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NEPSAC News ®

NEW ENGLAND PREPARATORY SCHOOL ATHLETIC COUNCIL

In Her Element: Berkshire School’s Jennifer Stafford focuses on untold stories WINTER 2020–2021


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NEPSAC News NEPSAC

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New England Preparatory School Athletic Council

In this issue

President George Tahan Belmont Hill School Vice-President Martha Brousseau Greenwich Academy

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14

23

27

Coaches, teachers and friends mourn Travis Roy

Secretary Ryan Frost Cardigan Mountain School Treasurer Jim Smucker Berwick Academy Co-Directors of Championships Lisa Joel Phillips Andover Academy Bob Howe Deerfield Academy Jamie Arsenault New Hampton School

Filmmaker Jennifer Stafford tells athletes’ stories

Director of Classifications Mark Conroy Williston Northampton School Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lamar Reddicks Milton Academy Past Presidents Bob Howe Deerfield Academy Jamie Arsenault New Hampton School Mark Conroy Williston Northampton School Richard Muther St. Paul’s School Middle School Representatives Amber Kuntz Beaver Country Day School Rob Feingold The Fay School District I Representatives Stefan Jensen Hyde School Nan Hambrose Kents Hill School District II Representatives Matt Lawlor Brewster Academy Tara Brisson Tilton School Ryan Frost Cardigan Mountain School District III Representatives Rob Quinn Berwick Academy Betsy Kennedy Pingree School Jen Viana Cushing Academy Rick Forestiere Thayer Academy District IV Representatives Geoff Barlow Avon Old Farms School Rob Madden Taft School John Egan Christian Heritage School Tauni Butterfield Greens Farms Academy Communications Specialist Laurie Sachs The Rivers School “NEPSAC” and the NEPSAC logo are registered trademarks of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council and may not be used or displayed without permission. New England Preparatory School Athletic Council qualifies as a public charity under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).

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Exeter alumni bubble along in NBA

30 33

Duncan Robinson’s NBA path begins at Exeter

 ebbie and Dave Coratti D through the years at TrinityPawling  eet 3Point Foundation’s M Neil Jacobs

37 41

Three NEPSAC facilities earn awards

P rep Baseball Coaches on their Mentors A ndover Alumni in Major League Baseball on the 2020 Season

Departments 4 Around NEPSAC

10 Laurels

42 #ICYMI

ON THE COVER: Jennifer Stafford directs Red Bull Media House’s film “Change of Pace,” about Hilary Knight’s fight for equality in women’s ice hockey. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Stafford.

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 3


AROUND NEPSAC

President’s Letter George Tahan Belmont Hill School

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hile the transition to the winter season is always an exciting time of year, I know this year’s transition finds all of us in unchartered waters as we all try to figure out what our winter seasons will ultimately look like. It suffices to say, the ongoing pandemic continues to create both anticipated and unanticipated challenges. At NEPSAC, thus far this year we have taken on the challenge of providing our membership with continuing professional growth opportunities, access to vendors that support NEPSAC, and meeting the myriad of administrative challenges and issues that have been created during this unprecedented year. In the area of professional growth, I hope those that attended enjoyed our first two webinars of the year. They included a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Webinar on October 10th and a Social Media For Athletic Departments Webinar on December 10th. At the DEI Webinar, we introduced NEPSAC’s first Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Coordinator, Lamar Reddicks, and welcomed him to the NESPAC Executive Board. We anticipate offering at least two more webinars during the remainder of the year. Special thanks to the presenters of those webinars, who came from a number of our member schools, for offering their expertise in these important and timely topics. The loss of our in person Annual Meeting has created a number of challenges, including our ability to gather with one another, which has always included the opportunity for all of us to visit face to face with the myriad of vendors that support NEPSAC. These vendors support NEPSAC year in and year out and provide all of us with countless choices for all of our program needs. This year a group of our most loyal vendors helped us to put together a NEPSAC Buyers Guide to support member schools and NEPSAC during this challenging time. I hope you have found our inaugural NEPSAC Buyers Guide useful and hope you will continue to patronize these loyal vendors. Finally, we held our virtual annual NEPSAC Business meeting on November 17th. Thanks to BSN Sports for sponsoring the meeting and providing us with the platform to be able to hold the meeting. As we do every year at our business meeting, we honored one of our own by presenting Dave Godin with our Distinguished Service Award. Dave served as AD at Suffield Academy from 2002 to 2012 and NEPSAC President from 2011-2012. The Martin William Souders Memorial Award was awarded to Becky Dowling Calder, a 1994 graduate of Phillips Andover and the US Naval Academy in 1998. Ms. Calder is the first female graduate of US Navy Fighter Weapon’s School (Top Gun) and was an active duty Navy pilot for 14 years, serving aboard the aircraft carriers USS George Washington during Operation Enduring Freedom and USS

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Harry Truman in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. We look forward to honoring both award winners in person at next year’s Annual Meeting. The business meeting saw us also touch upon the following:

Welcome New Member Schools Full Members District 3 - Cambridge Montessori District 4 - Greenwich Country Day School; The Bement School New Associate Members District 3 - Wyoming Seminary; Academy at Penguin Hall District 4 - American School for the Deaf Jeff Nadeau, the Head Athletic Trainer and Assistant AD at St. George’s School was recognized for his three years of service as the Chair of NEPSAC Sports Medicine Advisory Council (SMAC). The new Vice Chair of SMAC will be Amy Wiggins, Athletic Trainer at Phillips Andover and the new Chair of SMAC will be Samantha Wall, the Head Athletic Trainer at Groton School. Bylaw Update – Additional Language Regarding Lawsuits The Executive Board passed a measure to have NEPSAC’s legal council draft language to be added to the NEPSAC Bylaws that provides that should a member school sue NEPSAC and be unsuccessful in their suit, they would be responsible for all costs and attorney’s fees associated with the suit. The Executive Board voted unanimously to cancel all NEPSAC winter championships for the 2020-21 season in light of the ongoing pandemic. The Executive Board also voted unanimously to extend the expanded out of season contact policy from the fall season to the winter and spring seasons. As was the case in the fall, the reasoning behind the measure was to provide schools with maximum flexibility as they consider their athletic offerings during the ongoing pandemic.

In closing, I know we all cannot wait to put 2020 in the rearview mirror as we race toward the start of 2021. I want to thank all of you for the work you have done, and continue to do, in support of your school’s athletic program during these incredibly challenging times. I know I share everyone’s hope that the end to this pandemic will be coming sooner than later and we can all get back to providing athletic opportunities for students at our schools as we did prior to the pandemic. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and I wish you a healthy and happy new year! Sincerely, George Tahan NEPSAC President

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AROUND NEPSAC

2020 NEPSAC Buyers Guide

NEPSAC Calendar Note: All meetings are subject to change based on COVID-19 regulations and may be held via Zoom.

JANUARY 12 | Executive Board Remote (8:00 a.m.) 26 | District III TBD (11:00 a.m.)

FEBRUARY 4 | District II TBD (9:00 a.m.) 16 | Executive Board Remote (8:00 a.m.) 23 | District I Hebron Academy (10:00 a.m.)

APRIL 1 | Middle Schools Fay School (10:00 a.m.) 15 | Remote Business Meeting at TBD 20 | District III TBD (11:00 a.m.) 29 | District II TBD (9:00 a.m.)

MAY 4 | Executive Board at TBD (8:00 a.m.) 18 | District I Hebron Academy (10:00 a.m.)

Got news to share with other NEPSAC schools? Send the details to communications@nepsac.org and we’ll put it in the next issue.

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e are proud to present the first-ever NEPSAC Buyers Guide featuring vendors that support NEPSAC and typically attend our Annual Meeting each year. We hope you will consider using the vendors that supported this effort when making your purchases throughout the year. Thank you!

COMMUNICATIONS NOTE The NEPSAC AD email list is updated throughout the year. Please remember to check for the most recent version before sending an email blast. You will find it in the Athletic Directors section of the NEPSAC website. www.nepsac.org

TREASURER’S REPORT Online Payments and Bank Transfers by Jim Smucker, Berwick Academy, NEPSAC Treasurer

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eminder: NEPSAC Dues were to be paid by Oct. 15, 2020. Failure to pay for these dues may impact your membership for the 2021/2022 school year. Please comply as soon as possible. Pay Online: nepsac.cr3.rschooltoday.com/public/home Note: For sports that collected Coaches Association dues for the 2020–2021 school year and did not have a season, these dues will be applied to the 2021–2022 season.

Online Payment Account:

For efficiency and to help with our record keeping, we ask that you only create one online account per school. NEPSAC will continue transferring Coaches’ Association dues for the 2020-2021 season.

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 5


AROUND NEPSAC

From the Archives Like many NEPSAC schools, Cheshire Academy has had different names over the years.


AROUND NEPSAC

Lakes Region League Credits Unprecedented Collaboration for Great Fall Season

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he COVID-19 pandemic certainly slowed down the world in 2020 — and brought the sports world to a halt. Studentathletes wondered what their seasons would look like, if they even happened at all. Over the course of the summer, as Brewster and other boarding schools were trying to figure out plans to safely reopen, their athletic departments were devising ways to have interscholastic athletics responsibly. Brewster, along with other Lakes Region schools — New Hampton, St. Paul’s, Holderness, Proctor, Tilton, Vermont Academy, and Kimball Union — all competed in a seven-week fall season. Notably, it was the only independent school league to do so this year. The schools competed in soccer, field hockey, cross country, mountain biking, and (for some) football. Competitions were held on weekends only and the season was shortened, but as the season concluded last week, it was deemed a success by all. “Putting the season together took a lot of planning and organizing, but it was definitely worth it,” noted Brewster’s Director of Athletics Matt Lawlor. “As a league, we had a plan and put protocols in place in order to keep everyone safe the best we could, and it was great to see it all come together!” The plan rolled out in three phases. The first phase was holding practices with masks on and non-contact drills while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Phase two introduced contact drills and allowed for practices to run longer. Phase three brought in full-fledged practices that allowed players to remove masks when competing on the field (coaches, officials, and players on sidelines had masks on at all times). These phases spanned four weeks, so by the first weekend in October, the Lakes Region League kicked off its season, ending fall sports the weekend of November 14. Of course, throughout the season, symptom checks and COVID-19 testing were front and center, along with strict precautions on dedicated, disinfected changing spaces for visiting teams. Perhaps the hardest restriction for parents was the no outside spectators rule. To help soften that blow, schools tried their best to livestream games and share game day photos with visiting teams. “I was just so impressed with how the League came together and followed the protocols so we could all have the season,” said Lawlor of this unprecedented collaboration brought on by the pandemic. “And I was incredibly proud of the Brewster players and coaches who stuck to the plan. It was not easy at times, but the time put in was worthwhile. Lawlor, who, along with Head of School Craig Gemmell, was lauded by many coaches for leading the charge on a safe season of play at Brewster’s virtual fall athletics awards ceremony, added, “We had four weeks of practice before competing, and the energy on the fields during those weeks was incredible. Our students were just enjoying being together, competing in the activity they love, and having fun. And that is what high school athletics is all about!” As with any athletic season, there were some challenges over the fall, but the League administrators stayed the course and collaborated on all decisions. In a post on its social media at the close of the season, Proctor Academy Athletics summed up the

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feelings of many student-athletes, parents, and coaches by saying, “The Lakes Region League was the only independent school athletics league to hold competitions this fall. This remarkable accompaniment would not have been possible without the work of the Athletic Department at Proctor and those at our peer schools.” Lawlor echoed that sentiment: “The Athletic Directors and Heads of School really worked well together,” he said. “In our weekly meetings we had to discuss some difficult topics and make some hard decisions, but it was fun to work together as a League so closely. I think it made our relationships as schools even stronger. We have some great people in leadership positions in our League and I was fortunate to be a part of it and learn from them.” Brewster’s Bobcats played more than 50 athletic contests and had some notable accomplishments. Twenty-eight kids participated in the Girls’ Junior Varsity Soccer team, which finished its season undefeated. The Girls’ Varsity Soccer team had a perfect record as well and did not give up a single goal; outscoring their opponents 17-0! The Boys’ Varsity Soccer team also went unbeaten and finished with a 5-0-1 record, while Field Hockey had more than 40 players in the program—the most they have had in the program in recent years. Additionally, due to the new League schedule, the Cross Country team had four home meets (they usually only have one per year). “As challenging as this pandemic is for everyone, there can be a silver lining somewhere, and for athletics, I saw our Brewster students just enjoying being able to play,” said Lawlor. “If anything, our students understand the importance of high school athletics and the role it plays in their education. I am just glad the Lakes Region League and Brewster were able to deliver that for them!” Brewster and the Lakes Region League schools are in the process of rolling out a winter season, sticking as much as possible to the successful formula used this fall. “The winter brings some different challenges, but we have a plan,” said Lawlor. “We are a ways away from officially starting the season, but I feel good about the outline we have in place to bring athletics to our students again. It’s just exciting to be able to contribute. Because at the end of the day, it’s about delivering the best experience to the students.”

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 7


AROUND NEPSAC HOLDERNESS SCHOOL | PLYMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

Holderness Earns US Ski & Snowboard Gold Certification by Andrew Herring

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.S. Ski & Snowboard has named Holderness School a Gold-certified club, the highest honor awarded to affiliated ski programs. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Podium Club Certification Program requires a rigorous, mission-driven self-assessment and review of best principles and practices in eight areas of organizational performance,” says Club Development Manager Ellen Adams. “As a Gold-certified club, Holderness serves as a model of excellence, both organizationally and athletically, and is a valuable resource to winter sport in the United States.” “We are honored and humbled to have U.S. Ski and Snowboard recognize Holderness School as a Gold-certified club,” says Head of School Phil Peck. “This is an affirmation of our commitment to snow sports excellence, and we are excited to continue building on the momentum of our vision to be the very best program we can be.” That vision is brought to life through significant investments in personnel, program, and facilities to affirm its role as one of the premier snow sports schools in the country. A $6 million gift supports the construction of the Mittersill Performance Center at Mittersill Slopes at Cannon Mountain — a US Ski Team training

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venue and home to Holderness Eastern Alpine racers — as well as the construction of an on-campus freeski air bag jump and a 5-kilometer homologated cross country skiing venue that will incorporate 2 kilometers of lighted trail and 2.5 kilometers of snowmaking. In addition to hiring Director of Snow Sports Ben Drummond and several new Eastern Alpine coaches, Holderness School recently launched an Eastern Alpine Gap Year Program to further support college-bound skiers. The Nordic program, too, earned 2020 Club of the Year honors from the New England Nordic Ski Association. “The Gold certification achievement is an honor and provides validity to the new movement of the snow sports programming as a whole at Holderness,” says Director of Snow Sports Ben Drummond. “The certification shows our continued support for the overall development of the whole student-athlete in line with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard standards of excellence.” The process of achieving Gold level certification as a club provides an opportunity for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the national governing body, to assess a club’s current situation and determine areas of need. “The certification programs give our clubs the resources they need to assess and improve their structure and programs to meet their organizational goals and the goals of the thousands of U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes across the US,” says Sport Education Director Gar Trayner. Gold-certified clubs possess a heightened level of accountability to maintain and build upon areas of both strength and improvement, to ensure the longevity and stability of the organization and to help, through feedback and observation, to grow the cumulative strength of clubs throughout regions and across the country.

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AROUND NEPSAC FREDERICK GUNN SCHOOL | WASHINGTON, CONNECTICUT

Playing for the Cure…Virtually

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he Frederick Gunn School Varsity Field Hockey Team ws unable to host their annual Play4TheCure event this fall, but the team is still seeking to raise funds toward its goal of $8,200 in support of the National Foundation for Cancer Research. In a typical year, the highlight of this annual event is a coed, intramural field hockey game in which two teams — comprised of members of the varsity team and male students who earn an invitation to play based on their fundraising results  — compete for two, 20-minute halves. They are cheered energetically from the sidelines by students, faculty, family, and friends, who dress in their favored team’s colors on game day and support their favorite players with hand-made banners and signs. Sales of baked good, t-shirts, hot chocolate, cotton candy, a Beads Beat Cancer campaign and Crowdrise page also support the cause. What’s most impressive is that the team’s fundraising efforts continue to follow an upward trajectory. In previous years, they

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A celebration during the 2017 game. Although the girls wear pink, their fundraiser is for all cancers. The team’s virtual fundraiser this year is doing well, but they hope to play in person again this fall.

have raised from $1,600 to $4,000 in support of NFCR. In 2019, the team exceeded its goal of $4,200 by over $3,900. So far this year, they have raised over $4,655 toward their goal of $8,200. In addition to generating funds for cancer research, Play4TheCure aims to raise awareness about various cancers, and cancer prevention. “While the girls typically wear pink, it is important to note that this is a fundraiser for ALL cancers, not just breast cancer,” said Mandarin teacher and event organizer Tanya Nongera, who lost a childhood friend to lung cancer in 2017. This year is a particularly challenging year for me in dealing with cancer in people who are close to me,” she commented at a recent faculty meeting, encouraging those who are unable to donate to learn more about cancer prevention and show their support for Play4TheCure on social media. All proceeds from the Play4TheCure campaign go directly to NFCR, which uses 72% of all donations for research and education, 20% for fundraising and 8% for operations. Learn more and make a donation here.

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Got news to share with other NEPSAC schools? Are congratulations in order for a student, coach or team? Send the details to communications@nepsac.org and we’ll put it in the next issue.

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 9


BERKSHIRE SCHOOL | SHEFFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

Chicago Blackhawks Hire Kendall Coyne Schofield “Adding talented people with diverse and multi-faceted backgrounds like Kendall, Erik and Juan enhances our operations as we assess the changing landscape of hockey at all levels and continue to build and maintain a system of elite hockey,” said Chicago Blackhawks Senior Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman. “Each of these individuals brings unique experiKendall Coyne in her Berkshire days. Photo by Risley Sports ence to their position, Photography. and we are excited to welcome them to the Blackhawks family.” he Chicago Blackhawks recently announced Coyne is a native of Palos Heights, Ill. and a the hires of Kendall Coyne Schofield ’11 graduate of Sandburg High School (Orland Park, as Player Development Coach & Youth Hockey Ill.) and Berkshire School. A forward for the United Growth Specialist, Erik Condra as Player DevelopStates Women’s National Ice Hockey Team, Coyne ment Coach and Juan Gonzalez as the Rockford is a six-time World Champion at the International Ice IceHog’s Strength & Conditioning Coach within Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship the team’s Hockey Operations Department. and has twice represented the U.S. in the Olympic As Player Development Coaches, Coyne and Winter Games, earning a Gold Medal in Pyeong­ Condra will assist the Rockford Coaching staff in Chang 2018 (2G, 1A) and Silver Medal in Sochi the skills development of current players, while 2014 (2G, 4A). As part of a four-year collegiate also evaluating, assessing and scouting potential playing career with Northeastern University, she led prospects. Additionally, Coyne has long served as the NCAA in goals, goals per game, points per game, a local community liaison for the Chicago Blackshort­handed goals and hat tricks during the 2015– hawks organization and she will formalize this work 16 season, earning the Patty Kazmaier Memorial in her new hybrid role as Youth Hockey Growth SpeAward as the top player in women’s college hockey cialist, specifically focused on grassroots youth as a senior. On January 25, 2019 Coyne became hockey programs and clinics, implementation the first woman to compete in the National Hockey of girls’ hockey programming and the continued League’s All-Stars skills competition, posting a time enhancement of her namesake all-girls program of 14.326 seconds in the fastest-skater challenge. “Golden Coynes.” In his role, Gonzalez will overShe has also recently held broadcasting analyst see the strength and conditioning program of the roles with NBC Sports and NBC Sports California. Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

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BELMONT HILL SCHOOL | BELMONT, MASSACHUSETTS

John Broderick ’22 Named 2020 Mass Golf Junior Player of the Year

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ohn Broderick ’22 added another accomplishment to his impressive golf resume as he was recently named the Christopher Cutler Rich Junior Player of the Year by Mass Golf. Earlier this year John scored an impressive victory at the New England Amateur Championship. John says that he is very excited to have won this award. “This accomplishment was high on my list of goals for the season and I am really proud of the way I played,” he says. “This award shows all the hard work I have been doing to grow my game over the last few years. I am really excited to continue my golf success in the 2021 season.” Belmont Hill golf coach Charlie Doar says that what shouldn’t be lost in John’s recent success is that he does it the right way. “Golf is an individual sport, yet he remains an outstanding teammate and classmate at Belmont Hill,” Mr. Doar notes. “I get the feeling this honor is just another step in his continued growth. He’s got more success in his future.” Currently a junior at Belmont Hill, John has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University.

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NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 11


Remembering Travis Roy

Travis Roy, flanked by players from both of his alma maters, Tabor and North Yarmouth Academy, at the ceremony retiring his NYA number in 2015. Most New Englanders know Travis Roy’s story, and many have seen him speak. Below are excerpts from the North Yarmouth Academy alumni magazine article featuring classmates, coaches and teachers remembering Travis after his untimely death in October.

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orth Yarmouth Academy lost a valued member of our family on October 29, 2020 with the passing of Travis Roy ’94. His name emblazons our buildings, drapes from our rafters, and hangs on our walls. For honor, and now remembrance. “Travis inspired our students and community through his positivity, generosity, and his incredible work in support of those impacted by spinal cord

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injuries through the Travis Roy Foundation,” said NYA Head of School, Ben Jackson. NYA’s Travis Roy Ice Arena was named in his honor in 1998, his 00 jersey was retired in 2015, and he was inducted into the NYA Edgar F. White ’38 Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019. “He remained a friend to our school, hosted alumni events, and addressed our students on many occasions. We will continue to honor his legacy and greatly treasure the memories of his continued involvement, commitment to, and support of the Academy,” said Jackson. We grieve with heavy hearts for Travis, his family, friends, and those whose lives he touched, of which there are many. Here, you will find some remembrances from members of the NYA community, past and present, whose lives Travis touched.

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am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Travis Roy. Travis made not only the hockey community, but the world, a better place to live. He and his family (Lee, Brenda, & Tobi) supported and guided many individuals and their families through the unimaginable world of spinal cord injuries. Although never asked to be, the Roy family became monumental leaders in this field, and over the years continued to do so with pride and resilience that could never be replicated. Thinking back on Travis’ life, I cannot help but smile when I think of the privilege I had of coaching Travis Roy (#00) during my early coaching career at NYA. Today, I have been coaching for over 30 years, and I can honestly say without question, Travis’ love of the game stands out to me among all the hockey players I

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have coached. Travis adored every aspect of the game.He was grateful for every moment he was able to spend on the ice and was always working to get better, even if that meant skating on a Friday night when his peers were at a school dance or doing other normal high school activities. Travis’ passion for the game will be something I carry with me for the rest of my life. The career he was able achieve in his short, but exceptional, life truly reflects all of his amazing qualities. I couldn’t be more proud of the player, person, leader, or friend that Travis was to all. It truly was an honor to not only have coached, but to have been a friend to, Travis Roy. Rest In Peace Travis, you will be deeply missed. #00, #14, #24.” – Kevin Potter, Director of Athletics at Lawrence Academy, Travis’ hockey coach at NYA

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n high school, Travis was a fun, happy, goodlooking guy. He possessed this raw athletic ability and drive that manifested itself so beautifully on the ice and in any of his athletic endeavors. He was also a grade above most in character. Despite the aura he possessed as a star hockey player, he was non-judgmental in how he related to anyone. He had the deep loyalty of his friends, a rare capacity for empathy and the presence to deeply listen when you talked with him about things that mattered. It was easy to see his good nature—the product of his core values relating family, friendship, kindness, community, ambition, passion, and perseverance. I read a quote of his from a recent article the other night. He claimed that the first 20 years of his life were full of passion and the last 20, full of purpose. I would argue that he always had both.” – Ellen Higgins Berger ’94

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ravis Roy, 45, of North Yarmouth Academy, Tabor Academy, Boston University, the greater Hockey community, champion of survivors of spinal cord injuries, and greater New England, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, in Vermont. After Travis suffered a spinal cord injury 25 years ago this month, 11 seconds into his first shift on the ice as a Boston Terrier, he transformed his life, finding new purpose. Travis was an exceptional motivational speaker, inspiring thousands of kids though his talks at schools and countless others through his corporate appearances. Travis co-authored his life story “Eleven Seconds” with E.M. Swift before starting the Travis Roy Foundation. After 20 years, the Travis Roy Foundation has helped thousands of people and raised more than $19 million dollars. Travis was a best friend to many and an inspiration to all who knew him. Travis was awarded an honorary doctorate from Boston University, celebrating his life’s work and recognizing his incredible contributions to the world. Travis is survived by his father Lee, his mother Brenda; his sister Tobi and her husband Keith; along with several loving cousins in Colchester Vt. He has three nieces, Liv, Sophie and Finley and a nephew Grady, currently attending BU. Travis wrote a speech his senior year at Tabor, listing his 10 rules of life. Number eight was “the only lesson he didn’t have to learn. Family is one thing I always knew about.” Travis will be missed by many, but none more than his loving, extended family. Due to COVID-19, a service will be planned at a more appropriate time. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Travis Roy Foundation (www.travisroyfoundation.org).

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ifteen-year-old Travis was my advisee, and in my first-ever English class as a rookie teacher at NYA. When we saw each other over the years and would reminisce, he would roll his eyes. “We were a handful,” he’d laugh. He was right. That impish vitality was always there whenever we reconnected on one of his many NYA visits — as was his deep, genuine warmth and kindness.” – Mike Gengras, Upper School English Teacher

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NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 13


Stafford and her crew prepare to film ice hockey star Hilary Knight on a pond in Idaho. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Stafford.

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In Her Element

PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR JENNIFER STAFFORD ’09 TELLS ATHLETES’ UNTOLD STORIES.

by Megan Tady This story originally appeared in the Berkshire alumni magazine.

J

ennifer Stafford, who directs and produces sports documentaries for Red Bull Media House, was in search of a frozen pond. She wanted it to look remote and arctic, the surroundings formidable, yet the ice needed to be safe enough to hold women’s ice hockey star Hilary Knight. After searching in vain for the ideal location in Western Canada, Stafford and her small team opted for a pond in Idaho, where they filmed Knight skating alone, taking practice shots into a net, her breath shooting out in icy plumes. The sequence serves as the opener for Stafford’s film, “Change of Pace—Hilary Knight’s Story,” which highlights Knight’s efforts to unite the two North American women’s ice hockey leagues and to better the conditions and compensation for female hockey players. Knight, who won an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2019, is one of women’s hockey’s most visible and outspoken players. When Stafford heard Knight’s story (Knight is a Red Bullsponsored athlete), she knew she wanted to tell it, and she envisioned a scene of Knight skating alone. “I wanted Hilary on an open ice rink completely by herself because she has the weight of the world on her shoulders, and she’s carrying women’s hockey a lot of the time by herself,” Stafford says. “She’s saying things that a lot of people don’t want her to say.” Red Bull Media House, on the other hand, wasn’t sure they wanted to run with the story, and Stafford’s insistence sparked an internal conversation about transcending sports marketing. “This was a separation from traditional Red Bull storytelling,” Stafford says, who has a B.A. in broadcast journalism from Emerson College. “We’re not an objective media source. We’re marketers. We have an athlete list, and our job is to make branded content with them. There was a large discussion around, ‘As a brand, do we have permission to tell this story?’ And we had to tell it with integrity and objectivity.”

“Whenever I can put a female athlete in the spotlight, I do.” Stafford received the green light to move forward, and after its release on Red Bull’s Media Network, the short film was picked up by “Sports Illustrated” and the Associated Press. The film was also a feather in Stafford’s cap, since she has only been producing and directing at Red Bull Media House since 2018, where she works in Santa Monica, Calif.

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Stafford in Santa Monica, Calif. Photo by Benjamin Askinas.

Prior to joining Red Bull, Stafford was the digital producer intern for the New England Sports Network, reporting on the fans and events supporting the Boston Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins. She also reported on a Red Bull Cliff Diving event, which marked her first exposure to the brand’s experiential marketing. Stafford then joined Red Bull in 2013 immediately after college, paying her dues in positions that didn’t sing to her. “I had no desire to do public relations, but I knew that I was getting my foot in the door,” she says of her first post at Red Bull Media House. “I would say that my career path has been more of a game of Chutes and Ladders versus an upward trajectory where you march along and get a promotion every year and a half.” Red Bull Media House produces branded content that relates to a roster of 140 sponsored athletes in the United States (and dozens more globally), and as a producer and director, Stafford had to quickly learn how to hold her own in highly competitive pitch meetings. “The story that you bring to the table has to be compelling,” Stafford says, who is the only female director on the production team of nearly 40 staff members. “As a young producer and director who doesn’t have the experience other people have, what

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 15


Stafford interviews fellow [Berkshire] Bear Jillian Saulnier ’11 about Knight’s impact on women’s ice hockey. Saulnier won a silver medal with Team Canada in the 2018 Olympics. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Stafford.

can I bring to the table that’s unique? As I went through the list of stories that we were telling, I noticed that almost none of them included, on an emotional level, storytelling around our female athletes.” That realization hit close to home for Stafford, who spent her childhood and teenage years playing sports. At Berkshire, she played girls JV ice hockey, captained the girls varsity soccer team, and competed with the track and field team, setting Berkshire’s school pole vault record in 2009 (which still stands today). She also won three gold medals (out of three events) in the 1999 Junior Olympics for Karate, which she said sparked her passion for competition. “As a little girl, I would always look to other female athletes for inspiration because you have to see it to believe you can actually be it,” she says. “Whenever I can put a female athlete in the spotlight, I do. I took an opportunity [at Red Bull] that no one was capitalizing on, and it has become my niche.” Since June of 2018, Stafford has produced and directed four documentaries on a wide range of high-profile yet often

16 | NEPSAC News | Fall 2020

underrepresented female athletes, including flat-track racer Shayna Texter, WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart, and barrel-racing champion Jackie Ganter. “The projects I find the most fulfilling are when I can figure out what makes an athlete tick,” Stafford says. “What are the nuances behind them, and what makes them operate at the highest level? I want to start to understand someone on an emotional and human level. That’s what makes a good story.” Long before filming begins, Stafford meticulously plans each shoot, scouts locations, creates a script and storyboard, and conducts pre-interviews. Rarely does filming happen in Santa Monica, so Stafford and her team usually travel to film their subjects, which is less glamorous than it sounds. Her 15-hour days often begin at 4 a.m. to capture early morning light. “Half the time you’re freezing or you’re hot,” she says. “You’re lifting heavy camera equipment. You’re not dolled up. It’s hard work, and it’s long work.” Still, Stafford contends, “The absolute best days in the world are when I’m in the field shooting. I live for that. I love watching it


all come to life. All of the hard work that everybody has put into it starts to pay off, and I get the beautiful shots that I’ve been visualizing in my head for six months, or something totally unexpected works out.” Despite months of planning, there are untold variables that Stafford can’t predict, like the weather or an athlete’s performance. She has to be nimble and flexible, willing to “crumple up my shot list and throw it over my shoulder.” To tell the story about flat-track racer Shayna Texter, Stafford and her crew filmed three of her races, always unsure of the outcome. Flat-track racing is also known as dirt-track racing on a motorcycle, and in one of the races, Texter lost by a slight margin, which became the opening of the film. “She’s standing on the podium reeling with anger,” Stafford says. “You can see it all over her face, that competitive spirit. You can’t script that. When you get the essence of someone like that when they’re in their element, it is just a beautiful thing.” Stafford says her directing style is still evolving, describing it as a “blend between a cinema verité, raw, fly-on-the-wall-style of filming and more dream-like, ethereal Ms. Piatelli’s “10 Behaviors” card, which Stafford still carries in her wallet. scenes that put [the viewer] in the flow state of mind of an athlete when they’re in their element.” As a director able to make her subjects comfortable or instill saying, ‘Good morning’ or ‘please and thank you.’ Having integrity, confidence in her team during a grueling shoot, she says she often being your authentic self—that’s the stuff Berkshire instilled in me draws on the traits that were instilled in her at Berkshire. To this that has had such a profound impact on my life and helps me day, she still carries in her wallet Ms. [Jane] Piatelli’s card listing connect with people.” “10 behaviors to live by,” which were introduced to the community The Berkshire network has also been invaluable. When by her husband, the late Larry Piatelli, who was appointed Stafford was looking for other female hockey players to interview for Berkshire’s head of school in 2003 before his untimely passing in her film about Hilary Knight, it was by coincidence that Stafford’s October of that year. producer suggested fellow Bear Jillian Saulnier ’11. “I’m looking at this piece of paper, and I’m like, ‘Jill Saulnier? No way.’” Of her trip to Canada to interview Saulnier, Stafford says, “It was a mini reunion. Before I even asked questions, we immediately started talking about Berkshire days. It was really wonderful to have it come full circle.”

“The projects I find most fulfilling are when I can figure out what makes an athlete tick ... that’s what makes a good story.”

“The behaviors and traits listed on that card make a good director,” Stafford says. “It’s all the soft skills and small things that make such a difference to somebody, like making eye contact or

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NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 17


SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST IS THE #1 KILLER OF STUDENT ATHLETES.

18 | NEPSAC News | Fall 2020

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PHILLIPS EXETER ACADEMY | EXETER, NEW HAMPSHIRE

Three Exeter Grads Find a Home in NBA Playoff Bubble SPONSORED BY: SPORTSGRUB

by Bob York

F

ive swabs a day keeps COVID away.” That headline, which introduced a story by Kelli Anderson in the Stanford (University) Magazine featuring a graduate of its medical school, was intended to be catchy, not comical. There’s no humor here, as the article focused on the doctor who put his reputation on the line by assuring the best basketball players in the world that staying safe while playing in the National Basketball League’s playoff bubble would be a slam dunk. With COVID-19 swirling around outside, the NBA looked to Dr. Leroy Sims, its medical director, to perform no small feat: make sure its bubble didn’t spring a leak. And so, for the 82 days — July 22 through Oct. 11 — it took to conclude regular-season play, conduct seeding and play-in games, plus the playoffs, Sims kicked COVID-19’s butt: not one positive test was reported throughout the tourney. Sims notched the shutout by supervising the bubble’s quarantines, its daily testing and health checks and its electronic checkpoints as well as overseeing the never-ending cleaning and sterilization and, last-but-not-least, the mask wearing and hand washing. And speaking of hand washing, Sims had to make sure there was plenty of soap in those dispensers because there was no shortage of hands needing to be washed. As of Aug. 5, when the playoffs began in earnest, there were 343 players on site, not to mention numerous other team officials. It would appear as though Sims was destined for this. He grew up on the west side of Chicago, where he became accustomed to seeing the ghastly results of gun violence. He also spent much of his time roaming the halls of Northwestern Memorial Hospital where his mother, Claudia, worked as a nurse’s aide. In fact, he still remembers the excitement he felt watching “Emergency” on TV. “I loved the ambulances tearing down the street, running red lights,” Sims told Anderson. “I wasn’t one of those people to shy away from blood. I was a rubbernecker … I wanted to be in it.” This future NBA medical director and emergency room physician began studying biology in earnest at Phillips Exeter Academy (1997) and is one of three alums who played basketball for the Big Red and who called the NBA bubble their home – right through the finals. The other two were postgraduates Greg St. Jean (2009) who is an assistant coach for the champion Los Angeles Lakers, and Duncan Robinson (2013), who averaged 11.7 points per game during the tournament for the runner-up Miami Heat. He spent a year at Exeter following a four-year stint at Governor’s Academy. “This bubble was a massive undertaking … to pull this off and have it be successful, we had to make sure we were completely thorough with our testing and our contingency planning,” Sims

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Future NBA medical director Leroy Sims, back when he wore #32 for Exeter.

informed Marc Spears, an NBA writer, for an article in The Undefeated. “We had to know that if someone tested positive, could they be placed in isolation to undergo further testing, or would we need to move them elsewhere? And if so, was there a way to minimize that person’s exposure to coronavirus? The answers to those questions had to be in place. “And that’s just coronavirus, not to mention everything else that could come up,” added Sims, who graduated from Stanford Medical School in 2007, and practices emergency medicine at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, California. “Say a player has a knee injury, what’s the imaging look like? Can it be treated in the bubble or does the injury need to be treated off-site. And again, if it needs off-site treatment, how do we best minimize the outside exposure to Coronavirus?” Sims, who has worked for the NBA since May 2018 as well as for the Golden State Warriors, USA Track & Field and the U.S.

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 19


Greg St. John played for Exeter in 2009 and is now an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Olympic Committee, had plenty of other questions that he needed to be run by the infectious disease experts before tip-off. Those included the basics such as: What’s the cleaning process going to look like? How often should we wipe down? What should we wipe down with? Other queries needing answers: What does the ventilation look like? How is the air circulating in the arena? How much time do we need between games to wipe down the floors and get the locker rooms turned over? Should the players shower at the arena … or back at the hotel? How close will the chairs be and how many chairs are we going to have? Who wears a mask … and what kind of mask should they wear? Following the lengthy Q&A sessions, some of the rules and restrictions that made the rule book included: no visits to teammates’ rooms, no caddies in golf, no doubles in table tennis, no reusing a deck of cards, no interaction with the outside world. The rule book also said daily COVID tests were mandatory and should consist of three shallow swabs of the throat and one swab of each nostril — accounting for your five swabs a day. Others required testing of temperature and oxygen saturation readings as well as symptom checks that were uploaded into wearable devices that tracked bubble residents and depending on their readings, either granted or denied access to entrances throughout the campus. “We really did our homework and consulted a lot of people on this one,” Sims told Anderson, and it resulted in a 113-page medical manual that covered everything from A to Z, and finding

20 | NEPSAC News | Fall 2020

those answers didn’t come through osmosis. “I liken it to my internship in the surgical ICU where you’re on call in a hospital before 5 a.m. and you’re lucky if you’re at home by 10 p.m. and you’re 24 hours on call every third day. During the first three weeks of July, I was getting up at 5 to 6 a.m. and was going to bed between 2 and 3 a.m. … every day.” “I remember one of my former assistant coaches calling me up in early October and asking me if I was watching the playoffs,” recounted Malcolm Wesselink, who coached Sims at Exeter. “I said ‘no’ and he said ‘go turn the TV on, there’s somebody there that you’ll recognize.’ So, I went down and turned on the game and sure enough, there’s Leroy standing in the shadows down at the end of the court. “I remember feeling so proud of him and thinking about all he’d accomplished to get to where he is today,” added Wesselink, who coached boys’ varsity basketball at Exeter for 27 years. “The thing I remember most about Leroy was that despite being only about 5-10, he was an outstanding defender. What he lacked in height, he made up for in quick feet and jumping ability. His quickness allowed him to lead the team in steals and his leaping ability allowed him to lead the team in blocked shots. “I don’t remember if Leroy ever scored in double figures,” continued Wesselink, “but it didn’t matter, what he did for us on defense more than made up for any lack of scoring. Plus, he was always happy … always upbeat … he kept everyone’s spirits up, and as a coach, it’s always nice to have someone like that on the team.” Although Sims turned down opportunities to play collegiate basketball at the University of Chicago, Emory and Washington University in St. Louis, he took those fast feet to Stanford where he was a walk-on on the track team. There, he helped The Cardinal win an NCAA title his junior year and he still owns the school record in the 55-meter dash and probably will forever — because it’s no longer a contested event. “Greg (St. Jean) comes from an outstanding basketball pedigree … especially when it comes to coaching,” said Wesselink of his former charge who was hired prior to this past season to serve as a player development coach and advance scout for the World Champion Los Angele Lakers. “His dad, Garry, coached the Sacramento Kings (1992-97), was general manager of the Golden State Warriors (1998-2004) and served as a scout for the New Jersey Nets (2010-11), so he has literally grown up with the sport and it’s no surprise to me that he’s coaching in the NBA and it won’t surprise me if he plays a part in winning another NBA crown. “Thanks to his dad, Greg knew the game inside out and you could tell that when he was playing here,” added Wesselink. “You knew he had a bright future as a player on the collegiate level, as well as a great understanding of the game if we wanted to pursue the game as a coach. The younger St. Jean was a 6-3 guard, “who could play all five positions on the court and could play them all well,” said Wesselink. “Because of his background, he picked things up easily. I remember the one season he was here, he was injured quite a bit but whenever he was on the court, things ran better.” St. Jean played his college ball at Wesleyan University where the leadership qualities he picked up along the way surfaced early in his collegiate career and because of that he became a rare

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three-time captain for the Cardinals. As a freshman, he ranked in the top-10 of NCAA Div. III in free-throw shooting percentage and helped lead the Cardinals to the program’s single-season win record. He was named recipient of the Wesleyan Scholar-Athlete Award his senior year and was a two-time winner of the Coach’s Award. “Greg was one of the smartest players I’ve ever coached,” said Jay Tilton, the current Big Red hoop mentor, who was serving as an assistant coach to Wesselink when St. Jean stepped foot on campus. “He was intense and had a real passion for the game … he always elevated our practices and games and got his teammates to follow suit. “Being a postgraduate, Greg wasn’t one of our captains, but he was definitely our emotional leader … he had a captain’s presence about him,” Tilton said of St. Jean, who, following his collegiate playing career, began his role as a coach. He initially joined the NBA’s Sacramento Kings as a player development coach, where he served for two seasons. He then spent four seasons as an assistant coach at St. John’s University under Chris Mullin. Tilton will never forget Duncan Robinson, nor the year he spent with the Big Red as he played a key role in handing his mentor the first of four NEPSAC Class A hoop crowns. The 6-6, 170-pound forward did so by leading the team in scoring during that 201213 season, averaging 15 points per game, then chalked up MVP honors for his tourney play after scoring 24 points on eight of nine field goal attempts and hauled in 10 rebounds to help knock off Choate in the finals and his efforts earned him All-NEPSAC laurels for a second straight season. “He was a big reason why we went 28-1 that season,” Tilton said of Robinson, who spent a year at Exeter after four seasons at Governor’s Academy. “He wasn’t just an outstanding basketball player, either. He had a tremendous work ethic and had a real passion for the game and that combination has taken him a long way.” Following his prep career, Robinson took the path less traveled to join the ranks of the NBA. It began at Williams College, where he led the Ephs to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Division III Basketball Tournament championship game and was named the Division III Rookie of the Year and on the Division III All-American Team. He then packed his bags and moved up to the Division I ranks, a road that led him to Ann Arbor, Mich., and the University of Michigan. There, he led the Big 10 Conference in three-point shooting percentage (.450) for much of the season and helped lead the Wolverines to Big 10 titles in 2017 and 2018. He was named the conference Sixth Man of the Year in 2018 and was a member of the team that lost to Villanova in the finals of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. While with the Heat, Robinson has set franchise records for his three-point shots made in a quarter and a half and has tied the mark for three-pointers made in a game. In just his second season, he set a club record for three-pointers in a season and in a playoff game. Tom Robertson, who was Robinson’s JV coach at Governor’s, is one mentor — and probably the only one — who admitted to being a bit surprised by his former charge’s rise to the top of the basketball world. “Back then, I can’t remember if he was even the best player on our JV team,” said Robertson. “He was relatively

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Duncan Robinson’s journey to the Miami Heat went from Governor’s to Exeter to Wesleyan.

small (5-7) and didn’t really do anything in particular on the court to catch your eye. “To his credit, Duncan spent hour upon hour working on his shooting in the gym,” added Robertson, “and about midway through his junior season all that work he had put in began paying off and he finished his senior season here averaging over 18 points a game. “To me,” said his former mentor, “Duncan’s story of hard work and the success he’s achieved because of it is worth sharing with every young basketball player … it’s truly an amazing one.” The NEPSAC SPECIAL NEWS is sponsored by SportsGrub. SportsGrub provides athletic teams with nutritional meals delivered directly to their event. We provide a diverse menu that athletes can order from directly in our app. Don’t just play to win, plan to win with healthy and delicious meals from SportsGrub. Contact us for more information at www.sportsgrub.com

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 21


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• Read first-hand experiences from coaches and athletic directors to enhance the athletic experience for student-athletes

• Find opportunities • Get the facts on to upgrade athletic current trends in facilities and athletic nutrition, improve the overall sports medicine, value of an athletic and strength department training

22 | NEPSAC News | Fall 2020

• Stay up-to-date with how colleges, high school associations, and school districts are handling athletics amid the COVID-19 pandemic

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PHILLIPS EXETER ACADEMY | EXETER, NEW HAMPSHIRE

Duncan Robinson’s Rise from NCAA DIII to NBA Finals by Kyle Prudhomme, Coach & A.D. Magazine

I

f you tuned into the Miami Heat and their run to the NBA Finals there’s one thing you know for sure: Duncan Robinson played Division III men’s basketball and did so at Williams College. The now well-known factoid heard on ESPN, printed in news publications, and read in the broadcaster’s notes is true. Robinson donned an Ephs’ jersey in 2013-14 and, according to statistics from the NCAA, is among 1.2% of Division III men’s basketball student-athletes that continued their careers professionally. But if you saw him during his early years at Governor’s Academy (Byfield, MA), his jersey hanging loose off his undersized frame, you might think Division III basketball was the ceiling; an accomplishment for him to be proud of. Now, a proven winner at all levels of the game, there’s no question it has all fallen into place for Robinson. “He was, physically, not in a place that people were convinced he could handle the rigors of high-level college basketball,” said Jay Tilton, who coached Robinson at Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH) during a post-graduate year. “Look at him now, he’s out there taking charges from LeBron James and hitting a three at the other end. He’s clearly put himself in a situation where he is able to handle that with ease now.” Robinson’s size was a question mark early on, forcing him to work harder on his skill set and basketball knowledge. After a growth spurt during his senior year, Robinson started to put everything together and opted to attend Phillips Exeter to see if he could garner college attention. There, he was able to get stronger while also building his case to college coaches by earning a spot on the NEPSAC Class A All-League First Team and leading the program to its first NEPSAC Class A Championship. “It was right kid, right place, right time,” Tilton said. “Everything started to come together in his year here. Of course, I don’t think anyone can take credit for it more than him with the work he put in, but I think it ended up being the perfect spot for what he needed at that time.” Robinson’s family prioritizes education. The attention to detail, hard work, and passion needed to excel in the classroom have been noticeable to Robinson’s approach to basketball as well. These aspects have led him to this point so far and as an undrafted signing can be the difference between making it in the league or not. The Miami Heat forward has risen to the occasion so far in his NBA career, shooting 332-for-762 from three-point range for a 43.6% clip this past season — the type of numbers seen only twice before, both times from Steph Curry. “Duncan does everything with great passion. When he sets his mind to something that is important to him, he is not going to be deterred,” Tilton said. “He’s always been exceptionally coachable. … He was always willing to take the best of the situation and really apply that to his own game or whatever he was doing at that given time.” Robinson’s desire to get better as a player bordered on obsession. Following his season with Phillips Exeter, Robinson

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Duncan Robinson wore #32 at Williams College. Photo by Kris Dufour/Williams College.

started to eye a practice shooting record of the number of 3-pointers in five minutes set by former-Michigan sharpshooter Nik Stauskas. Robinson and some of his teammates spent countless hours in the gym, recording themselves as they tried to set a new mark. “That became an obsession of his,” Tilton said. “That’s all they did. Saturday night those guys are in the gym constantly trying to beat the record and funny enough Duncan shattered it when he got to Michigan. He has spent tons and tons of time perfecting his craft. He’s always done that.” Throughout his career, Robinson’s pathway to the NBA has been one of self-generated momentum as he has made the most of opportunities. Prior to his freshman year of college, he was able to show off his now more developed skillset on the court and his high-character traits off it at an all-star camp at Brandeis University, catching the attention of his future head coach. “It was love at first sight if you will,” said former Williams head coach Mike Maker. “It took me just a few minutes to basically nickname him baby (Mike) Dunleavy at that time. I thought he had an extremely high basketball IQ, he had length, premium skills, he was a great teammate and obviously shot it at a really high clip. Truthfully, I thought he was just a complete basketball player.” Williams College (Williamstown, MA) was the next logical step on the journey for Duncan, not only academically, but on the court as well being a consistent power in the NESCAC – the Duke of Division III, according to coach Maker. During his first and only season there, the Ephs made a run to the NCAA Championship, led by Robinson who earned All-American status as a freshman after posting 17.1 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game.

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 23


But even when he is not the star on the team, winning has seemed to follow Robinson so far in his young basketball career. Robinson appeared in NCAA Championships in Division I and Division III with Michigan and Williams respectively and has now done so in the NBA as well. It is starting to get harder to dismiss it as purely coincidence. “Everywhere he goes the programs have been championship caliber. You have to start to wonder after a while why is that? What’s the common denominator? He has the ability to lift programs, clearly, there are other factors involved, but you can’t ignore the fact that wherever he goes that success follows,” Tilton said.

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NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 25


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American Sports Builders Association Honors Distinguished Sports Facilities

T

he American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, has announced the winners of its annual awards. Awards are presented each year to facilities built by ASBA members, which best exemplify construction excellence. Awards are presented in various categories: Tennis Courts, Running Tracks, Sports Fields, Pickleball Facilities, Indoor Multipurpose Facilities and Track & Field Facilities. Within some categories, there are divisions; for example, the Sports Field category recognizes single- and multiple-field facilities. Winners of awards were announced at the Association’s Technical Meeting, presented for the first time in a virtual format. Projects are scored individually based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation and overall impression. Winning entries are those whose cumulative scores meet or exceed the standard.

The ASBA is a non-profit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality sports facility construction. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings, publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities, and keeps its members aware of the latest developments in the industry. It also offers voluntary certification programs in tennis court, running track and sports field construction. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. For information on the ASBA, as well as on its publications, activities and upcoming meetings, please contact the Association at 2331 Rock Spring Road, Forest Hill, Maryland 21050. The toll-free phone number is 866-501-ASBA, the local number is 410-7309595, and the fax number is 410-730-8833. The ASBA also may be reached at www.sportsbuilders.org, or via e-mail at info@ sportsbuilders.org.

TOWER SCHOOL | MARBLEHEAD, MASSACHUSETTS

The Backyard Design: Huntress Associates, Inc. Participated in Project: Brock USA; Quirk Construction Corp.

A transformative gift for a turf field led to a new Backyard that includes not only the field, but two new playgrounds, a teaching garden with a greenhouse and raised garden beds, an outdoor classroom adjacent to the wetlands, and a community gathering space for Tower School. Photo courtesy Huntress Sports.

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NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 27


MILTON ACADEMY | MILTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Berylson Field

Design: Activitas, Inc. Participated in Project: Sportsfield Specialties, Inc.; Brock USA; Sprinturf, LLC; Musco Sports Lighting; David W. White and Son, Inc.

Milton Academy’s first turf field, Berylson Field, provides more opportunities for student-athletes playing sports nearly exclusively played on turf, such as field hockey and lacrosse, and offers all-season outdoor space for students campus wide.

Photos courtesy Activitas and jfaynovak photography.

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DANA HALL SCHOOL | WELLESLEY, MASSACHUSETTS

Shipley Field

Design: Stantec’s Sport Group Participated in Project: Sportfield Specialties, Inc.; Brock USA; Quirk Construction Corporation; Sprinturf, LLC

Shipley Field, adjacent to the Shipley Center is home to Dana Hall’s field hockey and lacrosse programs. The new turf has allowed Dana Hall athletes to compete with their top peer schools. Even during inclement weather, the teams have a safe playing surface on which to compete. Photo by e.hughes

Photo by j.atkinson

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Photo by j.atkinson

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 29


TRINITY PAWLING SCHOOL | PAWLING, NEW YORK

Honoring Debbie and Dave Coratti P’08 This article originally appeared in the Trinity-Pawling alumni magazine.

A

fter four decades of loyal service to the School, Debbie and Dave Coratti P’08 will retire in June 2021. While they’re eager to spend more time with their kids and four grandchildren, the Corattis will sorely miss the close relationships they’ve developed with faculty and students. “I’ll miss being an integral part of these adolescents’ lives,” Debbie muses. “I always enjoyed helping the faculty grow professionally, both as teachers and coaches,” Dave offers. “We were the youngest couple when we arrived in 1981,” Debbie laughs. “Now we’ve become the grandparents of the community, offering counsel to younger families and empty nesters.” From high school sweethearts to esteemed educators, Debbie and Dave Coratti have enriched the Trinity-Pawling community by embracing the boarding school promise: That an adult will become involved in the life of each child, will come to care about the child’s growth and development, and that caring will make a difference in the child’s education. “Working side by side with Deb all of these years has been a dream,” Dave concludes. “I could not have asked for anything more.”

2013 Trinity-Pawling names the new turf field David N. Coratti Field in honor of his service to the School. 2014 Dave receives the Nadal Award from the Founders League for his years of service and coaching contributions. 2015 Dave is presented with the NFL Super Bowl commemorative gold football by former Pittsburgh Steelers center and Super Bowl Champion Chukky Okobi ’96, and Trinity-Pawling is named the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll. 2016 The 2005 varsity football team is inducted into the Trinity-Pawling Athletic Hall of Fame.

Through the Years with Debbie and Dave Coratti

2017 In recognition of his hard work and dedication, Dave is elected to the New England Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

1981 Debbie and Dave Coratti P’08 arrive at Trinity-Pawling, filling the role of dorm parents at Johnson I, and Dave begins teaching history and math.

2018 Honored for his years of service and contribution to coaching and sportsmanship, the New England Football League names a bowl game after Dave — The Coratti Bowl.

1982 David Coratti, Jr. is born, joining his sister Jennifer in the family and the Trinity-Pawling community. 1984 Dave becomes the head varsity wrestling coach and head varsity baseball coach. 1986 Dave coaches Maurice “Mo” Vaughn ’86, who went on to an all-star professional baseball career. 1987 Dave becomes head varsity football coach, and Debbie is hired to teach typing. The typing classroom at the time is in the basement of Gardiner Library. 1990 Dave serves on the School’s Long Range Planning Committee. The Coratti family grows with the arrival of Christopher Coratti ’08. 1992 Dave is appointed as the Dean of Students. 1996 Dave is inducted into the Western New England Coaches Hall of Fame for wrestling. 1999 Debbie is asked to serve as the Middle School Coordinator. Dave becomes the Director of Studies. He also receives the Dunbar Award for Service this year. 2001 Arch Smith names Dave Assistant Headmaster — Dave now assumes dual responsibilities as he continues his role as Director of Studies. 2003 Dave is inducted to the New England Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.

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2005 Under Dave’s leadership the varsity football team goes undefeated, finishing the season with a perfect 9-0 and beating Andover 42-26 to capture the New England Class A Championship. As Coach Dave Coratti shared: “It was the most accomplished team I’ve ever coached.” 2005 Arch Smith changes Dave’s title to Associate Headmaster in recognition of his numerous administrative responsibilities. 2007 Dave takes another team to the New England Class A Championship. A pinnacle of Dave’s football career was coaching his son Christopher ’08, who is co-captain of the team and earns the Most Valuable Player in the Erickson Conference this year. 2008 With Dave’s leadership, varsity football wins a New England Bowl victory.

2020–2021 Dave completes 40 years of service and Debbie completes 34 years of service to the Trinity-Pawling community. Coach Coratti has been one of the most influential people in my life. He taught me what it means to be a leader, not by words but through action. In the Marine Corps, our core values are Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Coach Coratti instilled those values in me as a student-athlete during my four years at Trinity-Pawling. Thanks, Coach! — LT. COL. STEW MCKNELLY ’86

2010 The 1997 and 1998 varsity wrestling teams are inducted into the Trinity-Pawling Athletic Hall of Fame. Over the course of these two years, the team had two perfect seasons, winning a total of 35 matches. Led by Head Coach Dave Coratti and Coach Bill Dunham, the team earned the distinction of the 1997 and 1998 Founders League Champions and 1997 and 1998 Western New England Champions. 2012 Dave retires as the head varsity football coach after 26 years. 2012 The Corattis move to Alan Proctor House in the new faculty housing complex. The Corattis served as dorm parents for 20 years.

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DEERFIELD ACADEMY | DEERFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

Meet Former Boston Celtics Attorney & 3Point Foundation Founder Neil Jacobs by Zach Servideo

This article originally appeared at the Boston Speaks Up blog

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eil Jacobs is the president and founder of the 3Point Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers free educational, sports and dance programming to underserved youth in Boston. Working closely with the Boston Celtics, Boston Public Schools, UMass Boston and additional partners, Jacobs and 3Point are on a mission to improve the lives of Boston’s youth through positive reinforcement in the classroom and through group athletics. Prior to 3Point Foundation, Jacobs served as outside team counsel for the Boston Celtics for 30 years, making it no surprise that 3Point is a community partner of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. In fact, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is one of the first people Jacobs pitched the idea of 3Point Foundation to. Toward the end of our podcast discussion, Jacobs shares a remarkable first-hand account of when the Toronto Blue Jays sued the Boston Celtics over the rights of Danny Ainge, including some incredible insight into the mind of Celtics legendary coach and general manager Red Auerbach (see the 59:00 minute mark).

» » » Listen here: soundcloud.com/bostonspeaksup/055-formerboston-celtics-attorney-3point-foundation-founder-neil-jacobs

A retired partner of the WilmerHale law firm, Jacobs has spent decades involved in numerous education and basketball programs for youth. Now serving more than 250 students, 3Point runs afterschool programs in Boston K-8 schools and operates summer programming at two locations. Jacobs is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of 3Point, and he’s helped 3Point pivot to a virtual education model during the pandemic. Enjoy an abridged version of our podcast interview with Jacobs below.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up locally in Newton in a relatively affluent Jewish neighborhood, but went to secondary school in western Massachusetts at Deerfield Academy. Other than my parents, Deerfield had the most impact on my development growing up.

What’s the most important lesson you learned from your parents?

Giving attention to and recognizing the worth of everyone regardless of social status or race. They also emphasized the importance of acting to improve the world. In my tradition that is called “Tikun olam” which means to act constructively to benefit others.

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Deerfield alumnus and 3Point Foundation founder Neil Jacobs.

How would you describe your childhood?

I had wonderfully supportive and caring parents, was materially well-off, did well in school and was passionate about athletics, but certain aspects of my childhood were difficult. I was competitive and aggressive and sports was a great outlet. However, I also had more than my share of school yard fights. I went to Deerfield because I needed to start over. I had wonderful teachers and mentors at Deerfield and began to focus on academics.

What led you to a career in law?

At Harvard, my undergraduate major was political theory. I was fascinated by the study of philosophy regarding different concepts of justice and what was the right thing to do. Law seemed like the practical application of what I had studied.

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 33


What’s your favorite thing about having worked with the Boston Celtics for 30 years? (And on the podcast, you can tell us your favorite story.)

I love sports so being on the inside of a professional basketball team’s operations was a dream come true. My favorite thing about working for the Celtics has been working with the team’s ownership, management and staff and becoming a trusted advisor. My favorite story involves the antics by which Red Auerbach snared Danny Ainge as a player after Danny had committed to a professional baseball career with the Toronto Blue Jays.

When did you first come up with the idea to create the 3point Foundation?

In my late 50s early 60s, I was thinking about retirement which is mandatory at my firm at age 65. I pitched the idea of 3Point to Wyc Grousbeck, the Celtics Managing Partner, and proposed that the Celtics should initiate after-school and summer programming. He said that I seemed so passionate about it, that I should do it, and the Celtics would help.

You’ve done a great job partnering with local organizations and universities. Can you list some of your notable partnerships and share any detail on how you partner?

We have had wonderful partnerships. There would not be the organization we have today or the impact we have had on our youth without the University of Massachusetts Boston. 3Point has become a signature program for the College of Education and Human Development at UMass Boston and we have over 60 UMass Boston students working annually with our youth in BPS

Not to try to level the playing field would be to fail as a human being. classrooms. Our summer program is rooted in our partnership with the Fessenden School in Newton which donates its facilities to 3Point and has played an important role in our curriculum development. Our students also benefit enormously from our partnership with the Boston Police Department, the Mayor’s Office and the seven Boston Public Schools with whom we work.

Why is helping under-served youth in Boston so important to you?

How are you shifting what 3Point offers due to in-person restrictions during the pandemic?

3Point went virtual one week after the Boston Public Schools closed in March this year. We experimented in this medium and found ways to authentically engage with our students by changing our format, our program content and using video to our advantage. There are enormous opportunities that remote programming provides. We introduced a speakers series for our students focusing on social change that gave our students access to community leaders, prominent public officials, Celtics personnel, and leadership from the Boston Police Department. This could not have been done with in-person programming.

Are there any new initiatives at 3Point you’d like to share?

There is a new initiative planned for the late spring if in-person activities can be safely conducted. Working with BPS Athletics, we are planning to start a 9th grade basketball league for boys and girls in six high schools in which is embedded a curriculum to foster social-emotional growth. We also plan to expand our program to six new K-8 schools that do not now offer basketball programs and create our second K-8 school league. Of course, all of this depends on the health situation.

What’s your long-term goal for 3Point? Where do you want the organization to be in 5 years?

3Point has always been about closing the opportunity and achievement gap for underserved youth of color through learning programs that develop 21st century skills and foster socialemotional growth. We are a transformational program focused on students in grades 5–8. To fully achieve our mission it has become apparent that we will need to provide or arrange for support for our students during their journey through high school and college. I see that structure being put in place as the next strategic step for 3Point. Additionally we are working on other models which will make our programming and curriculum available to community organizations in other cities.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the world you’d most like to see solved?

From a world perspective, I think the pandemic needs to be addressed. From the perspective of the world in which I work, other than the pandemic, the biggest challenge that needs to be solved are the inequities that exist because of race and related social and economic conditions.

You can follow BSU on Twitter at @BostonSpeaksUp, and recommend BSU guests by contacting bostonspeaksup@gmail. com.

Youth are our future. Each child starts out with unlimited potential. However, the under-served economically disadvantaged youth with whom we work experience inequities in opportunities to learn, develop, and connect that have pernicious effects on life outcomes in health, education, and social mobility. All children are morally equal at birth. None of them chose the circumstances in which they find themselves. Not to try to level the playing field would be to fail as a human being.

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Prep baseball: Groton, Lawrence, Westminster coaches honor mentors by John McGuirk, New England Baseball Journal

Preston Bannard, Groton School

Preston Bannard, who is the Zebras assistant coach, was also a studentathlete at Groton. Bannard played for former head coach Jim Waugh, who came to Groton in 1950. After leaving Groton for a period, Waugh returned to coach the Zebras again from 1979-2003. “I vividly remember him still throwing batting practice at age 75,” recalls Bannard. “He impressed on us the importance of changing speeds from slow to slower to slowest in his case. Much of the beautiful intricacy of baseball I learned from Coach Waugh was his knack in developing pitchers to their full potential. He was utterly unconcerned that half the league probably knew his signals, impressing on us the importance on us instead of the importance of execution. It was a wonderful experience playing for him.” Another coach whom Bannard has great respect for is Glenn DiSarcina, who coached the Zebras for 12 seasons before stepping

New England Baseball Journal Editor’s note:

This feature is part of a series in which New England prep baseball coaches reflect on the inspiring mentors that helped pave the way for their respective careers. Acquiring and benefiting from another’s inspiration in some way, shape or form can be a vital element in one’s life moving forward. Somewhere along the way, a particular individual or individuals left an indelible, yet permanent, lesson on each of us. From a baseball coaching perspective, the mentorship passed down by others has become gospel for those attempting to carve out their own niche as a team leader. New England Baseball Journal spoke with several regional prep school coaches to get their recollections regarding those special people who served in becoming essential advisors by offering insurmountable guidance to assist with their own personal baseball endeavors.

Visit New England Baseball Journal for the series: »» Cushing, Salisbury, Winchendon coaches reflect on mentors »» Canterbury, Middlesex, Taft coaches credit mentors »» Andover, Exeter, Avon Old Farms coaches salute mentors »» St. Mark’s, Milton Academy, Bridgton Academy coaches point to mentors »» Belmont Hill, Gunnery, Kents Hill coaches pinpoint mentors

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Tyler Wosleger (Westminster School) and his mentor (and father) Scott Wosleger (Choate Rosemary Hall).

down following the 2018 season. Bannard spent a couple of years working as DiSarcina’s assistant. “Glenn’s eye for the intricacies of the game is incredible, whether it’s working with a kid on mechanics or time and time again calling pitch outs at exactly the right moment,’’ said Bannard. “He was also devoted to the craft by always willing to put in extra time with a kid, whether he was a college prospect or a bench player. He pushed players to be at their best while also understanding that they were students with important things going on in their lives off the field.”

Chris Margraf, Lawrence Academy

Chris Margraf has coached against some of the finest coaches throughout New England, including inside his own league, the ISL. Margraf praises former Belmont Hill coach Ed Gallagher as his role model to which he continues to emulate Gallagher’s style and personality within his own program at Lawrence. Not only an outstanding and respected baseball man, Gallagher was also a father figure to all of his players. In 2012, the Belmont Hill baseball field was named in his honor. After leaving Belmont Hill, Gallagher was an assistant coach for the Worcester Tornadoes of the Cam-Am League. “Eddie was an educator first and foremost and never lost sight of that,’’ Margraf said. “He never catered to the powers that be

NEPSAC News | Fall 2020 | 37


NESTMA members get more.

including parents and could be trusted by his players to be fair and to put the best nine out on the field regardless of age. Most importantly, he did not want his players to define themselves based on their baseball abilities. Being a good person and community member was most important to him. Establishing a career at an all boys’ schools comes with some different demands than coeducation. Young boys need a coach to be emotionally invested in them and Coach Gallagher was just that. He gave them a good deal of tough love, which came across in his patented raspy shouting voice. But Coach Gallagher never wanted to draw attention to himself. He was the antithesis of over dramatized metrics and I can only imagine what he thinks of the game now. I want to thank Coach Gallagher for helping a young 24 year old back in 1997–98 begin his coaching career at Lawrence Academy.”

Tyler Wosleger, Westminster School

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Tyler Wosleger is another who offers high praise to his father Scott as being his most beneficial mentor as both a player and coach. Scott Wosleger is currently the head coach at Choate Rosemary Hall School. He also served as an assistant coach at Wesleyan University and was head coach at East Hampton (Conn) High School prior. “From playing for him to coaching against him, I’ve had one mentor in the game, my dad,’’ said Wosleger. “He taught me everything I knew as a player and expanded that knowledge pool as a coach. I learned at a young age to respect the game, keep quiet, and play hard. Those pillars of the game were the foundation for the way I played and the way I coach. My hope is to instill those values on my players. It was always my dream to play Division 1 baseball (Fairfield University) and then to help my players get there too. It’s been a total joy to compete against him because of the mutual respect and the way his team handles themselves. I look forward to many more shared coaching moments ahead.” Seamans Media, Inc. is the leader in specialized sports media in the Northeast, featuring a multimedia portfolio of six regional print and digital magazines, two TV shows and four podcasts, reaching the world’s most passionate and affluent sports markets. Our mission is to inspire and inform amateur athletes and their supporters by sharing compelling stories and insightful advice to help further their development throughout their careers. For more visit www.seamansmedia.com

Don’t forget to use #nepsac in your social media posts!

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PHILLIPS ACADEMY | ANDOVER, MASSACHUSETTS

Inside Baseball

THREE ALUMS AND MLB PROS SHARE THEIR BEHINDTHE-SCENES STORIES OF THIS UNUSUAL SEASON

by Allen Lessels

M

ajor League Baseball played a season like no other this year and three Andover alums were front and center for a baseball summer that almost wasn’t. “It’s undeniably the most unique baseball season ever played,” says Seattle Mariners interim hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum ’96, whose older brother, Gus ’93 is the vice president for professional scouting for the Boston Red Sox. Each Major League team played just 60 games, instead of the usual 162, in a season that started on July 23, nearly four months later than originally scheduled. No fans were allowed in any stadium. MLB, along with other professional sports, also postponed games in a show of support for Black athletes and social justice. More games were later postponed due to unhealthy air quality from West Coast forest fires. Like all other sports, MLB came to an abrupt halt in midMarch, with the start of the season just two weeks away. “Our world was rocked,” Gus says. “We were rushed out of Fort Meyers to get home as quickly as possible.” The normal world of scouting and baseball development is one of sitting in ballparks day after day, watching players throw and hit and run, and then writing reports to assess talent. This summer though, the Quattlebaum brothers and Matt Hyde ’92, Northeast scout for the New York Yankees, spent a lot of time in home offices analyzing video and conducting Zoom meetings to rank and project future draft picks. “It was just a bizarre set of circumstances,” Gus says. But baseball’s new world order had its silver linings. Families went for walks. Hyde and his son, Willy, took up fishing. Brox Quattlebaum, 7, helped his dad, Hugh, make a video of hitting tips. Gus got to spend far more time than usual at home with his wife and three daughters. Professionally, Zoom meetings gave evaluators the ability to zero in on a player’s makeup. Members of the coaching, personnel, and scouting departments were able to jump in on calls and chat with prospective draft picks. And some of these changes may stick. “I think we’ll be able to utilize some of the tools we had to implement during this time as a part of our new routine,” says Hyde, who has driven up to 40,000 miles some years. “Now we can hop onto a Zoom call with a kid in Buffalo instead of driving 11 hours to get there.” But nothing can take the place of human interaction. Perhaps never has the human side of baseball been more on public display than when athletes responded en masse to the social justice movement this year. The Mariners, who have more Black players than any other MLB team, voted to not play against the San Diego Padres on August 27, one of several games across professional sports

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PHOTO BY MIKE BOWMAN

postponed in solidarity after the latest incident involving the police shooting of a Black man. “There was a lot of real, raw emotion and it increases the empathy level you have for teammates,” Hugh says. “I have tons of respect for how our team handled it.”

Big Blue Values

The Quattlebaum brothers (whose parents Ed ’60 and Ruth are faculty emeriti) and Matt Hyde ’92 say that their solid foundation at Andover— playing baseball and soaking in the school’s culture and values—undeniably helped guide them through uncharted territory this summer. “I think a lot of it goes back to stuff we learned at Andover. ‘Don’t just sit on your butt and do nothing.’ We were kind of taught that at school,” says Hyde, who played three seasons of Big Blue baseball with Gus. “Keep pushing, keep finding ways to do things better. Take what’s been dealt to you and make the best of it.” This article first published by Phillips Academy in Andover Magazine.

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