lady blue devils
high school sports.
this is where we experience some of our most vivid memories. it’s a time when celebration and failure are so pure that when we look back on those moments, our palms get sweaty, and our hearts beat a little faster, regardless the time or distance from the memory. maybe for you it isn’t a sport, but something else that you are passionate about.
stats and game highlights are great and well-reported, but it’s not too often that teams get to share the story of their season beyond the stats.
in case you haven’t heard, the east aurora girls varsity soccer team had quite the season this year. they made it to new york state section VI class A2 finals; just one game shy of the state competition. on paper this is impressive and deserves a front page feature. it should be celebrated. but what should be memorialized and remembered is the heart that this team had. this is true with many special teams, and bonds that we make in our lives. the memories and camaraderie experienced this season will stay with this group of girls for the rest of their lives.
a few members of the team—caelan, fiona, lucy, maggie, and anna—were kind enough to share their perspective on an incredible season.
what is the biggest challenge your team faced and how did it shape your season?
our team was struggling this season. we weren’t connected and didn’t feel as if were were on the same page. we lost a lot of confidence because we weren’t playing as a team. things didn’t feel cohesive. this was our biggest challenge, because without confidence, we wouldn’t rise to the top.
after some adjustments, things started to mesh and connect. our coaches gave us the tools to do well and we took it and went with it. we realized that it wasn’t the game of soccer that mattered most, but that we were playing for eachother. each of us gave a part of ourselves to the team. we learned how to play better together. we became family. we gave it all when we were on the field—not for ourselves—but for eachother... for our friends who were battling right there next to us, giving everything.
we hung out a ton this season off the field. we really got to know eachother and became a close-knit group. we had (and still have) our teammates backs. this season brought us together. as we got closer, our confidence skyrocketed and we were able to support one another through physically and emotionally draining games. this enabled us to push one another to go as far as we did.
what’s one word, thought, or philosophy that you live by?
there are many words that we could list—resilience, family, support, connection, but there is one word that really stuck with us:
we became vulnerable as a team together. it is hard to accept being defeated. and sometimes we ignore those feelings because we want to escape from hardship. but, life isn’t about always being happy. it is about taking a moment to pause, take it all in, and experience the overwhelming joy of accomplishment, or the crushing weight of defeat. it’s about loving the highs and equally loving the lows, but most of all, loving one another.
one of the most powerful moments of our season was after a game when we huddled in complete silence to take it all in. the moment was bittersweet, because it was the game that our teammate fiona tore her acl, but we also won our playoff game that day. in this moment that we were vulnerable together. we took in the joy of winning, and equally felt the heartbreak of losing one of our own to a knee injury.
these moments are really special because we don’t often take the time to accept our feelings and face reality head-on. vulnerability is a good thing, because it makes you stronger when you practice it. we became stronger this season because of vulnerability—by connecting with ourselves and our teammates on a deeper level. we will take that lesson with us for the rest of our lives.
who is a woman that inspires you?
malala cus’ it’s amazing that she stands up for what she believes in and doesn’t care about the criticism. she sticks up for women, girls, and those who don’t have an education. she is well-spoken and is a strong voice for progress.
follow your local high school sports teams: buffalo news sports
image: courtesy of anna and coach craig polston
our gritbabe journal features ladies from all walks of life who have persevered, overcome, and achieved great success. if you have a story to share, get in touch.