Williamsburg Christian Academy Pam Gibbons recently announced the naming of the Fall Season’s Student-Athletes of the Season award winners. All of our Athletes of the Season are selected by coaches with the approval of school faculty. This year starts off with our Fall Athletes who are featured on the back hallway Athletic Bulletin Board. If you have not yet had an opportunity to read each student’s contributions, stop by to see what each student-athlete has shared about their Fall Athletic experience.
Freshman Jacob Thibeault was chosen for his great dedication to his Cross Country team. Jacob never missed a practice and often assisted Coach Gibbons with practice drills and tracking mileage. Jacob is new to WCA this year and has so much potential in the world of running according to Coach. He became one of the natural team leaders for his dependability and was a huge asset to the team with 2nd or 3rd place finishes in all of his conference races, with considerable time improvements across the board. When asked to describe his favorite moment of the season, Jacob stated, “The championship meet at Guardian Christian Academy. It was a bit of a dreary day but the whole team ran amazingly well and winning the VMAC conference championship lifted the spirits of the entire team!” Jacob also commented that he believes one of the key components to being a successful student-athlete is “the ability to never give up physically or mentally.” He stated that “the only time it’s over is when you cross the finish line” and keeps this same perspective in the classroom as well.
Bekah Kish has been playing on the Field Hockey team for 3 years now and could really be considered a seasoned veteran. She earned accolades for “Best Defense” by Coach Shannon Meyyar and is a player known for her defensive toughness and all-around hustle to the ball.
Bekah decided to try out her skills for her first season playing Middle School Volleyball and that hustle easily transferred onto the court. When asked how her faith walk helps her to have a firm foundation when engaging in athletic competition, Bekah replied, “I just tell myself to trust and know that God is with me. I say my favorite verse, Corinthians 4:9 in my head and on the court, field, or stage!” Bekah is a great asset to the WCA sports programs getting herself involved each season as a dedicated, determined team member of not only the Field Hockey and Volleyball teams but the Eagle Swim and Golf teams as well.
Sophia Lee also joined Bekah in playing dual sports this fall and saw swing play between the Middle School and High School Volleyball teams for her first-ever experience in this sport. Sophia has been the Field Hockey team’s lone goalie for over 3 years now and has worked very hard to keep the opponents score down below a few goals. She has had many noteworthy saves in goal and without her presence as goalkeeper, the team would truly have been incomplete. Sophia often jokes that one of her favorite things about field hockey (except for playing of course) is actually getting out of the sweaty goalie gear, which is no joke when temperature rise in the high 90’s throughout the season! On a more serious note, Sophia credits her planner for helping her organize her time management and be a successful student-athlete. She shares that her favorite moment in volleyball this season was when the Middle School team finally won its first-ever set! Sophia credits Bible verse Phillipians 4:6 for helping her endure through the mental and physical toughness of the fall season playing two sports.
There’s definitely a theme with our female athletes this season as yet another student-athlete, Maddy Moran, split her time between her hard work on the field hockey pitch and her time perfecting her blocks on the volleyball court playing with the varsity volleyball team. Maddy bloomed on the Volleyball court this season per Coach Shannon and it was exciting to watch her jump and block several incoming spikes. When asked how she feels she best contributes to her teams, Maddy responded that she “is good at lifting people up when they are trying their best” which earned her a spot as team captain on the field hockey team. Besides school sports, many may not know just how much Maddy enjoys water sports in her “off-time” and has become quite an experienced wakeboarder! Maddy stated that when it comes to playing sports, “I have an audience of 1 and HE is my #1 fan.”
Isabell Comber was selected by Coach Shannon for her continuously-evolving powerful serves and returns that scored many points for the Lady Eagles Varsity Volleyball team, and her evolving leadership skills despite some tough times during the season. It is abundantly clear that Isabell loves the sport and often wishes she would have started playing a bit earlier in her sports career. She had insightful responses to several of the questions on the athlete questionnaire. When asked how her faith walk helped her to have a firm foundation when engaging in athletics, Isabell stated, “Always knowing that anger is not the best way to handle things. The best way to handle it is to walk away and come back in a better, more calm state of mind.” Isabell quoted Isaiah 40:31 as her favorite verse that inspires her to be her best on and off the court and states that she has better learned the skill of “being patient and kind to all, even when you don’t feel like it.”
Jalen Vaughan is a seasoned veteran of the Boys Varsity Soccer team since his freshman year and stepped up his game as co-captain this year, serving as a role model to his younger teammates. Jalen felt that he helped ignite the chemistry of his team providing much needed comic relief at times and , according to Coach Calvin Singleton, paving the way for team unity through his consistent role in team prayer. Jalen was voted the Virginia Metro Athletic Conference “Most Outstanding Player” for his prowess as an attacker and his powerful “cannon shots” on the goal. Jalen was the team-high scorer and was not a stranger to the MVP status– he also earned the honor last year in the Metro Athletic Conference. Despite his accolades, Jalen kept it humble stating that his favorite moment of the season was all of the great bus rides back from games!
Julian LaPastora is our youngest Student-Athlete of the Season but you wouldn’t have known that with his natural skill on the cross country course. Julian is a student-athlete who puts his heart and soul into every sport he tries whether it’s something new (running), or something that he has excelled at for some time (basketball). Julian earned the “Zero to Sixty” award from Coach Pam Gibbons for turning on the jet pack at the end of races with some of the most impressive finishes on the team. He earned one of the biggest time drops of the season after setting his mind on following close behind the race leaders at one of the conference competitions. When asked what he thinks it takes to be a successful student-athlete, Julian stated, “making sure you give 100% of the time for each practice and race and listening to what your coach tells you to do to get better.” He credits Phillipians 4:13 for inspiring him to strive to be the most well-rounded student-athlete he can be.
Freshman Jeffrey Graham started his journey this year on the WCA soccer team and quickly got the rhythm of the game ending up as the second-highest scorer on the team. He also positioned himself for a future leadership role with his likeability factor and ability to never take himself too seriously. It’s not often that you’ll catch Jeffrey not smiling and having a good time in the game, a trait Coach Singleton found to be very refreshing. When asked how his faith walk helps him to have a firm foundation in his athletic endeavors, Jeffrey replied, “It helps me to keep going forward even when I feel tired.” He stated the following when asked what he thinks it takes to be a successful student-athlete, “Having fun and not stressing over the little things.”
As we move on to the Winter season of sports, we are excited to see many of these athletes contributing in additional sports, such as basketball (Jalen, Julian, Sophia, and Isabell), and the Eagle Swim Team (Bekah, Isabell, Jacob, and Julian).
Congratulations again to all our Fall Season Student-athletes. Be sure to congratulate them on their efforts and their dedication to WCA sports when you see these student-athletes around!