Choate Takes Two Player of the Year Awards

Photo by Lauren Canna/The Choate News

Both Uyeno ’19 and Sweitzer ’18 were on a different level this fall.

Being picked as the best athlete in New England for your sport is a difficult feat to accomplish. However, two Choate athletes, Lani Uyeno ‘19 and Shane Sweitzer ‘18, have won the award in their respective sports, Volleyball and Football, during the fall term.

As the Choate volleyball team libero, Uyeno played a significant role in the team’s journey to the New England Championships, which ended in both a win for her team and her eventual coronation as New England Player of the Year. The team faced some challenges at the beginning of the season, as they only had five returning varsity players, but they persevered and finished the season as New England Champions. Winning the New England Championship this year was particularly impressive, as the Choate volleyball team beat Exeter 3-2 by just four points after a hard loss to Exeter earlier in the season, getting swept 0-3. On the topic of her season Uyeno said, “This season was a really big year for me just coming off of New England Champs last year.” She also said that all of the players on the team were extremely motivated to win New England’s for a second time in a row.

When asked about how she won New England Player of the Year, Lani Uyeno ‘19 stated, “I owe it all to my teammates because they make me better every day in practice. My teammates are the ones motivating me to get the ball up as a libero.” Additionally, she added that she could not have had success this season without the leadership and guidance of the team’s coach Mr. Loeb.

Looking forward to the next season of Choate Volleyball, Uyeno has high expectations, and the team wants to win their third straight New England Championship. Uyeno said, “I think that it is important to leave a good legacy after you graduate from the program.” Lastly, she stated that she wants to help with recruiting so that the team maintains its dominance.

Sweitzer, one of the captains on the football team, has finished his Choate football career with a New England Player of the Year award. On top of this, the team had another outstanding year, going undefeated and winning the New England Championship for a fourth consecutive year. On the topic of the team’s season, Sweitzer explained, “It was a good year to be a captain because of the close group that was formed.” Despite not having a great statistical season, Sweitzer thinks that he won the award because of his clutch performances on both offense and defense. He added, “I might have won the award because I was able to make big plays in big games.”

One of the many things that led Sweitzer to win New England Player of the Year was the fact that he started on Varsity Football for his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons, gaining experience that is difficult to come by in most players. On the topic of his mindset for the season he stated, “I try to play with confidence and not get nervous. When I am playing, I try to think about all my experiences in playing football for ten years.” Sweitzer praised his coaches for their impact on his development as a football player. On that subject he added, “Even though we had three new coaches this year, they know what they are talking about and are good at communicating and coaching young players.”

Next year, Sweitzer will be playing college football at University of Pennsylvania. He said, “Hopefully I can have the chance to play early in my time at University of Pennsylvania, and I hope I can play with kids as good as players and as good as people that were on the Choate football team this year.”

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