In Trinity’s first-ever virtual signing-day ceremony, parents, family, faculty, coaches and students gathered virtually through videoconference — along with nearly 100 other students and guests — on the morning of Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Late April is a traditional time for seniors to sign their national letters of intent, and these four Trinity seniors joined student-athletes nationwide as they officially committed to competing in intercollegiate athletics next year:
- Jackson Hanback ’20 (football) — Bridgewater College
- Blake Loughran ’20 (baseball) — Shenandoah University
- Abby Mayes ’20 (soccer) — Hood College
- Lauren Park ’20 (soccer) — Wellesley College
“These are unique circumstances,” said Athletic Director Anna Prillaman, noting that she wanted each athlete to focus on the future in a positive light. “There’s a very good chance you have not had your crowning athletic achievement yet... I know things seem a little bit daunting now, but there are still a lot of positive things to come. As you guys look toward the future, be excited about it. You are ready. You have put in a lot of work... I am so excited for what the future holds for you.”
Coaches then shared words of praise, appreciation and anticipation of more great things to come for the group of Trinity student leaders and their extended families who have committed so much time toward the pursuit of excellence both on and off the playing field.
Sam Mickens, football coach, praised Jackson Hanback ’20 for his enthusiasm both on and off the field. “The guys that love the game are typically great community members,” said Mickens. “Their light shines through. Their love of the game is something they can’t fake. It makes everyone better.” Mickens said Trinity will miss Hanback’s exuberance, but that he leaves a lasting legacy with the team. “A piece of him will be within our program,” he said. “He would not allow his teammates to be anything other than team-first.”
Tim Merry, baseball coach, spoke of the commitment and dedicated improvement of Blake Loughran ’10. “You weren’t just some of the time committed or part of the time committed,” he said, “You were all of the time committed.” Merry continued: “In baseball, the ball will find you at a critical time... Throughout your career, no matter the situation, you were very solid and always gave us a chance to win.” Merry congratulated Loughran on the opportunity at Shenendoah, which he noted has the highest winning percentage in the state over the past decade.
Rick Hamlin, girls soccer coach, recalled the leadership and fearlessness of Abby Mayes ’20 over transitions like moving to a new town in the middle of high school and changing positions midseason, from center midfield to center back. “This is a massive change in responsibility,” recalled Coach Hamlin. “On a team with high expectations, the move was packed with pressure. But Abby rose to the occasion, setting off a chain of events that led eventually to a trip to the state final four.”
Hamlin then praised the consistent work ethic of Lauren Park ’20, who began playing goalkeeper not long before her freshman year at Trinity. “If you want to talk about a pressure packed situation, Lauren played arguably the most pressure packed position in sports… with a group of seniors that were used to success and had very high expectations,” said Hamlin. “I have rarely coached an athlete with her work ethic and constant desire to improve.”
These seniors join 14 others that have committed this year to playing NCAA athletics. This includes both those who have participated in public signing ceremonies and those who have not. All will represent Trinity while competing at the intercollegiate level — with a commitment to hard work, discipline, character and respect for community.