With the Spring 2020 athletics season disrupted by COVID-19, we are celebrating the athletes of Cary Academy’s Class of 2020 via ‘virtual Senior Nights’ each week. On Senior Night, each player is introduced by their coaches and then given the opportunity to make remarks.
From coach Kathryn O’Mara
I have been coaching for a long time – long enough that I am not often surprised by my players. I like to think that I have seen a good deal of what to expect from teenagers. And yet, this year caught me off guard. It would be easy to say that the incredibly unfortunate end to the beginning of this season is the real surprise here; I certainly didn’t foresee a global pandemic. Nope. I hadn’t seen that before. But what really caught me off guard happened well before any social distancing disrupted the 2020 spring. As we have the last few years, the coaches posed the challenge to players at the close of the 2019 season: make an effort to participate in at least three of the following activities – summer league lacrosse, the Pumpkin Shootout tournament, Cary Academy field hockey, Cary Academy basketball, or winter league lacrosse. It’s a challenge that we, as coaches, know is hard for people to meet simply because Cary Academy students are busy – and frankly, distracted. It takes planning to anticipate involvement in seasonal activities like these, particularly when so many other events demand your time. Nevertheless, beginning last August, people showed up to meet the challenge. And not just any people, but the people you most want to show up – your leaders, your seniors. And they kept showing up.
The Cary Academy girls’ lacrosse Class of 2020 is a group of students unlike any I have ever had the pleasure to coach. They are cohesive and yet clearly individuals. They are intensely focused and yet deeply understanding of their teammates’ needs. They are oriented towards achievement and yet they always manage to remember to celebrate the littlest victories (like completing the very last day of that awful preseason running!). In short, they are incredibly special. And they reminded me day in and day out during our short season that the sum of the whole is greater than its parts. The Class of 2020 – Jaida Jett, Haley McGuire, Dorrit Eisenbeis, Laura Cunningham, and Anna Lane, is irreplaceable. There may not be a line in the record books to affirm what I know to be true – their impact on the Cary Academy lacrosse program is indelible and unforgettable. Thank you, ladies, for reminding me every day why I love to coach.
In their own words
Thank you so much to Coach Katy, Coach Summer, and Coach C for bringing lacrosse into my life. Being a part of this team since its inaugural season has been such a special part of my Cary Academy experience. Thank you for pushing me further than I ever thought I could go. I’m so glad that I took a chance by starting lacrosse from square one during my freshman year. This season obviously isn’t reflective of the work this team has put in over the past few months and four years, but in my heart, I know that it was still a great one.
Some of my favorite memories include our first ever game as a program where everyone cheered at every single completed pass as well as our battles with St. Mary’s every year on their senior night; I know this would’ve been the year that we would’ve finally got them.
To Ellie, I leave the defense. I know your first season was cut short, but you’re still such a superstar in my eyes. To Lily, I leave Ms. Jones and charger spirit. Take good care of them, they’ll need you in my absence!! To Abby, I leave being a leader on the team. While I know that’s not just my property to give, I’m sure my fellow seniors recognize how much of an inspiration you are to the rest of the team. Everything else in my possession goes to my sweet underclassmen—you guys have still have so much time left with this incredible program, I know you’ll all make it count <3. Also, don’t let the senior night t-shirt tradition die!.
In the fall, I’m planning to attend UNC-Chapel Hill with a major in Linguistics. Sko heels, sko CA glax, & SKO GERS 4EVER <3
To Begin, I want to thank Coach Katy for believing and trusting in me my sophomore year. It was a hard decision for me to move change sports and start playing lacrosse, but it is one of the best decisions I have made. Not only is it such a fun sport but I have made so many friends and learned a lot from tremendous coaches! Although I only played for 2 seasons, I have made a life’s worth of memories!
My favorite memory has to be when we were playing Virginia Episcopal, and being a new team, we thought we were going to get killed. We ended up playing one of our best games ever and finishing the game with a W! Another favorite memories involved our last game against Ravenscroft. Our defense played remarkable as we held them for 15 minutes without a goal; the defeat in their faces was so rewarding!
I want to leave behind tripping on the field to Abby, pre and post jams to Lily, and the oh-so-lovely middie sprints to Gabrie and Jaya. To the rest of the team, I wish you the best of luck next year and I know you are all going to kill it! Don’t worry, I will be coming to as many games as I can, as I will be attending UNC Chapel Hill in the fall, majoring in Exercise and Sports Science and playing Varsity Field Hockey! Make CA Glax proud and play your heart out for these lost practices, games, and memories! I love you all so much!
First and foremost, a big thank you to my wonderful parents. You inspire me everyday with your strength and love! To Coach Katy, Coach Summer, Coach C, Robyn, and Grace, you have made such a huge impact on me in such a short amount of time. Thank you for showing me the joy of lacrosse! To my other seniors and the rest of glax, thank you for welcoming me to the best team at CA.
To Abby, I leave the best bus rides and trips to the arboretum. To Ellie, I leave all the perks of being a newbie: enjoy it while you can! To Zoey, pre practice throws with Chad and to Lily, all the shooting spaces possible in pizza. To the entire team, I leave all my love <333
In the fall, I’ll be attending UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in Business and Global Studies!
My lacrosse career was very short lived, by the time it started it practically ended; I don’t think the world was quite ready for me to play lacrosse. However, I really enjoyed my 2-3 weeks of being on the team. Everyone was so supportive of my senior yolo and the fact I didn’t even know how to hold my stick. I’m so happy I joined because I still got to know some really amazing girls better.
Thank you Coach Katy for your help and support and thank you to everyone on the team that helped me during pre-season. I wish I got to wear this uniform for real in a game, but maybe I’ll play lacrosse intramurally in college. I wish I got to spend the rest of the season with the team, but I’m glad I got the time I did.
I would first like to thank Coach Katy, Coach Summer, and Coach C for always believing in me for the past four years of high school. I also want to thank my parents for being so supportive of me changing sports many times before I found one I truly loved. Being a freshman on a brand new varsity team was terrifying, but I always felt welcomed and challenged. I discovered a new sense of community and family, and even though I am devastated that our season was taken away from us this year, I am so incredibly grateful for the past 3 years – and the first 4 weeks of this season 😊.
Thank you to my team, I love all of you so much and I always laughed the hardest out on the field with you, even if we were running. I will always laugh when thinking of Dorrit falling or Abby getting smacked in the face by her own free position shot. My favorite memory is from my junior year when we started out practice with a fun and harmless Easter egg hunt with candy!! It was so much fun, until we had to get on the line and do fitness right after. We all learned a lesson about eating right before practice that day.
I leave my love for this sport to the whole team, you guys will be amazing next year and I can’t wait to come watch you play.
I will be attending Boston College next year and majoring in communications. Thank you for everything. This sport and team will always be a huge part of me.