A Space on the Team

A New Extra Point Kicker for the Short-Lived Season

Riley Maynard, Staff Writer

Not where she thought she would be, Annabel Veale (‘21) stands with her family on senior night. (E. Veale)

“It was kinda a screw it, it’s my senior year, so I’m going to do something crazy, kind of decision. So I decided to join the football team,” said extra point kicker Annabel Veale (‘21) 

Veale is the first female on the football team in a number of years. She joined the team despite playing soccer for three previous years.

“I didn’t expect to ever be where I am now, it’s crazy.” When asked about how she felt about this accolade Veale said, “I just think it’s pretty freaking dope. I never really expected to have a spot on the team, so just being able to say that I’m on the varsity football team is crazy. It’s definitely a confidence booster, and it’s been really exciting.”

Outside of her recent involvement in the football team, Veale has played soccer, tennis, and skied for Pinkerton teams. The main difference between these other teams and the football  for her is starting the season with more of a common ground between her and her teammates. Usually knowing several of her teammates from previous seasons, this added to the social aspect being the most challenging part initially.  

“I never truly expected to fit in and have a space on the team; I figured I’d just be a practice player, but I actually got into the last game. I missed, but it was still really awesome,” said Veale. “I definitely made a lot of friends on the team and I really didn’t expect that to happen at all.”

“She really adds a lot to the team. She’s not a girl on the team, she’s just another player,” said Captain Thomas MacDonald (‘20).

Suiting up for senior night, Annabel holds her helmet before senior pictures. (E. Veale)

The varsity team closed the season with a record of 2-1 before its abrupt end due to a potential cluster outbreak of the coronavirus in the school community. This end of season comes off their most recent win 34 to 0 against Windham. The previous games ended in another blowout victory against Nashua and a close loss to Londonderry to the start the season. 

“Last year was a building team. We’ve really come together, like a brotherhood.” MacDonald said. “We had just got the ball rolling before the season got cancelled. I had high hopes for winning the championship.”

Veale has recently created a petition attracting well over 1,000 signatures in an effort to encourage Dr. Powers to reexamine the cancellation of fall athletics.

In a letter to fall sports athletes and participants in fall activities, Dr. Powers explained the decision to end the fall athletic season was “not made in a vacuum or one that was made lightly. I appreciate the hundreds of emails and messages that you have all sent in support of your team, activity, or club. The passion that you have for what you have been doing was clear and evident and part of what makes this so difficult.” 

Headmaster Powers understands the frustration the athletes and their families are experiencing.

As a former student-athlete, coach, and advisor, I deeply understand and appreciate the need for participation in these activities. Many of the lessons I learned came from playing sports, and they are a big reason for who I have become. The pain of having a season end prematurely and abruptly is one that I fully understand,” said Powers in his letter.

 When asked about her hopes for the season before its cancellation Veale said,  “I’d love to be at the one point where I could start in a game.  Goals overall for the team: I’d have loved for us to win the championship.”