Best Female Athlete
According to Hoelman, Brown is a quick and dedicated learner who puts in a lot of time and effort to perfecting her pitch. The work she puts in outside of Blair practices and year-round travel softball – with personal coaches for example – has paid off and made Brown a force to be reckoned with on the field, says Hoelman.
Perhaps it is all this extra work that Brown puts in that makes her so confident in her pitching abilities – regardless, Hoelman truly sees her confidence on the mound as an asset to the team and believes that the confidence inspires her leadership capabilities. "The team knows that when she is pitching they are going to get her best performance," he said.
Best Male Athlete
Senior Caleb Furlow uses his speed and technical prowess to be a force on the football field, where every step counts. His speed has allowed him to make important catches for Blair during his four-year career. "A yard in front or a yard behind makes a big difference," coach Jeffery Seals said. Furlow ran indoor and outdoor track during the football off-season to keep in shape, and his work paid off this past season with his nine touchdowns, four interceptions and over 1,000 all-purpose yards. Furlow played a variety of both offensive and defensive positions on this year's football team, as a result of Blair not having enough players to make a full switch between defensive and offensive squads.
Best Female Teams
Blair produced two record-breaking sports teams this spring: both our softball and gymnastics teams deserve recognition for their accomplishments. This year, gymnastics defeated every single one of the teams in their division and won States to top it all off. To many Blazers, it may seem surprising that gymnastics is one of the top teams that Blair has fielded this year, but they have dominated competition. Unlike other teams in the county, Blair's squad doesn't merely rely on a couple of "tens" (experienced and consistently good gymnasts), but on the whole team. Senior captain Claire Hoffman stressed that Blair's goal this season was being "solid." Everyone on the team contributed to the win by racking up points, and this strategy paid off in their championship win.
Best Male Team
The boys' volleyball team destroyed competition this year – they beat every team in their division and won the County Championships (and therefore States). Their starters team never dropped a set, and consistently gave Blair a large lead from the start of the game. Blair lost only one match during the season – rival Richard Montgomery (RM) bested them when Blair was missing five players. However, Blair encountered RM again during the final round of the playoffs, where they beat them in three sets by a score of 25-16, 25-16 and 25-18. This win allowed them to capture the county title, and therefore States because no other counties in Maryland offer boys' volleyball.
Mere minutes left on the clock, and Blair basketball was losing to Einstein, a team that they usually beat. The game had not been going well for the Blazers, who had lost their lead over Einstein after a series of errors and bobbled plays. With the clock ticking down the seconds and a two-point deficit on their minds, the Blazers pressed the offense with the goal of getting the ball to senior Joshua Kickenson. However, Kickenson had been having a bit of an off-game: he was heavily guarded and his shots just weren't making it in. Twice the ball was rebounded, and the final time it ended up in the hands of junior Tucker Canary. Canary took the shot from the behind the three point line and at the sound of the buzzer, the game was closed with a 39-38 victory for Blair.
Since this shot, Canary has been hailed by teammates and fans as a solid player under pressure. Canary himself described the moment as a quick flash. "I just threw it up there," he said.
According to Head Coach Mark DeStefano this play secured Canary's position as a leader on the team and gave the team momentum. DeStefano described the feeling of making a game-winning basket at the buzzer as a sugar high – while it improved confidence and energy short term, the effects during the playoffs more than a month later were minimal. However, it did allow Blair to secure their fifth consecutive win against Einstein, and their third consecutive win of the season. Even though DeStefano didn't think it was a particularly pretty game, this shot brought renown to the team.
Claire Sleigh. I love crew. Silver Chips should cover it. More »