Chris Thagard ’20 is a three sport varsity athlete whose passion, tenacity, and leadership has earned him the position of co-captain of the boys’ cross country and the co-ed varsity wrestling team. Having won two fifth place Class A Champion titles and an invitation to compete in the New England Wrestling Championship two years in a row, Thagard’s high impact can be attributed to his exemplary attitude towards being an athlete.
“Everyone is on the same playing field — it’s all about how much work you put into it,” he said.
Thagard’s love for wrestling began at age six. He attributes a lot of his success to his older brother.
“He went 50-0 in wrestling, and I was his practice dummy,” said Thagard.
Deerfield wrestling is based on a foundation of integrity, intensity, and intelligence. Head coach Daniel Houston attests to Thagard’s model leadership.
“Chris epitomizes the ideals of Deerfield wrestling,” he said. Assistant coach Marshall Carroll highlights Thagard’s success as captain through his ability to instill these ideals into each of his teammates.
Carroll said, “Chris is a very special athlete. He is very coachable and one of the hardest workers I’ve ever come across in my 15 years of coaching wrestling… He exhibits the mental and physical toughness I want to see out of all my wrestlers.”
Fellow captain Angela Osei-Ampadu ’21 echoes the opinions of her coaches.
“Chris Thagard is the most dedicated person in the Kravis every day. He works hard and pushes everyone else to be the best wrestler they can be. I am lucky to be his co-captain and even luckier to have him as a role model, someone I, and the rest of the team, can look up to every day.”
Teammate Matthew Fierro ’22 said, “[Chris] sets the tone for the day with vigorous intent and inspiring leadership.”
Thagard’s leadership does not stop at the end of practice. His role as proctor in Louis Marx, a sophomore boys’ dorm, is only a continuation of his ongoing work as a mentor and friend. From sharing a room in Doubleday their ninth-grade year to proctoring together, Elliot Flagg ’20 is grateful for the experience of working alongside Thagard.
Flagg said, “Chris is as loyal a friend as he is a proctor. He always knows how to balance the needs of each kid versus the hall as a whole.
An unrelenting source of enthusiasm and humor, Chris cares for each kid and is one of the most inclusive people I have ever met. He may well be the epitome of what Deerfield searches for in their proctors, and I am truly lucky to have him as my counterpart in the job.”
Since freshman year, Thagard’s athleticism and team spirit has manifested across all three seasons and it is still growing. Thagard’s character, effort, and commitment inspires those around him and exemplifies Deerfield spirit across all aspects of life as a student at the academy.