Athletics

Frederick Gunn was a champion of the arts, athletics and the natural world. He established the school’s first athletic teams and encouraged his students to participate in sports based on his conviction that they “strengthened not merely muscle and nerve, but character as well.” 

Today, The Gunnery’s athletic and co-curricular programs continue to be guided by Mr. Gunn’s philosophy. With 35 teams competing in 15 sports, you also have the chance to take your skills to a new level or try something completely new.

  • Every student is required to participate in a co-curricular activity every term.

  • All new students are required to play at least two interscholastic sports.

  • All returning students must participate in at least one interscholastic sport, whether it’s football, softball or Highlander ice hockey, which is co-ed and open to students even if they’ve never laced up a pair of skates before.  

Part of what makes The Gunnery’s athletic program stand out is the approach of Director of Athletics Mike Marich, who believes:

  • It’s about seeing beyond wins and losses and x’s and o’s.

  • It’s about helping students to develop character and teaching life lessons through the games they love.

  • It’s about the experience.

“My goal is for students to learn to be resilient, to be the kind of person who doesn’t get discouraged easily, bounces back and is willing to take the big shot – both on and off the field. “I was very lucky to fulfill a childhood dream by becoming a student-athlete in college and I like to use stories to teach the students some of the lessons I learned along the way,” Marich said. 

At The Gunnery, our primary commitment is to provide an opportunity for student-athletes to fully develop their academic and athletic potential while simultaneously preparing them for success in college and life beyond The Gunnery. These opportunities include:

  • the drive to take one’s talents to the highest level of performance

  • embracing the discipline needed to reach high standards

  • learning to work with others as a team in pursuit of a common goal

  • adherence to codes of fairness and respect

The Gunnery’s commitment to excellence in athletics is part of a larger commitment to excellence in education. Athletes are expected to adhere to a level of conduct that brings credit to themselves and the school, and to uphold the values stated in our school’s mission: character, citizenship, and service. Through practice, training and competition, the department strives to instill these character traits in every student-athlete:

  • Engagement: regular co-curricular interactions with Gunnery peers and faculty that build community and lifelong relationships

  • Collaboration: the experience of working together with Gunnery peers and faculty towards a common goal and learning selflessness by being a part of something bigger than oneself

  • Fitness: achieved by engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise, and learning how to be/stay fit; learning the value of physical fitness, and learning the lifelong ideals of healthy living

  • Competition: striving, individually and collectively against others toward a goal, and risking the adversity and potential failure that accompanies that endeavor

Athletics at The Gunnery had a direct impact on who I am today. The two years I spent [at school] taught me crucial skills like discipline, leadership, and respect, which allowed me to physically and emotionally mature.  Because of what The Gunnery taught me between academics and sports, I learned how to be an effective leader, but also how to be the best teammate I can be. Being surrounded by very competitive but motivated coaches and teammates also pushed me to reach academic and athletic goals that didn’t seem attainable to me before I came to The Gunnery.

The skills that I learned didn’t just help me during my time at The Gunnery, but they have fostered an attitude that was necessary when I transitioned into my first year of playing college [athletics]. Thanks to [my coaches] and my teammates throughout my time at The Gunnery, I was more than prepared to step into college.

Morgan Wells '17

Athletics News

Gunnery Girls Varsity Hockey Supports LoveYourBrain

The Girls Varsity Hockey Team successfully raised $3,291 for the LoveYourBrain Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “improve the quality of life of people affected by traumatic brain injury through programs that build community and foster resilience.”
 

Girls Varsity Cross Country Wins New England Championship

The Gunnery Girls Varsity Cross Country Team took first place in the 2019 NEPSTA DIII Cross Country Championships held November 9 at White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield. A total of 478 runners from independent high schools around New England participated. Girls Varsity placed first among 24 teams with three runners, Gianna Russillo '20, Eujin Shin '21 and Vivian Boucher '23, finishing in the top 20 varsity girls overall.
 

Highlanders Co-Host DIII New England Cross Country Championships on Saturday

On November 9, The Gunnery and Millbrook School will co-host the 2019 NEPSTA DIII Cross Country Championships at White Memorial Conservation Center, 80 Whitehall Road in Litchfield. The regional 5K is the last cross country event of the season and is expected to draw 550 runners representing 24 girls teams and 22 boys teams from independent high schools across New England.
 

girls field hockey

Five athletic teams from The Gunnery and Canterbury will compete on Saturday, November 9, Canterbury Day. The annual event brings together athletic teams from the two schools in the spirit of competition, sportsmanship and camaraderie. The one-day event rotates between the two campuses each year. This year, Canterbury Day will be hosted by Canterbury at its New Milford campus. The following teams will participate:
 

Artwork for 2019 Play4theCure field hockey fundraiser

Varsity Field Hockey is hosting its 10th annual Play4TheCure game on Tuesday, October 29 at 5:00 p.m. at Barnes Field. Once again this year, the school will organize two co-ed teams – Team Gray and Team White – which will play for two, 20-minute halves, with a 10-minute half-time.
 

Boys Varsity Crew with medals

The Gunnery boys first boat brought home gold and bronze medals and the girls novice boat won bronze in the 21st annual Head of the Riverfront Regatta, held October 6 in Hartford. The regatta was the first rowing competition of the fall season for both the boys and girls varsity rowing teams.
 

Girls Cross Country Team

The Girls Varsity Cross Country Team brought home the first-place trophy from the 47th Annual Cross Country Invitational at Canterbury School on September 21. Assistant Coach Ed Small, who is also the Anne S. and Ogden D. Miller Senior Master, said this is the first time The Gunnery has been the top team in the event, which, according to Canterbury, has been an annual tradition since 1972.