Haley Tiller, a member of the girls' basketball team at Reservoir High School in Howard County, has been named the U.S. Army Impact Player of the Month for February.
Tiller, a senior shooting guard, is the second recipient of the award from Howard County. She was nominated by her coach, Deb Taylor.
"Haley Tiller is the perfect choice for this award," Taylor wrote in her nomination. "She's a great leader that is well respected by both her teammates and coaches. A multi-year captain in all three of her sports, she's unselfish, and on the basketball team, she thrives on defense and makes us go. We are a terrific defensive team, having a great deal of success this year after a history of just average teams, and Haley makes us go. She is the kid I cannot take off the floor."
Tiller averaged six points, 1.7 assists and 1.6 steals this season for the Gators, who beat Centennial in the first round of the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association 3A state tournament before getting eliminated by Long Reach in the second round. This season, Tiller was regularly asked to cover the opposition's top perimeter threat, a difficult task but one she enjoyed immensely.
"I love that it's all about how much you put in," Tiller said. "On offense, you can try your best, but if your shots don't fall, you won't be as productive. On defense, if you focus and are determined, you can really help your team succeed."
Tiller has proven herself to not only be a vital player on the basketball court for Reservoir but also on the field hockey and lacrosse fields as well.
For field hockey, Tiller started all three of her years on varsity. She was an All-County Honorable Mention and was twice given Reservoir's Most Valuable Offensive Player Award. Tiller was also chosen to participate in the Maryland Senior All-Star Game.
On the lacrosse team, Tiller made the Maryland Brine National High School team as a sophomore. Tiller started four years on varsity and has earned a second-team All-County selection. Much like with the field hockey team, Tiller is a two-time Offensive Player of the Year for the Gators.
For Tiller, what she's enjoyed most about being a student-athlete is the relationships she's formed with teammates.
"I love the camaraderie that comes with being on a team. I don't think I'll be able to recreate my high school sports experience; it's been incredible," Tiller said. "You go through everything together with your teammates, both the highs and lows. It's really nice knowing there's a group of people who have your back."
Tiller has also made quite the impact in Reservoir's community away from athletics.
She is the president and founder of the Reservoir New Student Mentoring Academy, which focuses on helping students transferring to Reservoir make an easy adjustment at their new school. Tiller is also the vice president of Reservoir's student government and headed the committee that organized the school's first pep rally in five years.
She is also heavily involved with Maryland DECA, an organization whose aim is to prepare high school students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. In addition to being the president of Reservoir's chapter of DECA, she is also the president of the organization's entire operations in all of Maryland, which involves representing the state in numerous national conferences and leading workshops for students.
"It's an extracurricular that builds on what you learn in the classroom, which I love," Tiller said.
Tiller manages to do all this and excel in the classroom. She has a 4.7 weighted GPA and ranks 11th in her class academically. Tiller has been accepted to University of Pennsylvania, where she will be a student at the prestigious Wharton Business School.
Issue 231: March 2017