The Diamond Behind the Plate
by Cate Murway

“Then close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, 'There's no place like home."
The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Nicole [feminine form of Nicholas meaning “people's victory”] Ashley Adamson, BHS ’09 excels in three sports for Bristol High School [field hockey, basketball and softball] but the physically demanding sport of softball is her favorite and she invests a great deal of her time behind the home plate. When she straps on her catcher's protective gear and settles into a crouch behind the plate, Nicole is at home! In the Courier Times May 22, 2007 article by Jennifer Wielgus, “Nicole Adamson's RBI triple in the 7th lifted Bristol to a division title and the top spot in next week's district playoffs.”
BHS softball coach of 27 years, Michael N. Lalli beamed while he confirmed last spring’s decision, “Nicole is a versatile athlete; changing her position to catcher mid-season proved to be a positive turning point!”

Performing the unique duties of catcher, this athlete is one of the hardest working on the team both physically and mentally, so this strenuous position isn’t for everyone! The catcher is usually the field general and calls out all the plays, communicating pitches with the pitcher. Every pitch is important to someone!  Nicole must not only know the signals for all pitches, she must also understand which pitch is best for each situation and each batter. She must catch, or at least block, all the pitches to prevent base runners from advancing and dig out pitches in the dirt, recover from a dropped 3rd strike to catch the runner at first, be able to throw accurately to any base to catch runners off base or in the process of stealing a base, and back up throws from the outfield to 1st and 3rd. She must also catch pop-ups into the foul territory behind the baseline, and tag out runners who are attempting to score, while blocking their access to home plate. In addition, Nicole prevents stolen bases with her strong throwing arm, chirps encouragement to her pitcher and is continually on the alert for instructions from the coaches. Catchers need to be able to move laterally, quickly. Whew! It's important to have catchers who know what they're doing, aiding the team’s overall defensive position.

In June 2007, Nicole was one of the sixteen area players chosen to represent the Suburban One League National Conference and Bicentennial Athletic League in the third annual softball Carpenter Cup.
According to Barbara Lynn Reynolds, NHS ‘81/ BCCC/Trenton State College, head coach of Nicole’s Lower Southampton Storm Fastpitch 16U girls travel team [beware… a powerful force is on the horizon], “Nicole is an awesome young lady and a great athlete with a great disposition from a strongly knit family and Nicole’s dad is the scorekeeper. She is a Captain, a leader, knows the game and controls pitchers. We’re very lucky to have her… I want her to sign her “Children are our Future” article so I can keep it and say, I knew her when…” Their home field is located in the Russell Elliot Memorial Park.
Nicole Adamson has developed a reputation for performing well under pressure.

The Adamson family, lifelong Borough resident and middle child of nine, Joseph Thomas, Bishop Egan ‘87/Albright College/BCCC and basketball, softball and soccer athlete, Melissa Ann [Gonzalez] Bishop Conwell ‘88/BCCC who met through friends on May 14, 1988 have a total of four children, Nicole, David, BHS ‘08, Daniel, BCTHS ‘10 and Shane, BHS ’13, who all reside on Green Avenue. Nicole’s dad is president and volunteer coach of the Bristol Borough Little League and her mom coaches her St. Thomas H.S. girls CYO soccer team. They are all involved in anything having to do with youth athletics, always keeping the development of the kids foremost in mind.

They love the close-knit town and effuse nothing but compliments for the Borough school system.
Nicole shares a birthday with the late Billie Burke [1894-1970], best known for her portrayal of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wizard of Oz”. Glinda steps out of the ball of light and kindly tells Dorothy that she has always had the power to go home with the “magical power” of her ruby red slippers, but she had to “discover it for herself”. Nicole “goes through hoops” assisting Recreation Director, Cynthia Mae [Cindi] Wade to coach the 4th grade girls Bristol Borough Recreation Basketball Program. The BHS Warrior athlete in her ruby red shirt shares her “magical powers” of athletic skills so the “short shots” learn to pass and dribble. The generous and warmhearted Nicole is most effective when in a position of command, teaching the skills and tactics and the rules and traditions of basketball, helping each young player develop a positive attitude and “discover for themselves” their powerful sense of self-worth. She knows firsthand from her parents that character development and teaching children the core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility are crucial. The intangible qualities are no less important to teach than ball handling or defensive skills.

“and I'll be right behind your shoulder, watching you
I'll be standing by your side, all you do
and I won't ever leave
as long as you believe,
you just believe....”
“Remember Me This Way”, Jordan Hill lyrics [from Nicole’s favorite movie, “Casper”]

Power forward 5’6 Nicole, usually aggressive pursuing rebounds, was elected captain for the second year, along with Andrea Danielle “Muffin” Rankins, BHS ’08.  As the team’s ambitious and courageous representative on the floor, she is well aware that games are won at practice and she guides the team as they prepare to add long range shooting to their skillset. Oh, and she remembers to make it FUN!

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." ~ Aristotle

Per BHS basketball first-year coach, Martin [Marty] Moyers, Radford U., VA '95 sociology/ Eastern U., St. Davids, PA, M.ED '07, still calls Virginia “home”. “Nicole is a take charge person who leads by example and she has been elected captain by her team. She is unselfish, a natural born leader, tough on the inside and the outside. A coach’s DREAM!”
She focuses on 2nd in B.A.L. Field hockey in the defensive back position in the autumn and Coach Melanie Jenigan listed defense/midfield Nicole as a key performer in the Courier Times Fall Sports preview.

Her warm- hearted manner extends past sports, when she “dons her athletic apparel”, assisting underprivileged Lower Bucks children while they chose gifts for themselves and their families while she participates in the annual “Shop with a Cop” charity event sponsored by the Bristol Lions Club.
With sincere blue-grey eyes and a bouncing ponytail, she confided that her goal is to work with special needs children or possibly become an X-ray technician. She and her parents will be visiting colleges, including Lock Haven, East Stroudsburg, and Arcadia Universities this Spring.

These are a few of her favorite things:
Sports and school structure most of her waking hours but another favorite movie is the 2005 film, “Coach Carter”. Kenny Ray Carter made news when he closed the Richmond High School gym and banned all of the basketball-related activities of his undefeated team due to poor academic results. Country music of American singer-songwriter Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is her listening choice.
Not exactly gourmet fare, but she really enjoys her dad’s version of macaroni & cheese, prepared with Campbell's “Great For Cooking” Cheddar Cheese Soup.
She loves all of the gelato flavors, but “Cookies & Cream” at Canolli Coffee bar & gelateria at the corner of Radcliffe & Market Streets is her top choice for dessert!
After the Christmas Eve Mass, holiday celebrations at St. Ann School 2nd grade teacher Mom-Mom Marita Catherine and Pop-Pop Albert Daniel Adamson’s home is a fun, children-filled tradition that includes their own dice game of  “Pirate’s Bingo”.

Nicole envisions herself adopting a special needs child from China in the future as her Uncle Michael, BE ’88 and Aunt Kim Adamson have done.

For now, her time is invested in leading the basketball team. Her conduct and attitude, experience, knowledge, and maturity set an example. A divided team is no longer a team, but individuals wearing the same uniform. She will continue to inspire others to be better players and people.  If poor performance in practice is allowed it becomes the mode of operation. Her successful team with non-negotiable team principles, plans, prepares and expects to win.

But softball will always be her favorite sport…………
“And oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like home.”

To recommend a Bristol borough youth to be spotlighted: e-mail

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 4:00 am

Marita C. Adamson passed away Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at her home.
She was 72.

Born in Philadelphia, the daughter of the late Edward and Catherine Conlin,
she had been a Bristol Borough resident for the past 50 years.

Mrs. Adamson retired from St. Ann School after 22 years of teaching.
She was a den mother to Cub Pack 127; she started and founded the Girls Club of Bristol,
was a Girl Scout Leader and was a Second Grade Prep teacher for St. Ann Church CCD program.

She is survived by her husband, Bert Adamson; nine children, Mark Brehaut (Barbara), Annmarie Cappuccino, (Keith Conrey), Mary Jane Emery (George), Bernadette Perrong, Patty Abdalla (Mike), Joe Adamson (Missy), Michael Adamson (Kim), Matthew Adamson (Brandie), and John Paul Adamson; 18 grandchildren, Andrew (Kali), Mark Thomas, Julieann, Laura Ann (Freeman), Megan Ann, Becca, Kyra, Emma, Alex, Ethan, Liam, David, Nicole, Daniel, Shane, Michael, Matthew and Liana; and one great-grandchild, Callen. She also is survived by a brother, Paul Conlin, a sister, Ann Franzen (Rick); and many beloved nieces, nephews and godchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother, Daniel Conlin, and her sister, Katherine Kirsch.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend her memorial Mass 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at St. Ann Church, Bristol Borough. There will be no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library, 680 Radcliffe St., Bristol, PA 19007 or St. Mary Cancer Center, 1201 Langhorne-Newtown Road, Suite 1, Langhorne, PA 19047. Wade Funeral Home,  Bristol Borough

Nicole Ashley Adamson
Nicole and her parents
Coach: Mike Lalli (24th year)
Last year: 19-3
(13-0 BAL Independence, won division title)
Fab Five: Sr. Nicole Adamson (C/1B); So. Brooke Dugger (SS/3B); So. Kiersten Cain (RHP); Sr. Jen Jaeger (2B/SS);
                        Jr. Kelly Pond (CF)