By Molly Charney and Lexy Praeger
“This could be AP PE!” Mr. Meola exclaimed after watching a gym class pour its heart into big bat boomer baseball, speedball, or any of the coveted sports in physical education.
Coaches Meola and Thau came up with a few “AP PE” candidates from the many students that give it their 110% in physical education class. After thinking long and hard, they eventually came up with nine deserving students. From 9th grade Josh Papson and Cheyanne Jenkins were selected. Sophomores Ali Misuraca and Phil Nazzarella join the class. Juniors Amanda Bromberg and Joe Marano as well as seniors Dan Levine, Marnie Halper, and Rebecca Simpson-Wallack were also noted as top-performing athletes. Coach Thau sums up the group: “If all those people were in one class, it would be amazing!”
Big bat boomer baseball (BBBB) is a fan favorite of Bromberg, Levine, and Misuraca. Rebecca Simpson-Wallack’s favorite PE unit was badminton until this year, when she really enjoyed the BBBB unit. Many of AP PE candidates join various gym classes other than the class to which they were assigned every other day at the beginning of the year. Simpson-Wallack mentions that, “Every time I get let out of class early, I always head straight for the gym to join whatever is going on.” Levine and Misuraca also enjoy helping out at other classes. All of these athletes have had their share of buzzer beater victories and under-dog championship wins, but their favorite parts of gym are rallying their team and having fun. When asked about physical education, Misuraca adds, “PE is just an all-around great class. You can let off some steam or just escape for a little while from all the school chaos.” Levine enjoys seeing the different dynamics between all the classes as well as spending time with Coaches Thau and Meola. Simpson-Wallack agrees with Misuraca’s view of gym as the best class of the day and also notes, “I never thought I could love sports, being a theatre kid, but this class has changed that.” Marnie Halper and Amanda Bromberg were ecstatic to hear that they had been thought of as AP PE candidates. Halper claims that she has never felt better about herself!
Coach Thau wanted to establish that PE is not only about being athletic; it is also about having fun, relieving stress and working with others. Coaches Meola and Thau frequently refer to the gymnasium as the “Zen Den,” a place for Briarcliff students to just have fun without worrying about school. Rebecca and Ali find this to be very true. Meola adds, “When you enter the Zen Den, fun is the only option!” Congratulations to all the AP PE students and to Coaches Meola and Thau for fostering such a positive environment in physical education.