Massachusetts Hockey is excited to announce our 2023 Sportsmanship Award Recipients.
Rylie Jones (N. Chelmsford, MA), Elizabeth Lombardo (Plymouth, MA), Cailyn McCarthy (Hanover, MA), David Noel (Hampden, MA) and Luke Stehley (Plainville, MA).
All five of our recipients were chosen from an exceptional group of applicants.
Each recipient will be receiving a $2,000 stipend to put towards their educational costs.
The Sportsmanship Award has been able to honor and spotlight many Massachusetts Hockey players who celebrate the principles of good sportsmanship epitomized by the spirit of respect, dignity, courtesy, responsible behavior and fair play, not only in sports, but in all of life’s endeavors.
Read more below about each recipient and their future plans.
Rylie Jones, from N. Chelmsford, graduated this past spring from Cushing Academy and will be attending Northeastern University this fall. Rylie plans on studying health science and playing on the Women’s Ice Hockey team.
Rylie played for the East Coast Wizards from 2012-2023. In addition to Rylie’s accomplishments on the ice, Rylie has received the Elmira College Key Award for having achieved academic excellence and demonstrating outstanding school or community leadership. Rylie is also the recipient of the Nancy Jean Cook Memorial Award for exhibiting fine citizenship, academic and athletic success as well as the Tiffany Blood ‘00 Award, for the player who best exhibits the qualities of leadership, team commitment, intrinsic motivation and passion.
Women’s Varsity Ice Hockey Coach, Valerie Bono-Bunker wrote: "Rylie has demonstrated examples of respect, responsibility and fairness on the field of athletics too many times to write, it is in her 'fabric', and it's who she is in life as well...She leads by example and inspires those around her to be better."
“Playing and captaining three different sports has allowed me to see contagiousness in being a good sport... Having good sportsmanship has helped me create valuable relationships within my teams with both my coaches and my teammates. I have become someone that is dependable as well as a resource that others can trust and turn to” said Rylie in her application essay.
Elizabeth Lombardo, from Plymouth, MA, graduated this past spring from Plymouth South High school. Elizabeth will be attending University of Massachusetts – Amherst and plans on studying Sports Management at the Isenberg School of Management.
Elizabeth played for Plymouth Youth Hockey from 2010-2022. Elizabeth was awarded the Most Dedicated Award after her freshman year, working hard for her team earned her a Captain spot on her final season at Plymouth South High School.
Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Coach at Plymouth South High School, Michael McCosh wrote: "[Elizabeth] was an amazing role model for others. She is dedicated, motivated and respectful. All team members and classmates look up to her... Bethie always made sure every player felt included and was aware of any events the team was involved in."
“Even though I was a captain and a senior, I was rarely on the ice. However, Coach McCosh still dressed me over the more talented underclassmen because he knew I would be on the bench making the team better. Being on the bench bringing the team up was not the only thing I did that made me a great sportsman” said Elizabeth in her application essay.
Cailyn McCarthy, from Hanover, MA, graduated this past spring from Hanover High School. Cailyn will be attending Saint Anslem College, studying business.
Cailyn played for Hanover Youth Hockey, Boch Conquistadors, and the East Coast Milita. Cailyn was awarded the Patriot League Joe Masi Sportsmanship award for both hockey and lacrosse and was made Captain of her hockey team for both her junior and senior year. Cailyn was also the recipient of the Hobey Baker Award for her teamwork, dedication, integrity, exceptional play, humility and above all character. Cailyn was also one of the eleven hockey players to receive the Boston Bruins/MIAA Sportsmanship Award and was recognized at the Boston Bruins Women in Sports Night.
Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Coach at Hanover High School, Pam Manning wrote: Cailyn is absolutely the lifeblood of our ice hockey team on and off the ice. On the ice, she is a leader in every sense of the word. A great player, yes, but she is so much more... Her enthusiasm, excitement, spirit, sportsmanship and love for the game is contagious."
“I made it my mission in high school to lead by example, to encourage those who were feeling down about their game or about life in general, to stand by the player who was hurt on the field or ice and to show true sportsmanship before, during and after every game” says Cailyn in her application essay.
David Noel, from Hampden, MA graduated this past spring from Minnechaug Regional High School. David will be attending Western New England University and plans on studying Electrical Engineering and will play on the Men’s Lacrosse team.
David played for Rifles Hockey and the Western Mass Vipers.
“Playing hockey since third grade has made me a better person. I have personal goals, but I try to align them to the goals of the whole team. I watch friends and family around me going through life’s challenges, and I know that discipline, good leadership, and respect for others will guide me as I navigate life” says David in his application essay.
David’s former lacrosse coach, Kyle Cloutier wrote: "On the field [David] is a fierce competitor, leading by positive example. He pours his everything into every practice and game...As a coach, David is the person you want leading and representing your team and program. His character on and off the field is second to none."
Luke Stehley, from Plainville, MA, graduated this past spring from King Philip Regional High School. Luke will be attending Westfield State University and plans on studying Criminal Justice.
Luke played for King Philip Walpole Youth Hockey from 2014-2022.
Luke’s former coach, Rocky Morrison wrote: "Luke is the type of young man that earns the respect of all his teammates with his hard work and dedication. Luke has been one of the hardest working on players on every one of my teams... He always leads by example, which elevates everyone around him to a higher level of work and has always made our teams better."
“Everyone deserves the respect and kindness that you would want for yourself. Play by the rules. Don’t trash talk your opponents. Admit your faults or when you made a mistake. Don’t make excuses or blame others. Give it 110% every single time you take to the ice. Don’t argue with the officials. Always have fun. Finally, at the end of every practice, shake your coach’s hand, look them in the eye and thank them for the great practice. That is exactly what I did, I thanked my coaches, the referees, the timekeeper, and the opposing team” says Luke in his application essay.