At the end of 2016, we started the #GearForAYear Scholarship Program. Our goal was to award six deserving athletes with $500 worth of gear for their upcoming season. Over two months, we received hundreds of applications from accomplished athletes of all ages, and from all parts of the country.
After narrowing the large pool down to 17 impressive finalists, we handed the applications off to an esteemed panel of judges, including Sean Bratches (previously the EVP of Sales and Marketing at ESPN), Mike Skudin (two-time Major League Lacrosse champion), Tim McGhee (SVP at CSE), Brad Aronson (Board Chair at Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeaster PA & Entrepreneur), and Nat Ballenberg (Assistant Coach, Haverford Baseball ) These judges, along with the team at SidelineSwap, selected six athletes they thought were most deserving and here they are!
Michael Delasandro is a 19 year-old hockey player from Brick, NJ. His favorite team is the New York Rangers and one of his best sports memories is stealing home to win one of his baseball championships. Sports have always been an outlet for him and helped him get through tough times. Overall, he is really appreciative and grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to receive his gear!
Lauren Mattingly is a 16-year old lacrosse player from Leonardtown, Maryland. Her favorite athlete is Serena Williams and her favorite team is the Washington Capitals. At school, Lauren is involved in the school newspaper, the math team, choir, band, and many other clubs. However, sports are her biggest passion. Through lacrosse, field hockey, and track, she’s met her best friends and learned countless lessons. She describes sports as “being part of something bigger than yourself”. Right now, Lauren is working hard to develop her hockey skills and hopes to eventually play for her school’s hockey team.
Hannah Lynn Kickery is a 12 year-old lacrosse player for Pittsfield, MA. Her favorite team is the Boston Red Sox and her favorite pump up song is Fight Song. Sports have made a huge impact on her life, as she’s been able to make new friends and get a lot of exercise. Her best sports memory is when she was a lacrosse goalie for the first time and only allowed 1 goal. Hannah is extremely appreciative for this opportunity and is looking forward to getting brand new lacrosse goalie gear.
Avery Gawronski is a 13 year-old lacrosse player from Mullica Hill, NJ. Her favorite team is either the NY Lizards or the Maryland Terps and her favorite sports memory is getting on the A team for South Jersey Select and then going on to win a championship with them. Avery believes that the drive to win is the most important quality of an athlete and it’s that drive that he or she can put towards anything; work, school, helping others, and so much more. She is honored that she’s been picked as a winner and says it means so much to her and her family!
Cade Dairy is a 19 year-old lacrosse player from Great Falls, Michigan. His favorite athlete is Bo Jackson and his favorite team is the Oakland Raiders. When he was younger, Cade spent a lot of time working with the Special Olympics, which he says has positively changed his life forever. He currently plays for the University of Great Falls lacrosse team and looks forward to playing in his new gear this season and also coaching in the future!
Briana Johnson is a 16 year old softball player from Brooklyn, MI. Her favorite player is Sierra Romero and one of her favorite sports memories is going to the World Series in travel ball and receiving MVP one game. Sports have played a major role in Brianna’s life and softball is what keeps her going every day. She started playing at 7 years-old and looks forward to playing on her high school’s varsity team this year. Even through many obstacles, she’s never given up on her goals to be an outstanding softball player and looks forward to using her new gear to improve her game!