Ryann Gaffney and Noelle Harvey gave their coaches and teammates everything they had whenever they stepped on the field for the Huntington High School girls’ lacrosse team. The duo are this year’s recipients of the Team Piccola Scholar-Athlete Community Award.
Huntington Director of Athletics Georgia Deren McCarthy presented the twin $1,000 scholarships on behalf of the Piccola family during the 49th annual Blue Devil senior athletic awards dinner in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium
Robert and Diana Piccola are the parents of twins in Huntington’s Class of 2018. Isabella and Nolan Piccola will enter their senior year in September. Mr. Piccola is a longtime Huntington Village Lacrosse Club coach.
The Piccola scholarship was created to recognize those who play for the love of the game and who are truly interested in experiencing lacrosse in its full flavor.
Ms. Gaffney is headed to Boston University to study architecture and play on the NCAA Division I lacrosse team. The teenager excelled in soccer, indoor track and lacrosse for the Blue Devils and earned exceptional grades academically.
“Ryann has been described by her coaches as a tremendous young woman who sets a positive example for her teammates,” said Ms. McCarthy during the scholarship presentation. “She is ambitious and works diligently to achieve her goals on and off the field.”
The good natured young woman captured the heart of Huntington High School and developed strong relationships with her teachers, teammates and coaches.
“I am so honored that the Piccola family has recognized my hard work both on the field and in the classroom,” Ms. Gaffney said. “I have been lucky enough to have had the chance to play with Izzy and to be honored by a friend and teammate’s family is very special. I want to thank the Piccola family for believing in me and supporting me as I continue my academic and lacrosse career into Boston University.”
Ms. Harvey will be attending Wagner College where she plans to engage in pre-med studies. She intends to ultimately pursue a graduate degree leading to a career as a physician assistant. The teenager has been recruited to play on Wagner’s NCAA Division I lacrosse team.
During her senior year, Ms. Harvey served as vice president of Huntington’s Habitat for Humanity club chapter. She won varsity letters in swimming and lacrosse and compiled a superb academic record.
“Noelle is a leader who truly teaches and coaches the players around her,” Ms. McCarthy said. “Her drive to always get it right adds strength and consistency to all that she is a part of.”
Ms. Harvey rebounded from a serious knee injury and subsequent surgery as an underclassman. Her commitment to rehabbing and returning to the athletic arena garnered the teenager the admiration of her teammates.
“Winning the Piccola Award was so amazing,” Ms. Harvey said. “I am so thankful to be a student-athlete who represents what the scholarship stands for. I wouldn’t want anyone other than Ryann to win it with me.”