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Athlete of the Issue: Class of 2020
Sophia Hamlen '22 Staff Writer
May 11, 2020

This year, the Class of 2020 truly paved the way for the Deerfield Athletics Program. Whether they were a player, a captain, a manager, or a supporter, each student demonstrated inspiring sportsmanship and led by example. 

Credit: Izzy Hamlen ’20

From scoreboard-shattering football wins to post-season tournaments from volleyball and field hockey, the fall term was filled with historic victories from teams led by our seniors. New cheerleaders proudly wore their signature sweaters to every game, leading cheers and bringing out our big-green spirit. 

The victorious Choate Day was one for the books, with a 10-2-2 record, serving us a satisfying finale for the Class of 2020’s rivalry against Choate. Athletic Director Bob Howe regards this victory as one of the most memorable events from this past year. “After the football game was over and there were so many players and students hanging around singing the evensong in the end zone,” said Mr. Howe. “Lots of happy tears and smiles on the faces of so many students, alums, and parents even!”

Reminiscing on this historic win, Captain Deerfield Hanna Deringer ‘20 said, “we were all lost together in the green smoke. I will never forget it and am forever grateful I ended up buying the smoke bombs instead of green silly string!”

The Class of 2020 was part of a historic year for many Deerfield sports. Days after a victorious Choate Day Game, the varsity football team triumphed at Milton and won the Mike Silipo Bowl. 

In reference to the girls’ varsity basketball Holiday Tournament, Deringer ’20 recalled, “Many people don’t know that Choate beat us on our home court the year before and had the audacity to celebrate way too obnoxiously in front of us. We were out for revenge from the first whistle of the tournament.”

Head Coach of girls’ junior varsity basketball Kevin Kelly will forever remember a game early in the winter season that was won heavily due to the seniors on the team. “With less than three minutes left in the game, we were trailing by 9 points. At no time did our girls complain, turn on each other, or quit. They stayed in the fight,” said Kelly. “With 2 seconds left in the game, the ball made its way out to Molly Fisher. Molly threw up a 3 pointer and at the buzzer tied the game. We won in overtime! It was one of the most beautiful examples of never, ever, giving up regardless of the score or the outcome! Our senior girls were special!”

Head cheerleader Sim Bethel ’20 will forever cherish his time as a senior. “Representing the genuine and supportive Class of 2020 and the amazing athletic and art programs on campus made me proud to be a cheerleader.” 

Both Deringer and Bethel will forever hold a strong fondness towards Deerfield and encouraged next year’s cheerleaders to maintain the energy. “Take the opportunity to light up the school with your passion and rowdiness. Make it your own, and take charge because people look up to you even if you don’t always realize it,” said Deringer. “There is a reason Deerfield is known to have such epic school spirit across the board, and I know you guys will carry it on the right way.”

For those that did not play their senior games in the spring, Mr. Kelly compares the Class of 2020 to the 1980 US Olympic team, when the government boycotted the Olympic games, and players were urged not to attend the games in support of a political stance. Mr. Kelly said, “Sports teach us critically important life lessons: overcoming adversity, dealing with problems head-on, to stay in the game, and to never, ever quit. Sports in many ways mirror life. Life doesn’t hand out guarantees and absolutes to the final score. It hurt all of us to lose the spring term, and for many reasons. For the Class of 2020, athletics was only a piece of that sacrifice.” 

Gracefully accepting the fate of their senior year, the Class of 2020 demonstrated the highest form of sportsmanship. As Mr. Kelly said, “We can only say thank you to a special group of students who throughout the year loved their school. Students who handled losing their senior spring with class and integrity. They, the Class of 2020, have demonstrated the truest example of our motto – Be Worthy!” 

The athletic achievements from fall and winter alone are enough to leave behind a sustained legacy. As we play on the fields next year, we will do so remembering the Class of 2020 and honoring their legacy on Deerfield Athletics.