A JK THROUGH 12 INDEPENDENT SCHOOL IN CHARLOTTE, NC

1941
Hard Hat Award Winners

The award, in its second year of existence, acknowledges student-athletes’ persistence in training for their sports, in- and out-of-season, as well as the impacts their efforts have on their teammates. In selecting award recipients, Coaches Darnell Clark and Drew Witman look for student-athletes who:

  • Maximize their potential through consistent dedication to their training;
  • Positively influence others through their actions, energy, and attitudes;
  • Embrace coaching in an effort to continually grow and improve; and
  • Take risks and push beyond their comfort zones.

“Our motto in our strength and conditioning program is 'Trust the Process,'" said Clark. "I want our student-athletes to know that the process is often challenging, but that they can achieve their goals with consistent and deliberate practice, grit, and perseverance. The Hard Hat Award winners embody these qualities not only in the weight room and in their chosen sports, but in the classroom and in life.”

Demas and Powers were asked about the award and the strength and conditioning program at Country Day, and they also shared a bit about themselves.

John Demas

Country Day student-athlete John Demas won the Fall 2018 Hard Hat Award

Describe what a Hard Hat athlete looks like to you.
A Hard Hat athlete, to me, is a person who is willing to put everything on the line for the guy standing next to him, not worrying about personal success or glory.

How has the strength and conditioning program at Country Day impacted you as an athlete and person?
Not only has it changed my body physically, but it has impacted me mentally, as well. I have learned to push through pain and discomfort to increase my mental toughness. I’ve become a stronger, quicker, and faster athlete.

What would you tell your freshman self about what it takes to be successful in your physical training?
Success in physical training is not always linear; you are going to have your ups and downs, and there will always be people saying you can’t do something, but it is important to stick to your goals and have enough mental fortitude to push past failure and negativity.

What is your favorite exercise?
I used to not be very strong in my upper body, but after years of lifting, the bench press is now one of my favorite exercises.

What is your favorite 90s jam?
“Dust on the Bottle” by David Lee Murphy

What is your secret talent?
People who know me know this already, but I can make anyone laugh.

What movie star would play you in a movie about you?
Scott Caan

Sarah Powers

Country Day student-athlete Sarah Powers won the Fall 2018 Hard Hat Award

Describe what a Hard Hat athlete looks like to you.
Hard Hat athletes constantly strive to improve themselves. They want to be the best they can be in the classroom, on the field, and in life. Hard Hat athletes dig deeper and fight harder to achieve their goals. They not only push themselves to win, but they also push their teammates.

How has the strength and conditioning program at Country Day impacted you as an athlete and person?
Both Coach Clark and Coach Witman have pushed me to become a better person. They believe in me and know what I am capable of, even when I doubt myself. They expect my best effort every day and every season. Those expectations apply to the effort I put forth in school, as well. Coach Clark and Coach Witman have taught me to give everything I have, whether it’s on the field or in the classroom.

What is the most challenging part of your training? How did you persevere through it?
The most challenging part of my training is actually “trusting the process”. You can’t expect to just lift some weights and see your strength and stamina improve. You must show up every day and work, even if that means working out at 6:30 in the morning, before your opponents are even awake. Every day, I must remember that results aren’t immediate; you don’t get better in a flash. My solution is to put my head down and keep working; that allows me to get stronger, faster, and better.

What would you tell your freshman self about what it takes to be successful in your physical training?
Organize your classwork so that you can give yourself the time it takes to train and be a Country Day student-athlete. Also, the only person you are competing with is yourself. Listen to your coaches, and improve yourself every day.

If you were a kitchen appliance, what would you be?
I would be a mixer because I always bring my team together.

What is your favorite exercise?
It would be Bulgarian Overhead Squats, but Front Squats are close behind.

What is your favorite 90s jam?
“Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai

What movie star would play you in a movie about you?
Charlize Theron (three words: “The Italian Job”)

What is your secret talent?
I am a great surf fisher and cook.