2018 Model Rams Announced


Photos Courtesy of David Barney & Aries, Graphic by Zoe Moser

Jonathan Brake, Staff Writer

Seniors Kelly DiFonzo and David Barney were honored with the BJ Thomson Model Ram award at the Varsity banquet May 24. The award is dedicated to students who demonstrate excellence in academics, athletics and leadership.

Out of 20 nominations–10 male and 10 female–the Model Ram award goes to one male and one female senior. Each candidate goes through an application process and writes an essay describing their achievements in school, sports and other extracurriculars. Members of the booster club vote on the Model Ram without knowing the names of the candidates to avoid bias.

The award honors the student-athletes with recognition and a $1,000 scholarship from the Booster Club.

I’d say to just always try to be a role model and friend because the next Model Ram is the model for models to come.

— senior Kelly DiFonzo

The female winner, DiFonzo, was a three sport athlete her senior year playing field hockey, swim and dive and softball. She is also in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP). DiFonzo’s varsity softball coach, Matthew Quinn nominated her for the award. DiFonzo maintained a 4.74 weighted GPA, obtained 118 student service learning (SSL) hours by the end of her high school career and was the president Best Buddies for four years and involved in multiple other clubs.

“Kelly is such a hard worker and really deserved Model Ram. I’ve been close with her all four years of high school and I know how hard she would work every day,” senior Brady Doyle said. “She was a great teammate as well. She always picked people up and was super supportive. I’m glad I got to play four years with her by my side.”

Playing certain sports for all four years, DiFonzo had the opportunity of growing from being the youngest on the team who looked up to the seniors, to eventually becoming that role model for younger players.  

“I have tried to leave a legacy. The girls on the team often did not like each other and there were so many divisions in the team and I hated it. But, there were some upperclassmen I looked up to and when there was a lot of drama they tried to resolve it which I really liked,” DiFonzo said. “I’d say to just always try to be a role model and friend because the next Model Ram is the model for models to come.”

DiFonzo will be majoring in bioengineering in the scholars program at University of Maryland College Park.

The male winner, Barney, participated in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field every year of his high school career. Indoor track coach, Amy Brewer, nominated Barney for the award. Barney took the Advanced Placement (AP) program and maintained a weighted GPA was a 4.42 and he had 297 SSL hours; he was one of the founders of the BBQ enthusiasts club and was an active participant in the STEM and culinary club.

“I did a varsity sport for every single season that I was at Rockville. I also tried to join several higher level AP and IB classes,” Barney said. “I would suggest keeping yourself busy in and out of school and take any opportunities that offer volunteering work as well as any other type of service.”

Barney will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall where he will major in general engineering.