2017 - 2018 League Champions
M.D. Nadal Sportsmanship Award
The Nadal Award was originally given to a member of the Erickson Football League, but eligibility was expanded to other sports after the establishment of the Founders League. It is awarded on an annual basis, as warranted, to students, faculty, staff, teams, and student bodies, who "play by the rules, accept victory or defeat graciously, respect all who assemble and participate." It may be awarded in recognition of sportsmanship during a particular contest, throughout a season, or continued contributions to athletics and the League.
The 2018 Nadal Award was presented to Alexander Kraus in recognition of his dedication to helping his students become the best versions of themselves, commitment to fostering a culture of kindness and inclusivity on his teams, and devotion to ensuring that each of his students knows that he or she is important and appreciated. Over the course of his 30-plus-year career at Kingswood Oxford, Alex has been honored time and again for excellence in both teaching and coaching. Epitomizing the best in liberal arts education, Alex speaks four languages, is a master teacher of both English and AP Chemistry, and when called upon to do so, even taught Latin at Kingswood Oxford. As the coach of both the boys’ and girls' swimming and diving and boys’ and girls' track and field teams, and a one-time coach of the thirds boys’ soccer team, Alex has coached over 100 teams at Kingswood Oxford, and led his teams to 20 State swimming and diving titles, 8 New England Championship swimming and diving titles, and 9 New England Championship track and field titles. True to form, and the ideals of the Founders League, he, however, in reflecting on his service, noted that "seeing students take responsibility for themselves, for a team's culture, for younger students is richer by far than victory." As a further testament to the breadth and depth of Alex's impact, many who he has mentored both as students and colleagues now serve in leadership roles in the Founders League, and strive to pass along the many and valuable lessons learned from Alex.
Archibald A. Smith III Award
The Archibald A. Smith III Award was established in 2015 to honor Arch Smith, long-time Headmaster of Trinity-Pawling and devoted member of the Founders League, upon his retirement. Arch began his career at Trinity-Pawling in 1975 as a teacher of chemistry and physics. During his transformative forty-year tenure, he went on to serve as Director of College Placement, Assistant Headmaster, and ultimately, Headmaster from 1990-2015.
It is awarded on an annual basis, as warranted, to a coach for lifetime achievement and commitment to the Founders League ideals of educational excellence, sportsmanship, and outstanding competition.
The 2018 Smith Award was presented to John Gardner in recognition of his exceptional service to Avon Old Farms School and the Founders League. John has been the head varsity hockey coach at Avon Old Farms for 43 years, during which time he has led his teams to a record 8 New England Championships and has won over 750 games. A number of his players have gone on to play in the NHL, 3 of them have played for teams which have won the Stanley Cup, and 2 of them have won the Conn Smyth Award as the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In addition to his impressive service to the hockey program, John also taught mathematics, worked in a dormitory, and coached football and baseball for most of his tenure at Avon Old Farms. Over the years, he has been honored by numerous organizations for his sportsmanship and contributions to coaching, and served in leadership roles as Avon Old Farm’s Athletic Director, President of the New England Ice Hockey Coaches Association, and President of NEPSAC District 4 Athletic Directors. John’s contributions to the Founders League were invaluable during the League's formative years, and helped to establish the League as one of the most competitive and respected leagues in the country.