It’s cold outside, but our Braves are heating things up on the ice, the court, the mat, and in the pool. 

Bowling 

By Eddie Young, Contributing Writer (‘22)

Both the boys’ and the girls’ bowling team for Indian Hills have had successful seasons. The boys, led by junior captain Evan Reid and sophomore Jake Willis, have won about half of their games this season. 

“The season has had its ups and downs,” senior Tom Picinich, said when asked about the progress of the boys’ bowling team. “However, the team has been very confident with what we have.”  The boys have gotten their fair share of wins, and have bowled in many close matches.

At the Bergen County Tournament, the boys came in third place out of all Group 1 and 2 schools that were invited to compete. Jake Willis’ high game was a 258, which was one of the highest scores of the tournament. Evan Reid and Jake Willis were invited to the first ever Bergen County individual tournament this season. More recently, this past weekend, the boys team took home a state sectional title. 

On the other hand, the girls have had an amazing season. They won the majority of the matches they competed in, and performed very well in their tournaments. When asked about the bowling program as a whole and the season, senior girls captain Haley Lenzetti said, “We hads a great group of seniors and underclassmen who worked hard every day. They came to every match with passion, drive, and motivation to not only get better, but to bring back a win. Both teams had a very successful season, and we wish all of the graduating seniors the best of luck in the future!” 

In the Bergen County team tournament, the girls made the semi finals, putting up a good fight against Bergen Tech, who would go on to win the tournament, in that round. Three girls qualified for the Bergen County individual tournament: senior Haley Lenzetti, junior Natalie Christopher, and sophomore Allison Babino. Natalie Christopher came in fourth place in this tournament, showing that she was one of the best bowlers in the county this season.

Winter Cheer

By Valeri Guevarra, Editor in Chief (‘22)

The Winter Cheerleading team is keeping busy this season, cheering on the sidelines and performing routines at every home basketball game for Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball teams. Senior Captain Sam Bluze commented how “Though we had a rough start to our winter season, with small numbers and multiple injuries, we still cheer on our basketball teams and practice our competition routine to try and make the season as good as possible. It definitely hasn’t been easy, but it has been one hundred percent memorable!”

Boys Basketball

By Michael Manning, Contributing Writer (‘25)

With the end of the basketball season just around the corner, the Indian Hills Varsity Boys Basketball team has four wins and more to come. With only a month left in the season, the team has made some drastic changes compared to last year. So far, the team’s record is currently 4-12 which is a huge improvement compared to the year before when the Braves won no season games. Not only has the record improved, but the team has become more competitive and has had close games with some really good teams. Even varsity coach Nick DeCarlo is impressed, “I think we have taken some steps in the right direction this year. Hopefully, with some hard work over the last few games, we can continue to grow and build. The fact that we have won four games and been competitive in a bunch of others is a step coming off of no wins last year.” With some big events like Senior Night on February 17th and a game against our rivals Ramapo on the 10th, the team has to continue to put in hard work and maximum effort just like they have been doing for the whole season. Coach Durando adds, “Our goal for this season is getting better by one percent every day. If we can continue to do that it will be a productive season.” Fans and athletes agree, after every game, it seems like the team keeps on getting better and better. Hopefully, the Braves can finish the season strong and continue to exceed all expectations.

Girls Basketball

By Samantha Marker, Contributing Writer (‘25)

The Indian Hills Girls basketball team now has seven wins under their belt and are striving for many more as the season finishes. There is about a month left of the regular season, with games going on weekly and counties coming up very soon. A big win for the girls was during their Christmas Break tournament. Kaitlin Herrick, senior on varsity comments, “I think we have great chemistry on and off the court. We won our Christmas tournament which is a great thing and we started off the season strong and even though we have had some tough games recently I can see us improving every day.” Coach H, head coach of the girls’ varsity basketball team stated, “I was so happy for the team after we won our Christmas break Lodi tournament. Everyone played well and we earned that championship win based on our team play, our heart, and our hustle through every possession.” The girls too won against St. Mary recently. It was a great game that was a close score for a while, but the girls pulled through and won. Seniors on the team such as Carly Spinella, Kaitlin Herrick, Gia White, Kathleen Difalco, Kelly Difalco, Miranda Miner, and Grace Marscovetra play the role of the leaders of the team and will continue to do so until the season is over. 

Fencing

By Zoe Jacobs, Contributing Writer (‘22)

The Indian Hills fencers are on a roll, and this season is chalking up to be a great one. Both the boys and girls teams have gained many great new freshman fencers this year with some rookies even making it to state individual competitions. When asked about the boys fencing team’s recent successes, saber captain Jaedan Orsini gushed, “We have a lot of great, passionate fencers who are sure to be promising athletes in the future. Our saber fencing boys team got second place in the district tournament.” Team captain, Sydney Chiang, excitedly mentioned that “we have a really strong team, we overall qualified as one of the best teams. Our foil team ranked number 1 in the district and are moving on to states.” Even with the difficulties of juggling a senior year and sports, the senior fencers on each team have relentlessly continued to place high in competitions and do their absolute best. To see more about the team’s recent successes and exciting upcoming state competitions, see “Indian Hills’ Fencing is closing the season on a high note.” 

Hockey

By Eddie Young, Contributing Writer (‘22)

The Indian Hills Hockey team has not had the season it hoped to have, but that does not take away from what the team has accomplished. Even though they have only compiled a 3-14-2 record up to this point in the season, the hockey team has two hard fought victories, both by a score of 4-3, against Montville, completing the season sweep against them. Also, they had a huge 4-2 victory over West Milford on the team’s senior night. The team has drawn two ties this season, with one being against Ramsey, and the other coming against Newton.  

“We had a rough start,” captain Matt Cochran said when asked about the season, “but we have been slowly grinding and getting better every day.” Cochran is right. The team has shown improvement throughout the season, playing a lot of closer games down the stretch.

Through January 30th, junior Brady Vella leads the team in points with 12, and in assists with 7. Sophomore Jake Willis leads the team in goals with 6. 

The team would not be where they are this year without the work of senior goalie Tony Palumbo. He has 639 saves on the year, which puts him at 1134 on his high school career, making him one of only nine active goalies in the state with over 1000 saves. Palumbo’s great season has highly benefited the Braves.

Even though the record may not show it, the team has had a solid season. The improvement has been evident, and with the majority of this year’s team being underclassmen, there is hope for a better season next year.

Swimming

By Samantha Bluze, Contributing Writer (‘22)

This year, the swim team is co-captained by seniors Giselle Mastrofilippo, Maggie Wilson, Ellie Fazio, and Valeri Guevarra. On the boys side, the team is co-captained by Aiden Jaffe and Nathaniel Rosen. The team has worked tirelessly in the pool at the Wyckoff YMCA, and it has paid off. During the regular season, the Girls finished with a 8-1 record, only losing to rival Northern Highlands by 2 points while the Boys, even with the loss of 8 swimmers graduating last year, finished the season with a 6-3 record. At the Bergen County Meet of Champions, several school records and personal bests were broken in addition to freshman Katie Lawrence becoming a double county champion in the 50 and 100 freestyle, leading the girls team to a strong 3rd place team finish. Mastrofilippo reflects, “This season has had its challenges with the loss of many seniors, but we have persevered and have bounced back. We are now better than ever! The girls have had a successful season, and we hope that our triumphs on both teams continue through this season and beyond.” The boys ended their season on a high note with a win over Demarest two weeks ago, their first win over the Demarest swim team in school history. Ranked no. 3 seed in the state tournament, the Girls will be swimming in the semi-final round against Kinnelon this week, and hopefully, move on to the final round to contend for their first state sectional title. 

Winter Track

By Natalie Lorenzo, Editorial Staff (‘23)

The Indian Hills Winter Track team has had a lot of success this season. They have been celebrating many individual successes recently with Captain Russell Braver hitting a mile PR with a time of 4:32.49 at the Varsity Classic Meet on Monday, February 7th, placing 9th overall. Girls Captain Allison Lounsbury stated “This was the first time in two years we have been able to race on indoor track complexes, which has been very exciting. Our entire team has been achieving many personal best times in their events. Our freshmen, in particular, have really been improving, some of them cutting their times in the 1600 by 45 seconds to 1 minute!” Junior Deniz Kalkandelen currently has the fastest 800m time in Group 1 North 1 while Lounsbury recently placed 1st in the 3200m at Ocean Breeze earlier this season. Also, Braver currently has the 3rd fastest time in the 1600 for in the team’s state sectional. The team is gearing up for State Sectionals which will be held in late February and early March where they’ll hopefully continue on their hot streak. 

Wrestling

By Sam Marker, Contributing Writer (‘25)

The Indian Hills boys wrestling team is now 8-5. With practices almost every day and then matches too. They are striving for greatness. This year, the team is captained by seniors Dimitri Rainy and Connor Kovalcik. Dimitri Rainy commented how  “This season, our team beat Ramapo, and it was a great win for us. As of right now, we are currently 8-5, and it’s only going to get better. A few of our wrestlers; Dylan Azgerian, Chris Weaver, and Konnor Kovalcik placed at the cutter classic (tournament), and we won a quad match which was very exciting.” The boys are celebrating their past wins and remain optimistic for the postseason. Kovalcik expressed, “…there will be many more (wins), we all want to end our season with a good outcome.” The team is obviously determined to overcome any of their challenges, and it shows by their fight on the mat.”