Saint Stephen’s tallied three touchdowns in a span of 6:02 of the fourth quarter to turn a 14-point deficit into a 21-14 victory over Vero Beach Saint Edward’s School in the Third Annual Florida Bowl at The Master’s Academy in Oviedo on Nov. 19. With the victory, Saint Stephen’s claims the Sunshine State Athletic Conference Championship billed as the Florida Independent State Championship. Junior quarterback Fred Billy led the way for the Falcons, rushing for 206 yards on 25 carries, including 112 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He also passed for 74 yards and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. The victory put a cap on a historic season for SSES. After losing their opening game, the Falcons won 11 straight on the way to their first-ever championship.
After an extensive search that began in May, Saint Stephen’s has announced the hiring of Jeff Cole as the new head coach of its boys lacrosse program. Cole is a graduate of St. Lawrence University in New York, where he played lacrosse and football. In 2014, he was hired to lead the Manatee Lacrosse Club. Cole took over a floundering program that in his first season finished 2-13. Two years later, the team went 13-2. For his efforts, Cole was named the Florida Gulf Coast Lacrosse League Coach of the Year in 2016. Saint Stephen’s will enter just its fifth season as an FHSAA-sanctioned program in 2017. The Falcons finished 6-11 in 2016. Cole continues to play lacrosse competitively and travels throughout the year to play in tournaments throughout the state. He lives locally in Bradenton with his wife Cynthia and is a retired U.S. Secret Service Agent.
Eighth grade Social Studies teacher Mary Louise Sternberg was recently named the History Teacher of the Year in Florida by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York. The award recognizes outstanding K–12 American history teachers across the country and includes a $1,000 prize and an archive of classroom resources. Mary Louise received her honor at the Florida Council for the Social Studies annual conference in Orlando at the end of October and was presented with the award by Lynne Jackson, great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott. Click this link to view then entire list of state winners.
Saint Stephen’s cross country made school history on Thursday, Oct. 20, as the boys and girls teams both captured their first-ever district titles at G.T. Bray Park to qualify for regionals on Oct. 28 at Holloway Park in Lakeland. Senior Andrew Csubak (pictured) and junior Henry Howell finished first/second overall for the boys as the Falcons outdistanced 11 other schools for the championship. It was the second individual title of the season for Csubak. The boys will be looking to make their third straight state meet appearance and improve on last year’s fifth-place finish at regionals. Junior Baylee Barker was third overall to lead the Falcons on the girls’ side. Saint Stephen’s placed five girls runners among the top 13 at the meet to advance.
The Saint Stephen’s boys and girls golf teams once again notched bids for the state championships with regional tournament victories on Monday, Oct. 17. Both followed up district titles from the week prior with strong outings to outpace the field. The girls have now captured five consecutive regional titles. The boys have won three straight. Junior Massimo Mbetse shot 3-under-par 69 to record the low individual score and pace the boys at the Verandah Golf Club in Fort Myers. The Falcons scored 299 as a team, 12 strokes better than Community School of Naples. The girls were dominant on their home course at the Bradenton Country Club, winning by 37 strokes over second-place Fort Myers Canterbury. Senior Vanessa Yan shot 72 and finished second overall. Both teams advance to compete in the Florida State Championships at Howey in the Hills, Oct. 28-29.
GIRLS RESULTS: Class 1A-Region 6 Tournament
At Bradenton Country Club
Team scores: Saint Stephen’s 349, Fort Myers Canterbury 386, Community School of Naples 407, Fort Myers Bishop Verot 410, Naples Neumann 467, Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian Academy 488
Saint Stephen’s: Vanessa Yan 72, Maria Huang 88, Kendall Miller 94, Catherine Huang 95
BOYS RESULTS: Class 1A-Region 6 Tournament
At The Verandah Club, Fort Myers
Team scores: Bradenton St. Stephen’s 299, Community School of Naples 311, Bishop Verot 312, Seacrest Country Day 314, Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 326, Sarasota Out of Door 333, Canterbury 362, Evangelical Christian 365
Saint Stephen’s: Alan Klenor 83, Massimo Mbetse 69, David Gao 74, Ryan Kinkhead 77, David Hu 74
Saint Stephen’s won the Manatee County Golf Tournament and placed three players on the five-person All-County team on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Buffalo Creek Golf Course. Led by individual champion Ryan Kinkead, the Falcons finished at 286, 13 strokes better than runner-up Lakewood Ranch. Kinkead shot a 3-under 69, two strokes better than any other golfer and three better than last year’s winning score. SSES’s Alan Klenor finished in a tie for second with 71, and Massimo Mbetse (pictured) shot even-par 72 to finish fourth. Kinkead’s day was marked by consistency. He only bogeyed once and dropped in four birdies. Considering wet conditions and an afternoon storm that ended some golfers’ day early, Kinkead was pleased mostly with his putting. He sunk a 25-footer on 16 with a putt that drifted three or four feet from left to right. It was the longest putt of the day for the junior and the cap on a historic day for the Falcons.
A crew from The College Board was on campus Sept. 15-16 filming in Mr. Whelan’s history classroom. Whelan’s ability to connect, combined with a strong love and grasp of history, earned him the honor of being one of only three teachers across the United States – the others are in Texas and California – featured in videos aimed at helping AP world history teachers engage their students with the material. Whelan was chosen by officials who run the curriculum and instruction departments for the Advanced Placement programs, administered to high school students hoping to earn college credit by the College Board. Later this fall, three “modules” filmed with Whelan and students from Saint Stephen’s will be available to help AP world history teachers across the country. Whelan has taught AP for 21 years and has worked with AP before, attending workshops and summer institutes to better both himself and fellow teachers.
Read more about Mr. Whelan and why The College Board chose SSES in the Bradenton Herald.
Senior Andrew Csubak demolished his own personal record by 90 seconds on Saturday, Sept. 17, to win the annual Venice Cross Country Invitational. Csubak toured the 5K course at Venice High School in a time of 16:39.6, nearly 12 seconds faster than Sarasota Military Academy sophomore Alan Romero in second place. Patrick Dougherty of IMG Academy was third in 16:56.3. “I knew it was a fast course, so I expected a little better time than usual,” Csubak said. “But not by this much. It was incredible. This is not what I expected at all. There are a lot of places here where the crowd is with you to cheer you on. So you have constant motivation.”
Four Saint Stephen’s seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship program: Alex Siegal, Vanessa Yan, Mary Ann Placheril and Emma Jones. The group is among 16,000 semifinalists nationally. Finalists will be named in the spring for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $33-million. The process of becoming a semifinalist begins during the junior year of high school when students take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Those named semifinalists are the highest-scoring entrants in each state — fewer than one-percent of all U.S. high school seniors. About 90-percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of those will win a National Merit Scholarship. Since 2005, SSES has had 33 finalists.
Read what the local media is saying about SSES teams and student-athletes in this collection of links from the Bradenton Herald, Sarasota Herald-Tribune and more . . .
Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Csubak Runs Away with Meet
Bradenton Herald: SSES/BCS Renew Dormant Rivalry
Bradenton Herald: SSES QB Fred Billy Visits USF
Bradenton Herald: Billy, Falcons Knock off Clearwater Calvary Christian
Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Vanessa Yan – Student First, Athlete Second
Bradenton Herald: New Wave of Manatee Sailors Shine at Regatta
Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Falcons Cruise Past Hawks, 41-6
Bradenton Herald: Saint Stephen’s Stifles Santa Fe Catholic
Bradenton Herald: Falcons Search for Redemption in Rematch
Bradenton Herald: Saint Stephen’s Football Preview
Floridahsfootball.com: Billy out to Prove he’s Worthy of Scholarship
Naples Daily News: Community School Pulls Away from SSES