Athlete of the Issue: Ward Betts ’16


Ibante Smallwood '16

Ward takes the pitch for Boys’ Soccer.

Ward Betts ’16 has been a tri-varsity athlete since coming to Groton in Fourth Form; he plays defensive center-back for soccer in the fall, winger for hockey in the winter, and middle infield (batting leadoff) for baseball in the spring. In all three sports, Ward has seen his dedicated work ethic pay off over the years.

Ward had played soccer for only two years before coming to Groton, but immediately walked onto the varsity squad his first year. As testament to his hard work on the Circle, Ward was elected by his teammates to be one of this year’s Varsity Boys’ Soccer captains along with Fifth Former Alec Reiss ’17. Ward has enjoyed every second of his Groton soccer career, saying, “It has been really fun. I love playing with the team.”

Ward starts as defensive center-back. Center-back is such a tough position to play because it is the last defender before the goalkeeper, but Ward plays with tenacity and skill. When asked about Ward’s strengths on the pitch, Matt Mullin ’17 had this to say: “He plays with intensity, and has both explosive power and speed.”

Ward also loves hockey and baseball, playing both sports since he was three years old. Ward’s prior experiences have served him well on the Circle, where he has played both sports on the varsity level since his first year at Groton.

Ward’s favorite memory of playing hockey is when he went to the Quebec International Peewee Hockey Tournament back in 2009. His team made it to the semifinals, where they lost by only a single goal.

Ward attributes his skill on the ice to the coaching staff at Groton and his coaches at the peewee level. He also believes that the team has helped him develop on the ice.

Finally there is baseball, Ward’s spring sport. Ward had a very successful 2014 campaign, earning an All-ISL honorable mention at shortstop. He is the team’s returning starter at short and hits leadoff in the team’s lineup. Ward totaled an impressive eleven steals last season.

Ward’s best memory from last year was upsetting perennial powerhouse Belmont Hill.

He loves Groton’s coaches, saying, “They have helped me immensely in developing to become the player that I am today.”

When Ward walks onto the baseball diamond with the Groton team, he feels a fire to perform he does not feel in many other facets of his life. Ward and all the seniors this year hope to build off of the successes and failures of last season to continue the baseball program’s uphill climb.

Simon Park ’17, another returning player to the squad, had this to say about his teammate: “Ward is a great competitor who plays hard.”

Ward is a terrific athletic talent on the Circle. He has a drive to succeed at athletics that both his coaches and his peers can appreciate. As he enters his senior year Ward hopes to continue to achieve success in athletics, whether that be defending on the soccer pitch, skating on the rink, or beating Belmont Hill for a second year in a row in baseball.