With strong bonds between teammates, individuals are also able to apply what they learn from training to daily life. Concerning her friendships and practices on Varsity Fencing, Sophia Nuterangelo ’20 refected, “Personally, I have made very many close friends through fencing and having them there for practice and meets makes some of the tough parts easier. Fencing has really taught me about facing my problems, head on and being more assertive in general. Before I started fencing I had a tendency to ‘retreat’ from things, but as I became more familiar with the sport I was able to apply that vigor and aggressiveness to daily activities and school.”
Hopkins athletes also demonstrate resilience as Girls Varsity Squash captain, Emily Ruan ’18, got her start “in jeans and a t-shirt with my friends in 7th grade and it seems I can’t stop coming back!” Ruan explained she “worked to adapt more sustainable and strategic techniques after an unfortunate hip fexor injury.” Ruan worked rigorously with teammates and coaches to develop new movements to persevere past her setback. Ruan believes that perhaps, “The injury allowed my passion for Squash at Hopkins to grow stronger through my understanding of the meaning and purpose in each shot.
By immense team enthusiasm displayed throughout generations of Hopkins athletes, each team can leave an identity through a legacy of passion for a sport even after Hopkins. This athletic drive of fortitude inspires Hilltoppers to continue participating in competition, both mental and physical, throughout their lives. After her accomplished career on Hopkins Varsity Soccer and Softball, Jessica D’Errico ’18 said, “Although I do not plan on continuing on the varsity level, I do want to continue playing soccer and softball on the club or intramural teams at whatever college I end up attending.” Many other Hopkins students continue competing in their sports--211 graduates are listed on the Hopkins School website as pursuing their sports through college.
Dedication to specifc sports but also a commitment to the athletic program have inspired students to explore other sports as well. If D’Errico could do it over again she said, “I would have defnitely selected the same sports again. However, if I started again, I would probably also try playing volleyball. I really enjoy playing the sport in the summer on the beach. If volleyball wasn’t during the same season as soccer, I would have played.”
Hopkins strives to teach its students that teamwork is the key to success both on and off the feld. Pfannenbecker said, “No one can win a game by themselves. One basket doesn’t win a basketball game. Someone has to pass the feld hockey ball to the girl who makes the shot. Without each other, we are nothing. The dynamic of the team is really what makes it strong.”