THE CHARLIE ROLLINS Award for Musician-Athlete was presented to seniors Sophie Seidman and Chloe Silva from the Meghan Burnett Foundation on Senior Day, May 15. Pictured from left to right are Chris Tolios, Bob Burnett, Sophie Seidman, Chloe Silva, Jessie Rollins, Lynn Rollins, Carianna Gasdia and Dom Gasdia. (Courtesy Photo)


Monday, May 15 was Senior Day for the WMHS Softball team and saw Wakefield take a close game away from Danvers in the last inning, 10 – 9. Before the start of the game, the seven seniors were recognized and the Meghan Burnett Foundation presented the Charlie Rollins Award for Musician-Athlete to two seniors: Chloe Silva and Sophie Seidman.

Charlie Rollins was a beloved Wakefield coach who was instrumental in fostering a successful softball program, coaching both youth and high school teams in Wakefield as well as coaching the freshman team at Danvers High School.

Charlie was a “character” as well as a respected coach who sought out and encouraged players who were involved with music programs and the Arts at WMHS. He went as far as testing this theory by encouraging his own daughter to join the WMHS music program midway through her softball playing career. He started this at a time when a player’s involvement in music was considered a distraction by other coaches. 

As a coach, he was aware that softball (and baseball) are complicated games that require deep thought coupled with instantaneous reaction. He believed that involvement in music opened a player’s mind to greater possibilities, creating a more well-rounded individual which resulted in a better ball player. His teams flourished and were always among, if not, the best, resulting in 20 straight years of winning seasons.

Charlie was excited when construction started on the new High School field but unfortunately passed away in 2020 before getting to see it completed. Soon after, the Meghan Burnett Foundation set up this award in his name to recognize Charlie and encourage a new generation of softball players that, like Meghan, went the distance in both softball and music.