Rye Lions Club Names Sophie Barber Athlete of the Month for November
By Mitch Silver
Here’s what her coach, Tony Campbell, has to say about the winner of the Lions Club Athlete of the Month award for November:
“At the annual Poly Prep Invitational squash tournament last weekend, our team’s ability to advance to the final came down to Sophie Barber’s match. She won in five games. Sophie has been an important contributor to the top of the playing order for all four years of high school. This year, as our #1 player, she takes on the top girl from each school we face. Her wonderful enthusiasm and energy and encouragement keep the team spirit up at all times.
“We are sure to have another successful season with Sophie leading the way. She’s a big part of why we expect to repeat for the sixth straight year as FairWest Girls League Champions.”
The Lions Club award, chosen in conjunction with the Rye High Athletic Department, honors those athletes whose feats on the playing field—in Sophie’s case, the court—are matched by outstanding academic achievement, participation in extra-curricular activities, and service to the wider community. Sophie is a champ all the way around.
U.S. Squash has recognized Sophie both as a nationally ranked junior who participates in Gold Level tournaments around the country and as a Squash Scholar Athlete, an honor she’s won the last two years.
Rye High has recognized her talents in the classroom as well. A National Honor Society member and High Honor Roll occupant right through high school, Sophie has achieved high marks in a half-dozen Advanced Placement classes, including U.S. and World History, Literature & Composition, Language & Composition, Art History, and French.
Perhaps her high marks in French can be explained in part by the fact that her parents are both natives of dual-speaking Canada, having met while students at Western University in London, Ontario. But that doesn’t explain Sophie’s mastery of American Sign Language. She says, “I have a relative who’s deaf, and I really wanted to know how to communicate with him.”
(Trivia tidbit: Ms. Barber is the second Lions Club Athlete of the Month in a row to know Sign Language; October’s Jack Iuliano also has that distinction.)
The November winner praised her creative writing teacher, Mr. Joel Edminster. “He made my AP class in Literature & Composition one of my all-time favorites. Mr. Edminister brings to life everything he teaches.”
Sophie’s choice of high school clubs says a lot about her. Adopt-a-Grandfriend makes monthly trips to nearby retirement homes, providing welcome companionship to seniors. The Connect with Tech Workshops are about making technology more user-friendly for, again, older people.
Sophie Barber also makes monthly trips to transitional homes for struggling families as a member of the Inspirica club. And she brings the anti-drug use message to middle schoolers as a member of Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse.
Winning this monthly award earns Sophie an invitation to the Lions’ year-end dinner at The Osborn, when Rye’s Athlete of the Year will be announced.