RHS Sports Roundup

RHS LAX Coach, Seniors, Reflect on Lost Season

“As an RHS athlete, I have learned that you can do anything you set your mind to.”

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the closure of schools across the state for the remainder of the 2020 school year, the Revere High athletic season also was canceled, taking away from the members of the senior class the opportunity to compete for the last time in a Patriot uniform.

The Journal invited the coaches and members of the RHS spring sports teams from the Class of 2020 to reflect on the season that was taken away from them in order to give these young athletes the recognition that they deserve.

We also asked that they provide some insight into what it means to be a Patriot varsity athlete and briefly to discuss their plans for the future.

This week, we feature RHS girls lacrosse head coach Karen Atkinson and the six members of her team from the Class of 2020.

We are certain sure that our readers will be as impressed as we were with these outstanding young women:

Head Coach Karen Atkinson

I was previously the coach for girls lacrosse at RHS for four years prior to taking two years off to finish my CAGS degree. I was very excited to return this season and have been disappointed with loosing the opportunity to coach this group of girls.

There are six seniors who were intending to play lacrosse this year. I have had a relationship in some capacity with five of those six players. I had the pleasure of teaching Crystal Valente (our captain), Kayla Armetta, Brianna Senecal, and Brianna Popp at RMA when they were in eighth grade. These four girls, along with Melanie Duarte, all decided to play youth lacrosse with me the same year for the Revere Youth Lacrosse program. 

One of my many goals as a coach is to spread the game of girls lacrosse however I can. The fact that these girls all decided to try something new and outside their comfort zone was such a great thing for me to witness. I have been impressed to see them continue to excel at the game throughout their high school tenure.

I also was very excited to come full circle as these girls started their lacrosse days with me and would have their final season with me coaching.

The sixth senior girl, Ally Guingue, I have never had the pleasure of meeting, but in this short time that school has been closed, I have had great interactions with her via email. She seems like a very motivated individual and it would have been a pleasure coaching her. 

It genuinely is a shame that we were unable to have our conventional season. However, I am extremely proud of our girls lacrosse program, and most importantly our seniors for displaying a high level positivity, camaraderie, and commitment to continuing to grow our program during this time. 

Crystal Valente, Captain

Being an RHS athlete to me was like being a part of a family. Being able to laugh about the mistakes you made on the field, working together to win, and being looked up to by younger athletes.

Being an athlete at RHS was more than just playing the game. It was what got me through the day at school, as I looked forward to going to practice. It was my escape from all of my other worries, and doing something that I loved. It was also about the bond with the team, knowing you could count on each other, both on and off the field. 

Being able to work with a group of girls who all enjoyed the same thing was the best part of playing at RHS. Sports can really bring people together — such as crowds at football games, all of our friends supporting us at our Powderpuff game, as well as our families and friends coming together to see us at our senior nights. 

It was devastating finding out that our last lacrosse season was canceled. Lacrosse was a sport I grew to love very quickly. I remember watching my older brother, Eric Bua, playing and I thought, “Why don’t I give it a shot?” I signed up for a youth league in 8th grade, and immediately fell in love with the sport; I knew this was something I would want to pursue in high school. 

This would have been my 5th year playing lacrosse, but sadly that could not happen. Not being able to get my 100 career points, not having my senior night, and not being able to lead the team this year really was upsetting. 

Next year I will be attending UMass Boston, entering as a nursing major. They do not have a women’s lacrosse team, but I am planning on getting in contact with the Director of Athletics at UMass Boston to try and start a women’s club lacrosse program, or to potentially start an official women’s lacrosse team.

As an RHS athlete, I have learned that you can do anything you set your mind to. 

Alejandra Guingue

Hi, my name is Alejandra Guingue, but I go as Ally! I have been an RHS athlete since freshman year. I have played soccer, field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse.

Playing sports has made my high school experience so much better. I loved being part of a team — we were not just teams, but families.

I worked hard every season to get better and I am proud of how I’ve improved. Unfortunately, this year I could only play one season of sports due to responsibilities and I decided to play lacrosse as it’s my favorite sport. Knowing that the only season of sports I was going to play my senior year was canceled, completely broke my heart.

I gave up field hockey and basketball in order to play lacrosse, and I was so excited about it. Although my senior year ended in a complete disaster, the way I see it, it could’ve been worse. 

I am trying my best to be positive and look forward to college. I wish I could have had a senior year like I planned, but everything happens for a reason. Hopefully our graduation can be postponed and not canceled, so we can have it in person. 

I have committed to Salem State University’s Nursing program. I plan to become a registered nurse and then continue my education to eventually become a nurse practitioner! I am super excited for what the future holds for every senior I know. 

Hopefully this is all over soon, but for now I keep telling myself to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

I hope everyone is safe and healthy! 

Melanie Duarte

Being an RHS athlete has taught me how to manage my time, form connections, and work hard. Through being a student athlete, I have learned the skill of balancing an educational, social, and physical life.

Every day during the spring, my daily schedule consisted of school and practice. It was exhausting at times, but it taught me what it means to work hard for what you love. Through lacrosse, I was also able to form meaningful connections with teammates and with the coaches. Some of my best friendships have come about from my participation in athletics at RHS.

Having my final season of lacrosse stripped from me so suddenly had a huge impact on my life. Since freshman year, I have dreamed of the day when I would see my banner hanging off the bleachers and I would bring my family up to the field to celebrate my senior night.

Lacrosse was everything to me and it was the one sport I truly found a love and passion for. The cancellation of spring sports due to COVID-19 made me realize how lucky I was to get on the field and play a game, or even practice in the pouring rain with my team. It upsets me that I will never warm up with a three- man weave or run an offensive play with my teammates again.

As for my future beyond RHS, I am planning on attending UMass Boston as a nursing major in the Honors College. Because UMass Boston doesn’t have a girls lacrosse team/club, I am hoping that I will be able to gather former lacrosse players for workouts and friendly games to keep the sport in our lives.

Kayla Armetta

My name is Kayla Armetta, and I am a senior graduating from Revere High School. The moment I stepped into Revere High School, I knew it was a special place. The people inside treated one another like family, and that same love translated onto the field. 

I played field hockey and lacrosse all four years at RHS, and I can confidently say my teammates have become my second family. From being one of the field hockey captains to laughing with my teammates, I cherished every moment on and off the field. Being a RHS athlete isn’t just about playing for fun or to get in shape — it’s about creating bonds and learning lessons that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if we won or lost, it was about growing as a team. 

It is hard to grasp that our last lacrosse season and senior year will not have a proper ending, but I will never forget the memories I have created. I will carry everything I’ve learned from RHS and Revere athletics everywhere I go.

I am continuing my education at Boston College in the fall, and I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life. Thank you to all my coaches, teachers, family, and friends for teaching me what it means to have Revere pride. 

Brianna Senecal

Hi, my name is Brianna Senecal and I am a graduating senior at RHS. These past four years have been unforgettable, but I am so excited to start another journey this upcoming year at Boston University. I am going in undecided, but am so excited do emerge myself in the BU community. 

Throughout these past four years at RHS, I have been involved in Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Model UN, and Model G20. These sports and clubs have allowed me to create bonds and learn so many new things every day.

I’m glad that I was able to finish my final field hockey season in the fall, where our team made the tournament for the first time in over 30 years, but am extremely sad to watch my last season of lacrosse pass by. 

Nevertheless, I am confident that the girls field hockey and lacrosse programs will both thrive the future and hope that they will continue to expand. I could not be more thankful to anyone who has made an impact on my last four years at RHS and can’t wait to see what my coming years will bring. 

Brianna Popp

Being an RHS athlete meant everything to me. Being on a team did not just mean playing volleyball and playing lacrosse. It meant a lot more.

We aren’t just learning to play a sport and how to get better at it, we learned to build friendships and life lessons that we can use forever. Having this lacrosse season cut short has hurt everyone, but definitely hit the seniors the hardest.

We didn’t get our last practice in the rain or the mile we all dreaded. We didn’t get to play our last games with the people we’ve been playing with for four years. On top of it all we didn’t get to continue the tradition of having a senior night to celebrate all that we have accomplished.  This fall I will be continuing my academics at the University of New Hampshire studying criminal justice.

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