Alumni Athletes

1940 Baseball at Lawrence Academy

Athletics at Lawrence Academy have come a long way since James Lawrence donated the first gymnasium equipment in 1878. Used by both boys and girls, the gym — which also served as a study hall, theatre, and faculty meeting space — featured horizontal bars, dumbbells, Indian clubs, and the like. There were no fields until 1900, when Shumway Field opened, so outdoor “sports” were limited to walking and running. There was, however, a tennis court, which the Student Aid of June 1889 called “one of the pleasant features connected with our school.”

Football had been played informally since around 1880, though the principal, Mr. Ball, quickly banned it because of the destruction it wrought on the lawns (he proposed croquet in its place!). With a new field created in 1901, however, the sport caught on quickly. Out of a total school enrollment of 28 boys, 13 were on the team during that first season. Baseball thrived in those days as well, and basketball became a team sport within a few years.

1985 Girls' Soccer at Lawrence Academy
The modern era of LA athletics really began with the arrival of young Norman Grant in 1929. He added lacrosse as a varsity sport, and in 1940, the school started construction of the Spaulding-Stearns Athletic Fields. By the end of that decade, the Fred C. Gray Building opened, providing the Academy’s first dedicated athletic facility. It included squash courts and a wrestling room; LA added the latter sport in 1950.
The athletic program expanded again with the return to coeducation in 1971–’72, and the construction of the Stone Athletic Center in 1993 provided up-to-date facilities for both boys and girls. The Academy’s first year in the Independent School League, 1976, saw undefeated football and cross-country teams; the football team shared the ISL championship. That winter, moreover, the boys’ varsity hockey team won the ISL Keller Division title.
Lawrence’s athletes in 1976 ushered in a new level of competition and recognition. Since that time, Lawrence Academy has celebrated numerous boys’ and girls’ championship teams in the ISL and the New England Division. In addition, many individual athletes have aspired to achieve greatness beyond their days at LA, in collegiate sports and with national teams, both as amateurs and professionals.

Athletic Hall of Fame

The Lawrence Academy Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding athletes from the old days and
Lawrence Academy Hall of Fame
the new, carrying out the organization’s mission “to honor and perpetuate the memory of individuals and teams that have made outstanding contributions to the quality of LA athletics and have helped bring recognition, honor, and excellence to the Academy and its athletic program throughout its history.”
As the mission statement concludes, “The Athletic Hall of Fame will highlight athletic character, sportsmanship, achievement, and pride and will strive to provide a positive link between the student-athletes of today and those of the past.”

"To set the cause
above renown,
To love the game
beyond the prize."
From Clifton Chapel, by Sir Henry Newbolt (1862-1938)

Recent Championships

Visit the Athletics homepage to view an on-going list of all the most recent tournament finishes and championships won by our Lawrence Academy Spartans.

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Alumni Olympians

Olympics Logo
Among Lawrence Academy’s alumni athletes are four graduates who went on to compete at the highest international level: the Olympic Games. David Jensen ‘84, Cindy Ryder Matthes ‘84, Ted Crowley ‘89, Jonathan Edwards '91, and Laurie Baker ‘95 represented the United States against thousands of athletes from hundreds of other countries, and we are immensely proud to call them part of the LA community. They each are Lawrence Academy Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, and their banners hang in Grant Rink for all to see while cheering on our current Spartans.