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ST Awards - Spring Track '07
Dedicated to the one . . .
The year was 1970, the world was in turmoil and I was a high school senior running and jumping for North Attleboro. There was unrest on college campuses (UCONN shut down early). The big issues were the Vietnam War and drugs, drugs, drugs. This was the Woodstock generation.
Music was the prevalent media. Albums ran at 33.3 RPMs and singles at 45 RPMs. The oldies could still be found as 78's.
The message was in the music. We listened to Simon and Garfunkel, The Guess Who, The Jackson 5, Three Dog Night, Stevie Wonder, Badfinger, Rare Earth, Pacific Gas and Electric and BJ Thomas. Now those were singers. Lyrics were classic. For example, half the top 100 songs of the year had the word ain't in either the title or chorus (He Ain't Heavy, Ain't No Mountain High Enough).
As Tyrone Davis intoned that year, “Turn Back the Hands of Time.” Now it is time for you to roll back the clock, put on your bell bottoms, drape an arm around your "flower child" and dedicate one of the Top-100 songs of 1970 to your favorite athlete.
Dedicated to the best Captain in the league
"Ride Captain Ride" by Blues Image
Ride, captain ride upon your mystery ship
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship
On your way to a world that others might have missed
It takes an awesome leader who dares to lead the way
With athletes of this century that balk most every day
At being told that often, it takes some sacrifice
And think of dedication more often as a vice
But the Hockomock was filled with leaders that had drive
Beyond the ordinary to keep team's hopes alive
I really am surprised not more were nominated
Though if your name's not here it doesn't mean that you were hated
The two I'd like to recognize are Hennessey and Booth
Who led first by example then telling teams the truth
That the journeys much more fun when everyone's on board
Under Tooti and Lindsey both red and blue teams soared
Thanks for leading your teams along a wonderous trip
Next year it will be strange without you on the ship
Dedicated to the most cohesive relay team
United We Stand – Brotherhood of Man
For united we stand, divided we fall
And if our backs should ever be against the wall
We'll be together, together, you and I
Year after year there's two things for certain with girls' relays.
North Attleboro will have a great 4 X 100M and Franklin will have a great 4 X 400M.
Each takes cohesiveness.
Great quarter milers have to push each other in practice. With coach Travato providing the incentive, his charges get the job done. Sure there's always a blue-chipper in the mix. But the Kathleen Ryans, Meredith Leenhouts and Maurica Carluccis of the world can't do it alone. They need quality runners to fill out the relays and Franklin always has quite a stable of thouroughbreds.
North's 4X1 isn't a Johnny-come-lately either. NA has produced state champions in this event three times. They have been to the New Englands for the last eight consecutive years. That not only takes speed, but just as importantly, solid handoffs. I swear these runners sleep with the relay baton. Everyone wants to join the crew and once in its like the mafia. Nobody quits!
Dedicated to the most unique individual in the league
Thank You (for letting me be mice elf), Sly and the Family Stone
eyes of people fear, burnin' into you
Itai Stein vs. Tim Keefe
Now that's apples and oranges. They aren't alike. Then again, no one is ever going to be like either.
Itai is a track caricature. His heart is bigger than life and his hair is redder than most tracks. An artist could have a field day.
Keefe is the man of many hats. And I don't just mean the funny ones he wears. He's an outstanding athlete, a team leader and one of the most outgoing athletes.
These two never sell out. But they're shipping out to new venues.
Who's going to be the next Hock jock to rock? Can anyone fill their socks?
Dedicated to the league's top phenom (outstanding newcomer)
"We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters
Sharing horizons that are new to us,
Watching the signs along the way,
Talking it over just the two of us,
Working together day to day Together.
"Double-D" is definately the winner - and I mean Davidner-Deininger. These two frosh cover the two ends of the spectrum.
Deininger was skilled enough to make the state finals in hurdles and fast enough to anchor a sub-50 4X100M relay, making her first appearance in the New Englands. She also TJ'd 32'10". NA benefitted from her 77 points as well.
Davidner has youthful exhuberance, unlimited endurance and "big meet" poise. No wonder she's already considered untouchable in the Hock.
And the Christy and Jenna show is just getting started.
Dedicated to a senior going on to bigger and better things
"No Time" The Guess Who
time left for you
How can you argue with any of the nominees.
Does anyone really think that we've seen the best of Sam Bastien, Stephanie McNamara or Ryan Collins. They've had great high school careers and guess what - you ain't seen nothing yet. The Hockomock League is going to be very proud to say, "I remember them when . . "
Dedicated to the most outstanding performance of the season
"Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time): by The Delfonics
Didn't I blow your mind this time, didn't I, oh
Meghan Ferreira was pretty formidable all year and her last jump win at Hocks was the stuff of legend. Canton's and KP's 4X4's have some bragging rights with breakthru performances, and Foxboro girls 4X1 at Hocks was NA's first Hock Championship 4X1 loss in that event in nearly a decade.
But I've got to go with Nick Wade on this one. He blew everyones mind including those of his coaches. After leading on the last lap backstretch, four runners passed him. If he doesn't make a move he might not even place.
But the leader drifts out, the chasers follow him, and like the parting of the Red Sea Nick suddenly got an unobstructed view of the promised land. He found another gear and drove straight to the finish line, a totally unexpected win and a huge PR of 1:55+.
Admit it - he blew your mind!
Saturday's are for big meets. Who hops on the bus ready to rock!!
Dedicated to the athlete who steps it up in the big meets
"Come Saturday Morning" by the Sandpipers
Just I and my friend (my friend)
We'll travel for miles in our Saturday smiles
And then we'll move on
But we will remember long after Saturday's gone
Call them "big-timers."
The talent is simmering below the surface. You know its there. What you don't know is that its about to boil over.
Saturday provides just enough heat to make these two explode. Who am I talking about?
How about Michelle Sirois and Tom King. Long after Saturday's gone there will be memories of just how big these two stepped it up at states.
Tom had a series of throws at finals that others only dream about. All 6 at were over his previous PR including a school record 52'7.5"
Michelle just kept getting faster. For now, she's the Hockomock queen of the oval. Maybe someday someone will catch her off-guard during the week (probably not). But on Saturday - forgetaboutit!
Dedicated to the athlete you'd most like to change places with
"Walk a Mile in My Shoes" by Joe South
Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes
And before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Walk a mile in my shoes, shoes.
There's a long line forming. It is full of people who would like to walk in Ryan's shoes for a day.
That is - Ryan Collins and Kathleen Ryan.
Both have talent galore and the notoriety that goes with it. Which would you rather do?
#1. Run a 9:06 deuce at nationals and then head off to make a name for yourself at college.
#2. Be the go-to girl on Franklin's 4X4, sucessfully run any distance from the 100M to the two-mile (or 3.1M if you count XC) and still have two years of high school left.
Dedicated to the athlete who overcame the biggest obstacles
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (to keep me from gettin to you) by Diana Ross
There's a saying.
"If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"
Well life gave all three of our nominees a brick, so they made a brick house! OK, that's not a very good analogy but I tried. And that's what these three did even after big setbacks. They just kept trying.
Liz Malone adjusted her form and attitude to compensate for a knee that will never fully recover. Result - back-to-back league championships. How many athletes with two good legs are still struggling to get a 100' throw. Liz did it nearly every meet.
Paul Matz ankle was shattered as a sophomore - but not his hopes or dreams. His bionic ankle makes him a hit everytime he goes through the metal detector when boarding a plane. But as an athlete he flew higher than most, becoming a Hock All-Star in Cross Country, Indoor Track and Spring Track his senior year.
Derek Ricci (Fx) - There's nothing worse for a distance runner than being told you can't run. But Derek found his outlet in javelin and became a spear-chucker. There are hunters and gatherers. Derek is a hunter.
Dedicated to the most spirited athlete
"Spirit in the Sky" bt Norman Greenbaum
I wish I knew some of the other nominees better. But I'm not sure it would have mattered. DJ got more attention for this award than anyone else received for any other category. Here's what they said about her (and not just her own teammates).
DJ Lamousnery- DJ loves track. There's no other way to put it. She has so much energy during meets and her smile lights up the track! I've never seen someone who took so much pride in wearing her teams colors. She practically wore our track sweatshirts everyday just to show how much she cared for her team!!
DJ Lamousnery- She eats, sleeps, and runs track. This girl loves the sport and I expect many visits from her next year. I truly believe it was Djerica's leadership and heartfelt pep talks before the meets that motivated our team.
DJ Lamousnery - Who loves the sport and her team more than Djerica? Nobody!
DJ... shes very supportive of other teams and defently has team spirit
D.J. Lamousnery (NA). Her actions speak louder than words.
Here's what I have to say on the matter. DJ wears her heart on her sleeve. She loves her team, she loves track and she loves everyone in the Hockomock. And she'll let you know it. There's only once in the three years since moving to NA that I didn't see her smile. It was day #2 of the Heptathlon and she was uncharacteristically quiet. Why? It was her last day wearing the red and white.
Dedicated to the undiscovered athlete who will someday amaze
"Give Me Just a Little More Time" by Chairman of the Board
Give ME just a little more time as well! The proof is in the pudding. Next year there will be an automatic STAward if any of the following athletes wins an event at Hocks or sets a school record. I have already seen some special qualities in everyone named.
Gabrielle DaCosta (O.A) her performance at the State Heptathlon was a great way to introduce her athletic and track talent.
Katie Czepiel- This girl works so hard but seems to be held back by injuries every season. However, when she races, she'll run until she passes out. She has so much heart and I know her enthusiasm for the sport will take her far. I can't wait to see her success because she deserves it more than anyone else! She is so sweet and I know she will definitely breakthrough in the upcoming seasons!
Mary Cole (FR) This girl beat the Freshman mile record and I'm sure she will be breaking more. She is the girl you see coming past you in the last 200 meters of the race to out kick you. She managed to get 3rd in the Hock for the mile in her first season, watch out!
McVay (KP) - many of her best times and performances were in relays
so she doesn't get the attention she would in the open events. Stepped
up in the Hock meet to get 2nd in the 300m hurdles, beating several
girls who were ranked ahead of her. Sky's the limit!
Mary Cole. (Franklin) I'm pretty sure that not many people have heard this name before. But they will definitely be hearing a lot more of it next year and in the next three years. She is consistently great- running a 5:33, 5:32, and 5:29 this season. She captured the Franklin freshman mile record. She was also a member of the 4x8 team more than once because she could be counted on for a strong performance.
Max Nolan (N) - Max is seriously about to erupt. I'd expect a few heads to turn next year in cross country to ask, "Who's that North runner?!". I'd gladly tell them who he is along with his PRs. Breaking 5 minutes in the mile this season was a huge barrier that he simply smashed through. I wouldn't mind see him leading the team in 3 years. Good to know that North has some freshmen that will carry the torch.
Katie Czepiel- Katie has been injured most of the season but I know when she is healthy she will amaze people. Her hard work and dedication to the sport is just an indication of how great she will be.
Dedicated to the funniest athlete
"Make Me Smile" by Chicago
First of all, almost no one makes me laugh at a track meet. I'm too serious and I know it. But Kate Beksha makes me laugh. Whether she's wearing her shades indoors or trying to taunt me about the 4X4, I just think she's a riot.
Now, ditto Carolyn Udall. Sometimes I laugh with her, and sometimes at her. Who else tries to high jump with a stiff neck, or gets a microscopic spike wound that incapacitates for a week. Then she places third in both the LJ and 200M at Hocks as a sophomore. I doubt the competition was laughing about that.
Nicole Matte and Brad Willox fly under my radar screen in the comedy arena. So I propose a head-to-head "Last Comic Standing" between the two of them. Wait a minute! I seem to remember Nicole putting on a routine at our team "dance down" that rivals Mr. Herber. And now I find out Brad dresses that way to be funny. I just thought he liked short shorts. Those two get "honorable mention".