By Mitch Silver
This fall, you’ll find Rye High senior Cassidy Pagen on the tennis courts at Disbrow Park, playing first doubles for the Rye Girls’ Tennis team. Once the winter season begins, she’s out on the slopes, a captain of the Rye Ski team. And in spring, she’s a starter on offense for the Garnets’ Lacrosse squad.
A scholar as well as a fine athlete, Cassidy has compiled a 101+ GPA and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT college entrance test. And now, the Rye Lions Club, together with the school’s Athletic Department, has named her its first Athlete of the Month of the 2022-23 school year.
In nominating her for the award, Head Coach Tony Campbell had this to say: “Cassidy, paired with sophomore Charlotte Lorraine, has amassed a 5-2 record, anchoring the four wins we have this year and keeping us close in our three team losses. They’ve only lost to Harrison’s first doubles team, who played in the Section quarterfinals last year.”
Coach Campbell credits Cassidy’s calm leadership for the team’s super cohesiveness. “Her dedication is most clearly on view in the knee brace she wears on court. She had ACL surgery earlier this year and worked hard to have a successful rehab, wanting to return for fall tennis ahead of schedule.
“Cassidy has been an inspiration to the team, playing at a higher level than expected, and has the team doing the same.”
In the classroom, Cassidy has won departmental awards in Geometry/Trigonometry and Latin, earning membership in the National Honor Society. She was recently named a National Merit Semifinalist, one of only three at Rye High School. She also plays first violin in the school orchestra, earning entry into the National Music Honor Society.
Asked to name her favorite classes, Cassidy chose two: “Dr. Zung made Chemistry interesting due to his dedication to the subject and his students. And Miss Warner kept me engaged in AP Psychology, taking every opportunity to relate it to real life.”
Tennis isn’t Cassidy’s first sport. “It was skiing. Both my parents are avid skiers. My mom participated at San Diego State, and my dad at St. Michael’s in Vermont. I injured myself in an optional workout the day before Sectionals in February, so I missed my junior season and played lacrosse while I rehabbed.”
While her plate is more than full, Cassidy has taken a lead role in the fight against cancer. She won the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2021 Student of the Year Award in recognition of the Rye for the Cure Club she founded to raise funds for cancer research. The 38-member club raised a record $108,000 last year and another $106,000 this year.
Asked if she wanted to thank anyone for the Lions Club honor, Cassidy replied, “My coach, Tony Campbell. He’s good at motivating you out on the court without being too critical. I also want to thank my father, who introduced me, and my two younger brothers, to skiing and other sports, and was adamant about my sticking with them!”
This win makes Cassidy eligible to attend the Lions Club year-end luncheon honoring all the monthly winners, and to appear on the ballot for Rye’s Athlete of the Year.