football player facing off with opposition

Ethan Hebb Honored in Athletic Ceremony


Ethan Hebb, a Columbia University Football commit, received prestigious athletic accolades at the Williston Northampton fall sports ceremony.

In a Dec. 1 ceremony in the Phillips Stevens Chapel, Williston Northampton Athletic Director Mark Conroy announced that Ethan, a 19-year-old senior from Apex, N.C., was the recipient of the Jim Pruce Award, the most valuable player. He was also named to the honorable Northeast Prep Football Conference All-League First Team Defense and recognized as All-NEPSAC. Ethan is slated to enroll at Columbia University for the summer of 2022.

Williston Football enjoyed its first winning season this year in Class A, boasting a record of 5-3, which included the notable thrilling second-half comeback over rival Suffield Tigers, rallying from a 13-point deficit on October 30 under the lights at Suffield Academy.

Primarily a defensive back who plays on both sides of the ball, Ethan played a pivotal role in the team’s success, leading the squad both on and off the field. Much of the team’s defensive success is attributed to Ethan and teammate Jacob Blandburg, an Army West Point Football commit, also named to the Northeast Prep Football Conference All-League First Team Defense, All-NEPSAC, and the current single season Williston Northampton tackles for loss record holder with 20.

Ethan’s dominant year boasted some impressive single season stats, recording 23 solo tackles, 44 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 4 pass break ups, 2 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles, establishing himself as one of the most dominant defensive-backs in the NEPSAC.

Ethan attributed much of this success to his teammates and values the tight bonds he has built over the last two years as a member of the Williston community.

“I couldn’t have done anything without my teammates this year,” Ethan said. “Ever since preseason they have always pushed me to get better on the field and in the weight room. Also, whenever I was down they would always pick me up. Nothing I did this year was just by myself.”

After wrapping up his fifth season, Coach Tommy Beaton shared with The Willistonian how his team was able foster this new success, stemming with Ethan’s ability to lead through action.

“Ethan is a leader by example,” Beaton said. “He is one of the toughest and hardest working young men I have ever been around. Whether it be a weight room session in February or a big game under the lights, you know you will get the most out of Ethan.”

“Ethan is everything that we want our football players to be,” he added. “He is an excellent player, but more importantly he is a phenomenal student and a role model to his peers on campus. Ethan leads by example in all that he does. Although he has a quiet personality, he has the utmost respect from his teammates because of all that he gives to the team. When I think of Ethan I think of toughness. Even though he is incredibly gifted athletically, it is his physicality that stands out the most. He is without a doubt one of the hardest hitting defensive backs in the league.”

Jean-Philippe Giguere, a senior safety from Quebec, agreed with Coach Beaton’s assertion.

“Ethan has been a great teammate on and off the field for the past two years always trying to help others reach their goals,” Jean-Phillippe said.

Ryan Luzzi, a teammate of Ethan’s, sidelined by injury during his senior season, talked about resiliency and the overall impact Ethan brought to the squad.

“Ethan brought a huge impact to the team, he is an all-around team player,” Ryan said. “He played mainly receiver last year and a lot of running back in years before so switching to a semi new position would be tough but when he got out there it seemed as if he had played that position his whole life”.

“When he puts his mind to something and sets his sights on a goal, it’s going to be tough stopping him from achieving that,” he said. “He had torn his ACL a few years back and with me tearing my labrum he showed me how to mentally and physically get by something than can impact us in future years.”

Ryan is slated to play football at Trinity College next year.

Ethan looks forward to the opportunities and connections Columbia will provide him both on and off the field.

“Obviously, I will be playing football for them, but I believe most of the opportunities come off the field. I am looking forward to the academic rigor that can help develop me into a better student” Ethan said. “It is definitely an opportunity I can’t take for granted.”

This story previously ran in The Willistonian.