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Morgan Burchhardt

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

Addyson Galuski’s resume is already impressively full: State champion, all-state athlete, leading scorer in Waterford-Halfmoon girls’ soccer history.
The best word to describe Amanda Chambers, a member of the UAlbany cross country and track & field teams, is perseverance.
Amelia Canetto, a senior at Taconic Hills, combined all that throughout her high school career, which saw her star athletically, achieve academically and make her mark within her community.
During her career at Averill Park High School, Anna Jankovic stood out with her athletic and academic achievements, but it was the way she treated others that impressed so many people around her.
Ayaka Suesada’s school encourages everyone to explore their creative side, and although she called herself “not the best artist necessarily,” a school administrator credited Suesada for her “beautiful works of art in drawing, painting, sculpture, weaving, wood, iron and stone.”
With plenty of time on her hands last year because of restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Guilderland High School’s Beth Irwin put her sewing talents to good use.
When it comes to Queensbury senior Brigid Duffy, there seems to be no such thing as too busy.

Brooke  Pickett

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2020
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Written by Jim Schiltz, The Daily Gazette Staff Writer

In her high school career, Brooke Pickett of Stillwater High School achieved so much on the soccer field.

She scored more than 200 goals, served as a captain for three seasons, and led her squad to state championships in both 2018 and 2019.

“But I feel like soccer, it’s not the center of who I am,” Pickett said. “I think people at my school, though, know me for who I am.”

So while the 17-year-old Pickett appreciated all of the awards — and there were tons of them — she earned during her high school career for her exploits on the soccer field, being named this year as one of 10 high school honorees for the inaugural Capital District Sports Women of the Year awards, which also sees three college athletes recognized, held special meaning for her.

“It was such an honor to represent girls that are doing well academically, in their community and with athletics,” Pickett said.

Pickett will continue her athletic career next season with the University at Albany women’s soccer program, but her resume suggests she’ll do more on the UAlbany campus than simply score some goals. A strong student in the classroom, Pickett also has been involved in a variety of community service activities during her high school years that also saw her compete in basketball and track.

“Within the school community, she was a member of band, art club, yearbook club, SADD treasurer and Link Crew,” Stillwater varsity girls’ soccer head coach Christine Ihnatolya wrote in a CDSWOY letter of recommendation for Pickett. “One of Brooke’s most exemplary qualities is her willingness and passion to help others in need.”

Pickett, a senior, was also involved in student government at Stillwater, and volunteered with the New Country Toyota Food Drive, Wreaths Across America, and in elementary school classrooms. Calling her a “role model for her peers and fellow teammates,” Stillwater athletic director Mike Kinney commended the work ethic Pickett displayed throughout her high school years.

“In addition to her academics, volunteer work and athletics, Brooke also puts in endless hours working with a personal trainer to improve her strength, conditioning and overall fitness,” Kinney wrote in a CDSWOY letter of recommendation for Pickett. “This is just another example of Brooke’s work ethic, and the time she puts forth in order to be the best she can be.”
And, on the soccer field, it’s difficult to find anyone in the state who was as consistently great as Pickett these last few years. After leading Stillwater to an appearance in the Class C state championship game as a sophomore, Pickett led the Warriors to undefeated seasons as both a junior and senior. Stillwater finished 43-0-3 in Pickett’s junior and senior seasons, campaigns that ended with her recognized as the state’s player of the year. In her career, she scored 208 goals, which is No. 2 on the all-time Section II list.

“Brooke has many aspirations, as well as the drive to be the best she can in anything she does in life,” Ihnatolya’s letter, in part, reads. “Some of the qualities you can’t teach as an educator or a coach are hard work, determination and just an overall tremendous personality. Brooke possesses each of these qualities and has made a great impact on me both as an education and as a coach. The great qualities she possesses will lead her to continue her success as a college student as well as in the career path she wishes to pursue.”

At UAlbany, Pickett said her plan is to major in human biology. Eventually, her goal is to become a pediatric dentist.

“As a kid, I was always excited to go to the dentist,” Pickett, laughing, said. “So I want to make that a good experience for other people, too.”

This article appeared in the 2020 CDSWOY Awards Program on August 18, 2020.

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