Proctor's cycling team returned only five riders from last year's New England Championship team, however, the quality of those five student-athletes' character has been core to this year's success.
Of the eighteen riders on the team this spring, thirteen are new to the program with the vast majority of those individuals having little to no experience riding. Regardless of the diversity in ability levels, the cohesiveness of this team is as strong as Drew Donaldson has seen in his twelve years at Proctor. "The core returning riders set a tone for this season that has established an incredible culture among all riders. Those returners have been very into biking (both mountain and road) during their time at Proctor, and have spread that bike fever to everyone on the team!"
The enthusiasm for the sport has transcended from races to practice as well. Donaldson notes, "When we have gone on full group rides the more experienced riders mix into the pack and help encourage and push those less experienced to push themselves. There is genuine role modeling occurring each and every day on this team, and I am proud of that culture that the team has established as it has been instrumental to our success in races."
Earlier in the season, a current parent shared this image
of the entire Proctor cycling team cheering Proctor's last rider to finish the course. The image is an incredibly powerful manifestation of true teamwork in action. Donaldson commented on the photo, "That was a really special moment when the team cheered Bao across the finish line in her first race, but what has been even more special is that this has occurred at every
race this season; not just encouraging our own riders, but they have encouraged other team's riders as well. Most teams enjoy spending time together, but this team is unlike any other I've coached. They not only like spending time together, but they genuinely care about each other on the course and off the course."
This year's cycling team demonstrated the type of sportsmanship Proctor admires in all its teams, while finding considerable success throughout the season. At Saturday's New England Championships, Proctor's cycling team saw unprecedented finishes in the Boys' A Class, as four Proctor riders finished in the top five! Speight Drummond, Alvaro Migoya, Mack Burns, and Jack MacClarence consistently pushed each other in Class A all season, working together to finish with the New England Class A team championship. Speight Drummond was impressive throughout his first season riding for Proctor, as he won the Class A individual championship. On the girls' side, Hazel Brewster won the overall individual championship in a very competitive Girls' B Class, an impressive accomplishment for a ninth grader!
With only a few riders graduating, Proctor's cycling team is poised for continued success into the future. As Donaldson commented, "This group of riders has pushed me harder than I have ever been pushed as a coach, forcing me to train harder and ride harder. They are so enthusiastic and fast, I find myself stretched to stay with them, but at the same time, there is this cohesion within the team. The official results and success we have experienced this year as a team have been great, but as competitive as I am, the overall sense of team is the far and away our greatest accomplishment and the one I am most proud of."