Coach Brown with Abbey lacrosse players gather at the monument to Hall of Fame men's lacrosse coach Robert H. Scott.
Prior to the uncertainty of the spring term and amidst our students’ excitement and optimism for spring, our lacrosse and sailing Ravens embarked on their annual pre-season trips to Maryland and Florida, respectively.
On their 20th consecutive annual trip to Johns Hopkins University, the Portsmouth Abbey School Boys’ Lacrosse team set out in early March for Baltimore, MD. As in the previous 19 years, the season began with a five-day trip to Johns Hopkins for a week of practice, team bonding, and a great opportunity to improve skills and tactics.
In the past, the team would typically begin the trip with a practice stop at West Point or in New Jersey before heading south. This year, taking advantage of Rhode Island’s great early spring weather, the team used St. Hilda’s Turf Field on the Abbey campus for the first day of practice before departing.
Once in Baltimore our Ravens practiced each day on Johns Hopkins’ historic Homewood Field. They also watched the Syracuse vs. Hopkins game, scrimmaged against the Grasshoppers of Georgetown Day, enjoyed a team dinner at Maggiano's in D.C, and gathered each morning for a team breakfast at the Doubletree Inn right across the street from Johns Hopkins.
This year 28 experienced lacrosse players from both the varsity and JV teams were led by Athletic Director and Coach Al Brown, along with Mrs. Brown, and coaches Brendan Kinnane, Mitch Green ‘11 and Assistant Director of Admission Sam Funnell. Morgan Green ‘11 joined the team to share his goalie expertise for two days.
“The trip is a unique bonding experience that we are lucky to have. It is a chance to welcome new players, learn and bond with each other,” said Co-captain Aidan McAvoy ’21. Co-captain Josh Plumb, ’20 agreed, adding, "The trip was great and a productive time. It is a unique experience that every lacrosse player gets to be part of.”
Portsmouth Abbey School sailors practicing in St. Petersburg. Sailing photos by Assistant Coach Gregg Dietrich '74
On March 5, 2020, eleven Abbey student-athletes traveled to the University of Southern Florida in St. Petersburg for five days of spring training. Led by Head Coach Jonathan Harley and his wife, Jan, along with assistant coach Gregg Dietrich ’74 and Faculty Advisor Erin Shaw ’13 in support, the team set about dusting off the winter’s cobwebs. Sailing for the Abbey were Captains Ceci Bohan ’20 and Aidan Brown ’20, along with teammates Zach Bartley ’20, Ashley Breyer ’20, Will Glasson ’21, May Whelan ’21, Maddie Lunson ’21, Alex Adams ’22, Claire Fink ’22, Joseph Poon Tip ’23 and Ben Bredin ’23.
Coach Dietrich reported, “The Abbey has an amazing group of sailors, who are dedicated to doing well competitively while having fun, an important mindset in this sport. We sailed out of USF in their 420 sailboats, as did the Yale University team with approximately 30 sailors, and Connecticut College with another dozen -- two of the top collegiate teams. This made the scene very empowering to be on the water with these top collegiate teams and their coaches. The Abbey sailors worked hard, in windy and shifty conditions, taking lunch on the water, and running through a series of short races and drills with an emphasis on boat handling, one of the most important aspects of team racing. The last night we celebrated Aidan Brown’s and Will Glasson’s birthdays!”
Coach Dietrich concluded, “We had a great time! The students/sailors were terrific -- prompt, dedicated and hard working! With the camaraderie and dedication I saw, it is easy to understand why Portsmouth Abbey School has such a strong community.”
View our slideshow of the teams on the road (and sea):