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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

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Kicking Through the Glass Ceiling

Two-Time Sun Sentinel Soccer Player of the Year Lily White Joins Varsity Football Team
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Lily White prepares to kick for an extra point for her team during the Varsity team’s game against Clearwater Academy International.

In the world of sports, versatility is a rare and extraordinary attribute; Benjamin senior Lily White embodies this in an extremely formidable way. 

White is best known as the captain of the Benjamin Girls’ Soccer team, someone who has scored a total of sixty-four goals and assisted on twenty-four others over her career here. In addition to school soccer, she has played on four different club teams including Delray AC, Boynton Knights FC, Team Boca, and FC Prime. She has received the Sun Sentinel Soccer Player Of The Year award for the past two years and is committed to play Division I soccer at the University of Pennsylvania. 

This year, White has decided to make history by becoming the first-ever female kicker on the varsity football team at Benjamin. 

“With it being my last year at Benjamin, I thought that it would be fun to try something new before I graduated and a great thing to be a part of,” White expressed. 

White’s remarkable athletic abilities caught the eye of the football coaching staff who have seen her potential for being the next kicker. 

“Well, I was her advisor for the last three years and we lost our kicker last year who was a senior. So, I’ve basically been recruiting Lily for three years and she finally came out this year and we’re excited to have her.” exclaims Coach Eric Kresser.

While it is not necessarily expected for a star player to be a gracious teammate, Lily White exceeds expectations as she remains humble and positive. One member of White’s school soccer team, senior Zoe Cooper, shares a personal experience in which White’s compassion is displayed. 

“Soccer is not my main sport and when I get playing time I don’t expect anything on the field. Once during a game, I remember I was playing and we were up by 3 against a weaker opponent. Lily had the ball and she could have easily dribbled on her own past their defense and scored, adding to her stats for the season. Instead, she chose to pass the ball to me which I ultimately lost. Lily, being who she is, was not mad at all, just happy to give one of her teammates the chance to have a shot on goal. She is a selfless player and wants the best for everyone on the team, not just for herself; although everyone already knows she is a really talented player, it should also be acknowledged that she is an amazing teammate,” Cooper said. 

In soccer, White plays attacking midfield, a position where she is always looking for the ball to pass up to the center-forward. This dynamic position contrasts sharply with White’s role as the kicker and has prompted her to change her mindset when playing.

“In a soccer game the game is more constant for me as I am on the field longer and I contribute more, but with football, I am on for no longer than a minute or two at a time and I only do one thing so there is a lot more pressure. When I am about to kick the football, I really have to focus because I only have a few minutes to make a difference in the game,” said White. 

However, despite the differences between the two sports, White has been able to find the similarities and use the skills she has learned in soccer, to help her adjust to this entirely new position and sport. 

“The technique of kicking a soccer ball is pretty similar to kicking the football so I was able to pick that up pretty quickly. But I think the thing that has helped me the most when kicking is being able to keep my composure under these high pressure situations which is one of the most important aspects of soccer,” White said.

The Benjamin Football Team had one conference game on August 24th against John Carol Catholic High School in which they won 49-6. In this game alone, White made every extra point she kicked, contributing six points to her team’s total score. 

“She fits into the team very nicely, and being a highly recruited athlete, she gets respect from all of the players,” Kresser explains. 

Junior Ford Cash, a varsity football player, has noticed White’s impact already and feels that she is an impressive acquisition to the team. 

“She does a great job kicking the extra points and went six for six at our last game. She’s a team player and a great addition to the team,” Cash said.  

White has recognized this support from the team and feels grateful to have people around her who accept her decision to look beyond traditional gender roles and join the football team. 

“I understand that some people on the field and off would be critical of my position on the team, but so far the team has really stood by my side especially when I was hesitant to join and nervous about the possible judgment. My parents, other athletes at school, the coaches on the team, and my friends pushed me to do this and have supported me the whole way,’’ White said. 

Having White join the football team seems to be the beginning of a new era for the Upper School Athletic Program. This is a monumental moment for female athletes as it opens a new opportunity for achievement and versatility. With a full season ahead, Lily White has a lot to look forward to in expanding her already impressive football record and a lot more of an impact to make.

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About the Contributors
Caroline Groffman
Caroline Groffman, Associate Editor
Caroline Groffman is a sophomore at The Benjamin School. She is going into her second year on The Pharcyde and is excited to continue her writing. Caroline has been a part of The Benjamin School community since Kindergarten. She loves seeing family and friends, and going to the beach.
Chase Zur
Chase Zur, Associate Editor
Chase Zur is a sophomore and this is her second semester in The Pharcyde. Chase has attended The Benjamin School since WOW and is excited to start her second year in the Upper School. She enjoys watching sports and spending time with friends and family. As a second year staff writer, Chase is looking forward to taking on more articles and improving her journalistic writing in The Pharcyde. 

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