Congratulations to Diego Escalante ’20 and Nate Johnson ’20 for receiving Cardigan’s Athlete of the Week Award. Read what their coaches have to say about them below, and meet all the students who were nominated.
Varsity Student-Athlete of the Week
Diego Escalante ’20 – Wrestling
Diego is the premier example of a student-athlete. He excels in all areas of academics and is the hardest worker on the Cardigan Wrestling Team, a team that prides itself on the improvements that come from a commitment to hard work. One of the team’s goals is to “compete,” and no one competes with greater intensity than Diego. He arrives at practice early every day and sets to work immediately with a workout regime that includes repetitions of moves introduced during the previous day’s demonstrations mixed in with 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups. He has drilled for years with Coach Kreuzburg and is often called on to demonstrate a new set of wrestling moves or to revisit old ones. He is an extremely coachable athlete and responds well to suggested directions. He is the team’s best technical wrestler, and his keen ability to chain sequences together is one of his strongest traits. He has become incredibly responsive to his opponent’s moves and explodes off every whistle through the completion of the match. He has an astounding record of 11-1 this season, and many of those victories he earned by pinning his opponent. At Saturday’s Cardigan Wrestling Tournament, he was the champion of his weight class–a personal goal he has worked to achieve since first entering the sport. His daily workouts and commitment to excellence has paid off with this crowning achievement. Congratulations, Diego!
Sub-Varsity Student-Athlete of the Week
Nate Johnson ’20 – JV Hockey
Nate has had an amazing week with the JV Hockey Team. His hard work and effort in practice are really paying off in games, allowing him to score and create opportunities for his teammates. Nate is the most coachable player on the team, takes in all the advice his coaches offer, and quickly implements it in games. Nate pushes his teammates to get better and is always respectful of his opponents.
Other Varsity Nominations
Will Rassier ’20 – Varsity Hockey
Will has been a standout on the ice for the Cougars since the season's first practice. His leadership, effort, and work ethic are matched only by his play on the ice. He has been a regular contributor to our offense this season, racking up goals and assists at an impressive clip, while also consistently demonstrating strong defensive play. In a three-game weekend against Gunnery, Avon, and Choate, he tallied three goals and one assist for four points (3G-1A- 4P), all of which came at important times en route to two wins and one hard-fought loss. Will continues to be an exemplary athlete, teammate, and young man.
Wilson Knapp ’21 – Alpine Skiing
Wilson had an outstanding week for the Varsity Alpine Ski Team. He is our Athlete of the Week. He puts incredible effort into his training and race runs. On Wednesday at Loon, he finished fourth overall and scored team points, helping Cardigan earn a team win over New Hampton, Brewster, and Holderness. He raced again on Saturday at a USSA race held at Gunstock, where he finished in 16th place.
Deegan Blasko ’20 - Varsity Snowboarding
Deegan has pushed himself outside of his comfort zone in the past few weeks, and he has made considerable strides to become a better rider. His progression has improved so much since the start of the season that he gained the confidence to hit some of the features in the terrain park! He brings humor and positivity to practices, demonstrates the courage needed to be faster, and has a willingness to learn. At the first race of the season, he bested his first GS time by almost three seconds. We are proud of the accomplishments he has made this season!
Yaneik Gallego ’20 - Varsity Basketball
Yaneik was a fierce competitor this past weekend, giving us maximum effort on every single play. He did everything we asked of him and was a leader on and off the court.
Ian McDonnell ’22 – Nordic Skiing
Ian has had a great week of skiing. On Wednesday, he completed a 5.2 km classic race at Proctor Academy on difficult trails. More importantly, he has been positive and enthusiastic, despite changing conditions–including no snow on Monday and below-zero temperatures on Friday. He has given his best effort on the trails and has shown tremendous improvement since the beginning of the season. Well done, Ian!
Other Sub-Varsity Nominations
Logan Huetter ’20 – Thirds Hockey
Logan has stepped into the goal to be the backbone of the thirds squad. He had one game with no practices ahead of it, but that didn’t stop him from guarding the goal and playing an important role in our win against Eaglebrook. He jumped in for practice and played well against Hanover and Stanstead, making saves like an experienced goalie.
Delin “Michael” Liu ’21 - JV Basketball
Michael stepped up his game in a major way this week, earning a spot in the starting lineup. He worked tirelessly in practice on his post moves and on his movement within our offensive sets. He battled for rebounds and led by example, taking advice from his coaches in drills and applying it in scrimmage situations. In the first game of the week, Michael got the offense going with a number of key rebounds and some strong finishes in the paint, helping propel the Cougars to a win down the stretch. On Saturday’s game against Eaglebrook, Michael was impressive. He altered shots on the defensive end of the court and communicated well with his teammates on switches and other plays. He capitalized on a number of strong post moves and established himself as a dominant force in the paint, which opened up other options for the team as well. Michael’s effort carried us in a positive way and was a major factor in our team’s solid play this week.
Hanzhe “Jason” Jiang '20 – Thirds Basketball
Jason has been a key offensive and defensive player in our last two games and is always eager to get back on the court and go toe-to-toe with the opposing team's best.
Robert Blenk ’20 - Reserve Hockey
Robert is new to hockey this year, and while he did skate some as a small child, he began this season barely being able to skate. Now he is one of the more proficient players on the team. He works hard in every practice and makes an effort to improve his basic skills whenever he has the chance. He understands that improved skating skills lead to improved overall play. He has a great attitude and, although not captain, leads the team in the locker room and on the ice by trying hard, asking questions, and doing the little things right. He genuinely enjoys practice and was excited to try all he has learned in our first game this week.
Carter Davis ’22 - Reserve Basketball
Carter has proven to be an integral part of the reserve basketball team. Although he is not the top scorer, he is an essential piece of the team's defense. He is versatile and can play anywhere on the court from 2-5.