12) finishing well within the top 15.

Additionally,  seniors Minhhy Truong and Paul Thompson ran personal season records as did freshman Duncan Lambert. The other senior on the team, Andres Melendez, also played a key role in the finish by coming in as the third spot for Kinkaid. All of this contributed to their eigth place finish.

The girls team had a strong second place finish to Hockaday. Camila Vicens (10) and Alexandra Blake (10) finished in the top 10, and senior Ali Ammons finished in twelfth place.

Freshman Olivia Fowler set a personal record and, along with two other freshmen, Jalen Elrod and Alison Zhang, finished in the top 50. With so much young talent on both teams, next year’s cross country season looks as if it can top this year’s great season.

The volleyball teams had good seasons, both finishing with one win in their tournaments and in overall in seventh place.

Girls volleyball, led by seniors Lauren Ho, Julia Lasater, and Nia Caldwell, finished their season with a winning record in both SPC play and overall. A loss to the eventual finalists, Houston Christian, sent the girls into the consolation bracket, where they won a game against Greenhill before losing to St. John’s.

As for the boys team, while having a losing record both in SPC and overall, they did well against the eventual finalists, Casady, but unfortunately lost too. Then, they lost to St. John’s, before gaining a victory against Episcopal.

Overall, both the boys and girls volleyball teams excelled in SPC, a definite improvement from last year, where the girls’ team missed the tournament

The Kinkaid Falcons’ fall teams came to play in the SPC tournaments with field hockey and football coming home as SPC champions. The tournament also included some outstanding individual performances, such as the multiple boys and girls having top 15 times in the cross country race.GCC

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