Thayer Athletics in the News
On Friday April 4, Emma Fitzgerald ’16 traveled to Miramar, Florida to compete in the Track & Field Trials for the Summer Youth Olympic Games to be held in China this summer (2104).
At the Trials, athletes from the entire North American continent gained recognition in the women’s javelin event, with Emma Fitzgerald (USA) taking first place. The Thayer sophomore threw the 500-gram youth javelin for a personal best 168' 2" (51.25m) to top the field by 10 feet. Brittni Woczyk (Canada) took the silver medal with her mark of 157’ 6” (48.02m) and bronze medalist Luz Mariana Castro (Mexico) threw the jav 156’ 1” (47.57m).
Emma will compete in the 2nd Youth Olympic Games on August 16-28, 2014 in Nanjing, China. The meet is for athletes around the world, not turning 18 during the calendar year.
Senior Julianne Landry played in the U-19 National Championship game where her team (Assabet) prevailed as tournament champions. Julianne was a stand-out goaltender in the tournament where she only allowed 1 goal in the 19 shots taken on her. Click the link below to check out more information on her amazing performance.
(l-r) Matt O'Toole '97, Kristen Vassalotti '07 & Jared Porter '99
Jared Porter ’99, is good at a lot of things and one of those things is giving back. He has been good to both of his alma maters: Thayer Academy and Bowdoin College. Now that he's working with New England's favorite team, he's been generous with his time, returning to both campuses to share the secrets of his success with current students. Jared has been a regular participant in Thayer’s Career Day Program and most recently, in January of 2013, he served on the sports management panel along with Matt O’Toole ’97, head coach of the Clark University men’s soccer team, and Kristen Vassalotti ’07 who works for Reebok International.
Jared has not only been successful, but has also managed to nab a dream job with the Boston Red Sox. He started in 2004 as an intern in Fort Myers, Florida, and now he is the director of professional scouting for the Boston team. As scouting director, his responsibilities include overseeing the professional and major league scouting staff, daily interaction with the general manager, regular consultation with the baseball operations staff about trades, free agent signings, and comprehensive analysis of players in other organizations. Since Jared started working with the Red Sox, they have won two World Series Championships and have advanced to the playoffs five times.
Before he moved into the scouting arena, Jared worked for the Red Sox in player development at a time when Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Felix Doubront, Daniel Bard, and Justin Masterson were developing in the Red Sox farm system.
While Jared was a student at Thayer, he was an honor roll student, a peer tutor, an officer in the Thayer Athletic Association, a tour guide, and a member of the varsity football, baseball, hockey, and tennis teams. His passionate interest in sports was evident in his participation on four varsity teams and also in his choice of yearbook quotes – one from Bill Parcells and another from the legendary Vince Lombardi. The quotes show his interest in sports, but they also reveal an inner drive to accomplish big things:
- “Winners don’t need to be recognized as brilliant; they strive to be dominant.” – Bill Parcells, head coach for the New England Patriots, 1993-1996
- “Success rests not only on ability, but upon commitment, loyalty, and pride.” – Vince Lombardi, head coach for the Green Bay Packers, 1959-1967
You can read more about Jared’s work in professional scouting – what makes him good at it and why he is respected by others in the field, in this article from Bowdoin’s Winter 2014 Alumni Magazine»
You might also be interested in this interview from The Bowdoin Orient after the Red Sox won the World Series last fall (2013).
Last week, senior Track and Field stand out, Julia Barron signed a Letter of Intent to participate in the Track and Field program at Boston College this upcoming fall. Julia is a brilliant student and diligent athlete -- she joins seniors Gigi Packard, Tyler Blaisdell, Shannon McGowan, Ryan Murray and Shane Rinkus who have all signed NLI's to compete in their sport at the next level.
Although the Tigers had a tough loss in the quarter-final Elite 8 tournament game against Berkshire, they finished the regular season with a record of 21-3-1.
This noteworthy record caught the interest of the editors at the New England Hockey Journal, who have produced a program to spotlight the team on the Comcast Sportsnet New England Channel. The episode will air at the following times:
- Fri, Feb 28 @ 8 p.m.
- Sat, March 1 @ 9 a.m.
- Sun, March 2 @ 9:30 a.m.
Check it out!
The 2014 boys' hockey team won the Valicenti Cup game this year, defeating St. Sebastian's 6-3.
Shown above (l-r) with the Valicenti Cup trophy are co-captain Jon Barry '14, former athletic director and varsity hockey coach Arthur Valicenti ' 51, P '75, '75, '77, GP '10,' 14, ‘14, co-captain Neil Conway '14, and co-recipient of the Ferriter Cup for game MVP Ryan Peterson '14. Stephen Cochrane '14 (who is not pictured above) shares the Ferriter Cup with Ryan.
Congratulations to the boys' hockey team for their invitation as the #3 seed in the Elite 8 New England Hockey Tournament. With an overall NEPSAC record of 23-3-1 it was quite a season! Thayer will play the #6 seed, Berkshire School, at the Canton Sportsplex at 3:30 this Wednesday, Feb 26, in the quarter-final game. This is a one-game elimination tournament.
Please come out and support the Tigers! Students can sign up for a round-trip fan bus at Ms. Kerr's desk in the Athletic Office.
Download the bracket»
At a recent Monday Meeting, Rick Hoyt and his father Dick spoke to Thayer’s Upper School students about the athletic adventures they had been undertaking over the last thirty-six years. Rick and Dick are a long-distance running team, and an unusual one at that, because Rick, a quadriplegic, is confined to a wheelchair. If you are a fan of the Boston Marathon, you’ve probably seen them in action because it is an annual moment of collective joy and regional pride when Dick Hoyt pushes his son’s chair past the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street to the finish line between Exeter and Dartmouth Streets.
From the moment Dick and Rick took the stage, every person in Thayer’s 540-seat Hale Theater was drenched in awe and dazzled by inspiration. The stories told by this remarkable father-and-son team left no doubt in anyone’s mind about the magnificent potential of the human spirit. If Mr. Hoyt and his son Rick could run marathons and triathlons (including six Ironman competitions) who could possibly fear studying for a chemistry test or writing a college essay or memorizing lines for a part in the winter play? After hearing about the Hoyt family’s journey, who had a goal they couldn’t meet or an idea they couldn’t bring to fruition?
Whether you read the rest of this article or not, you must watch this short video telling the Hoyt story through imagery and music
. You might want to pay special attention to the scenes that show Rick and his father making the transition from the swimming to the biking stage of a triathlon. If this isn’t the definition of true love, what is?
Dick and Judy Hoyt have three sons, Rick, Russel, and Robert. Their oldest son Rick suffered from oxygen deprivation to the brain at the time of his birth, and has lived for 51 years as a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Doctors advised Dick and Judy to institutionalize their son, but they chose instead to help him live a full life. Because Rick was at first denied access to the public school system, his mother Judy fought for his right to an education, and in addition to her many accomplishments in the field of education, she helped to pass the first special education reform law in the country, Chapter 766. Rick ended up as a successfsul student in spite of his handicap, and in 1993, he graduated from Boston University with a degree in special education.
Because of Rick’s physical limitations, he is unable to speak with his mouth, but he can communicate effectively with the help of a custom-built computer designed by a group of engineers at Tufts University. The computer allows Rick to select individual letters of the alphabet by tapping his head against the headrest on his wheelchair. It was in 1972, when Rick was ten years old, that he was finally able to formulate words, thanks to this computer, and his passion for sports became immediately clear when his first words were “Go, Bruins!”
Rick and Dick officially became Team Hoyt in the spring of 1977 when Rick convinced his father to enter them in a five-mile run. The race was held to benefit a lacrosse player who had been recently paralyzed in an accident. Rick felt such empathy for his schoolmate that the inherent challenges in his proposal didn’t even occur to him. Dick had never trained as a runner, but his son’s determination to contribute to the cause motivated him to give it a try. Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and to the surprise of many, they finished all five miles, coming in next to last. After finishing the race, Rick told his father, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.” This energized Dick to train harder and harder; to find more and more opportunities for competition.
At first, the intrepid pair ran into a series of obstacles, not from the obvious physical demands they would face, but from members of various race committees who refused to let them participate because of the so-called unfair advantage they would have over other runners. By the time they visited Thayer, Dick and Rick had not only completed well over 1,000 races but they had also crossed the United States from one coast to the other, by biking and running 3,735 miles in 45 days. One of the most incredible parts of their story is that before they entered their first triathlon (consisting of three phases: swimming, cycling, and running) Dick didn’t know how to swim. To train for the race, Dick sold their house and bought a new place on a lake so he could teach himself how to swim by doing laps back and forth along the front of their property. Dick is 73 years old, and Rick is now 51. Neither of them is ready to retire yet, but they are considering a reduction in the number of competitions they’ll enter each year. They’ll definitely run in at least one more Boston Marathon though, because the bombings that shocked the city last April prevented them from finishing the 2013 race.Read more»
Last Friday was a historical night in Thayer Athletics. There were seven upper school athletic contests that night and six of them were wins for the Tigers. Thayer faced highly competitive opponents in the Governor’s Academy, Milton Academy and Brooks School. Every varsity game kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle as each game ended with Thayer seizing their moment and winning the game by a margin of 1 or 2 points.
The Boys’ basketball teams had back-to-back wins in Memorial Gym in front of many fan’s supporting the team’s Black Out Night. The boys’ varsity team earned a 14 point lead that Governor’s was able to close over time – but the Tigers never gave up and ended the game in a back and forth battle that eventually left Thayer with the last word. The Boys’ varsity hockey team traveled to Belmont Hill where they came back from a three-goal deficit to win the game 6-5. The Girls’ basketball teams traveled to The Governor’s Academy where both varsity and junior varsity earned hard fought wins while playing against an energetic Governor’s crowd.
Needless to say, it was a very exciting night of athletics for Thayer student-athletes and for the Thayer community; it was a great night to be a Tiger!
Senior Neil Conway leads his team on the ice here at Thayer Academy, but also leads in the community with his giving spirit! Neil was recently selected by Channel 7 and featured in thier weekly "Class Act" televeision program. Read the article below to find out more about Neil's generous contributions to the community.
Brian Gibbons, a Braintree native, impacted Thayer's hockey program and continued his legacy at Boston College and now has made his mark in the NHL. Click the link below for a feature on Gibbons written by the Boston Globe.