2017 - Easton Archibald
There just aren't enough words to really do this wonderful young man justice. In 2015 Hib went through a significant culture shift, placing an emphasis on supporting each other, an inclusive, positive atmosphere and playing for the joy of the game. The competitive success that followed, culminating in a nationals berth in 2017 (Easton's 5th year on the team), was not a coincidence and Easton championed and embodied the attitude that took us to nationals - he simply was Hib.
On the field, Easton went from a gangly freshman to a fundamentally flawless super-senior. He could handle. He could cut. He had spectacular fakes. He was always outworking his opponent. If he did happen to get beat defensively you knew a big bid was coming. He executed our offensive and defensive schemes as well as anyone on the team and even in his fifth year was constantly seeking feedback on how he could improve.
I was lucky enough to both coach Easton for five years and play one season of club with him on Choice City Hops in 2016. That season on Hops, Easton, who had previously had a reputation for mostly being the fundamentally-solid-but-not-flashy guy took the reigns of big-time playmaker. My most distinct memory of this shift came at club sectionals, on the first point of the game against Syndicate from Colorado Springs. A huck went up and Easton closed the ground and made a spectacular layout block on the trailing edge of the disc, knocking it just out of the offense's reach.
Off the field, Easton was a never ending fountain of encouragement and helpfulness. He took young players under his wing and taught them not just how to play on Hib, but also what it meant to play on Hib - why the team culture was what made (makes) the team successful.
Easton was our spirit award winner at nationals (pictured above) and there couldn't have been a better candidate. After we had played our final game, we circled up to do end-of-the-season wrap up where it's customary for each player to give props to a teammate. When Easton's turn came up in the circle, he pulled out hand-written notes, not 1-2 sentences, but full on letters, for every single member of the team. I can't speak to the content of anyone's message but my own, but I can say that my letter is currently framed above my work desk at home.
I can truly say the team will not be the same without Easton, and we already miss him dearly. Lucky for us, his spirit will resonate with the team for many years to come and there could be nothing more fitting than inducting him into this Hall of Fame where we can be reminded of that spirit every time we think back on the greats of Hib history.
Honorable Mentions: Sten Larson, Jordan Trepp, Thomas Theodorescu