As the weather warms up and the winter gets further behind, St. Mark's looks back at the dozen alumni who saw athletic action in college and university squash, hockey, and basketball programs.
Sarah Nelson '13 (at left), played #1 for Bowdoin's women's varsity squash program this past winter, earning First Team All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) honors, after being an All-NESCAC Second Team selection for the previous two years. While at St. Mark's, Nelson was a two-time team MVP, earning All ISL Honorable Mention recognition in 2012 and All-ISL honors in 2013. Sam Ward '14, also played for Bowdoin, as part of the Bears' men's squash program. At S. Mark's, Ward was MVP and an All-ISL Honorable Mention selection as a senior. At St. Lawrence University, SM squash veteran Abi Smith '15 saw action at #9 for the Saints, going 7-3 overall in the 2016-17 campaign.
In ice hockey, Kearan Burke '14 (right) scored 5 goals and notched 3 assists for the Williams College women's varsity program, good for fifth best on the team. During her time at St. Mark's, Burke was both an All-ISL HM honoree and an All-ISL first team selection, she was the Lions' top scorer in 2013, and she also received the Frey Prize for sportsmanship and teamwork.
Zach Tsekos '16 (left) was the highest scoring freshman on the Sacred Heart men's varsity team, with 4 goals and 11 assists for the Pioneers. A three-time All-ISL selection, he was SM MVP as a sophomore, the Lions' top scorer as a junior, and recipient of the Tudor Prize for sportsmanship and recognition as N.E. Prep Player of the Year for his senior campaign.
Peter Housakos '16 (right) had one goal and one assist for Division I University of Maine this past winter. A three-time All-ISL first teamer, Housakos led St. Mark's in scoring during his senior campaign. Yet another recent SM graduate, goaltender Ryan Ferland '16, is already committed to Princeton for next year (2017-18), but this past winter he played junior hockey. In 2016-17 Ferland was 2-2 with a 2.59 goals against average and an .891 save percentage for the Sioux City (Iowa) Musketeers and was 6-5 with a 3.29 goals against average and an .882 save percentage for the New Jersey Titans. At SM, Ferland was twice an All-ISL selection and was MVP as a Sixth Former.
Kara Violette '14 (top right) had an outstanding season, leading the Holy Cross women's ice hockey team in scoring for the second consecutive season, totaling 19 goals and 16 assists in 2016–17. The former SM MVP and All-ISL honoree was named a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) first-team all-star and NEHC Player of the Year for her outstanding performance with the 22-5 Crusaders. Also at Holy Cross, Marcia LaPlante '16 (left) has continued her college goaltending success, but this time for the women's ice hockey program. Already the Liberty League's Rookie-of-the-Year and Goaltender-of-the-Year in field hockey, on the ice the talented freshman netminder split time with a pair of teammates and still managed to post a 7-1 record, with a .927 save percentage and a 1.37 goals against average, a performance foreshadowed by her two consecutive seasons as SM MVP and All-ISL goalie. Also on that Holy Cross team was LaPlante's SM classmate, Hannah Gillis above right) who had 11 assists on the season for the Crusaders, and was named to the NEHC All-Rookie team. Gillis was an All-ISL HM selection while at St. Mark's and twice was awarded the Frey Prize for sportsmanship and teamwork.
Two recent St. Mark's graduates had some success in college basketball this past winter
Marcos Echevarria '15 (at left) had a spectacular season for Division III Nichols College. This year, the sophomore captain was named both Commonwealth Coastal Conference (CCC) and Worcester Area College Basketball Association Player of the Year, averaging 23.4 points per game (11th in the nation, DIII), including 137 three-pointers made (#1 in the country), an impressive 89.1 free throw percentage, 133 assists, and 67 steals. He led the Bisons to the CCC championship and then to the program's first ever NCAA tournament win before falling in the second round of the DIII March Madness. Marcos has already passed the 1000-point scoring mark at Nichols while only a sophomore. An accounting major with a 3.64 GPA, he was recently named to the College Sports Information Directors Association All-Academic team. During his time at St. Mark's, Echevarria was twice named to the All-ISL First Team, earned MVP honors for the Lions as both a Fifth and Sixth Former, and received the Robb Award for leadership, commitment, and team spirit.
Jordan Scurry '16 (at right)—a three-time All-ISL selection and team MVP while at St. Mark's— saw limited playing time for Division I Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska), but when the Bluejays made it to the NCAA Championship Tournament for the very first time (thanks to an outstanding 25-win campaign), Scurry was on the court in front of an impressive March Madness crowd, scoring three points in Creighton's first round loss to Rhode Island.
Congratulations to all these talented St. Markers for their athletic successes at the college/university level!
If you know of any other St. Markers playing at the collegiate level that we have not included, please let us know. This summer we'll do a story on SM grads playing spring sports in college.