She’s taking her game to the next level

Mascenic’s Emily Beauvais spent the past year hooping at prep school

  • The Mascenic girls basketball team defeated Hillsboro-Deering 41-34 on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic girls basketball team defeated Hillsboro-Deering 41-34 on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic girls basketball team defeated Hillsboro-Deering 41-34 on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

The thrill of playing high school sports is one that can’t be matched, and competing alongside the friends and teammates that they’ve played with ever since they were little kids is certainly one of the most rewarding factors. But for some student-athletes, circumstances like a promising athletic talent, outstanding academic achievement, or simply the drive to push themselves to a higher level, lead them to transfer to prep schools. One such individual is Emily Beauvais, who played basketball for Mascenic in her freshman year before transferring to The Winchendon School. But she’s planning to shake things up once again with a return to Mascenic, where she’s expected to be a force in the paint.

What led you to move from Mascenic to Winchendon?

After my freshmen year, I realized that I wanted something more from basketball than what I thought I was going to get at public school. I wanted to challenge myself with athletics and academics. I thought going to a prep school would certainly do that. The Winchendon School was always just minutes from my mom’s house — requesting information for the school was always an option. I came to the school for their academics; basketball was just a plus.

What is it like going to a private school? Was it a bit of a shock/dramatic change at first? What are some things you’ve experienced that you wouldn’t have at Mascenic? And what are some of the differences between Winchendon and Mascenic?

Transferring to a private school for me was by far more difficult academically than public school. I felt overwhelmed by the amount my workload increased by for homework and projects. It was a challenge, but it was something I got used to. The experiences here differ from day to day. The diverse community here is something I probably wouldn’t have experienced at Mascenic. It’s neat to learn about the Middle East in history class and have someone who lives in Saudi Arabia sitting next to you. At Winchendon, my day is planned around my needs as a student, and what would suit my learning ability. I have better use of time management and tend to finish homework earlier, rather than when I was at Mascenic and procrastinated on most of my assignments. At Winchendon I have some free time, and I use it effectively, whereas at Mascenic I go from class to class all throughout the day.

From a basketball perspective, did you feel your game improved in your sophomore year? Was there a higher level of play than the NHIAA DIII?

From a basketball perspective, I think I improved more in my transition from 8th to 9th grade. Mascenic’s head coach, Wiley Billings, was the best coach I’ve had for any sport and has taught me so much. I’m excited to continue working with him for my junior and senior years as well. My sophomore year, I’ve worked hard, but I don’t think I reached my full potential. NEPSAC (New England Preparatory School Athletic Council) is such an intense league with so much competition, but for the majority of my season we competed within the Girls Independent League. Some of the games were closer than others, but the competition overall was great, and I learned a lot playing against teams that differed from teams that were DIII in the NHIAA. The coaching staff for all sports here are amazing. Most of the coaches here have college experience and have played at the next level, so it helps to hear their insight on what you need to work on as a player. Surprisingly enough, the practices I do now seem easier than Coach Billings’ practices. It was a simple transition.

You must have been pretty excited to play for and win a championship. What was it like to be able to play in such an intense, high-level game like that?

Playing for the GIL championship is something I won’t forget. I’m glad it’s something I could achieve in my high school career, playing in a game that the ending score was 46-40 and was high-pressure and exciting. It helps shape the player that you are, and what you can handle as an athlete. This is Winchendon’s second girls basketball championship, but my first. I can imagine it feels just as great the second time as it does the first.

If you could do it all over again, would you still make the move to Winchendon Prep, or would you have stayed at Mascenic?

Honestly, moving onto the Winchendon School is something that I don’t regret. I enjoyed my time here as a student and an athlete, the teachers and their teaching styles have made learning easy. The friends I have made have shaped me as a person, student and athlete. I feel more open-minded, and it was a great experience to learn in such a diverse community. Returning to Mascenic has been on my mind since the beginning of my basketball season. The team at Mascenic is filled with girls that I’ve played with since middle school, and a coach that has worked with me and motivated me as a player. And as for next year, I am hoping to come back, and want to continue my progress as a basketball player.

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