By Nick Carpenter
When I asked sports editor Aaron Movshovich if I could write about Ainsley for the October issue, he presented me with a challenge.
“If you can give me one legitimate reason that she is integral to the Pinewood sports program, I’ll let you write about her,” Movschovich said.
This got me thinking. I believe that few athletes are truly integral to the sports program. However, I believe that Ainsley Carpenter is integral to the Pinewood sports program because of the important work that she does. Also, I should mention that Ainsley is my sister, so I may be just a bit biased.
First, Ainsley has participated in varsity tennis, soccer, softball, and track during her time at Pinewood, amnd was elected captain of both soccer and tennis going into her senior year.
For tennis, she took the initiative to design and order new uniforms for the entire team. For soccer, she recruited at least half of the team after a weak turnout last season. The leadership qualities that she possesses have clearly left an impact on her coaches as well. Speaking on Ainsley’s leadership abilities, girls soccer coach Whitney Wood is clearly a fan.
“She is my go-to person when I need to get something done. She is dependable, organized, and committed to the team. She takes the time to recruit others, get everyone involved and keeps things fun. I rely on her a lot and appreciate all that she has done for me and the team,” Wood said.
Another coach who has benefited from Ainsley’s leadership is Craig Corfield, Ainsley’s tennis coach all four years of high school. Corfield has been impressed by Ainsley’s ability as a leader.
“Our relationship as coach and player has been nothing short of perfect. Ainsley works hard, asks questions, wants to get better and is a great teammate. For me, it is not what she has achieved, it is the type of person she is. Pinewood tennis will miss her,” Corfield said.
Ainsley has been the captain of tennis and soccer for two years, which clearly shows that she is captain not because of seniority, but because of her abilities as a leader, on and off the field. I believe that a player does not have to put in stellar performances on the field in order to become integral to a team.
I believe that what makes Ainsley an integral part of athletics here is her ability to bring people together on and off the field. In her soccer games, she is often encouraging her teammates and helping where it is necessary. At basketball games, she always wears full green and gold attire and is cheering as loud as anyone for Pinewood. She is also on student council which shows that her leadership ability is acknowledged in more places than sports.
Another person that has worked closely with Ainsley through her time as a player is junior Sophie Ashley, her tennis doubles partner. Ashley had a lot to say about Ainsley’s ability on the court.
“She is always trying to help us improve throughout our matches, giving me helpful advice as well as trying to improve her own game. I love having her as our captain because she is able to lead the team while making it a good time for everyone as well,” Ashley said.
As Ainsley closes out her final year as a high school athlete, the lasting impact that she has left on the Pinewood sports program will not be forgotten by coaches and players alike. The amount of time and energy that Ainsley has put into the sports she has played is unparalleled in Pinewood history. Happy birthday to my sister, Ainsley!