Athlete Spotlight: Mount Greylock's Emma Polumbo
Berkshire Eagle: How, or why, did you start playing lacrosse?
Emma Polumbo: I grew up playing softball, and in fifth grade, I heard about this youth lacrosse program in Williamstown. I kind of joined, went to a few practices that year but wasn't super serious about it because I was still playing softball. In sixth grade at Pine Cobble [School] I was required to play lacrosse. It was the only option I had that year, but as soon as I got into it a little bit and had the stick in my hands for a full season, I kind of fell in love with the sport and chose to continue with it and keep going.
BE: What position in softball did you play?
EP: I was kind of all over the place. You know, youth sports. You don't really have a set position.
BE: So it wasn't a hard decision to go from softball to lacrosse?
BE: What is it about Mount Greylock that allows you guys to produce so many talented lacrosse players? Does it start with the youth programs?
EP: Our youth program, they've had a youth program for a long time now. But the past few years it's really started to develop more. I've been a part of it the last few years, helping coach and ref a little bit. I've gotten to know some of the girls that are on the seventh grade team this year, and kind of watch them grow as players. It's really fun to be able to go down to that level and give them these pointers that I wish I had going into seventh grade. Even my sister, she's in seventh grade on the Mount Greylock team and just giving her pointers on and off the field. If I see her complete something she's been working on and get there, it's a good feeling for me. Just being able to help her her get there and help some of these younger girls that have come up with all this talent.
BE: It sounds like you have a natural passion for coaching. Is that something you want to do in the future?
EP: I've kind of thought about it. I've loved sports every since I was little, so I've always thought that I've wanted to do something in sort of the sports category with a job. Coaching, maybe it will be a side job. But I've definitely loved coaching youth the last few years.
BE: What do you enjoy most about playing lacrosse
EP: Probably the team work. I'm an individual sport athlete the rest of the year with running and skiing. When I get to lacrosse season and there's not the sort of individual pressure that running and skiing bring, it's kind of relieving to use my teammates — in running and skiing we're still a team, but you compete as an individual. So it's really nice to be able to compete as a team. To be there for each other, and pick each other up when someone sort of falls back a little bit. So I really like that aspect of lacrosse.
BE: I know with individual sports it's easy to be in your own head. How do you benefit from your teammates in lacrosse?
EP: Definitely with running, that was my first individual sport in seventh grade. In seventh grade I went on planning to play soccer, basketball and lacrosse in high school. In a last-second decision, I chose to run cross-country in the fall of my seventh grade year. Kind of something different and I wanted to give it a try. Through running I learned that you have to only count on yourself. You only had yourself to blame if you didn't perform, and I learned that if I wanted something to go well, or if I wanted to do well, I had to get there myself. I really had to focus on that with running and skiing because they're similar. With lacrosse it was a nice transition with teammates and being able to use them. If I'm having a bad game, I have my teammates to kind of say, 'OK, try and fix this,' and pick me back up. It's really different, but I loved both because learning to do things by myself really helped transition to the lacrosse field.
BE: Do you have a specific teammate that you know you can turn to for support?
EP: I do have my best friend on the team, she's been my best friend since seventh grade, Aleya Cappadonna. She's someone I know I can always turn to, but really our team is super close this year. So I know I can turn to any one of my teammates and they'll be there to back me up.
BE: Williamstown is going through a lot of construction right now. What's it like navigating a construction zone?
EP: I'm lucky enough where I'm far enough down Water Street that I can avoid the construction traffic in the morning. My dad is actually working at the construction project at Williams [College] so he's up with us in the morning. He explains to us what's going on so I'm still a part of it, even if I don't have to drive through it constantly.
BE: Mount Greylock is also experiencing a makeover. Do you plan on coming back and seeing the finished product?
EP: Definitely. I'm super excited. I know the school was supposed to be done over April break this year. Obviously I won't get to see it or graduate in it, sadly. But I'm excited to see what it's like because I do have a younger brother and sister at the school. They'll be graduating from the new building. Hopefully next year when it's done I'll be able to stop by and visit.
BE: Thoughts on Fortnite?
EP: I've heard a lot of different things about it. It seems to be very popular. I do not play myself. I've not been one of the people to download it on my phone. I have a brother that's super into it. Plenty of guy friends that are super into it. Seems to be a great game for everybody.
BE: What do you like to do in your free time?
EP: As a three-sport athlete I don't have a ton of free time. But on my free time, I'm either hanging out with friends or just watching Netflix, or continuing to train for my other sports.
BE: Plans for the future?
EP: I'm planning on playing lacrosse at St. Lawrence [University] next year.
BE: Have you picked a major?
EP: I'm still undecided. That's kind of the beauty of a liberal arts school, I don't have tie myself down at the beginning. I've been considering a major in business and a minor in exercise science and sports studies.
BE: Favorite place to eat in Williamstown?
EP: My favorite place to eat is Blue Mango on Spring Street. I always get the Massaman Curry. It's definitely a great meal that people should stop by and try, It's one of those little restaurants that you might just walk by and not think of anything is because it's kind of hidden on Spring Street. But it's a good place to eat.
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