Bark! Sports Podcasts from STA

BARK — a new Upper School club for sports podcasting enthusiasts — has released several interviews with coaches, athletes, and our new athletic director. Enjoy these highlights from the fall season. You can find all the podcasts on the athletics page, under Bark Podcasts. (Click on the small arrow at right to toggle through the recordings.) The winter season will be added in the coming weeks. Said Bark advisor Keith Mills: "BARK, or the ‘Bulldog Athletic Report (so you’re in the) Know,’ is something I have thought about doing for a few years now, and I am excited to have so many students interested in the program. BARK has various goals: to give all students a platform to learn more about each sport each season; to allow participants to hone their speaking and interviewing skills; and for team captains to represent their teams’ efforts and achievements in a new way. As a veteran teacher and life-long sports fan (and sometime STA public address announcer), BARK also enables me, I hope, to help the STA athletic to further our school’s mission.”

Clay Bruno ’22 and Henry Mali ’22 caught up Ryan just before the end of his first season as athletic director. Asked how the fall had gone so far, Ryan answered without hesitation: “Great!” Added Ryan: “We’re almost all the way through the fall season now without any interruption. We’ve had full seasons, we’ve had full Dog Pounds and crowds, and I think it’s been great. I think it’s been great for the morale of students. I think it’s been great for the morale of the teams and for the whole community."  

Asked what he tells student athletes who are considering STA, AD Ryan said: “That you’re going to get a great academic and athletics experience here ... If you’re a highly motivated person that wants to challenge yourself and be part of a group that’s striving for bigger goals than the individual, then this is the athletic program for you. The core values of our athletic programs center around teamwork, hard work, perseverance, competing. And I tell people this all the time: the beauty of those core values — and having a values-based program — is that’s how we win!”

Asked by Chris Berry ’23 and Jack Holland ’22 how the 2021 season was going, Coach Jim Ehrenhaft ’83 offered a favorite response that he learned from a coach: “Come back and ask me in 15 or 20 years.” Added Ehrenhaft: “I always say at the beginning of the season that our goal is for everyone to become better people — by the end of the season, and over the course of their lives. Whatever we do this year that helps in that effort is going to determine whether we’re successful. So there’s your more important, philosophical answer. In terms of the surface results, just being back out there is its own success. After everything we all put up with last year, it’s been exciting just to be able to have a normal kind of season.”

Defining what makes St. Albans’ cross-country program different from others in the area, Coach Ehrenhaft paid homage to long-time STA coach and Athletic Director Mr. Skip Grant. Ehrenhaft recalled Mr. Grant’s own words to the cross-country team this fall at the Skip Grant Invitational: 
“[Mr .Grant] pointed out the opportunity that something like cross-country offers up, which is to discover something about yourself that you wouldn’t have known because you wouldn’t necessarily have dug as deep as you did when you’re out in a race or a workout, and you think you’ve hit a threshold and that you can’t take any more, but then you realize that there’s a strength in there you didn't know about yourself ...

“If there’s one thing that all St. Albans students have in common: they’re ready to put forth an effort, an honest effort ... And this sport rewards honest efforts emphatically. I think people can see that payoff and that’s what we hope is going to become transferable in every aspect of their lives, not just the running.”  We’ll know in 15 or 20 years.
The varsity football captains sat down with Spencer Hall ’22 and Scott Speaker ’23 before the final games of the IAC season. The captains talked about their eagerness to return to the field this fall, preparations for the final games of the season, injuries and the opportunities they provide for underclassmen, and the BEEF Club, which Quarterback Chase Williams ’22 described as “unparalleled.” About BEEF’s presence at a preseason game against Bishop Ireton, Chase noted: “Some of the people I hadn’t even met before — you know, school hadn’t even started — but they were behind me. I felt all the support and the real brotherhood of the St. Albans community … That really felt like it embodied the whole family aspect of the St. Albans community.”

Before the DCSAA state tournament, James Baker ’22 and Henry Bedell ’23 interviewed two of the three varsity soccer captains, Rustin Khosravi ’22 and Henry Mali ’22 (missing: Wayne Frederick ’22). The seniors talked about their roles as leaders, younger teammates stepping up, summer conditioning, and their hopes for the upcoming DCSAA tournament.

Said Mali: “I think we have a very strong team. We’re a very deep team. Everyone is willing to step in, and there’s no weak link.” Added Khosravi: “We’re just such a tight-knit group, and whether it’s going to Chipotle after practice or working hard during a training session, we’re all doing it for the common goal of getting, at this point in the season, that DC state championship.”

Both captains expressed appreciation for Head Coach Brian Schultz. Noted Mali: “I love Coach Schultz. I’m really glad I’ve been able to play under him on varsity for three years.” Added Khosravi: “Coach Schultz’s passion and love for the game is really unparalleled. And if he could, I’ve no doubt that he’d throw some cleats on and be right there with us out there. And that’s contagious for the entire team.”  

Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.