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Winter Athletes Celebrated    

Winter Athletes Celebrated    

Last Friday’s winter athletics banquet was a joyful celebration of NMH athletes and coaches and their accomplishments, recognizing the achievements of the swimming, basketball, wrestling, soccer, ice hockey, and volleyball programs, as well as Nordic and Alpine skiing. 

Director of Athletics Rick Hendrickson served as master of ceremonies at the banquet, which included the presentation of coaches awards to one member of each team. 

Delphi Lyra ’24, one of two student speakers for the evening, talked about her identity as an athlete. “I have never been the most talented athlete. I have never been to a championship game. I have never won even close to the top-five in a ski race. Like many of us here, I was not recruited and have bench-warmed plenty,” she said. 

“This is the speech for the majority of us in the room. This is for the athletes who work hard in practice but often don’t make the starting lineup.”

For Lyra, the joy she derives from the sport comes from learning technique and developing community, rather than from the big wins. she said. She credited coach Peter Rayton for nurturing her love for Nordic skiing. “Peter taught me how to find joy,” she said. “He reminded me why we are here and what we are really trying to do here –– learning how to build community, how to be a good teammate, and how to pursue something you love with an arduous dedication.”

Head of School Brian Hargrove recognized some of this year’s athletic highlights. Some of the achievements: The girls’ varsity basketball team was, once again, the New England 8 champion. The boys’ varsity soccer and basketball teams both finished the season as New England Preparatory School Athletic Council semifinalists. The coed wrestling team were NEPSAC Class A champions, and the girls’ team took second place in its division. The boys’ Alpine ski team won the New England Class A Alpine Championship, while the girls’ team took second place. The boys’ varsity swim team set a school record for the 200-meter medley relay.

Hargrove also noted the commitment of NMH coaches. “We have some great, great coaches,” he said. “Remember that so many of them also have responsibilities throughout the day. They show up to coach you, go home, and then their real job of taking care of their family starts. That’s really remarkable.”

Boys’ varsity basketball captain Evan Mirazimi ’24, the second student speaker of the evening, described the transformation he experienced through his participation with the team. When he joined NMH as a junior, Mirazimi was confronted with the challenges of a busy and physically exhausting schedule. “I quickly learned that this place is no joke,” he said. “I missed home and was constantly tired from long hours of homework and basketball.” 

After picking up some time-management skills from a roommate and connecting with teammates, Mirazimi began to view basketball as a comfort rather than an energy drain. “As we got into our season, that question – Is it worth it? – was not answered by wins and loses but rather personal progression and the relationships I created with those who shared my passion,” he said.

“Sports, in general, will teach you that it's not how you win, it’s who you’re doing it with.” 

Coaches Award recipients:

Girls’ Varsity Alpine Skiing: Chiara Pinci ‘24

Boys’ Varsity Alpine Skiing: Ryan Choi ‘25

Girls’ Varsity Nordic Skiing: Dory Hindinger ‘24

Boys’ Varsity Nordic Skiing: Zane Sylvester ‘24

Girls’ Varsity Basketball: Dani Ceseretti “24

Girls’ Junior Varsity Basketball: Anisha Dunbar ‘24

Girls’ Thirds Basketball: Hannah Weitzel ‘25

Boys’ Varsity Basketball: Kenan Parrish ‘24

Boys’ Junior Varsity Basketball: Zachary Britton ‘24

Boys’ Thirds Basketball: Liam Shea ‘25

Girls’ Varsity Swimming: Kali Taylor ‘24

Boys’ Varsity Swimming: Connor Marshall ‘25

Junior Varsity Swimming: Coco Yuen ‘24

Varsity Wrestling: Elliot Humphries ‘25

Junior Varsity Wrestling: Jaxson Payne ‘26

Girls’ Varsity Ice Hockey: Sammy Drane ‘24

Girls’ Junior Varsity Ice Hockey: Ashley Rakatoarivo ‘24

Boys’ Varsity Ice Hockey: Noah Vettese ‘24

Boys’ Junior Varsity Ice Hockey: Kevin Hyun ‘24

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