There was a spirited Homecoming vibe on the fields, and indoors a festive mood reigned on Friday, September 26, as CCES honored its newest inductees to the Sports Hall of Fame. Later that evening the Cavaliers would go on to their record-setting 45th consecutive victory, but before the game got underway, the invited guests in the Upper School Dining Room would celebrate the athletic triumphs of two special alumni, Martha Wood McKissick ’82 and Will Guzick ’07.
Martha Wood McKissick ‘82
Martha McKissick was inducted by her good friend and tennis partner, A.B. Stewart (who went on that weekend as CCES assistant tennis coach to help our girls varsity tennis team win the prestigious Belton Hall of Fame Classic). A.B. put much love—and meticulous research—into her accolades for Martha, who had been voted “Most Athletic” in her senior year. And no wonder: she played tennis and field hockey in the fall, basketball in the winter, and softball in the spring.
In her talk A.B. revealed that Martha had confided the secret of her athletic success: “In those days playing sports to me was like breathing.” Evidently she breathed deep, winning four MVP awards in basketball, being voted “Home Run Queen” in softball, helping to bring home the state tennis championship four of her five years on the team, and contributing to an undefeated field hockey season in her sophomore year—to give just a few of the many examples A.B. Stewart enumerated in her induction speech. “Well-played, my friend,” she concluded. Martha responded with a gracious speech, and her family and friends stood to applaud her.
Will Guzick ‘07
Inducting Will Guzick, one of the school’s preeminent scholar-athletes, was Bobby Austell, who began coaching boys tennis after he retired as president of Regions Bank in 2004 (in six of those years our boys won the state title). It was clear that Bobby had a special relationship with his former player Will and was pleased to tout his praises, noting that Will had three times been named “Mr. Tennis of SC,” led five state champion teams, garnered MVP honors in all four of his high school years, and was named High School All-American three times. Mr. Austell listed many of Will’s outstanding academic achievements, including his perfect score of 1600 on the SAT in his sophomore year, and noted that he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, where in his freshman year he helped the team win the Ivy League Championship. Will’s former coach was also proud to share many of Will’s post-college athletic triumphs, which included climbing Mt. Whitney, winning three marathons, finishing the Iron Man Los Cabos, and biking 280 miles round trip from DC to Antietam.
But the highest praise was reserved for Will’s character, especially his humility. As if to prove the point, it would be hard to find the word “I” in Will’s remarks after his induction; he preferred to honor his coaches, his parents, his teachers—anyone who had helped him on his way. It was a quality he displayed even while he was a student at CCES: despite the extraordinary achievements which distinguished him from other students, he was never arrogant and always well-liked.
Congratulations to both these outstanding new members of the CCES Sports Hall of Fame! More coverage of the event and the inductees, including photos, will appear in the Spring 2015 issue of Highlights.