Advertisement
Share

La Jolla Athlete of the Week: Sophia DeJarnette thrives on team chemistry with Country Day lacrosse

La Jolla Country Day School lacrosse player Sophia DeJarnette
“You need to be willing to help your teammates and not be selfish on the field,” says La Jolla Country Day School lacrosse player Sophia DeJarnette.
(Courtesy of Sophia DeJarnette)

On and off the field, collaboration is everything for La Jolla Country Day School lacrosse player Sophia DeJarnette.

The 15-year-old freshman started playing lacrosse in fifth grade because so many of her friends were on the team, and she stayed on “because I just love that team chemistry.”

Now her focus is on maintaining team camaraderie, which she credits as a tool for the team’s success.

So far, it’s worked for the Torreys. With just five games left this season, they are undefeated at 7-0 (they next take on Pacific Ridge High School on Monday, May 10) and will close the season with a winning record. They’ve also had some high-scoring, lopsided games: 22-0 against Del Lago, 14-4 against Canyon Crest, 19-6 against Francis Parker and 12-6 against La Jolla rival The Bishop’s School, beating the Knights for the first time in the program’s history.

“You need to be willing to help your teammates and not be selfish on the field,” Sophia said. “Selflessness is important because there are a lot of players and if the team works well together, things run smoother, especially on attack and offense. If everyone doesn’t work well together, it shows.”

Sophia, a midfielder, said she also appreciates the discipline associated with playing lacrosse. “It’s a lot of work,” she said. “We’ve had practice almost every day and have been playing a lot since the season resumed.”

On practice days, “that’s all I’ll do that day,” she said. When it’s not a practice day, you can find her, lacrosse stick in hand, practicing throwing the ball against a wall and catching it. “I’ll throw 50 times right-handed and 50 times left-handed,” she said.

But, Sophia said, the “most important thing” is the right attitude. “I know, for me, if I’m not excited to play or if I have a negative attitude, I wont play well.”

Thankfully, she has the support of her team to help give her a boost if she’s feeling down.

“Our team this year has been amazing and supportive,” she said. “Our seniors have been so great to underclassmen and so encouraging. We have so many freshmen and sophomores that have played together for so long [in clubs], we know each other so well. ... Even when we got to play Bishop’s, we know a lot of people on that team, so it was fun to see them and play them. The whole game was high-energy.”

Sophia’s coach, Christa DeMovellan, said she “has already declared herself an impact player in our 2021 season. She has stepped up to the plate in every game by causing turnovers on defense, controlling the draw and gaining possession, and hitting the net when we need points. Sophia is an overall threat and a tenacious, hungry athlete.” In a game against Carlsbad, Sophia scored seven goals.

Last year, Sophia was one of three local athletes to be selected to the Under Armour All American Lacrosse Classic Underclass Tournament, which features two divisions from each region — spanning from the West to upstate New York — for each gender, looking to find the best in the country.

At the time, she told the La Jolla Light that as a midfielder, “I take the draw for my team a lot [when the referee places the ball between two players’ sticks, blows the whistle and both players try to gain possession], which I love. It helps the team so you can bring the ball to the goal. I love it because you can play attack or defense.”

She was on team West Coast, which beat team Southwest but didn’t win the whole tourney.

Off the field, Sophia has helped organize fundraisers and food and blood drives through her school’s community service program, which students of all ages are asked to participate in.

With a father who recently retired from the Navy, she also volunteers with Naval Special Warfare, or NSW. “It’s a group that all knows each other, what it’s like to have someone on deployment, that supports each other,” she said. “They host fundraisers and events for the military community, so my family and I participate in those a lot. When I help with NSW, I feel like I can relate to the people and it helps me. I talk to others and hear their stories and know I’m helping people. It gives me a good feeling.”

La Jolla Athlete of the Week features athletes from all sports in high school (La Jolla High, The Bishop’s School, La Jolla Country Day School) and other local youth sports. We’re looking not only for the stars of competition but also for student-athletes who set an example for teamwork, academic achievement and/or community involvement. Please email your nominations, and a way to reach your nominees, to Editor Rob Vardon at robert.vardon@lajollalight.com.