(June 9, 2016) – In an effort to better recognize student-athletes in Loudoun County who exemplify the values classmates, coaches, spectators, officials, families and friends look for in teammates, the LoCoSports team has selected its May 2016 Teammates of the Month for baseball, lacrosse, soccer and softball.
The selections were made from nominations based on the following criteria: selflessness, hustle, work ethic, attitude, team-first mentality, spirit and heart.
If you wish to nominate a student-athlete for athlete or teammate of the month, please reach out through our contact form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Morgan Widdifield
Nominated by Melinda Gallagher
Part of being a good teammate in sports is the ability to conform to the team’s needs, which may include switching positions or batting style in order for the team to succeed in important games. Heritage High School junior third baseman Haille Giannini is an example of this kind of teammate.
“Haille probably possesses one of my favorite qualities to have in a player, and that’s a team-first batting approach. She never tries to hit home runs or to pull the ball down the left field line. Instead, she looks at the field and decides what the team needs when going up to bat,” Heritage head coach Courtney Aubel. “Haille also will play anywhere she is needed. We had a lot of injuries this year, and Haille really played all over and excelled in each position she played.”
Giannini helped Heritage to a 12-11 season, making it to the Conference 21B tournament championship and finishing as the runner-up to Loudoun Valley. The Pride also captured a VHSL 4A West region berth, but fell short in the first round to James Wood, 8-2.
“Haille is a great teammate because she is huge with communication. Anytime you hear someone talking on our field, Haille is involved,” Aubel said. “She is there to back up her teammates and to pick them up when they fail. She never lets a teammate’s hard work go unnoticed, and she’s always working to better herself.”
By Kyle Gotimer
Nominated by Jennifer Davis
Rock Ridge High School sophomore Julia Horner makes an impact on her team day in and day out, on-and-off the field.
“Julia is not only a good teammate, but a great teammate for many reasons,” Rock Ridge head coach Jennifer Davis said. “She goes above and beyond on and off the field to make sure that every single one of her teammates is well hydrated and prepared for practices and games; she is constantly pushing her teammates in order for them to reach their potential by encouraging them and always being positive; she leads by example and provides all of her teammates with respect whether they are just picking up the sport or if they have played it for years; but most importantly she always puts her teammates above herself and makes sure that their needs are met before her own.”
Horner led her team to 6-8 overall record — an improvement from last year.
“Julia shows a team-first mentality by always providing her teammates with opportunities to score and make plays,” Davis said. “Her goal from the end of last year was to get more assists, and she went from four in the 2015 season to 22 in the 2016 season which just shows her ability to set a goal and achieve it.”
With two years of high school lacrosse left, Horner has a chance to further develop her team and make a run at the Dulles Group title.
“She truly is a coach on the field and always makes plays and decisions on and off the field that are not only smart but also can highlight or help her teammates,” Davis said. “Whether it is helping out teammates with homework so they are eligible to play or working outside of practice with her teammates on stick skills, Julia without a doubt will do whatever it takes to make sure that the team is successful.” Nominated by Maddie Patrick
Potomac Falls High School senior Kristen Patrick helped the Lady Panthers soccer team to a 9-7-3 finish in 2016. The forward led Potomac Falls and all of Conference 14 in goals scored as the Lady Panthers claimed the regular season conference title before earning a VHSL 5A North region berth.
By Joe Skinner
Nominated by @ChampeKnightsFB
In the first year following John Champe High School’s first berth in regionals, the Knights went back in 2016 behind the performance of senior pitcher Scotty Schaffler. A leader on a team full of seniors, he took the title of ‘ace’ on the mound for the Knights and pitched in the biggest games of the season.
“Scotty is a selfless teammate who comes to practice and works hard everyday,” John Champe head coach Joe McDonald said.
In a Conference 22 semifinal against rival Freedom High School, Schaffler threw a complete game shutout to clinch the Knights trip to the VHSL 4A West region tournament, where they would eventually lose to Liberty Christian Academy.
“He encourages the other kids on the team and accepts whatever role to make the team better,” McDonald said. “He pays attention to details a lot of kids may overlook.”