KICKER: Lauren Garthwaite kicks her way onto the Bears football team.
By Peyton Varner, Staff Writer
This summer Lauren Garthwaite (11) made Poly history when she stepped onto the field as part of the Riverside Poly football team. Garthwaite has been a key player for the Riverside Poly girls varsity soccer team for the past 2 years and decided to expand her athletic endeavors by joining the football team. With her powerful and accurate kick, she was chosen to be the new kicker for both the Junior Varsity and Varsity teams.
Garthwaite has kicked things off to a good start. This season, in the game against Bonita High School, Garthwaite scored her first “Point After Touchdown” (P.A.T.) punting the ball like a pro. In the game against King High School, Lauren was able to perform for Junior Varsity and even had the opportunity to play on Varsity.
“Being a part of Poly’s football team feels amazing, not because I’m the only girl, but to show that if you work hard you can make things happen,” Garthwaite said.
She appreciates the disciplined and tough mindset of the boys and how they encourage each other to perform at their best. Garthwaite also values her coach’s ability to create a positive athletic environment with his great sense of humor and his desire for the team to succeed on and off the field.
Lauren faces challenges with the team’s rigorous training. “Training with the guys is definitely challenging for me because all the running is hard on my asthma but I push through even if I come in last to better myself,” she said. It’s difficult for her to keep up with the massive weight the boys are benching, but she does not let that get her down and jokes with Coach that one day she will be able to bench that 45 pound plate.
“I believe that she can compete with anyone. As I said before, she is a competitor but I also know that she is a smart player that would not put herself in harm’s way. She is not afraid to play the game and she will not let anyone get the best of her,” says Mr. Vaughan, Poly Athletics Director. Garthwaite is not one to shy away from a challenge and continues to succeed on and off the field.
Lauren’s positive experience on the team this year motivates her to keep playing throughout the rest of high school. She continues to put in extra time on the field and in the weight room to secure her spot on the team for the future.
Lauren serves as a young role model for many female athletes, breaking stereotypes and opens doors for girls who dream of have similar experiences, right here at Poly.