Frosh Land Varsity Roster Spots


Emily Fong, Staff Writer

Seniority is meaningless to Campolindo’s soccer coach, Ernesto Silva.  When it comes to selecting players, he makes his choices based on performance alone.  Age is meaningless. “I take the best players,” said Silva. “It doesn’t matter what grade they are.”

As a result of this objective selection process, freshman girls have earned varsity roster spots in several winter sports this year.  Leading the wave of new talent is a trio of emerging soccer stars.

Freshman Jessie Mano, who has played soccer for 9 years, said her experience paid off when she made the varsity team as a outside back. It was unexpected because there were many “more experienced” players vying for the spot. Mano said her skill as a defender helped, as they were running short on defensive position players.

Freshman Danielle Brown also earned a varsity soccer slot. Like Mano, she did not expect to make it, though she has played soccer for 10 years. “I’m looking forward to learning a lot more because there are more experienced players on [varsity],” she said.

Freshman Lisa Bramley, who completes the youthful soccer trio, believes her practice with the team will improve her skills for the club season because she will be used to playing older people. “When I found out I made [varsity], I was pretty shocked,” Bramley said. “I’m small, so I thought I wouldn’t make it. But, I guess it’s not about that.” Bramley attributes her success to her aggressiveness on the field and her physical skill.

This youth movement is not limited to the soccer pitch.

Freshman Fine Gumpert  is competing against freshman Cameron Patera for a spot on the varsity wrestling team after moving to America from her home in Austria. “In Austria there are no sports at school, just normal PE, so everyone does sports in clubs,” she explained. ” I liked my club, but being on a school team is so much more real. You see those people every day and the team is so much more of a team  if you are in school with the same people.”

Gumpert joined wrestling as only the second girl on the team. “I think that the wrestling team is awesome,” she said. After wrestling for two years in Austria, Gumpert doesn’t mind being surrounded by boys. “I don’t really mind being one of the only girls,” she added.

“I don’t think she’s disadvantaged at all because of her gender,” said wrestling coach Bob McLaughlin.

According to McLaughlin, the wrestling team makes its roster selections based on weight class rather than gender.

In addition to these frosh girls, there will also be at least one freshman boy competing at the varsity level this winter. Though he considered it unlikely, freshman Sterling Strother won a place on the boys’ varsity basketball team. “I played with [the varsity team] over the summer, but I still knew it was a fifty-fifty chance.”

Strother is excited to play at a level where he will be challenged to improve his game. “It’s better for my development [to play with experienced players].” Also new to the area, Strother often played basketball in the local recreational center when he lived in South Carolina.