WMA athletes honored at banquet

Students at Wilbraham & Monson Academy were presented with Most Valuable Awards at a banquet last month. Pictured are (from left) Marissa Small-Towns, cross country; Ben Marcus, water polo; Carly Cronin, soccer; Michael Mendes, football; Julia Beech, soccer; Joseph Thibault, cross country; Qiuhui Wang, volleyball; Philip Antonacci, soccer; Richelle Davis, field hockey; and Eva Landers, water polo.

Reminder Publications submitted photo

WILBRAHAM — Fall varsity athletic awards were presented at Wilbraham & Monson Academy on Nov. 15 at the end-of-season Athletic Banquet.

Coaches and team members recognized outstanding achievement, perseverance, and leadership on the field. At the outset of the ceremony, Director of Athletics Don Nicholson invoked the spirit of the Trustees Cup presented each year at Commencement to the team best achieving the ideals of interscholastic athletics: a winning record, academic achievement, sportsmanship, team spirit, and leadership off the field.

Those students receiving Coaches Awards were Benjamin Cobleigh of Hampden for water polo; Michaela Fortin of Suffield, Conn., for volleyball; Gillian Callahan of West Brookfield for field hockey; Robert Kelley of Weddington, N.C., and Heather Little of Wilbraham for cross country; Ryan McLarney of Newport, R.I., and Brianna Goncalves of East Longmeadow for soccer; and Samuel Hart of Amherst for football, an award designated as the Doug Foley Award.

In addition, boys’ and girls’ soccer teams each present a 12th Player Award given to that player who comes off the bench and sparks the team to greater efforts. This year that honor in boys’ soccer went to Chanawin Tengamnuay of Bangkok, Thailand, and Kelsey Gomes of East Longmeadow received the 12th Player Award for girls’ soccer.

Most Valuable Players included, for the second consecutive year, Richelle Davis of Enfield, Conn., for field hockey; Michael Mendes of Wareham (offense) and Craig Martin of Sandwich (defense) for football; Philip Antonacci of Somersville, Conn., for boys’ soccer; Julia Beech of Belchertown and Carly Cronin of Feeding Hills for girls’ soccer; Joseph Thibault of Southwick and, for the second year, Marissa Small-Towns of Decatur, Ga., for cross country; Qiuhui Wang of Hangzhou, China, for volleyball; Eva Landers of Palmer and, for the second year, Ben Marcus of West Springfield for water polo, whose career 236 goals set a new school record.

Postseason play and honors are as follows:
  • Cross Country — Joseph Thibault and Marissa Small-Towns represented the Academy in the league All Star meet.

  • Soccer — With a regular season record of 9-2-2, the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Titans entered postseason tournament play as the number two seed in the Class B division of the New England Prep School Soccer Association tournament. The team finished the regular season as the Women’s Western New England Prep School Soccer Association (WWNEPSSA) Class B Champions for the second consecutive year, with 12 players scoring 48 goals and the defense allowing only 15 goals against.

    The quarterfinal game against #7 seed Lawrence Academy was played in a cold, steady rain. The game was tied 1-1 at the end of the first half, but Lawrence scored what proved to be the winning goal early in the second half and hung on to win. The lone Titans goal was scored by Carly Cronin with an assist from Christina Wakefield.

  • WWNEPSSA selected three Titans from the Girls’ Varsity team to play in the Large School All Star game: Julia Beech of Belchertown, Carly Cronin of Feeding Hills, and Christina Wakefield of East Longmeadow.

  • WNEPSSA selected Adolf Kawuba of Watertown from the Boys’ Varsity Soccer team to play in the All Star game for the second year. Kawuba and Nicholas Martinelli of East Longmeadow played in the inaugural New England Junior All Star game. Hyun Seok Jung of Seoul, Korea, and Christopher Lewis of Springfield represented the Academy in the Senior Bowl.

  • Field Hockey — Richelle Davis of Enfield, Conn., repeated her appearance on the WNEPSFHA All Star team where she scored two goals. Julia Bell of Longmeadow was also selected for the team.

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