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Hannah Price

Morgan Burchhardt

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

Hannah Price

2023 Grand Collegiate Woman of the Year
  • Class

    2023

  • Sport(s)

    Collegiate

  • Induction

    2023

Written by Ken Schott, The Daily Gazette

When RPI athletics canceled its sports seasons for the 2020-21 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, women’s hockey sophomore defenseman Hannah Price needed something to do besides taking classes virtually.

“I figured, if I can’t put my energy into hockey, I’ve got to find another outlet,” Price said.

Price, a Pittsburgh native, did that and more.

Her community service work could fill an entire page in the Capital District Sports Women of the Year program, and that is why she is one of three collegiate recipients of the CDSWOY Award.

Here are some of the projects Price has helped create: Fresh Check Mental Health Days, Troy School 2 Reading Program and Special Olympics Basketball. She is also the RPI Food Recovery Network President, helping to save thousands of pounds of food from RPI’s dining halls for donation to a local food pantry for redistribution to the needy. And Price is her team’s Team Community Service Coordinator.

“I just incrementally started joining local organizations,” Price said. “Something that’s really special about the Troy community is that I feel like people really try to help one another out. There are quite a few community groups that really do such impactful work on a regular basis, which is kind of the most important part.

“Consistency is key, and so I kind of gradually started joining these organizations and meeting these fantastic people and I’ve been able to kind of continue that since COVID as a leader for RPI’s student-athletes and kind of just help student-athletes find entry points into the community, which has been really invaluable.”

Her efforts off the ice got her recognition nationally. She was a Hockey Humanitarian Award finalist last year and this year.

“It meant a tremendous amount to me,” Price said. “I feel like it reflects really, really well on RPI’s community, on the Troy community [and] on the organizations that I’ve been a part of. And honestly, it’s just been so great seeing the amazing work happening around the country from hockey players all over the place. To be considered kind of hand in hand with what those individuals really means a lot.”

Price played in 34 games this past season, collecting five goals and two assists. In 100 career games, she collected seven goals and eight assists.

Off the ice, Price graduated in May with a 3.77 grade-point average, earning degrees in economics and sustainability studies.

“Hannah Price epitomizes the qualities of an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions on and off the ice,” RPI women’s hockey head coach Bryan Vines wrote in his nomination letter. “Her exceptional character, leadership skills, remarkable academic achievements, and commitment to athletic excellence make her an exemplary candidate for the Capital District [Sports] Women of the Year.”

Price plans to go to law school, but that can wait. She will continue her hockey career with the Sabreas, a team in the European Women’s Hockey League. She is elated with the chance to continue to play hockey.

“I’m not ready to be done with my hockey journey,” Price said. “I’m ready to travel and gain some new perspective. It should be a good gap year before I start law school.”

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Brooke Pickett

Morgan Burchhardt

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

Brooke  Pickett

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2020
  • Class

    2020

  • Sport(s)

    Scholastic

  • Induction

    2020

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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Zionna Perez-Tucker

Morgan Burchhardt

Explore CDSWOY All-Time Roster Members

Zionna Perez-Tucker

Member of the CDSWOY Class of 2022
  • Class

    2022

  • Sport(s)

    Scholastic

  • Induction

    2022

Written by Stan Hudy, The Daily Gazette

Zionna Perez-Tucker made her mark on high school tracks throughout the Capital Region and beyond, along with standing up for friends, competitors and peers during her time at Mohonasen High School.
She is the 2022 Mighty Warriors senior class president, vice-president of the student council and an active member of the school’s No Place for Hate organization. Perez-Tucker is also one of 10 high school honorees for the third-annual Capital District Sports Women of the Year awards.

“I’ve been busy just keeping the senior class together because for the last two years, we have been separated due to COVID,” Perez-Tucker said. “Just trying to get everyone back together and get these festivities back on.”

The No Place for Hate club was a natural draw for Perez-Tucker.

“I’ve always been someone who sticks up for other people,” Perez-Tucker said.

With more than a dozen other students, Perez-Tucker looks out for others.

“I like being able to talk with others who also are very ambitious and know what’s right from wrong, and know what we can do to help other people,” Perez-Tucker said. “We fight for people who don’t want to or can’t speak up for themselves.”

Her passion for others was recognized by the school’s administration.

“I have known Zi for the past two years. In that time, I have seen her truly amaze and inspire our students, coaches, community and beyond,” Mohonasen athletic director Dave Bertram said. “Zi is truly a well-rounded and special talent.”

The Section II record holder in the girls’ 45-meter and 200-meter races earned a gold medal in the New York State Federation 100 race, and silver medals in the Division 1 100-, 200- and federation 200-meter races to cap her high school career in June.

Perez-Tucker holds five Mohonasen records and won two state titles during the winter indoor season.
“Beyond the track, Zi is such an incredible human being,” Bertram said. “As a lead member of our Athletic Council, she has volunteered in our Mohon Cares, Anchor room and on-campus food bank. She has traveled for the Albany Toys for Tots the past two years to help in any way needed. She treats people with respect and is the first to stand by their side.”

Perez-Tucker has been a conduit for her peers at Mohonasen High School and beyond.

“When new students enter the high school, our guidance and social work staff often reach out to Zi asking her to mentor and introduce new students to their classmates,” Mohonasen track and field coach Bill Sherman said.

Her passion led to her support of other female track athletes in the Capital Region. She was vocal and part of a protest among her track and field peers to have a rule changed regarding allowing athletes to wear beads in their hair during competitions.

“It came from a ruling that seemed to just pick on people of color,” Perez-Tucker, who identifies as Black, said. “In general, an athlete was told the beads had to come out. But other girls . . . had barrettes, little hair bows, and other accessories. So why were they allowed? And not beads?”

Sherman supported the girls’ squad decision to wear beads at an upcoming meet in protest, and filed a formal complaint with the New York State Public High School Athletic Association

“Even though I personally don’t wear beads in my hair anymore, when I was a kid, I did,” Perez-Tucker said. “I know cousins, family, and friends who did. It’s part of a culture, especially mine. We just had to find a way because getting loud and visible is not going to help us — so we took a calm but loud approach to it.”

One day later, the NYSPHSAA lifted the prohibition on hair adornments.

“She is the best well-rounded student-athlete I have ever coached,” Sherman said. “I believe she is a ‘once in a lifetime’ athlete and person.”

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