Charley Croft ’21: Coaches’ Award
This year’s award is given to a player who had a lot of playing experience but not at a lot of positions. By the end of this season, she’d played all positions but two. And for anyone who has enjoyed a degree of proficiency in something that they care about, you might also know how hard it can be to give up that level of expertise and try to apply it to a new problem--like moving a softball player from outfield to infield or from third to short or from catcher to second base, etc., etc. This year’s award is given to a player who provided a solid bat at the plate, head’s up running along the basepath, a ton of positive encouragement from the dugout, and direction and leadership from wherever she was on the field. And, as I started to say earlier, she played seven positions for us this season. What I’m talking about is someone who often played multiple positions in the same game. In fact, for one game this year, I had this player slotted to play FOUR different positions within regulation. And I would add that part of what made this decision so difficult is that there were a number of players who took on new positions or played with a level of discomfort because they were willing to do what was best for the team. In other words, there were a lot of kids who were deserving of this award. Consequently, it is with great pride and appreciation that we award this year girls’ varsity softball Coaches’ Award to Charley Croft!!!
Julia Knight ’20: Most Improved Player Award
This award is given to someone who started the year with basic skills and demonstrated remarkable growth over the course of the season. This year, the award is given to a player who improved in all phases of the game, but most especially in one particularly challenging dimension. If you know about the game, hitting a softball is a remarkably difficult task. The pitcher is closer than in baseball and the ball is often rising from the ground up (as opposed to falling to the ground--which gravity otherwise makes relatively common). Now, imagine doing this hard thing while RUNNING at the ball, and you’ve got the talented and prolific Julia Knight. Famed for her glove, her arm, and her slap-hitting, she is this year’s recipient of the girls’ varsity softball Most Improved Award.
Mikayla Stolar ‘19: Lakes Region All-Star
Mikayla Stolar is the kind of player that one would make up stories about if the truth weren’t itself so unbelievable. At last year’s KUA game, we had to issue a “travel advisory” as she hit the ball 250 FEET in the air, over the fence, and onto the street that ran alongside the outfield. KUA’s coach, having never seen such a feat at his home field before, could be heard telling those in his dugout about it for the rest of the game: “No! She hit it over the fence and onto the road!!!” To give some perspective, PSU’s field is about 200 feet. That explains why Mikayla is doing such crazy things as hitting multi-homerun games down there like she did on our Senior Day on May 11th. During the playoff win against Brewster this year, MK got a lucky strike call. As I turned to my assistant coach to share my opinion of the umpire’s generosity, the opposing team’s assistant coach overheard the remark, walked over, and matter-of-factly stated, “I think she’s throwing it so hard that the umpire can’t even see it.” As I laughed politely at his remark, he shared, with an earnest countenance, “I think he’s just guessing.” It was then that I realized that he was serious; he thought that Mikayla was throwing the ball so hard that the umpire was not able to track it visually. Finally, there’s a “Man Up” Poster in Connell. It says something to the effect of, being a girl doesn’t make her any less tough (or vice versa). And just to be clear, MK has a skill set, knowledge of the game, and mental toughness that is beyond compare or comparison. She’s an elite softball player who has no peer and has mastered her craft in a way that few can. And she is this year’s Lakes Region All-Star representing Holderness.
Hayden Dahl ’19: Coaches’ Award
It was rough for the varsity guys this year because they were unable to put together a team. But in a different way, it was great for JV guys who got to wear varsity jerseys and play not just one but three games on the Quad. The baseball gods smiled on JV, and we smiled right along with them. But there was one person whose smile was biggest, and that person will receive the Coaches' Award for his attitude, performance, and leadership. This person is a four-year veteran of J. varsity baseball. He has played pitcher, shortstop, 2nd base, outfield, 3rd base, and that was just last week. He has been the soul and spirit of our competitive J. varsity team but also the mastermind behind its vastly influential Instagram page. He ruined the hidden ball trick countless times because he couldn’t stop smiling. Let's smile with him. Mr. JV Baseball: Hayden Dahl.
Ty Dahl ’22: Most Improved Player Award
Most improved is always so hard on a team like this. Everyone improved. There was so much improvement. James Nguyen was a total beginner. On the first day he was getting pelted with baseballs. He can throw and catch a baseball now. And Yansel, he was bad. But he can make it through a whole practice with no headphones now. John Menkes grew a canon where his arm used to be, and Jan actually looks like a first baseman now. And how can I decline to mention Angus Christie’s triple play? That really happened. But we decided this award on the basis of how the player's improvement impacted the team's performance the most. We needed a catcher. This person had never caught a single pitch, but he was willing to try on the gear. By the end of the season, he became our rock behind the plate. He even gunned down a runner at second in our first game with KUA. It didn't take long before he earned a nickname: Best Dahl. Let's hear it for Best Dahl, Ty Dahl.
Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse
Maizley Tone ’22: Coaches’ Award
This player came to Florida ready to give her all to this team and this season. Coaches talk about athletes who are positive, but this athlete brings a type of positivity that is unique and has earned her this award. She worked tirelessly in practices and games to make herself better and make her teammates around her better. She became a crucial part of our defense, taking down skilled attackers. Her confidence grew tremendously and we are looking forward to watching her continue to develop next year. We are proud to present the Coaches’ Award to Maizley Tone.
Emilija Jakumaite ’20: Most Improved Player Award
This player was asked back in November if she would like to try out the position of goalie. She said yes without any hesitation and never looked back. She met with me on many Sundays throughout the end of the fall and the winter, giving up her free time to learn this position. Not only did she develop the necessary skills to be in net, but she also developed a loud, powerful personality in net that helped guide the defense and make them better. We are proud to present this year’s Most Improved Player Award to Emilija Jakumaite.
Girls’ JV Lacrosse
Annecy Kagan ’22: Coaches’ Award
This young player brought skills and enthusiasm to the team upon her arrival. A skilled defender, passer, catcher, ground-ball vacuum, and full-field dodger, she always made herself available on the field, to help her teammates in any given situation. Her lacrosse IQ grew throughout the season, and I suspect she will have the opportunity to contribute to the varsity next spring. Congratulations, Annecy!
Anna Pollak ’19: Most Improved Player Award
This award goes to a player who started out the year on defense. Over the course of the season, she proved herself to be capable of full-field running, dodging, and scoring. She concluded the year splitting time between defense and midfield, improving her field awareness every step of the way. Congratulations, Anna!
Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse
Beckham Bayreuther: Coaches’ Award
· For your full four-year commitment to Holderness lacrosse
· For playing on the top midfield line for four years
· For drawing the top midfield defender every game
· For getting the key ground ball possessions
· For your leadership and captaincy
· For being calm in the most pressurized moments
· For keeping the Bulls together
For these reasons and many more, Beckham Bayreuther, we give the 2019 Coaches’ Award.
Alex Oliver ’19: Most Improved Player Award
This player saw a great deal of improvement to his game as a result of his commitment to being a model teammate. Throughout his time as a member of the boys’ varsity lacrosse team, not only has he been willing to take on any role asked of him but he has also actively anticipated the changing needs of the team and volunteered to take on different roles and responsibilities, in some instances at the expense of his own playing time. In practices, his focus and effort have been unwavering. His willingness to make mistakes, own up to his mistakes, and learn from them has contributed to his own growth and building a culture of growth among his teammates. This year’s most improved player for the boys’ varsity lacrosse team is Alex Oliver.
Ben Hutchinson ’21: Mike D’Amico Spirit Award
· For your total love of the game of lacrosse
· For your constant positive effort to support the team
· For your ability to move on to the NEXT moment
· For raising our team play by his care and concern for his teammates
· For battling through injury
· For his spirit in keeping the team together
Ben Hutchinson is the 2019 Mike D’Amico Spirit Award winner.
Boys’ JV Lacrosse
Brooks Reed ’21: Coaches’ Award
The recipient of this year’s Coaches’ Award does all of those things that a coach loves. He steadied our offense and understood when we needed possession time and time to gain our composure. He recorded points in all of our games, led the team in assists with 25, was second on the team in ground-balls with 55, was tenacious on our ride, and kept a clear head; he also recorded no penalties despite the fact that he was rarely off the field. This year’s Coaches Award goes to tenth grader and attackman Brooks Reed.
Jimmy Bocock ’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 one of the top midfield lines this season, please congratulate Jimmy Bocock as this year’s MIP Award winner.
Taylor Teich ’19: Coaches’ Award
Given the small size of our team, I chose to give only one award, and while each member of this team contributed to our successful season, Taylor Teich was its true leader. Not only did she organize practices and workouts, through her numerous first place finishes, she earned more track points than any female athlete in the region. Taylor Teich is the recipient of this team’s Coaches’ Award for most ably covering up the ineptitude of her coach, of course, this is in addition to being the most valuable member of our team. Congratulations, Taylor.
Jack Sawyer ’21: Coaches’ Award
This award generally goes to the climber who shows the most consistent psyche for getting outside on the rock and furthering his skills. This spring was a tough season to keep the psyche high, but Jack Sawyer was able to do it with ease. He regularly brought energy and enthusiasm to our indoor bouldering sessions where he exhibited an eagerness to try new moves and continuously improve.
Pierce Bewlay ’21: Most Improved Player Award
Pierce Bewlay gets the Most Improved Player Award this season for showing steady growth and determination to learn more and climb further.
Girls’ Varsity Tennis
Mina Nguyen ’19 and Lilly Patterson ’19: Coaches’ Awards
This year’s Coaches’ Award recipients are Mina and Lilly for their dedication, poise, and uncompromising good nature that defined the culture of the team. They are both dedicated students of the game and together constructed a sturdy foundation from which future teams will benefit.
Girls’ JV Tennis
While we may have only been on the tennis courts for approximately 12 hours this spring, we had a good season. Practice the first three weeks was indoors, hitting a ball against the Gallop walls, working out with Morgan Llewelyn, and running on campus. Before we had been on a tennis court more than two times, sadly, I had to cut six girls, and then we still had nineteen! It was tough to find courts and time for everyone, but this group maintained a positive attitude, played good tennis, and had fun. Thank you for your great attitude all season.
Kathryn Potter ’19: Coaches’ Award
The Coaches’ Award goes to a player with a positive /I can win attitude. When she stepped on the court, there was nothing timid about her play; she went into a fierce competitive zone. (Honestly, I’m not sure just how much she remembers about these matches.) But over the course of our short season, her tennis got better and better. She played #1 doubles and occasionally some singles. This was her first season playing tennis for Holderness, and she was one of our strongest players! She won most of her matches, kept the team in line, took food orders, and cleaned up after the team. Thank you for your leadership, Kathryn Potter!
Isabella Qian ’21: Most Improved Player Award
The Most Improved Player Award goes to a player who improved her racket skills, her court strategies, and especially her net game. Whenever she got to net and connected with the ball, she put it away…not just angle shots--but over the head of her opponents. (Then a HUGE smile!) If she continues to play and work at her tennis skills, I have no doubt that she will be a varsity player.
Boys’ Varsity Tennis
Shawn Kim ’20: Coaches’ Award
Tennis is a game of honors. Since we have no umpires, no referees, and no officials, players are required to self-enforce the strict code of conduct that governs this ancient game. I am proud of our team for constantly walking this hard line throughout a cold, wet spring season, but no one behaved more honorably this season than Shawn Kim. Shawn played hard all season long, but he was also always respectful of his opponents, teammates, coach, and the game itself. He consistently represented our school well and made his coach proud.
Drew Peatman ’22: Most Improved Player Award
When Drew Peatman first took the court for tryouts, his coach didn’t quite know what to make of him. With his cross-handed backhand and propensity for taking the ball on the rise, it was unclear if Drew would be an asset to the team. He started the first match at sixth singles--and won. Then he played fifth singles--and won. Then fourth singles--another victory. By the end of the season, Drew was our number three player, and we’re thrilled that this ninth grader will be the backbone of our team for three more years.
Boys’ JV Tennis
Coaches’ Award: Nick Spanos ’21
Atte Aalto ’19: Coaches’ Award
This year’s varsity golf Coaches’ Award goes to an athlete who demonstrates an understanding of the game of golf and the values of Holderness. Atte Aalto led by example and supported his team throughout the season. With the extended winter and late arrival of spring, Atte embraced the mundane and unorthodox early practices with a smile. A calming and strong presence, Atte is a young man who can be counted on to inspire a team to reach its potential as demonstrated by the season’s last match, resulting in a Lakes Region Championship win.
Devin Shepherd ’20: Most Improved Player Award
Devin Shepherd is the recipient of this year’s varsity golf Most Improved Player Award. Devin started the season unsure of what a golf handicap was and struggled in early-season matches. New to match play competition, and probably a little nervous about where he stood on the team’s depth chart, Devin consistently improved while working on his game. A last-minute addition to the Lakes Region Championship roster, Devin elevated his game and was the lynchpin in a Holderness team victory.
Cole Donovan ’22: Coaches’ Award
This spring was the inaugural season of the Holderness School Boat Club. As a small, pilot rowing program, we were able to coordinate with Squam Community Rowing and the Squam Lakes Association to secure rowing shells and access to the water. We had six rowers and one coxswain in both sculling and sweep boats, but unfortunately, with the bad weather this spring, we spent most of our time on ergometers in Bartsch. We hope to get boats on the water again next fall, row in a few head races in October, and to continue this fledgling program for years to come.
Gus Whitcomb: Coaches’ Award
Ebba Eneqvist ’20: Most Improved Player Award