- Photo by Ivy Pohl
Wyatt Tallaksen, a senior running back on the LHS varsity football team, finished his junior season with an impressive 239 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Thus far into his senior season, Wyatt is closing in on his previous year’s achievements as he has rushed 143 yards and scored one touchdown. Wyatt’s significant impact, though, cannot only be measured by these more tangible categories, for he has become more heavily relied on. As of now, Wyatt has already surpassed his junior year attempts by 16, totaling 31 per Masslive.
Wyatt has played football since the third grade. However, he did not become a starter until the seventh grade, which is why Wyatt was honored to receive the nod to become captain.
Wyatt is a team-first player; his personal goals are “to learn and grow as a leader for the team.”
Wyatt cherishes every moment of his senior season with both his coaches and friends. While having fun, he always remembers the team’s ultimate goal of honing their craft every week in order to win.
Wyatt currently enjoys macroeconomics and hopes to study a combination of finance and business after high school.
- Photo by J. Anthony Roberts – Masslive
Riley Harrington, a confident and explosive forward on the LHS field hockey team, came into the season with 34 goals and 11 assists and has continued her dominance, posting 13 goals and 11 assists throughout the season thus far, per MassLive.
Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed, for she has been an All-Western Mass First Team Selection both her freshman and sophomore years. In addition, Riley is a Super 7 Selection (2020) and MassLive Athlete of the Week (2020).
Though young, the field hockey team has a potential that Riley believes is cause for excitement. “While many people may look at our youthfulness as a disadvantage, I believe it is a great opportunity to learn and develop into a really strong team and program.”
In school, Riley particularly likes math and science. She hopes to establish a career in orthopedic medicine post-high school.
- Photo by Kaileigh Brosnan
Shea Hamel, a senior runner for the LHS Female Cross Country Team, is a hard-working and determined athlete. Her ambition leads to success, for she consistently finishes in top spots every race, such as the Baystate Invitational, per MassLive. Her ambition also encourages her to set impressive goals; she hopes to complete a 5k (3.1 miles) in under 20 minutes, and also hopes that her team wins the Pioneer Valley Interscholastic Athletic Conference (PVIACS).
Shea’s impact extends beyond the running route. Once, a teammate felt very down about themself, and Shea, in order to comfort the girl, described her own running experiences so that the girl would feel better. It is through small acts of kindness like these that Shea attempts to foster an inclusive and positive environment at both practices and events in the hope that team chemistry translates to running success.
“Even though running can be seen as an individual sport, a person’s success really depends on their teammates pushing them to improve and we believe that the only way to do that is by eliminating negative thoughts,” Shea says.
Shea enjoys history and science in school and would love to be a teacher in the future.
- Photo by Ivy Pohl
Ariel Girshik, a senior setter on the LHS varsity volleyball team, entered her senior season with 169 assists, 41 digs, and 25 aces through her first three years on the team, per MassLive. As captain, she has further improved her game. Thus far into the season, Ariel has tallied 212 assists, 52 digs, and 25 aces, per MassLive.
According to Head Varsity Coach George Mulry, “Ariel is the definition of a servant leader. She is one of the first players to every activity and the last to leave.“ Furthermore, Ariel organizes the volleyball “Sister” Program in which younger teammates are paired with older teammates in order to aid team bonding.
“We are fortunate to have many players exhibiting leadership, mental toughness, and inclusivity within our program but I think Ariel is the first among equals,” Coach Mulry says.
Ariel enjoys any business-related class, for she is currently enrolled in macroeconomics, accounting, and marketing courses at LHS. Ariel plans to study business while in college.