Skippy Keefer Nominees Honored

Barat Academy is proud to announce that last evening five members of the senior class were honored as nominees for the Skippy Keefer Award. This award, given annually in honor of Skippy Keefer, longtime athletic director at John Burroughs School and one of the founders of the Metro Women's Athletic Association (MWAA), is given annually to a senior female athlete within the MWAA league who exemplifies the qualities of athletic participation and excellence in sportsmanship.

Here is what their coaches and mentors had to say about these young women:

Alleigh Fine is a multiple athlete participating in over 12 sports during her high school career. Alleigh’s leadership on and off the floor is admired and respected by her teammates and her coaches.

Alleigh has struggled through injury, suffering an ACL tear her junior year.  Alleigh was used her leadership to inspire from the sidelines.  She never gives up and is often seen working with younger athletes who are motivated by her.

Alleigh will attend Carthage College and play lacrosse.

Courtney Hale loves competing and competes with class.  During a field hockey game her junior year Courtney had her teeth knocked out with a stick.  The next day she was begging to play, of course her parents and coach were on a different page.  Courtney has been involved in Barat athletics all four years playing multiple sports.  She serves as captain of teams, she is a strong competitor and she never gives up.  After a junior year ACL injury Courtney knew at best she might play in one senior year hockey match.  She was ready and on the field the minute the doctor gave her the Ok.

Courtney is often seen helping other athletes improve.  She is kind and confident, respectful and sensitive.  Skippy Keefer would have loved meeting Courtney Hale.  Courtney upholds the standards and values of excellence that Skippy set. Courtney hopes to attend a college where she will play field hockey.

Natalie is not just a highly skilled tennis player.  She surpassed my expectations and certainly distinguished herself as one of the most hard-working players I have ever coached.  She sets an example for those around her by approaching tennis practices and matches with enthusiasm, determination to improve, and a positive attitude.  If a teammate needed some advice or encouragement, she was quick to help.  Natalie exemplified true sportsmanship; even opposing team coaches and parents would often express to me after the match how impressed they were with her honesty and incredible sportsmanship.  Regarding her athleticism and skill on the court, Natalie was consistently on her game and fun to watch; her strokes were simply beautiful (especially that topspin)!  She approached every match with confidence and aggressiveness.  She also amazed me with her intelligent decision making in shot placement as well as quick reflexes. Natalie's personal qualities and attitude are as impressive as her athletic accomplishments.  She is the type of student-athlete every coach desires to have on their team.  I enjoyed watching her play in the #1 singles spot and beat other competitive players, and I was proud of her and her doubles partner advancing to Sectionals.  It has truly been a privilege to coach Natalie this year.  

Katie Habiger is a dedicated student athlete at Barat Academy.  Over her high school career Katie has played 4 years of volleyball and lacrosse and has managed the boys’ basketball team. Katie is a true team leader not only setting the example for hard work and dedication but in effort on and off the court.  Katie looks forward to tomorrow and how she will become a better player for her team and herself.  With the volleyball program in a rebuilding year, Katie made sure that the team stayed focused on improvement and goal setting that was appropriate for where they were.  This leadership kept a positive vibe throughout the season.   

Katie will attend Highpoint University in North Carolina next fall and major in design.

Mackenzie Hale has worked hard as a student athlete over her high school career.  Mackenzie has participated in 4 years of volleyball and soccer at the varsity level.  

As a co-captain this year, Mackenzie worked well to collaborate and provide leadership to a very young team in a rebuilding year.  Mackenzie plays volleyball at a high level and used her experience to help develop her teammates and set them up for attainable goals for success. She constantly provided the support her teammates needed to stay focused and positive, all while keeping her level of play consistent with her skill and talent level. 

Mackenzie will attend Arcadia University in Pennsylvania on a volleyball scholarship next fall and major in Physical Therapy.