Changing the Game

Two female athletes have posted impressive resumes on the field at Newsome- but which one is more accomplished?

Seniors, Emily Harrell and Lindsey Eaton pose before heading to practice. Emily Harrell is known for playing 3 varsity sports (basketball pictured here) while Lindsey Eaton is a varsity star soccer player.

Our culture has long valued the presence of men more than women in professional sports. The average NBA player makes $4.9 Million while the average WNBA player makes merely $72,000. Over time, it nearly became an assumption that male athletes were more impressive than their female counterparts.

However, an unfamiliar pattern has risen in recent decades. Women are not only becoming greater participants in sports but they are becoming significantly more successful at them. They are getting faster, stronger, better-coached, and better-trained. They are being brought up not just to play in high school but to be recruited, earn scholarships, and even chase their dreams of becoming professionals which in previous generations was discouraged.

At Newsome in particular, we have an extremely talented array of female athletes. Countless banners quietly hang among the rafters in the gym representing the greatness our females have achieved over the years in their respective sports. Two members of the Class of 2016 truly represent the newfound dominance in women’s sports.

One represents the hard work, the competitive nature, and the natural athletic ability that modern female athletes have. Competing in three different high school sports (and another not sponsored by the school), Senior Emily Harrell has displayed an incredible amount of versatility and athletic ability. She starts at quarterback for the flag football team, puts up consistently impressive times in cross country, and dominates on the basketball court, all while playing on a travel softball team and maintaining the 12th highest GPA in her class.

The other, however, is a fierce and talented athlete, taking home countless accolades for both herself and her team during her three years at Newsome. Senior soccer player Lindsey Eaton has been a force on the Newsome soccer field since her freshman year and is already committed to in-state power UCF on a full soccer scholarship.

So the question becomes, if both are such talented athletes and have had so much success in their high school careers, how can we figure out which one is better?

“I am very competitive and determined to do my best,” Harrell argued, “I always give 100% and I always hustle.” This is certainly true; Harrell gives herself an edge with her competitive nature, evidenced by her year-round participation in Varsity sports. Cross country starts in summer and runs through fall, as soon as that’s done she switches to the court to spend the winter playing basketball, and when that comes to an end she transitions to the gridiron where she spends her spring playing football. Nobody puts in an effort like that solely out of pleasure. Harrell is motivated and determined to be the best, a trait that can’t be undervalued.

Eaton on the other hand only plays one high school sport. But she sure is good at it. She’s team captain, she’s on the Olympic Developmental Program state team, she is a District and Regional champion, and she yields multiple scholarship offers out of which she chose University of Central Florida, a women’s soccer powerhouse with great coaches and facilities.

“I have great vision and strength as a soccer player. I also have a strong competitive nature which helps my team to victory,” claims Eaton. Playing just one sport, Eaton has accumulated three district titles, while Harrell has accounted for a total of just one district title. But on a team stacked with all-county and highly recruited players, you can’t contribute all of the soccer team’s success to the talented forward. And conversely, Harrell has often played with a slightly less valued supporting cast.

So it’s fair to say Harrell gets the edge in versatility. She has shown an incredible athletic prowess, dominating in three different sports, competing on a travel softball team, and being named a captain for both cross country and basketball.

It’s also fair to say that Eaton gains an edge for being a Division 1 college recruit. She is attending a prominent in-state school on full scholarship while Harrell plans to play club flag football, which is more competitive than intramurals but a step below real NCAA athletics, because flag football scholarships are not offered.

So which transcendent female athlete has a more impressive resume? We take the Division 1 college recruit, merely based off her personal accomplishments and attention from highly ranked universities. Both Emily Harrell and Lindsey Eaton are incredible players and people, but only one can be the best, and this one goes to Eaton.