In the past few weeks, through Zoom conferences, Loomis winter varsity teams have awarded their best players for their contribution and play during the season. Varsity basketball players claimed two of the top awards: boys’ guard Elliyas Delaire ’21 won the Captain’s Award and girls’ guard Bry Johnson ’20 won the Coaches’ Award.
Elliyas’ name being called was a surprise to him.
“I was pretty shocked,” Elliyas shared. “I was not expecting to get it at all.”
Despite not being able to attend the winter banquet in-person, Bry took pride in winning her award.
“I was really happy to get it and I also felt like I deserved it,” Bry said after her teammate Anahi-Lee Cauley broke the news.
Elliyas believes that the captains’ award is bigger than just the regulation games.
“[It’s for] people who come to the gym early…and clap up for their teammates on and off the court,” Elliyas commented.
“[This award is] important to me because I always pride myself on working hard and being in the gym and getting up extra shots and making sure we work together as a team because it’s not about one person, it’s about the whole team,” he said.
For Bry, the coaches’ award represented great effort.
“[It’s] hard work and dedication to the team,” Bry said, “and for me to be a piece of the puzzle that the coach needed and noticed means a lot to me. I feel very appreciated and very grateful.”
Johnson’s favorite moment of the season was one when her team was challenged and they responded victoriously. “Our home NMH game [was my favorite moment] because we were a small team this year and a lot of teams looked down on us and did not give us the respect we deserved. I still remember all of the chants and love and to be able to win that game at home was amazing,” she commented.
“Our playoff game against Hotchkiss,” Elliyas said, was his favorite moment during his season. Delaire picked this intense battle with Hotckiss over his team’s Class A Championship win because of his love for Loomis’s supportive crowd.
“I guess the championship is cool and all, but it’s way better when you’ve got your fans with you, and you’re in front of your home crowd,” Elliyas said.
He and his teammates celebrated the boy’s trophy away at Western New England University ecstatically, but wished that he could have won in front of more of Loomis’ fans. Elliyas is known as a player who feeds off of the crowd’s energy during games.
Delaire speaks highly of his team’s culture, sharing that “there’s always people working outside of practice… because we know that’s what we have to do if we want to win. It’s all love [as a team] because people are trying to get better and bringing the best out of others.”
Both players used their awards as fuel to continue working and improving their craft at the next level. Bry looks to keep her drive in college ball next year and Elliyas looks to do the same in his senior year at Loomis Chaffee.