The PCA Blog - New England

Sweet 16: Exceptional Scholarship Finalists in New England


Sixteen Exceptional High School Student-Athletes in New England
Because “What Gets Rewarded, Gets Repeated”

Positive Coaching Alliance-New England is proud to announce that sixteen high school student-athletes from around New England are Finalists in its Triple-Impact Competitor® Scholarship Award program.

This program rewards ethical high school athletes who strive to make themselves, their teammates, and the game better.  Each of these exceptional young people was selected from the more than 1,500 high school student-athletes nationwide who completed applications consisting of essays and at least three recommendations, from coaches, school administrators, and individuals familiar with them as embodying Triple-Impact Competitor principles.

One of the great life lessons in sports is that “what gets rewarded gets repeated.” To encourage young athletes to improve themselves, their teammates, and the game, PCA-NE is celebrating the Finalists through a combination of events, awards, mentoring, and sharing their stories throughout the 2018-19 academic year.

PCA-New England shines a spotlight on each of the sixteen Triple-Impact Competitor Finalists below. 

Alec Abramson, a senior at Sandwich High School in Sandwich, Massachusetts who has played basketball and golf, competes in track and field, and trains as a black belt in karate, values how sports have made him who he is.

Tireless, diligent, committed, and well-respected, Alec has works hard to improve himself and those around him. A leader in his community, Alec started an adaptive sports club and a fundraising golf tournament. Alec’s positive leadership combined with his commitment to community service makes PCA proud to recognize him as a Triple-Impact Competitor.

Megan Bauman, a senior at East Lyme High School in East Lyme, Connecticut who plays basketball and soccer, is that rare player who passes first and sees teammates open before they do. Basketball captain since her sophomore year and on her way to set school records, Megan is committed to being the best she can be—seeking extra practice, studying games at every level through WNBA/NBA, and coaching and refereeing youth games.

Megan has also passionately pursued community service work, organizing a 3v3 basketball tournament to benefit a food bank and co-founding a sign language club to support an integrated preschool, demonstrating that she is unquestionably a Triple-Impact Competitor.

Aubrey Blanchard, a senior at Monument Mountain Regional High School from Housatonic, Massachusetts who plays soccer, swims, and competes in track and field, has learned the power of helping others through her athletic experiences.

Helping a teammate through serious personal challenges, and organizing her team to wear pink swim caps and enter the pool to “Fight Song” in support of her coach during her battle with breast cancer, Aubrey appreciates the sports “go far beyond the game.” Humble, hard-working, and empathetic, Aubrey earned the title Triple-Impact Competitor.

Megan Brown, a senior at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School is from Billerica, Massachusetts who has played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, is the type of person coaches would like to have ten more of on their team.

Learning teamwork, leadership, compassion and more from sports, Megan is an enthusiastic role model for those around her. Megan takes great joy in helping others, and is a true Triple-Impact Competitor.

Angela Cao, a senior at The John D. O’Bryant School for Mathematics and Science in Boston, Massachusetts who plays squash, is recognized by her coaches and mentors as “an all-around incredible student-athlete, teammate and citizen, who rises above, emphatically checking every box.”

Angela understands the importance of mastery, she works hard in the classroom (English is her second language), on the court, and in taking a leadership role as a middle school coach and Student Ambassador at SquashBusters. Appreciative, curious, and “astonishingly humble,” Angela is the definition of a Triple-Impact Competitor.

Walter Conway, a senior at Stoneham High School in Stoneham, Massachusetts who plays baseball and golf, and competes in track and field, has not only made himself, his teammates, and the game better, he has made the game safer.

Walter successfully campaigned to make protective head gear mandatory for pitchers in Stoneham, after Walter suffered a seizure and bleeding in his brain when he was pitching and a batted ball hit him in the head. Conscientious, outgoing, and positive, Walter exemplifies a Triple-Impact Competitor.

Megan Curran, a senior at Foxborough High School in Foxborough, Massachusetts who plays field hockey and lacrosse, is an athlete and a leader who appreciates that a team is not a team unless everyone is welcome, connected, and working towards a common goal.

Megan gives back to by coaching younger players. Possessing a growth mindset and a work ethic to match, Megan has earned the opportunity to play lacrosse at Princeton and to be named a PCA Triple-Impact Competitor.

Aidan Davin, a senior at Foxborough High School in Foxborough, Massachusetts who plays football and basketball, and competes in track and field, has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to his personal development, to his teams, and to his community.

Aidan puts the “we before me” in sports, and in tireless community work with Best Buddies and as a volunteer for students with disabilities at the YMCA and his high school. Respecting the game, officials, and opponents, Aidan honors his father’s memory. Aidan is an exemplary Triple-Impact Competitor.

Nicole DePaolo, a senior at Fryeburg Academy in Fryeburg, Maine who plays soccer and Ultimate Frisbee, and competes in alpine ski racing, has been shaped by her athletic experiences. Joining the Ultimate Frisbee team as a sophomore she learned to appreciate the importance of trying new things.

Nicole’s experience facing down obstacles on skis has made her a resilient, empathetic person willing to persevere and take risks. Sharing yoga, meditation, and warm cups of coffee with her ski coaches, Nicole has made herself, her teammates, and the game better through her leadership and hard work—she is a Triple-Impact Competitor.

Matthew Freitas, a senior at Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, wrestles and plays lacrosse with passion, character, resilience, and concern for others. Matthew is also a competitive American Ninja Warrior athlete who gives back by coaching kids in a junior ninja program he started.

Matthew’s achievements on the field, mat, and obstacle course are exceptional, his work ethic and positivity more so in light of his loss of the lower portion of one leg in a car accident six years ago. Matthew is an inspiration to his teammates and his community, he deserves the title Triple-Impact Competitor.

Ijahman Morgan, a senior at the Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, Massachusetts who plays soccer, appreciates how the game “simulates life and all its difficulties.”

Having overcome adversity, Ijahman appreciates the importance of remaining calm, confident, and disciplined because when there is pressure, in life or in soccer “the most important thing is to have fun, and to make the most of it.” Focused, purposeful, and constantly striving to make himself, his teammates, and the game better, Ijahman is the definition of a Triple-Impact Competitor.

Payton Raftery-Smith, a senior at The Prout School in West Warwick, Rhode Island who has played volleyball and softball and competes in track and field, enjoys “the pure joy of competition.”

The joy of sport propels Payton to work with Special Olympians and to raise funds for Special Olympics-Rhode Island through the Penguin Plunge, in memory of her great-grandfather. Payton is a Triple-Impact Competitor who “honors the game through joy, grit, and giving back.”

Lia Rubel, a senior at Spaulding High School in Barre, Vermont who plays field hockey and lacrosse, is a caring, unselfish athlete, leader, and youth referee who exudes happiness on the field. Lia believed that grit characterized her as an athlete until she tore her ACL, in the months that followed she gained a deeper appreciation of the importance of playing smarter and more effectively.

Initially a nervous referee in a “zebra-striped shirt,” Lia developed confidence in her knowledge of the game, her calls, and the importance of respect in sports. PCA is proud to name Lia a Triple-Impact Competitor.

Shaniya Stancil, a senior at Kolbe Cathedral High School in Meriden, Connecticut, plays basketball with passion, compassion, competitiveness, and sportsmanship. Shaniya has worked exceptionally hard to become the player and person she wants to be.

Shaniya is a Triple-Impact Competitor, a positive leader who stands up for what she believes in, understands how to encourage her teammates, and believes in being an inclusive team player. PCA is proud to recognize Shaniya as a Triple-Impact Competitor.

Jenna Wells, a senior at Revere High School in Revere, Massachusetts who plays field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse, and competes in track and field, carries herself “with a fire fueled by simply wanting to be better than she was minutes ago.”

Her coach shares that Jenna’s fire has made her an exceptional athlete and leader who always strives to be better. Jenna is humble, unselfish, and hard-working with the grit and heart to succeed at whatever she tries. Jenna is a true Triple-Impact Competitor.

Hunter Whitbeck, a senior at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, Massachusetts who has competed in diving and gymnastics, appreciates the value of teammates supporting one another even in the most individual of sports or endeavors.

Inspired by older teammates and marathoner Shalane Flanagan, Hunter has become a leader on his team with a work ethic and drive for success that is matched only by his commitment to sportsmanship and supporting teammates and opponents. Hunter’s dedication to making himself, his teammates, and the game better make him an exemplary Triple-Impact Competitor.

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