Co-Captain Emerson Buckley ’25: Leading by Example and Experience

In her position as Softball Co-Captain, Emerson Buckley ’25 has positively impacted her team both on and off the field. She embodies teamwork and unity, constantly communicating and helping her teammates succeed. Her impressive playing and supportive leadership has allowed the team to start its season off strong.

After first beginning to play on her sister’s team when she was very young, softball has remained a large part of Buckley’s life. Buckley recognized that she has been able to carry over the mental aspect of the game into other aspects of her life.

Buckley wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I first started softball when I was around five or six, playing with my older sister’s team. Since I started at such a young age, softball has been a part of my life for all I can remember. Part of the reason I love softball so much is what it has taught me and continues to teach me. Softball is such a mental game, and I think that’s really helped me in keeping my composure in life outside of softball. I’d say that [is] what makes me stick with it cause I know I’m learning so much.”

Through her lead by example leadership style, Buckley is able to create a strong team dynamic. Rihanna Gomez ’26 shared how the combination of Buckley’s determination and effort has helped the team prepare for a successful season.

Gomez said, “Emerson plays a really crucial role in setting the tone for the season. She leads by example during practice and games. She shows dedication and hardwork and fosters a positive team culture. For this season, I think her determination… will really help us lay the groundwork for success.”

Kaliah Fortune ’26 shared similar sentiments regarding Buckley’s leadership. Not only does she set a good example on the field, Buckley supports her teammates with support and feedback, creating a balance between competition and fun.

Fortune said, “She’s definitely a lead-by-example type [of] captain. She’s a role model on the team, and if you ask her for advice or help, she’s there to give it to you and break it down for you. But, also, she wants everyone to have fun and makes sure everyone is enjoying it and feels like they are a part of the team.”

Buckley noted that, while softball is a sport that comes with its challenges, she aims to stay focused during high pressure situations. She strives to show her teammates that while mistakes are inevitable, it should not negatively affect the team’s morale.

Buckley wrote, “[With] softball being a sport with a lot of ups and downs, I try my best to stay level, though I understand that is not the easiest thing to do. Once again, encouraging the team and really focusing on confidence has been important this season. I try to lead by example in these cases because everyone is going to make mistakes, but we just need to focus on how we’re going to react to that.”

Gomez highlighted Buckley’s adaptability and her ability to thrive in multiple in-field positions. She noted how her personal confidence in her skills helps the team stay motivated in games. 

“Emerson is a standout player on our team. She is really skilled and dedicated to the game and always gives her all while out on the field. Emerson’s versatility shines through as she plays many different positions in the in-field. She’s very confident in her abilities which really helps the team in staying positive during games,” said Gomez.

Fresh off its 2023 Championship win, Buckley highlighted the team’s ability. Buckley emphasized the team’s skills and her efforts to foster confidence, believing strongly in the team’s abilities to achieve another championship.

“We’re really setting the bar high this season. As I mentioned… we’re coming off of a championship season, so ultimately, that is always the goal. As far as how we’re going to get there, I’d bring it back to confidence again. I know we’re good and that we’re going to be good, but I think, as a team, we all just need to trust that. Everyone on this team, including myself, is also going to learn a lot this year, so just continuing to progress is also important,” Buckley wrote.