Middle Twp. senior exudes excellence on, off the field

Maddie Anagnou, left, Amanda Bartha and Sara Bright were captains of the 2013 field hockey team at Middle Township High School. All three also played four years of field hockey and lacrosse together in high school.

Maddie Anagnou was described by her coaches as humble, hardworking and a captain who leads by example.

The Middle Township High School senior has started on varsity teams in field hockey, swimming and lacrosse as a freshman and holds 12 varsity letters.

Due to excellence in the school's athletic department, Anagnou has been named Scholar-Athlete for the Cape-Atlantic League National Division by the South Jersey Coaches Association.

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In addition to being named All Conference All Star multiple times in each sport, holding Middle Township High School's record in field hockey career goals and assists, six school records in swimming and 166 career goals at the beginning of this year's lacrosse season, Anagnou maintains an above-4.0 grade point average and is a member of the National Honor Society.

With humility, a quality her coaches praised, Anagnou said she was excited about the award, which was unexpected.

"I got pulled down to the athletic director's office, and he told me (I would receive the award)," Anagnou said. "I'm not the type of person to be really excited, but I was pretty pumped."

Lacrosse coach Jacqueline Scuderi said although today it's common for freshmen to start on a varsity team due to the influx of sports feeder programs, four years ago when Anagnou was a freshman, it was rare that she would start and excel.

"She's a great student athlete and all around good person," Scuderi said.

Swim coach Bill Orr agrees: "For her to succeed as well as she does in swimming and not do year-round swimming is kind of unusual."

In the midst of her final lacrosse season, Anagnou is 10 goals away from her 200th goal, with 12 more games to play.

As of right now, Anagnou said her favorite sport is field hockey. Coach Janina Perna said she "doesn't know how she's going to replace her."

"She's like the ideal kid to work with. You show her something or teach her a new skill, and she'll do it a thousand times until she gets it right," Perna said.

In the fall, Anagnou is going to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. As of now, she has no plans to play sports, but she hopes to try out for varsity field hockey in the future. One of her top choices of major is special education.

"She was the hardest worker on the team, the most determined," Perna said. "Talent can only take you so far. … She's got ability, too, but she also tried the hardest."

Anagnou will be honored at the coaches association banquet May 14.

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