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Globe Foundation / Richard J. Phelps Scholar-Athlete Awards

Globe Foundation / Richard J. Phelps Scholar-Athletes and athletes of the year honored for 2020-21

The Globe's Female and Male Athletes of the Year, Andover senior Paige Gillette (center) and Melrose senior Brendan Fennell, flanked by Scholar-Athletes Stephanie Tardugno (Methuen) and Amanda Patti (Austin Prep). Back row, from left: Amber Kiricoples (Peabody), Jake Taylor (Mansfield), Matt O'Toole (Waltham), John Kerney (Dartmouth), Leah Nash (Monomoy), Terence Moynihan (St. Mary's), Luke Maffeo (O'Bryant), Carly Drew (Old Rochester), Quinlan O'Brien (Boston Latin), Lillie Cooper (Phillips Andover), Jack Nelson (Quincy), David Lombardi (Malden), Thomas Billings (Hudson), Emma Mumby (Westborough), and Abby Miller (Millis).Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

This year has been unlike any other for high school students, and athletes, across the state. Seasons were in question at every turn. Face masks and hand sanitizer became a part of the uniform. Still, a number of athletes managed to have phenomenal seasons on the field and in the classroom.

A group of graduating seniors was honored Monday morning at the 35th Globe Foundation/Richard J. Phelps Scholar-Athletes and Athletes of the Year awards ceremony, held in the Dell Technologies Club at Fenway Park. Everyone in the expansive room was maskless, a far cry from the virtual ceremony last year.


Continuing a tradition that began in 1987 and expanded when businessman/philanthropist Richard J. Phelps came on board as a co-sponsor in 1991, a panel of Globe judges awarded $3,000 college scholarships to 18 distinguished Scholar-Athletes representing seven MIAA districts, the city of Boston, and Eastern Mass. preparatory schools.

The Globe also presented its annual Will McDonough Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards to a pair of seniors, Brendan Fennell (Melrose) and Paige Gillette (Andover), who both were four-season athletes in 2020-21.

With no football in the fall, Fennell was a Middlesex League golf all-star. In the winter, the Middlesex Freedom hockey MVP. In Fall II, he quarterbacked the Red Raiders to an unbeaten season, extending the program’s winning streak to 21 games. This spring, he spearheaded an 11-1 season for the lacrosse team.

Gillette, a two-time Globe All-Scholastic field hockey goalie, was a three-sport captain, a leader willing to take on any role on the basketball court, and on the softball diamond, as a dynamic leadoff hitter and second baseman. In Fall II, she was a revered mentor for Unified Basketball. She will playfield hockey at Assumption.

“I’m just thankful for being able to play at all this year, and it’s unbelievable to be honored,” said Fennell, who will do a post-grad year at Avon Old Farms. “Going into this year, you just didn’t know anything. You worked all summer with whatever sports you played, but you just didn’t know what was going to happen.”


Craig Larson, the Globe’s high school sports editor, gave opening remarks, along with Globe sports editor Matt Pepin, , and Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy,

Vaughn Williams, in his first year as the athletic director at Bentley University, was the keynote speaker for the event. Williams’ received his undergraduate degree from UMass Amherst, where he played football and his master’s degree from Boston College. He emphasized the importance of taking risks in life and growing during your college years.

“I hope you can find a place where you can explore your why,” Williams said. “Expand your village. No one does anything alone, partake in other opportunities, take risks, and live outside your bubble. You need a network. You need mentors to be successful. Live in the moment, but be intentional about your future. Athletes are very focused on the next move. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to not take anything for granted.

“Lastly, define your own success. There was a time when I let others define what success was for me, but the only person that can define that is you.”

Williams also emphasized the importance of taking care of mental health.

“Mental health is just like an injured or sprained ankle,” he said. “You have to open up and understand it’s not a bad thing to want to get help. I wish I had thought about that when I was your age.”


Since Phelps came on board, the Globe has recognized 400-plus Scholar-Athletes.

The 18 Phelps Scholar-Athlete recipients:

▪ District 2-3 — Emma Mumby (Westborough / Babson) and Thomas Billings (Hudson / Rhode Island)

▪ District 4 — Stephanie Tardugno (Methuen / Saint Anselm) and Matt O’Toole (Waltham / Providence)

▪ District 5 — Amber Kiricoples (Peabody / Bentley) and David Lombardi (Malden / High Point University)

▪ District 6 — Amanda Patti (Austin Prep / UMass Amherst) and Terence Moynihan (St. Mary’s / St. Michael’s)

▪ District 7 — Abigail Miller (Millis / Babson) and Jake Taylor (Mansfield / Northeastern)

▪ District 8 — Carly Drew (Old Rochester / Anna Maria) and John Kerney (Dartmouth / Clemson)

▪ District 9 — Leah Nash (Monomoy / Northeastern) and Jack Nelson (Quincy / Dartmouth)

▪ City of Boston — Quinlan O’Brien (Boston Latin / Johns Hopkins) and Luke Maffeo (John D. O’Bryant / Massachusetts Maritime)

▪ Preps — Lillie Cooper (Phillips Andover / Harvard) and Peyton O’Leary (Governor’s Academy / Michigan)



Boys’ winner: Brendan Fennell, Melrose

Girls’ winner: Paige Gillette, Andover


Boys’ winner: Duncan Moreland, Beverly

Girls’ winner: Sydney Scales, Walpole


Boys’ winner: Jake McElroy, North Andover

Girls’ winner: Audra Tosone, Walpole


Boys’ winner: Sal Frelick, Lexington

Girls’ winner: Elle Hansen, Cohasset



Boys’ winner: Patrick Flynn, Hanover

Girls’ winner: Angela Alibrandi, Westford Academy


Boys’ winner: Jeff Trainor, Billerica

Girls’ winner: Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda, Cambridge Rindge and Latin


Boys’ winner: Brooks Tyrrell, Marblehead

Girls’ winner: Leah Cardarelli, Acton-Boxboro


Boys’ winner: Michael Panepinto, Needham

Girls’ winner: Maggie Layo, Sandwich


Boys’ winner: Andre Rolim, Somerville

Girls’ winner: Hannah Murphy, Duxbury


Boys’ winner: Casey DeAndrade, East Bridgewater

Girls’ winner: Kara Charette, Fairhaven


Boys’ winner: Shayne Collins, Mansfield

Girls’ winner: Andrea Keklak, Lincoln-Sudbury


Boys’ winner: Conor Ressel, Gloucester

Girls’ winner: Molly Breen, Millis


Boys’ winner: Sean Ryan, Norton

Girls’ winner: Kirsten Kasper, North Andover


Boys’ winner: Tim Rich, Chelmsford

Girls winner: Melanie Baskind, Framingham


Boys’ winner: James Hamilton, Harwich

Girls’ winner: Denise Beliveau, Framingham


Boys’ winner: Chris Nixon, Duxbury

Girls’ winner: Lauren Mahoney, Archbishop Williams


Boys’ winner: Chris Barnicle, Newton North

Girls’ winner: Ashley Waters, Amesbury


Boys’ winner: Jason Blydell, Swampscott

Girls’ winner: Katie Brooks, Winchester


The Globe Athlete of the Year Award was changed to the Boston Globe/Will McDonough Award following the death of the longtime Globe columnist in January of 2003.

Boys’ winner: Matt Antonelli, St. John’s Prep

Girls’ winner: Rachel Smith, Somerset High School


Boys’ winner: Jim Unis, Gloucester

Girls’ winner: Brittany Cheney, Abington


Boys’ winner: Robert Whitaker, Brockton

Girls’ winner: Lisa Tisbert, Andover


Boys’ winner: Dante Balestracci, New Bedford

Girls’ winner: Katie Collins, Reading and Tracy Prihoda, Needham



Boys’ winner: Kevin Truelson, Archbishop Williams


Girls’ winner: Hillary Dunn, Medfield


Boys’ winner: Abdirizak Mohamud, Boston English

Girls’ winner: Jenna Stacer, Holliston


Boys’ winner: Jonathon Riley, Brookline

Girls’ winner: Emily Desjardins, Bishop Fenwick


Boys’ winner: James Perry, Malden Catholic

Girls’ winner: Rebecca Sangster, Falmouth


Boys’ winner: Peter Woodfork, Swampscott

Girls’ winner: Nicki Castonguay, Somerset


Boys’ winner: Anthony Palmer, Winthrop


Girls’ winner: Katie Kiladis, Framingham


Boys’ winner: Brett Budzinski, Ipswich

Girls’ winner: Sarah Dacey, Framingham


Boys’ winner: Chris Blades, Marian

Girls’ winner: Kelly Amonte, Thayer Academy


Boys’ winner: Andy Downin, Duxbury

Girls’ winner: Leanne Burke, Randolph


Boys’ winner: Bill Counihan, Dedham

Girls’ winner: Lisa Moore, Wellesley


Boys’ winner: Dan O’Connell, Triton

Girls’ winner: Sarah Behn, Foxboro


Boys’ winner: Carmine Cappuccio, Malden

Girls’ winner: Kendall Daly, Masconomet

Kris Rhim can be reached at kris.rhim@globe.com.