Leeds’ James Elliott, Easthampton’s Anna Sawyer earn top honors at Williston’s athletic awards banquet

Pictured is James Elliott (left) of Leeds with Williston Director of Athletics Mark Conroy (right) as Elliott accepts the 2024 George Denman Bowl as the school’s top senior male athlete.

Pictured is James Elliott (left) of Leeds with Williston Director of Athletics Mark Conroy (right) as Elliott accepts the 2024 George Denman Bowl as the school’s top senior male athlete. PHOTO COURTESY WILLISTON ATHLETICS

Pictured is Anna Sawyer (left) of Easthampton with Williston Director of Athletics Mark Conroy (right) as Sawyer accepts the 2024 Athletic Leadership Award. Sawyer was a three-sport captain as a senior this year.

Pictured is Anna Sawyer (left) of Easthampton with Williston Director of Athletics Mark Conroy (right) as Sawyer accepts the 2024 Athletic Leadership Award. Sawyer was a three-sport captain as a senior this year. PHOTO COURTESY WILLISTON ATHLETICS

By GARRETT COTE

Staff Writer

Published: 05-31-2024 12:47 PM

Modified: 06-01-2024 10:33 AM


Williston Northampton School held its annual end-of-season sports awards ceremony recently to hand out awards to deserving student-athletes at the school. Among the many winners, two seniors with local ties to Hampshire County brought home prestigious awards due to their excellence both on and off the playing surfaces.

Leeds native James Elliott was the recipient of the George Denman Bowl, given to the top male athlete of the graduating class. A three-sport athlete at Williston, Elliott is headed to Dartmouth to play football next fall after a record-breaking season on the gridiron at wide receiver.

The George Denman Bowl is “awarded to seniors whose contribution to the athletic program have been characterized by exceptional achievement, faithful participation and loyal devotion to the best interests of the school.”

Director of Athletics Mark Conroy had this to say about Elliott during the ceremony:

“This year’s Denman recipient has been a significant contributor to our athletic program during his five years at Williston. A very rare three-sport athlete in our boys program, he earned 13 letters during his five years at Williston. During the fall, he enjoyed a record-breaking career re-writing the school record book by setting new marks for receptions and touchdowns caught in a season and career. A team captain, he received prestigious All-NEPSAC honors during both his junior and senior year. In the winter, he earned four letters as a member of the basketball team. In the spring, he was a four-year starter at short stop captaining the team this year while receiving numerous all-league honors. Beyond these outstanding accomplishments, he is widely considered by his coaches to be one of the finest athletes they have coached and an exceptional competitor and teammate. It gives us great pleasure to award the 2024 George Denman Bowl to James Elliott.”

Elsewhere, Easthampton’s Anna Sawyer received an Athletic Leadership Award. Sawyer, a senior, has been at Williston since seventh grade, and she competed on a team in all three seasons of all six years. During her final year on campus, Sawyer was a captain for each sport she participated in – which says a lot about her character.

The Athletic Leadership Award “is presented to seniors who have distinguished themselves in terms of the quality of the leadership they have demonstrated as student-athletes. The recipients exemplify what it means to be an outstanding teammate, competitor and representative of the school. Their selfless leadership, sportsmanship and integrity have provided inspiration to their coaches and teammates throughout their time at Williston.”

Director of Athletics Mark Conroy had this to say about Sawyer during the ceremony:

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“The senior Athletic Leadership Award for girls this year will be awarded to a student who competed on a team in all 18 of her seasons at Williston, winning 15 letters and captaining three programs as a senior. In the fall, she won five letters in field hockey, captaining the team as a senior while winning the sportsmanship award. In the winter, she captained the basketball team during both her junior and senior years, demonstrating exceptional leadership as a senior when she was unable to play but remained committed to doing everything she could to support her teammates. In the spring, she captained our 13-2 lacrosse team while earning postseason recognition. While these accomplishments are noteworthy, her coaches unanimously laud her positive spirit, her competitiveness and her commitment to supporting the positive experience of all of her teammates. It gives us great pleasure to present this Athletic Leadership Award to Anna Sawyer.”