Ashley Hall is thrilled to announce that it will host youth sports for the first time in the School’s history for the 2022-23 school year. The new CUBS program will expand the Athletic Department’s sports offerings to students in grades pre-kindergarten through fourth who would like to participate in practices after school, and its designed to teach fundamental skills and PQV spirit to future Panther athletes.
“It’s so important for kids to explore athletics at a young age,” says Ashley Hall Assistant Athletic Director Christian Alcantara. “I can think of no better way than to provide them the option to try new sports in a fun, supportive environment that mirrors our EEC and Lower School programs.”
The program will kick off with volleyball, tennis, and soccer. The spring semester will offer basketball, lacrosse, and golf. Each semester will offer two 6-week sessions, and programming will include one lesson each week organized by grade level. All practices will start 15 minutes after school dismissal and take place on Ashley Hall’s campus. Program fees vary based on the sport.
“Our coaches coming in are all professionals and everything for our Panther CUBS will be held on campus,” Alcantara says. “The ease of having the program right there for our students will hopefully also make it easier for our parents. It’s going to be a wonderful extension of our School and mission.”
The exciting addition of youth sports at Ashley Hall comes on the heels of a 2021-22 school year that saw State Championship wins, Johns Island Sports Complex facility upgrades, and Nike brand partnership news. “We’ve been busy elevating Ashley Hall’s athletic program offerings to the next level,” Alcantara says. “And the momentum continues.”
The Ashley Hall Equestrian program has been in full “gallop” this spring with two big events showcasing the team and individual rider’s talent and PQV spirit.
South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) Equestrian Championships
Under the leadership of coach Cyndi Simpson, the Ashley Hall Equestrian Team placed 6th overall at the SCISA Equestrian Championships held April 2. PQV to the following riders:
Reserve Champion in Beginner Walk Trot Canter | Elli Grek ’29
Reserve Champion in Open Flat & 6th Place in Open over Fences | Stuart Rumsey ’23
4th Place in Beginner Walk Trot | Isabella Smith ’29
7th Place in Beginner Walk Trot Canter | Emme Miller ’28
6th Place in Intermediate Over Fences & 4th Place in Intermediate Flat | Madison Bernard’23
7th Place in Novice Flat & Novice Over Fences | Addie Hoffman ’28
2022 Ashley Hall Horse Show
March 18-20, the annual Ashley Hall Horse Show returned to Mullet Hall Equestrian Center for a beautiful, but chilly weekend of competition and camaraderie. This event is open to riders outside of Ashley Hall including alumnae who return to compete for the coveted Emily Ravenel Farrow ‘33 Alumnae Cup.
Congratulations to all of our winners and participants listed below:
McBee House Cup
1st Place | Kaitlyn Noone ’23
2nd Place | Ella Hudson ’25
3rd Place | Pierce Wilson ’23
Jenkins Hall Cup
1st Place | Liza Ziel ’27
Lane Hall Cup
1st Place | Sallie Dollens ’26
2nd Place | Jane Lesemann ’30
3rd Place | Bee Dollens ’29
4th Place Emme Miller ’28
5th Place | Isabella Smith ’29
Pardue Hall Cup
1st Place | Adelaide McKenna ’30 2nd Place | Madeline Graham ’26
3rd Place | Harper Riley ’30
Alumnae Cup (Section A) | Allison Andrews ’15
Alumnae Cup (Section B)
1st Place | Anna Bradley Marrow ’17 2nd Place | Allison Andrews ’15
3rd Place | Amanda Oswalt Taylor ’02 4th Place | Mary Moore Cummings ’02
5th Place | Caroline Ravenel Strange ’10
For more information on the Ashley Hall Equestrian Team, please feel free to contact Ashley Hall Athletic Director, Franny Slay ’80 at [email protected].
When Ashley Hall fielded its first varsity lacrosse team during the 2011-12 season, it was the only SCISA school in the Charleston area to have a girls lacrosse team.
“We could only compete against public school teams,” says Athletic Director Franny Slay. “It wasn’t until 2016-17 that a few other SCISA schools started the sport for girls which meant we could finally hold a state championship.” The Panthers lacrosse team went on to become State Runners-up in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
Now, after two seasons off the field, the Panther Lacrosse Program will be revived this spring under new head coach Aimee Burgos, and no one is more excited to see the sport return to Ashley Hall than student athletes:
“The girls truly loved this sport and worked hard to build the interest so that we could field a team again this year,” says Slay.
Coach Burgos (pictured right) has lived in Charleston for the past four years. Before relocating from Portland, Maine, she taught middle school Physical Education and coached both Varsity Lacrosse and Field Hockey. Outside lacrosse season, she’s the President and Programs Director for Charleston Field Hockey, a local non-profit organization trying to build the sport here in the Lowcountry.
“My true passion in life is coaching and working with young women to help them flourish through the lessons taught while being a part of a sports team,” says Burgos.
Ahead of the official start to the 2021-22 lacrosse season which kicks off Feb. 1, 2022, we chatted with Coach Burgos so the Ashley Hall community can get to know her better.
What’s your experience as a lacrosse player?
I have been playing lacrosse since I was in middle school and have made it a lifetime sport by playing recreationally into my adulthood. As much as I admired the attackman and sharp shooters that score goals, defense was my jam! I loved the idea of “protecting our house” and working with the goalies to achieve that shared goal. I was taught early on that ambition is the incentive that makes purpose great and achievement greater.
What are you most excited about in this new position at Ashley Hall?
I am so excited to become a part of the Ashley Hall community. Every staff member, student, and parent I have met so far has welcomed me with open arms. This school has been a prominent institution for over a century, and I am honored to learn more about the culture of the school and its long standing traditions.
At the start of the new lacrosse season, what’s the number one thing you’ll be communicating to players?
The only purpose in life is to flourish and to aid in the flourishing of others. This season will give new life to the Ashley Hall Lacrosse Program and build a team that is stronger than any wins or loses. It’s my goal to cultivate a culture that is inclusive and supportive to any player regardless of skill level.
Each December, Charleston’s Post and Courier newspaper recognizes excellence in fall high school sports by acknowledging student athletes and coaches of note. We’re thrilled to share that Ashley Hall’s Vivian Miller ’22 headlines the list as All Low Country Girls Tennis as Player of the Year. Vivian will go on to play tennis at Brown University next fall. Additionally, in her first year at the helm of Panther Varsity Tennis, Coach Charlotte Hartsock has been recognized as Coach of the Year. Way to go ladies!
The complete list of the Post and Courier‘s All Low Country Athletic Recognitions can be found below. PQV to all of our student athletes who participated in a fall sport this year!
CROSS COUNTRY First Team: Kate Coker, Ailish Ward Honorable Mention: Atalie Evans Godly
GOLF First Team: Raegan Propes Honorable Mention: Rhett Maybank, Chloe Ross
SWIMMING Honorable Mention: Maddy Ethington-Carl
TENNIS Player of the Year: Vivian Miller Honorable Mention: Jane Goldstein
Coach of the Year: Charlotte Hartsock
VOLLEYBALL Honorable Mention: Josie Cotuna
(Photo courtesy of the Post and Courier.)
Winning Streak Continues With Fourth Straight Championship Title!
Ashley Hall is pleased to announce that its Varsity Tennis Team has once again won the 2021 SCISA Class 3A State Championship. Under the guidance of new head coach, Charlotte Hartsock, the Panther program continues its tradition of excellence by securing its fourth championship title in a row.
After a 5-4 victory over Trinity Collegiate on Friday, Ashley Hall beat Porter-Gaud 5-2 on Saturday to win its fourth straight championship.
“This has been a great group of girls,” said Panthers head coach Charlotte Hartsock. “They’ve worked really hard and they were the underdogs this weekend. We pulled it out beautifully.”
On the team’s recent win and ongoing success, Head of School Jill Muti added “Congratulations to Coach Hartsock and all members of our Varsity team. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments.”
Ashley Hall finished the year with a 13-5 record. The Panthers had played Porter-Gaud three times during the regular season, winning once. However, they had their full complement of players during the final match and were able to win despite the grueling semifinal match.
Senior team members included Dorothy Fort, Jane Goldstein, Vivian Miller, Natalie Richards, and Penny Wallace.
Ashley Hall welcomes Christian Alcantara to the Panther Athletic Program. Coach Alcantara joins our team from the Dripping Springs, Texas Independent School District where he taught physical education. He also held the position of College Director and Elite Clubs National Coach for the Rebel Soccer Club in Chula Vista, California. At Ashley Hall, Coach Alcantara will serve as Assistant Athletic Director and will also oversee the Panther Soccer Program. You will also find him teaching physical education.
On the addition of Coach Alcantara to the Panther Program, Athletic Director Franny Slay ’81 said, “We’re thrilled to have a fresh perspective on our staff and believe Christian brings a terrific set of skills and experience to our program. We look forward to seeing him bring out the best in our girls.”
We recently sat down with Coach “A” and asked him a few questions so that we might get to know him.
What excites you most about your position at Ashley Hall? First and foremost, Ashley Hall is an outstanding institution full of history and tradition. In my role, I will have the opportunity to continue my passion for athletics and physical education and look forward to adding to the amazing reputation. Lastly, it’s so exciting to feel the passion and pride on campus for Ashley Hall, it really is the perfect team environment.
What makes a student athlete special in your mind? Every student athlete faces adversity in some way or another and what makes them special is the journey they take to overcome it. Mental toughness, grit, and resilience are strong passions of mine, so it’s really special to see student athletes overcome their obstacles.
Who is your favorite female athlete and why? I am a big fan of Abby Wambach. In my opinion, she was a key part in the United States Women’s National Soccer Team’s rise to the top and the love for the women’s game here in the US. Her ability to step up in the biggest moments was unbelievable to watch. But it was her ability to lead that really caught my attention.
In addition to Coach Alcantara, Ashley Hall is pleased to announce the following new members to its coaching staff:
Varsity Tennis | Charlotte Hartsock Junior Varsity Tennis | Ashley Timbes and Caroline Parnell
Swimming | Carley Nitchie
Team leadership continues under the guidance of the following coaches:
Golf | Terese Dynjan
Cross Country | Morgan Lee ’16
Sailing | Kate O’Donnell
Equestrian | Cyndi Simpson
Varsity and Junior Varsity Volleyball | Franny Slay ’81
Thank you to our dedicated Bantam Team coaches:
7th & 8th Grade Volleyball (Purple) | Donya Amer
7th & 8th Grade Volleyball (White) | Lyric Scott
6th Grade Volleyball | Sarah Eckert
5th Grade Volleyball | Merrit Davis ’22