By Greta Farkas and Lane Lieberman
Only a select few end up making a varsity sport freshman year at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. Current sophomore Kerry Ellis made two. Ellis was one of three freshmen on the varsity soccer team and was one of two freshmen on the varsity basketball team last year. Since then, Ellis has continued to show her skills and prove herself as a valuable player for both teams.
Recently, Ellis’ impressive athletic talents have been noticed by The Washington Post. After winning the B-CC vs Whitman Girls basketball game in January this season, Ellis’s skills earned herself a headline in The Washington Post: “Sophomore Kerry Ellis lifts B-CC over Whitman.”
Beating Whitman could very well be one of the most significant goals on any sports team at B-CC. As the Washington Post article noted, Ellis played a key role in helping the Barons achieve this goal. With 27 seconds left in the close game, she sank two free-throws to secure the four-point lead over the Vikings. In the words of The Post, Ellis’ outstanding display of athleticism outstanding performance “B-CC has bragging rights, largely thanks to Ellis.”
Despite Ellis’ current success with the Girls Basketball team this year, her story began at B-CC very differently.
Heading into basketball season her freshman year, a spot on the Varsity roster did not pass her mind. Ellis participated in the B-CC summer basketball league playing on the Junior Varsity team the summer prior, so once tryouts began, she assumed she would join the JV team for her freshman season. However, after tryouts, Ellis received the news that she had made the Varsity team.“I was actually surprised I made varsity,” she said. “I did not think I would make it at all.”
Ellis showed the same dedication to making the B-CC Girls Soccer team during the summer before her freshman year. While playing for the B-CC Basketball summer league, Ellis also had her eye on B-CC’s Girls Soccer program. Throughout the summer, Varsity Coach Rob Kurtz held practices that Kerry Ellis made sure to attend. Due to her hard work, skill, and her perseverance to show her interest, Ellis made a lasting impact on the coach. “Kurtz basically told me I’d be on varsity before tryouts, so I wasn’t surprised,” said Ellis. Today, with two seasons with the Girls Varsity Soccer team under her belt, Kerry Ellis has played a major role for the team as one of the first substitutions to enter games, and even sometimes getting played before older teammates.
Playing two sports can be very time-consuming and leaves little time for school work. Kerry explained that she has to “try to do homework during class and sometimes pushes projects to the last minute.” Maintaining good grades is especially difficult when you have to handle one sport. Kerry, not only participates in two high school sports, but she plays club soccer as well. This makes soccer her “more time-consuming” sport. Her club team practices year round and overlaps with her B-CC soccer schedule in the Fall, often forcing her to choose to attend either club practice or B-CC practice throughout the season.
Playing for two high-level Varsity teams comes with a price, however, and Ellis is beginning to feel the pressure as she endures her second year of high school. “As classes become more challenging, I don’t know if I can handle both,” said Ellis. Nevertheless, she plans to persevere, living the life of a talented dual-sport student-athlete for B-CC.