Cape Female Athletes Honored by MIAA in Boston for National Women in Sports Day

BOSTON – Sturgis East High School sophomore and two-sport star Emily Rodricks was honored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association today along with 10 other Cape Cod female high school athletes as part of National Girls & Women in Sports Day at Fanueil Hall.

Eleven Cape Cod high school female student-athletes were honored today by the MIAA as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day at Fanueil Hall in Boston. Photo courtesy of Marian High School Athletics

Eleven Cape Cod high school female student-athletes were honored today by the MIAA as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day at Fanueil Hall in Boston.
Photo courtesy of Marian High School Athletics

Rodricks’s essay entitled “Game On” about being the #1 golfer on an all-male (except for her) varsity golf team as a freshman, took third place honors in the MIAA’s 8th Annual Girls and Women in Sport Essay Contest. Rodricks is a  basketball and golf athlete for the Sturgis East Storm.

Other Cape girls honored as part of 300 from across the state included Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School’s Patricia “Patti” Newhard (field hockey, basketball, softball) and Natalie Reid (field hockey, ice hockey); Falmouth High School’s Meghan Burke (field hockey, winter track, spring track & field) and Alexa Johnson (soccer, basketball, track & field); Mashpee High School’s Samantha Fraser (field hockey, basketball, softball) and Alexandra Gumbert (field hockey, winter track, softball); Monomoy Regional High School’s Yasaelie Figueroa (field hockey, track & field) and Brenna McGill (field hockey) and Upper Cape Tech’s Krystle DiBona (soccer, basketball, softball) and Kristen Lewis (volleyball, lacrosse).

Fraser and Gumbert, both juniors at Mashpee High, traveled to the event with Mashpee High teaching assistant Christine DaLomba, a former Barnstable High and UMass-Lowell cross country and track star.

“It is well done and we have sent kids to it as long as I can remember,” said Mashpee High athletic director Matt Triveri.

Falmouth High Athletic Director Kathleen Burke was on hand with her daughter, event honoree Meghan Burke.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Helaey was the keynote speaker at this morning's National Girls & Women in Sports Day, pictured here with SUtton Memorial High's Molly Brogie and Wellesley High's Catherine McNamara. Photo courtesy of Naomi Martin/Lexington High School

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was the keynote speaker at this morning’s National Girls & Women in Sports Day, pictured here with Sutton Memorial High’s Molly Brogie and Wellesley High’s Catherine McNamara.
Photo courtesy of Naomi Martin/Lexington High School

The keynote speaker today was Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Entitled “Passing the Torch, Blazing the Trail,” every Massachusetts High School was invited to send two female athletes to represent the school in the MIAA-sponsored event who are “positive, contributing members of both their teams and their school.” Freshmen, junior varsity and varsity student-athletes alike were all eligible to be nominated.

“They do not have to be your elite athletes,” the MIAA’s press release stated. The event was originally scheduled for February 7, but was postponed due to a snowstorm that day.

Here is Rodrick’s winning essay:

Emily Rodricks, Sturgis East Charter School
“Game On”

“Golf is a mental game. Once you are out on the course, nothing should be in your head except concentration and confidence in yourself to play your best. Of course there are other factors like the weather and sometimes bad luck that can get in the way of doing so.

However, being the only girl on the varsity boys’ golf team has taught me that your opponents can also have an impact on the way you play. After each match starts, and you get in your zone, that’s when you have to get your “game on.” In most of my high school matches, I’ve come to expect different reactions when we are introduced to our opponents. As a sophomore girl playing the number one spot, I’ve received sighs, raised eyebrows and chuckles from other players on the team. A few times even the coaches have done the same, and moved the worst player on the team to number one solely because they didn’t think I would be much competition. My best lesson in concentration occurred this fall during a tri-match. After the player introductions on the first tee, everything seemed to go as it was supposed to. Once we got out of sight from the other players and the coaches, things changed.

Sturgis East sophomore three-sport athlete  Emily Rodricks was honored by the MIAA today as part of National Girls & Women in Sports Day. Photo courtesy of Gillian Walsh

Sturgis East sophomore three-sport athlete Emily Rodricks was honored by the MIAA today as part of National Girls & Women in Sports Day.
Photo courtesy of Gillian Walsh

The boys wouldn’t wait for me to hit the ball, help me look for my ball, or talk to me; this is common golf etiquette. Although I am a fast player, these two made it a point to be 50 steps in front of me the entire time. I didn’t understand why they were ignoring my presence and I let this get into my head. After the fifth hole I was down 2-3 and I knew I needed to come back. On the tee of the sixth hole, I saw one of my teammates and told him how they were ignoring me, and I was losing.

He reminded me that I had to rise above it and let my ability speak for itself. At that point I knew I had to get my game on. I blocked the boys out of my mind, and after the eighth hole, I was winning 4 ½ to 3 ½. As we were approaching the green on the last hole, I knew that this was the time to show them how I didn’t care that they didn’t say one word to me. I went to mark my ball on what looked like a 25-foot putt, lined it up, took a stroke, and heard the ball hit the bottom of the cup. I won the hole.

Although at the end of the match neither of the boys shook my hand it didn’t matter, because unknowingly, they taught me a valuable lesson. I know not to let anyone’s actions break down my confidence and whenever I am losing, I just have to tell myself “game on” to come back and win.”

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

More From CapeCod.com