Student athletes get recognized


Sofia Barassi

Joanna Balsamo ‘18 vigorously grinds out her homework before a crucial basketball game. This picture was taken at Pelham High School only a half hour before the tip. “Getting back late at night with tests the next day and having to study late into the night makes it difficult”, says Balsamo.

Sofia Barassi, Assistant Sports Editor

On Feb. 5, 2018, 20 scholar athletes from Hollis Brookline High School attended the NHIAA/NHADA (New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association/New Hampshire Athletic Director Association) recognition ceremony in Concord, New Hampshire for their outstanding grades and athletics.

Students took a trip to the state capital to be recognized for their impressive accomplishments within their high school academics and athletics. The qualifications for this recognition include being a senior who has played at least two years, in two sports, and continues to play during senior year, and who has made a varsity team in at least one of them. Also required of these students is a cumulative B+ grade point average or better and participation in community service. All 20 of these students showed their community, school, and teachers that they are hardworking and dedicated.

The seniors that participated in the NHIAA recognition ceremony worked extremely hard in both their academics and athletics. Some of the students have been working hard since their freshman year to achieve this honor, and recognize that it is quite the accomplishment. “Going to the ceremony is a nice way of being recognized for all the hard work I’ve put into school and sports”, says Joanna Balsamo ‘18. Balsamo has participated in both the Cross Country team and Basketball team since her Freshman year, and has dedicated many difficult hours in order to earn the NHIAA/NHADA Scholar Athlete designation. “Putting in close to 20 hours a week towards sports and then trying to maintain those good grades was difficult. It was hard to get to a point where I could do both.” said Balsamo. The countless late nights made this journey difficult for the athletes, but their determinations do not go unnoticed.

Leadership and community service are also a big part of this accomplishment and the students were recognized because of their dedication to service as well. Dave Bonnette ‘18 and Balsamo are both in the National Honor Society and have demonstrated community service along with their academics and athletics. Tackling both of these tasks can be a challenge with all of the other activities these student encounter. “I’ve learned that it is important to block out distractions,” says Bonnette on his method of accomplishing this academic and athletic honor.

Along with being independent in this challenge, these student athletes have support that helped get them to the point of excellence they have achieved. “My parents definitely helped me with this accomplishment. They’re my biggest cheerleaders and I couldn’t have done this without their encouragement and support,” says Sarah Burbridge ‘18. Burbridge is a member of the Cross Country team, and she believes that she has made it this far because of her parent’s support throughout her whole high school career.

These Scholar Athletes will be able to carry this wonderful award with them as they graduate from Hollis Brookline High School in just a few short months.