Event Marks 61st Annual St. Joseph's Sports Night
CLAREMONT, NH--The 61st Annual St. Joseph's Sports Night was held March 29, at the Claremont Senior Center. This yearʼs honorees included: Top male-student-athlete - Richard Bell; Top female student-athlete - Jazmyn Griffin; Unsung male student-athlete - Ethan Sweet; and Unsung female student-athlete - Jennie Morey. The Student-Athlete Award winners each pointed out how important family members were to them aiding them in their rise to stardom on the soccer field and the gridiron.
“In my eyes family is the most important aspect in my life,” Griffin said. “I don't know where I would be without them.” Griffin wrapped up her speech with a tribute to her grandfather, Dick Stringer, who passed away some 14 months ago. “I want to say one last thank you to someone in Heaven,” she said. “He was absolutely my best friend.”
Bell, a top-notched running back for the Cardinals who helped lead them to a New Hampshire Division III football championship, pointed out the influence his father had upon him in becoming the star athlete he turned out to be. “If you went to a football game and didn't see him, I know for a fact you heard him!” the senior said. “My father is the number one supporter in whatever I do. I couldn't have gone this far without him.”
Morey, who has given up soccer in favor of field hockey, and Sweet, who helped the Cardinals reach the soccer state title game this past fall, both relived through their speeches how they came to be where they are now by overcoming early obstacles, including uncertainty, on the soccer field.
This year’s guest speaker was Scott Fitz, a 1961 Stevens High School graduate and three-sport star athlete; he now lives in Ohio and made the trip to serve as guest speaker. The former Claremont student-athlete, himself picked for the St. Joseph's Sports Night Award in his senior year, recalled his playing days in the 1950's and '60's and compared the differences between sports then and how the games and training have changed since his playing days.
The evening was sponsored by the Claremont Elks Lodge #879.