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On the right path

by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor

When one chapter ends the next one begins.

For Clarence High School’s Addison Peters she is closing the book on her high school career. A high school career that has seen her become a standout on the lacrosse and field hockey teams.

But, the journey has just begun. While the first part of the journey has ended with high school, the second will begin in the fall when Peters attends St. John Fisher College In Rochester.

Throughout her journey, so far, Peters has learned a lot about herself. She has worked on her game on the field, and her mental growth off it. Working on the mental part has helped her with her confidence on the field, something she struggled with early in her career.

“My mental growth is definitely what stands out in my mind when I think back to my lax journey so far. As a freshman on varsity four years ago I was not a confident player as I was always playing with girls older than me,” stated Peters. “My confidence in my playing was always what I struggled most with. My amazing Clarence coaches, Coach Vandenburgh and Coach Myslinsk, have really helped me develop confidence and this has made me a better player physically. Trusting myself in different game-like situations instead of second guessing made such a difference in my playing.”

Peters has come a long way in her five years on the lacrosse team. She went from someone who struggled with her confidence early, to a leader on the team. Being a leader is something that Peters was born with.

She was born with those natural qualities to lead others. This season, Clarence was a young team with six freshmen on it, so those leadership qualities were definitely going to be put to good use.

“My parents and coaches have always told me how I am a natural born leader. This season we are very fortunate to have six freshmen a part of the team,” stated Peters. “I love making the team an inclusive, positive, competitive and supportive environment that everyone can enjoy and work hard in. The title of captain is nice, yet it is my actions and energy that would remain the same anyway.”

Her actions on the field is why Peters is so loved by her teammates. As the season comes to and end, Peters starts to look bad at all the games she helped her team win, all the friends she has made along the way.

It’s bittersweet at times. Senior Day is supposed to be a joyous occasion, and it is. But, it’s also a reminder that your days as a high school athlete are coming to an end.

“Thinking about moving on from Clarence lacrosse is definitely sad for me because I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I met my best friends through this program as well as having the most amazing guidance from my coaches,” stated Peters. “I have had the most amazing experience with this team including winning two section titles so far and hoping for a third. Thinking about living in the moment is very important to me especially because I am moving onto college. I know I have to focus on this last season and to keep improving day by day. Continuing to elevate my game has helped me stay in the present.”

While Peters is focused on the present, the future will now include St. John Fisher. As soon as Peters visited the campus in Rochester she knew it was the right fit for her. The atmosphere was electric, especially during the prospect camp.

Peters knew this is where she wanted to spend the next four years both academically, and athletically.

“The main thing that drove me to choose Fisher was the atmosphere that hit me as soon as I stepped on campus. During the prospect camp the energy of all the girls on the team and how supportive they were of each other made me want to be a part of a team like that,” stated Peters. “I have been so blessed to be a part of such amazing, supportive teams throughout high school and I knew that going into college the team culture was going to be one of the deciding factors for a school. I am so excited to be joining a team with such amazing team culture. Also Coach Michele was very welcoming and I felt like I connected with her right away during my visit. Then when I saw her in action at the prospect camp it solidified my initial impression of her. I loved her coaching style and am so excited to work with her in a few months!”

She knows when she hits campus in the fall that she just doesn’t want to be a spectator. Peters will put the work in over the summer to get her in position to contribute as a freshman at St. John Fisher.

That includes working on her footwork. As a defender, footwork is extremely important - especially at the college level. Being in the right position at all times will help Peters cut down on the other team’s scoring chances.

“As a defender, footwork is an incredibly important part of the game. Honing in on my defensive footwork and getting it college level ready is what is going to take my play to the next level. I am dedicating lots of time in season currently, and through the entire summer to even further my skill and really reach that next level,” stated Peters. “I am currently playing midfield for my high school team which I have never done before. This will push me out of my comfort zone in the long run making me a better player. I know I can always get better and improve on everything I do and I am so willing to work for it. I am very excited to keep training and push myself especially throughout the summer.”

While lacrosse is the choice to play in college, Peters probably could have played field hockey at the next level at well. Peters was a standout on the Clarence field hockey team, and actually played field hockey before lacrosse.

The thought has crossed her mind, a few times, about trying to play both in college. But, Peters is someone who gives 100 percent in whatever she does, and feels like by trying to play both, she would take way from one.

But, the thought has crossed her mind numerous times.

"I actually started playing field hockey first as I started in sixth grade. As I started to develop my skills in both my sports I remember having numerous conversations with my parents about which sport I really wanted to focus on,” stated Peters. “My high school experience with my lacrosse team and coaches was what ultimately drove me to strive to play lacrosse in college. On numerous occasions I have thought about pushing myself to play both in college, however I am someone who loves to give 100 percent in everything I do and I felt I wouldn't be able to do that if I played both sports.”

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