Ipswich Allstar Athlete- Where is She Now?

Ipswich Allstar Athlete- Where is She Now?

Along the walls of Main Street at IHS, plaques after plaques are displayed, honoring the greatest athletes that Ipswich High School has ever had. Their years at IHS range from the 50s all the way to present time. Hundreds of talented athletes have been on the walls. Have you ever wondered who they are and where they are now? I know where one is- and she happens to be my own mother. Along the wall of the gym, a plaque with the name Dr. Julie Crawford Macdonald is displayed. 

It is quite interesting having a hall of fame mother. She always tells me about her time at Ipswich High, and it has always been about the sports she played: field hockey, softball and basketball. Julie grew up in Ipswich, where she played sports in her neighborhood even when she was in elementary school. 

“I grew up in a neighborhood of all boys. When I was young, all we did was play sports all day, until it was dark out. I had years of playing sports with the boys in the neighborhood before I entered organized sports,” Julie said. Not only was she influenced by the neighborhood kids, she was also influenced by her father, Wendell. Wendell was incredibly athletic and played as the goalie for the Providence College hockey team. He was also a hockey coach at Ipswich for some time. He influenced Julie greatly, and provided his great sports smarts for success. Julie continued to get better at her sports and became known for being a talented student athlete across the entire school. 

Julie continued to follow in her father’s footsteps. After high school, she went to Providence College to continue her education as well as play softball her first year. However, the amount of time it took up in her life was not in her best interest: “It turned out I wasn’t a fan of all the travel. I never got to go home. It was double headers and 40 games in six weeks and it was becoming all year round. I decided not to do it for the rest of my college career because of that,” Julie described. Despite her love for softball, she decided she wouldn’t play because of the time commitment. She thinks that if someone wants to play D1 sports, they have to find time to balance their academics with the sport in order to succeed. 

Playing softball was something that Julie continued; however, she played after college in a coed softball league, where she met her husband, Bruce. Softball has always been in her life and has taken her where she is today. More recently, she has started to get involved with Ipswich softball. Her daughter Colleen played during middle school and will soon be playing on the high school team. “It’s pretty cool because not a lot of other softball players have had their mom help them out,” Colleen says, “It is also cool because she’s a lefty, so we have that in common.” Julie has helped out her team and influenced her daughter as well. Athleticism runs through the family after many generations. 

“Being active is something I have to do, just because it is who I am,” Julie states. She continues to do physical activities. Running, playing catch with Colleen in the yard, or helping out the softball team are her favorites. Sports is something that has always been in her life, so she continues to do it. Even if she plays her sports on a small scale now, students will continue to look at her plaque as they pass through the IHS hallways.