SOPHIE BROWN became just the fourth Wakefield High Phelps Scholar-Athlete Scholarship award winner this year. She was one of 18 student athletes in the state of Massachusetts to earn the scholarship. (File Photo)
WAKEFIELD — Sophie Brown wasn’t just in rare company amongst her peers on June 20 at Fenway Park for the 36th Globe Foundation / Richard J. Phelps Scholar-Athletes awards ceremony.
As one of just 18 high school student-athletes in the state of Massachusetts chosen as a Phelps Scholar-Athlete in 2022, Brown was certainly in an exclusive club.
Of course now, the three-sport athlete (swimming, basketball, outdoor track) also joins a distinguished list of Wakefield High graduates who have earned the honor: Connor O’Keefe (2000), Julianne Bourque (2016) and Billy Stevens (2019).
“Sophie is the hardest working, most dedicated player we’ve had come through our program,” said Wakefield girls’ basketball head coach Jason Pavey. “She gave everything she had during her four-year varsity career and was just a phenomenal leader.
“Her basketball accomplishments: Captain, ML All-Star, 2-time Warrior Award Winner, are just as impressive as her academic accomplishments: National Honor Society member, four-year class treasurer, master of ceremonies at the 2022 WMHS Graduation to name a few.”
Ask Brown’s coaches about what stands out the most and you’ll get two familiar themes: work ethic and leadership.
“Sophie always set a great example of hard work, inclusion and punctuality,” said Wakefield girls’ swimming head coach Kathy Byrne. “She is a natural athlete who rises to any challenge given to her. She was friendly, mature and welcoming to all team members – a pleasure to have on the swim team.”
“Sophie is a fantastic leader on and off the track,” said Wakefield girls’ outdoor track and field head coach Karen Barrett. “She has a tremendous work ethic and is a wonderful role model for all the younger athletes. Sophie always has a positive attitude and was a fantastic captain.”
The Phelps Scholar-Athlete Award began in 1987 and expanded when Richard J. Phelps became a cosponsor in 1991.
Today, a panel of Globe judges award $3,000 college scholarships to the 18 Scholar-Athletes representing seven MIAA districts, the city of Boston and Eastern Mass. Prep schools.
Brown was one of two chosen from District 4.
“Although the Phelps Scholarship is a very competitive and prestigious award, when I found out Sophie won I can’t say I was surprised; she’s that impressive,” said Pavey. “She is the true embodiment of the term ‘student-athlete’ and one of the best representatives of Wakefield High and our community.”
Brown, who will be attending the University of California San Diego this year, is ready to bring those same qualities of hard work and leadership into the next chapter of her academic career.
“Sports and academics have always been my top priorities and I feel fortunate to be recognized for this award,” said Brown. “Thank you to all of the teachers, coaches and teammates who I was able to share the past four years with.”