2023-2024 Athletes of the Year Presented by College Hype

2023-2024 Athletes of the Year presented by College Hype –  Sophie Kerr and AJ Barrett.

June 25, 2024 – Story and Photos by Joshua Ross

Another year is in the books for Hingham High School athletics.  What started with captain’s practices right around this time last year, ended with a historic playoff run for four spring teams making the Final Four of the MIAA Tournament.  Hundreds of sporting events sandwiched in between made for an amazing year in sports.

It is always difficult picking an Athlete of the Week each week and that decision is exponentially harder to choose an Athlete of the Year.  This year, we have decided to pick two well-deserving student athletes who exemplified sportsmanship, leadership, and hard work.  This year’s female Athlete of the Year is Sophie Kerr and male Athlete of the Year is AJ Barrett.

Sophie Kerr on the water in Bare Cove during the Frosty Bow Regetta in November.

Sophie was captain of both crew and basketball.  Her positivity and encouragement inspired her teams regardless of the situation they found themselves in.  In crew, which might be the ultimate team sport, her teammates turned to her to set the tone and keep them focused both during races and practices.  On the court, she was the engine that powered the basketball team.  Helping her team overcome a rough start to the season, her never-quit attitude motivated the team to finish strong and make the playoffs.

“She comes to every practice with a welcoming smile on her face ready to work hard and motivate her teammates with whatever is thrown at them,” says girls crew head coach Sydney Blasetti.  “She pushes herself and others to their maximum capabilities each and every day. If you asked any member of our team who’d they want in their boat on race day, it would be Sophie Kerr.”

Girls basketball head coach Roland Millien feels that Sophie has left an imprint on the program that will be felt long after she’s gone.

Sophie Kerr drives to the basket in Hingham’s final game of the regular season in Weymouth.

“Sophie’s impact is something that will be felt for years after she is gone.” Millien tells the Anchor. “She set a great example. She is an extremely humble person. When we needed something different she came off the bench and gave us intensity. Helping lead us to the postseason.
I along with her teammates will never forget her buzzer beater to send our game into overtime leading us to victory. But no one will ever forget her leadership on and off the court.  She set an example, followed what she preached and set a standard for captains for years to come. We will miss her dearly.”

AJ was the heart and soul of a historic defense for the boys soccer team.  One of the best teams in the state for most of the season, AJ and the rest of the defense were a nightmare for opponents, going long stretches without allowing a goal.  As part of a relative young and inexperienced team, AJ was thrusted into the role of mentor throughout the season as expectations continued to rise for the team.  In the winter and spring, he moved for the pitch to the track where he dominated in three events for the better part of two seasons.  As captain of both teams, he was the leading point getter on both teams participating in the high jump, long jump and 110m hurdles.

AJ Barrett was Hingham’s anchor for one of the best defenses in the league.

“On top of  all these impressive achievements, AJ is an exceptional young man who loves his team and respects everyone,” head coach Fred Jewett says. “His leadership has been key to successful seasons this year.”

Boys soccer head coach Ken Carlin remarked at how consistent and disciplined he was over the season.

“AJ started every game as the right side center back,” Carlin explains. “His height and speed was a huge asset for us.  Communication is the secret for playing with three in the back.  AJ and his companions were very good at this. He was also a hard-working, hard-tackling player who showed great sportsmanship and ended his career with zero yellow or red cards.”

AJ Barrett finished no lower than 2nd place for both winter and spring track in all three events.

In addition to all their athletic achievements on the court, the water, the track and the pitch, both of these students have been recognized for the outstanding academic achievements by the Patriot League and local organizations.

They are both great people and even better ambassadors of their sports, the high school and the greater Hingham community.

Congrats Sophie and AJ on an amazing year and careers!

Finally, thanks to College Hype for their continued support of Hingham athletics and local journalism.

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