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 Frederick Gunn School’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 Frederick Gunn School'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 FGS, 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 FGS. 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 Frederick Gunn School'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 FGS peers and faculty that build community and lifelong relationships

  • Collaboration: the experience of working together with FGS 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 FGS 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 FGS 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 FGS.

The skills that I learned didn’t just help me during my time at FGS, 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 FGS, I was more than prepared to step into college.

Morgan Wells '17

Athletics News


After a two-year hiatus during the global pandemic, the Founder’s Day Regatta will return to Lake Waramaug on Sunday, May 8, 2022. Some 500 student-athletes representing more than a dozen teams from independent and public high schools throughout the region are scheduled to participate. Heats begin at 9 a.m., when the top four boats from each school will line up at the starting line. Grand and petit finals will be held in the early afternoon. 

Girls lacrosse vs. Canterbury April 2022

Four members of the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team have been selected to represent Connecticut at the 2022 USA Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament, which will be held May 28 and 29 at Cedar Lane Regional Park in Maryland. Congratulations to Maya Sellinger ’23, Ashleen Hay ’23, Caroline Marich ’24, and Viv Boucher ’23.

Boys Varsity Ice Hockey Team photo 022622

The Boys Varsity Hockey Team beat #6 seed The Governor’s Academy 3-1 in the NEPSAC semifinal at home today. With the win, the team will host Pomfret School (#4 seed) in the New England Championship final at Linen Rink this Sunday, March 6, at 2:30 p.m. The game will be a rematch from the 2020 New England Championship game, which the Highlanders won against Pomfret.

David N. Hoadley '51

Trustee Emeritus David Hoadley ’51, one of the school’s longest serving trustees, one of the first inductees to the Athletic Hall of Fame, and a generous and long-standing supporter of the school, passed away January 14 at his home in Brookside, New Jersey. He was 88 years old.

All-NEPSAC Awards

The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council announced yesterday that nine Frederick Gunn School student-athletes have earned All-NEPSAC and All-NEPSAC Honorable Mention Awards for achieving standout seasons in their respective fall sports.

JV Girls Soccer Team Scores Successful First Season

This fall, the school expanded its athletic offerings to include the first Girls JV Soccer Team in recent history. With 33 student-athletes rostered, compared to about 23 to 24 in a typical year, Athletic Director Mike Marich P’23 ’24 gave a green light to expand the program to include varsity and JV teams at the start of the season. The JV team went on to beat Canterbury early – and win the first point of the year toward the Canterbury-Gunn Cup – racking up another point on Saturday, when they beat Canterbury a second time, 4-1, at Canterbury Day on the Saints’ home turf.

Eddie Rayhill '22

Three members of the Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team and one member of the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team were selected to play in the 2021 Under Armour All-America Underclass Tournament this summer in Maryland. Eddie Rayhill ’22 of New Hartford, New York, was named to the Upstate New York Boys Highlight Team, Parker Hoffman ’24 of Glastonbury, Connecticut, was named to the CONNY Boys Command Team, Owen Laatsch ’25 of Missoula, Montana, was named to the West Boys Command Team, and Julia Bella ’24 of Norwalk, Connecticut, was named to the CONNY Girls Command Team.