Boys Athlete of the Month: Winter Edition


By Sarah Cohen and Michael McKay

“Leader of the Pack” is a series of articles recognizing Niles West athletes for their athletic, academic and personal achievements. Nominations are accepted from coaches of both boys and girls athletic teams each season. These athletes not only excel in their sports, but they also display positive leadership, good sportsmanship, and academic integrity.

Your nominees for December are:

Samuel Paloma (boys swimming): The buzzer goes off and he dives off the board straight into the water sprinting straight into his best stroke, butterfly. After two laps, he sprints to the board and slams his hands against it, coming in first by a mere .5 seconds. Being on varsity for four years in a row, Sam Paloma was named captain for this 2017-18 season. Not only is he a leader in and outside of the pool, but he’s also involved in many other things and excels in his academics. With his dedication, he motivates his teammates to get involved, to focus, and to do well academically. “I feel that I am someone that they can look up to and come to whether it’s personal or about swimming. I support all of my teammates whether it be during practice, meets, or in general, I am always there to push and motivate them,” Paloma said. Along with being a leader to the boys, Paloma has created new relationships on the team and has felt that swimming has made a positive impact on his life in creating opportunities to make new friendships with people who share the same goal as him.


Patrick O’Dwyer (boys wrestling): Shaking his opponent’s hand, senior Patrick O’Dwyer waits for the referee’s whistle, and gets ready to slam the opponent on the mat. He patiently waits for an open opportunity to take his shot. After a little bit of hand-fighting, O’Dwyer shoots a high-crotch and takes the opponent down to the mat. He gets ahold of the opponent in a half-nelson, flips him over, and sticks the pin. O’Dwyer is a committed wrestler, and is one of the toughest and smartest on the team. Wrestling in the 160-pound weight class, O’Dwyer has improved his game significantly from last year, and is leading the team as one of the captains. “Wrestling is a huge commitment. We started my freshman year with 20 freshmen, and now as a senior, we only have three. It is the toughest sport, physically and mentally,” O’Dwyer said. “My goal is to keep on improving, get more conference wins, and hopefully get past regionals.”


Kevin Guillaume (boys basketball): Standing back on defense, junior Kevin Guillaume keeps one eye on the ball and another eye on the man he’s guarding. He’s not going to let anyone get passed him. Suddenly the ball is passed towards the other team, and he bounces forward and intercepts the pass. Guillaume goes on a fast break and flies down the court. He outruns the entire team and goes in for the layup, making it look too easy. Guillaume is one of the top scorers for the team, and has been his game with pure consistency so far throughout his season. “Overall, I think I’ve been playing very consistently, but there’s always room to improve. As one of the juniors in the starting lineup, it’s key to keep developing your game and becoming a well-rounded player. Not just for scoring, but on defense too,” Guillaume said.

Poll will close by Monday, Dec. 18, at 11:59 p.m.

Who should be the boys athlete of the month in the winter season?

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