All-Star Spotlight: Teammates turn into family

Every week in “All-Star Spotlight,” members of the ESPNHS All-Star team tackle a hot topic in high school sports. Today, Caroline Metcalf-Vera, a sophomore track and field and soccer player at Dedham (Mass.), describes how her teammates became her family.

Team and family. I tend to use those words interchangeably. For four months, you spend every day with your team. Your bond becomes unbreakable. You do everything together.

My season ended last Thursday, and the hardest thing to do was say goodbye. Our team spent every waking moment together. We had team dinners three times a week, and on the days we didn’t have dinner we would have a game.

On the days of the games we would either wear our uniforms to school or dress up. Starting from the first day of school, we dressed up as nerds, gangsters and fairies. On the days we had night games we would do a “black out” by dressing in all black.

Our biggest concern was getting ready for our game, not how we appeared to the rest of the school. And trust me, we went all-out. Walking into school in suspenders, rolled up pants, glasses, braided pigtails, and mismatched socks was probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever done.

We would do absolutely everything to psych ourselves up. We had our warm-up CD, which we would play in a specific order on the bus and at the field. On the long bus rides, we would make up dances.

It didn’t matter how crazy we looked to the rest of the world; we had our eyes on the prize and we were ready to play. I personally believe that the way we played had something to do with what we did to psych ourselves up. If our heads weren’t in the game that morning in school, we wouldn’t play well.

Come the end of the season, we fought as hard as we could not to go home.

The hardest part was saying goodbye to your family, but you never forget the memories that were made.