The Cougars celebrated an historic winter season for George School at the annual Winter Season Athletic Banquet. Student-athletes set multiple records with championship wins in swimming, basketball, and track. The equestrian and cheer team also had standout seasons.
The swim team broke three school records and placed first to take home the gold in the FSL Championship for the first time since 2000. Each swim broke the George School Boys’ Varsity Record, The Marshall-Platt Pool Record, The Friends Schools League Championship Meet Record, and the All-Time Friends School League Conference Record, respectively. They were as follows:
- Boys’ 200 Yard Medley Relay – 1:37.94: Mikko Kuittinen ’26, Kentaro Bauer ’25, Chris Wittmer ’23, Lukas Nier ’24
- Boys’ 100 Yard Backstroke – 52.31: Mikko Kuittinen ’26
- Boys’ 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – 3:20.03: Mikko Kuittinen ’26, Kentaro Bauer ’25, Lukas Nier ’24, Chris Wittmer ’23
Team Captain Chris Wittmer ’23 reflected on the memories he shared with his team after his last swim at Easterns: “I realized three important things: First, life moves incredibly fast, so it’s important cherish every moment you have with one another; second, life will bring you to your knees at some point, and who you are is determined by how you get back up; and third, there’s no shortcut to success, because hard work will always prevail.”
The girls’ team placed a close second behind Friends’ Central School, scoring more points than last year, resulting in their highest total to date. Both the 200 Medley Relay and the 200 Free Relay were within one second of the George School Varsity Record.
“We placed second in the Friends League, losing only to Friends Central,” said team captain Alexis Muller ’23.
While it’s hard to lose, this was the closest scoring meet we have had against them in as long as I’ve been on the team, and each year we are getting closer and closer to being at the top of the league.”
Girls’ Varsity earned a record of 7-2 this season while the Boys’ finished at 10-1. Head Coach Brandon Hullings shared that each team had standout leadership from their respective captains in Alexis Muller ’23, Kylie Perry ’23, Rachel Delie ’23, Chris Wittmer ’23, Zach Holmes ’24, and Lukas Nier ’24.
“Every athlete found a way to contribute to our success whether that was through their intensity, their passion, or their humor,” said Varsity Head Coach Brandon Hullings. “I have never seen a team more driven or more focused as a collective than I did during this competition. They rose to the occasion in every possible way and earned their long elusive title. I couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishment, and I thank them for allowing me to be their coach.”
The Boys’ Varsity Basketball team became FSL Champions for the first time in school history. The final score of the game was 64-61. Christian Bliss ’24 set a new school record with 39 points vs. ANC Basketball in the FSL Championship Game. It broke the previous George School record set by teammate Kachi Nzeh ’23, who had 34 points vs. Trenton Catholic on January 31, 2022. The team went on to the PAIS Championship final, also for the first time in George School history, and lost in overtime by two points.
Kachi Nzeh ’23, who will continue his basketball career at Xavier University next fall, shared, “The words, “ALL IN” are a motto that our team carries in our hearts. All in isn’t being a front-runner or celebrating our team because we are good. All in is being there for the journey – the ups and downs. All in is being there for your brothers. Our staff was all in, our managers were all in, and our team was all in. Now that our season has finally come to an end, we all realize that basketball can take you to your highest and lowest points – but we know that is a part of the journey, and the journey is the greatest teacher there is.”
“Winning the FSL championships for the first time in school history is an amazing accomplishment and these memories will last a lifetime,” said Varsity Head Coach Ben Luber. “We have a great group of young people who are really talented and hardworking, but I am most proud of them for being great teammates. Our team motto is “ALL IN” and every coach, player, and manager played a different role that led us to this championship. We all come from different places and have different individual goals but collectively we came together and made history. It has been a beautiful thing to experience and I will cherish these memories forever.”
The winter cheer team competed for the first time in the program’s history. The team took fourth out of six with dedicated athletes who are excited to make their presence known in the competition circuit. “We competed in two competitions this winter, and took home fourth and first in them,” shared Varsity Head Coach Chelsie Tuttle ’08. “The team worked hard to create a dynamic and fresh routine to compete in Game Day Division, and are excited to get back on the mat and compete again. We will continue to perfect routines and hope to build on stunting and tumbling. We can’t wait for next season!”
The Winter Track team won big at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) State Championships, placing first in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions. It is the first time in school history that both the boys’ and girls’ teams have placed first in states together.
“Winter track started on the wooden bleachers of the Alumni Gym listening to Coach Bailey’s usual speech,” remembered Derek Denoon ’23. “I had many things I was looking forward to, yet I had no idea we were about to have the best GS indoor track season in history!”
“This year’s teams were exceptional at achieving a personal best (PR) in almost every meet, including at States,” said Head Coach Mike Bailey. “I always teach the track and field student-athletes that I expect a PR, and if the PR is good enough to win, that’s great. If it is not, you still have your personal record. Both teams came to the meet with that in mind and we had PR’s all over the place and the points kept coming. They performed beyond expectations and came home with the PAISAA State Indoor Championship trophies. The coaches could not be prouder of our teams!”
The Varsity equestrian team competed in the IEA Regionals on Sunday, February 19. The team took fourth overall, with two students, Marienne Lousteau ’26 and William Chen ’25, moving onto IEA Zone 11 Finals in March. “The Varsity Equestrian Team did a great job this winter term,” said Equestrian Director Tiffany Taylor. “They worked very hard and qualified the team and several individuals for IEA Regionals!”
Congratulations to all of the scholar-athletes at George School for an outstanding and memorable winter season–it was definitely one for the history books!