SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

April 4, 2014

Pingree’s Witwicki wins 52nd Salem News Student-Athlete Award

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“Jill embodies everything that we strive for this award to be,” said Stacey. “There’s no frills about her; Jill is who is she is. She’s real and that’s how she presented herself to us — she was fantastic.”

An impeccable hockey player for the Highlanders, Witwicki will graduate this spring as the sixth member of Pingree’s 100-Point Club for girls hockey. She was the Eastern Independent League’s MVP for hockey and received the program’s prestigious Wheeler Award.

Also a league all-star in field hockey and softball and a three-sport captain, Witwicki has received Pingree department honors in math, science and visual arts while tackling Advanced Placement courses in statistics and environmental science.

The other 13 student-athlete nominees included Caitlin Harty of Beverly High, Ryan Heber of Danvers High, Sam Charette of Haimilton-Wenham Regional, Andrew Gallione of North Shore Tech, Andrew Hall of St. John’s Prep, Julianna Kostas of Masconomet Regoinal, Matt Mahoney of Swampscott High, Arianna Maida of Bishop Fenwick High, Will McCarthy of Salem High, Katie Monahan of Ipswich High, Lily Roberts of Marblehead High, Carolyn Scacchi of Peabody High and Brittany Smith of Manchester Essex Regional.

After she accepted the award, the first words out of Witwicki’s mouth were congratulations to her fellow nominees. That’s just the type of person she is, said the judges: always humble and always appreciative.

“I used to go to middle school with Ryan Heber and I play hockey with Brittany Smith, I know what type of kids they are. It’s unbelievable to think that every kid nominated was like them,” said Witwicki. “It’s unreal to see what kids our age can do. It makes the future look bright.”

Witwicki’s mother Terry was in awe when her daughter’s name was called at the end of last night’s program.

“I was shocked,” said Witwicki’s mom. “There are so many great kids (here) ... and Jill’s a great kid.

“I told her that it’s such an honor to be nominated. Never in a million years did I think that out of these 14 kids that she would’ve been picked.”

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