We would like to express our appreciation to our seniors and their families, who have dedicated their time, talents and treasures to our Athletics program. Their passion, perseverance, and work ethic have set the example for what a Gerstell student-athlete is all about. Gerstell Academy, its coaches, and administration would like to recognize the following:
#3 Lauren Messinese accompanied by her parents Belinda and Joe Messinese and sister Emily
Lauren has committed to Rutgers University where she plans to play lacrosse, but her plans of study are still undecided. Lauren has been a part of the Varsity Girls Lacrosse program for 4 years and has been a captain in her junior and senior seasons. Lauren also held the title of captain for our Varsity Soccer program as a senior. Lauren would like to leave her team the following message: To my team: There is no greater motivation than coming to practice and having a group of people who are willing to work as hard as they can to achieve what we all came to do. Thank you to all the teammates that have ever touched my heart, my career as an athlete wouldn’t have been the same without you all. There isn’t a single thing that can compare to how happy I am to have played with you all. The long-lasting friendships I’ve made with all of you are the most priceless gifts I could take away from this experience. Thank you for giving me the best memories of high school that I will cherish forever and most importantly being the best friends I could have ever asked for. Good luck to all of you throughout your athletic career and never stop pushing yourself to be better. I love you all and will miss playing and seeing your beautiful faces every day.
To my coaches: Thank you for pushing me to be the best person I could be. Not only did you want me to succeed on the field, but in life as well. Playing for this team for the past 4 years has made me a better person and leader. I could not have done it without each and every one of you by my side through this journey. I can’t thank you all enough for guiding me through these 4 years and can’t wait to see the growth of the program for years to come. Thank you for giving up your time to make sure this team has success and most importantly becomes a family. Thank you for all your dedication and efforts to making my high school experience unforgettable.
#4 Haley Gochnauer accompanied by father Josh, mother Rachel, grandparents Pat and Ellen Gochnauer and sister Jamison.
Haley has committed to Vanderbilt University where she plans to play lacrosse and study Pre-Law. Haley has been a part of the Varsity Girls Lacrosse program for 4 years, surpassed 200 career points last season, and was one of the top girls in the county for points and assists her Junior season. Haley is also the Vice President of SGA, National English Honor Society, and Theater Club, and the President of Rho Kappa. Haley would like to leave her team with the following message: Thank you all for the best three seasons ever. I had an amazing time playing with everyone and had one of the best seasons last year. This team has helped me grow into the player and person I am today. I have created unbreakable bonds with the girls on this team and I am forever grateful for that. Thank you for making these past seasons so special. One of my favorite memories was winning our first A conference game last year. We were all so happy and it was such a great moment. I wish we could of had a season this year because I know we would have really competed and done really well. We had so much potential this year. I waited my whole career for this moment, my senior day, to play my final home game on this field and it is so sad that we didn't get that day. We worked so hard to get here and it is just so unfair that this happened. Even with all the ups and downs, I couldn't have asked for a better high school career. I want to thank my team for being there for me and pushing each other to our maximum potential. I want to thank my mom for always supporting me and guiding me through the recruiting process. I want to thank my grandparents for always coming to my games and pop-pop for being the comedian of the team. Jamison, I am so sorry we didn't get a full season together. I wish we could play on that field together again because it was so amazing watching you grow just within those few weeks that we had. Lastly, I want to thank my dad for being the best coach. Thank you for coaching since I was little and shaping me into the lacrosse player I am. I wish we could of had our final season together, but thank you for the other three awesome years. I will miss having you as my coach, but I am excited to move onto my next chapter of lacrosse. I can't wait for you to be there on the sidelines cheering me on. Thank you everyone for making my high school career unforgettable.
#17 Emily Fenwick accompanied by her parents Laura and Michael Fenwick and sister Sara
Emily has committed to Shippensburg University where she plans to play lacrosse and has an interest in studying Biology. Emily has been a part of the Varsity Girls Lacrosse program for 4 years and was a captain in her senior season. Emily also held the title of captain for both Varsity Soccer and Varsity Basketball this year and received the Falcon Award in soccer her junior year. Emily is also a member of the National Honor Society in Spanish, English, History, and Science. Emily would like to leave her team with the following message:Although this season has had an abrupt ending and my senior year lacrosse season was never fully fulfilled, I will never forget the family we have built over the past 4 years that I have been at Gerstell. We've been through many ups and downs, yet we still come out on top! Coach Josh, thank you for your positive encouragement and dedication to this program. You push us harder and harder each season that we come out, and for that I am grateful. Coach Hannah, thank you for showing up to practice even with your busy schedule and becoming one of the players with us! Your knockdowns get better every practice!! Lastly, Coach PopPop, thank you for dedicating so much of your time towards us and for being the backbone of our team!! You never fail to put a smile on all of our faces on and off the field. To my teammates, it is crazy to think that our last season together was stripped from us all of a sudden, but with that being said, I cannot wait to come back and see all of your progress and successes next year. Keep pushing yourselves and give all you have in practice because it will pay off. I will miss you all so much next year!!! Good luck with the rest of high school! I love you all!
#22 Aryana Valedon accompanied by her parents Lynda and Arnie Valedon and brother Zavian
Aryana plans to attend Vanderbilt University and study Spanish on a Pre-Med track. Aryana has been a part of the Girls Lacrosse program for 4 years and is the President and Founder of Falcon Outreach. Aryana would like to leave her team with the following message: To my team, I love and will miss you all dearly. Each of you has had a positive impact on me and I am forever grateful for that. Whether we were smiling or sweating, I loved everyone moment we spent together. Keep working hard and never forget that your most important role on this team is to be a cheerleader to every one of your teammates. To my fellow seniors, I’m am so proud of each and every one of us. I have loved growing closer both on and off the field these last four years. I know you will all accomplish big things in the coming years and Haley, I can’t wait to spend the next 4 together, anchor down! Thank you coach Josh, Hanna, and Pop Pop for your support and to my team for pushing me to be better. Go Falcons!
The coaching staff would like to say the following:
It’s not often that you get to write to your seniors for a season that was stolen by a pandemic. It’s not often that you get to publicly express your sorrow for four young ladies who were deprived of competing one last time in High School. It’s not often that you get to describe the helpless feeling of being sidelined by a disease that has literally brought the world to a halt.
I’m confident those are just some of the emotions we’ve all experienced from this devastating situation. To quote Sir Winston Churchill, one of my favorite leaders, “a pessimist sees the difficulty in opportunity, the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
Let’s all find the opportunity in the difficulty by embracing Leadership Principle Number 4 - be courageous in the face of adversity. Let’s all take this opportunity to find the strength to overcome this minor setback in life. Let’s all champion the courage to work to reach our full potential and secure one last victory this season against this punishing opponent.
Seniors, I’m forever grateful for the past four years that we’ve shared on the field. The list of your accomplishments is innumerable - including being 4 year starters, acceptance into the IAAM A conference and the one that shines above all - 3, A conference wins last year in arguably the toughest girl’s lacrosse division in the country. I’m so proud for each of you for helping us build our program to an elite level.
Even though our season was stolen, I’m confident that we would have shattered that win total. You’ll graduate holding the Gerstell school record for most A conference wins by any team in a season.
I wish you all the best as you matriculate on to college. I know that you will each succeed in your future endeavors.
Aryana - Thank you for your enduring spirit. You exude principle number 5 - strive for a positive attitude. The team always rallied around your infectious smile and can do attitude. Good luck at Vandy where we know you’ll go on to accomplish great things
Lauren - Thank you for always being our vocal leader. You embolden principle number 6 - approach every endeavor with passion, conviction and persistence. You constantly worked on and off the field to better yourself and your game. Rutgers is fortunate to have you as a Scarlet Knight. Good luck.
Emily - Thank you for always showing up to practice with a smile and willingness to learn. You’ve come so far since those 4th grade rec practices. You are an absolute joy to coach - always eager to learn, always eager to improve your skills. You emulate principle number 7 - work to reach your full potential. Keep up that work ethic regardless of the task at hand. It will pay tremendous dividends in life. Good luck at Shippensburg.
Haley - Thank you for always doing the right thing and standing up for the underdog. Your unselfish play guided you to be the Gerstell Academy all-time assist leader. As your father and your coach, words can’t describe how proud I am of you. You are truly blessed with the presidential qualities of Leadership, Honor and Courage. You’ve embraced your 13-year journey as a Falcon, to become the epitome of a Portrait Leader. I look forward to watching you play Division 1 lacrosse at Vanderbilt where they’ll be blessed to have a student athlete with intelligence, vision, accuracy, unselfishness and wicked shot fakes. Good luck!