As any athlete or coach will tell you, there is no force more powerful in sport than momentum. It is not explainable by physics (people have tried), but when the roar of the crowd grows, a palpable shift in confidence among players, coaches, and spectators takes place. A distinct feeling emerges when you know things are moving in the right direction, and no matter what shot you throw up, you know it is going in. You get chills as you watch it all unfold in front of you. The power of momentum.
When I saw the image below (thanks Lindsey for another awesome set of photos this week!), I immediately shared on social media and fell in love with the visual of these pigeons carefully putting one foot in front of the other, hoping to not fall through the freshly formed ice on the Proctor Pond. After admiring the photo further, so much of the emotional journey we’ve been on over the past week came into focus.
For the fourth time in the last eleven seasons, Proctor’s varsity football team has completed an undefeated season, following in the footsteps of the 2006, 2008, and 2012 teams who also ran the table in the Evergreen League. Proctor’s team was selected for its fourth New England Bowl berth in program history, earning a bid to the Wayne Sanborn Bowl vs Hamden Hall School scheduled for Friday evening at 5:00 PM at Worcester Academy.
Each season brings with it a unique set of opportunities and challenges. Over the past ten weeks, athletes and coaches have worked tirelessly to help their teams become the best version of themselves they can be. Our athletic mission statement clearly emphasizes the journey, not just the results. While we are thrilled with the post-season ambitions for our football and boys' soccer teams, as well as the outstanding finishes in league competition for our mountain bikers, cross country runners, and crew team, we are most proud of the effort and commitment our students and coaches demonstrated each afternoon.
For the past fifteen years, Proctor’s Mountain Bike team has been at the center of the sport’s boom at the high school level in New England (read more about the rise of mountain biking in New England here). Now with nearly thirty teams from Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts competing weekly, the Northern New England Mountain Bike league has become a mecca for high school cyclists in the Northeast with more than 400 riders competing each week. At Saturday’s league championships hosted by Gould Academy, Proctor earned second place overall as a team and garnered a number of first place individual honors.
Growing up I had never considered myself a runner. Sure, I ran all the time as I played sports as a kid, but never thought of running for the sake of running let alone competing. During my freshman and sophomore years at Proctor I was a member of the JV soccer team each fall, and managed for the varsity soccer team the next year. Running never crossed my mind. The idea of running cross country was first introduced to me after the Spring 2016 On Your Mark 5k race after I had a strong finish. Someone had asked me, “Why don’t you run cross country?”, Later that day I asked myself that same question, and became a runner.
With over thirty afternoon activities and athletic teams available to Proctor students, it is hard to provide equal coverage to every team on campus. For a group of soccer diehards (some completely new to the sport) whose daily home on Emmons Field naturally keeps them out of the spotlight, we thought it was time to give Proctor’s JV2 Soccer team the attention it deserves.
On a hot, Wednesday afternoon when all other teams are racing or competing in games, Proctor’s varsity football team heads to Farrell Field to run through scouting reports, refine their offensive and defensive schemes, and continue to prepare for a Friday night road game at Cushing Academy. Coming off a come from behind 37-29 win over perennial power, New Hampton School, last Saturday, the Hornets are confident, yet measured as they look ahead to Cushing and the remainder of their Evergreen League schedule. We caught up with head coach, Casey McCormack, and captains Lance Crate ‘18, David Johnson ‘18, and Ezra Jenifer ‘19 this week to hear their thoughts on team culture, their recent win over the Huskies, and the season ahead.