Wilbraham and Monson Academy The Global School

Lili Brook '16 and Peter Labbe '17 became the first rowers to win a race in an all-WMA boat.
The Titans will play Ludlow High School Sept. 26, with all proceeds going toward a cure for cancer.
The Fisher's granddaughter, Alexis Grimard '14, attended the ceremony just weeks after she graduated from WMA.
Matt verbally committed to Boston College before qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championship.

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Crew wins first race

Three members of the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Crew team put in a lot of extra work during the summer, and it didn’t take long for that extra work to pay off.

In the first event of the season, Allie Collins-Anderson ’16, Lili Brook ’16 and Peter Labbe ’17 posted first place finishes at the Rockrimmon Regatta Saturday in Springfield on the Connecticut River.

“They were successful in this first race, and that was in large part due to the fact they were out on the water working during the summer,” Coach Heidi Ostendarp said.

WMA is a member of Springfield Crew at the Pioneer Valley Riverboat Club in Springfield. Lili and Peter won the mixed youth double race, becoming the first all-WMA boat to win a race since the sport began at the Academy in 2012.

“Peter and I worked really well with each other,” Lili said. “It was only the second time we’ve rowed together so that was great. It was great to win because I don’t think WMA has won a race in a long time . . . or ever.”

Peter and Lili were so exhausted after the race that they saved any type of celebration until later.

“We were pretty tired,” Peter said. “We gave each other a weak high five and we had to get out of the way so other boats could finish. But when we got back we were so happy we won.”

Allie won the women’s open double with a fellow member of the Springfield Crew, and also placed second in the women’s youth single. Not only did Allie work one-on-one with a trainer this summer, but she also went to crew camps at Mount Holyoke College and Brown University.

“Going to Brown, that was the first time I had really seen what really competitive rowing was all about,” Allie said. “I got some good feedback there. She said I have a lot of potential as a rower. I was able to row behind two of their varsity rowers, so I was able to observe their technique and made sure my stroke was matching theirs. It definitely confirmed my wanting to row in college. It made me want to work harder so I could make sure I’m at that level.”

WMA will next compete at the Tri-State Regatta in Northfield Sept. 21.


WMA Girls' Volleyball to host charity game

September 26 isn’t national pink day, but it will sure look like it at Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

The WMA Girls’ Volleyball team will host Ludlow High School in a fifth annual charity game, with all proceeds from this year’s event going toward a cure for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for children. The match begins at 7 p.m.

The Titans, who will wear pink uniforms for the contest, picked this particular charity because September is children’s cancer month.

“Because it’s the fifth year, Ludlow people are aware of it and Wilbraham people are aware of it, so we’re hoping to get a lot of people from the community here,” WMA Coach Donna Barone said. “We’ve already scrimmaged Ludlow this year and we’re pretty even so it should be a fun night.”

The event, which alternates sites annually, is one of the highlights of the season for the Titans. “This year’s game will be exciting,” Carly Venditti ’16 said. “We’re hoping for a big showing from the student body. We do this every year. It’s great to see the kids come out. Some boys go all out and dress up in pink shirts, pink shoes, pink shorts, pink socks and paint their faces. That means a lot to us.”

Pink Titan T-shirts will be sold as a fundraiser for $15 before and during the match. Food, drinks, multiple raffles and WMA’s Damb Band will also be at the venue. Entry is fee and donations will be accepted at the door.

Tennis courts named in honor of Fisher Family

For roughly 20 years, Wilbraham’s Rudy Fisher spent his summer months on the tennis courts at Wilbraham & Monson Academy, spending time with his friends playing the sport he enjoyed.

During those 20 years, when the courts needed a new surface, Mr. Fisher stepped up and paid for the repaving.

Due to his generosity, the Academy was happy to name the tennis courts in memory of Mr. Fisher and his wife, Margie, during a ceremony in June. Mr. Fisher passed away in May of 2011.

“It was very convenient for Rudy to go to the Academy,” said Lynn Grimard, of Wilbraham, Mr. Fisher’s daughter-in-law. “He lived nearby and could come over to meet his friends and they could play tennis. He enjoyed having a campus like Wilbraham & Monson Academy in his town. He liked the Academy and how it was around for so long and so much history. He felt gratitude toward the school because WMA opened up the tennis courts for the community to utilize.”

The Fisher’s sons and two grandchildren attended the ceremony, with the Rudy & Margie Fisher Tennis Courts unveiled for the first time.

“The ceremony was beautiful,” Mrs. Grimard said. “It was lovely. The unveiling of the sign was nice and an exciting moment when they peeled back the sheet to show the sign. That was done nicely and Marge really loved the look of the sign.”

Mr. Fisher also loved that one of his grandchildren, Alexis Grimard ’14, attended the Academy.

“He felt good she was going to WMA,” Mrs. Grimard said.


Matt Naumec '15 enjoys strong summer on links

For the start of the last few school years, Wilbraham & Monson Academy’s Matt Naumec ’15 said the same thing: he had his best summer of golf ever.

Matt was accurate again in his description of the summer of 2014, where he played with the best amateur golfers in the world and won his share of trophies.

“I think it was the strongest summer of golf I’ve ever had because I understood my game,” Matt said. “I knew what shots I had to hit and where to play it. My putting and driving have really improved.”

The highlight of Matt’s summer came in August when he played at the U.S. Amateur Championship, which drew the best non-professional golfers in the world. The tournament was held in Georgia. He earned a spot by placing second at a qualifying event in Connecticut in July.

“I qualified. I went to Georgia and it was awesome,” Matt explained. “I didn’t play that well but it helped me with my game. I learned a lot. I played against high-ranking amateurs. It was probably the best experience for my golf game I’ve ever had.”

Matt had quite a few other great experiences as well. He won the Massachusetts Junior Open on the last hole, which was particularly exciting since he placed second in 2013. It was his fourth top 10 finish at the event.

“It was cool. It’s been one of the tournaments I’ve wanted to win,” he said.

Matt won two other events during the summer as part of a team. For the second year in a row, he was on the first place side when Team Massachusetts won the New England Junior Championship, which was a collection of the top seven golfers from the New England states. Matt’s team won by 17 strokes. Later in the summer, Matt helped Team New England beat Team USA in a match at the Boston Golf Club, which included the top high school golfers in the country.

Before all of his summer accomplishments started to pile up, Matt verbally committed to Boston College. He received a partial athletic scholarship and hopes to be enrolled into the prestigious Carroll School of Management following his freshman year. He plans to officially sign with B.C. during the November signing period.

“The coach and I got along well and I had a strong connection to a lot of the guys on the team,” said Matt, whose mom graduated from B.C. in 1988. “They’re my friends and they’re the top New England junior golfers in the country. We’re going to have a good team. We have a good class coming in this year. It’s great academics and a great balance between golf and academics. They have great practice facilities and a great strength of schedule, playing in the ACC. It just worked out.

“I had a good fit with the college. I looked at many other colleges but it’s so true: when you find it, you find it, and I only felt it strongly at B.C.”

Matt also considered Notre Dame, Maryland, Penn State, Purdue and Georgetown.

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