Co-Captain Tookie Wilson ’18 began playing intramural soccer when she was just five years old and went on to play for town, school, and club teams. After playing on the Junior Varsity (JV) team her Junior year, Wilson now serves as one of the three Andover Girls Varsity Soccer Co-Captains.
Wilson says her love for the sport stems from her deep appreciation of what it means to be a part of something bigger than herself, and playing for Andover has allowed her to grow her love of the game and create strong bonds with her teammates.
“I love the team aspect of soccer, the fact that it’s a team sport and that you’re together and that you’re doing something collectively that you couldn’t do on your own, I think that’s something that’s really special. And beyond being members of the team on the field, you get to be best friends off the field. I think that’s something that GVS really embodies, that every single one of those girls is like one of my best friends,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s own improvements have been immense, according to Head Coach Lisa Joel. Wilson, along with fellow Co-Captain Krystiana Swain ’18, both started as members of the JV program, and have since grown as players, teammates, and leaders.
“Tookie has a really awesome story. She started in the JV program, as a 9th grader in JV, and I think that’s really important for folks to know. You can start at the JV level and you can go on to be not only impact players, but leaders on a varsity team,” said Coach Joel.
Wilson’s athleticism, intensity, and aggression led her to become a fierce competitor, according to Coach Joel.
Coach Joel said, “She’s an 80 minute player, and she stands out on the field. She stands out for opposing coaches, refs, she’s constantly commented on because she fights so hard, she is our last line of defense, she rarely gets beaten, and under the most dire of circumstances, she never loses her cool.”
As a defensive player, Wilson harnesses her intensity to lead vocally. With such a young team compared to years past, Wilson and her fellow captains have worked hard to lead by example.
Wilson said, “I try to be the voice of the team because I can see things that other people can’t see behind them. I’ve definitely been working to be loud enough on the field so that everyone can hear me and [as a team], we’ve been working to establish a common language and working so that we can all become predictable to each other but unpredictable to the other team.”
Wilson’s energy and enthusiasm are recognized by her teammates.
Swain said, “No matter where we are in practice or if we’re just playing in games, Tookie is so competitive and she just puts her all into everything. She makes everybody want to work harder and be better teammates, better players, better everything.”
Wilson’s leadership goes beyond the field, as Wilson and her fellow Seniors lead with kindness and integrity, according to Coach Joel.
Joel said, “These [younger athletes] are lucky to have [these captains]. They set the work ethic tone. They set the ‘kindness’ tone. They have high standards as human beings and they are also super competitive athletes. They love the sport, they love their teammates, and they love competing, and if the players can grab a hold of that once they graduate, [our team] is in good shape.”
Wilson said, “The people on GVS are some of the most wonderful people on campus and definitely the legacy that GVS players leave behind is one of the utmost kindness and familial respect for each other. GVS players will take time out of their days for each other and that’s something that [Coach Joel] really strives to role model for us. It’s about the generosity that you have with your time and with your kindness and with your heart.”
“Being part of GVS is just so special because everyone is truly there for each other as a student, as a family member, and then as an athlete. And [Coach Joel] truly understands that you’re a person, a student and an all-around person and you have all these facets of your life going on and it can make life really busy, and she really understands that and I’ll really miss that about GVS,” Wilson continued.