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End of an Era: Class of 2017's Athletic Impact on The Hill

Spencer Lockhart '18, Assistant Sports Editor
Beyond wins, records, and statistics, a player or group’s impact on a sport or school is often measured by the culture they create and the way they affect their teammates. 
The Hopkins Class of 2017 not only has found success on the fields, courts, and tracks over their four or six years on The Hill, but also will be leaving behind a culture of hard work, teamwork, and success when their time on The Hill comes to a close. In each athletic season, the footprint left by members of the senior class is monumental and merits recognition.

In the fall, the members of
the Senior Class served as the backbones of the field hockey and football teams. Caroline Stanley ’17 was a vital cog in the machine that was the Hopkins Varsity Field Hockey Team of 2016. “[Stanley’s] irreplaceable skill and dedication to the team over the years will be missed next year,” said Annie Banks ’18. 

On the soccer field, Villanova commit Mia Ciardello ’18 powered the Girls Varsity Soccer team to an FAA (Fairchester Athletic Association) Finals appearance in her last season suiting up in the maroon and grey. “Mia is a relentless competitor,” said Galen Smith ’18, “She plays with a drive to make everyone around her better.”

On the gridiron, two staples of the Varsity Football program over the last four years played their last down for the Hilltoppers, as Jake Moscarelli and Cooper Petit both finished their careers on The Hill. “[Moscarelli] and [Petit] set the tone each week during practice and then played 100% every down during games,” said rising Captain John Blumenthal ’18, “They set a great example for how a captain should act.”

When winter rolled around, the seniors again showed how important they are to Hopkins sports. In the pool, standout swimmers Erin Earley
’17 and Gwyneth Maloy ’17 swam
their last laps for the Hopkins Swim team. “Erin and [Gwyneth] are essential components of the Hopkins swim team,” said Sophia Vranos ’18. “Not only are they phenomenal athletes, but their dedication serves as an illustration of what it truly means to be a team player.” Vranos went on to say, “Their good-natured enthusiasm is unparalleled, and together they form a dynamic duo of the rarest form. The two are quintessential examples of the best player a coach could wish for.”

Earley has been a highly decorated swimmer during her time at Hopkins, winning numer
ous titles and setting various records over her six years as a member of the Varsity Swimming program.

Over on the hard courts, Alex McCraven drained her last shot for the Hilltoppers Girls Basketball team. “Alex has been an amazing leader since she stepped on the court her sophomore year,” said co-captain Galen Smith ’18, “She makes those around her better players and never fails to make everyone laugh.” Having been on the team since sophomore year, McCraven has provided a presence and skill that Smith says will be “almost irreplaceable” next year.

Without the crucial se
niors involved in all the winter sports over the last four to six years, teams in the winter will all have big shoes to fill next year.

Springtime sports have also been impacted heavily by mem
bers of the Class of 2017, much like their fall and winter counterparts. The Varsity Lacrosse Team, in addition to captain Jake Moscarelli ’17, will be losing two essential players from the last two years after this season in Stephen Mettler ’17 and Ben Elbaum ’17. “They are both great guys,” said Alex Hughes ’19. “Both of them give their all every time they take the field, and they both have an immense love of the game. Those will be tough guys to replace next season.”

Similarly, the Varsity Baseball Team will be losing a core of seniors that the team has relied on for the past three seasons, including
Alexis Galinovsky, Jake Shrader, and Ryan Meury, all Class of 2017. “The
seniors are a really hard-working group of guys,” said Jake Rizzuti ’18. “Every day they train to get better, get their teammates better, and advance the Hopkins Baseball program.”

Emphasizing the immense impact the seniors had on the dia-
mond, Rizzuti said, “Each and every one of them [the seniors] made a valuable and significant contribution to the team and the great season we had this year.” As with all the teams losing seniors from this year’s graduating class, the baseball team will need to figure out a way to fill the void left by the group of seniors.

As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” This especially holds true with groups of athletes, as everyone’s time to move on always seems to come too soon.

The impact the Class of 2017 has had throughout the Hopkins Athletic Department is one that will be remembered for years to come. Teams will now look to the Classes of 2018
and 2019 to provide their leadership and to continue the tradition of success set forth by the departing seniors. 
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