We gather today to celebrate new inductees into Williston’s Athletic Hall of Fame at the end of what has been another wonderful year for Williston athletics. Here is just a sampling of the many highlights of this past year:
A field hockey player who made the prestigious National Field Hockey Association All Region team, a record setting performance by a defensive end who also earned the Boyden Award given to the top prep football scholar-athlete in western MA, a winter season in which, for the first time in our school’s history, every winter team qualified for NEPSAC championship tournaments, boys and girls squash teams that both earned the Sportsmanship Award at their respective championships, a four time MVP of the girls ski team who ended her career by winning the Slalom race at the NEPSAC championship, a girls hockey team that made it all the way to the championship game for the first time ever, a girls basketball team that made it to the championship game for the first time in 32 years, a girls swim team that has rewritten almost every school record on its way to its third consecutive NEPSAC championship, a softball pitcher who has recently surpassed the incredible milestone of 500 strikeouts in her career, a tremendous three year run by our boys golf team winning nearly 50 matches over that stretch, a girls water polo team enjoying unprecedented success in our school’s history the last two springs!
It is also worth noting that a remarkable FOUR recent graduates have made a name for themselves (and Williston!) on the national stage by being named college All Americans this year – Springfield College sophomore Jake Ross ‘16 led his school to its first ever Final Four while being the only sophomore in the country to be named a Division III All American; Bentley wide receiver Austin Ryan ‘17 was named a Division II All American in football for his incredible freshman year performance; UMass soccer player Davis Smith ‘16 was one of only two freshman in the country to be named to the NCAA Division 1 All American soccer team; and Harvard junior Gabby Thomas ‘15 continues to make a name for herself on the national track and field stage by being named an All American for a remarkable fifth time this winter. She accomplished this in style by breaking a 10 year old NCAA Division 1 record in winning the Indoor 200 meter title. Pretty amazing!
Additionally, I think it is worth noting that we have 41 members of the class of 2018 – over 30% of the class — that will be competing in college next year – a testament to the strength of our program. In short, it has a been another tremendous year for the record books, which brings me back to the reason we are all gathered here today….to celebrate some of the athletes who came before our current students and have left their marks on Williston athletic history.