“He was always quick with a smile, a hearty hello, and a word of encouragement,” wrote Peter Kostos ’87 in his nomination. “He was also, at least to many of us who played for him, a surrogate parent, somebody we could trust and come to with a problem, concern, or question that we felt we could not ask somebody else.”
Coach Ray Brown, who was known to heft more than a few victory cups in his time, has been inducted into not one, but two halls of fame. Both were nods to his long, winning records as the boys soccer coach (1965-1993) and girls basketball coach (1976-2002).
After attending Williston Academy as a post-graduate with the Class of 1955, Coach Brown played soccer and basketball at Kenyon College. He returned to Williston in 1959, where he would remain for the next 43 years.
Coach Wilmot “Babs” Babcock certainly knew how to win, accumulating an astounding 341-47-2 record over the course of 20 years. After starting the Williston swimming program in 1951, Coach Babcock took the team to 15 New England Championships — 11 of them in a row. This legacy also produced 15 national prep champions.
“This one’s a no-brainer. Just looking at Bab’s record speaks volumes by itself,” wrote Paul Doty ‘64, one of Mr. Babcock’s former swimmers. “But what you may not know is how advanced he was for his time. We were doing pulley weights before Doc Councilman at Indiana was!”
The 1963 football team had a perfect 7-0 record under the leadership of Coach Rick Francis and captains Dick Buckley ‘64 and Bob Montgomery ‘64. In the first undefeated (and untied) season since 1895, the Williston Academy team was the highest scoring prep team in New England.
Before recognizing the nine fall programs and their accomplishments over the past season, Director of Athletics Mark Conroy took a moment to honor Al Lavalle, who worked in the Physical Plant Department for 3 years and in The Cage at the Athletic Center for a decade.
“Al had an incredibly profound impact on everyone who knew him,” said Conroy. “With all due respect to all of us who work with students on a regular basis here, no one in our community impacted more students than Al during those 10 years.”
Conroy then announced the following highlights and individual award winners. The award winners were also recognized during fall sports team night on November 16.
“I wanted to thank all of those of you who wore the blue and green this fall for competing so hard and so well,” Conroy said. “Your sportsmanship was outstanding.”
Freshman Gabby Thomas set a new school record in the triple jump on Wednesday with a leap of 35′ 6″. The previous record of 33′ 10″ was held by Annie Huyler ’08. Thomas, who is the defending NEPSAC Div. II 100 meter champion, also won the high jump and 100 meter dash and was a member of the winning 4×100 relay team in the team’s win over Cheshire Academy.
Bridget Instrum ‘12
A tri-captain of the girls’ varsity lacrosse team, Bridget has started the season fast scoring nine goals in the team’s season opening 20-8 win over a strong Hotchkiss team. Bridget followed this up by scoring five goals in the team’s 9-3 win over Wilbraham & Monson.
Michael Grassi ‘12
Mike is off to a great start to the baseball season. In the team’s opener against Wilbraham & Monson he had three hits and five RBI including a walk-off grand slam to win the game in the bottom of the seventh. Mike is a consistent hard worker in practice and leads by example.
Two Wildcat competitors earned first place finishes at the Division II New England Swimming and Diving Champions held at Westminster School on Saturday. Andrew Spruck ’12 was the champion in the Boys 1-Meter Diving competition with a score of 285.15, while Natalie Aquadro ’17 won the Girls 200 Freestyle with a time of 2:03.45 and finished 4th in the 100 Breaststroke. Other top eight finishers for Williston include Samantha Fry – 6th in the 100 Breaststroke, Tory Durocher – 8th in 1-Meter Diving, Michael Tanner – 2nd in 1-Meter Diving, Calvin Frye – 5th in 500 Freestyle and Matt Freire – 100 Butterfly.
The girls’ hockey team’s season ended with a 2-1 loss in overtime to Lawrence Academy on Saturday evening in the semi-final round of the NEPSAC Tournament. After a scoreless first two periods, Lawrence took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jaclyn Gordon at the 9:58 mark. Williston fought back to tie the game with 5:41 remaining on a goal by Alex Starzyk ’13 with assists going to Sam Fallon ’12 and Alicia Barry ’14. Continue reading
The girls’ hockey team advanced to the semi-final round of the NEPSAC Division I Tournament with a thrilling 6-0 victory over Winchendon School. Continue reading