Bella Bean ’14 and John Fox ’13 were 2 of 10 local high school seniors named “Teens to Watch” by New Canaan, Darien, & Rowayton Magazine this September. The two now both attend University of Virginia after impressive high school achievements at Brien McMahon and Brunswick, respectively.
In the second game of the season, Bella Bean’s lacrosse team at Brien McMahon lost 20 to 1 to Darien High. “We knew all along that we were going to lose, and by a lot. We were out there in the burning heat, our coach was yelling at us, and halfway through everyone just seemed to give up,” Bella said. After the game was over, Bella, as captain, had to go into the locker room and face her team. Instead of letting their coach take over, she asked all the adults to leave. Standing in front of 21 heartbroken players, she announced that each member of the team would, one by one, explain why she played lacrosse. “It really bonded us as a team—things got a little emotional. The next couple of games, we used that experience to rally everyone. I’d say, ‘Just think about why you play. Think about your reason.’” Bella, a Rowayton resident who graduated last spring, doesn’t mind that her team isn’t the best in the league. For her, lacrosse is all about the people. After spending two years as captain, she became expert in bringing 21 distinct personalities together. After her players spent all day thinking about their own lives—their test scores, homework and college applications—Bella helped them put all those thoughts away, and instead see themselves as one part of the whole. “When you’re on a team, it’s not all on you. You know your teammates have your back and you have theirs. It’s a family.”
Words to Live By “I play multiple sports and maintain a rigorous academic schedule, but I find time to give back and work outside of school because I know the value of hard work.
Future Plans Now attending University of Virginia, she’d “love to become a film producer.”
Giving Back Bella has donated her time and talent to the Junior Rowayton Civic Association, and Horizons Enrichment Program.
Advice for Her Younger Self “Make decisions for yourself, stop caring about what other people think, and do what makes you happy.”
JOHN FOX, BRUNSWICK
For the past two years, John Fox has spent one evening in spring walking up and down a catwalk. “Last year I wore designer sweatpant cutoff shorts, a zip-up hoodie and T-shirt,” Fox says. “They did my makeup to make me look super tan, and my hair to make me look like I’d just come out of the water.” This year, John wore an outfit inspired by Ryan Gosling in La La Land. While most teenage boys would balk at the idea of modeling for a large crowd of peers and their parents, John laughs it off. He does it to support something—and someone—he cares about. At Brunswick, he is the president of a club that promotes breast cancer awareness, a cause he’s been dedicated to ever since his mother was diagnosed with the disease. Yet John is perhaps best-known at school—and across the state—as a lacrosse player. As captain, he led his team to victory at the New England Championship last spring. The team is now ranked fourth nationally. John recently headed to the University of Virginia to play for one of the top lacrosse programs in the country. The New Canaan resident is an enormously gifted player, but skill isn’t the only thing he brings to the game. In everything he does, John tries to support those around him. On the lacrosse field, that means coaching teammates, making time for private lessons with younger Brunswick athletes and running a summer lacrosse camp for kids. As a Senior Prefect, a Peer Leader, and a Big Brother for the Brunswick middle school, John also devotes time to mentoring.
Working It “John’s breed is rare,” says David Bruce, Brunswick’s lacrosse coach. “He’s on the short list of the hardest-working players we’ve ever had.”
Fierce with Fight John made the varsity lacrosse team as a freshman despite a broken foot and was feared by upperclassmen for his intensity.
Advice He’d Give to His Younger Self “Nothing is given to you. If you want anything in life, you have to earn it through hard work and perseverance.”
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