“This Is Why We Play”: Keystone Sports Teams and Their Battle Cry for Glory
“Ready --- set --- hit!”
It is amazing how three simple words can awaken the passion of everyone.
Every takeoff, run, pursuit, battle cry, breakthrough, and moment lead Keystone Academy sports teams toward a higher goal. Their purpose is multi-pronged: for fun and friendship, for love and passion, for commitment to oneself or the entire team, for unity and freedom.
This is why Keystone athletes play and coaches lead.
Wherever they go, from ball courts to open fields and pools, Keystone’s fiery teams stay grounded as they continuously shape the school’s sports culture. They get refreshed by sweat-soaked clothes and relish every hard fight. They thrive in an environment of inclusivity and collaboration. They encourage one another as much as they enliven the entire community.
As the 2022 Winter Olympic Games approach, let Keystone athletic teams warm up the sports atmosphere with their blazing energy, admirable confidence, and battle cry for glory.
Keystone Team Profile
Championship titles: 14 across basketball, volleyball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, badminton, and cross-country race sports
Athlete population: More than 300 across seven disciplines
Varsity teams: 25 teams in Secondary School
Most awarded discipline: Swimming and volleyball (including individual and team awards)
Highest standing in inter-school leagues: 2nd Place in ACAMIS League (2019-2020 season)
Keystone Basketball Team
- Champions, ISAC U14 Division 3 Girls Basketball (2019)
- 3rd Place, ISAC U12 Girls Basketball (2020)
- Champions, ISAC Division 2 Girls Basketball (2020) and Division 3 Girls Basketball (2019)
- 2nd Place, ISAC Division 3 Girls Basketball (2018)
Having coached Keystone’s basketball teams since 2014, I have seen the progress and growth of our athletes. On and off-campus competitions activate our athletes’ sense of belonging, collective honor, and enthusiasm for sports. Resilience has always been the greatest attitude that our athletes, especially lady basketball players, manifest. In fact, our battle song is Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”! In my second year of coaching our Girls Basketball team, we came up with a mantra: “women’s basketball spirit” that we have continuously defined with actions. We started with fewer offensive abilities, but our tenacity has eventually led us to better results.
— Michael Wang, Assistant Dean of Curriculum, Learning Support Specialist, and High School Girls Basketball Coach
- 2nd Place, ISAC U14 Division 2 Boys Basketball (2020, 2018) and Division 3 Boys Basketball (2017)
- Champions, ISAC Division 4 Boys Basketball (2019) and Division 2 Boys Basketball (2018)
- 3rd Place, ISAC Division 1 Boys Basketball (2020, 2019)
Being in the Keystone Basketball not only improved my skills, but also nurtured my team spirit. Everyone in the varsity loves basketball, so playing in this atmosphere has taught me to care more about my teammates and the team. This is the most rewarding experience our team has given me.
— Victor Qian, HS Boys Basketball Player
Keystone Volleyball Team
- Champions, ISAC U14 Girls Volleyball (2018)
- Champions, ACAMIS Girls Volleyball Silver Division (2019), ISAC Division 4 Girls Volleyball (2018)
- 2nd Place, ISAC Girls Volleyball (2021), Division 4 Girls Volleyball (2017)
- 3rd Place, ACAMIS Girls Volleyball (2021), BCIS Invitational (2021)
At the ISAC Division 4 tournament in 2018, we had only seven girls who played the entire day. In the finals, the girls were exhausted that you could see it on their faces and in the way they held their posture. We throw around the word 'perseverance' in school a lot, but up until this point, it was just another English word for them. I promised them that they could experience this word, and if they did persevere, pushed past the exhaustion, and really dug deep to play until the very end, they would feel the greatest feeling that any athlete has a chance to experience. I've never cheered so much from the sidelines. Their screams and tears of joy at taking first place were well earned. I was proud of them for their hard work over the past three years, as well as their ability to push themselves to finish what they started.
— Jaime Weiler, English Language Teacher and HS Girls Volleyball Team Coach
- 3rd Place, ISAC U14 Division 2 Boys Volleyball (2017)
- Champions, ISAC HS Division 1 Boys Volleyball (2017)
- 3rd Place, ISAC HS Division 3 Boys Volleyball (2021)
Before joining the Keystone Volleyball Team, I had never participated in team sports. I remember telling others that I was too naïve and afraid of dragging others down. But that changed when I became part of the team; it warms my heart how my teammates encourage and comfort me whenever I make a mistake. The most precious value I have seen in training is our team’s sincere compassion and unity.
— Matthew Tang, Keystone HS Boys Volleyball Player
Keystone Football Team
- Champions, ISAC U14 Division 3 Football (2021)
- 2nd Place, ISAC U14 Division 3 Football (2018)
Ever since I learned how to walk, I have played sports and immediately fell in love with any form of sport that makes me more active. I love how sports can teach individuals to deal with both winning and losing. It shows how hard work will always pay off, especially after setbacks and obstacles. It’s also clear that Keystone student athletes inspire the entire community. Every time we join tournaments, our delegation represents our banner and values, especially what these stand for when it comes to sports. I have personally witnessed multiple occasions where our athletes rallied for Keystone in exceptional ways. You don’t always have to win trophies to represent the community; sometimes, actions and behavior speak louder than trophies. I do believe these moments should be further shared and celebrated.
— Aki Mustonen, MS Physical Education Teacher and MS Boys Soccer Coach
- Champions, ISAC U14 Division 2 Football (2018)
- 1st Place, ISAC U14 Boys Football (2016)
- 3rd Place, ISAC U14 Division 4 Football (2019)
Keystone’s five values of compassion, justice, respect, wisdom, and honesty permeate our team spirit. For me, football is an effective way to relax and socialize. Football brings students of different grades and personalities together. And our team is united by our precious friendships!
— Oscar Long, HS Football Player
Keystone Table Tennis Team
- 1st Place, ISAC U14 Boys Table Tennis (2016)
The entire Keystone sports team is a dedicated group of student athletes who love to compete, inspiring the Keystone community by their strong sense of pride and demonstrating a healthy and active lifestyle. They model respect towards all and develop a sense of belonging while creating a strong sports tradition at Keystone. I have so many memorable times with the team, but nothing beats the moment when our athletes perform a skill that I have taught during training in a competition, and then score a point or win a game. Whenever they run towards me and proudly exclaim, “We did it” or “It worked!”, the feeling of pride and accomplishment is totally priceless.
— Monica Shi, MS Physical Education Teacher and MS Girls Volleyball and Table Tennis Coach
- Champions, ACAMIS Boys Table Tennis (2019)
- 2nd Place, ACAMIS Table Tennis Mixed Teams (2019)
Keystone Badminton Team
- 1st Place, ISAC U14 Boys Doubles (2021, 2019)
- 1st Place, ISAC Girls Singles (2021)
The current athletic season is also my second year as a Keystone badminton coach. I have witnessed the team’s development and each player’s growth in this year’s training. It is so moving how our team lives by our Keystone team spirit of persistence and reap achievements along the way. Knowing that will be winners and losers in each game, our athletes always remind themselves to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Badminton is a game of agility, a competition of physical strength, and a contest of wisdom. Being valiant in the court while showing modesty in swinging the racket best embody our shuttlers’ love for badminton.
— Flora Zhou, Learning Support Specialist (PS) and MS Badminton Coach
- 2nd Place, ACAMIS Badminton (2020)
- 2nd Place, ISAC Badminton Girls Singles, Boys Singles, and Boys Doubles (2021)
- 3rd Place, ISAC Badminton Boys Singles (2021)
If there is a thing that I have learned the most in our badminton team, it is always giving my best while keeping a steady mind. We always make necessary preparations for exams, like studying or keeping our mental state fresh. But it’s entirely different in the court as we must always give our 100% effort in every hit. Unlike paper tests where points can be rounded off, a missed shot in the court can decide the outcome of the entire game. And even if you lose points, you can never give up the next shot. Whenever I step in the court, I always encourage myself and treat every hit as proof of my strength. This reminded me of my most unforgettable experience in badminton when we represented Keystone in a tournament in Shenzhen. My co-players are usually very gentle and funny, but they turn into badminton beasts whose eyes are all on the prize! This kind of passion exactly describes that we are always in it to win it.
— Katie Lan, HS Badminton Player
Keystone Tennis Team
- Champions, ACAMIS Beijing Tennis Tournament (2017)
Keystone Swimming Team
Swimming has become an indispensable part of my life for the past ten years. This sport has shown me a new way of understanding myself and given me the courage to take on challenges. Even though I have asthma, it is swimming that has taught me to keep improving and made me realize that hard work will definitely pay off. Now, I am swimming towards my next goal of becoming a top athlete.
— Andy An, HS Swimming Team Member
- Winner, SAS/ISB Swim Invitational High Point Average Team (2018)
- Gold Medalist, ACAMIS Swim Meet Suzhou, 50m Freestyle (2016)
- 2nd Place, ACAMIS Swim Meet Overall Teams (2021)
Sports cannot be simplified to just being an event or battle of one person. As Keystone athletes and coaches show, sports is a way of demonstrating purpose and commitment to improving oneself and others. Keystone athletes are never alone in the arena because they carry the hope and glory of our community. This is what empowers our varsity teams to rally together towards success and never be afraid of failure.