She is one of the best kids you’ll ever come across — whether on the field or in the classroom. No matter who you ask, they all have wonderful things to say about her. She is a leader on many — if not all — of the Indian River High School teams she has donned the green and gold for over the past four years.
Her name is Kaylee Hall, and she is also one of three recipients for this year’s DIAA Harry Roberts Senior Scholar Athlete awards. The award is named in recognition and memory of Dr. Harry Roberts. He was a former superintendent of the Caesar Rodney School District, and he served the DIAA on several committees — most notably as chair of the DIAA Sportsmanship Committee for many years.
“We are honored to award this year’s winners for their athletic leadership, service and dedication to their academics,” said Executive Director Donna J. Polk. “In an unexpected challenging year for students, it is great to take a moment to acknowledge the good work of our student-athletes over the year. We wish all student-athletes receiving this year’s award much success as they become leaders in the community and embark on the next chapter of their lives.”
When notified of winning one of the six scholarships — three males and three females were selected — Hall was taken aback because, since school was closed for the remainder of the year due to the COVID-19 situation, the usual scholarship awards ceremony for seniors never happened.
“I was so happy when I had heard that I won,” admitted Hall, who served as a captain for the state runner-up Indians’ field hockey team this year, as well as the girls’ lacrosse team before their season was cut short. “Honestly, I didn’t even know I got it. Normally the senior class has a scholarship ceremony, and that is where they announce what scholarships you get.
“You know [IR Athletic Director] Todd [Fuhrmann], and he is always on that kind of stuff,” Hall said with a laugh. “He sent it to me, and a few other athletes in school. I was on my scholarship grind this year with the quarantine and everything. I figured I might as well take advantage of the time. “
Besides the DIAA/Roberts scholarship, Hall has also received the Contractors for a Cause, Ravens Roost and Delaware Community Foundation scholarships. The total for all four is $9,200.
Hall was the only student from the Henlopen Athletic Conference to be awarded the DIAA/Roberts Scholarship, which was for $1,000. Delmarva Christian’s Mara Abigail Agapito was second with $1,500, and Tower Hill School’s Katelyn Craft took the top prize of $2,000.
For the boys, Tower Hill School’s Sean Beberman was first, followed by Delmarva Christian’s Andrew Workman and Weston Marshall of Delaware Valley Classical School.
The awards are presented annually by the DIAA based on a student’s academic, athletic and leadership accomplishments. This is the first time that first place was awarded to a female and male student-athlete from the same school and only the second time that second place was awarded to a female and male student-athlete from the same school.
Since 1999, DIAA has awarded Harry Roberts Senior Scholar-Athlete scholarships to 119 recipients from 35 different member schools.
Hall offers perspective on last days at IR and legacy
Hall will be attending the University of Delaware to major in nursing, and that likely means her days on the field hockey and lacrosse fields, as well as the Unified basketball court, are over. However, there could be some intramural sports in her future.
“Kind of weird that it’s all over,” Hall said while on her Senior Week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. “What’s really crazy is I did an internship at Harvard Healthcare to get my CNA [Certified Nurse Assistant designation], and my last day of school was March 12, a Thursday.
“My teachers were trying to get all of our clinical hours in. So my last day was that Thursday before everything started getting crazy. Then on Friday, after being at the rehabilitation center all day, I go to practice, and Todd is talking to us about, ‘Girls, no shaking hand this year, and stay 6 feet away.’ We were like, ‘This is crazy,’ and we never knew that would be our last day on the field.”
Someone of Hall’s natural leadership ability through her words and her actions will be hard to replace. She said she hopes, if anything, she has left a great example for her younger sister Kinsley, as well as the other underclassmen, for commitment to their classwork, as well as their teammates.
And what motivated her to be that example?
“I always say that my little sister motivates me, and everything that I do I try to be a leader for her, a role model for her,” said Hall, who is the daughter of Chad and Amy Hall. “Having a younger sister that plays the same sports as me, I try to do the right things, and try to be a leader. And not just my biological little sister, but also my little-sister teammates who also played the same sports as me. I had really good leaders and role models to look up to coming up through, and I just wanted to be a similar leader.”
She will leave Indian River High School with some very fond memories, but none more than the 2019 DIAA Division II State Championship field hockey game against Delmar. Despite their loss in that game, Hall and her teammates took the school on a magical ride that became the greatest season in the school history for the sport. They finished with a 16-2 overall record, with both of those losses coming against Delmar.
“I would say that there was nothing greater than having your school cheering you on,” continued Hall. “It was super-cool to see people that we’ve never seen play a sport or even be to a football game were going to a hockey game to support us. And as we grew as a team, so did our fans. It was super cool, actually heartwarming. I’m getting goose bumps just talking about it.”