Milton honored four Class I athletes with the Academy’s traditional and venerable athletic and sportsmanship awards.
Basketball standout Dennis Clifford received the Robert Saltonstall Medal. Over Milton’s history, the Saltonstall has indicated “a distinguished record in all-around physical activity, with emphasis on leadership by example, conscientious training, good body mechanics, and observance of the code of the true sportsman.”
“On the hardwood, Dennis not only changed Milton’s game outcomes, he single-handedly changed our basketball program,” said Todd Bland, Head of School. “Dennis’s peers look up to him—literally and figuratively. He is a sports icon on campus who handles his identity and role beautifully. Dennis represents so much about what is great about Milton.”
Dennis said he was “surprised and overwhelmed” to receive the award. Dennis was also acknowledged for his contributions to the track team the past two years. “I was ready to work hard because I just love competing,” Dennis said. “But I also grew to really like track.”
The Boston College Eagles will benefit from Dennis’ extraordinary talents next year.
Kaite Stazinski, who played field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse, received the Priscilla Bailey Award. The award recognizes a girl who “has been a most valuable asset to Milton Academy athletics and community, and who demonstrates exceptional individual skills and teamwork as well as sportsmanship.”
Kaite said the award was “a good way to end the year. It felt good to be recognized for all the hard work.” Kaite came to Milton with a love for hockey, but lacrosse is now her favorite sport and will be her college game at St. Anselm.
“Kaite gives 110% to her team on and off the lacrosse field and her smile is infectious,” said Mr. Bland, as he presented the award. “She was named an ISL All-Star this past year and will be irreplaceable next year because of her speed and athletic ability.”
Michael Godwin received the Alfred Elliott Award. This award honors a boy whose “extraordinary self-sacrifice and unselfish devotion to the best interests of his teams; a boy who, regardless of skill, with inspiring example—either in practice or in competition—has given most unsparingly of himself for the good of all.”
Although he suffered a serious injury in the first hockey game of his Class II year, as a three-sport athlete Michael was there for all his teams while he was rehabilitating. He worked his way back to competing in football, hockey and baseball.
“A model teammate and player, Michael made it hard to remember that he had endured any injury at all, clear evidence of Michael’s spirit,” said David. Ball, Upper School principal. “His toughness inspired us last spring—and did again this year. This fall, that same injury kept Michael off the football field on game days, but nothing could keep Michael off the sidelines; nothing could break the bonds between teammates. Without complaint, Michael gave all that he could.”
Michael, who has played hockey most of his life, said, “winning the New England Championship this past season was his biggest moment at Milton. It was amazing and surreal.” He heads to St. Lawrence in the fall.
Diana Perry, who played soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse, won the Dorothy J Sullivan Award. This girls’ award signifies “good sportsmanship, leadership, dedication and commitment to athletics at Milton,” as well as being an “inspiration and model for others.”
Mr. Ball noted “Diana is an athlete with both breadth of skill and depth of character. She is tough and determined, skilled and selfless, a joy to coach and a pleasure to watch.”
A defender on the soccer team, Diana said her favorite Milton sport moment was beating Nobles 3-2 her Class II year, particularly the chaotic final 20 minutes of the game, spent trying to keep Nobles from scoring. She will play both soccer and lacrosse at Haverford College next year.