Winter Athletic Award Winners

Emily Magnus
It was a great winter for Holderness athletics; even now many snow sports athletes continue to compete in post-season events! In the regular season, both the boys' and girls' Nordic teams were victorious in the NEPSAC Championship race at Proctor, and the girls' varsity basketball team won the Class D NEPSAC Championship! We had a chance to recognize a few individual achievements of our winter athletes during our Winter Sports Assembly in March. Below are short write-ups on the student-athletes who were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments! Photos of individuals receiving their awards can be found in the Holderness Smugmug Gallery!
Girls’ Varsity Basketball

Giah Moore ’20, Most Improved Player Award
When this athlete first started playing with us, I was worried that she would never stop clocking people every time they tried to take a shot in the lane. In her first few games with us, she was only out for a couple minutes at a time because she would foul every time. This year she has become our best on-ball defender and is able to guard almost every position on the floor. Without her size, strength, and quick feet, we would have been in serious trouble on multiple occasions. She is often matched up with the best athlete on the other teams. Congratulations to Giah for earning the Most Improved Award.

Emilija Jakumaite ’20, Coaches’ Award
There is one kid who is almost always thinking basketball. She shows up super early to practice to prepare and often can be found in the gym watching the boys practice while she stretches and gets ready. Her playmaking ability has made everyone around her better, and she continues to work hard and compete no matter how tough the situation. Congratulations to Emilija for earning the Coaches’ Award.
Boys’ JV2 Basketball

Warich Ngamkanjanarat ’18, Most Improved Player Award
While there were many candidates for the Most Improved Player Award, this year, Boss Ngamkanjanarat emerged as worthy of this honor. As the season progressed, Boss became one of the leading scorers on the team as well as a fierce rebounding presence--both offensively and defensively. Congrats, Boss.   
Will Blatz ’18, Coaches’ Award
Will Blatz was the people’s choice as captain of the JV2 squad this season and thus is recognized with the Coaches’ Award. Will’s consistent energy, commitment, and competitive drive certainly distinguish him from his peers. This season’s Coaches’ Award goes to Will Blatz.  

Boys’ JV1 Basketball

Before I get into the award winners, I would like to recognize our two seniors, Lars Ivarson ’18 and Piseth Sam ’18. Both of these players have been an absolute pleasure to coach. They always came to both practices and games with the same positive attitude and ready to do whatever was asked of them. I will miss them on the court next season.

Colin Hoeffner ’19, Most Improved Player Award
The 2017-2018 JV1 Bulls basketball team saw many players improve as the season went on. However, one player stood out;  he began as a reserve player but ended as somebody who was on the court at the end of close games. This player’s greatest strength was his ability on the defensive side of the ball. I would continually put the burden of stopping the opposing team's best offensive player on his shoulders. With his fierce competitive nature he was always up to the task. This years Most Improved Player Award goes to Colin Hoeffner.

Dylan de Vries ’19, Coaches’ Award
The Bulls JV1 basketball team had a player this year whose positive attitude and ability on the court helped our team throughout the season. In our first game, he put up 34 points and helped the Bulls start off the season with a big win against Brewster. As much as this player was a steady contributor on the court, his positive attitude and easy-going personality made him a pleasure to coach and a favorite among his teammates. The 2017-2018 Coaches’ Award goes to Dylan de Vries.

Boys’ Varsity Basketball

Karl Jeannot ’20, Most Improved Player Award
After playing behind Suk and Daniel all last year, there was a great opportunity coming into this season. As the season went on, this player continued to get better and better, with some of the best games coming against some of the best teams we played. It was fun to watch his confidence grow. He is also a great teammate, and I look forward to watching him continue to get better. This years’ Most Improved Player Award goes to Karl Jeannot.

Quinn Houseman ’18 and Mitch Orosz ’18, Coaches’ Award
We have two winners of the Coaches’ Award this season. The Coaches’ Award is given to the player who has been the most selfless teammate and given the most effort to the group. This year, it was not possible to only have one winner. We have two guys who have been great teammates, given great effort on and off the court, and just go about their business the way we envision Holderness basketball players should. They have helped improve our team culture, and I am going to miss coaching them next year. This year’s Coaches’ Award winners are Mitch Orosz and Quinn Houseman.

Girls’ JV Hockey

Ingrid Blau ’20, Most Improved Player Award
This year’s most improved Superstar is someone who worked really hard on her hockey skills this year.  Arriving with no hockey experience, she quickly worked her way to the first line and was an impact player on the ice. She also did a great job creating chemistry with her linemates.  During and after practice, she consistently worked on her skills, concentrating to improve her shot and skating skills. Once she learned how to lift the puck, she got so good at it, she couldn’t keep it below field goal height. It is with pleasure that I award the 2017-2018 Most Improved Superstar to Ingrid Blau.
Kathy Liech ’18, Coaches’ Award
This year’s Coaches’ Award goes to the player who has been the backbone of our team for the last three years.  Watching her grow as a player has been a joy. Most of the coaches and refs in the JV Hockey scene recognize her as one of the best players in the league. For us, she has kept games close when we faced teams much better than us, and stood proud and solid as our defenders all got sick or missed games due to other commitments. We knew that despite the lack of experience with our defenders, this player would always be a rock. It is with pleasure and with gratitude that I award the 2017-2018 Coaches’ Award to Kathy Liech.

Girls’ Varsity Hockey

Bridget Pope ’18, Coaches’ Award
The Coaches’ Award for girls’ varsity ice hockey goes to a senior who has been with the program for four years. You will not see her name on the stat sheet very often, but she is a person who comes to the rink everyday no matter what is going on in her life and puts forth a 100% effort. As Coach Belichick said in his Super Bowl speech last year, “There are no days off!” This defenseman, and sometime forward, has not taken the easy way out or taken any days off. I have spoken earlier about how great the seniors on the team were in welcoming a new coaching staff and philosophy; no one was more welcoming than this senior. It is with great pleasure that the Coaches’ Award for the 2017-18 season goes to Bridget Pope.

Alia Piccinni ’21, Most Improved Player Award
This year’s most improved player award goes to an athlete who emerged from the very first practice of the season. She arrived to practice day in and day out showing her dedication to improving her skills. One skill that Coach Ecc and I were amazed by from the beginning was this player’s speed; however, she still needed to work on her awareness of the ice, her shot, and controlling the puck. She was so accepting of constructive criticism after every shift that she turned into an impact player for us quickly. She was playing every other shift and killing off every penalty that our team got (which was a lot), and never seemed to get tired. Midway through the season her passes were on point, her shot was much stronger, and her speed surpassed some of the best opponents in the Lakes Region. I would argue that she is one of the fastest skaters in New England, and I look forward to the passion and resilience that she will bring to the program for the next three years. It is with great pleasure that I award Alia Piccinni the Most Improved Player Award. Congratulations!

Boys’ JV Hockey

Matt Butchma ’19, Most Improved Player Award
Our Most Improved Player Award goes to a skater who has most certainly improved his skating and stick skills this season, for he is one of the more skilled players on the team. But he is getting this award for the more intangibles. This player has shown great improvement with his self-confidence, his willingness to take risks as a skater and not just make the safe play; he is a  quiet leader, keeps the game fun, and does not let it overwhelm him. For all these personal and ultimately team improvements, please congratulate Matt Butchma as this year’s MIP Award winner.

Tommy Hendricks ’19, Coaches’ Award
Our Coaches’ Award goes to a young man who is first a very talented hockey player and additionally a dedicated teammate. In a season where the wins were not easy to come by, this player never got discouraged, played wherever we needed him in the lineup, and always put forth a positive, competitive attitude that was ultimately contagious in the locker room and on the ice. The impact this player had on our team was immeasurable. The coaches wish to thank and recognize Tommy Hendricks as this year’s Coaches’ Award recipient.   

Boys’ Varsity Hockey

Josh Bliss ’18, Coaches’ Award
Our Coaches’ Award goes to a senior who was always a calming influence in the locker room, a fierce competitor on the ice, and a lead-by-example guy in all phases of Holderness life. He was always picking up the younger players on the team and fostering their growth in practice, helping to make sure the locker room was clean after road games, and willing to play in any situation for the team, regardless of the amount of personal glory he might gain from his role.  This year’s Coaches’ Award goes to Josh Bliss.

Keenan Alnahas ’20, Gordie Borek Most Improved Award
The Gordie Borek Most Improved Award goes to a player from whom we really didn’t know what to expect at the start of the year. An eternal optimist and friendly, charismatic kid, our hope was to get him a small share of starts and ease him into prep school hockey action. By the end of the season, he was making 40 saves a game against some of the top teams in New England, and it was hard for the coaching staff not to play him in every game to close out the year. The Most Improved Player Award for the 2017-2018 season is Keenan Alnahas.

Matt Pasic ’18, Weston Lea Spirit Award
The Weston Lea Spirit Award goes to a player who battled through a nagging back injury all season but always played the game with a lot of enthusiasm and passion. He always led the team through a pre-game pump-up ritual and was a positive presence on the bench throughout the year. Weston always played the game hard and with a lot of passion. We feel as though this player embodied the characteristics of Wes and deserves to be honored with an award in his memory. The Weston Lea Spirit Award goes to Matt Pasic.

Intro to Winter Sports

Sirapop Klinkachorn ’18, Most Improved Player Award
Each year for the past several years, the country of Thailand has sent us one or two Thai Scholars. These are selected from the best and brightest of Thai students, who are then sponsored by the government throughout their full academic careers. Thailand is a country where the average low temperature in winter is 60 degrees. Consequently, while Thailand has sent us wonderful scholars, Thailand has yet to send us any skiers. However, this year we are sending one back. Sirapop Klinkachorn began the season with a ride off the mountain in the snow patrol toboggan. By the end, he was right in the thick of our jolly group and able to ski the entire mountain at one run. He clearly was our Most Improved member.
Shaun Kwan ’19, Coaches’ Award
This year the Coaches’ Award goes to a student who could not be more interested in and dedicated to the team. Even on those days when a concussion kept him from the slopes, he was there to count heads at the bus stop, email stragglers, and see everyone off to the mountain. Shaun Kwan loves to organize and arrange activities and, no doubt, will one day be a coach himself. This award is given in great appreciation for his daily efforts on behalf of the whole group.

Amber Huang, Coaches’ Award


Bee McLaughlin ’18, Phie Miles ’18, and Ben Jerome ’18, Coaches’ Award
I take great pleasure in presenting our Coaches’ Awards this year to Bee McLaughlin, Phie Miles, and Ben Jerome. These three leaders epitomize what it is to be a skier, and they share that like an infection with their teammates. They love being outside with friends; they are not afraid to sweat and work hard. They are at ease with the woods in the winter, and they smooth out those bumpy van rides with their cheerful energy. Thank you so much for another amazing season!

Tom Tang ’20 and Ellie Batchelder ’18, Most Improved Player Award
Tom Tang made the transition from intro to winter sports this year and became an integral member of the nordic team, completing each race of the year and improving his standing with each start. His enthusiasm for the sport and dedication to improving his form and fitness made him a model team member and an easy choice for our most improved athlete.
When Ellie made the shift from alpine to nordic, we knew that her skill set would serve her well. But we had no idea how full she would immerse herself in the sport, nor how enthusiastically she would embrace practice and racing. Ellie brought a great smile and a great attitude every day, and it is a pleasure to award her the Most Improved Player Award this year.

Varsity Alpine

Diego Zesati ’18, Caroline Ferri ’18, and Lindsey Hyland ’18, Coaches’ Award
Diego has a true love for skiing! His quotes, “Coach, I am so ready for this” and “I was born for this” have been backed up by his efforts. He was consistently one of the first out to the lift and one of the last back into the lodge, whether we were training gates or free skiing. Season after season he has worked hard, has helped put equipment away after training, and has had a great positive attitude.

For the past three seasons, Caroline has been one of the team’s top skiers, very strong and consistent! She works hard and puts in a solid effort while gate training and free skiing. She has been dependable, reliable, and such a great presence on the team. Pretty much, she’s been the rock!

Lindsey decided to ski with the varsity team for her senior year, and what a great addition she has been! She has skied most of her life and has had many years of race training; she’s an old pro at this! She would arrive early for training, always smiling, in a good mood and ready to go. On the hill she gave 100% and maintained a great positive attitude all the time.

Eastern Alpine

Charles Peterson ’21 and Kira Fleischmann ’20, Most Improved Player Awards
Neither of these athletes came to Holderness with any experience racing at the USSA level. Kira went from starting on the wrong side of the start wand and not knowing how to go around the first gate to 29th in her first race. She took coaching and implemented it the next run; she was happy with small progress and built on it each run. Kira did get frustrated but used it to get better instead of focusing on the negative. She came as a good skier but finished the season as a good racer. She brought sunshine every day and lifted everyone’s spirits.

Chip had a pretty big hill to climb when it came to fundamentals and technique. It became that much harder during our first couple weeks on snow when we found ourselves training on difficult terrain (Rocket). This steady Eddy young man simply plugged away daily, and by February he started finishing runs with some good form and tactics. By the end of February, he started having sections of totally legit skiing. Always thankful and helpful, we are excited to see where he ends up after a few more seasons.
Abby Palmer ’21 and Jackson Lehner ’21, Coaches’ Award
Abby is a silent workhorse on the hill, rain or shine. Looking for improvement at all times, she is not afraid to ask questions and get feedback about what she needs to do to get better. She is a supportive teammate in all situations, win or lose, and comes to the hill with sunshine every day.
Jackson was our pacesetter just about every single day. An eager beaver who was the first one out and usually one of the last off; he was always hungry for another run. He became the marker for timing of slip runs and any other task that required a number of repetitions. Along with all of that, he was as coachable as anyone could be. If we picked a song to describe his daily routine it would have to be Warren Zevon’s “Excitable Boy.”

Varsity and Eastern Snowboarding

The snowboard team was back on top of The Lakes Region Series as the overall champions for 2018! Colin Casey led the way for our varsity team with his first career podium and was helped out with strong efforts from Quang Tran ’18 and Andrey Yao ’19.

Stephen Griffith ’21, Most Improved Player Award
Our Most Improved Player Award went to Stephen Griffith. Uncertain of how he would fit in on the team and if his skill set was up to par with the others as the season began, he worked hard day in and day out and quickly proved his worth. He will now be an integral member of our young team as we move forward into next season.

Patrick Lessard ’20, Coaches’ Award
The Coaches’ Award this year was given to Patrick Lessard. This young man’s passion and love for the sport rivals just about anyone’s that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. The only thing that might stand out more is his enthusiasm and desire to progress his riding on a daily basis. His infectious attitude is at the core of our foundation, and he will be a leader for years to come.

Varsity and Eastern Freeskiing

Our Freeskiers held on to the Lakes Region Freeski trophy once again this year. Holderness has held this title six years in a row now. The top four scorers from our team this year were Jamie Bayha ’19, Ian Switzer ’21, Ben Bodett ’21, and Will Bayha ’18. These four continued training and competing in postseason, earning spots at USASA Nationals in Copper, CO. With 25 skiers on our team, Holderness was a force to be reckoned with, and our skiers pushed hard to stand up the best runs they had in training as well as competition.

Ben Bodett ’21, Most Improved Player Award
This years most improved is Ben Bodett. In a relatively short amount of time, we saw Ben learn a number of “milestone tricks.” He was able to perfect his basics and move through progressions very quickly. Shoutouts for most improved also include Seth Gray ’20, Henry Richard ’21, Pat Heffernan ’19, and Ryan Houx ’18.

Will Bayha ’18, Coaches’ Award
The Coaches’ Award goes to Will Bayha. Will has been a steady figure on our team for a few years now. His commitment to skiing and his understanding of the sport goes deeper than average, and his support for his teammates is unparalleled.
Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness NH, 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257