Updated: Dec 28, 2022
The JVF is pleased to announce our 2022 JVF award winners!
After such an incredible year, we wanted to recognize the athletes that made significant contributions to our mission either on the field, off it it, or both!
Mia Park, Senior, North Branford High School, 2022 Athlete of the Year
Mia Park of North Branford Connecticut was unquestionably one of the more consequential athletes in the history of the organization this past year. Mia did it all for the organization, and her teammates. A Captain in two different sports, Mia did everything a leader could possibly do for her ball clubs.
Mia organized car washes, fundraised for the organization, coordinated communications amongst the athletes, starred in both field hockey and lacrosse for the organization, and cultivated incredible relationships with her coaches, and teammates.
Together with her mother Nicole Park, Mia gave us so much love, and passion, we salute her for allowing us to be part of her journey, she was absolutely sensational for all of us, and we thank her for her contribution to our mission!
All JVF Team
Maya Rosado, Senior, Jonathan Law High School
Maya became the JVF Vipers all time leading scorer in 2022, dazzling the competition on the field for the second consecutive year. Maya played a major roll for the ball club, that traveled up and down the east coast to competitive events, winning a silver medal at the Nutmeg Games in July! Maya alongside her parents Jorge and Melissa organized events, and supported the organization in so many ways this past year. Maya was the ultimate, a humble, honest, solid leader for our organization. Maya's on the field and off the field commitment made a huge impact on the JVF!
Aliza Giordano, Freshman, Branford High School
Only an 8th grader when she entered the JVF, Aliza won the 2022 Winter league MVP in her debut, in a league with recognized and established HIGH SCHOOL stars. The Branford native displayed grit, tenacity, and unbelievable speed. Aliza also brought happiness, joy, a love for sport, and her teammates. Giordano would go on to win a state championship with Branford High School as a freshman. Her parents Vincent, and Wendy were so supportive of the organization this year, a noteworthy team effort!!!!!!!
Jack Gaffney, Senior, Hamden High School
We have seen some amazing leaders come through our doors, Jack is right at the top. He is similar to Captain America, a galvanizing force for his teammates, and the community. Not only did Jack lead the boys through our first ever boys lacrosse program, providing the organization with a true face in a new sport. Jack also worked extensively with the organization to honor, and remember our dearly departed Elias Hinne. Jack organized a charity lacrosse game, and a candle light vigil for his friend, stepping forward as a unifying beacon of light in a time of absolute darkness for all of us.
Scout Engstrom, Senior, Branford High School
When Scout entered the JVF in 2021, we knew she had the tools to be a top flight field hockey player, and in 2022 she delivered upon that potential, developing into one of the best athletes we have ever had, a naturally gifted superstar athlete that is kind, down to earth, and accessible to everyone. Scout found a way to balance school, admissions, tennis, and field hockey, making amazing contributions to our field hockey program. Scout also was active off the field, attending our car washes, fundraising, and giving back to the program alongside her salt of the earth mother Stephanie. Scout went on to win SCC player of the year, was named 1st Team All State, and won a state championship with her Branford Hornets!
Addy Maxwell, Sophmore, Amity High School
Addy Maxwell established herself as a JVF face of the future. Only a freshman, she proved to be one of the most physically gifted athletes in the organization, and most likely the country at this point. She has next level speed, cat like reflexes, is unselfish, physically strong, competitive, and fearless. A flat out superstar in two different sports, Addy is most likely headed for Division 1 college athletics, and are honored to share this journey with her. We also want to salute her parents, who made a mad dash for the organization prior to one of our tournaments, and have coordinated the inclusion of so many girls into our programs!
KP3, Senior, Foran High School
Kylee Payne "KP3" will be remembered as one of the greatest JVF Women's lacrosse players of all time. She checks all the boxes of an all time great. She, alongside Grace Foley, and Anna Harris, built the JVF Vipers into a competitive team. Her leadership, and love of the sport, was instrumental in standing up the Vipers as a legitimate ball club. Leading the charge, the Milford native emerged into a star for the organization, progressing into a serious college prospect. In August of 2022, KP3 committed to Saint Rose College in New York, where she will play Division 2 lacrosse, and pursue an awesome education!!! We will miss this generational competitor, and her loyal parents Kerrie and Jerry!
Aryana Wilson, Senior, Branford High School
Ary! Ary did everything for the JVF in 2022! She played field hockey, lacrosse, played in tournaments for both programs, literally doing both at the same time, we have never seen an athlete quite like Ary, fast as the wind, tough, long, and brilliant defensively. Ary also is as friendly as they come, sporting a quiet nature that is only matched by the competitive fire that burns within her. Ary also balanced a serious Ice Hockey career, playing three sports at once, and making no excuses at all, ever. Ary and her mom Kimberly Wilson, did so much for the organization, in 2022, providing photography, and videos of our activities, giving the organization memories, content creation, and happiness. A wonderful on the field and off the field contribution. Ary went on to win a state title with Branford High School, be named all first team SCC, and 1st team all State!
Taya Buntin, Senior Cheshire High School
Taya joined the JVF in January of this year, and made an immediate impact on the Field Hockey program, and our culture, bringing a fun loving attitude and serious abilities as an athlete. Taya immediately became a prominent talent within the system, helping the Panthers win a thrilling Winter League title, and making huge plays for the JVF Dragons during the tournament season. Taya's rise drew the attention of several college programs, and she ended up committing to Western New England University, where will will continue her field hockey career, and her education! Taya was also named 1st team all SCC on route to a SCC tournament title with her Cheshire Rams! Bravo!!
Lenora Longway, Branford Connecticut
Lenora is on our Mount Rushmore of JVF Participants, that transcends every sport, every program, anything we have ever done. A special, unique, highly intelligent, insanely gifted athlete, and human. Lenora was the leader of the JVF Field Hockey program from day 1, she loved, and inspired her teammates, and coaches, she was the face of the JVF Field Hockey program during it's formative run. In 2022, against the backdrop of her senior year, employment, and her busy life, she still found a way to lead our field hockey program, rarely missing any sessions, or competitions. Lenora faced down challenges, adversity, and spun it into gold. She is now pursing an education and a career in theater! Yay!
Ava Coppola, Senior, Southington High School
Ava entered the JVF in 2021, and her been on an upward trajectory ever since. 2022 was a coming out party for her, and a prelude to an even more exciting 2023. Ava brings a happiness, and humility that has such a positive impact on her teammates, and her rapid improvement in the sport of field hockey produced incredible results on the onthe field. She was a contributing player to the Panthers, winning our winter league, and providing an anchor for the ball club during the season. She also made up her mind that she was going to play college field hockey, and relentlessly pursued her goal. Ava eventually committed to Springfield College Field Hockey where she will suit up next fall! Ava would go one to be a 1st team All State performer for Southington High School.. Ava is an example of what's possible if you just go for it!
Benny Evans, Hamden High School
Benny Evans was among the more enjoyable athletes to work with in 2022, his approach to athletics is what we want from everyone that walks through the door. He is an awesome teammate, the guys just love him, he brings humor, a level head approach to the sport of lacrosse, and serious talent as a player. Among the things we value at the JVF, is how our athletes approach practice, personal development, and their teammates. Benny was among our best practice players, our best teammates, and he improved drastically throughout the winter, and into the spring. We thank him for his contribution to the JVF.
Jillian Lydon, Amity High School
Jillian Lydon enjoyed a stellar 2022 Field Hockey season for the JVF Panthers, scoring goals, playing major minutes, improving at her craft, and emerging as major player in JVF Field Hockey moving forward. Jillian and her mother Nora were also the top JVF fundraisers in 2022, creating endless opportunities for her teammates, and athletes from all over Connecticut. Jillian is an example of what we hope for, not only did she progress as a competitor, she put the work in off the field in the interest of others, what a banner year for the Orange native!
Maggie McDonald, Senior, Amity High School
The Dynamo from Amity produced a grand 2022 campaign! Maggie joined the program, showing immediate promise, and growing within the sport before our very eyes. She excelled in the Winter League, and came back from the injured list to produce a solid season with the JVF Panthers. Maggie was also a top fundraiser for the JVF, providing a major boost to the mission in 2022. To top it off, Maggie committed to Wheaton College Field Hockey this month, solidifying herself as a JVF legend entering her final season with the ball club.
Elias Hinne, Hamden Connecticut
Prior to his untimely passing in August of 2022, Elias was a ray of sunshine for this organization, a darling of a human being with a heart of gold. He treated his teammates, his coaches, and his friends with the utmost respect, inspiring thousands of people during his time on this earth. Losing Elias was one of the most difficult moments we have ever faced, that our kids have had to face, and his memory will forever be indelible to everyone that had the chance to know him. Rest In Peace!
Sydney Simms, Junior, Sacred Heart High School
SYD! The Durham native was a sparkling contributor to our mission in 2022. She played a massive role for the Vipers, bring an optimism that was infectious her teammates, and really advancing as a lacrosse player. Syd alongside her mother Melanie, were top fundraisers for the mission, doing a remarkable job of supporting the organization on and off the field. Sydney also put the work into her recruiting, seeking the right fit for an athletic, skilled, unselfish, highly intelligent student athlete that loves the sport of lacrosse.
Lauren Kendrick, Branford High School
LK was unbelievable this year! The multi sport athlete joined the field hockey program in the spring at the conclusion of the her high school basketball season, and was clearly one of the best players in the program, making big play after big play, and pushing the Dragons to become one of the best teams in the northeast region. Lauren led by example, not by her words, and gave the program a competitive edge that will endure long after her tenure with the team. Lauren went on to win a state title with the Branford Hornets, and be named 2nd team All State! Lauren, alongside her mother Nancy Kendrick, were also massive contributors off the field, assisting the organization in endless ways over the course of the season, we thank them!
Frankie Derosa, Junior, Stratford High School
Frankie! Frankie continued to develop into one of the best #Lax defenders in the state of Connecticut, blending incredible physical strength with supreme stick skills, and instincts, she was one of the most gifted athletes associated with our organization. She is beloved by anyone lucky enough to work with her, or coach her. Frankie was flanked by her wonderful parents Susan, and David, who have supported the organization for years, and were spectacular once again 2022! Setting up concession stands, providing rides, and assisting our mission in any way possible. Thank you!
Goal of the Year
Zoe Johnson, Junior, Jonathan Law High School
Zoe Johnston's goal in the championship game of the Nutmeg Games was incredible, tremendous speed, power, accuracy. The Milford native did this several times over the course of the season, but this goal in the Vipers biggest game to date was memorable, and gave her team energy down the stretch. You just don't see goals like this often. Big propers to her father Bobby Johnson, who was super supportive of the organization all year long!
We would also like to recognize community contributors that helped the organization in 2022!
Lisa Lapidus, Dave Williams, Eliza Burgess and Jennifer MAC, Thalia and Olga Zweeres, The Herrmann family, The Manzo family, The Johnston Family, The Cady Family, Callie Kessler, Kimberly Wilson, Ana Carney, Liane Page, our awesome referee Paul, Ellie and Rebecca Wieland, Scout and The Engstrom Family, Ms. Zartarga, The Simms Family, Ryan Garb, and Ashton and everyone that helped us provide free sports to these awesome kids!