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2019 Winter Athletic Award Winners

It was a great winter for Holderness athletics; even now many snow sports athletes continue to compete in post-season events! 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’ JV Hockey

Helen Nguyen ’21: Most Improved Player Award
Our Most Improved Award goes to our goalie. We started the season with no one to play the position so ably tended for many years by Kathy Leich. This player was a true beginner at our first practice and was unable to skate. By the third practice, she had the goalie equipment on, and she was beginning to learn to butterfly and cover the low shots. Fast forward to our final game against KUA where we won a 2-0 shutout victory. Helen Nguyen is now a goalie and our Most Improved. Thank you, Helen, for volunteering to play this position for our team and thank you for your great attitude towards getting better every day.

Bryn Donovan ’19: Coaches’ Award
I don’t think it will be a surprise to anyone on the team that this year’s Coaches’ Award goes to this particular four-year senior. On the ice, she is the most enthusiastic. She is upbeat and positive and is the first to move the pucks where they need to go, the first to get in line. She will play wherever we need her--centering her line, another line, or stepping onto defense. She is reliable and consistent. Off the ice, she makes lunch for teammates who need it, organizes our pantry schedule, runs practices when we don’t have ice time, and again, she does it all with the best attitude. She embodies all it means to be a Superstar and it will be nearly impossible to fill her skates next year. Thank you for everything, Bryn. We would not have had as good a time this year without your leadership, smiles, jokes, and hard work.

Girls’ Varsity Hockey

Lauren Feeley ’21: Most Improved Player Award
This player was new to our school and program this year. Both Coach Bartlett and I were skeptical during the early part of our season on where she would fit in and whether or not we would have to move people back to support our defense. So to say the least, we had some questions! In my 21 years of coaching, however, I have had few players that have had the drive of Lauren. She is so positive on the bench and is the definition of a coachable player. You tell her one thing and she actually listens! Lauren ended up logging a ton of minutes for us this year and was completely reliable in every situation. This year’s Most Improved Player Award goes to Lauren Feeley.

Darby Palisi ’19, Drea Chin ’19, Morgan Sisson ’19: Coaches’ Award
As soon as the season started, I knew it was going to be difficult to choose the Coaches’ Award for this team.  I knew I couldn’t narrow it down to one person, so Ecc and I talked about having more than one person earn this award.  Darby, Drea, and Morgan are three athletes at this school who are natural leaders, whether they have Cs on their jerseys or not. They are the three most positive kids that I have ever coached. I would not even know if they were having a bad day, because they never showed it.  For every practice and game, they showed up and gave it their all. These three will definitely be missed next year by everyone, but we look forward to hearing all the great things they will do in college. Congratulations to Darby, Drea, and Morgan for earning the Coaches’ Award for the 2018-19 season.

Boys’ JV Hockey

Quang Do ’19: Most Improved Player Award
From the time Quang stepped into the net his junior year when we were without a goalie, he has meant everything to this JV team. This year, he started the season as our backup goalie. In the sixth game of the year vs. Cardigan Mountain School, Quang was called upon to come off the bench with the team down 4-0. He ended up shutting Cardigan down for the remainder of the game, and his teammates rallied for six unanswered goals. Quang had his first victory of the season. After that, Quang earned more and more playing time and ultimately ended the season with a 5-3 record and the ultimate respect of his coaches and teammates. Quang is a legitimate goalie now, arguably the best goalie from Hanoi, Viet Nam. Thanks, Quang, for all you have done for Holderness JV hockey, and congratulations on earning the team’s Most Improved Player Award.

Matt Butchma ’19: Coaches’ Award
There are no big statistics to share with you about this player, there are no highlight reel moments where he dazzled the opponents’ goalie, and there are no big locker room speeches to quote from in which he inspired the team to victory. Yet, in his own way, this individual was the composed, consistent, competitive backbone of the team and always represented himself and the school with sportsmanship, pride, and excellence. Three-year blue-liner (who always wanted to be a forward), this year’s captain and Coaches’ Award Winner is Matt Butchma.  

Boys’ Varsity Hockey

Tim Manning ’20: Weston Lea Spirit Award
This year’s winner of the Weston Lea Spirit Award is Timothy Manning. Tim always balances a high level of competitiveness on the ice and a friendly and hardworking demeanor off the ice, just like Wes did during his time at Holderness. He is the guy the coaching staff turn to when the team needs some positive energy on the bench or a big goal in a big moment in a game. He is also the first to offer a lending hand with any managerial task that needs attention behind the scenes throughout the course of the season. We are excited to have Tim back for one more season next year.
Atte Aalto ’19: Coaches’ Award
This year’s winner of the Coaches’ Award is Atte Aalto. Atte was unable to play his senior season due to a career-ending neck injury that occurred during pre-season. It would have been very easy for Atte to let this adverse news affect his demeanor and character in a negative way, but Atte responded by being the ultimate team player. He attended almost every game--helping with any task the coaching staff assigned to him. He was always a positive role model for the younger players and pushed his classmates to get the most out of their experience on the ice.  Although Atte couldn’t impact the outcome of a game with his skates on, his devotion to the team and attitude in the locker room was one of the big reasons our group was so close during the end-run in the final weeks of the season.
Isaiah Fox ’19: Most Improved Player Award  
This year’s winner of the Most Improved Player Award is Isaiah Fox. For this award, the coaching staff chose to look at the two-year career of a player, rather than focus on a single season’s growth. As a junior, Isaiah filled a depth role for the team and earned limited time on special teams. He finished his first year with pedestrian numbers--6 goals and 14 assists for a total of 20 points. This season, he has played in every situation for the team and flourished on our team’s first line. He amassed 30 goals and 23 assists for a total of 53 points, which was good enough for top five in New England scoring. He could always be counted on in key situations, whether it was blocking a shot in the waning moments of a game, delivering a momentum-changing hit, or scoring a go-ahead breakaway goal.

Boys’ JV2 Basketball

Andrew Yang ’20: Most Improved Player Award
This player really improved throughout the season. At the beginning of the year, he was having a really hard time catching strong passes during games and keeping up with the pace. However, after a few games, he started getting stronger, more attentive, and really hungry for playing time. By the end of the season, he was almost a specialist in steals, averaging at least two steals per game. Against Berwick, he scored a three-pointer, again made some steals, and had a few rebounds. I am happy to say that Andrew Yang is our Most Improved Player.
Young Gwon ’19: Coaches’ Award  
And now for the Coaches’ Award. This athlete thoroughly deserves the Coaches’ Award. He played all ten games having only been subbed once, and this was during the first game of the season. After that first and only sub, he played full games the rest of the season, never asking me once to be subbed or to be given a break. This player really held the team together through the good and the bad. I witnessed his passion for basketball outside of practices and games when he would play one-on-one with other students in his own time. At games, we could always count on him to score points and even get rebounds. Congratulations to our captain, Young Gwon.

JV1 Boys’ Basketball

Tyler Boes ’21: Most Improved Player Award
Basketball can be a beautiful game of technical skill, strength, and finesse. This year’s JV Bulls did not exactly have the most of any of these attributes…if any at all to be completely honest. What we did have were some fierce competitors. Of these relentlessly cutthroat players, one stood out the most to the coaching staff. He had never played a single game of organized basketball in his life, prior to this season. However, that did not stop him from making a positive impact on the court. We hope to see him grow stronger as an athlete and basketball player over his time here at Holderness. It is my pleasure to present the 2018-19 Most Improved Player Award to Tyler Boes.

Nolan Sullivan ’20: Coaches’ Award
The 2018-19 JV Bulls basketball team had a player whose attitude and relentless competitiveness on the court helped set the tone for our team the entire season. As much as this player’s contributions were felt on both ends of the court, his positive attitude and easy-going personality made him a pleasure to coach and a favorite among his teammates. The 2018-19 Coaches’ Award goes to Nolan Sullivan.

Boys’ Varsity Basketball

Javier Dorado Gomez ’19: Most Improved Player Award
From the start of the season, Javi was a great teammate and helped create a positive culture on our team. He started all 23 games and led us in scoring two different times. It was fun to watch his confidence grow. This year’s Most Improved Player Award is Javi Dorado Gomez.

Bryce Johnson ’19: Coaches’ Award
This year’s winner is a competitor. I loved going into games having him on our team. One of his best traits is his consistency. He gives the same effort in practice as he does in games. He led us in scoring and rebounding and should be recognized next week as an All-NEPSAC performer. He made a great impact in his one year as a Bull. I have no doubt he is going to be a great addition to whichever college program he chooses. This year’s Coaches’ Award winner is Bryce Johnson.

Girls’ Varsity Basketball

KC Carter ’19: Coaches’ Award
It has been a privilege to coach KC over the past three years.  As the most prolific scorer in Holderness history, she has over 2250 varsity points and over 1800 as a Holderness Bull.  During her time here, KC has received offers to play at Boston University, Army West Point, and Cornell University.  She has committed to play basketball at Cornell. 

Kiara Wilson ’20: Most Improved Player Award
Kiara is not only a strong defender but she leads our team in FG%.  Kiara also has the third highest VPS on the team and makes a big impact on every game because of her work ethic and team-first mentality. 


Andrey Yao ’19: Most Improved Player Award
This year’s Most Improved Player Award goes to a young man that I've had the pleasure of coaching during both the fall and winter seasons over the last few years. He is the first snowboarder to graduate from the Intro to Winter Sports Program and move onto the varsity snowboard team. He is always willing to tackle a new skill and never hesitates to push himself well outside of his comfort zone. This year he consistently placed in the top 20 at our Lakes Region events. His determination and positive attitude will be greatly missed next year. The Most Improved Player Award goes to Andrey Yao.
Colin Casey ’20: Coaches’ Award
This year’s Coaches’ Award goes to a young man whose work ethic and desire to progress are only matched by his quiet demeanor. His attendance and participation were near perfect and were always accompanied by a positive attitude, regardless of the day or time. He was one of our most consistent finishers at our Lakes Region slopestyle events, although he would never let you know it.  I look forward to watching him lead our varsity squad next year. The Coaches’ Award goes to Colin Casey.


Gus Whitcomb ’20: Coaches’ Award
Gus is a three-year veteran of the team who comes early to practice, stays late, and always asks what he can do to help out. He is an energetic athlete who is always bustling. We are grateful that he put that bustle to work for his coaches and his teammates this year.

Kitt Urdang ’19: Most Improved Player Award
The most improved skier on the nordic team this year was senior Kitt Urdang. Though new to the team, she is an experienced skier, and her comfort on snow made for quick progress. She may have shed a tear or two early in the going as she figured out her technique and learned to free-heel, but by the end of the season, she was racing hard on both classic and skate skis.  Congratulations to Kitt for a fine year on the team.

Varsity Freeski

Griffin O’Neil ’21: Coaches’ Award  
This individual is always ready to go. A top skier on our varsity team, Griff is committed. He is committed not only to the freeski team, but Holderness and its athletics in general. When we go to competitions, he always tries hard to put down his best. During training, he leads the team with his stoke for park riding. Regardless of what sport he is in, he works hard and gives it his all. Great work, Griffin! We are proud of the athlete that you've worked so hard to become!

Pat Heffernan ’19: Most Improved Player Award
Pat has been with us for a few years now, and at first, we were unsure of his willingness to improve his freestyle skills. Over the years, however, he has become quite a competent rider in the terrain park. This year, in particular, seemed to be a pivotal year for Pat. He was engaged, always asking questions when a coach was around, and looking for advice on his newest trick. He now has awesome 360s and quite a few rail tricks as well! Pat is a great example of a skillful skier who now has to the ability to ski creatively on all aspects of the mountain. Nice work, Pat! You really killed it this year! Shred on!

Eastern Freeski

Jamison Bayha ’19: Coaches’ Award
This Coaches’ Award goes to someone with incredible athletic ability in the sport of freestyle skiing. He is someone who understands the physics of freestyle aerials at a deeper level than most. This is largely due to the fact that he has put in a lot of time perfecting his own style in the sport of freeskiing and is always open to coaching and feedback. This guy always has a smile on his face and is excited to talk about the sports he loves, especially skiing. I look forward to seeing where his passions for the sport take him. Best of luck in your future skiing endeavors, Jamie! Keep the stoke alive!

Michael Carchidi ’22: Most Improved Player Award
It is easy to see improvement in the sport of freestyle skiing. Our entire team has made huge improvements this year making this award a tricky pick. Carchidi joined our Eastern team as a ninth grader with a burning desire to master the art of park skiing. Between refining skills on the trampoline, doing hundreds of straight air pops on jumps, and gathering his equipment after trying to hit the down rail time and time again, this guy was working. At the end of the year, his air awareness, rail skills, and overall skiing ability is at a point where we are really looking forward to his years ahead on the Holderness freeski team. Great work, Michael!

Varsity Alpine

Leon Thiel ’22: Most Improved Player Award
Halle Barker ’21: Coaches’ Award
Francesca D’Orio ’22: Most Improved Player Award
Adam Novak ’19: Coaches’ Award

Eastern Alpine

Madison Roth ’21 and Chip Peterson ’21:  U16 Coaches’ Award
Our U16 Coaches’ Awards go to Madison Roth and Chip Peterson. These two sophomores are moving into the U19 age group next year after building a solid foundation in their last two seasons as U16s. Both skiers are exceptionally hard workers with super attitudes. They lead by example with a steady approach, getting the most out of each day on the slopes. You can always expect them to be the first ones out on the hill and the last to go in. There’s also a strong chance we will leave the course for one or both of them when everyone else has checked out--which then leads to them helping with teardown. Thanks to both of Madison and Chip for two awesome seasons. They have earned this award--day in and day out.
Jasmine Whittaker ’22 and Mack Bowen ’22: U16 Most Improved Player Award
Our U16 Most Improved Awards go to Jasmine Whittaker and Mack Bowen. As first-year Bulls, these two showed up every day ready to put in the energy, effort and focus necessary to get a little better with every practice. They each tackled their own specific weaknesses with determination and made great strides in both technique and tactics; by the end of the season, they both had some good results to “hang their hats on.” We are looking forward to next season when those improvements become “locked in” and their good results are more consistent. They were both a pleasure for the staff to work with--pockets full of positivity with smiles to share with everyone around them.

List of 3 news stories.

  • Emerald Pool Study

    The Emerald Pool Opens at the Edwards Art Gallery

    Andrew Herring
    Albert Bierstadt, the German-American painter renowned for his landscapes of the American West, came to the White Mountains to capture its simple yet overwhelming beauty. What came to life through nearly a decade’s worth of work was The Emerald Pool, a massive oil-on-canvas monument to the natural majesty of a hidden swimming hole along the Peabody River in the Pinkham Notch.  Recounting The Emerald Pool, Bierstadt said, “I never had so difficult a picture to paint, as this White Mountain subject the Emerald Pool; my artist friends think it my best picture and so do I.” 
    Read More
  • Being On Mission: Convocation 2019

    Phil Peck
    At Holderness we deliberately build community through the people we bring in and programs we support. Today I want to share one story about people who showed us what it means to be a mission-centered community and talk about one unique program that is hitting a milestone. 
    Read More
  • The Bulls are Back in Town! Holderness School Welcomes New Class of Students

    Andrew Herring
    Kicking off its 141st year, Holderness School welcomed new students to campus on September 5th.  Under blue skies and surrounded by the cheers of joyful Senior Leaders, 114 new students eagerly joined the Holderness School community.  The day was filled with smiles as new students and families unpacked their cars and turned dorm rooms into a home away from home.
    Read More
Holderness School
33 Chapel Lane, Holderness NH, 03245
mail P.O Box 1879 Plymouth, NH 03264-1879
phone (603) 536-1257