Lauren Bredenburg will head to West Point this summer after playing three sports this year.
Despite a year of change — and backlash from some — as North Carroll and Manchester Valley high schools became one, Lauren Bredenburg found success, friendship and support in her final year.
The Carroll County native went through three years at North Carroll before being sent to Manchester Valley for her last year.
"I think it really taught me how to overcome obstacles. Things are going to happen in your life and you're not going to have much control over them so … you just kind of have to just go with it," Brandenburg said. "It was a fun time and both schools … helped make me into the person I am today."
But what helped — and what's been a big part of her life — was sports.
Being on a team, or any club, helps that type of transition, Bredenburg said. Plus, the staff, administration and coaches were supportive and provided assistance throughout it all, she said.
Bredenburg was a three-sport athlete her last year of school, playing lacrosse and soccer and running indoor track. She'll continue her time in lacrosse when she heads to West Point where she was recruited to play.
"I just love to stay active and just get out and do things," she said.
Indoor track was a new addition this year, but Bredenburg said she's been playing soccer and lacrosse for a long time — "pretty much since I could walk," she added. She played midfield in soccer and was primarily defense in lacrosse, she said.
Sports help keep her in shape, Bredenburg said, something that's good for her future at West Point. But her favorite memory from sports was really about that team feeling, she said — "having that camaraderie."
Sports taught her to go out and work hard every day to not let her team down. She learned to be a good leader, and never expect things from people that she herself can't do. She learned to lead by example, she said.
Shelly Brezicki, Bredenburg's lacrosse coach at Manchester Valley, said Bredenburg was a "very dedicated, committed kid."
She was always determined and despite not being an official team captain, stepped up into a leadership role, Brezicki said.
Bredenburg even volunteered to help teach an eighth-grade recreation lacrosse team, Brezicki said. Bredenburg worked hard to build strong relationships in the community and with the kids who would be coming up in the program, she said.
"We really appreciate her taking that on," Brezicki added.
Bredenburg's ability to balance anything that comes her way is going to serve her well at West Point and in the service, Brezicki said.
Bredenburg heads to West Point in July for six weeks of basic training, and school starts in August. Growing up in a military family — both her uncle and her stepfather served — she knew she wanted to go to a service academy and give back, she said.
After graduation, she's required to serve for five years. She's hoping to move into aviation in that time.
"I just feel honored to be able to be a part of this and to be able to give back to the nation and the people," Bredenburg added.