Girls’ Varsity Soccer
Kirsten DiCicco ’20, Most Improved Award
Days after preseason, our starting keeper, Anna Pollak, developed a hip injury and eventually a concussion, and we didn’t have a back-up keeper. I knew that one of our field players was a hockey goalie, so I figured I’d ask to see if she had ever played goalie for soccer. She had...in 5th grade. She willingly stepped into net a day later in our scrimmage against Governor’s. She moved around the net as if she was sweeping a goal mouth in skates. Her instincts were there, but it was clear she needed some formal training. She played game after game for us before I realized that the goalie gloves she was using from 5th grade felt about as thick and were as big as batting gloves for baseball. I’m not sure whether she or her new gloves from the cage should win the Most Improved Award, but the number of parents, refs, fans, and opposing coaches that commented on the strength of our goalie throughout the rest of the season was astounding. She was a quick learner, fearless, reliable, and strong. She came up big in big moments. We are proud to present the Most Improved Award to Kirsten DiCicco.
Kathryn Potter ’19, Coaches’ Award
This player could also be a contender for a Most Improved Award if you look at her four years--how she started as a freshman on JV and worked her way up to be a starter on the varsity team. Her consistency as a player, her ability to communicate with teammates and coaches--whether it was mundane details or difficult conversations--her care and concern for all team members, the balance that she effortlessly modeled between fun and hard work, and the sincere effort she put into learning new positions this year showed maturity and leadership. I feel fortunate that she was a captain to a team with four brand new ninth graders and that they had the opportunity to learn from her example. She was vocal but humble, never flashy but always strong. She developed and delivered lots of bruises this year as a defender, but her leadership is what I will miss most and will be the most difficult to replace. We are honored to present the Coaches’ Award to Kathryn Potter.
Girls’ JV Soccer
Olivia Lammivaara ’20, Coaches’ Award
The recipient of the Coaches’ Award is positive, kind, energetic, eager to improve, hard-working, athletic, helpful to her coaches and to her teammates, and had a tremendous competitive spirit. She played sweeper for our defense and can be credited with shutting down the opponents' offense in most of our games. When the other team got a break-away opportunity and was heading towards our net, she would appear like a bird of prey on the hunt, moving in swiftly and skillfully stealing the ball from her opponent. She was fun to watch play and a pleasure to coach. This year’s Coaches’ Award goes to Olivia Lammivaara.
Katrina Grzeszczuk ’20, Most Improved Award
It is very difficult to determine who is the most improved player on our team. There was So. Much. Improvement. But one player got better with consistency all year. Practice to practice, game to game, this person showed up, focused on her craft and became one of our most reliable players in a very important position. I wish we'd kept statistics on her saves, but there were several heroic moments during which she came off her line fearlessly and stopped a breakaway to save a goal. Shutting out KUA twice, and adding shutouts against New Hampton, Brewster, and Proctor, our most improved player of the year was our captain and goalkeeper, Katrina Grzeszczuk ’20.
Boys’ Varsity Soccer
Beckham Bayreuther ’19, Weston Lea Spirit Award
This four-year varsity player is someone who has embodied one of the main mottos of the Holderness soccer program: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Beckham is a dynamic athlete and is always ready to compete. He held down the backline as one of our center backs but was never afraid to get forward and show off his stutter step moves and speed. Beckham embraces the spirit of competition and just loves to be out on the field. We are pleased to present the Weston Lea Spirit Award to Beckham Bayreuther.
Colin Hoeffner ’19, Coaches’ Award
This player was one of our rocks in the back line. He competed hard day in and day out. As a defender, he was never afraid to go into any tackle, even if the tackle was a borderline foul. His speed also gave us numerous attacking opportunities, especially after getting fouled and earning a free kick. He will definitely be missed next year. We are pleased to present our Coaches’ Award to Colin Hoeffner.
Angus Christie ’20, Most Improved Award
This player started the year not seeing many minutes but came to practice every day ready to work hard and get better. As the season went on, opportunities to play presented themselves, and he fully seized these opportunities and became a big player for us. A calm collected midfielder, Angus showed tremendous vision and game sense. We look forward to seeing him on the field next year and are pleased to present our Most Improved Award to Angus Christie.
Boys’ JV1 Soccer
Paxton Bunting ’19, Quang Do ’19, Devin Shepherd ’20, Coaches’ Award
We are giving three Coaches’ Awards so please hold your applause until after I call the three names. We want to give the Coaches’ Award to: Paxton Bunting for his leadership in guiding his team and his dynamism on the field; Quang Do for his leadership on the field and his tactical knowledge of the game; and finally Devin Shepherd for his unyielding positive attitude and his ability to find the back of the net.
Boys’ JV2 Soccer
Dray Krahmer ’22, Coaches’ Award
This year’s Coaches’ Award goes to a ninth grader who brought a love of soccer to the field each and every day. This individual was one of our mainstays on defense early in the season, and when we asked him to switch to striker when we needed to find new ways to score goals, he did just that. He never missed a practice, never came off the field during games, and always had good words of encouragement for his teammates and coaches. An outstanding competitor and absolute pleasure to coach, congratulations Dray Krahmer.
Heath Fellows ’22, Most Improved Award
When we originally looked at candidates for the Most Improved Award, the list was long. We had a number of young players who didn’t first fit into the starting lineup. As the season went on, though, and they earned playing time and needed to step up into important roles when we fought off injuries to starters; these players began to look like seasoned veterans. One of these players was asked to do a lot during the stretch drive of our season, and he didn’t disappoint. For his greatly improved defensive skills--which ultimately had him marking the opponent’s most skilled striker--and for his willingness to step up his physical play against must older and stronger competitors, please join me in awarding the Most Improved Award to Heath Fellows.
Jamie Bayha ’19, Coaches’ Award
Our Coaches’ Award goes to a climber who pushed himself to further his skills on the rock and in the gym. From DJing the bus ride to throwing himself on Underdog countless times, Jamie Bayha was fun to coach, to chat with, and to simply spend time with outdoors. We’re psyched about the rocks he’ll scale after Holderness. Congratulations, Jamie!
Ali Ferri ’19, Most Improved Award
Our most improved climber was a newbie, who came to the rock on the first day unaware of what she was in for. Only two weeks later, she bought her own climbing shoes. By the end of the season, she climbed 5.10’s at the gym and even began to lead climb. Ali Ferri, thank you for tackling your fears head on. The strength of your mind, body, and spirit is limitless.
Varsity Field Hockey
Lily Gillette ’19, Most Improved Award
This year’s winner of the Most Improved Award was new to the sport of field hockey as a ninth grader. Last year we invited her to join the team, but also asked her to support the JV program. I will never forget when scrimmaging against her late in the season last year when she started to knock down every ball off a free hit. What makes this player so impressive is that she remains coachable, even four years into the sport. She listens carefully and then works to make changes to her stick skills or positioning on the field. She earned some starts this year and scored five goals. We will miss Lily Gillette’s quiet determination and joyful presence on the team next year. Congratulations, Lily.
Drea Chin ’19, Claudia Cantin ’19, and Morgan Sisson ’19, Coaches’ Award
The Coaches’ Award in my book should go to the players who have given most selflessly of themselves to the team. This makes it really hard, because I saw every player give selflessly at some point this season. However, there is a reason the three captains were chosen by their peers. They never faltered in their work to put the team first, work as a unit, and support one another. This year’s Coaches’ Award goes collectively to our three captains. Drea Chin, you never cease to bring energy to your teammates, to get excited about the littlest thing, or to show up in the backfield with composure and carry the ball up the field 50 yards. Claudia Cantin is the player you point to when you want to give an example of unassailable work ethic. She played the tricky left-wing position which requires you to catch breakaway passes on your reverse. She never got frustrated, just more determined when she missed a pass. For her work this season (most notably scoring five goals in a single game against New Hampton) Claudia was also recognized as a Lakes Region All Star. Last but not least, is Morgan Sisson. Morgan earned Class C All NEPSAC recognition and was also recognized as a Lakes Region All Star, but what I found most impressive about Morgan this year was her flexibility--not in yoga, but in her ability to change her approach when something didn’t work. She was able to flexibly move past frustration to put her teammates first.
We will miss their leadership a lot next year, but they gave this team an incredible gift to know what kind, invested, purposeful and determined leadership looks like. Congratulations Drea, Claudia and Morgan.
JV Field Hockey
Grace Farley ’22, Coaches’ Award
The Coaches’ Award goes to a player who saw each day as an opportunity to improve. Her enthusiasm and love of sport inspired us all. Each day, she participated at the highest level possible. Even when unable to pick up a stick due to an injury, she still completed all conditioning drills and helped out in whatever way possible. She worked hard in practice to be able to play hard during games. She was a delight to coach, and I am confident this ninth grader will have a positive impact on all of her teams. Congratulations, Grace Farley.
Summer Brayton ’21, Most Improved Award
The Most Improved Award goes to a player new to field hockey. Each day she’d come to practice with a smile on her face and ready to play. Soft spoken, unassuming, it was easy to overlook her competitive spirit. She quickly learned the basics of the sport and the skills necessary to be a smart and strong defender. As coaches, we learned that we could count on her tenacity and defensive instincts to shut down offensive drives. Fun to coach and a great teammate, the Most Improved Player goes Summer Brayton.
Lilly Magnus ’20, Most Improved Award
Everyone on the team improved this year. Our newest riders made the most progress because they had the most to learn, and our fastest riders reached new heights, but we have decided award this prize to a rider who worked hard to pass a key milestone. Lilly Magnus was already an accomplished racer, so she devoted herself this year to improving in the more aggressive, risky disciplines of riding downhill and off jumps. We celebrate this achievement because we know that any rider who passes that tipping point is hooked for life. Congratulations, Lilly.
Pierce Bewlay ’21, Coaches’ Award
We offer the Coaches' Award to the rider who contributes the most to the spirit of the team by demonstrating a love for the sport, proposing new adventures, and supporting teammates of all skill levels. This was a competitive category this year because we were lucky to have so many enthusiasts (and even fanatics) on our roster. We are pleased to offer this award to Pierce Bewlay, who embraced each practice, race and trail work day as a new opportunity to do something fun with his friends.
Joe Pelletier ’19, Alex Oliver ’19, Sergio Yap ’19, Norm Walker Award
In honor of Coach Walker, we will be doing the football team awards a little bit differently this year. I would like to give three Norm Walker Spirit Awards to three seniors: Joe Pelletier, Sergio Yap, and Alexandre Oliver. The transition from 11-man to 8-man came late in the school year last year, and I must acknowledge that without the leadership of these three seniors the football program would have gone away last year. Their commitment to the team and the school should be acknowledged. They helped the coaching staff to make this year a great year and to make it to the championship game. They were all in and led by example. For someone who played for, and coached under Coach Walker, I know he would have been proud of all three of you. Congratulations and thank you for helping us continue the great tradition of football at Holderness!
Grayson Heinzer ’21, Mae Whitcomb ’21, Coaches’ Award
The boys' Coach’s Award goes to an individual who showed up to practice every day ready to work. We didn’t hear a single complaint from him all season and actually had to pull him out of a workout when we noticed he was favoring one leg. He has an infectious positive attitude and was a person that the younger members of the team could turn to. He leads by example and for that reason, in addition to his potential, Greyson Heinzer earned the Coaches' Award.
The individual who is receiving the girls' Coaches' Award reminded me of something that was said in an interview with a professional athlete after she had just won a big race. When asked what specific workouts made the biggest difference for her, she answered that rather than being one workout or even one period of time, it was consistent training week after week and month after month. Mae Whitcomb displays that kind of consistency. She pushed hard when appropriate but also made sure to recover effectively. This diligence, and her relentlessly positive attitude, caused her to be our top scorer in most races. I look forward to working with her for two more years.
Nathan Driker ’22, Taylor Teich ’19, Most Improved Award
The boys MIP this season started close to the middle of the pack. We had conversations with him after races in which it became very clear that even as a young runner he was capable of being perceptive about his own areas for improvement. He maintains a growth mindset and questions how he can continue to work towards reaching his full potential. Even as the youngest member of the team, he became an important scorer. We look forward to seeing him grow over the rest of his time here. The boys' Most Improved Award goes to Natan Driker.
The MIP for the girls goes to someone who maybe didn’t expect to improve much this year. More than that, we think she surprised herself with how much she grew to enjoy running. She began running more and running harder not necessarily because she had to but because she wanted to. We enjoyed watching her discover her potential throughout the season, culminating in a fantastic race at New Englands. We look forward to seeing her continue with the sport both in and out of season. The Most Improved Award goes to Taylor Teich.