The first season of team sports for the 2023-2024 school year has concluded at XLIS. Student-athletes from P3 to DP2 donned Blue Dragons jerseys to represent XLIS in different sports competitions against other schools in Xi’an. XLIS student-athletes joined 7 teams across three team sports, participating in three city-wide tournaments for international schools.
These opportunities would not be made possible were it not for the entire international community in Xi’an. This includes XLIS teacher-coaches, XLIS parents, XLIS staff, and the other member schools of the Xi’an International Athletics Conference (XIAC) with whom we play.
PYP Soccer (U8 and U11)
Once again XLIS entered three teams in the “Chan Ba Trophy Football League and Tournament” organized by Hanova International School as part of the XIAC. The league featured teams from five international schools in a U8 co-ed division, U11 boys’ division, and U11 girls’ division.
Coached by Mr. Romann Loubser, the XLIS U8 team had a great run during league play, finishing the season undefeated with five wins. However, they finished second at the final tournament, losing out on gold due to goal differential. This was the second finals appearance in a row for the XLIS U8 soccer team.
In the U11 boys’ division, XLIS finished league play with four wins from seven matches, setting them up with a potential path to the finals. Coaches Shameek Ghosh and Sandy Harrison guided the team to a semi-final appearance, where they lost a tough game to the eventual tournament winners. The team finished the tournament as fourth of eight teams.
On the girls’ side of the U11 tournament, the XLIS Blue Dragons capped off their first ever season with a gold medal. The U11 girls entered the tournament day undefeated with three wins from three in the league. The team’s stout defense and goalkeeping were the calling cards of coaches Chris Walsh and Vinson Gou throughout the season, aided by the special assistance provided by volunteer student-coach Amir Hashemi. The team ultimately triumphed on penalties after a 0-0 final, with former U8 champion Alisa Zhang smashing home the tournament-winning goal to bring the U11 girls victory in team’s inaugural season.
Middle School Basketball (U14)
For the second year in a row, XLIS organized and hosted the XIAC U14 Basketball League and Tournament. The league had teams of boys and girls from five international schools play a total of 30 weekly games throughout September and October before culminating in a final tournament, the Xi’an Jam, on November 4th.
The XLIS girls entered the final tournament with two wins from four games of league play. On tournament day they were able to easily handle their semi-final match-up, setting up a re-match of last year’s final. After two months of progress under the guidance of coaches Sky Du and Arvin Vicho, the Blue Dragons narrowly lost a tightly contested final 6-3, thus earning a runners-up trophy and silver medal.
The boys’ team came into the tournament confident, having finished league play with three wins from four games and the highest number of points scored. Coach Michael Koran saw his team glide through the first round of games on tournament day, finishing atop their group and booking a place in the final. After going down by 12 points in the second half, the XLIS Blue Dragons fought back valiantly to bring the game within 3 points. However, it wouldn’t be enough, as their opponents held on for a well-deserved victory, leaving the Blue Dragons with another silver medal.
High School Volleyball (U19)
This year XLIS led a change in Xi’an to separate high school volleyball teams into boys’ and girls’ divisions. Once again, the Blue Dragons competed in the Xi’an Volleyball Classic hosted by XIS, but this time with one team for each of the two divisions.
The XLIS boys’ volleyball team had a strong regular season, finishing with three wins from four matches. The team was led for the first time by coaches Chad Boudreau and Richie Li. Despite the strong season, the boys had a tough final tournament, losing narrowly in the fifth set of the bronze medal match. Nevertheless, the team’s spirit and good attitude was rewarded by earning the division’s sportsmanship award.
The girls’ team, nicknamed “Lady Dragons”, had a season that followed the opposite trajectory of the boys. Some uneven league results led to the team carrying just one win from three games into the final tournament. However, the XLIS girls did not let that phase them. Coaches Hakim Halim and Kyle Jooste had the team playing some tremendous volleyball, as they bumped, set, and spiked their way to a comfortable 3-0 sweep in the final match. The girls had struck gold and lifted the inaugural XIAC U19 girls’ division volleyball championship.
Season Two Begins
With the end of season one, the start of season two has begun. This season will see XLIS student-athletes compete in cross country races, a table tennis tournament, and a U19 basketball season. Check the calendar below for upcoming games and tournaments. Save the dates of the Chang’an Cup, January 18 to 20, and make sure you have time to attend northwest China’s premier sporting event for international high school students!
Click here for more details.
Zachary Dwyer (MYP Physical and Health Education Teacher, ACAMIS Athletics Coordinator)