Captains’ Corner: Chelsea Nachamie and Carolyn Rybecky

Aaron Bosgang, Contributing Writer

Aaron Bosgang: I’m here today with the captains of the girls field hockey team, Chelsea and Carolyn, and we are looking back on the recent season.  It’s awesome to be talking to both of you.  How are you?

Chelsea Nachamie: I’m great!  Glad to be here!

AB: Radical!  Let’s jump right in!  So you’ll have to excuse me, but I’ve never played on a girls field hockey team.  For you guys, when did you decide to play and what do love so much about it?

Carolyn Rybecky: I started playing through Port Washington Youth Activities (PYA) when I was nine years old.  Since then, it has been a huge commitment.  What I love most is the fact that I get to spend time with a wide variety of athletes.  Playing with them has taught me how to adapt to different group dynamics, personalities, and playing styles.

CN: I started a little later.  I played on an outside soccer league for most of life up to the seventh grade, and I had the choice to try out for the team, but there was no guarantee that I would get in.  It was either that, or follow my sister’s footsteps and play field hockey.  I looked up to my sister a lot, and when I saw how much she loved the sport, I decided that trying it out was what I wanted to do.  What made me stick with it was the passion I saw from everyone on and off the field.  There was always a lot of excitement and competitiveness that I came to love with the new sport.

AB: Awesome!  Having that kind of passion is really important to have, especially as captains.  How do you try to translate that enthusiasm into practices and games?

CR: The whole team worked really hard this season.  We knew that we had to work hard if we wanted to go far.  Since it was Mr. Lederer’s last season as the coach, we wanted to end his final games on a high note.  He was our biggest motivation.

CN: Everyone on my team has become some of my best friends.  At first, we didn’t really know each other, so Carrie and I worked as captains to bring the team together.  During games and practices, we learned from our mistakes and played as hard as we could.  Whatever it was we had to do, it was done as a team. By the end of the season, I saw all my fellow teammates as sisters.

AB: That was very powerful.  The bonds on the team seem really strong, and you guys have truly made a team that will stick together.  Compared to previous seasons, how did this one stack up?

CR: The past three years that I have been on the varsity team have been solid.  Coming into the season, we were worried that it may not be as successful as the years in the past.  However, we used that doubt to motivate us more.  The first couple of games started off slow, but we eventually managed to work as one team.  That’s when we started really to pick it up.  I like to look at this year as the, “Come Back Team.”  It was hard work, but it paid off.  We were able to make it to the playoffs, just like the last two seasons.

CN: With all the seniors who left last year, we knew it would be tough.  Our main goal was to win the county finals.  It was a step-by-step process, but we made it much farther than we had expected.

AB: It seems like you guys really defied all odds this season.  The amount of work you put in looks to have really paid off. Finally, what are your thoughts on Mr. Lederer retiring, and how do you think it will affect the team?

CN: When I heard that Mr. Lederer wouldn’t be coaching anymore, I cried, even though I knew I wouldn’t be here next year.  He really brought us together.  He’s been coaching for twelve years now, and he knew what he was doing.  He always made the team work together.  I think what Emily Youner said is really important, “He made me want to make him proud and inspired hard work from all of us.  Personally, I played harder in games for him.”

CR: I have learned so much from Mr. Lederer.  He has taught me how to be a better player and person.  He has put so much energy into this team and he is one of the reasons we are one of the highest ranked teams in Nassau County.  He always is making us laugh during games and practice, whether intentional or not, he always can make the team feel better.  One time, he was upset about the lack of communication during one of the games.  He suggested that we all start calling ‘mine’ when we were going after the ball.  He said he wanted us to sound like the seagulls from Finding Nemo.  The huddle rang out in a chorus of “mines” and everyone laughed as we jogged back onto the field.

AB: It was a pleasure to talk with both of you.  Thanks for taking the time and Go Vikings!