New Canaan Country School Student- Athlete Profile: Charlie Gaynor
“New Canaan Country School athletics has taught me a tremendous amount as a person, teammate, and athlete,” said ninth grader Charlie Gaynor of Bedford, NY, during remarks he made at the end-of-term Upper School sports assembly, held on campus, Feb. 24. Charlie, who served as a captain of the school’s boys’ varsity soccer and hockey teams, was one of two student-athletes selected to offer reflections.
“Before arriving at NCCS, I was an ambitious and competitive 11-year-old. I remember telling myself, ‘If you don’t win, then what’s the point,’” recalled Charlie, who entered New Canaan Country School in the fifth grade. “During my five years here, I have learned that what’s most important is how you compete. When I was young, I would get emotional if I lost a game, often disappointed and let down. While I still strive to win, I have come to accept that there are sometimes more lessons that can be learned from a loss.”
“Charlie is an even-keeled, emotionally mature athlete who leads by example,” said Upper School Math Teacher and Head Hockey Coach Matt McDonald. “He’s always one of our top contributors, but he’s also highly coachable, and takes feedback very well.”
“The other players and I consider him to be a calm, steady and reliable member of the team,” continues Coach McDonald. “He doesn’t live the highs and lows of dramatic moments. No matter what just happened, good or bad, he’s focused on what needs to happen next.” Charlie, who some might describe as soft-spoken, says he chooses to make his presence known in other ways.
“I prefer to lead by example and am not a ‘rah rah’ cheerleader-type,” explained Charlie who shared captains’ duties this hockey season with three teammates. “I decided to define my role as someone who creates a welcoming atmosphere for the younger players. I remember how nervous I felt when I was the youngest guy on varsity three years ago. I barely knew any of the guys on the team, but there were older kids who went out of their way to make it easier for me and treated me really nicely. They gave me high fives in the hallways and made me feel very included. These older teammates not only became my friends, but also my role models. I knew I wanted to work hard to become a role model like that for other students and teammates. Hopefully, I have done so.”
Following graduation, Charlie, a son of Kim and Greg Gaynor, plans to attend the Brunswick School in the fall. “The Country School has provided me with many great memories. Some of my more favorite include winning the Greenwich Country Day School lacrosse tournament in seventh grade and the Upland hockey tournament in 8th grade. As I near the end of my time at NCCS, I will remember this year’s soccer and hockey seasons with great pride in what we accomplished.”