Senior Lauren Savage told us that one of her fondest memories playing sports at St. Ed’s was her introduction to high school lacrosse, “when I was fortunate enough to be called up to the varsity in eighth grade, and having the seniors gather around the nervous eighth-graders and telling us that everything was going to be OK.”
“Trust us, we get it,” went the guidance from those in the know. “Your first year is a big deal and we are here to help everyone out. We know this is a big moment for you.”
Savage took that message and ran with it through a full range of athletic activities over the next four years. Taking it one step further, it isn’t too much of a stretch to consider that the helping hand contributed to her choice of a career path in college.
“I will hear from the University of Miami in early April, but I will most likely decide between Florida State University and the University of Tampa,” Savage said. “I’m planning to go into nursing. I’ve always loved the sciences and everything in that field. I love English, too. Math and I don’t get along all the time, but that’s OK. I’m not always the most dedicated reader, but when I do get into books or literature, I can genuinely be taken away for hours. So I love more of a science and English route.”
That academic synopsis can also be applied in theory to her relationship with sports. Try a few things and see what works. A recurring theme with seniors is a recognition and acceptance of the term limits associated with high school sports – and how a person can evolve from raw fledgling to confident leader over the course of a few seasons.
“I was really fortunate to be a three-sport athlete since intramurals and the younger grades,” Savage explained. “In high school I’ve been taking it more seriously. I was able to do volleyball when school started, soccer in the middle, and finish with lacrosse every year.
“This year I managed to fit in cheerleading, a senior tradition, so that’s four sports in one year. It’s really been awesome. Playing sports throughout the school year gave me more structure to my day and many more people to interact with.
“Volleyball was something that I wanted to play since I was very young. I always thought it was a lot of fun and a good way to stay active with a lot of my friends, especially because it was their main sport. It was a great thing to do after school with all of them.
“I did not sign up for soccer as a freshman because I thought it would be nice to take a few weeks off. But I had played goalie in middle school and Coach Mohr – she was Coach Pancotti at the time – asked me why I wasn’t at practice. I told her I wasn’t planning on playing that year, and she said that’s not an option – I will see you today at 3:45.
“Having another person to push me like that was a great position to be put in. We had a lot of amazing girls on the team and we were district champs my sophomore year. The next year we tried really hard but we didn’t get there. While we didn’t win, we worked hard for it, and it was well worth everything we put into it.”
So we asked if it was a case of the journey over the destination, and she said “the destination is pretty nice, but it’s OK if you don’t always get there.” The final chapter for Savage in St. Ed’s sports is playing out right now, and she is embracing the script.
“I love playing lacrosse,” she said. “I started playing when I was really young, probably in the lower school. To finish up high school with my favorite sport will be sad but sweet.
“I guess the last couple of years have been more about taking on a leadership role. It is exciting to be a senior and help the younger girls figure out what high school lacrosse is all about. This is now their big moment.”
With 10 goals and six assists through four games, Savage clearly has a few big moments left to demonstrate.
Her family has deep roots at St. Ed’s and has added value in no small measure to the mission the school promotes.
“My family has hosted exchange students since I was in middle school. This is the seventh student living with us right now. So if I had to pick a defining event that I’m going to remember forever, it is having people from other cultures halfway around the world come to live with our family.
“It breaks your heart when they go back home.”