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Class of 2019

Nils Youngwall ’84
An incredibly well-rounded athlete, Nils Youngwall, lettered in Soccer, Ice Hockey, and Lacrosse during all four years of Upper School, captained all three programs as both a Junior and Senior, and was selected five times as a team MVP. Nils went on to attend Johns Hopkins University, where he played club hockey and walked on to the Varsity Men’s Lacrosse team which resulted in Nils being a member of the 1987 Blue Jays team that won the NCAA National Championship in Men’s Lacrosse. Even with all these athletic accomplishments, Nils has always been known as a quiet and humble person who leads by example and is always kind and supportive of teammates and friends. So it is with the support of those friends, as well as the support of all those who had the opportunity to watch Nils compete as a young athlete, that we recognize Nils Youngwall as a member of the Portledge Athletic Hall of Fame.

Chris Masotto ’94
Blessed with significant athletic ability, a tremendous work ethic, and excellent leadership skills, Chris Masotto was the face of Boys Athletics at Portledge in the early 90s. During his Upper School years, Chris received 11 Varsity Letters (four each in ice hockey and lacrosse, and another three in soccer) and served as captain of all three sports during his senior year. Chris’ athletic talents were obvious as he was selected All-League in both soccer and lacrosse during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, and was a United States Lacrosse Association All-American as a senior. Chris went on to graduate from Hamilton College where he played four years of Varsity Men’s Lacrosse, once again serving as a captain for both the ’97 & ’98 Continental squads. Chris’ athletic career was marked by a high degree of sportsmanship as he competed with a determined but calm demeanor and always treated his teammates, coaches, and opponents with great respect. Chris was recognized as the recipient of the Portledge Bowl at the 1994 graduation ceremonies and it is now fitting that he be recognized as a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

Willa Sky-Bacon Freer ’99
Willa Sky-Bacon Freer was an athlete who Kelly Gottesman had the pleasure of knowing and coaching through Middle School and High School in both Field Hockey and Lacrosse. Seeing a student-athlete like Willa grow in so many ways, skills, confidence, and leadership to name a few, was an absolute pleasure to experience. Willa always worked hard on her individual skills and teamwork. She had the drive to always improve on her skills and was never afraid to try new things. Willa was always upbeat and brought a positive, upbeat attitude to every practice and game. Willa truly enjoyed playing the sports she did, which only made her that much better. She was a dedicated athlete and a supportive teammate. The committee is excited to celebrate Willa and all of her accomplishments and thanks Willa for being a role model for future Portlege student-athletes. 

Tamara Simpson ’14
While she participated off and on as a member of Coach Corby’s Varsity Girls Tennis dynasty, Tamara Simpson’s athletic career at Portledge predominantly concerned basketball – and what a career it was. Tamara was the best player on a very good Varsity Girls Basketball team during all three of her years at Portledge. She was team and league MVP sophomore, junior and senior seasons, a McDonald’s All-American nominee as a senior, and received the Portledge Senior Athletic Award in 2014. Tamara went on to star as an NCAA Varsity Women’s Basketball player at Yale University with a long list of school and Ivy League accomplishments including Ivy League Defensive Player of the year in 2016-17 and becoming Yale’s career leader in steals, a record she set in only her junior year. While all of these individual accolades are certainly incredible, what really defined Tamara as a player is the success she led the Portledge Varsity Girls team to during her years as a Lady Panther. Portledge was a three-time league champion during Tamara’s career and the squad went on to participate in the NYSAIS State Championship Tournament at the close of each of those seasons. In 2013 Portledge was seeded 2nd and reached the semi-finals – this marks the farthest Portledge Varsity Girls Basketball has progressed at the state level in the school’s history. There have been many outstanding girls basketball players at Portledge, as there are now, and the team is usually very competitive, but Tamara took Portledge Basketball to another level and did so with dignity, eloquence, determination, and tremendous leadership. Thus, we recognize this amazing student-athlete as a member of the Portledge Athletic Hall of Fame.
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