Together on and off the field


Katherine Grimm

Seven women’s soccer seniors pose with their fatheads after their senior game against Mercy on Oct. 19. Women’s soccer is one of the varsity teams that emphasizes team unity on and off the field.

With intense concentration, senior varsity soccer player Franco Caltabiano powers a corner kick into the goal, scoring in a game against Archbishop Curley High School. His teammates swarm around him, ready to jump around and celebrate.

A year later, his teammates crowd around him again, this time because he is injured. Players on the men’s soccer team, as well as many other sports teams, come together each year to not only to play the sport they love but also to support one another both on and off the field.

The teams encourage students to increase cooperation among their peers and to strengthen the sense of community that many regard as a highlight of a JC education. According to Caltabiano, the soccer team was one of the first places that he found support when he transferred from St. Paul’s School for Boys as a sophomore, and he soon felt comfortable with his fellow players.

“We all have team dinners at people’s houses, and we all sit together at lunch. The cool thing about the soccer team is that we all click, and we’re all great friends,” Caltabiano said.

Being on a sports team also enables students to meet people whom they wouldn’t have a reason to associate with otherwise. Members of the team have plenty of time to interact between practices, bus rides to away games, and team activities such as parties and dinners. “I didn’t think I would really talk to or interact with people in different grades, but through tennis, I made friends in other grades,” sophomore Annie Iorio said.

Participation in athletics gives students the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons as they grow both individually and as a group. For example, junior Chika Chuku, a member of the women’s cross country team, attributes her perseverance through difficult situations to running.

“I’ve learned to never give up on anything I’m doing because cross country requires so much mental toughness to finish a race, so you can’t just give up or drop out when you’re tired. I also learned how much a negative mindset can affect your performance in anything, so it’s good to always be positive,” Chuku said. 

I think [being on a team] teaches [students] how to learn how to win well…it also teaches how to work well with others, how to encourage them, and how to support them.

— Women's cross country head coach Robert Torres

Math teacher Robert Torres, the coach for the women’s cross country team, echoes the role of a team in shaping a person’s character. “I think [being on a team] teaches [students] how to learn how to win well and how to overcome defeats and obstacles. It also teaches how to work well with others, how to encourage them, and how to support them,” Torres said.

Senior Madison Reeves, a member of the varsity field hockey team, also agrees that a great part of being on a team is that it challenges JC students to be better people. “I’ve learned that [playing field hockey] might not be easy, but having your teammates there pushing you can make it so much more fun,” Reeves said.

Altogether, student athletes rely on their teammates for more than just game-time experience. Their participation in athletics not only creates valuable memories, but it also helps to form a strong group of friends who do not hesitate to show their commitment towards each other.

The athletic bond at JC is so strong that teams will often come together to support other teams in their extended sports family. Remembering a victory against Indian Creek from last year, Reeves said, “The win was nice, but we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish it without the help of the soccer team cheering from the sidelines. Even from different teams, we all come together as one.”

Ianna Pirozzi is an In-Focus Editor for The Patriot and