Unsung Heroes: Winter Sports Teams
Alexandra Pigeon, Ryan Palmer, and Tim Sullivan compiled this report.
Now that winter sports have come to an end, it’s time to look back on these seasons and recognize some of the accomplishments that have gone unnoticed.
Coaches of each sport were asked to choose an unsung hero of the team, considering someone who contributes greatly but doesn’t always get the recognition they deserve.
An unsung hero doesn’t have to be the all-star, the top scorer, or the captain but someone who demonstrates what the ideal athlete and teammate should be.
Being a coachable, hardworking, supportive player like all of these unsung heroes are, goes a long way in making the team a success.
Talia Rindone – Cheerleading
Out of all the girls on the winter cheerleading team, junior Talia Rindone was named the unsung hero.
According to Coach Jeanine Reardon, Talia “works every day to be a better teammate and cheerleader.” As for her role on the squad, Reardon says, Talia is a base and “has very strong tumbling skills.”
Adiza Alasa – Girls Basketball
The unsung hero of the girl’s basketball team is someone unexpected but completely deserving, the eighth-grade team manager Adiza Alasa.
Coach Diana Mitchell believes that Alasa was incredibly important to their success with the way that “she brings intensity, toughness and a competitive edge that sparked something great in our team.” Ms. Mitchell says that Alasa has a “love for the game” and a “special quality that doesn’t come around often.”
Whether she was doing the book at games, washing the uniforms for her teammates, or lacing up and challenging them on the court “her dedication and inspiration to [Ms. Mitchell] and the team [was] more important than any stat.”
According to Ms. Mitchell, Alasa is “what every coach dreams about. I would like to thank her for everything she did for us this season and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead in her future,” she adds.
Jillian Donahue – Swimming
Among the female swimmers, freshman Jillian Donahue was chosen as the unsung hero of her team due to her determination, willingness to take on new roles, and her place as the third top scorer. Coach Julie Margolis was impressed that although she had a “couple bouts of ear infections that kept her out of the practice pool a few times,” Donahue was always able to tough it out for meets. It turns out that despite her “unorthodox stroke,” she was great at all distances of the freestyle and “has a propensity for breaststroke.” Coach Margolis adds that she “look[s] forward to watching her grow as a leading swimmer for [the] team in future seasons.”
Leshon Crawford – Basketball
For the boys’ basketball team, Leshon Crawford has always been about the team.
According to Frederick Damon, head basketball coach, Crawford is a “tremendous leader [and] extra motivated, whether he is on the court or not.”
Joseph Pumphrey – Swimming
For the boys’ swimmers, Joseph Pumphrey was one of the backbones of the team. Pumphrey never complained and worked as hard as possible to learn and develop his strokes.
According to head swimming coach, Julie Margolis, “[Pumphrey] has always been the strongest breaststroke swimmer [and] has an easy going spirit and quiet demeanor.”
Jimmy Fitzgerald – Wrestling
For the wrestling team this year, Jimmy Fitzgerald was a consistent wrestler who starred this season as a freshman. “I knew Jimmy Fitz was the unsung hero when he made the wrestler from Duxbury shed tears of pain. It was lit!” said Matthew Concannon, an avid wrestling spectator.
Matt Dunn – Hockey
Hockey player, Matt Dunn, is the unsung hero for the hockey team this year. Dunn constantly picked up the pace for the Rockland Dogs in tough times on and off the ice with his extraordinary leadership.
According to Coach Mike Flaherty, “He picked us up quite a bit in tough times with his leadership in the locker room and consistently worked hard on the ice. Matt is going to be a great leader for us the next two years.”
Photos by Ryan Palmer, Alex Pigeon, and Jaymie Atkins