It was a breakthrough year for both the school’s girls’ volleyball team, which won its first Atlanta Athletic Conference championship, and boys’ soccer team — which advanced to the league title game for the first time since 1993.
The Howard volleyball squad shined in AAC play this year, capturing its first conference title with a 3-0 victory over Brandon Hall in the finals.
“This victory was extra special, because almost all of these girls have been playing together for years,” Howard volleyball coach Anne Whittenbarger said. “I have been coaching most of these girls since they were in middle school. This group of girls knows each other well on and off the court, which was a big reason we were able to grow so much as a team.”
Sara Kelly was named the AAC tournament most valuable player and was selected to the league’s All-Star team along with teammates Nadia Cluster, Persephone White and Katya Diamond.
It was also a big fall season for the Howard boys’ soccer team as it earned its first AAC title game berth in nearly 20 years and gaining a runner-up finish after losing to Brandon Hall 2-0.
Will Taylor, who came back this year after struggling with a knee injury the last couple of seasons, was named best all-around player in the AAC after leading the conference in scoring with 28 goals
Taylor was also selected to the AAC All-Star team, where he was joined by teammates Xavier Willi and Ryan Turner.
“Probably, the biggest key for us was getting Will Taylor back from injury,” Howard boys’ soccer coach and athletic director Stephen Cass said. “We also got excellent goalkeeping from Ryan Turner.”
It was also a strong fall campaign for Howard’s middle school soccer and volleyball teams as well.
The school’s middle school soccer team finished third in the Metro Atlanta Athletic Conference, while the volleyball squad was fifth our of nine teams.
Shem Neduwimana and Jacobi Garrett led the Howard middle school soccer squad in goals, while Jade Starosta led the way for the volleyball team.
Now, Howard looks to continue its success in the winter sports season with its boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.
“The girls’ team is off to a good start and the boys’ team is pretty young this year,” Cass said.