NEPSFHCA lauds her at its annual meeting
April 17, 2015
Calling her “the definition of a class act,” “a great coach,” and a woman with an “extraordinary career,” the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council field hockey coaches honored one of Williston Northampton’s longest tenured coaches during their annual meeting on Tuesday.
As a field hockey coach, Ann Pickrell had a three-decade winning legacy. After coaching for four years at Cushing Academy, Ms. Pickrell came to Williston, where she led the girls field hockey team until 2011. In the last 30 years, she had a 222-198-47 record (247-227-53 overall), including finishing fourth among 31 teams in the Western New England Prep School League in 2011.
“I think the thing that’s most rewarding, and I think you’ll all agree, is when you’re able to stay in touch with players that you’ve had and they tell you about their lives and the impact,” Ms. Pickrell said. “It’s not necessarily who won the game, but what kinds of things they learned from each other.”
In remarks during the event, Robin Chandler, director of athletics at The Hotchkiss School, praised Ms. Pickrell, who is also Williston’s assistant head of school, for her deep commitment and for having “set the bar high” for her team.
“I feel so very honored to have shared the field with her during our 17 years of competition,” Ms. Chandler said. “Ann’s teams modeled Ann; they worked tirelessly, they played with tremendous heart, and win or lose, they did so with exceptional sportsmanship.”
The ceremony came as a surprise to Ms. Pickrell, who thought she had stopped by the Dodge Room to greet her former coaching colleagues during their lunch break.
“To be able to look around the room and see many faces that I’ve known for years and people that I’ve coached against and with, it’s a full circle,” she said, after a standing ovation in her honor. “I said when I stepped away that it wasn’t about me and it’s still not about me, it’s about the hundreds of students that we’ve had.”
As part of the ceremony, Ms. Pickrell was presented with a plaque, which will be placed at the base of a tree planted in her honor on Gabraith Field, near the varsity field hockey field.