Category Archives: Athletic Awards

Athletic Director Conroy Named to Coaches’ Hall of Fame

Coach Mark Conroy

You could make the case that Mark Conroy’s career began in second grade when he started playing organized football. Throughout his school days, he played the game, captaining his team at Middlebury College, where he earned All East honors and a nod as Honorable Mention All American.

Conroy has spent 33 years coaching (mostly football but also basketball and baseball) at boarding schools, 30 of those serving in the Athletic Director role, as he has at Williston for the last 18 years. He stepped down as football coach at the end of the 2015-16 school year, continuing on as AD. As a fitting tribute to a career devoted to inspiring excellence and modeling leadership for young people, Conroy has been elected to the NEPSFCA Coaches’ Hall of Fame. Continue reading

Athletic Awards for Spring 2017

WIll Folkas and Saul Blain with Mr. Hill and a plaque celebrating a successful lacrosse season

Athletic Director Mark Conroy presented the Athletic Awards during the spring athletic assembly on May 26. The program recognized the individual spring teams that finished their seasons and honored the Class of 2017’s participation in the athletic program. A slideshow celebrated a year in Wildcat Athletics.

See photos of the assembly here. And watch a video made by student Soma Mizobuchi ’17 that summarizes track and field life at Williston!


A small handful of Williston students rode this spring at Fuller Horse Farm in Westhampton under the guidance of Laura Etzel.   The team was led by senior veteran rider Alex Foster.  According to Laura, these athletes showed great determination and dedication in working towards achieving their individual riding and horsemanship goals. Continue reading

Williston Recognizes Fall Athletic Award Winners

Nick Hill '17 who won the NEPSAC All-Star meet and received the “Alan Shaler” Most Valuable Runner award
Nick Hill ’17 who won the NEPSAC All-Star meet and received the “Alan Shaler” Most Valuable Runner award

Athletic Director Mark Conroy took the podium on November 29 to congratulate Williston’s outstanding athletics programs, and to give special recognition to a handful of award winners who excelled during the fall season.

In his opening remarks, Conroy noted that this was the first time in 30 years that he hasn’t coached a team. Citing the athletes’ sportsmanship, spirit, and class on and off the field, Conroy said, “It was a real treat every Wednesday and Saturday to watch you compete.”

Horseback Riding

Conroy recognized four students, Aidenne Alden, Alex Foster, Momoka Oda, and Villard Xu, participants in the school’s horseback riding program, which trains at Fuller Horse Farm in Westhampton under the direction of Laura Etzel.

“Coach Laura Etzel says that the group was a great pleasure to work with, improved tremendously this fall, and are getting close to being able to compete in the spring season,” Conroy said. Continue reading

Williston Athletes Finish Strong

27252799846_5eea5a5137_zAs the school year closes, we’ve been reflecting on what a fine year it’s been for Williston athletics. Five seniors were recently singled out for their accomplishments at the Athletic Awards on May 27 (see photos) and a host of them are headed to colleges where they will continue to compete.  We’ve had senior athletes singled out for honors, including Nick Garofano and Michael Dereus. We had champion softball and tennis teams (the softball team was interviewed on Springfield radio!). That’s what we call finishing strong! Go Wildcats!

25 Williston Athletes Receive New England Honors for Winter Season

winter all stars

Twenty-five Williston student-athletes were honored as New England All-Stars this winter! After a successful season that saw Williston teams win multiple NEPSAC championships, our school is also proud to recognize individuals who have excelled in their sport.  Congratulations to all the Williston athletes below!




Jamaal David ’16 – NEPSAC Class A All-Star – Honorable Mention

Kyle Doucette ’16 – NEPSAC Class A All-Star – Honorable Mention


Matt Folger ’16 – NEPSAC Class A All-Star – Honorable Mention

Samuel Geschickter ’16 – NEPSAC Class A All-Star – Third Team

Chris Hudson ’16 – NEPSAC Class A All-Star – Second Team

Jake Ross ’16 – NEPSAC Class A All-Star – Honorable Mention, NEPSAC Class A Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament



Sarah Marion ’17 – NEPSAC Class B All-Star

Sarah Sullivan ’19 – NEPSAC Class B All-Star



Delaney Belinskas ’16 – All-NEPSAC Division One – First Team

Morgan Fisher ’16 – All-NEPSAC Division One – First Team

Meg Rickard ’16 – All-NEPSAC Division One – Second Team

Rachel Rockwell ’16 – All-NEPSAC Division One – First Team



Devin DeVerry ’17 – NEPSAC Slalom Champion




Sally Alrutz ’19 – 100 Backstroke (1st), 100 Butterfly (2nd), 200 Medley Relay (1st), 400 Freestyle Relay (1st)

Natalie Aquadro ’17 – 100 Breaststroke (2nd), 200 IM (3rd), 200 Medley Relay (1st), 400 Freestyle Relay (1st)

Anabelle Farnham ’18 – 100 Freestyle (2nd), 200 Freestyle (2nd), 200 Medley Relay (1st), 400 Freestyle Relay (1st)

Gabby Mercier ’17 – NEPSAC Champion 1-Meter Dive

Maya Soley ’18 – 500 Freestyle (1st), 200 Medley Relay (1st)

Emily Yeager ’17 – 100 Backstroke (3rd), 400 Freestyle Relay (1st)


Jason Albanese ’20 – 400 Freestyle Relay (3rd)

David Fitch ’17 – 50 Freestyle (1st), 100 Freestyle (1st), 200 Freestyle (1st), 400 Freestyle Relay (3rd)

Calvin Frye ’16 – 200 Freestyle (1st), 400 Freestyle Relay (3rd), 100 Freestyle (3rd)

Chris Lansill ’16 – 200 Freestyle (1st), 400 Freestyle Relay (3rd)

Mark Wei ’17 – 200 Freestyle Relay (1st)



Harrison Winrow ’18 – Class A Tournament Most Falls in Least Time Award

Athletic Awards for Spring 2015

v-softball-vs-deerfield-2015_17299056692_oOn Friday, May 22, Director of Athletics Mark Conroy held the annual spring athletic assembly to recognize the outstanding athletic achievements of the past season and to particularly honor the contributions by members of the Class of 2015. The assembly, which kicks off a weekend of end-of-year ceremonies, culminated in a slideshow of the year in Wildcat Athletics.

Spring highlights included such individual achievements as junior rider Lacey Gillis qualifying for the Regionals; freshman pitcher Jordan Strum throwing a perfect game (facing the minimum of 21 batters in 7 innings) during a softball game against Cushing Academy; and Mike Dereus breaking the school record in the 200 with a time of 21.8 in boys track. Sophomore Alexis Ryan won the NEPSAC discus event with a throw of 106’8”.

Among the team achievements, girls crew placed third in the second varsity four finals of the Lowell Invitational Regatta, and Ultimate won the Northfield Mount Hermon Tournament and the Spirit Award at the Amherst Invitational. Girls varsity tennis had  a first-place finish at the Suffield Invitational Tournament, while girls golf finished the season with the second-best overall record for the team in the 13-year history of Williston’s program. Girls softball advanced to the Class A Tournament, the girls water polo program had such first as a winning record and a NEPSAC playoff berth, and the the varsity girls lacrosse team had another outstanding season, finishing with a 12-2 record.

track-at-new-englands-2015_17850471042_oThe varsity boys lacrosse team, led by Coaches Syfu, Dietrich and Johnson, enjoyed their finest season in 16 years, with a record of 12-3. The boys went 6-0 against Western New England Division II foes to win the league championship for the first time in several years. Co-head Coaches Syfu and Dietrich were recognized with the Division II Mike Fuller Coach of the Year award.

The 4 x 100 relay team of sophomore Rebecca Sundel, junior Sideya Dill, and seniors Lena Gandevia and Gabby Thomas broke the school record with a time of 49.76 on the way to becoming NEPSAC champions for the second consecutive year.

Mr. Conroy singled out senior Gabby Thomas in his remarks, noting “I don’t think it is overstating that Gabby enjoyed one of the finest performances by a track and field athlete in recent NEPSAC history and perhaps all of Williston’s track and field history.” Ms. Thomas capped off an extraordinary Williston career by winning four gold medals at the New England Championships, matching an equally impressive performance last year.  In addition to a gold in the 4 x 100, Ms. Thomas won the 200 meters,  and a gold medal in the Triple Jump (where she setting another NEPSAC meet record of 39’11”). Her best triple jump leap this spring was 40’7”, the fifth-best jump in the country this spring.

Ms. Thomas also won the 100 meter title for the fifth year in a row, breaking her own NEPSAC record with a time of 11.71. This time puts her in the top 20 100 meter times run in the country this spring. For the second consecutive year, Gabby was named the MVP of the NEPSAC championship meet. In recognition of all of her accomplishments at Williston, Mr. Conroy presented her with a special plaque. Ms. Thomas also received a Blanket Award and the Alumnae Bowl, given each year to the top girl in the school’s athletic program.

Continue reading

Athletic Awards Announcement: Winter 2015

16101385964_53f3513003_zThis was a historically strong winter for the Williston Northampton School, with teams winning championships, setting records, and securing personal best times. On Wednesday, March 25, the Williston community came together to honor all of these amazing achievements, and to also recognize the team award winners.

Winter highlights included the boys varsity basketball team securing the NEPSAC Class A tournament title. Coach Mike Shelton was named the NEPSAC Class A Coach of the Year and Ryan Richmond ’15 was named outstanding player of the tournament. Boys skiing also won their NEPSAC championship, securing the title for the first time in 22 years.

The swimming and diving teams had incredible record-breaking seasons. On the boys’ side, David Fitch won a NEPSAC title in the 100 yard freestyle and finished second in the 50 yard freestyle (with the third-fastest time in school history). Gabriella Mercier what was described as the single greatest season in Williston diving history, breaking the school’s dual meet diving record and championship diving record. Sally Alrutz, Natalie Aquadro, Jasmin Movassaghi, and Emily Yeager broke a 15-year old record in the 200 medley relay; Ms. Alrutz, Ms. Aquadro, Ms. Yeager and Anabelle Farnham broke the 400 freestyle relay record by three seconds; and Ms. Alrutz  re-broke her own record in the 100-yard backstroke. She also broke a record in the 100-yard butterfly, and set a new NEPSAC Division 2 record on her way to winning her first NEPSAC title.

ski individualsWrestler and senior captain Sam Atkin had a third place finish at New England’s (after being a sixth seed), while boys squash took second place at the Class C New England Tournament with a first-place overall for Loren Po ’15. Girls squash took third place at the NEPSAC Class C Championship, with senior Hannah King winning three matches to take first place in the #7 flight. The girls also received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.

“Wow, what an incredible winter season it was for Williston Wildcat athletics! As I watched our teams compete all winter, I could not have been prouder,” said Director of Athletics Mark Conroy during the special athletic assembly.

“All of our teams at every level played hard, played together, were very well coached, and represented Williston with tremendous sportsmanship,” Mr. Conroy continued. “I also want to say that I am extremely proud of how we continue to support our teams—it is always with a wonderful combination of enthusiastic school spirit AND great respect for the performance of our opponents!”

“Now, the fact that we won more than our share of games this winter was just icing on the cake for me!” he said. “And, make no mistake about it, we did win more than our share of games in making a fair amount of Williston history.”

Mr. Conroy then gave the brief summaries of all nine winter programs.

Jump to the section on:
Boys Squash
Girls Squash
Boys Swimming and Diving
Girls Swimming and Diving
Boys Hockey
Girls Hockey
Girls Ski Team
Boys Ski Team
Girls Basketball
Boys Basketball

Continue reading

Thomas ’15 Sets New 100 Meter Dash Record

Sophomore Gabby Thomas had another outstanding day at the NEPSAC Division II Track and Field Championships held at Williston Northampton School this past Saturday. Her top finishes earned her All New England recognition in four events, and included a record-setting run.

In the 100 meter dash, she earned her third straight NEPSAC title with a final time of 12.06, breaking the NEPSAC Division II record of 12.31. Hers was equal to the fastest electronically timed 100 meter dash in a NEPSAC championship meet at any level.

Ms. Thomas also had a second place finish in the triple jump with a jump of 36’ 6” and a fourth place finish in the long jump with a leap of 17′ 5″.  Along with teammates Rachel Rockwell ’16, Jen Carellas ’15,  and Lena Gandevia ’15  Ms. Thomas anchored the 4 x 100 relay team that finished in third place.

Ms. Thomas is Williston’s record holder for the long jump, triple jump, and 100 meter dash.

Read the article about her achievement on

Athletic Hall of Fame: 1963 Football Team

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.

Continue reading

Conroy Presents Boyden Award to John Woodside ’13

Editor’s note: On April 7, Williston Northampton’s Director of Athletics Mark Conroy presented the Frank Boyden Award to John Woodside ’13 during the National Football Foundation banquet. The following are Mr. Conroy’s remarks for the event, which was held at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Also receiving recognition were All New England honorees Dylan Arthurs ’13 and Ledell Robinson ’14.

Photo courtesy of Mark Conroy

The Dr. Frank L. Boyden Award is given in honor of the longtime Deerfield Academy headmaster.  The award is given in recognition of outstanding achievement both on the football field and in the classroom by a prep school football player.

This year’s Dr. Frank L. Boyden recipient is a senior at Williston Northampton School.  A native of Amherst, Massachusetts, he has enjoyed a terrific career both on the field and in the classroom.

As a football player, he captained this year’s Williston squad as a two-way end.  Offensively, he was an outstanding blocker at the point of attack, helping the Wildcats average nearly 7 yards per carry this past season.  Defensively, he started at strong side defensive end where he was a team leader in tackles and a league leader in sacks.  In recognition of his excellent play, he was named to the All Colonial League team for the second straight season.  Speaking as his coach, he is everything you would want in a football player – intelligent, tough as nails, unselfish, and extremely dependable.

Beyond his playing exploits on the gridiron, he has also been a standout at Williston both as a student and as a citizen.  Taking a very challenging academic course load he has consistently earned High Honors with over a 92 average.  In the last three years, he has had only two final grades below 90!  This fall his course load included five AP and Honors classes.  True to form he received straight As!  In addition to his accomplishments above, he has made his mark in many, many other ways at Williston serving in numerous leadership roles throughout his years.

Next fall, he will be attending Colby College in Maine where he hopes to continue his success both on and off the football field  It is with great pleasure that I award the 2013 Dr. Frank L. Boyden Award to John Woodside.