Spring Athletic Assembly Award Winners

The following article is a summary of what some of our spring athletes accomplished. To view pictures from the awards ceremony, click here
Rock Climbing

Luke Valentine ‘18, Coaches’ Award
Luke is dependable, punctual, prepared, and always honors his commitments. Throughout the season he always had a positive, upbeat attitude and a smile. He was involved, genuine, always willing to help, and was inclusive and kind to all of his teammates. The Coaches’ Award for spring 2018 rock climbing goes to Luke Valentine.

Teddy Gemmell-Hughes ‘20, Most Improved Player Award
This season’s most improved climber is a newbie to the sport of climbing; however, over the season he really challenged himself and saw lots of improvement in his technique and level of climbing ability. It is almost impossible to get this athlete to stop climbing. While waiting for his turn on the route or even just waiting for the bus to leave the parking lot, his feet were off the ground climbing the nearest thing possible. Perhaps what is most notable about this young climber is that he doesn’t see falling as failing, and whenever he did fall, he got right back on the rock and tried again. Enthusiastic, excited, focused, and creative, Teddy was always asking questions, eager to learn and take instruction and challenge himself. Whenever he got onto the rock, it was amazing to see his natural talent for the sport. There was never a day of rock climbing that Teddy was not having fun. I hope that he continues rock climbing in the future, and I look forward to seeing his growth in the years to come. Most Improved for spring 2018 rock climbing goes to Teddy Gemmell-Hughes.


Morgan Sawyer ‘18, Coaches’ Award
Our Coaches’ Award goes to an individual who not only had some great results but also carried the luggage all season. He helped teammates work on their bikes before and after practice, he was my navigator to races, and he was the one putting his head down and working hard on the trainer. After the team time trial, I learned that during the race he was communicating to his teammates about when they should all switch to ensure that the load was shared adequately. His motivation in practice paid off, culminating in winning the field sprint at the final race and placing fourth for the Boys A for the season. There will be a big hole in the team next year with Morgan graduating, but maybe he’ll come back for an ice cream ride sometime.

Kathryn Potter ‘19, Most Improved Player Award
Our Most Improved Award goes to a first time cyclist and a very competitive individual. She won her first race ever and proceeded to be competitive in a very difficult racing circuit. Despite the fact that she probably thought I was crazy when I got the team turned around and we ended up on rough dirt or a massive hill, Kathryn stuck with it and has become a strong cyclist. We hope she sticks with it and we see her next year.


Ellie Batchelder ’18 and Tawn Tomasi ’18: Coaches’ Awards
Coaching a track team that doesn’t actually have a track is difficult for many reasons. The main problem for me was not the lack of training space or the ability for the team to become familiar with the layout and markings of a track. Instead, I came into the season more fearful of what buy-in would look like on a team in which athletes are not given the ability to practice on the surface on which they will compete. What would the lacrosse team do without a turf field, hockey team without a rink, or skiers without Loon, Cannon, and so on? No doubt these various teams would endure and find a way to improve as a result of the leaders on the team. This was no different for track. As a result of the consistent leadership of a number of athletes, none more than Tawn Tomasi and Ellie Batchelder, we not only endured, but improved dramatically throughout the season. Ellie and Tawn’s combined years of track experience, and their choice to give 100% effort in every practice and meet, with big smiles, effectively illustrated to the other runners what it is to love to work and to compete. For these reasons, we are thrilled to present Ellie and Tawn with this year’s Coaches’ Awards.

Varsity Softball

Sarah Berube ‘18 and Mikayla Stolar ’19, Coaches’ Award
There’s an expression that goes, “One hand washes the other and both hands wash the face.” This term certainly applies to this year’s two recipients of the Coaches’ Award. While each player improved the other, they did so in service to a greater good that transcended their individual selves--the team. Both are 2018 Lakes Region Softball All-Stars and were essential to the team’s successful season. They are Sarah Berube and Mikayla Stolar.

Bryn Donovan ‘19, Most Improved Player Award
The award for “Most Improved” goes to someone who started the year with a high softball IQ and gave coaches the fortuitous problem of trying to figure out how to maximize her potential contribution to the team. When we came to have a need at catcher, the decision was easy. From that point on, this athlete showed considerable growth from one game to the next, which had the natural consequence of improving the team, overall. She is Bryn Donovan.

JV Baseball

Ben Booker ‘19, Coaches’ Award
We are giving the Coaches' Award to Ben Booker. With personalities like Hayden Dahl and Charlie Cunha, the JV baseball team spent most of the season laughing. In fact, it was often a challenge to get everyone focused. But we always knew that if Ben Booker was being serious, everyone would be serious. He was the best player on our team, the best hitter and the best pitcher. You aren't supposed to hit homeruns in JV baseball, but Ben did it at Cardigan Mountain. I don't know about the rest of his stats, but I will read you the inscription from this Tilton game ball. Holderness 6. Tilton 3. Seven innings pitched, four hits, 12 strikeouts, complete game. Ben Booker. Pitcher. Streak breaker. Congrats, Ben.

Warich Ngamkanjanarat ‘18, Most Improved Player Award
At the start of the season, this player was new to baseball. His learning curve was huge for all aspects of the game. By the end of the year, he was our starting right fielder. In the last game of the year, he got his first hit, not just of the season but of his life. He exemplifies the personality we espouse when we talk about carrying the luggage. He always helped where it was needed and did not have to be asked. He never once complained about helping more than everyone else; he just went about his business. On top of it all, he was very fun to be around. The JV Baseball Most Improved Award goes to Boss.

Varsity Baseball

Nick Grammas ‘18, Coaches’ Award
This player eats, sleeps, and drinks baseball! Every practice and every game represented another opportunity to give a best effort, and he took full advantage of each of them. His modeling of that commitment justified his expectation that each of his teammates would do likewise. His love of the game of baseball was consistently evident. The crack of the bat or the sound of a fastball caught cleanly triggered an adrenalin flow in this player that was second to none. He hit, fielded and ran the bases with an intensity grounded in his respect for the game. His singular focus was to be the best player and teammate he could be. He succeeded!

Kyle Woodworth ‘21, Most Improved Player Award
This player came to the team this year out of the snow sport world and immediately demonstrated the skill set needed to be an asset to the Holderness ballclub. His versatility in the field proved to be invaluable as the need dictated his play in the outfield, at third base, and on the mound. When faced with each of those position challenges, he was always willing to learn and implement coaching suggestions. Equally impactful was his ability to hit in the clutch with consistency and authority. We look for him to challenge himself to elevate his game even further moving forward.

Girls’ JV Lacrosse

Darielle Matthews ‘18, Coaches’ Award
When we thanked our two seniors, Darielle and Caitlin, in their last home game a few weeks ago, our goalie, Carolyn, said that Darielle made her feel safe in net. This is in part due to her instincts for interceptions and great positioning. But I think it is also a testament to Darielle’s leadership in the defensive end. She sparked communication, always chose to lift everyone up after a defensive breakdown, and laughed with them when something silly happened. In short, she was the best “coach on the field” a coach could ask for. This year’s Coaches’ Award goes to Darielle Matthews.

Anna Pollack ‘19, Most Improved Player Award
We all know it takes courage to try something new… and perhaps even more courage to try something new as an upperclassman. When Anna Pollack came out to try lacrosse, she could barely catch and throw. Over the season, she grew into an integral member of our defense. As her stick skills improved so did her field sense and knowledge of the game. Her natural athleticism allowed her to be one of our more dynamic players. According to Ms. Berry, “Anna Pollack is the fastest person running backwards I have ever seen.” Anna is a forced to be reckoned with, and we cannot wait to see her continue to grow as a lacrosse player.
Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse

Macy Arsenault ‘20, Coaches’ Award:
This player would not consider herself to be a “lacrosse player,” but she certainly has the right instincts and has very impressive field vision. She is someone who shows up to practice every day focused, looking to get better, by giving all that she has. When we met one-on-one at the beginning of the season, I asked her what her personal goals were and what she would like to do to improve. She replied with, “Well, there is a lot I’d like to get better at,” and she went on to list a number of skills. I can honestly say that she met all of her goals. She is the exact athlete that any coach would be thrilled to have on his or her team. This year’s Coaches’ Award goes to Macy. Congratulations Macy!

Siggy Fitzgerald ‘19 and Julia Phillips ‘19, Most Improved Player Awards
This player is a midfielder who we put mostly on defense in the beginning of the season, but she continued to prove herself on attack in practices. Midway through the season, we relied on her to fill some shoes in the midfield, and she stepped right up to the challenge, surpassing our expectations. She improved in a multitude of areas, including her checking, shooting, and field vision, but her overall confidence grew immensely as well, allowing her to become a standout player for us. One of this year’s most Improved Awards goes to Siggy. Congratulations, Siggy!

This player instantly stood out to me in the beginning of this season. I could tell she had a natural instinct as a defender. She saw the field well, knew when to slide, and could anticipate the attackers’ next moves. As the season went on, she started to make big defensive plays, she caused important turnovers, and she had multiple momentum changing knock downs. Every time she stepped on the field, she wanted to get better, and it showed throughout our season as she became someone we trusted in the defensive end. One of this year’s most Improved Awards goes to Julia Phillips! Congratulations, Julia!

Boy’s JV Lacrosse

Spencer Glascock ‘19, Coaches’ Award:
Although we didn’t have an elected captain this season, this individual filled that role without the fanfare. He steadied our offense and understood when we needed possession time and time to gain our composure. He scored in all of our games, was tenacious on our ride, and kept a clear head, recording very few penalties despite the fact that he was rarely off the field. This year’s Coaches’ Award goes to junior attackman Spencer Glascock.

Angus Christie ‘21, Most Improved Player Award:
When looking for a Most Improved candidate, there were a number of novice players who made good strides this spring. Only one, though, came to the game with zero experience and parlayed that into a starting job. That player improved his catching, throwing and shooting skills while mastering a sometimes-difficult defensive set that required a lot of movement and precision. He also asked the right questions in order to improve his game and took criticism well. A great teammate, a student of good sportsmanship, and a mainstay on the second midfield this season, please congratulate Angus Christie as this year’s MIP award winner.

Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse

Stew Hutchinson ‘18, Coaches’ Award
Stew Hutchinson has been the face of Holderness lacrosse for four years. He is one of the most respected players in all of New England by coaches, officials, and opponents. He has put Holderness lacrosse back on the map. Most impressive is Stew's care for his teammates and his ability to live by our one heart motto. He will truly be missed. His legacy will live on. Best of luck in the future.

Quinn Houseman ‘18, Most Improved Player Award

Griffin O’Neil ‘21, Mike D’Amico Award

Varsity Golf

Ben Jerome ‘18, Coaches’ Award
We were lucky to have Ben Jerome fill the role of captain and player manager. His energy is contagious, his style unique, and his leadership sincere. Thank you, Ben.

Alvaro Arteaga ‘20, Most Improved Player Award
The Most Improved Award is awarded to a young man who is always chomping at the bit for more practice time and saw steady improvement in his game. I hope he brings his improved swing back to Spain this summer and continues to enjoy the game.

Girls’ JV Tennis

Kathy Liech ‘18 & Vanessa Maldonado ‘18, Coaches’ Awards
This year’s Coaches’ Awards go to our two senior captains, Kathy Liech and Vanessa Maldonado. As a first year coach, I wasn’t 100% sure how things run around here. Both Kathy and Vanessa went above and beyond to make sure I was informed of all things Holderness. In addition to helping both myself and the team, both girls finished the season with winning records, with Kathy winning her last career match at number 1 singles! Congrats ladies, we will miss you next year.

Pippa Sheffield ‘21, Most Improved Player Award
Pippa had an awesome season. At the beginning of the year, I had everyone fill out a document about their tennis experience and goals. Pippa's stated, "Two weeks experience and a little when I was younger." Once I got her out on the court to gauge her skill level, however, it was apparent that Pippa had a natural aptitude for the game. She earned the #3 singles slot, losing only 1 match to St. Paul’s. Pippa, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the season and will continue to play tennis. You’re a natural tennis player!

Girls' Varsity Tennis

Jullia Tran ’18, Coaches' Award
Jullia Tran earned the Coaches' Award. Jullia was enthusiastic to play in all situations and maturely understanding when she did not get the call to play. Jullia played a more important role that resembled that of an assistant coach. She handled all team logistics and was an effective communicator between the coach and team. Jullia's attention to detail was instrumental in keeping the team organized and engaged. Thank you, Jullia, for your calm and appropriate guidance.

Ellie Page ’20, Most Improved Player Award
If you have not had the privilege to see Ellie Page play you need to. She is sweet and kind, until match day when she becomes ferociously focused, backs down from no opponent, and loves to compete. She is learning to manage a smart match and will quietly crush any unsuspecting opponent. Keep up the good work, Ellie.

Boys’ JV Tennis

Cooper Jay ‘18, Coaches’ Award
Though Andrew Yang thought that he should win the Coach’s Award for playing two doubles matches at Cardigan yesterday in the tournament, he doesn’t. Cooper Jay does, because he got to more balls than anyone else, played with unmatched determination, and led this team by example without any official title authorizing him to do so. So, in addition to this Coaches’ Award, I’d like to name, retrospectively, Cooper Jay as captain of this team. Maybe he could put this on his resume if he decides to transfer from The College of Charleston next year.

Nick Spanos ‘21, Most Improved Player Award
Easily our most-improved player this spring is someone who had never played before and ended up being one of our most reliable doubles players. For his natural hand-eye coordination and his quick understanding of the game, this year’s Most-Improved Player is Nick Spanos.

Boys’ Varsity Tennis

Ben Lash ‘18, Coaches’ Award
I’m not sure what the Holderness record is for most time on court, but I’m pretty sure it was set by Ben Lash this season. Not all of Ben’s matches this season ended in a tie-breaker, but most did, and he came out with more wins than losses in these close battles. Throughout his four-year tennis career, Ben has been a dogged but gracious competitor. He fights hard for the win, but win or loss, he carries himself with honor on the court. As he graduates, I’ll miss Ben’s cheerful determinism and love for competition.

Diego Zesati ‘18, Most Improved Player Award
Walking to practice I’d wonder what that noise was coming from the courts. It was Diego Zesati, early for practice and warming up to Mariachi music on his portable speaker. Throughout his tennis career at Holderness, Diego has, despite some of the most unorthodox play imaginable, improved steadily. At some point a couple years ago, I stopped trying to refine his technique, realizing that his unusual strokes were deeply ingrained and oddly effective. As I said, he’s improved steadily, and during his final season as a Holderness Bull, he won the most matches of any member of our squad. Diego does tennis his own way, and with a heavy dose of Mariachi. I will sorely miss his tremendous effort, unfailing positive attitude, and joyful love of play.
Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness NH, 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257