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The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Winter Sports Awards 2018

  • Schuyler Michalak Courtesy photo—

  • Dan Curran Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Matt Kolk Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team beat Hopkinton 36-30 to win the Division III state championship on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Jaffrey twins Abigail and Haylie Drew have been selected to the first ever Team USA woman's U20 Ball Hockey team, which will compete in the Czech Republic in June. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • The Conant girls' basketball team beat Monadnock at SNHU Wednesday in the NHIAA Division III semifinal game. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic girls' basketball team hosted Hinsdale on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The WLC girls' basketball team hosted Mount Royal on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Staff photo by Ben Conant—


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It doesn’t get any better than the winter sports season. March is the maddest month, as the hard work culminates in championship season. This year, we had a few individual standouts and a team state champion, and besides a few first-round playoffs upsets, it was generally good news. A few teams made playoff appearances for the first time in years, and all our local schools seem to be headed in the right direction. The first day of spring was this week, but there’s still snow on the ground, so let’s take one last look at winter.

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WINTER

Schuyler Michalak, ConVal Nordic skiing

The ConVal sophomore led the pack for the Cougars all season long, winning race after race and qualifying for the Meet of Champions. Michalak’s just back from a good showing at the Eastern High School Championships, a prestigious interstate competition.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE WINTER

Dan Curran, ConVal wrestling

This one was a given. Curran rewrote the ConVal record books in his senior year, setting the school record for wins and then taking home the state title at 170 lbs. — ConVal’s first in 30 years — while winning the Most Outstanding Wrestler and sportsmanship awards. Curran wrestled all the way to the New England championships.

HEART OF A CHAMPION

Matt Kolk, ConVal-Conant ice hockey

ConVal’s senior captain has been an exemplary leader for his entire career. But when he took the ice the day after learning his mother had suffered a stroke, it was truly courageous. His teammates rallied around him, tying eventual state champ John Stark.

TEAM OF THE WINTER

Conant girls’ basketball

Win a state title, and you’re the best team. It’s as simple as that. Conant somehow exceeded already high expectations for the second year in a row under head coach Brian Troy, building off last year’s finals appearance with a state title win over Hopkinton. The best part? Only senior Taylor Banish is graduating and the rest of the team — plus an excellent group coming from JRMS —will take the court next season.

BEST DUO OF THE WINTER

Abby and Haylie Drew

ConVal-Conant ice hockey

The Drew twins injected some energy and athleticism into the Griffins’ program this season, and they’ll keep honing their skills at the world ball hockey championships.

ROOKIE OFTHE WINTER

Elizabeth Gonyea, Conant girls’ basketball

The Alaskan transplant took the state by storm, showing poise beyond her years as the Orioles went on their state title run. Here’s to three more years of her talent on the court for Conant!

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD

Jordyn Babin,
Mascenic girls’ basketball

The Mascenic senior may be a fierce opponent on the court (and the diamond, and the field), but no one exemplifies sportsmanship more than she does. That’s what being a student-athlete is all about.

COACH OF THE WINTER

Joy Burge, WLC girls’ basketball

What a difference one win can make. The WLC girls hadn’t notched a victory in Burge’s two-year tenure, but they worked for weeks to prepare for Nute and won the season finale in a game the Warriors had to have.