Skip to main content

Tag: G

Kayla Grant

Kayla Grant

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

Kayla Grant

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2023
  • Class

    2023

  • Sport(s)

    Scholastic

  • Induction

    2023

Written by Adam Shinder, The Daily Gazette

Whether it’s changing sports amid a global pandemic or throwing herself into a laundry list of extracurricular activities, Kayla Grant is all about having an adventurous spirit and an open mind.

It’s something that started at a young age, when a 9-year-old Grant found one of her biggest passions: Nordic skiing.

“I came home from school and begged my dad to buy me a pair of Nordic skis, because I’d done it in gym class,” Grant said. “He went and bought them at a [secondhand] winter store — I can picture the store still — and I’d just ski around my yard.”

Grant went on to become a five-year varsity member of the Lake George High School Nordic team and a two-year team captain. She also competed in three years of varsity cross country and four years of track and field, in addition to excelling in the classroom, serving as a leader in multiple school organizations, and volunteering in the Lake George community.

Grant’s “can-do” attitude embodies why she’s been recognized as one of the Capital District Sports Women of the Year scholastic honorees for 2023.

“While she is surely talented, it is her determination, her work ethic and her passion for these sports that is unusual in this day and age,” Lake George cross country coach Garrett Smith wrote in his nomination letter. “If you add her humility, friendliness and sense of humor, you have the fabulous kid she is.”

Grant came to cross country running later in her athletic development. Growing up, her fall sport was soccer, but during the 2020-21 school year, she said she reached the point where, “for my mental health as an athlete, that it was getting very hard to stay on [the soccer team] and be happy.”

She switched to cross country, and “ended up falling in love with it from day one.”

Among Grant’s fondest memories was being part of Lake George’s Adirondack League championship team in the fall of 2021.

“That sense of community it gave me and realizing how far we could take it as a group, that was really cool,” she said.

Grant’s love of cross country running also led to a change in her event lineup for track and field, moving from hurdles to distance events and the steeplechase.

She competed in three sports while maintaining a 3.83 grade-point average and winning numerous academic awards. She also excelled musically, playing clarinet in the jazz band and senior band, and as part of the New York State School Music Association. She was selected to participate in both the Lake Placid and Castleton music festivals.

A leader on the Lake George campus, Grant was a class officer in 2021-22 and class vice president this past year, vice president of the National Honor Society and president of the school’s Anti-Bullying Committee — something she’s been a part of since 2019. Grant — also a dedicated volunteer for the Lake George Youth Commission, assisting with the Trick or Treat Trail since 2017 — never hesitated to try anything new. Already a member of the Art Honor Society, Art Club and Spanish Club, this past school year she joined the Fishing Club on a whim.

“A lot of it was finding something new and just getting out there,” she said. “With Fishing Club, I hadn’t really fished. I was just like, ‘Seems fun,’ and then I tried it.”

In his nomination letter, Lake George Nordic ski coach Phillip Gengel was effusive with praise for Grant.

“Kayla is goal-oriented and is always willing to help with the workload, possessing a maturity beyond her years,” Gengel wrote. “She is intrinsically motivated to achieve and improve, and is always willing to go above and beyond without regard for credit or compensation.”

Back to Honorees

Continue reading

Riley Gibbons

Riley Gibbons

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

Riley Gibbons

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2021
  • Class

    2021

  • Sport(s)

    Scholastic

  • Induction

    2021

Written by Stan Hudy, The Daily Gazette Sports Writer

Germantown salutatorian Riley Gibbons has an eye for soccer and basketball, but also an ear for music.

The three-year National Honor Society member joined the varsity basketball team as an eighth grader before becoming a starter her freshman year. That same school year, Gibbons was part of the inaugural Germantown girls’ varsity soccer team.

She’s also one of 10 high school honorees for the second-annual Capital District Sports Women of the Year awards.

“Sports have been such a defining part of my high school career,” Gibbons said. “My best memories from high school with some of my closest friends started in sports. To be recognized for something that means so much to me means a lot.”

Gibbons was a captain and MVP all four years on the girls’ soccer program, known as a star talent within her own squad and the Central Hudson Valley League.

“She was often marked with one or two players,” Germantown girls’ soccer coach Michael Pudney said. “Despite this, she has led the league in assists and was one of the top goal scorers each year in our league. She was named a first-team all-star in the CHVL all four years on varsity.”

During the winter she took her talents indoors, leading the school’s girls’ basketball team in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots as a sophomore and junior and being named a state all-star.

“Riley is the complete package, a player with skills necessary for all positions on the court,” Germantown girls’ basketball coach Christina Pudney said of Gibbons, who wasn’t able to play a senior basketball season because of restrictions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Gibbons, who will attend SUNY New Paltz, is versatile on the field, in the classroom and in the music room. Gibbons earned high honor roll status the past four years and served as class president all four years at Germantown. She is a talented musician, playing drums, singing and songwriting.

She has played snare drum in the New York State School Music Association, and was part of the all-county chorus, all-county band, jazz band, a cappella and the NYS Band Directors Association Honor Band.

“It became a part of my life. It never felt like an extra responsibility,” Gibbons said. “It’s something that I love doing.”

She also participated in the drama club.

“Riley remains humble in nature,” Christina Pudney said. “She has an extreme social conscience while being soft-spoken, polite and kind.”

Back to Honorees

Continue reading

Addyson Galuski

Addyson Galuski

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

Addyson Galuski

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2023
  • Class

    2024

  • Sport(s)

    Scholastic

  • Induction

    2023

Written by Adam Shinder, The Daily Gazette

Addyson Galuski’s resume is already impressively full: State champion, all-state athlete, leading scorer in Waterford-Halfmoon girls’ soccer history.

And she’s still got another year to go.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year,” Galuski said. “No matter what.”

Galuski has added another honor, as she’s been selected as one of the 10 Capital District Sports Women of the Year scholastic honorees for 2023. It’s a testament, Waterford-Halfmoon girls’ soccer coach Meghan Reynolds said, to Galuski’s tireless work ethic and passionate leadership.

“She arrives early, stays late, and is the person that goes the extra mile to become better,” Reynolds wrote in her nomination letter. “She is a phenomenal teammate, leading by example and [encouraging] others to try their best. She was named one of our team captains for the 2021 season, and will continue to hold that title until she graduates.”

Waterford-Halfmoon athletic director Mike Robbins concurs.

“Her competitiveness, work ethic and passion for sports have allowed her to not only be a successful athlete, but to also be seen as a leader in the eyes of her teammates,” Robbins wrote. “Addyson is a dedicated student-athlete who values the team over herself and displays confidence and self-control in times of both adversity and triumph.”

Galuski’s greatest accomplishments have come on the soccer field. A second-team all-state selection in 2021, in 2022 she was named first-team all-state after scoring 46 goals and 17 assists to help lead the Fordians — alongside her younger sister Payton — to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C championship.

“The whole team, everyone just worked,” she said. “No matter what, we set out a goal and accomplished every single one. When [the state championship] happened, it was the most rewarding thing. You train from the beginning of August, and when your hard work pays off in that last little bit of the game, it’s a big relief. You know you did everything you could and were finally able to get a reward for what you’ve done as a team.”

Also, during her junior season, she became Waterford-Halfmoon’s all-time girls’ soccer scoring leader, breaking a record that had stood for 44 years.

“Addyson is dedicated, determined and loves the game of soccer,” Reynolds wrote. “Her greatest strengths on the field include her ball mastery and ability to finish. Addyson’s control and manipulation of the ball with both feet, legs, chest and head are very impressive, which coupled with her exceptional decision-making ability allow her to be the offensive threat that she is.”

Galuski’s far more than just a soccer standout.

In the classroom, she ranks sixth in Waterford-Halfmoon’s Class of 2024 heading into her senior year, and is a member of the National Honor Society.

“I have some late nights sometimes, but I have to make a schedule,” Galuski said. “When I go to practice, I know I either have to have my homework done or get right to homework as soon as I get back. Study halls in school are really important to me. You’ve got to set your priorities.”

She volunteers for Ronald McDonald House and in numerous capacities for Waterford Youth Soccer, serving as a referee for youth games and taking part in many different clinics to pass her skills and knowledge along to younger players.

“Addyson works diligently to perform well in the classroom,” Robbins wrote, “and anything she does is consistently done well. Addyson is a kind-hearted young woman who I believe will always do the right thing, even when no one is watching. She is dependable, trustworthy, and displays a high degree of integrity in everything she does.”

Back to Honorees

Continue reading