Iconic, inspiring, unpredictable - through the years, our Falcon athletes have kept us coming back to witness the thrill of competition again and again. Our series "Great moments in Falcon sports history" relives the moments that have helped shape the Peddie athletics legacy. One of those moments was Whitney Douthett '03 winning the prestigious NJISAA Scholar-Athlete Award.
When Whitney Douthett '03 graduated from Peddie, she left behind a legacy of unparalleled accomplishments and post-season awards. She was an unassuming role model given her strength of character, selflessness and integrity. The Jan Baker NJISAA (New Jersey Independent School Athletic Association) Scholar-Athlete Award honored the former Princeton Day School athletic director for a career devoted to achieving equality and excellence in women’s athletics. In 2003, Douthett became Peddie’s first recipient of this coveted award. Nominees from over forty schools vied for the prestigious plaque.
"I knew I was nominated," said Douthett, who was unaware that her parents had been informed of the award more than a week ahead of the announcement. "It had been a couple of weeks, though, and I hadn't heard anything, so I figured I didn't win it. It's definitely a good surprise. Most of all I've had so much fun with all the girls on the teams I have played on. That is better than all the awards."
Over the years The Peddie School has witnessed many extraordinary student-athletes who have donned the Old Gold and Blue colors. A 12-season varsity letter winner, Douthett is one of the greatest athletes in the school’s history, excelling at soccer, basketball and lacrosse. In addition, she served as captain for all three teams. She was a giant pillar of fair play, resiliency and tenacity on several teams that garnered national recognition.
The statistics are absolutely mind-boggling. In her senior year alone, she led all three sports to Prep A State Championships and a combined overall record of 54-4-1.
In soccer, she led Coach Ray Cabot’s team to four consecutive state titles with a combined record of 62-8-3.
“Her mental toughness is as much a part of her game as her physical skills,” said Cabot. “She’s one of the most inspirational and competitive athletes I have ever coached. After a loss, she never looked backwards, she just looked forward to the next challenge.”
On the basketball court Douthett marshaled the offense at point guard, but will be remembered for her relentless defensive heroics. Coach Sean Casey knew he had a special player after Peddie defeated Trenton High School in the finals of the Mercer County tournament during Douthett’s freshman year. A member of the local media chronicled her fierce intensity that foreshadowed her stellar career: “True grit defined Douthett’s contribution to the team victory as she weaved around the Trenton offense and used her quick hands defensively to harass her lightning-quick opponent at every turn. In the Falcons commanding win on the spacious hardwood floor of the Sovereign Bank Arena, she established herself as one of the top go-to defensive players in the area."
Four years later Douthett would claim a share of the Falcons’ hoop dynasty with four more state prep championships and another splendid mark of 76-12.
On the lacrosse pitch, she helped Peddie (15-1) capture the school’s first Prep “A” State crown with riveting performances in the semifinal and championship rounds. She was a perpetual motion machine with uncanny field vision - a fearless defender, crafty playmaker and goal scorer all wrapped in one uniform. In typical fashion, Douthett went out a winner with an assist on the insurance goal in the title game against Oak Knoll School. Earlier in the match, she scored twice to keep the Falcons in the hunt. For the season she tallied 42 goals and dished out many assists to the team's leading scorer, Kat Peetz ’04.
Despite mountains of press clippings and binders of awards, Douthett invariably praised her teammates for all the support. When asked about her improvement in soccer this past season, she modestly said: “I don’t think it was as good a season for me personally. The defense around me was what made me a lot better.”
When asked about a sampling of memorable moments in her athletic career, she responded with the following three highlights from the 2002-2003 schedule: Beating Lawrenceville in the lacrosse Prep A semifinals and advancing to win the state title for the first time in Peddie history; Winning the Prep soccer title against Pennington, 1-0, in the second overtime period before a packed sidelines at Lawrenceville; Playing in front of the largest crowd to ever watch a basketball game in the Erik B. Hanson Field House to claim a historic win over Marlboro. This tension-filled dream match-up dispelled any doubts that the Falcons could compete against the elite teams in the region.
“It has been an honor to wear Gold and Blue, I wouldn't trade the memories for anything,” said Douthett.
When Douthett graduated from Peddie, she transferred her athletic prowess, scholarship and leadership to Dartmouth College, who reaped the benefits of a job well done.
Douthett finished her lacrosse career at Dartmouth as a three-time first team All-Ivy pick and three-time All-American. She still holds Big Green's career mark with 98 assists and ranks third all-time with 201 points. As a member of the 18-player U.S. National Team, she helped lead Team USA to the 2009 World Cup Gold with a 8-7 win over defending champion Australia. And on the soccer pitch as a defender, she received All-Northeast and All-Ivy accolades. Douthett was inducted into the Peddie Hall of Fame in 2013.