Seniors of the Week: 4/30/21

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

Niki Eckert '21 - Baseball 
Niki is a three-year member of the Varsity Baseball team. She joined the team as a 10th grader and immediately made an impact by leading with a team-best ERA of 3.0 and WHIP of 1.40. Niki is primarily a pitcher but also demonstrates skill at first base and in the outfield.  Her immense contributions to the team have earned Niki the respect and admiration of her coaches and her teammates.  We wish her all the best as she continues her baseball career in college. 

William Gannon '21 - Baseball  
William is a two-year member of the Varsity Baseball team with an incredible, upbeat presence. He is an extraordinarily coachable player who works hard in practice and never gets discouraged. William aims to consistently improve his pitching and has evolved into an important part of the team’s pitching rotation.  William plays the outfield when not on the mound and has developed his skills with effort and determination in each of our practices.  We wish William all the best in his college years.

Andrea Bernacchia '21 - Girls’ Golf 
Andrea Bernacchia has been a vital part of the Girls’ Varsity Golf Team for the past four years.  She leads by example through her focus, purpose, and determination during each practice and each match.  Andrea seeks to learn with each day and each swing. Her improvement during these four years on the team has been noteworthy and she has, unquestionably, earned the respect of both her coach and teammates.  Andrea’s level of responsibility and commitment contributed to a successful captainship during her senior year. Under her leadership, the team has remained positive over the past two seasons despite the difficult circumstances.  Her drive and contributions to the program will be greatly missed next year.
James Spencer '21 - Boys’ Track and Field
James, AKA “The One and Only”, is a five-year spring track veteran. He is included among a group of fellow seniors that make up the fastest and most accomplished team of distance runners ever to compete for Hackley. James is a member of Hackley’s only boys’ team to win the cross country NYSAIS Championship. On and off the track, James is a role model and leads by example. His work ethic and dedication to the team are outstanding. He puts in consistent effort on the track and roads that lead to new personal records. Furthermore, James is enthusiastic towards his teammates as they race, and he knows exactly what to say in order to motivate them. As James leaves Hackley, he has earned respect from both his coaches and teammates. We wish him well as he continues his running career.

Sophia Thomas '21 - Girls’ Track and Field 
Sophie is a great presence and talented contributor to the outdoor track team. In a sport that rewards those with wide-ranging athleticism, Sophie is adaptable in her events and is still seeking to learn more. Having competed in both the distance events and sprints, and as a relay-runner and individual, Sophie has taken it upon herself to learn the throws as well. It is this initiative and curiosity, combined with her athleticism and coachability, that makes Sophie an important senior leader on the track team. 

Odessa Buell '21 - Girls’ Lacrosse
It is wonderful to have Odessa on the varsity lacrosse team this year.  Odessa has an amazing spirit that has been a wonderful part of the program, and we look forward to how that will continue to impact the varsity team this season. Odessa is a hard worker who never gets discouraged.  She is incredibly coachable, absorbing direction and making it happen on the field.  She takes her role as a defender seriously and is an important member of our team's defensive game plan.  It is a pleasure to have Odessa on the team. Her kindness and warmth leave the greatest impression.  She will certainly be missed next year!!  

Gracelynn Green '21 - Softball 
Gracelynn is a three-year varsity player and the recipient of the Coaches Award in her sophomore year. Gracelynn works hard on all aspects of her game. She can play infield or outfield and she always gives you 100% whenever she is in the game. She is the quickest player on the squad. Anytime she is on base she is a threat to steal a base. Her determination and positive attitude is an asset to the team. We wish her all the best next year in college. 

Hadassah Henderson '21 - Girls’ Track and Field 
Haddasah is one of the anchors of the throwing program at Hackley. Haddasah works hard in the weight room to improve her strength and power, which serve as the foundation for her success. When combined with her technique and coordination, Haddasah possesses all of the necessary tools to be a consistently dangerous thrower. Her knowledge of the shotput and discus events are invaluable to the development of the other throwers on the team. All in all, Haddasah is a key contributor, valued teammate, and strong competitor on the outdoor track team.

Lily Napach '21 - Girls’ Track and Field 
Lily is a wonderful leader on our track and field team. Over the years, she has been a thoughtful member of the team. In addition to making all Upper School runners feel welcome, she volunteered during Middle School practices and set a great example for the younger runners. During the varsity practices, Lily is the first one to cheer for the novice runners and will undoubtedly complete one more repeat to give a teammate the support to finish. While she has consistently improved her times over the years, she runs for the enjoyment of it. Lily is in her element at the Rockefeller preserve running with friends while soaking up the great outdoors. Lily has been a guiding light for many new runners over the years and the coaches have appreciated all her determination to continue running when obstacles arose. Lily will surely be missed on the Hilltop, but we know we’ll find her training for long-distance races in the future. 

Mason Chapman '21 - Boys’ Track and Field 
A renaissance man, Mason Chapman is both artist and an athlete. He puts equal passion into completing an interval set with a trusted teammate as he does working on one of his signature landscape oil paintings. Over the last four years, it has been inspiring to watch Mason develop his relationship with the sport. The catalyst for much of the development was his time away from the team during the pandemic. After the time away, Mason returned a new runner, more focused than ever, always putting his best effort forward, and constantly chatting and joking with teammates. Mason shared that during his time away from the team, he realized the important role the sport and team played in his life. Mason now finds more joy in the act of running and has committed himself more than ever to continue to develop relationships with his teammates. Mason always puts his teammates first, is always looking out for them, and never hesitates to offer his help when appropriate.