By: Sofia D’Angelo ‘22 and Mollie Kemp ‘23
As school begins and normalcy seeps back into the school day, sports swing back to action with renewed energy. Seniors take the spotlight as they step into leadership roles on fall sports teams that are enjoying their first real season since 2019. The Voice interviewed one senior captain from every fall sports team and got to know about everything from team atmosphere to fun facts about the seniors.
Meet Varsity Field Hockey Captain - EMMY PASCAL
Do you think Covid has had an effect either negative or positive on your team?
E: “I think that this year, we were definitely affected negatively, because we didn't get a season last year. Last year, we had 17 seniors who were all really strong players, so we would have been really good. And then also just having that year to develop more team chemistry and just kind of work on field hockey skills specifically, would have been really helpful coming into this season.”
How has covid had a positive impact on your season?
E: “I think one way that it has impacted us positively is that we're all super thankful just to be here and feel to get a season. So it's making us more thankful for like every game we get to play every practice we have. And just being able to be around our teammates and playing the sport for a lot of us for our last season.”
What are your goals for this season?
E: “Because we only have four returning players that have played an actual season before. We're definitely looking to have everyone learn the sport, learn their part, and work hard to make a competitive season.”
What is it like having such a young team?
E: “Our team is super young, so having a lot of sophomores and juniors to step up has been really important. It shows in out games how hard they work to make our team better.”
Fun facts about Emmy:
E: “I really like pasta or pizza”
Favorite genre of music:
E: “Pop or country”
E: “23, Michael Jordan, baby”
Meet Varsity Soccer Captain - MACKENZIE DAVIS
How has Covid affected your season?
M: “Covid impacted our season by discouraging a ton of players. last spring during our minimal make up season almost 5 normal starters didn’t end up playing because they were so tired of such a rough senior year”
What are you looking forward to most this season?
M: “I’m looking forward to the continued team bonding and festivities, the captains want to make the most of the season”
One word to describe your team's chemistry?
How would you describe your team as a whole?
M: “We are super positive and helpful but we also can get on each other to make the best of our team.”
Favorite high school soccer memory.
M: “Beating episcopal in SHC and dancing to 'Temperature' by Sean Paul on the field afterwards.”
Fun Facts About Mackenzie:
How long have you been playing?
M: “13 years”
M: “I play the piano.”
M: “Favorite food is probably margarita pizza from Del Ray Pizzeria.”
Who’s your hero?
M: “My grandmother”
Meet Varsity Volleyball Captain - IMAN HADDAD
What’s the atmosphere of the team?
I: “I think we all got super close during pre-season because we had double days. It’s a really fun environment, we’re a pretty big team this year but everyone is friends with everyone. Good vibes all around.”
What are your team goals for the season?
I: “One of our main goals is just to continue to hustle all around on the court. Another big goal is to have a winning season with a good record and I think that is going to be attainable. We won our first game last night against Holy Child. We also want to win the Seminary Hill Cup.”
Are there any commits on the team? Would you say volleyball is most of the team’s first sport or secondary?
I: “I think for a lot of people it is their secondary sport, I think one or two girls play club. We have two commits for lacrosse, me and Amanda Edge. Amanda’s going to Bates and I’m going to Washington and Lee. We have lots of two and three sport athletes on the team.”
Did you lose a lot of seniors last year?
I: “We lost two seniors last year, so it wasn’t too bad, but they were very invested and did alot for the team and the program. This year we have ten or eleven seniors so we’re very senior heavy. We’re constantly moving around positions and everyone is doing really well, playing everywhere.”
Do you think COVID has affected your sport in a negative or positive way?
I: “We are an indoor sport, we do have to wear masks while we play, which is, you know, a little frustrating but we make it work and get that cardio up. At the beginning of COVID last spring, we couldn’t even pass the ball back to each other so I think we’ve come a long way since then but there are still things that we can fix and do better.”
Fun Facts about Iman:
I: “Taylor Swift”
I: “Anything off the Reputation album by Taylor Swift”
Fun Fact about you:
I: “Dual citizen- New Zealand and U.S”
I: “My dog Java, a 13 year old chocolate Labrador.”
Meet Varsity Cross Country Captain - MORGAN LEWIS
M: “I think cross country has always been one of those sports where it’s such a fun environment, everyone has a good time. We have a lot of camaraderie and friendliness. The people on the team are my best friends and everyone loves going to practice everyday just because of that fun, healthy environment.”
Goals for the season?
M: “Seminary Hill cup and beat episcopal. And I think just doing well at ISL and improving everyday, going to practice everyday, and just seeing team growth and personal growth throughout the whole season.”
Is cross country most of the team’s main sport?
M: “We have two people who do track and cross country outside of school, a freshman, Hannah (Floyd), and Noah (Cummings). We don’t have anyone committed except for me to the Naval Academy for lacrosse. Go Navy.”
Did you lose good seniors last year?
M: “We had a really big senior girl class that graduated. There were probably six or seven of them and so we lost a good chunk of our seasoned girl runners. But we have a lot of younger girl runners that are coming up that are going to hopefully develop through the next year.”
Underclassmen that have taken big roles?
M: “Emmie Vajda ‘23 is always a bright light in a sport that not everyone enjoys. She shows up everyday with a good positive attitude. Hannah Floyd ‘25 has done a good job coming to practice, always happy and always working hard. She’s also insanely fast.”
M: “Corkscrew pasta”
M: “Taylor Swift”
M: “The Way I Loved You” by Taylor Swift or “Wonderland” by Taylor Swift”
M: “My parents and I have driven across the country twice.”
Meet Varsity Soccer Captain - FINN JENSEN
How is the team atmosphere?
F: “It’s very competitive, we have a good time.”
What are your goals for the season?
F: “State Championship and IAC title.”
Record so far this season?
Are there any commits on the team? Doesn’t have to be soccer.
F: “We got Drexel, Loyola, we got one guy with an offer from UMBC, we got another guy with an offer from Wichita State. None are for soccer, three are for lacrosse and one for basketball. Soccer is most people’s secondary sport on the team.”
Did you guys lose a lot of good seniors?
F: “We did, we’re very thin this year. We have eight or nine seniors this year.”
What underclassmen have taken on big roles? Including juniors.
F: “My brother, Colton Jensen. Jack Murphy, he’s a junior captain. Matthew Bezunah. Xavier. Thomas Matney.”
F: “Drumsticks (ice cream) 'That’s how I put on weight.'”
F: “Polo G”
F: “I play the violin.”
Meet Varsity Football Captain - MICHAEL VAUGHN
How has COVID affected your season?
M: “Covid had a huge impact on our season because whenever we go somewhere we have to wear masks. When we lift we have to wear masks and also we can't share seats on the bus when we go to away games.”
What are you most looking forward to for this season?
M: “I am most looking forward to winning a championship this season.”
How is the team chemistry this season?
M: “The team chemistry is great. We all are like each other brother and we will always defend each other.”
What is your favorite highschool memory?
M: “My favorite Highschool sports memory is scoring a touchdown in my first ever varsity game on Friday night lights.”
What's your secret talent?
M: “I can make a clover with my tongue”
M: “My number is 6”
M: “Chick fil a.”
Who is your hero?
M: “My hero is my sister”
Meet Varsity Tennis Captain - LIV COOPER
How has covid impacted your season?
L: “Playing with masks was challenging and impacted how many games we were allowed to play. It was very hard making sure to keep my distance and always getting tested.”
What are you looking forward to most this season?
L: “Hopefully having a normal season and playing all of the teams we usually do.”
What would you say the team chemistry is like?
L: “We are super close as a team and all take care of each other on and off the court.”
How long have you been playing your sport?
L: “13 years, yikes”
What is your favorite high school sports memory?
L: “Winning state championship junior year” (In lacrosse)
L: “Fav number is 4”
Who's your hero?
L: “My mom”
Meet Athletic Director Coach Koroma.
How has COVID-19 affected SSSAS sports?
K: “I mean, the nice thing is that it hasn't changed the nature of the sports really, at all. It's changed a lot about how we think procedurally and all the pieces that go into having a game and having a practice. Whether that's how we use transportation, how we use locker rooms, basically what protocols we are going to use to keep our athletes as safe as possible. I think it's made us think about that (safety) in a different way than we had before. Some of the things were big eye openers for us for last year, like we use so much equipment that is so readily shared between teams you know, and like are we sort of buying it frequently enough? Are we cleaning it frequently enough? Are we rotating things out frequently enough with COVID? So I think that was kind of a big eye opener. And I think from the administrative side it's forced athletic directors to probably be in more conversation than they ever have about how you actually operate sports when before that was kind of like a given. But now it's very nuanced, right? What are your protocols for spectators? How many people can you have capacity in your gym? Like how are you getting there? What type of transportation are you taking? So now there's just much much more communication than there had been previously.”
What are your hopes for the season?
K: “One of the goals that Coach Walrich and I shared with all of our coaches and our admin team is that we want everything to be as normal as possible so that people aren't viewing it as a “COVID season” or that we're making modifications or changes. We want the sport and being a part of a team to be as normal as possible so normal seasons, normal championships, normal opportunities to be able to go on overnight. We want to have some of the marquee events that we have traditionally but that we didn't have at all last year. So we want to have the girls basketball tournament, we want to have Sleepy, we want to do Spring Fling, we want to have the Draper track and field meet. Recognizing that it may not be at the same time, the same scale that it was in 2019 but that we don't want to cancel the event. It just might change structurally how we need to do it but then we still want to offer it.”
Is it just as hard to schedule games that are indoors compared to outdoor events?
K: “The nice thing about scheduling this year is that we went about it normally. We started by scheduling league games first then we are able to add non-league games which is the same for indoor and outdoor sports. It hasn’t been as changeling as you would think to schedule indoor games because we are able to abide by the Covid guidelines.”
What are some traditions that we weren't allowed to do last year that we can do this year?
K: “A lot of these aren't traditions but we can open up food at games, bonding trips, and even locker room use. We are having Sleepy and wrestling tournaments that were cancelled last year.”