Samantha, a 10th grader, is our female athlete of the month for October. It is her third year playing volleyball. Her leadership and plays on the court have been wonderful since the beginning of the season.
Samantha led Fanwood to a record of 12-12 during the month of October. At the ESDAA Volleyball Tournament, she earned the All Star Tournament Award and led Fanwood to 4th place.
One of highlights during ESDAA Volleyball Tournament was when Samantha ended the game vs. Lexington School for the Deaf with her trademark strong service point. As a setter, Samantha has a natural instinct and drive for the game. She has a really great intuition about which player to give the ball to, or when to try for a kill. Samantha controls the game really well.
Samantha’s expectation for her teammates is always high and this them to improve as players. When other players become frustrated or feel “off”, I love that she won’t let it affect her own performance; she continues to play at her best regardless. This year, her service skills have improved so much. Also, she is able to handle pressure really well. With that being said, she is an extraordinary player and teammate.
Fernando, a junior grade, is our male athlete of the month for October. This is his third year playing soccer and this year he started as goalkeeper for first time. In the past, he mostly played midfield.
Since Fanwood’s star goalkeeper graduated last year, we started the season without one. Coaches Nicolas and Paul asked Fernando if he would be interested in filing this position. Fernando accepted the challenge and was ready to learn!
Naturally, his first game was not as smooth as we hoped, but the coaches and team have watched him maintain a positive, hard-working attitude in order to become a stronger goalkeeper. Game after game, he improved more and more, and was soon able to consistently make many important saves for the team.
Fernando earned 71 saves during the month of October alone, which is a huge improvement from Septembers 25 saves. Although he showed frustration when he missed saves, he always sought out ways that he could improve, and grow as a player.
The coaches know that Fernando’s leadership on the team will grow and he will become key role on their team. He showed up on time for practice and was always ready to learn something new. Fernando was not a complainer; each time he fell, he picked himself up and readied himself for the next play. This is exactly what is expected of a goalkeeper. The coaches know that he is on his way to becoming a model play for the Tornadoes.