Profiles of fall sports award winners


Dec. 10, 2004, midnight | By Anthony Glynn Erik Kojola | 16 years, 1 month ago


Girls Varsity Volleyball
by Nick Falgout

Coach's award
Senior Kate Selby, a four-year veteran and senior co-captain of the volleyball team, is known for her signature smile and underhanded serve. Selby has played consistently all season, especially when needed at the net and on the service return.

Most Improved
Senior Thaissa Souza steadily stepped up her game with each match played this season. She emerged as one of the team's top servers and setters, playing a key role in several of Blair's more solid games.

Most Outstanding Senior
Tina Yang, in her third year with the Blair volleyball team, shared the captain responsibility with fellow senior Kate Selby. Yang consistently sported a clean, powerful serve and vicious net play. She also demonstrated the leadership skills necessary to band the team together.

MVP
Freshman Julie Zhu was Blair's top server and setter this season. Her smooth, precise serve was good enough to single-handedly keep the team in games, and her intelligence and agility as a setter made her indispensable to Blair's limited success this season.

Varsity Girls' Soccer
by Ellie Blalock

Coach's award
Senior Julia Simon-Mishel, the team's stalwart goalie throughout the season, won the Coach's award. Simon-Mishel brought consistent defense to the team and made many dazzling saves.

MVP
The MVP award went to senior Lindsey Fowler-Marques, a star midfielder who used excellent skills and a lot of experience to provide assistance to and communication with the Blazer offense, which struggled this year.

Most Improved
Sophomore Danielle Peck won the Most Improved award for the season. Peck provided much aggressive offense to the team, scoring crucial goals in numerous games. Peck's skill at offense impressed onlookers at many games.

Most Outstanding Senior
The team awarded the Most Outstanding Senior award to captain Vicky Dean. Dean provided support to her team via her strong leadership skills and constant energy. She also supported the team's offense by leading many critical plays.

Girls' Cross Country
by Jonah Gold

MVP
Sophomore Halsey Sinclair won the MVP award for the girls' cross country team for the 2004 season. Halsey placed first in every regular season meet this year, while setting new course records at Quince Orchard and Gaithersburg. Halsey continued her success in the postseason, leading the girls' team through the County and Regional Championships, and then individually in the State Championship, in which she won the 4A division with a time of 19:52.

Coach's award
Sophomore Ashlyn Sinclair won the Coach's award for the girls' cross
country team for the 2004 season. Ashlyn was the second fastest
runner on the team. Ashlyn placed within the top five in all of the
team's regular season meets and helped to lead the girls' team to its
8th place finish at the Regional Championship. Only Ashlyn and her
sister represented Blair at the State Championship, where she finished
in 18th place.

Boys Cross Country
by Jonah Gold

MVP
Sophomore Josh Uzzell won the MVP award for the boys' cross country
team for the 2004 season. Uzzell was consistently Blair's fastest runner, with times as low as 17:55 during the regular season. Although the boys' team did not advance past the Regional Championships, Uzzell finished in 43rd place individually among tough competition at the Regional Meets. Uzzell was a leader of a young boys' team that should only increase in talent with time.

Most Outstanding Senior
Senior Alan Bateman won the Most Outstanding Senior Award for the Cross Country team. He was captain and had the best attendance record of any other runner this season. At the Regional Championship, Bateman
was the second Blazer to finish with a time of 19:51. He finished in
61st place overall. Although the team did not advance to the State
Championship, Bateman was able to lead a team consisting of mostly freshmen and sophomores to make serious improvements.

Golf
by Adith Sekaran

Most Valuable Player
Senior Neal Vasilak was consistently the highest scorer on the team. Vasilak shot in the team's first spot and was matched up against the opponent's best players throughout the season. As a season average, Vasilak shot slightly over a 43, the lowest average on the team. Vasilak believes it was "an honor" to be awarded the MVP trophy.

Sportsmanship award
Senior Neil Hoffman was the starter with the best attitude throughout the season. When the season was looking rather dismal, Hoffman emerged as the vocal leader. "I played a role in keeping the spirits up," says Hoffman.

Most Improved
As the only underclassman of the starting six, sophomore John Conroy had the third best average on the team, shooting over a 47. Conroy emerged as a consistent starter in the fourth spot this season, although he did not have much playing time last year. Conroy will be the only golfer to win an award and return to play next season.

Most Outstanding Senior
Senior Bill McManigle brought together performance and sportsmanship during the season. "He really is the Most Outstanding Senior. [Bill] played well and was a good teammate," says fellow golfer Hoffman.

McManigle was happy he was able to help the team. "I am proud to deserve the award and glad I was an important part of the team," says McManigle.

Boys' Varsity Soccer
by Erik Kojola

Most Improved
Sophomore Michael Worden emerged as a key player for the boys' varsity soccer team this season. He began the season as one of many talented midfielders, but as the season progressed he displayed his soft touch and deft dribbling which earned him a starting spot. Worden quickly became a consistent starter and playmaker for the Blazers, despite being undersized. Being currently only a sophomore, Worden will continue to be a leader and standout player for the Blazers for another two years.

Coach's award
Senior co-captain Greg Breads was an essential part of the team's defense this season. He was a great leader on and off the field, as he was crucial in organizing the Blazers. Breads' hustle and speed as allowed him to be a force all over the field. He often made streaking runs up from his defensive position, always recovering in time to protect the Blair goal. Breads' commitment to working in the off season and playing club soccer year-round has made him one of Blair's top players and one of the better players in Montgomery County.

Most Outstanding Senior
Senior co-captain Yenika Fon had a spectacular season playing sweeper for the Blair boys' varsity soccer team. His excellent speed and quick feet helped him to thwart the offense of opposing teams. When Fon moved up to varsity as a junior he switched from forward to defense. Still, Fon was able to play forward in a couple games and was instrumental in generating offensive plays for the Blazers, as he contributed two assists. Fon was picked to play in the Montgomery County Senior All-Star game.

MVP
Senior co-captain Jack Eisen-Markowitz took on much of Blair's offensive responsibilities by leading the team in scoring and generating attacks with his pinpoint passing. When the Blazers were struggling to score, Eisen-Markowitz stepped up and ended the season with a team-high ten goals and five assists. He moved from midfield to forward, playing wherever the team needed him most. In the playoffs against Sherwood he almost won the game single-handily as he scored two goals, including a spectacular shot after dribbling through the Sherwood defense in the waning minutes of the game. Eisen-Markowitz was selected to the All-County team and played in the Montgomery County Senior All-Star game. In Eisen-Markowitz's three seasons on the varsity squad he has been a central player for the Blazers and has become one of the premier players in the county.

Varsity Football
by Michael Bushnell

MVP
Senior Running back Michael Wright won the MVP award for the 2004 season. Wright's senior year saw him anchoring the running attack of the Blair offense. In Coach Jeffrey Seals' rush-based offense, Wright was an explosive player, averaging over five yards per carry for the season. He also was a standout defender, forcing three turnovers by the end of the season. He was also the starting kick returner. The fact that Wright played well on all sides of the ball made him a wise choice for team MVP.

Most Outstanding Senior
Oddly enough, the Most Outstanding Senior (MOS) on the team wasn't MVP, and vice versa. Michael Stewart was voted MOS for his great work as a wide receiver and a safety on the defensive side. Stewart was the primary receiver for the last two seasons at Blair, and didn't let down. He made 18 receptions this year, a remarkable feat considering he was in an offense that only threw about eight to ten passes per game. Perhaps his most memorable play this year was his 80-yard touchdown catch and run on Homecoming Night. The play was emblematic of Stewart's tremendous height and speed, and another highlight in a season worthy of a MOS award.

Most Improved
The winner of the Most Improved Player award was two-way star Denis Sosnovstev. While this reporter had trouble all year writing or saying his name correctly, his great play on the field spoke for itself. He started every game at linebacker and emerged as a running threat for the team, scoring two touchdowns in the final three games of the season. He also played so well that he started the final game of the season. He had two sacks this season, playing hard every down on both sides of the ball. His grit, toughness and ability to create results were there all year, but his emergence as a solid (and big) rusher helped him standout as this season's Most Improved Player.

Coach's award
The winners of the Coach's award were two standout linemen, who didn't make highlight reels but contributed a huge amount to the team on and off the field. For their leadership and great ability to block in the trenches, Fabian Dunn and Martin Brown won the prestigious award from Coach Seals. Both were team captains, who held the team together with their great leadership. And no matter who came through the revolving door that was the quarterback position, Brown and Dunn helped protect him. Brown's name may be plain, but his game wasn't, and neither was that of Dunn. The team looked to these players not just for open running lanes, but for leadership all season, from the start of tryouts through the final bus ride home at the end of the year. These two exemplified leadership, and as a result, they shared the Coach's award.

Varsity Field Hockey
by Erik Kojola

Coach's Award
Junior Jenny Jones was a solid defender for the Blazers and a hard worker. She was an energetic player who helped contribute to the Blazers. Next season Jones will return as a key player for the Blazers and a key part of the Blair defense.

Most Improved
Junior Christine Hayek battled an early season injuries to return to the field and help contribute to the squad. She remained focused and committed to the tea despite her injury and inability to play.

Most Outstanding Senior
Senior co-captain Rachel Feely-Kohl was an essential player for the field hockey squad. Her quick stick work and accurate passing made her a strong midfielder. Feely-Kohl scored a goal this season in the team's win over Wheaton on a beautiful outside shot from a penalty corner. In addition to scoring, Feely-Kohl was a force in the midfield and helped to both orchestrate the offense and anchor down the defense.

MVP
Senior co-captain Alexa Gabriel was a stellar leader for the girls' varsity field hockey team this season. She started the season anchoring down the Blair defense but midway through the season was moved up to midfield where she flourished. Gabriel's excellent stick skills and aggressive play lead her to become one of Blair's top players. Her strong free hits and clears were essential in transition and helping to spark the offensive plays.



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Anthony Glynn. Anthony Glynn is so hot right now. More »

Erik Kojola. Erik Kojola is a senior in the Communication Arts Program at Blair. He plays both lacrosse and soccer for Blair and hopes to continue his lacrosse career in college. He writes sports for SCO and a variety of other topics. More »

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