Girls Basketball, Sports, Winter Sports

CAPTAINS FEATURE: Cara Cavanaugh ’15, Courtney Erickson ’15 and Gadson Lefft ’15

Having only played a total of 11 games together, Girls Varsity Basketball Captains Cara Cavanaugh ’15, Gadson Lefft ’15 and Courtney Erickson ’15 continue to combine their experience and skill to create team chemistry on and off the court.

Head Coach Lani Silversides was impressed with how well the three players gelled together on the court after just a few games, especially because Lefft and Erickson are new to the team this year as Post-Graduates.

“When you think about it, [11 games] is really not a lot at all. Their chemistry gets better each game, as does the entire team’s, and I am excited that they still have a few weeks left [in the season]. I wish they got to play together for all four years,” said Head Coach Silversides.

Cavanaugh, a four-year senior from North Andover, Mass., was elected the team’s captain last spring. Then, after she suffered a concussion early on in the season, Lefft and Erickson stepped up as leaders and were appointed Assistant Captains by Head Coach Silversides. Lefft and Erickson notably brought experience and dedication to the team, and now with Cavanaugh healthy, the triumvirate is a strong source of leadership for Andover’s 14-player roster.

“It’s been really great having [Erickson] and [Lefft] on the team this year. They both have a passion for the game and determination to win that is invaluable to the team. They’re both natural leaders and have helped the team on and off the court,” added Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh offers a total of ten years of experience playing basketball and has been a strong presence on the court for Andover since her Junior year. She approaches her role as a leader with a positive and supportive attitude.

Cavanaugh said, “When the calls aren’t going our way or we have lost momentum, I try to keep the spirits of the team up.”

Lefft said, “[Cavanaugh] has a calm and collected approach, which helps the team keep their heads in the game during tough times.”

Lefft brings a different type of experience, having already played competitively throughout her high school career in her hometown in Lake Wylie, SC.

“I want the team to win. I want them to want to win and not settle,” said Lefft.
Teammate Laura Bilal ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “[Lefft] pushes us all to be better players and work harder. As a player, she has a will to win, which makes us all want to push ourselves to work towards that end goal.”

Erickson hails from Everett, Mass., and has been surrounded by basketball for the majority of her life. She is a driven and competitive player, as well as a vocal leader on the court. Erickson has both optimistic and attainable goals for the team.

Erickson said, “We want to end this season with a winning record and go into the postseason tournament prepared to win.”

Head Coach Silversides added, “[Erickson] will sprint her hardest, dive for loose balls, take charges, battle and get bruised and absolutely always give 100 percent.”

Cavanaugh, Lefft and Erickson compliment each other with a variety of outlooks on the game and approaches to leadership.

Erickson said, “The three of us are really different, and I think that helps the team dynamic a lot.”

After falling to Tabor 69-50 in their most recent game, the captains are looking to rally their team and prepare for Andover’s next game at home against Holderness on Friday.

Feb 13, 2015