On the evening of May 9, Hockaday athletes, coaches and parents gathered in Penson Gym for the annual Athletic Banquet. Organized by Director of Physical Education Tina Slinker, Sports Performance Program Coordinator La’Boris Bean and the Hockaday Athletic Board, the Athletic Banquet serves as a festive event where student athletes along with their coaches and parents can celebrate and recognize Hockaday’s athletic achievements throughout the school year.
Munching on chips and queso, banquet attendees watched Slinker’s highlight video of this year’s athletic teams and cheered as Hockaday student athletes were presented with their awards. Each athletic team enjoyed a successful season and outstanding athletes were given the Coach’s Award and the title of Most Valuable Player.
Varsity cross country had a strong season of wins and personal records. The team earned first place in the W.T. White meet and sophomore Adoette Vaughan set a personal and season record for her run at the McNeil Invitational in Austin. Finally, cross country placed third in SPC with 69 points. At Tuesday’s Athletic Banquet, Head Coach La’Boris Bean presented sophomore Parker Hawk and junior Ellie Newman with the Coach’s Award and deemed Vaughan the Most Valuable Player.
Hockaday Volleyball, directed by new head coach Andy Gass, had a significant 2016 season. The team bonded through team dinners and the upperclassmen celebrated a decisive win even without the bulk of the team, the freshmen, away at Mo Ranch. Although the varsity volleyball team did not advance very far into the SPC tournament, they fought hard in both of their tournament games, taking each one to the final points. Senior Charlotte Toomey and sophomore Erica Hulsey were presented with the Coach’s Award and the MVP title, respectively, at the Athletic Banquet.
Hockaday Crew had a successful season, and more is yet to come. At the Texas Rowing Championship, Hockaday’s varsity quad took first place for the first time since 1996, and their junior varsity quad took second place. Additionally, senior Teal Cohen took second place in the varsity single. In the U.S. Rowing Youth Championship, a regional tournament, the junior varsity quad once again took second place and Teal Cohen took second place in the varsity single race, qualifying her for the U.S. Rowing nationals in June. Cohen was awarded the MVP title at the Athletic Banquet and her fellow senior rower Amy Jia earned the Coach’s Award. The crew season, however, is not over, as the junior quad and senior single will be competing in the SRAA Nationals later this month.
This year, the Hockaday fencing team enjoyed an influx of members with over 35 people joining. The team worked on bonding and sportsmanship in practice alongside their St. Mark’s counterparts. Fencing team captain, senior Sonya Xu, and senior Lucy Zhu were both presented with the Coach’s Award at the Athletic Banquet and senior Alina Liu was awarded MVP of the fencing team.
Varsity field hockey enjoyed a high energy season that ended with a strong finish in the SPC tournament. The seniors on the team began a new tradition of a theme for the season; this season’s theme was “Shark Week.” This idea instigated team bonding and spirit. Weather complications plagued the SPC tournament, yet Hockaday still fought hard in each game and finished the weekend tying for third place. Head coach Jennifer Budney presented senior Lauren McDaniel with the Coach’s Award and awarded senior Maddie Skaife the title of MVP.
Under the effective leadership of new coaches Robyn Follum and Lee Green, Hockaday varsity basketball enjoyed a successful season. They celebrated a decisive win against All Saint’s Episcopal School and, although they lost, the team was able to give the Episcopal School of Dallas a tough fight. Hockaday basketball also qualified for the Southern Preparatory Conference tournament this year, something they were not able to do last year. At the Athletic Banquet, sophomore Isabelle Shadle was awarded Most Valuable Player and junior Shelby Schultz was presented with the Coach’s Award.
Varsity soccer had a strong season, defeating significant teams like Fort Worth Country Day nine to nothing, and entered the SPC tournament as the second seed from the north. During the regular season, varsity soccer was undefeated besides one loss to ESD in a counter game Facing St. Andrew’s, Kinkaid and St. John’s in the tournament, Hockaday Soccer placed fourth in SPC. Coach Rodney Skaife gave junior Sophia Silva the Coach’s Award and senior Maddie Skaife the MVP title at the Athletic Banquet.
Hockaday’s swimming and diving team’s 2017 season was filled with personal records, spirit and team bonding. The team made a habit of going to Gazebo Burger after every St. Mark’s meet and they created an Instagram account to share fun swimming experiences. Swimming and diving earned second place in the SPC tournament this year, capping off their successful season. Coach Bobby Patten gave the Coach’s Award to junior Sophie Isom, and deemed Bailey Hollingsworth and Abby Tchoukaleff the Most Valuable Diver and Most Valuable Swimmer, respectively, at the Athletic Banquet.
With Rodney Skaife as the head coach and a new practice course at Brookhaven Country Club, Hockaday Golf had a successful season. Throughout the spring, the whole golf team traveled around Texas for tournaments in Houston, Fort Worth, Austin and, of course, Dallas. The team finished third at the SPC tournament and ended as the best northern golf team. At the Athletic Banquet, junior Ashlyn Olden was given the Coach’s Award and sophomore Gabri Kim earned the title of MVP for the season.
Led by new coaches Molly Ford and Anthony Porchetta, the Hockaday varsity lacrosse team found success in their season. Both the junior varsity and varsity lacrosse teams won the North District Championship and varsity went on to be the runner-up in the state tournament. Hockaday varsity lacrosse also earned runner-up in the SPC tournament. This year’s Coach’s Award went to junior Genny Wood and the MVP titles were awarded to seniors Kate Love and Emily Stallings. Emily Stallings also earned the titles of All American and Academic All American, distinctions that are only given to three girls per district.
Hockaday Softball played a strong 2017 season. The team celebrated their clear, 15 to zero win against the Episcopal School of Dallas and varsity softball qualified for the SPC tournament for the first time in two years. At the Athletic Banquet, senior Natalie Hofmann and junior Lilly Okada both earned the Coach’s Award and sophomore Trinity Naile was awarded MVP.
Varsity tennis also had a victorious season. The teammates enjoyed their tournament with Jesuit against Allen where they all performed well. They also celebrated defeating the Episcopal School of Dallas three times throughout the season. Although the tennis team did not take SPC this year—they placed second in the tournament—coach Carol Thumlert is confident that the title will be returned to Hockaday next year. At the Athletic Banquet, Thumlert and coach Mitchell Clark presented sophomore Morgan Lutz with the Coach’s Award and junior Mackenzie Brabham earned the MVP title.
The Hockaday track and field team started and ended their season with great achievements. To start their lucrative season, the track and field team won Greenhill Relays, their first meet of the year. Under new throwing coach Adaku Ebeniro, every thrower on the team was able to set personal records during the season, and sophomore runner Justice Coutee broke six school records in this season alone. Freshman Richa Kapoor qualified for SPC in pole vaulting, and to close out their successful season, Hockaday Track and Field won SPC by 10 points. At the Athletic Banquet, head coach La’Boris Bean presented seniors Charlotte Toomey and Katherine Lake with the Coach’s Award and deemed senior Maggie Stein and junior Sophie Isom the Most Valuable Players of the season.
Apart from the awards from specific sports seasons, seniors were also presented with prestigious athletic awards at the banquet. Mary Claire and Eleanor Wilson earned the Elizabeth Nan McGarr Spirit Award, and Isabel Smith won the Batterson Award for Sportsmanship. Shannon Anderson was presented with the Heart and Hustle Award, and Maddie Skaife won the Joyce Rainwater Athletic Award. Lastly, Teal Cohen was presented with the Red Barr Award for Swimming.
Ali Hurst – Copy Editor