by Roger Wistar
The final athletic season of the year came to a close with the annual spring athletic awards ceremony.
Held in its traditional location in the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Athletic Center on May 31, the event honored numerous athletes from each of the varsity, JV, and thirds teams, as well as longtime varsity head coaches Chris Burchfield and David Bolmer.
Athletic directors Robin Chandler and Danny Smith took turns presenting prizes to noteworthy players on each of the boys and girls varsity teams, and presented the captains from each team with their captain's blankets.
One or two members of each of the JV and thirds teams also received a Coaches Award.
The ceremony also honored Burchfield and Bolmer, who have announced that they will be stepping down as the head coaches of the boys varsity lacrosse and boys varsity tennis teams, respectively.
In her commendation of Burchfield, Chandler noted: "Burchie looks the same today as he did when he first started coaching all those years ago."
"Whether it's leading the charge of the polar bear plunge in early spring, spending hundreds of hours organizing and leading spring break training trips, or the boundless energy and incredible passion he has brought to each of his teams throughout the years."
She also praised Burchfield for his sportsmanship. "One of the great sportsmen on the sideline, Burchie is a true champion for the way the game should be played."
For Bolmer, Chandler chose to highlight his dedication: "My guess is Mr. Bolmer's approach is always the same whether coaching thirds field hockey, Math 150 or boys varsity tennis - one of duty. I bet he's never taken a day off, missed a practice or has ever gone to practice without a plan."
"I think of all the countless hours he has put into organizing and running the SNETL tournaments, doing all the rainy day tennis scheduling for however many years and even coaching two different teams in the same season."
Chandler also harkened back to her days as a student on the softball team. "I remember in the spring of my Upper Mid year. We were playing down at Taft and at the start of the game, I looked up and there was Mr. Bolmer with his folding chair and big hat sitting on the third base line. Not only is he devoted to his own teams, but he probably every other team's #1 fan, and always has been."
Chandler also noted the numerous titles and championships each coach has brought to Hotchkiss, and the enormous impact each has had on the program. "Really words cannot accurately capture what these two have given to Hotchkiss athletics or what they've done for all the hundreds of athletes they've coached over the years."
Each coach received a captain's blanket in thanks for their service.