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Proctor Athletics: 2023 Hall of Fame Inductions

Scott Allenby

Each year, Proctor's Athletic Department receives nominations for the school's Athletic Hall of Fame. Nominations come from alumni, faculty and staff, and past parents who cheered on their children's teams and saw teams, coaches, and individual athletes stand out. The purpose of the Athletic Hall of Fame is to recognize those individuals and teams, and to elevate the lessons learned through athletics to the greater community. During Saturday's induction ceremony at Alumni Reunion 2023, the following individuals and teams were recognized. Congratulations! 

Proctor Academy Athletics Hall of Fame

2008 Football Team 

Proctor's 2008 football team ranks as one of the greatest teams ever to represent Proctor over a century-old storied football program. On the way to an undefeated regular season, the Hornets were tested early in the season by league rival Tilton in a close game that ultimately led to a Week 7 showdown with perennial power Kimball Union in what became the greatest game ever played on Leonard Field. After taking a commanding 26-7 halftime lead, Proctor's dominance seemed unshakable. Yet, the Wildcats of Kimball Union mounted a ferocious comeback, much to the chagrin of the Hornet faithful. Amidst mounting tension, Proctor gallantly pushed into Wildcat territory as the game's final moments approached, seizing their last timeout. The stage was set with a tie score for an ending that only Hollywood could conceive—time stood still that fateful autumn afternoon as a 32 yard field goal attempt sailed 32 yards from the right hash to dead-center of the uprights as the final horn sounded. The Hornets stood triumphant, and a rush of the field in celebration from the Proctor community ensued. The emotional victory carried into the season's final week as Proctor dismantled archrival Holderness securing an Evergreen League Championship and berth in the Rick Del Prete Bow. A remarkable twelve members of the team would go on to play college football.

Proctor Academy Athletics Hall of Fame

1978-1979 Girls Soccer Team 

Just four years earlier, Coaches Dani Hinkley and Susan Eslick held the first girls soccer practice at Proctor in a dirt floored field house. Few students had ever played, but they were thankful for the opportunity to compete. During its 4th season of existence, the 1978 Varsity Girls Soccer Team completed an undefeated season (14-0), winning the school’s first Lakes Region Championship. The team amassed more than 60 goals behind the work of leading scorers Abbey Littlefield and Sally George, while a stingy defense and goalkeeping allowed only 10 goals on the season. The success of the 1978 team laid a foundation for female athletics at Proctor moving forward, elevating the talent, dedication, and commitment of the school’s female students and coaches within the community. Generations of Proctor students have benefitted from the work of the 1978 girls soccer team and the trail they blazed within the Lakes Region and independent school community. As Coach Dani Hinkley notes, “There were girls who had played together for three and four years and worked well together. They were a team!  It wasn’t so much the knowledge of soccer that we imparted to them, it was the belief that TOGETHER we could find success as a group. It is by far one of my proudest memories of my time at Proctor.” 

Proctor Academy Athletic Hall of Fame

Chris Smedley ‘78 | Soccer, Hockey, Lacrosse 

Arriving at Proctor in the fall of 1975 as a sophomore, Chris Smedley ‘78 made an immediate impact on Proctor’s athletic program as a three sport standout, earning nine varsity letters during his three years as a Hornet. A fluid athlete in soccer, hockey, and lacrosse, Chris had a knack for knowing where his teammates were and how to best set them up for success. As a center midfielder on the boys varsity soccer team, Chris helped lead the Hornets to three straight Lakes Region Championships, demonstrating an uncanny speed and intelligence on the field. With his signature long hair flowing out of the back of his hockey and lacrosse helmets, Chris’ impact on those teams mirrored that on the soccer team. A naturally gifted athlete with good hands, good anticipation, and skating ability, he helped the Hornets find success on the ice, while on the lacrosse field he was part of the highest scoring team in New England history during his sophomore year, and then having a repeat performance as a team during his junior campaign, contributing to a team record 193 goals, while also serving as team captain his senior year. 

Proctor Academy Hall of Fame

Max Cobb ‘83 | US Biathlon, Skiing 

A Nordic skier and lacrosse player who loved the outdoors and all of the opportunity Proctor provided, Max continued his athletic pursuits at Dartmouth College where he skied on the Nordic ski team and became president of the Dartmouth Outing Club and Dartmouth Biathlon Club. In 1986, Max attended his first Nordic World Championships, kicking off a career in international competition that began in earnest working for US Biathlon in 1989. As program director, Max launched a new approach to recruit young talent that laid the groundwork for an athlete development program that produced a gold medal at the 1997 Junior World Championships. He went on to become a technical delegate for the International Biathlon Union (IBU) in 1998, helping design and build the biathlon venue in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and was chosen to serve as the Competition Chief for the Salt Lake games.Promoted to Executive Director of US Biathlon in 2006 and President and CEO in 2010, Max’s international sport career has included serving as Chair of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Technical Committee and on the IBU Executive Board, before being tapped as IBU’s Secretary General in 2022, a position that charges him with overseeing all international biathlon competitions around the globe. 

Proctor Academy Athletic Hall of Fame Caite Zellif

Caite Zeliff ‘12 | Skiing, Soccer 

A standout striker on the girls varsity soccer team and consistent top finisher for Proctor’s Eastern Program for all four years of her Proctor career, Caite continued her ski racing career at Division 1 University of New Hampshire. Following her alpine racing career, Caite moved to Jackson, Wyoming to pursue a dream of skiing big mountains of the west. That dream turned into a professional big mountain skiing career that saw Caite take part in worldwide freeski events like The Rahlves Banzai Tour, Freeride World Qualifying events, and twice finishing first in the famous Queens of Corbets competition. In 2019, Caite transitioned from competing to starring as an athlete in ski films, including Warren Miller Entertainment and Teton Gravity Research Productions where she is able to showcase her abilities and sense of adventure. 

Proctor Academy Athletic Hall of Fame

Anne Swayze - Coach 

An educator in every sense of the word, Anne Swayze served as a teacher, Dean of Students, and Assistant Head of School while coaching varsity field hockey and girls basketball for nearly three decades. A role model, mentor, and friend to her athletes and students, “Swayz” positively impacted thousands of young lives through her unique ability to see and hear each individual amidst the chaos of life. Whether it was leading the “Green Machine” on the sidelines of the field hockey field or cultivating a team culture in the locker room that carried over to lifelong friendships and impact, Swayze understood the impact of sports on shaping, cultivating, and sustaining community through individual relationships with her players that transcended the playing fields and their time at Proctor. 

Proctor Academy Hall of Fame

David Fowler - Coach

A three sport standout himself at Choate School and later Colby College where he co-captained the football team, David Fowler arrived at Proctor in the fall of 1964 with his wife, Alice, and young family. At Proctor David taught history, coached football, hockey, and lacrosse, and served as a dorm parent before being named Head of School in 1970. Throughout his 25 years as Head of School, David continued to coach and support a wide range of athletic endeavors at the school, understanding that the concept of a team and the notion of working together toward a goal on the athletic field carried over to all areas of school life. As a leader, he understood that individual faculty passions both energized the individuals and the community, turning faculty loose to start to imagine new athletic offerings and to drastically increase the breadth of the program to encompass non-traditional sports like whitewater kayaking, cycling, rock climbing, and more. His vision for what Proctor could become, and willingness to be intimately engaged in the execution of that vision as a coach and leader, allowed Proctor to step boldly into a new chapter of existence. 

Read more about Proctor's Athletic Hall of Fame!

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