Athletes recognized with league wide accolades
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Long practices, late night homework, missing social events and losing time with friends: these are all commitments and sacrifices that fall athletes must make.
In addition to team recognition for their commitment, selected athletes are chosen for honorable mentions and Bay State All Star Awards near the completion of a season. Instead of individual validation and self praise, athletes who receive these awards often give credit to their team for the recognition.
Senior boys varsity soccer player Zach Knopf was awarded a Bay State All Star Award.
According to Knopf, his team is an integral part of his success.
“I was very excited when I found out I had received this title but I tried to stay composed. I didn’t celebrate because this award isn’t just for me it’s for the whole team. I was just a small part of the work that we did over the course of the season, ” Knopf said.
Knopf also said that the award is a strong representation of the success his team had.
Varsity cheerleader Emily Gerson, a junior, was named a Bay State League honorable mention. Gerson said that the award didn’t necessarily define her hard work but instead the entire team’s.
“I don’t think that winning an award is necessarily the end all be all of validation, because I know that there are lots of other people on my team who have worked really hard during the season. On cheer, we award gold bows to certain outstanding cheerleaders after every competition, so a lot of people get a chance to get recognized,” Gerson said. “At the same time, I do appreciate the recognition I get from having received the award and have to give a lot of credit to my team for their hard work.”
According to Gerson, hard work is essential in cheerleading and she is proud that the cheer team’s hard work has led her to an award.
Boys varsity soccer player and senior Jay Gilbert, was also named a Bay State League All Star honorable mention. Gilbert said he was surprised he received this award and was particularly happy to gain recognition in such a competitive league.
“When I received the title I was shocked. I didn’t really think I had a shot at any kind of recognition. We play in one of the best leagues in Massachusetts, so I never really thought about the possibility,” Gilbert said.
According to Gilbert, while proud of his award, it is important to give credit to his team because they are the ones who helped him get the award and be the best athlete he can be.
“I was obviously excited to be recognized. It felt good to know that my hard work over my four years had paid off,” Gilbert said. “But, I have to give all the credit to the guys around me, specifically the three other guys in the back line, as well as Peter Jones in net. They took a lot of pressure off of me and made my job a whole lot easier.”