Published in the June 29, 2017 edition.
By Dan Pawlowski
Senior captain Tim Hurley was the recipient of the Geoffrey Walter award at the WMHS baseball banquet. The Walter award is presented every year to the player that best exemplifies qualities of heart and leadership, as well as talent on the field.
16 years ago, Geoffrey Walter passed away suddenly at the age of 10. He was taken far too soon from a wonderful network of family and friends that will not only remember him forever, but will work to make sure his legacy lives on. Tom Leahy, a Wakefield childhood friend of Geoffrey’s and the head JV baseball coach at WMHS, is a proud part of that network.
“The award is meaningful because it was created by Tom,” said Geoffrey’s parents, Jennifer and Rich Walter. “Geoffrey and Tom grew up together as neighbors and best friends and spent a great deal of time together playing baseball and wiffle ball. Through this award, Tom and the WMHS baseball team honor Geoffrey’s enjoyment of the game, his skill as a player, and his leadership qualities.”
Although Walter played multiple sports including basketball, tennis and hockey, his passion and talent were most evident on the diamond, prompting Leahy to create the award for the baseball team.
“Geoff was an outstanding baseball player and athlete,” said Leahy. “He was drafted first overall in his Little League draft, made multiple All-Star teams, and had a really bright future in baseball.”
While every winner of the Geoffrey Walter award has an exceptional amount of passion and talent, Tim Hurley is truly tailor-made for this honor.
“Tim Hurley being named the 2017 recipient makes this year’s award very special,” said the Walter family. “Tim is a wonderful young man and an outstanding athlete, who we’ve been lucky to know through his participation in the annual tennis tournament held every August in Geoffrey’s name. We’ve seen his sportsmanship and skill on the tennis court and are delighted to see him honored for his play and leadership on the baseball field.”
“Tim Hurley was an easy choice for the award,” added Leahy. “He is respectful, polite, and a great teammate. On top of that, he is a very talented baseball player. He was the captain of the team this year, and hit over .370 as a junior on a league championship team, and .300 this year.”
Through a partnership with the Geoffrey Walter award, the baseball program donates to Geoffrey’s fund at The Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield.
“We continue to be grateful to remember Geoffrey through his TSF fund and appreciate this support from the baseball team,” said Jennifer and Rich.
Hurley, who will be attending Providence College in the fall, is now an essential part of that network engaged in sharing Geoffrey Walter’s legacy.
The Walter family works with the Wakefield community in a multitude of ways to help remember Geoffrey, and thanks to the effort of people like Tom Leahy, this award will always be an important part of that mission.
“The Geoffrey Walter Baseball Award means a great deal to us for a number of reasons,” said Jennifer and Rich Walter. “Geoffrey truly loved the game of baseball and this award includes him as a part of the Wakefield High baseball team and is a wonderful tribute.”