Cally Blanco: Varsity freshman starter

Millie Murphy, Staff Writer

Making the varsity team as a freshman in high school is very impressive but becoming a star player and a consistent starter is almost unheard of. For current sophomore Cally Blanco, this became a reality after trying out for the RJ Reynolds girls’ lacrosse team last year.

Since she was a kid, Blanco has been crushing the lacrosse game and stunning viewers with her pure talent and hardwork. Her athleticism and skills, along with her positive attitude, have made her a great competitor on all her teams throughout her life.

Blanco impressed her peers during her first year of high school tryouts, but they were unaware of how big of an impact she would make on the team until the spring season began. Immediately, she bonded with the team and formed a tight community with the Demons lacrosse team. 

Along with her impressive skills, Blanco brings a strong personality that positively impacts the team environment.

“She’s just a great person to be around,” assistant coach Nicole Robert said. “She’s able to joke around and have fun but when it’s time to get serious, she’s able to.”

Not only does her talent make Blanco such an outstanding and unique player but it is her willingness to put in the hard work and her determination and passion to bring success to the team.

The coaches recognized her talent early in the season and assigned her to be a midfielder for the team. In lacrosse, a midfielder has to cover both offense and defense and they are the teams primary ball carriers. Blanco’s athleticism and hard work shine through while she plays and her determination and love for the team have brought countless victories to the RJR team.

Blanco also takes the draws for the team. A draw happens at the beginning of the game, start of the second half and after each goal. One player from each team competes for possession of the ball. Her confidence and competitiveness made Blanco an obvious choice to assume the responsibility of taking the draw.

To end Blanco’s first season as part of the Demon girls lacrosse team, they played a tough game against West Forsyth to claim conference victory.

“My favorite memory from last year was beating West for the second time and to win the conference championship,” Blanco said. “It was a very close game, we left it all on the field and all worked very well together to win.”

With the enormous success from last season, Blanco is striving for another rewarding season and possibly even a state championship. She has once again secured a spot on the varsity team and plans to improve herself as a person and player and overcome any obstacle she may face.

To her coaches and teammates that surround her, Blanco has led the team by example and continues to improve herself and the community around her.

“She has so much passion and as a coach you just can’t teach that,” Roberts said.