Falls Sports Recap


Uday Vissa and Luke Tu

COVID-19 has led to drastic changes within the Burroughs athletic programs. Teams were forced to adapt when starting in the preseason and were unsure of the security of their season. St. Louis County issued restrictions regarding social distancing guidelines for practice and contact tracing within teams to which the school was committed to following. Teams often believed that their season would be canceled. Despite the differences, fall sports at JBS were still very successful.

Led by junior Vanessa Polk, varsity volleyball won the district title for the first time in twenty years after defeating Orchard Farm in three sets (25-18, 25-16, 25-19), and advanced to the Class 3 State Quarterfinals for the first time ever. Polk, a team captain and Pepperdine University commit, was also unanimously selected as the Metro League Player of the Year. In thirteen games, she recorded 180 kills, 104 digs, 25 aces, and 20 blocks.

Girls varsity tennis had a perfect 12-0 record, claiming their third consecutive state title after defeating Pembroke Hill 5-2. Senior Lily Walther, a Tulane University commit, finished her incredible career as the new class three singles state champion. In her four state trips since 2016, Walther only lost one match. Freshman Sahana Madala and senior Ainsley Heidbreder also helped the Bombers sweep the top three singles spots and took second in state doubles.

Boys soccer had a very successful 9-2 season, with big wins against rivals Priory, MICDS, and Chaminade before falling to Kirkwood in the district semifinal. Despite the school’s size, the Bombers held their own against bigger schools and traditional powerhouses after being promoted to class four. Senior John Gates, a Loyola-Chicago Soccer commit, slotted a team-leading thirteen goals and eight assists. Junior John Cordia’s ten goals and four assists paired with senior goalkeeper Michael Turza’s five shutouts were also impactful on the team’s success.

The girls’ field hockey team had another great season, finishing as state runner-ups. The team’s first game on their new field ended with a last-second game-winning goal against MICDS, which they rode all the way to the state championship game, suffering a 1-0 overtime heartbreaker to perennial powerhouse Villa Duchesne. The offensive punch came from five goals and four assists from senior captain Riley King, North Carolina commit junior Grace Pottebaum’s four goals and four assists, and ten goals from junior Ellie Strahorn. Senior Anna Duncan recorded four shutouts in net and Amherst College commit senior Kate Smith captained an excellent backline for the Bombers.

Led by Senior Kylie Goldfarb, the girl’s cross country team won state for the first time in Burroughs history. Goldfarb, who placed second in the state, also holds the school record for the 5K and is committed to run at Yale University. Cori Spetnagel (10th place) and Ella Nichols (18th place) took All-State honors. Boys cross country finished fourth in class three, led by junior Akash Mallady (31st place), freshman Ted Spetnagel (32nd place), and senior Nathaniel Doty (33rd place).

In swimming and diving, junior diver Elliot Barnes placed fourth at the Class 1 Diving State Championship. Swimming saw junior Steven Busch place third in the Boys 200 Free and fourth in the 100 Fly. Junior Niko Theodos placed fourth in the Boys 200 IM and second in the 500 Free. Freshman Alexander Theodos placed eighth in the 200 IM and ninth in the 500 Free, while senior Michael Tu finished eighth in the 50 Free. Steven Busch and Niko Theodos also broke their own school records in the 200 Free and the 500 Free, respectively. As a team, Burroughs placed fifth in Class 1, one of the best performances in school history.

The girls’ golf team placed seventh in Class 4 District 2. Losing multiple seniors, the Bombers had to find new leaders. Junior Teresa Jiang and senior Emma Kovalic led the way tied for 19th. Although the team did not perform as well as in previous years, the team still persevered through difficult times and will continue to build for 2021.

The football team placed second in districts with a 3-2 record, their best finish since the 2015 state championship. Led by senior captains Adam Blumoff, Xavier Silva, Beckett Tasker, and Chris Pittman, the team faced numerous obstacles to get on the field. In their season opener against Priory, Duncan Cloniger (’22) broke the school’s single-game passing record with 411 yards passing and five touchdowns en route to a 48-21 thrashing. The Bombers fell in the district final to Union 26-7 after losing a week of practice due to contact tracing. Senior Malachi Chunn and junior Caleb Merrit combined for 1,036 total yards and 11 touchdowns. On defense, junior Tyson Ford recorded three sacks, and seniors Beckett Tasker and Sam Bennett led the team with 29 total tackles each.