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Aug. 2, 2022 — Some well-deserved hardware

Over the weekend, USA Today presented its annual high-school sports awards, which covers a pretty wide panoply of scholastic sports.

I don’t know if the selectors have been following this site, but I do find it interesting that the national scoring champions for girls lacrosse and field hockey — Fran Frieri and Ryleigh Heck — won the national player of the year in both sports.

Why? If you went by the pool of players listed as nominees for each sport, as well as the three finalists in each sport, you’d be pretty amazed.

Frieri, who wasn’t selected for the Under Armour All-America Game, beat out two players who did: Kori Edmonson of Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) and Peep Williams of Binghamton Seton Catholic (N.Y.). But also in the pool of nominees are a number of players who are going to become part of the national scene very soon, such as Madison Beale of Brooklandville St. Paul’s (Md.), Shea Dolce of Darien (Conn.), and Caroline Godine of Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.).

Heck, who was just recently selected to the U.S. senior women’s national team pool, had to beat out Maci Bradford of Delmar (Del.) and Alaina McVeigh of Gwynedd Valley Gwynedd-Mercy Academy (Pa.) in the group of finalists. But also in the group of nominees was Ashley Sessa of Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) and Josie Hollamon of Delmar (Del.), both of whom are also in the U.S. women’s national team pool. Too, one of the nominees was fellow 100-goal scorer Talia Schenck of Lawrence (N.J.).

Fran Frieri and Ryleigh Heck are headed off to their respective universities to start preseason: Frieri with lacrosse at Notre Dame, Heck with field hockey at North Carolina. Fair or not, both will have outsized expectations on their performances at the college level.

But I have a feeling that a lot of the other field hockey and lacrosse players who were nominated for the USA Today Awards are also going to be preparing for some absolutely boffo debut seasons during the 2022-23 college year.

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