Cousins from Bristol Eastern share Athlete of the Week honors for area high school sports. They are juniors Kailey Laprise of the girls soccer team and Jaden Laprise of the football team.
Kailey Laprise, the daughter of Keith and Kimberly Laprise, won all-conference honors for the second straight season for the 8-8-2 Lancers. She led the team with 10 assists and was second with nine goals, starting all 18 games.
Her head coach, Scott Redman, says her selection is deserving.
“Kailey took a big step forward in 2017 and was a consistent, dependable and extremely dynamic contributor for us this season,” Redman said. “She played in a critical attacking position for our system and pressured defenses.
“Kailey is a tireless worker on the field and constantly creates scoring opportunities for her team. She has the technical skill to score in a variety of ways and the tactical knowledge to make creative, smart decisions to set up teammates when appropriate.
“Kailey is a modest player with endless amounts of potential. She is an incredible leader both on and off the field and is primed for a big senior campaign next season.”
Laprise was pleased with the Lancers’ recent season.
“As a team, we did a lot better than in previous years,” Laprise said. “We won our conference [5-2-1] and made it to the second round of the tournament, which is really a big achievement for us. I was very happy with the season, because personally I had my best season yet.”
As one of next year’s leaders, Laprise looks ahead to 2018.
“We’re losing eight seniors, which will be a hard loss for our team, but I think myself and the other juniors will step up,” Laprise said. “I think it will be hard to have as good a season as this year, but we’ll have a lot of good freshmen coming in to help us.”
Laprise, who also runs the 400 meters and 4x400 and 4x800 relays for the school’s track team in the spring, said she has gotten a lot from taking part in school athletics.
“Sports has kept me busy and it built a lot of friendships for me,” Laprise said. “I think it helps you get more involved in school and keeps you in shape.”
Sharing advice with younger athletes, Laprise said to keep doing what makes you happy. And if you want to be successful, you have to work hard no matter how hard it may seem.
Her plans after high school include college soccer. As far as studies, as of now it might be special education.
Jaden Laprise is also an all-conference pick playing for coach Anthony Julius, whose team went 2-8 this past season.
Laprise was one of the Lancers’ more formidable players in their 33-27 loss to Bristol Central in the Thanksgiving Day game, catching five passes for 50 yards, including a touchdown run. Altogether in 2017, Laprise went for 800-plus yards with eight touchdowns.
Julius was pleased with his returning wide receiver.
“Jaden is an extremely hard working individual, who is not only a great football player, but a great student and person,” Julius said. “His junior campaign has been something truly special and one of the best years a wide receiver has had at this school in a long time.
“He is someone who will continue to get better because of his hard work and dedication, not just during the school season, but the off-season as well. We are looking for big things from him next year.”
Laprise was happy with his team’s final game.
“The Thanksgiving Day game is always a good game, obviously,” Laprise said. “This year there was a lot of talent and it was a good challenge to play Central this year. Each year in the game I try to improve on all aspects and I feel that I did that this year. The team showed good fight the whole game and I’m proud of them.”
Looking ahead to his senior year, he believes the team’s record will improve.
“This year and last year we were young and our experience will be at its full potential next year, and that will help us improve on the season,” Laprise said. “We’re looking for a least a .500 season.”
Like his cousin, Jaden Laprise also has benefitted from playing sports. In his case, that includes playing center field for the school’s baseball team in the spring.
“Sports have been a getaway for me,” Laprise said. “At times, there’s a lot of stress going, in school and outside, and sports helps [me] not to think about it. I look at it as an opportunity for my future, to help me get to the next level.”
For now, Laprise awaits baseball this spring.
“We did pretty well last year. We made it to the tournament, so we look to improve and even go further in the tournament,” Laprise said. “Personally, there’s a lot of individual things I can improve on.”
Following high school, Laprise is planning to go to college to study criminal justice, with the hopes of also playing football at that level.