Gabby Guadalupe ‘19

Song of a Sports Player

By Kitty Tyree '19

June 2019 Profile Issue 

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From Ms. William’s kindergarten class to walking the halls as a senior, Gabriella Guadalupe has had the full SSSAS experience. She also did something that only a handful of students here accomplish: excel at both arts and athletics. Bridging the divide that can sometimes seem impossible to cross, her high school experience shatters the negative stigma against lacrosse players that exists in the mind of many a non-lax player or the idea that arts kids are outcasts in the minds of some star athletes.


Gabby’s love for music started long before she found she had a knack for performing. Her dad would play guitar around her house and she and her sister sang along. In middle school, however, Gabby decided not to take chorus. “I was like I want to know how to read different music, you know? Like bass clef, just music theory and more of that kind of stuff. So then I went into orchestra and started playing the cello, been a part of the orchestra ever since this year when I took AP Art History so it conflicted with my schedule.” Whether humming a song or singing her sentences, Gabby was making music without even trying.


Gabby has the trifecta of musical talents. Not only does she sing, but she dabbles in instrumentation as well as composition. When she was in seventh grade, she showcased each of these talents by performing both an original piece on the piano as well as playing the piano and singing “Say Something” with two of her friends at Saints Got Talent. The more surprising thing, however, is Gabby’s knack for the piano, considering she never took lessons. “There was this big like crash course that I would always do around sixth grade and eighth grade where I’d just look up youtube videos and like learn scales and learn these little different things about music and stuff like that.”


While instruments will always hold a place in her heart, her true passion is singing. “I think it’s just cause I’m more confident in that arena cause I grew up with singing around me I, definitely like doing that better. I mean cello’s fine, performing is fine like in an orchestra and stuff, but I’d much rather sing and perform.”


Despite the fact that she loves performing, Gabby was never able to be in the musical. “So this is the part where lacrosse comes into my life. So I started playing lacrosse in seventh grade and I was like, this is a fun sport and I like running around and scoring and being all athletic and stuff... so [the musical] conflicted with lacrosse pre-season training because we have run tests in the beginning of the season and you have to pass those in order to make the team, and I wanted to do the musical ever since freshman year but I didn’t have time or the capacity to do the musical at the same time.” The stress of doing both activities would have been too much to handle, so Gabby picked lacrosse instead of the stage.


Ironically enough, Gabby was not always so dedicated to her sport. “I always hated lacrosse. I hated everything it was...but then in sixth grade, Coach Way, she was like ‘you should play lacrosse in middle school’ and I was like ‘yeah I’m not gonna play softball because I suck at it, I don’t want to run track’, so I was like okay I guess I’ll play lacrosse... then I was like ‘I guess I’ll play in high school and I’ll just continue because it keeps me in shape and otherwise I’d be sitting around all day’.”


This decision was not regretted, since it led her to find that she wanted to continue playing lacrosse after high school. “In sophomore year I had this coach, her name was Coach Shay, she worked at school, and she basically was like ‘when are you committing?,’...I had never thought about it because, one, I didn’t think I was that good and, two, I only really knew about these division one schools and how at those division one schools, it’s very high intensity and that’s your job, basically, and she was like there's also D3 options and I was like ‘woah no way!’”


Gabby’s college process was not only driven by lacrosse, she was also looking for somewhere that fit her academically and had the right ‘atmosphere’, as any senior will attest to this being a key factor in picking a school. Before Gabby even knew she wanted to play lacrosse in college, Dickinson caught her eye. It was when she realized that she could play lacrosse there that she really decided to try and get in. “I definitely knew that I wanted to go to Dickinson, so I was like ‘I gotta get my booty on that, I gotta talk to the coach, I gotta get them out to watch and stuff. I visited the campus a couple summers ago and I was like this is…  I love it. It was just... it was that feeling where you felt like you could see yourself like sitting and studying in the library.”


Although she is at practice from 3:30 to 5:30 and sometimes until 6:00, she still finds time to get all of her work done and keep her grades up. “When I’m in season I notice that I’m more productive, and when I get home, you know, I eat dinner then I do my homework then I do whatever else I want. If it’s not midnight then I’ll probably watch tv or something, but if it is midnight, then I go straight to bed.”


One thing that is definitely present at our school is the idea of these stereotypes around lacrosse girls. And while Gabby was immediate to respond with her coffee order when asked, (something that apparently makes you a stereotypical lax player), she can say that these perceptions are, for the most part, untrue.


“When I was younger, the reason I didn’t want to play, the reason why I hated the sport was one, because I thought...there’s like this clique that goes with if you play lacrosse. I mean it's definitely nice to hang out with your teammates after school… but there is definitely like that kind of ‘everyone who plays lacrosse likes each other better and they don’t like me because I don’t play lacrosse’ kind of thing… being a part of both lacrosse and arts, music, that kind of stuff, everyone’s pretty nice and pretty chill. But there is, obviously there’s still a group if that makes sense.”


It’s not that the schism between arts and athletics is set in stone, there are athletes who come support the arts at coffeehouses and such, as well as artists who stop by a sports game every once and awhile, but the reality is that some people just don’t like watching sports or they find the art events boring, or they’re just too busy, says Gabby.

When someone is asked what they’re going to do in college, they might experience their High School Musical 3 moment where everyone is waiting for them to decide what’s next. Though Gabby doesn’t have a clear idea, she said, “I want to do psychology, definitely, and I might double major in psychology and music, so I can either get something in music education or music therapy, but I definitely want to keep with music because that has been a part of my life and I don’t want it to ever leave.”


Gabby will be attending Dickinson College to play lacrosse, but she is still going to spend time on her music. There should not be this divide between sports and the arts. If should someone find themselves excelling in both disciplines, they should be able to freely continue doing both activities, something that Gabby succeeded in doing during her time here at SSSAS.


“If I could, I would move away and become a singer and write music, and just live happily in Los Angeles, that is my ideal, or New York, New York is beautiful, but we’ll see what happens.”