It was this uncanny ability on the lacrosse field and her performance on the ice, helping lead the Burr and Burton girls ice hockey team to a state championship, that has earned Brooke Sabol the Manchester Journal's Athlete of the Year award, presented by Casella Waste Systems.
"I was shocked [when I found out I got this award]," said Sabol. "I was not expecting it. There are so many awesome athletes around, it shocked me that I was chosen out
Sabol, who graduated from BBA in May of this year, was a three sport varsity athlete, playing soccer, ice hockey and lacrosse for the Bulldogs. After an injury plagued season on the soccer field, where she played defense for Dan DeForest's Bulldogs, Sabol started making a case for herself on the ice, where she was the co-captain of the varsity ice hockey team.
With a young team and high expectations, BBA head coach Ed Lewicki relied on Sabol to keep the team together and to not get to far ahead of themselves in what turned out to be a very successful season.
"She is a fun upbeat person, she kept things very loose [in the locker room]," said Lewicki. "But at the same time, she was the hardest worker on the team.
In addition to being a presence in the locker room, Sabol had a breakout year on the ice. Operating on the team's first line, Sabol was the second leading scorer, netting 21 goals and 10 assists.
With Sabol leading both on and off the ice, the BBA team advanced all the way to the Lake Division state title game, where they took on Stowe. While Sabol did not score in the championship game, it was her actions on the bus before the game that stood out to Lewicki.
"The night before the game, she made gift bags for every member of the team, including coaches. She gave them out to everyone on the bus ride to the game," said Lewicki. "She wrote a personal note to every member of the team, freshman, seniors, defensemen, goalies, forwards, everyone. I will never forget the nice things she said about my daughter [Lewicki's daughter was a freshman on the team last year]. It says a lot about her character."
After the bus ride, Sabol and the Bulldogs would defeat Stowe, 4-1, to capture the state title. Sabol was also named to the Lake Division First Team, honorable mention to the All State team, and was named to the Senior Academic All Star team to cap off a very successful season.
"Academics are very important to me, definitely my first priority," said Sabol. "Academics are what is going to get me places, not athletics."
But Sabol was just getting started. The senior absolutely dominated on the girls lacrosse field in the spring season, scoring 69 goals and 18 assists. A co-captain on the lacrosse team as well, Sabol was instrumental in the Bulldogs success and helped them earn a 13-5 record.
"I definitely stepped it up starting at the beginning of the year and tried to take on that role of being a leader on the team," said Sabol. "Knowing that people trusted me to be able to lead them. It was a lot of pressure, but it was fun."
Sabol started off the lacrosse season well, scoring four goals in the first game of the season. She would score five goals in a win over Mt. Anthony, five more in a game against Woodstock, six goals in a loss to Middlebury, and a season high seven goals (and two assists) in a win over MAU.
But the highly of Sabol's season came on Friday, April 27, during a game against Rutland. Locked in a tight game and down 10-9 with 22 seconds remaining in the game, Sabol won a draw and tied the game on a free position shot. But she wasn't done. In the extra time, she scored the lone goal to put the Bulldogs ahead and they would hold on to win, 11-10. And Sabol did all of this on her birthday. When the game was over, Sabol had six goals and two assists in the game.
"My best memory is probably the Rutland game because it was on my birthday," said Sabol.
Sabol was named to the First Team All State, and First Team All Marble Valley for the lacrosse season.
Sabol's domination on the lacrosse field will not end at BBA. She is headed to Wheaton College in Massachusetts where she hopes to play on the varsity team.
"She is a great girl, a good role model, she does it the right way," said Lewicki. "I'd take a girl like her on my team any day, any year."