For Carpenter, Mount Everett Seniors, Run Ends in Semi-Finals
AMHERST, Mass. -- Earlier this month, Mount Everett graduate-to-be Gwendolyn Carpenter delivered the valedictory address at Tanglewood.
That speech, she had time to plan.
On Wednesday, Mount Everett graduate Gwendolyn Carpenter had to speak off the cuff, summing up a stellar high school career after a disappointing Western Mass semi-final loss.
And in this address, she couldn’t have been more eloquent.
“I think I’ve had a really unique experience compared to what a lot of other high school players have, and I can’t ever give back how much the school and how much the program has given me, playing three sports and then going down to two sports,” Carpenter said.
Berkshire County’s all-time leading high school scorer on the basketball court and an all-star shortstop on the softball diamond, Carpenter is off next year to continue her two-sport career at Framingham State University.
But first, she had to take a lonely walk up the ramp from the Sortino Field dugout and into the arms of her family -- familiar faces to Berkshire County sports fans who have followed Gwen’s accomplishments over the last six years.
Carpenter and classmates Jaclyn Derwitsch, Marion Devoti and Madison Ullrich have worn a path between Sheffield and Amherst, making multiple appearances on Sortino Field and nearby Curry Hicks Cage, site of the Western Mass basketball semi-finals and finals.
“I thank them for everything they’ve done, not just softball wise but, you know, basketball, soccer and just the way they’ve led the kids as human beings,” Mount Everett coach and athletic director Joshua King said. “They work ethic of pushing hard, and they also deal the tough love when tough love needs to be dealt.
“I taught them when they were in kindergarten, so they have a special place in my heart. I just appreciate everything they did. It’s going to be really hard to replace those four individuals. … The girls who played this year, hopefully, will carry over that confidence of the year, and it continues to build.”
While the Eagles’ underclassmen look to the future, Wednesday was a time for Carpenter to look back.
“Everyone in my life -- coaches, teammates -- they’ve all been there for me off the field,” she said. “I think that’s the beauty of it. I’m really going to miss playing in the blue and gold.”