The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Athlete of the month: Rosa Saavedra

Photo courtesy of Paul Tukey
On Oct. 6, 2022, WCHS Athlete Rosa Saavedra dribbles ahead of a player from Urbana. The Girls Varsity Team had a successful run during the 2022-2023 school year until their fall against WWHS.

When she’s on the field, she’s a dynamic player and an asset to the team; on the sidelines, she cheers for her teammates. WCHS senior Rosa Saavedra, captain of the Girls Varsity Soccer team, is a bright light who shows her teammates positive sportsmanship and teamwork both in and out of the season.

A decade ago,, Saavedra began playing soccer for the Montgomery County Incorporated (MSI) soccer league alongside her younger brother. After playing for a recreational club, Saavedra went on to play competitively and later on for travel teams.

“I’ve played soccer since I was young, since the age of seven-years-old,” Saavedra said. “The social aspect drew me to soccer because my best friend and I were both playing forward at the time. We would get so excited to play with each other and she drew me to play competitively.”

Being a part of a community is an essential part of high school. Finding the right group of friends helps reduce the stresses of school, even if those people are not the ones students would typically hang out with; that is where soccer fits in.

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“I feel that especially at Churchill the team culture is amazing because we are all so different,” Saavedra said. “I know that there are plenty of people I wouldn’t have talked to if it wasn’t for my team. When I’m playing with my teammates, I know that I’m not only playing for the team but also to continue the tradition of fostering a safe environment.”

Saavedra takes pride in not only fostering a safe environment for her teammates but also making them feel like they have a friend in her. Being a friendly face to her teammates at every pivotal moment ensures her genuine connection to and affection for her fellow players.

“Rosa is excellent at connecting with every player on the team. Whether it’s about soccer, school or anything else, Rosa can talk with anyone on the team,” co-captain and WCHS senior Lauren Sarrat said. “Everyone respects her, trusts her and sees her as a friend. Which is one of the best qualities a captain can have.”

With the overload of college applications and academics, Saavedra is left with a small window to relax. Soccer, despite how others may view the stresses of competitive sports, is her stress outlet and provides stability and routine during the week.

“Soccer is a way for me to productively release stress,” Saavedra said. “Soccer has always been a constant in my life and It’s almost like I live my life in sections. Depending on the type of day I have at school, getting into my soccer gear after school lifts my mood and clears my mind.”

Even when Saavedra may feel down or upset, her emotions don’t get in the way of her being a great captain for the WCHS soccer team. Fellow WCHS senior and co-captain Layla Flack has grown fond of Saavedra and respects her leadership and composure.

“I love Rosa, I played with her all three years,” Flack said. “Rosa’s a hard worker and a great friend. She knows when to joke around and when to lead the team.”

Saavedra’s new role as team captain has provided her with a new perspective of the team and her responsibilities towards it. She is constantly assessing the state of the team trying to set an example for all her teammates, both on and off the field.

“Coming into my senior year, I felt nervous because now I realized that the role as a captain isn’t just a role on the field but an example off the field,” Saavedra said. “I was a little nervous when I started my senior year, but this year is all about leaving a great legacy behind and leading my teammates to success this season.”

This WCHS soccer captain has shown herself as someone who always wants to do better and look out for the little guy. Saavedra will leave both a successful athletic legacy and an impact on the hearts and minds of many of her teammates, but even that does not seem to be enough for Saavedra and her definition of her career.

“I feel like there is still a lot of work for me to do this season and I don’t want to look back in retrospect,” Saavedra said. “I’m happy with the relationships I’ve made this season and I can easily say that it’s because of WCHS soccer that I’ve made these connections.”



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About the Contributor
Isabella Ngwana
Isabella Ngwana, Assistant Online Editor
Isabella Ngwana is a sophomore and one of the Internal Communications Managers. In her spare time, Isabella enjoys spending time with those she loves, reading a great book, listening to music, or spending time watching her favorite tv shows.

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