Lacrosse players from two Bristol high schools share “Athlete of the Week” honors for area scholastic sports. They are senior captain Gabby Abramczyk of Bristol Central, a member of coach Kyle Phelan’s Bristol girls co-op, and sophomore David Harrold of coach Chris Kennedy’s St. Paul boys team.
Abramczyk, the daughter of Chris and Victoria Abramczyk, a midfielder and attacker, is all her coaches would want in a player. She returns from a 22-goal, 15-assist season in 2017 and already has a five-goal and one assist game to her credit this spring.
“Gabby has had an incredible start to the season,” Phelan said. “Besides being a key factor to this team’s success, she has that certain ‘something’ that makes a team enjoyable and successful. Her teammates tend to gravitate toward her, and this leads to a very solid team-first atmosphere. On the field, she is a force. She is extremely fast, has an incredible shot and is not afraid to take on defenders one-on-one. This makes her an extremely dangerous lacrosse player.”
The co-cop is now in its sixth year and carries a 9-55 record coming into this season, including a 4-12 mark in 2017. This season is about improving those numbers.
“Our team is doing well so far,” Abramczyk said. “We have played some talented teams and a lot of girls have stepped up to the challenge. My goal for the team is to finish the season with the best record this program has had so far.”
Perhaps most impressive is Abramczyk only took up the sport her sophomore season and has developed into one of the co-op’s most important players on the offensive side.
“I see myself as a scoring threat,” Abramczyk said.
Abramczyk, who also played basketball for the Rams, said sports have done a lot for her.
“Sports have benefited me as an individual because I learned the value of teamwork,” Abramczyk said. “You can’t have a successful season unless everyone works together and picks each other up. It also taught me responsibility, because as a captain it’s my job to make sure everyone is doing what they’re suppose to and to be a role model for the younger players.”
Her plans for next year include college, where she will play lacrosse and study forensic science.
Harrold, the son of Dave and Tricia Harrold of Southington, like Abramczyk, is a coach’s dream.
“David Harrold is everything we want the St. Paul lacrosse program to emulate,” Kennedy said. “David is naturally talented, but more importantly, works tireless at perfecting his craft and improving his skill set. David goes about his work with a great attitude and is very coachable. When early-on in the preseason he found himself deeper on the depth chart than I’m sure he hoped, he never complained, put his nose to the grindstone and started to climb to the point where he has been a major contributor to our early season success. David has been very dominant on face-offs for us this year and his steady improvement as a two-way midfielder has the coaching staff excited to see his level of success grow as the season and his high school career continues.”
Coming into this week, the Falcons are unbeaten and outscoring their opponents on a 10-1 basis. Harrold believes this Falcons team is different than in seasons past.
“The chemistry with the team this year is something I haven’t seen before,” Harrold said. “Everyone gets along very well, the seniors with the freshmen. I believe as a team we can do special things and I think this team is more of a family than a team. We’re very well-rounded this year as a team.”
Last season, St. Paul lost in the first round of the states and this year Harrold sees the Falcons improving on that.
“We want to win our division [in the Western Connecticut Lacrosse Conference] and we want to win states,” Harrold said. “We have everything well-rounded this year. Everything the coaches say, the players really understand.”
As far as personal goals, Harrold wants to set the example for others on the team both in the classroom and on the field. Another is to earn all-conference honors.
He added he has benefitted from playing the sport, and that includes offseason work with Team Connecticut, which practices out of Choate School in Wallingford in the summer.
“Sports has made me a lot of friends and has taught me a lot of life lessons,” Harrold said. “It has also helped me encourage my teammates.”