The Underdog: Staples’ Athletes Beat Adversity

Feb. 4, 2012 marked the day of Jeremy Lin’s emergence as a superstar. The game, Knicks versus the Nets, would quickly become unforgettable as Lin, of the Knicks, scored 25 points and had seven assists.

Lin’s success became a national phenomenon sparking the phrase “Linsanity.” In only a couple of weeks the word swept the nation through every form of news medium. As the inspiring Lin story continues, at Staples, achievements like his are being reached on multiple Wrecker teams.

“Every year there are players who very few people, even the coaches, expect to rise to the top, yet they do,” said Dan Woog, coach of the boy’s soccer team. Joe Greenwald ’13 did just this, although Woog admits Greenwald did not reach the same level of success as Lin.

At the start of the 2011 season Greenwald did not see much playing time, and the coaches were even unsure if he would make varsity. “It was frustrating in the beginning not being able to play, because I really wanted to get on the field and show what I could do,” Greenwald said. Eventually his wishes came true.

Coaches of the team finally noticed all his hard work and put Greenwald into what were considered “clutch situations.” Greenwald’s ability to play well in these situations eventually led to more playing time.

That first clutch situation is distinctly remembered by Greenwald who said, “the first time I really got in was against Fairfield Ludlowe High School, which earned me more trust from the coaches and gave me the confidence I needed.”

Greenwald himself felt confidence was necessary to continuously be successful.

All of his efforts prior to and during the season helped him to receive the title of co-captain for the 2012 season.

Very much like Greenwald, Christiana Lueb ’12 was given the opportunity to start as goalie for the field hockey team after previous seasons spent mostly on the sidelines.

“Jenn Hoets ’11, our star goalie, and Gwen Moyer ’11, our back up goalie, were leaving that year and I was looking for someone to step into pads,” said Head coach Cecily Anderson.

Lueb, having played goalie for a few years back in Holland, said she would give it a try.

It was on that day that the whole team really saw Lueb’s talent. “She was blocking every shot, seemed so agile in these massive pads and was afraid of nothing,” said teammate Callie Hiner ’12.

Lueb worked very hard during the off-season to be prepared for the 2011 season. The work visibly paid off during the season as Lueb did not fall short. “We all knew that if we slipped up, Chris would have our backs. Not only did Chris impress us all as an athlete, but she was also a very prominent leader, on and off the field,” Hiner said.

Prior, to the 2011 season no one knew what to expect from Lueb. However, she turned out to be “such a stand out,” said Anderson, that she was given Team MVP and MVP in the FCIAC tournament.

Although Greenwald and Lueb may not be on the same level as Lin just yet, they can both attest to what it feels like to suddenly have their time to shine.