"No matter the score, keep going forward.”
Sixty-three student-athletes are graduating from Skidmore this year.
Together, they have achieved nine Liberty League or conference titles, a national championship and over 150 league or conference awards.
Many are also equally decorated with academic achievements, including published research, impressive GPAs and various artistic accomplishments.
Risa Fukushige ’21
Fukushige is a decorated athlete who has left a deep impact on the Thoroughbred tennis program. Named Liberty League Player of the Year and MVP on multiple occasions, she is finishing her time at Skidmore as a top 15-ranked player competing in the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Tournament with a 54-17 record in singles competition, including 20-0 in Liberty League regular-season matches.
Looking back, Fukishige credits many of her accolades to discipline.
“I’ve grown a lot as a player during my time at Skidmore and really strengthened my tactical game. I also adapted to the way we play as a team, not shying away from being aggressive when we need to, knowing when to take a risk and when to play it safe.”
Fukishige says being a student-athlete also meant performing just as strongly in the classroom.
“When you travel with the team, you realize the importance of not waiting until the last minute to do your homework. I learned to work on things in little pieces, which is a time management skill for life.”
She also has some words of wisdom for aspiring Thoroughbreds: “Work hard, play hard and make the most of your four years. Do it to make a memory that will be with you forever.”
After graduation, Risa plans to move to Southern California and pursue a career in communications or consulting.
Stanley Langyintuo ’21
Langyintuo has been lauded by his teammates and coaches as one of the most important Thoroughbred men’s soccer players across several seasons and certainly among the most dangerous players on the pitch. An All-East soccer selection and All-Liberty League first team pick in 2019 (there were no awards in 2020), he led the Thoroughbreds in points, goals and assists.
“Being a student-athlete means a lot to me,” said Langyintuo. “Representing my school and playing a sport I love has been a great experience.”
“It was also challenging,” he added. “But that only made me more disciplined. Now, I approach life and soccer the same way: Give it your all and work hard. No matter the score or situation, keep going forward.”
Getting through those challenges on and off the field was a team effort for Langyintuo.
“My teammates are great guys who helped me grow as a person and a player. I’ll really miss playing pickup in the off-season and hanging out on the field during the summer or when other international students would join a game just to have some fun.”
And what will he never forget? “That one game against Keuka College. I scored four goals, which I believe was a school record.”
After graduation, Stanley plans to pursue professional soccer. He has a mid-summer tryout lined up in Madrid with a Spanish second-division professional soccer team.
Senior Athlete Awards
Class of 2021 athletes were center stage at the virtual Skidmore Athletics Sport Recognition ceremony. Alongside their many talented teammates, notable senior award recipients included:
Senior Athlete Award
Risa Fukushige ’21, tennis, and Stanley Langyintuo ’21, soccer
The is one of the most prestigious honors from Skidmore Athletics for it not only recognizes student-athletes for chart-topping performances in their sports, but also for a having a robust resume of community engagement, excellent academics and being a strong role model for all student-athletes.
Senior Thoroughbred Award
Sam Ohotnicky ’21, lacrosse
Senior student-athlete who has distinguished themselves equally in the areas of athletic excellence, academic achievement, service and leadership throughout their collegiate career.
Maddie Claman ’21, riding, and Jon Bile ’21, soccer
Honors senior student-athletes who, through their actions both in and out of the competitive arena of athletics, demonstrate the ideals of leadership and sportsmanship.
Brian Kowalski ’21, ice hockey, and Hagar Sivan ’21, crew
Recognizes the top male and female senior student-athletes who have a 3.67 or higher cumulative CPA, have participated in athletics for at least three years and are either a starter or significant reserve player.
Tim Brown Scholar Award
Brian Kowalski ’21, ice hockey
Established by a former director of athletics, this award is given annually to a graduating senior who exhibits an outstanding level of dedication, discipline and accomplishment in both their academic and athletic pursuits at Skidmore.