In the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I of England lead the charge to defeat the Spanish Armada, the greatest naval fleet ever assembled. Queen Elizabeth, one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known, was at the helm of only one major power change, but set the tone for the rest. She also set the bar extremely high for female leaders that would follow her.While no one expects Catherine Andrews to shift the balance of power in the world, she will be looked upon to lead a group of girls onto the field of battle, that of a basketball court.
Andrews, a standout senior forward for the Lady Rams basketball team is no longer just a member of the squad, she has been named team captain. With that role comes a job that only the finest are equipped to handle. On and off the court, Andrews leads the charge, especially emotionally.
A more than viable candidate for the job, Andrews is what is known as a “true gamer.” Being captain requires not only skill in the craft, but maturity as well. And a large part of maturity is being able to handle pressure. Andrews exemplifies all those qualities and knowing everything that she is responsible for, she refuses to let the pressure get to her.
“[I do not feel any extra] pressure; just responsibility for the team and the way we are [both] on and off the court.” Andrews said.
While Andrews feels responsible for the teams behavior, she is seeing the team mature with their on court performance.
“[In practice] I like the team chemistry we have had so early in the year and the hard work that happens everyday at practice.”
Andrews has had help molding into the leader and stout basketball player she has become. Coach Dierdre Kane is the inspiration for not only Andrew’s incredible work ethic, but the team’s hard-nosed, gritty play every time they take the court as well. When asked to describe Coach Kane in one word, Andrews came up with the term “passionate.” Clearly, Andrews has learned how to lead from the best and her passions for basketball and her teammates stems from the one who has showed her the way for the past four years.
One who can attest to Andrews’ value to the team is second year guard Bridget Carlin,a teammate who truly believes in her captain.
“I think she does a great job being a leader on and off the court,” Carlin said “She definitely has gained my respect. She’s vocal when needed and is very savvy and poised.”
Carlin is only a sophomore on the court, but she continues to impress and mature and Andrews’ tutelage surely can be accredited to the success of her young teammate. Carlin is one of nine returning players on a roster that includes six new players.
But no matter what players come in as transfers or freshmen or what players return from years past, Andrews will still remain the heart and soul of the team and the rock that will be impossible to break. Andrews may have the title of captain, but she knows she cannot do it alone. A player as special as Andrews deserves a supporting cast capable of helping her win a PSAC championship. Luckily for her, she has the tools around her and everyone from the freshman who are new to the college game to the girls she has played with for a couple years now are rallying around her.One of the most experienced and respected members of the team, junior guard Natalie Winters, is only one year behind Andrews, but has as much respect for her comrade as anyone else.
“She is someone who the younger girls on our team can look up to,” Winters said. “On the court Cat does a great job as our leader … she is very vocal and has definitely become the leader of this team. Off the court Cat is very personable, talks to everyone, we all get along very well.”
An extremely versatile player who has a deadly shot from a distance, Winters will be a key component to the success of the Lady Rams this year. She, along with Carlin, are just two of many players who will have a huge impact on how far the team goes this season. And they will follow their captain to the end. Andrews’ relaxed personality off the court mixed with her bulldog mentality on it will undoubtedly allow the girls to have fun but will keep them focused.
Clearly Andrews has made an impression on her teammates, but satisfying others is not the only part of the job. She has lofty goals for herself and is determined to do whatever it takes to achieve them.
“I am most happy that we are winning,” Andrews said. “My play thus far is just a personal bonus. I would like to improve on my man defense so that we can become a threat with every defense we have as a team.”
It is still an incredibly young season. The Lady Rams are a loaded team ready to make a deep playoff run. They have fielded one of the most talented teams in recent memory at this school. A team with this depth is poised for greatness. But no matter the depth, no matter the talent, teams need a leader to guide them. Catherine Andrews is the Lady Rams leader. If the team is the ship, Andrews is the captain. Just remember one very important thing, mates, she is Captain Catherine Andrews!
Mike Heiman is a third-year student majoring in elementary education. He can be reached at MH606613@wcupa.edu