Seniors of the Week: 2/12/21

The Athletics department celebrates the Class of 2021 through a Seniors of the Week series honoring Hackley’s graduating athletes.

Ben Kirsch '21 - Boys’ Basketball  
Ben has been a member of the boys varsity basketball team since his sophomore year. He has always been a fantastic teammate who seems to enjoy as much in his teammates’ success as his own, possibly more. Ben had his career night for the Hornets January 17, 2020 against Fieldston with 15 points and 5 rebounds, and was undoubtedly a main reason we were able to topple the Eagles on that day. While it is disappointing we didn’t get to see Kirsch compete this season, we look forward to seeing him light up the scoreboard in future Alumni Games! 

Shira Meer '21 - Girls’ Basketball 
Shira has been a member of the girls' varsity basketball team since freshman year. She is one of the best overall basketball players we have seen. During her sophomore season, although injured, she offered to be team manager and never missed a practice. A true testimony to her commitment, Shira once asked “what else can I do to help the team.” She worked hard during rehab and managed to play in a handful of games to end her junior season. She made an immediate impact. Shira was called upon to play multiple positions and stated “I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team” in response. As a Captain this season, Shira entered the gym with a smile on her face, led warmups and assisted the younger players without being asked, and was a great example of a team leader. 

Daniel Rivera '21 - Boys Fencing
Daniel exhibits an energetic enthusiasm and commitment to fencing.  Daniel has trained with dedicated determination during his daily workouts that clearly has made him a better fencer. It has been inspiring to watch his evolution into a strong and confident member of the team.  He has a positive attitude at practice and an engaging cooperative spirit, always ready to compete or cheer on his teammates. You never have to tell Daniel to do his runs, warm-ups, footwork or fence. He just does it! He was a member of last season’s ISFL League 1st place Epee Squad. This season has been a very difficult one, but his upbeat personality prevailed. We always look forward to greeting Daniel as he enters the Fencing Studio with his wonderful smile and energy—his presence will do doubt have a lasting impact. 
Arav Misra '21 - Boys’ Squash
Arav has been on the team for two seasons. Last season he suffered from injury which meant he was unable to take part in Nationals where he would have been a very strong addition for the team. During practice this season, Arav has demonstrated determination and a powerful, left handed forehand that would no doubt earn him many wins. He brings calmness to our otherwise noisy practices. Arav has worked hard and admirably on the court this season. We wish him all the best for his future.

JB Rosenthal '21 - Boys’ Squash  
JB has been voted unanimously as the Varsity Captain and the person that everyone looks up to. He has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches time and again. JB always led from the front on and off the court, and brought a high energy and competitiveness to practice and matches. His teammates appreciated his efforts as a Captain to bring the team together, to be welcoming, to make the experience fun, and the encouragement to work hard and compete. JB again led the team at Nationals in 2020, leaving a lasting impression on his teammates and coaches. We wish him all the best in his future.

Alison Oh '21 - Girls’ Squash
We have missed Allie this season! We missed her hard working attitude, dedication to her practice, and her warm smile. Allie always brought a positive attitude to practice and was always looking for ways to improve her game and learn. She always worked hard and brought commitment to her matches, never giving up, always giving one hundred percent effort. Allie has demonstrated a great amount of potential; she is a pleasure to work with. We hope she continues to pursue squash while at college as she will be a great addition to any team!

Lara Schechter '21 - Wrestling
Lara embodies dedication, desire, discipline, and determination. She is a fierce competitor who works hard to win as often as possible. We are extremely proud of her accomplishments over the past 6 years as a person and athlete. She has accrued an impressive 37 career wins, competing against both male and female wrestlers with equal success.  And, Lara placed 3rd at NYSAIS her sophomore year and 2nd place at NY Girls States in both 2019 and in 2020. She is supportive of her teammates, is always upbeat in the wrestling room, is an excellent role model for younger athletes, and is extremely hardworking.  We will miss her energy, determination, and dedication next year.

Charlie Rudge '21 - Indoor Track and Field 
Charlie will forever be remembered as the brainchild behind Hackley’s world famous Doughnut Mile. Future runners will enjoy the splendor of running full speed, freezing cold, full of doughnuts, all because of Charlie Rudge, a senior boy with flashy running socks and a big dream. Charlie’s founding of the Doughnut Mile is one example of what he has contributed to the program for years. The evening of the Doughnut Mile is always freezing cold, the runners are running each lap as hard as possible, and stuffing frozen doughnuts into their mouths, but they laugh the entire time. Charlie believes in hard work and dedication to his teammates, and he values the friendships he has made and fun they have shared above all else. Charlie has served as an essential member of the fastest boys’ team in school history. We will miss him next year, but we know he is off to do great things. 

Alex Kyimpopkin '21 - Indoor Track and Field  
Alex is one of the most motivated athletes on the Indoor Track and Field team. His curiosity has no limits—He always asks how he can improve his performance. It is always exciting to coach athletes like Alex. He is a hard worker who gives 100% each practice. He is first to show up at practice and Zoom meetings. Alex is dedicated during practice, but also before and after the season. He doesn’t hesitate to stop coaches before the season and talk about track and field.  His coaches say, “this means a lot to us. It gives us a huge boost of enthusiasm and energy to coach athletes like Alex.”