Sigrid Drefke, '23
Dear NCS sports,
As I become increasingly aware that my time on the Close is dwindling, I have started to look back upon my time at NCS and what has made it special. School traditions, interesting classes, and fun clubs come to mind, but the most significant portion of my best NCS memories come from sports.
Back in the winter of my 8th grade, in the midst of attempting to learn algebra and thinking I was so cool for being the oldest grade in the middle school, one moment sticks out. I was riding home from school with my two older sisters when one of my sisters asked, “Sigrid, what are you looking forward to most in high school?” I weighed my options but quickly replied, “Playing on the squash team.”
A little less than a year after that fateful evening, the time came for me to actually join the squash team. My first experience with a high school sports team, the squash team immediately became a source of joy and light in the darkness of winter and freshman year. Soon after, the squash season ended, and the softball team became my newest NCS community. Steeped in subtle traditions and specific, unspoken practices, the softball team provided me with a way to make friends in different grades and feel a part of a legacy of impressive and accomplished teams. (For context, in the four years before my freshman year, the NCS softball team had won all four DC State Championships and multiple players had won Gatorade Softball Player of the Year.)
From each of these teams I have deepened and made new connections and friendships. Without my sports teams, I wouldn’t have friends in grades above me to serve as amazing role models and mentors, or friends in grades below me to force to do my bidding (I’m kidding—kinda).
Now, as a senior, I have found myself wanting to go support my friends and classmates at their sports games more than ever. One brisk Saturday afternoon in November, I drove an hour out to the Cross-Country team’s senior night and was thrilled to witness a glimpse of the tight-knit community I had heard so much about. I sat on the sidelines of the homecoming field hockey game with my fellow seniors and cheered on our classmates at their last homecoming game, still jittery with the excitement of the beginning of senior year.
Earlier tonight, I watched my first and last swim meet. I grinned while watching the swimmers cheer in bursts as one of their teammates came up for air. I screamed and videotaped one of my best friends running through the tunnel of her teammates and friends as I knew she had thought about that moment since her freshman year. I watched the whole crew team get excused from practice to show up for one crew senior who swims in the winter. I haven’t found dedication like that anywhere else in the NCS community.
This year, as the captain of two sports teams, NCS sports have taken an even more extensive role in my school life. Some of my best memories this year have been from helping to lead my sports teams. Screaming “1 2 3 Cathedral! 4 5 6 Ronny!” before each squash match, huddled together with teammates and friends, is something I look forward to every week. I have laughed my hardest at the squash team sleepover when some sophomores take on the charades round of bucket of nouns. I’ll choose to lose sleep to get up early for a team breakfast, any day of the week (except F Day).
Even though the squash season hasn’t even ended yet, I’m already thinking forward to softball. I plan to force underclassmen to listen to my questionable music taste as I drive them to Yogitopi or as we sit on a bus on the way to a school I’ve never heard of. I plan for many Cactus team dinners. I plan to bring chocolate milk to every team breakfast (again this year). I plan to do these things because I’ll try to do my best to make my teams into communities if it’s the last thing I do at this school.
The sense of community that NCS sports have given me is truly something indescribable and irreplicable. So thank you, NCS sports, for four-ish (stupid corona) years of wonderful teammates, friends, and memories.
Sigrid, a very grateful senior