(Mollie Sydlowski and Katie Hathaway of Amesbury High School)
Mollie Sydlowski and Katie Hathaway have been three-sport varsity members for all four years at Amesbury High School. Mollie played soccer, basketball, and tennis while Katie did field hockey, basketball, and softball.
Both girls credited teammates early in their varsity careers for setting good examples. “I played with a lot of excellent players,” explained Mollie. “I watched them and saw how they managed sports and academics.”
“Upper classmen took us under their wings,” added Katie. “The routine was school, practice, home, and homework.”
The girls were into sports long before high school. “I began playing basketball in first grade and softball in third,” said Katie. “I never played field hockey until my freshman year but loved it right away.”
Sports were a neighborhood thing for Katie early on. “My parents didn’t play sports but it was the thing to do in our neighborhood. Most of the neighborhood kids were boys but I played sports against them.”
Mollie started soccer and basketball in the early grades too. “I played tennis in first and second grade but took it on as an organized sport when I was a freshman.”
Mollie’s dad got her interested in sports at that early age. “He coached me in soccer and basketball through seventh grade.”
“I love playing sports,” says Katie, “but there have been times when I have wanted to be off doing other things. My concern now is how I will handle not having sports.”
Mollie has similar feelings. “I used to look up into the stands when I was playing basketball and think of how nice it must be to be a spectator. But once the season ended I wished that I could still be on the court.”
Both girls use planners to keep their busy athletic/academic schedules under control.
“I can’t go anywhere without mine,” said Mollie. “It has everything I have to do and where things are happening.” When asked when she started using a planner she sheepishly admitted, “fifth grade.”
Katie got into the planner routine a little later. “I started my sophomore year. The key for me is to focus on what I’m doing at the time whether it is practice or schoolwork.”
Mollie moves on the Holy Cross in September. She expects to major in biology and pre-med. If things go well there she hopes to go to medical school and become a doctor.
Academics will take precedence at Holy Cross. “I expect the curriculum to be very rigorous but I still hope to play intramurals or club sports.”
Katie will be going to Norwich University in Vermont. She hopes that the education she gets there will enable her to serve as an officer in the Coast Guard.
“I want to play softball and I want to play basketball,” said Katie. “There will be a lot to handle at first. I will have to see how it goes.”
(Written for The Town Common and will probably be published in that weekly publication in late June)