Carman Drake's impact on the Charlottesville field hockey team goes beyond the stat sheet.
"It's basically hard work that goes unnoticed and work that is necessary for the team to do well," CHS head coach Lindsay Larson said. "So she doesn't get the stats but that kind of consistent play and that reliability is invaluable."
The senior is a three-year starter on defense for the reigning Jefferson District champs and this year, she was voted a co-captain.
"That means a lot because not only do our coaches trust us to lead our teammates but our teammates want us to lead them and that's saying a lot," Drake explained.
For Drake, leading her teammates also extends off the field.
"I tutor some of them outside of school, I work outside of school with them with their work and knowing they can come to me means a lot."
In addition to field hockey and maintaining a 4.5 GPA, Drake is also the editor of the school newspaper. She spent her summer in Jordan learning the Arabic language and culture -- an experience she draws upon during games.
"Sometimes the game doesn't go well and sometimes Jordan didn't go well. There were ups and downs and just knowing that if you take a deep breath, it will keep going and it will continue."
Drake is also adept at taking her talents from the classroom to the field.
"I love 'well this goes there, this will work' and I think that's how I can carry my intelligence over," she explained. "I'm not the most skilled girl on the team but I like to think I can see the strategy and what can work best on the team."
"They really trust her, they know she's really reliable back there and when she's there, other players can almost be at ease and play their game, knowing she's behind them to back them up at any chance," Larson added.
Before she heads off to college, Drake says she'd like to continue the field hockey resurgence at CHS.
"Seeing the success of the high school team is bringing in girls younger and younger and it means a lot that we were part of that vitality."
"You have to have the hard work, the positive attitude and dedication and that's Carman, and that's what builds your program," Larson said.
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