By Eve Nevelos, ‘24, Editorial Staff

The Indian Hills’ fall sports programs have had their ups and downs, along with unique successes. This fall, records were broken, goals were scored, competitions were won, and camaraderie ran high. 

Girls’ Volleyball

The girls’ volleyball team, co-captained by Kathleen DiFalco and Abigail Franks, ended with a 3-16 record during the past season. Abby Franks comments that despite their record, they “had many close games against top teams in the state including Northern Highlands, Ramapo, and Ridgewood. We always fought hard and found ways to implement the new plays that were working for us in the games.” DiFalco vouches for the team’s close-knit community, saying that, “Despite our 3-16 record, this season was filled with many laughs and it was overall a very enjoyable time. There were so many memories made this season and I personally want to thank the girls for everything this season and in the past. The IHHS girls volleyball team is more than just a team, we are a family.” Franks ended the season by successfully beating the school’s record for the number of career blocks with 112, a record that went unbroken since 2014. “We would like to thank all of our loyal fans and parents for cheering us on at each game. GO BRAVES!”


Indian Hills’ cheerleaders, captained by Samantha Bluze, attended all varsity football games, cheering on the Braves in the stands and on the field at halftime, putting on an incredible show. Bluze commented, “The progress that our team made over the few months that we were together was phenomenal! I’m so proud of how far we’ve come, and the amazing performances we pulled off at the football games. We’re such a close-knit group, and I’m really going to miss it when I’m gone.”


The Braves football team had many highs during their season. This year’s varsity team ended with a record of 4 and 5, the team’s best record since 2015. James Hickey won the Super Football Conference Steve DiGregorio “Young Man of the Year” award. Andrew Simmers, senior, comments, “Beating Dwight Morrow 18-6 at Home was possibly the most electric Braves event since I’ve been here as a freshman.” Another adrenaline-filled moment happened at Cliffside Park, where varsity won 17-16 thanks to a last-second field goal kicked by Matt Albora. The junior varsity team ended with a record of 6 and 1, an outstanding result. Jonathan McCreedy, junior on JV, says, “It’s the future of a successful season.”

Marching Band

The Marching Braves, led by drum majors Jaden Mayer-Costa and Emily Bonini, won second place in their division at the Music in the Park competition at Midland Park with their show Irish Hills. Bonini cheers, “From our first day of band camp to our last performance together, every member put in their best effort to improve their skills. I’m so proud of the band for all of their hard work this year that helped us place second in the annual Midland Park marching band competition.” Irish Hills featured “Shipping up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys, a song that had fans singing in the stands. The marching band performed at eight varsity football games this season. Bonini is proud of the band’s family-like bond, saying, “The band has loved performing at every football game, but the best part has to be supporting our team to victory through cheers and pep tunes! It was always gratifying to see our hard work pay off, and it was fun to make our latest show, Irish Hills, be the best it can be!” Next year’s drum major will be Liam Gallagher.

Girls’ Cross Country

Girls’ XC, co-captained by Allison Lounsbury and Abigail Churchill, also had an impressive season. At the Season Opener in Darlington Park, Allison Lounsbury, varsity, and Camryn Finn, frosh, placed third. At the Back to the Mountain race, Allison Lounsbury, varsity, placed third and Camryn Finn placed second, earning the #10 IH all-time best placement. At the Garret Invitational, Camryn Finn placed third, earning a PR. At the Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational, Allison Lounsbury placed third, earning a PR. At the Brett Taylor Invitational at Darlington Park, Summer Myhren, frosh, placed third. At the Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park, Allison Lounsbury placed second. At the final meet, the Big North Batch Meet at Darlington Park, Allison Lounsbury earned second place and Summer Myhren placed third. Abigail Churchill told Drumbeats, “This year, there is no doubt that our girls have put in an exceptional amount of work and really showed it through racing. We have accomplished many team and individual goals, and I am very excited to see what this team grows to be throughout the track seasons and future years.”

Boys’ Cross Country

Indian Hills’ boys’ XC, captained by Russell Braver, had a great season this year. Brady Dransfield, frosh, placed second in the Season Opener at Darlington Park. At the Back to the Mountain Race, where the frosh boys were champions, Dan Phillips, varsity, placed second, Michael Ranagan, JV, placed fourth, Brady Dransfield placed second, Nick Paradiso, frosh, placed third, and Justin Vital, frosh, placed fourth. Brady Dransfield placed second at the Garret Invitational. Dan Phillips placed fifth at the Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational. At the Brett Taylor Invitational, where the frosh boys were champions, also in Darlington Park,  Brady Dransfield, JV, placed first; Justin Vitale placed second, earning a PR; and Nick Paradiso placed fifth, earning a PR. At the recent Big North Batch Meet in Darlington Park, Dan Phillips placed second with a 16:23 PR and Russell Braver, varsity, placed fifth with a 16:49 PR. Additionally, Coach Tuohy, a 2008 IH graduate, had begun working with the team this season, as Coach Zaccone and Coach Rodak are retiring from their positions this year.

Girls’ Tennis

The girls’ tennis was captained by Izzy Trianine, who commented, “We played a great season for the circumstances we were put in. We had a few amazing freshman players and I look forward to retiring my role as captain to two exceptional rising seniors, Raina and Ava.”

Girls’ Soccer

“Our season ended with a record of 3-13, but that score doesn’t reflect the way the girls played,” Carly Spinella, senior, told Drumbeats, “Our goalie (Grace Stanley) had 69 big saves this year. Our top scorers were Amanda Finn (4 goals) and Claire Reid (6 goals), but one moment the team can’t forget about was one of our own goalies, Kennedy Chlewicki, scoring her first varsity goal on our senior night. Personally, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to play with my last year and the memories I have made are unforgettable!” Juliana Ospina captained this year’s girls’ soccer team. 

Boys’ Soccer

Indian Hills’ Boys’ Soccer, co-captained by Owen Zearfaus, Anthony Maimone, Nico Trocolar, and JD Panzenhagen, had a busy season. “The season didn’t go as well as we would’ve hoped,” Trocolar stated, “but we played together as a team and didn’t give up. We battled hard against Ramapo, scoring a goal to give us a 1-0 lead, and almost stole the game from the eventual state champions, Pascack Valley. A 3-1 win in the Bergen Cup over the number 4 seed, Bergenfield, was definitely the highlight.”

RIH Dance Team

Julianna Zelnhefer, co-captain with Anisha Patel, says, “The RIH dance team joins together students from Indian Hills and Ramapo High School. It is a great way to meet new people and make new friends! The team is currently working on a routine to perform at both Indian Hills and Ramapo basketball games and we are all excited to show our school spirit at the games!” Be sure to attend upcoming basketball games to get a peek of this year’s dance show.