The power of athletics at an all-girls’ school: Emily Wogelius ’17

Emily Wogelius ’17 earned the Polly Laughlin Memorial Trophy at Porter’s athletics assembly this past spring. Below is an excerpt from her speech.

I feel honored to be receiving this award tonight because athletics have been the highlight of my time here at Porter’s. I have been a tri varsity athlete since my freshman year, and the sports I play are soccer, basketball, and track. I have had the privilege of being a captain of all three my senior year.

Ever since I was little, I’ve always identified as an athlete. I feel most myself with my hair in a ponytail, a ball at my feet or in my hands, and if I have the choice, I will most definitely choose sneakers as my preferred choice of footwear.

They say that senior year brings many lasts, and this past weekend I experienced a lot of them. Saturday was the last time I will ever wear a Porter’s uniform. It was the last time I laced up my spikes and stepped up to the starting line, wearing the name Porter’s across my chest, and it was the last time I will ever hold a green baton and cross a finish line, representing this school.

No experience will ever be the same as the one I have had as a Porter’s athlete. The moments I’ve had wearing that green uniform are irreplaceable, and are moments that I am forever grateful for. Nothing will ever be the same as the atmosphere that an all-girls’ athletic environment creates. I am extremely grateful to have been a Porter’s athlete because I was able to represent a place I love doing what I love, which is playing sports.

I would like to thank my coaches for believing in me and for guiding me through my journey as a Porter’s athlete. I would like to thank my teammates for the laughs, the cries, and everything in between. You are all what truly made my journey as special as it was. I would like to thank my mom and dad, for being at every game and race, rain or shine. I would finally like to again thank my dad for being my mentor. Thank you for making pre-game waffles every Saturday morning, for always making sure the ice packs are cold (since I’m always sore), for always making sure the fridge is stocked with Gatorade, and for pushing me, guiding me, and believing in me no matter what.

I would like to end with a quote that my college track coach ended an email with the first time we corresponded about me running in college: “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the sport and never looked back… play for her.” Although I will never again compete wearing the Porter’s name on my back, part of me will always play for the Porter’s athletic program; because the people in this program have gotten me where I am today, and have given me some of the happiest moments of my life, and that is something that I will never forget.

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