On February 3, 2016, four Williston senior athletes signed letters of intent to play college-level sports: Emily MacDonald ’16, of Ludlow, MA, signed to play soccer with Assumption College in Worcester, MA; Caroline Wysocki ’16, of Agawam, MA, signed to play soccer with the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH; Aaron James ’16, of Amherst, MA, signed to play soccer with the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA; and Nick Garofano ’16, of Yorktown Heights, NY, signed to play lacrosse with the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.
“Are sports connected to what’s happening in the classroom?” It was their search for the answer to that question that lead Smith College professors Don Siegel and Sam Intrator to found an innovative, Springfield-based program called Project Coach.
In early December, the two professors, plus two others from their program, brought that question to students at The Williston Northampton School.
“There’s a notion that what’s going on in the playing fields connects to what’s going on in other parts of kids’ lives,” Siegel told the students. “The way to the boardroom leads through the locker room.”
The same question could be applied to the class—a new Williston Scholars program called Sports Studies. Created by Diane Williams, a history and global studies teacher, the course features a large slate of visiting speakers and is designed to give students local examples of “sports being used in a meaningful way to impact people’s lives.”
Soccer is an international pastime and Luma Mufleh has used it as a stepping-stone to foster harmony and order in the lives of Clarkston, Georgia’s refugee children; children who have witnessed the worst of our modern age.
Born in Amman, Jordan, Mufleh moved to Atlanta a year and a half after graduating from Smith College. One day, as she drove down a street in Clarkston, she happened upon a group of young boys playing soccer in the street. “They played without some of the most basic equipment–but they played for the sheer enjoyment of the game–something that reminded [her] of home,” she said.
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I report the passing of a highly respected and beloved member of our community. Al Lavalle, a 13-year employee in our Physical Plant Department, died on Sunday, November 25 after a long battle with colon cancer.
One of Al’s positions on campus was working in The Cage in the Athletic Center. It was there that he had a tremendous impact on Williston students and acquired such a great deal of respect that the yearbook was dedicated to him in 2007. Mr. Lavalle, a lover of athletics and a major presence in local youth sports leagues, bestowed life lessons on Williston students about integrity and treating others with respect. His positive effect on the lives of those in this community will long be felt. Continue reading →
Last year, Eric Yarrows found himself staring at a small white ball, buried in the sand. It was the last hole in the first match of the season for boys varsity golf, and Yarrows was, as golfers put it, “legged in a bunker.” Yarrows squared his shoulders, took his club back and swung. The senior smiled as he remembered how the ball not only got up and out of the bunker, but how that match ended with a score of 36.
That moment came back to mind on Friday, when Yarrows sat down in the Reed Campus Center to sign National Letter of Intent to compete on the NCAA Division II men’s golf team at Florida Southern College. After six years at The Williston Northampton School, Yarrows said he had learned quite a bit from such “buried in sand” moments.
“Be patient in your own life, work hard, and stay focused,” he said. “It’s amazing what you can achieve in life.”