All posts by Admin

Megan Szawlowski ’16 Commits to Central Connecticut

Her family's love of the sport turned a lacrosse player into a gifted competitor
Photo by Mark Mantegna
Photo by Mark Mantegna

Megan Szawlowski ’16 came as close as you can to being born with a lacrosse stick in her hand. At three days old, she was in her mother’s arms, watching from the sidelines as her siblings sprinted across a lacrosse field.

By the time she could walk, Ms. Szawlowski had graduated to goalie position and was facing the merciless play of her four sisters and one brother—all of whom would go on to play lacrosse at American International College in Springfield.

“They used to throw balls at my head!” laughed Ms. Szawlowski on Wednesday as, surrounded by her beaming family, she signed a National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse at Central Connecticut State’s Division 1 program next year.

Call lacrosse her birthright. In the Szawlowski family, playing the game simply a part of the family fabric. This devotion to the sport can be traced to Ms. Szawlowski’s father, Michael, who played lacrosse in high school. He continued playing during a PG year at Williston Academy in 1979.

“I fell in love with the sport here,” he said. “It was one of the best years of my life.”

Continue reading

Delaney Belinskas ’16 Signs With Boston College

Photo by Mark Mantegna
Photo by Mark Mantegna

When she was 12, the only poster on Delaney Belinskas’ wall was for Boston College.

She had been playing hockey for several years by then, first donning skates in preschool, joining the 12-year-old’s travel team when she was in third grade, and playing through each winter season.

It was an unusual choice for a Floridian, living in what her parents described as the “softball capital of the world.” Yet, when her mother had tried to sign her up for something else—figure skating lessons were an option—Ms. Belinskas held firm. Her big sister, Sydney, was playing hockey and she would, too.

“I had to play with the boys growing up,” Ms. Belinskas said last week. “Coming in [to Williston] as a freshman, everyone was good. I wasn’t used to that.”

On Friday, the senior’s poster choice proved prophetic when she signed a national letter of intent to play with the Division 1 Boston College Eagles. Ms. Belinskas was joined at the ceremony by her teammates Rachel Rockwell ’16, who signed with Providence College, and Morgan Fisher ’16, who signed with the University of Connecticut.

Continue reading

Morgan Fisher ’16 Signs With University of Connecticut

Photo by Mark Mantegna

A few years ago, Morgan Fisher told her father that she had two goals: to play for the University of Connecticut and to be part of the U.S.A. Hockey team.

On Friday evening, as Ms. Fisher signed a national letter of intent to play with the UConn Huskies and finally accomplished that dream, family, friends, and coaches wiped away tears. The absence of her father, who taught her to skate and play, was strongly felt.

“It seems just like yesterday she was looking at this school. It just really flew by,” said her mother, Lisa Fisher. “I know her dad is looking down on her now and is so proud of her.”

Ms. Fisher recalled how her father encouraged her interest in hockey by taking her to early sessions at local rinks. In a recent interview about her training, Ms. Fisher explained that those “stick times” were moments to “have fun and be me.”

Continue reading

Rachel Rockwell ’16 Signs With Providence College

Photo by Chattman Photography

Facing a roomful of family and friends on Friday night, the normally stoic Rachel Rockwell was suddenly overcome by the emotion of the moment.

“I want to thank you all for coming,” she began, and added through tears, “I’m just so happy!”

Almost as one, the entire roomful of hockey players began to laugh and cry along with her. For this tight-knit team, the success of one teammate—or in the case of the Friday night ceremony, the success of three—is a moment of celebration for all.

On Friday, Ms. Rockwell signed a national letter of intent to play with Providence College, a small Division 1 school that both she and her parents described as a “great fit.”

Continue reading

Chloe Harris ’16 Signs With the University of Louisville

Photo by Mark Mantegna
Photo by Mark Mantegna

Chloe Harris ’16 has known from her freshman year at the Williston Northampton School that the University of Louisville was the Division 1 program where she wanted to make her mark as a lacrosse player.

On Saturday, at a special signing ceremony that featured two of her teammates, Ms. Harris made that verbal commitment official, signing a national letter of intent to play with the Cardinals next year.

She said her desire to go to Louisville had remained unchanged over the past four years. If anything, the bond had only gotten stronger.

“The feeling I got right when I walked on campus was unbelievable. I instantly felt at home and never wanted to leave,” she wrote in an email before the ceremony. “The relationship I have built with the other 2016 commits is indescribable. We are all one big family already.”

Continue reading

Rylee Leonard ‘16 Signs With the University of New Hampshire

Photo by Mark Mantegna
Photo by Mark Mantegna

Rylee Leonard ’16 had some doubts about going to boarding school for a post-graduate year. That is, until her mother offered a few key words of encouragement.

“When everyone told me a PG year would be useless, she assured me that it was ultimately my decision to do what I felt was best,” Ms. Leonard wrote in an email. “She proved to me that everything will work out in the end.”

On Saturday, during a special ceremony in Birch Dining Hall, Ms. Leonard’s decision to spend a year at Williston Northampton School appeard to pay off in spades. Joined by two future lacrosse teammates, who were making commitments of their own, Ms. Leonard signed a national letter of intent to the University of New Hampshire.

“We are really excited for her,” said Mrs. Leonard as her daughter put ink to paper. [UNH] “is a wonderful opportunity, and I cannot wait for her to get there and start her collegiate career.”

Continue reading

Athletic Hall of Fame 2015: Katie Coffey ’04


Arguably one of the greatest female athletes to attend Williston Northampton, Katie Coffey excelled in three sports during her six years at the school.

Katie Coffee 2 (1)A four-time letter winner in track, Katie was the New England Champion in the 200m and a bronze medalist in the 100m in her freshman year, earning team MVP honors. At the time of her graduation, she held school records in the 100m, 200m, and 4×100 relay.

Katie earned six varsity letters in basketball and was co-captain in 2003 and 2004, earning all-League honors in 2004 and a Team MVP award.

But it was in soccer that Katie experienced the most success. A five-time MVP, Katie also earned five All-league selections, four all-State honors, and three All-New England selections. This culminated in Katie being named the first girls’ soccer All-American as well as the 2003 Massachusetts Player of the Year and All-East Region selection.

Following graduation, Katie played at Boston College (earning All-Freshman Northeast Region honors) and at Amherst College. She also played for the New England Mutiny of the Women’s Professional Soccer League.

The Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, dinner, and reception were held on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Katie Coffey’s award was presented to her by Michael ’02 and Kelly ’07 Coffey.

Nominate your favorite athlete, team, or coach for the 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame here.



Athletic Hall of Fame 2015: Sue Curry Barnett

All through her long coaching career, Sue Barnett seemed to be one of those people with the amazing ability to be in multiple places at the same time. As a coach, this superpower served her well. Over her 43 years at both Northampton School for Girls and Williston Northampton (from 1967-2011), Sue coached soccer, field hockey, basketball, and softball, to name a few. At NSFG, she often coached two sports at the same time: soccer on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, and field hockey on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Screenshot 2015-05-29 16.25.00In an interview for The Bulletin in 2012, Sue said that what she had loved best about NSFG had been “the kids.”

“I coached, I ran a dorm, I had PE classes,” she said. “I’m still in touch with hundreds [of students]. I’ve seen them grow up, fail, pick themselves up again, succeed, raise families. That’s what I loved from start to finish.”

Sue currently holds the Williston Northampton record for career wins in softball with 85 (54 losses). Even after she stepped down as the head coach, Sue continued to work with the team as an assistant. Even now, she can be spotted cheering the team on from the sidelines.

The Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, dinner, and reception was held on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Sue Barnett’s award was presented to her by the Rev. Mary Conant ’74.

Read Sue’s full acceptance remarks here. 

Nominate your favorite athlete, team, or coach for the 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame here.


Athletic Hall of Fame 2015: 1986 Girls Basketball Team

Led by Coach Ray Brown ’55 (who was inducted into the 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame) and assistant coach Chris Edler, the 1986 girls basketball team posted an 18-3 record. That was en route to capturing the school’s first New England Championship in girls basketball.

The team was led by co-captains Connie Wilson and Mindy McLain Karakula. Missy Babyak was named New England Tournament MVP and Wilson was named all-tournament team.

image003Among the players were three of the top 12 scorers in Williston Northampton girls basketball history: Holly McBurnie Kissane (#6), Babyak (#8), and Wilson (#12). The team’s average margin of victory was almost 18 points.  

In the 1986 yearbook, the team is described as an “experienced and well balanced group of athletes.”

“High scores Missy Babyak and Holly McBurnie teamed with Anne Woomer to form a strong rebounding nucleus. Chris Trinceri, Devra Weisman, and Jen Hatch anchored a bench that was useful in giving the team quality minutes throughout the season.”

The 1986 team consisted of seniors Wilson, McLain Karakula, Trinceri, Weisman Kingman and Lisa Watroba DeVoie; juniors Woomer Bartoszuk, Babyak, McBurnie Kissane, and Penny Duda; and sophomores Jennifer Hatch Gubbins and Sue Colina.

The girls basketball team award will be accepted by Connie Wilson ’86.

The Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, dinner, and reception will be held on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Register to attend here.

Nominate your favorite athlete or team for the 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame here.


Athletic Hall of Fame 2015: Roger Walaszek ’65


Roger Walaszek was such a strong athlete, that when varsity basketball and baseball were not enough of a challenge, he added varsity soccer to the mix. That was while earning academic marks high enough to put him in the Cum Laude Society, too.

Although he only spent two years at Williston Academy, Roger was elected both captain and MVP of the basketball team as a senior, earning All-New England honors. At graduation, Roger was awarded the Denman Cup.

He would continue his basketball career at Columbia University, where he played first on the freshman team, and then for three years at the varsity level. Roger earned All-Ivy League status in his sophomore and junior years and Honorable Mention All-American status as a senior.

Featuring such future NBA stars as Jim McMillan, Dave Newmark, and Heyward Dotson, Roger’s Columbia team was ranked as high as seventh in the nation. Roger was drafted by the NY Knicks of the NBA and the New York Nets of the ABA in 1969, but opted to attend law school instead, and earned his JD from Columbia School of Law in 1973.

Roger Walaszek 6 (1)In 2006, Roger was voted into the New England Hall of Fame, along with another Williston Academy alumnus (Ray Brown ’55). Both of Roger’s daughters, Emily and Rebecca, also attended Williston Northampton School.

The Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony, dinner, and reception was held on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Roger Walaszek’s award was presented to him by Rick Francis.

Nominate your favorite athlete, team, or coach for the 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame here.