School Life

Spring 2022 Athletes Honored

By Sandra Santana
Spring at Emma Willard School is always a marvelously busy time. Between Signature celebrations, end of year recitals/concerts, and Commencement preparation, there’s no shortage of commemorative moments. Last week, we added another celebration to the mix as we acknowledged the accomplishments of our 118 Spring athletes and coaching staff. Read on to learn more about the award winners from our Spring ’22 Crew, Lacrosse, Softball, and Track and Field teams!
This Spring, 118 Jesters represented Emma Willard School athletics, with 44 athletes competing in two different sports seasons and 43 making their mark over all three seasons. The Jesters racked up multiple league honors, inducted 23 new Varsity Club members, and honored three new Die Hard athletes!
Varsity Club: Athletes who play three varsity sports in one year or play three seasons on a varsity team and finish in their senior year. Congratulations to the following students on their induction into Varsity Club! 
Isabelle B. ’23, Nikki B. ’23, Ceci C. ’24, Sadie G. ’24, Sol H. ’24, Margarette H. ’24, Sherry H. ’24, Cai-Lin H. ’24, Elle K. ’24, Daphine K. ’23, Dia K. ’24, Sam L. ’22, Nicolette L. ’25, Ashley L. ’24, Srayva L. ’22, Charlotte L. ’24, Beckett M. ’22, Madie M. ’23, Ivyann S. ’23, Isa V. ’22, Leah W. ’22, Kiki Y. ’24, Liana Z. ’23
Die Hard Athlete Club: Athletes who have participated in every eligible season at
Emma Willard School over their 4 years. Congratulations to the following students on their induction into Die Hard Athlete Club! 
Louise A. ’22: Cross Country, Indoor T&F, Outdoor T&F
Mika F. ’22: Field Hockey, Indoor T&F, Lacrosse
Taylor S. ’22: Tennis, Field Hockey, Indoor T&F, Lacrosse, Outdoor T&F
Season/League Achievements:
Novice 4+, Silver Medal
Novice 8+, Finals at States
Varsity 4+ Petite, Finals at States
Varsity Lacrosse:
First Team: Ceci C. ’24
Second Team: Jenny J. ’22
Outdoor T&F:
4x100 Relay: 6th place with season best time (55.24) at League Championship
4x800 Relay: 5th place with season best time (11:28.76) at League Championship
Bella H. ’23 and Daphine K. ’23 competed at Sectionals in Long Jump and Triple Jump
Dia K. ’24 captured 1st place in both the 800m and 1500m at the Preseason Stillwater Invitational
Throwers Relay: 2 all time Emma Top Ten Relays in both Shot put and Discus at Colonie Relays
Second Team: Sam M. ’24
Honorable Mention: Margarette H. ’24

Crew, Head Coach Robert Tarrant and Assistant Coach Bridget McGivern, and Julie Matthews, PhD.

Most Valuable Rower: Gabby Z. ’22
I have had the pleasure of coaching many talented young ladies during my time at Emma Willard. Clearly some are outstanding athletes, but many possess skills and talent that extend far beyond the waters of the Hudson River. Emma counts among her own artists that rival Picasso or Van Gogh, orchestra members comfortable performing with the New York Philharmonic, vocalist one step away from the Met, linguists who are comfortable speaking languages from every corner of the globe –you get the point. As one who felt ecstatic barely passing my French III Regents exam in 1972 I stand in awe of the proverbial “Emma Girl.” One such outstanding “Emma Girl” is our award winner.

As I visit the campus infrequently, my focus of excellence is seen through the eyes of a coach. This Spring's Most Valuable Rower nonetheless is one who exhibits a multitude of skills – an excellent student, a compassionate, concerned friend, a strong and organized team leader, and an amazing rower. In her mind, the cup is always half full, never half empty. She, as well as many of you, has endured a unique and trying tenure at Emma Willard. Who could envision an extended school shutdown, strict health related protocols, and months and months of on-line learning. I’m sure it was the furthest thing from the mind of our award winner as she picked up her first Emma sweep oar in the fall of 2018.

Through all the uncertainty, stress, and upheaval she experienced during that tumultuous time at Emma, she never swayed from her love of the sport. Last summer, she attended an Olympic Development Camp in Florida. Her coaches there– all top national and international coaches - were incredibly impressed with not only her excellent and ever improving rowing, but also her level of maturity, competitiveness, and humble demeanor. Of course, that came as no surprise to the members of Emma Crew.

I’m sure with the many seasons lost or shortened due to the ravages of a worldwide pandemic, she missed out on a number of trips to the medals' podium. Undeterred, she continually moved forward, perfecting her skills, encouraging her teammates, all while excelling in the classroom. Of course as all of you know her most important Emma Crew accomplishment, along with Bailey, was selecting, designing, and ordering our team “merch!” It’s trite to say her shoes will be difficult to fill, but they will. We wish her well as she leaves one idyllic campus for another, starting the next chapter of her life at Wellesley College. As coaches, we are humbled and honored to present this spring's Most Valuable Rower award to Gabby Z. ’22!

Rising Star: Charlotte L. ’24
There are a lot of new rowers who could have been the rising star this season and this was a hard choice for us, but I kept thinking back to the day when I shot video to give everyone feedback on their technique and I showed each rower themselves rowing, and then I would say “OK you need to do this” For example, straightening arms, or having a fully tilted torso. I would play the video and more times than not, I got a confused stare from the rower I was coaching to. After a while, I started just sliding the video screen to a different rower and saying, “see how she is doing...”  The rower I repeatedly used as an example has excellent technique, impressive strength, a great attitude, and excellent attendance. We can rely on her in every way. This year’s rising star is Charlotte L. ’24!

Most Improved: Bhoomi L. ’24
This rower stood out from the start as driven and focused. At some point during the season, she encountered some ripples in her technique and became frustrated that her oar was getting stuck under the water quite often. She was visibly upset by what she perceived as letting down her peers. That is the most impressive quality in a rower, thinking about others. Determined to overcome her struggles, she did extensive troubleshooting in more than one conversation with her coaches. In the end, she figured it out and went on to have a successful and rewarding season. We trust this rower to work hard for everyone’s benefit. This year’s Most Improved Award goes to Bhoomi L. ’24!

Varsity Lacrosse, Head Coach Elizabeth Parry and Assistant Coach Shelley Maher

Coaches Award: Sherry H. ’24
You have the skill to play anywhere on the field, but you willingly played a position that needed to be filled. You have approached this entire season with positivity. You never get down when the going gets tough, and you never hang your head or look frustrated in the most difficult of situations. And boy have we been in difficult situations. Your confidence and comfort in your ability allowed you to communicate to us what you needed to be successful, and us to you. You stood tough in goal all season long, saving over 111 shots. For your positive attitude, hard work, and for literally shouldering strong shots from your own teammates as well as from opponents, we are proud to present this Coaches Award to you, Sherry H. ’24! 
Coaches Award: Prairie G. ’23
This Coaches award goes to a first year lacrosse player who is also playing her first year at varsity level. This player started her season as a defender and as season progressed became more of an all-rounder, playing defense, midfield and also from time to time on the attack. This player started in every game, didn't miss a practice and could be considered as a quiet achiever. She is no fuss, and simply goes about her business, and gets the job done, time and time again. This player was the consummate learner and continued to seek ways to improve and to do more, regardless of the outcome of a game, or the time of the season. This Coaches Award goes to Prairie G. ’23. Congratulations Prairie.

JV Lacrosse, Head Coach Heidi Spohn and Assistant Coach Elizabeth Spoehel

Coaches Award: Vanessa H. ’24
The first Coaches Award goes to a player who showed up for every practice and game ready to give 100%. She is pleasant to be around, respectful to both teammates, coaches and her opponent. While always pleasant, was not afraid to dig deep and be aggressive in games. Her dedication to the team was apparent when all of her friends chose not to play, and she stuck it out. This player was always willing to learn and be better, applying feedback to strengthen her game. She is not the loudest person on the team, but led by example every day. This award goes to Vanessa H. ’24. 
Coaches Award: Luna M. ’24
The second Coaches Award goes to a player who also exemplified dedication and hard work. This player came to every practice looking to improve her skills and quickly did so by staying focused, applying feedback and giving her all each day. She was a quiet leader who we came to rely on for her consistency, willingness to play where needed, and the ability seemingly be everyone on the field. Her dedication truly showed when she continued to put in the work while sick, showing up to be the scorekeeper at a game and keeping up her fitness. Not to mention, without this player, we would not have our unwavering cheering section. This award goes to Luna M. ’24.
Outdoor Track and Field, Head Coach Tony Holston, Assistant Coach Aidan Bardos, Margaret McCulloch, and Andy Reed

Coaches Award - Jumpers: Bella H. ’23
The Coaches award is an award in which the means justify the end. It is given not only for hard work and personal improvement, but for a willingness to understand, to learn, to enter into a partnership with their coaches and teammates in an effort to recognize one's full potential. The recipient of this award has participated in the struggle, each and every day, and in the end found their own place on the team and made significant contributions to the success of the squad and the team.
This athlete learned to long Jump and high jump during a shortened season due to the pandemic. However, you could see the potential in this athlete as she began to learn the basics of the long jump and high jump. This season she was introduced to a new event, the triple Jump. This ignited an inner fire in this athlete who began to improve, literally, by leaps and bounds. From the 2021 season to this season, this athlete improved by over a second in the 100m, over a foot in the long jump and improved by over an astonishing 5 feet in the triple jump in just one season! She qualified in both the long jump and the triple jump for this year’s NYS sectional meet. She embraced her teammates and coaches while developing a newfound love for the sport of track and field. This year’s Coaches Award from the jumping squad goes to Bella H. ’23.
Coaches Award - Throwers: Mehar S. ’24
One of this year’s coach’s awards goes to an athlete whose accomplishments as a leader and competitor, both on and off the track, have contributed considerably to the success of the throwing squad this season. She is the glue that holds the group together and a calming, reliable presence when times on the field become stressful or difficult. A consummate team player, she is always willing to jump into an extra practice or occasional field event. 
This track and field athlete demonstrated leadership, sportsmanship, team spirit, teamwork, and skills throughout the outdoor track season. She stepped up this season to keep the thrower squad intact in leading several workouts. She promoted team unity and served as a positive role model. I have watched this athlete continue to grow in so many areas such as in confidence, commitment, leadership, and communication. This year’s Coaches award from the throwing squad goes to Mehar S. ’24.
Coaches Award - Sprinter: Anyla Z. ’25
Throughout the season, this athlete put a fantastic effort into her sprints. She worked hard every practice and came to every meet ready to compete and improve her time. She continually worked on her form, time and training. These efforts paid off, and she improved on her times all year. Whether she was running the third leg of the relay or the 200, her performance was outstanding. Her level of dedication to track is an example to others, and we cannot wait to see what she will do in her future in the program! This year’s Coaches award from the sprinting squad goes to Anyla Z. ’25!
Coaches Award - Mids/Longs: Beckett M. ’22
With striking performances at each track meet, and consistent support of teammates, this athlete introduced herself to us as a runner and a leader. She has come to represent strength, organization, and bravery to her peers and especially to her younger teammates. Over the course of time at Emma, she has grown into an exemplary role model, and her influence on the team will perpetuate for years to come. As a leader, she has consistently gone above and beyond in terms of her performances on the track, as well as her mentorship to her teammates' day in and day out. Be it a track workout, distance run, warm up, or just speaking a few words of encouragement, this athlete is always at the front and center and ready to lead. Team contributions aside, she has also had an exceptionally rich season as an individual, ducking into the low 2:50’s in the 800-meter, and being a consistent member of our scoring 4x800 and 4x400-meter relay teams. It is my absolute pleasure to give this year’s coaches award to Beckett M. ’22.

Softball, Head Coach Samantha Skott and Assistant Coach Brett LaFave

Coaches Award: Sam M. ’24
Our first Coaches Award goes to a player who is the definition of a team player, the kind of teammate that gives it their all each and every day, as well as cheers on their teammates constantly. This individual never gets down when the going gets tough, never hangs their head or so much as looks frustrated in the most difficult of situations, and continues to cheer positively while others are up to bat. She had the deepest hit of the season, a bases clearing double, and was a constant threat at the plate. Without this player, we would not have been as competitive in a new league as we were this season, as she stood tough on the mound all season long, striking out 78 along the way. For her team-first attitude and for literally shouldering heavy lifting this season, we are proud to present this Coaches Award to Sam M. ’24. 
Coaches Award: Hayley A. ’22
Our next Coaches Award goes to a player that is the (sometimes) quiet backbone of the team. This is a player that does not hit in the flashiest spot in the lineup or earn the most put-outs per game, but quietly leads by example and plays her hardest day in and day out. This individual works the hardest on and off the field to keep the team running like a well-oiled machine, whether that is by making sure everyone knows they are being cheered on while up to bat, ensuring everyone is on task once we show up to practice, or constantly reminding us what time we are out of class for an away game. It is clear the rest of the team noticed this effort day in and day out, and you left them some big shoes to fill for next season. For her behind the scenes efforts, constant hustle, and ability to come up with the most creative nicknames, we are happy to present this Coaches Award to Hayley A. ’22.

Congratulations to all of our athletes on another incredible season on the playing fields, track, and boat house. In addition, Emma Willard School would like to extend a very special thank you to everyone who worked behind the scenes to support our athletes this Spring. Go Jesters!
    • DIE HARDS: Louise A. ’22: Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field | Mika F. ’22: Field Hockey, Indoor Track and Field, Lacrosse | Taylor S. ’22: Tennis, Field Hockey, Indoor Track and Field, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track and Field

    • Head Coach Samantha Skott, Assistant Coach Brett LaFave, and Softball Coaches Award Winners Hayley A. ’22, Sam M. ’24

    • Varsity Lacrosse Coaches Award Winners Prairie G. ’23 and Sherry H. ’24

    • JV Lacrosse Coaches Award Winners Vanessa H. ’24, Luna M. ’24

    • Coach Tony Holston and Coaches Award Winner Jumpers Bella H. ’23

    • Coach Tony Holston and Coaches Award Winner Mehar S. ’24

    • Coach Margaret McCulloch and Coaches Award Winner Anyla Z. ’25

    • Coaches Award Winner Beckett M. ’22

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