Since Kat Esposito is one of only four seniors on the Severna Park High School varsity field hockey team, she knew that her role on this year’s team would need to carry more weight, even before COVID-19 arrived.
She willingly took on an even more significant leadership role because the virus was disturbing regular activities. Her efforts encouraging individual players to stay in touch via social media during isolation were crucial.
Esposito’s continued commitment to keep conversation ongoing between players not only boosted the team’s morale, but it also enabled the athletes to stay focused and keep strategizing, despite an uncertainty of when or whether they would be able to play at all.
“I have a lot of praise for her focus and love of field hockey,” said Shannon Garden, head coach for Severna Park High School’s varsity field hockey team.
“Kat originally joined the field hockey team in her sophomore year as a junior varsity player,” Garden said. “After a day of playing, however, it was obvious that she should be immediately elevated to the varsity level. Since then she has steadily continued to improve her skills.”
Esposito was an All-County selection last year as a junior and scored the winning goal in the 4A state championship game against Dulaney on November 9, 2019. Despite her success, she is a modest and humble athlete, according to Garden.
“Kat doesn’t speak a lot and she’s not a show-off; she is a silent and determined player, but you can see the competitiveness in her eyes,” Garden said. “She leads by example and actions. The younger players in particular really admire her.”
Although Garden is currently staying in Delaware during the coronavirus shutdown, she was impressed with how Esposito helped orchestrate seven-on-seven games this year.
“I was able to watch a few of these matches from afar and I was so impressed with how she led her team both on the field and on the sidelines,” Garden said.
Esposito said she “wanted to make sure all of the players stayed safe and lined them up along the sidelines so they could maintain a social distancing space of 6 feet between them.”
Promoting safety and mental health is also an important goal for Esposito. She participated in last year’s school community service that focused on suicide awareness prevention. This year, she would like to spread awareness about mental illness, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak when many people are feeling isolated and depressed.
“I just think it is important to break the stigma surrounding it,” Esposito said.
In partnership with The Matt Wyble Team of Century 21, the Voice’s Student-Athlete of the Month series recognizes the many student-athletes in our area who make an impact not necessarily by way of statistics or stardom, but by their unique contributions. Contact Zach Sparks at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate a young person in our community making a positive impact through sports.