IPSWICH — It was an honor for Holly Foster (Class of 1974) to graduate from Ipswich High as a pre-Title IX female athlete and then go on to coach both girls basketball and field hockey for nearly 15 years at her beloved alma mater.
Foster was MVP and co-captain on both her basketball and field hockey teams her senior year. She made tremendous contributions to the school as she and 12 other honorees became the newest members inducted into the Ipswich Athletic Hall of Fame last night.
“I’m humbled to have this experience at this point in my life,” said Foster last night at the Hellenic Center, where many people from the Ipswich community gathered for the school’s special event. “Ipswich his a small community with a big heart. It’s wonderful to see those who have supported us through all of the years here.”
Foster, who still resides in Ipswich and enjoys watching the superstars of today, was the only player/coach to be recognized at last night’s ceremony. She was joined by her son and daughter along with their significant others.
“It gives us the opportunity to have our families here with us,” added Foster. “I had mentors who opened doors for me and then I felt the need to give back all that was given to me, and decided to coach. All of the young girls that I coached made me proud and have gone on to be incredible women.”
In 1995 Foster’s girls basketball team earned a Division 4 state championship title, while her field hockey teams won several Cape Ann League titles over the years.
Ellen Galanis Nich (Class of 1977) was also among those honored last night. As a standout basketball player and two-time Salem News all-star, she was the first female athlete at Ipswich to receive a four-year athletic scholarship to play at the collegiate level. She also earned team MVP honors in softball and went on to play basketball at Bentley College.