Matt Santos ’17
Welcome to the 1st article of the new Rubble article series, “Athlete of the Month.” The criteria for the winners was based on the following characteristics: dedicated leadership, outstanding performance, demonstrating sportsmanship, and being a great teammate. A special thanks to the coaches for making this article possible, and congratulations to the winners!
Track Athlete of April: Patrick Mullen
Coach Tom Hoch says, “Patrick Mullen was chosen as the athlete of the month in spring track and field. This award is for both his qualitative and quantitative improvement. Qualitatively, Patrick has been a great team player, supporting the other runners and becoming a leader when it comes to setting the example of a sustained strong effort. Quantitatively, Patrick has shown the largest improvement of any runner, decreasing his time in the mile down to 6:54. This is a 31% improvement over his time in the mile from last year. If you think about any aspect of your life and imagine being 31% better, you will start to comprehend the magnitude of this accomplishment. The coaching staff congratulates Patrick and thanks him for his strong contribution to the team.”
Soccer Athlete of April: Natalie Hobbs
Coach Garry Chandler says, “Natalie Hobbs has launched herself into the thick of the girls soccer attacking scheme with a brilliant stretch of nine goals over five games. The hard-working sophomore forward has shown a knack for being in the right place at the right time, whether finishing off runs to the back post or volleying crosses into the back of the net. This season, Hobbs has proven just as capable of starting an attacking run as finishing one. With the flexibility to play on either side of the field, her presence on the front line, and the way she gets teammates involved in the attack, she has helped inspire a sense of belief in the young Hillers team.”
“Natalie is a perceptive player,” said coach Garry Chandler. “She is developing a real sense for finding the breakdown in the opponent’s defense, and she has the creativity capability to exploit the advantage in different ways.”
Baseball Athlete of April: Harry Quimby
Coach Billy Cannon says, “The baseball teams’ player of the month is junior Harry Quimby. His leadership, quality play both in games and during practice sessions and his desire to win have been paramount to the team’s success this season. Offensively, Harry is leading the team in batting average (.500), with 21 hits, extra base hits (3 doubles and 2 triples) and runs batted in (12). Defensively, Harry has allowed only 9 stolen bases and has thrown out 5 baserunners trying to steal. He truly is a leader on the team.”
Boys Lacrosse Athletes of April: Dougie McCoy, Michael Gianforcaro, and Noah Thomas
Coach Brad duPont says, “It is difficult to identify only one player who has been our most valuable. In April, our team began to gel and play as one unselfish and disciplined unit. Dougie McCoy and Michael Gianforcaro have had outstanding games over these last three weeks, but Noah Thomas has been the most instrumental in defeating 3 ranked opponents. Noah shut down the best player on Friends, Delaware Military Academy, and Appoquinimink and cleared the ball effectively from our defensive end. Noah’s dominant performance on the defensive half of the field has given our offense more scoring opportunities.”
Boys Tennis Athletes of April: Drew Manning, James Fleming, and Spencer Johnson
Coach Deanna Nagy says, “We have a young men’s tennis team at TH that handles everything they do with class. There is a very high level of play up and down the roster: however, for the month of April our 3 singles players equally deserve to share the title of “Athlete of the Month”.
Beginning with Drew Manning, our first singles player, his record was outstanding losing one three-set very close match to one of the strongest players in the state. It is notable because as Drew proved so brilliantly, it’s not the loss that is important, it’s what you do following that loss. Drew roared back beating that same player with, as they say in Boston, a “wickedly” strong counterpunch. Drew, a junior, has the demeanor of Roger Federer in matches, is gracious to all his opponents, and is a mentor on the practice court encouraging the new players on the team. He leads with his play, his sportsmanship and his team building contributions.
James Fleming’s record in April is flawless. He remained undefeated. At no. 2 singles he exhibited his strongest play to date in this his third year on the team. His remarkable volleying and relentlessly penetrating groundstrokes dispatched all his opponents. His superior sportsmanship comes across in every match. His patience and generosity in practices and helping and pushing his teammates is also part of his daily presence.
Spencer Johnson, Captain and 3rd singles player, was also undefeated in April. Spencer begins every match with a welcoming smile and a genuine interest in his opponents. When play begins he never loses that affable manner but adds to it his iron will to win. He is a player and captain that reaches out to all the team members every day, makes the most of his practice time, and always makes a positive impact in every way possible.
These three players never failed to bring it in every match and practice. On big days, they are there. Every match has its unique problems, and these players are consummate problem solvers. All three tennis coaches strongly endorse these players as “tennis athletes of the month.”
Girls Tennis Athlete of April: Lexi Butler
Coach Wendy Berkover says, “My choice for the girls tennis team’s athlete of the month is Lexi Butler. She is our team’s captain and leads by example. Lexi is our number 1 singles player. She is always inclusive to all the girls on the team and is always there with encouragement. She is one of the most mentally tough girls I have ever coached. I have had the pleasure of coaching Lexi for five years, and she has always exhibited outstanding sportsmanship. Her team nominated her for the sportsmanship award, and they all look up to her.”
Golf Athlete of April: Danny Dougherty
Coach Kathy Franklin says, “Hard to choose because there are a bunch of players who have been playing lights-out, and are very good sportsmen/women! However, golf coaches choose Danny Dougherty as the athlete of the month. He is one of our captains; he is humble, and he demonstrates excellent sportsmanship. He is a quiet leader and very responsible, receptive and extremely gracious.”
Girls Lacrosse Athletes of April: Kiera Wendel, Gretchen Zungailia, Jade Olurin, Louise Conaty, Laura Taschner, Elena Attix and Ellie Wakefield
Coach Wiz Applegate says, “The girls’ lacrosse defensive unit consisting of Kiera Wendel, Gretchen Zungailia, Jade Olurin, Louise Conaty, Laura Taschner, Elena Attix and goalie Ellie Wakefield merit the “athletes of the month” designation. When actively communicating and working as one, these players are tough to beat. With Ellie Wakefield serving as the trusted quarterback and anchor, opposing scorers have been readily shut down. Tenacious and unselfish play characterize this group.”
Note: All winners chosen by the coaches of their respective teams.