Favorite athlete: My favorite athlete is José Altuve. He’s short like me and a second baseman, and I have always loved watching him. I dressed up one year as José Cartuve.
Favorite team: My favorite team is the Phillies! Ever since I was little I have loved going to games with my family and seeing the Phillie Phanatic. My family even has a life-sized PhillIie Phanatic sculpture in our house!
Favorite memory competing in sports: My favorite memory playing softball has been the feeling of waiting every winter for the weather to warm up again and to finally be able to get back on the field for the first time in months.
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: My most embarrassing/funny thing that’s happened to me while competing in a softball game was probably sophomore year on my high school team diving into a base and ripping my pants. I got holes all over my pants from that game and no one forgot it.
Music on playlist: Some music on my playlist are songs by Drake, Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Dua Lipa, Dababy, Rihanna, Travis Scott, Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and more.
Future plans: I plan to attend Emerson College in the fall, play softball and major in Business of Creative Enterprises. I also plan to study abroad, travel after college and possibly do more schooling if that’s what I end up wanting to do! I’ll just have to see!
Words to live by: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” It sounds simple and is a very well-known quote, but I truly put myself in others shoes and try to treat everyone with kindness and respect -- the way I want to be treated.
One goal before turning 30: There are a lot of goals I want to accomplish before I am 30, but I would love to travel to Hawaii. I also would love to feel like I appreciated all my days and took the best from every day because we never know what could happen to us or someone we love.
One thing people don’t know about me: One thing people don’t know about me that’s weird is that I have double-jointed armpits. But something that people don’t know that’s more important is probably that I am actually very sensitive and can be serious — but I show a more goofy side that can sometimes seem like I wouldn’t get hurt.
By Craig Ostroff
Any chance to step onto a softball field is a welcome one for Carly Rosenberger.
But there’s something extra special about the high school season, just as the spring weather is starting to break.
“When it starts to get warm out, it makes running out on to the field a million times better,” Rosenberger said. “It’s something my dad said to me from the beginning, ‘It’s a beautiful day to play softball.’ That’s the attitude I go out on the field with.”
It’s an outlook that was instilled in Rosenberger from a young age, that it’s entirely possible to go out and play your hardest, take the game seriously, and still have fun.
“My dad was my coach when I first started playing in third grade,” she said. “He showed me that you need to be serious out there, but that it could also be fun and we could have fun during practices and have bubble gum and sunflower seeds. It taught me a lot about life, that there are times to be serious and times where you don’t have to be too serious. Softball can be work but it should always be fun as well.”
Those early days and lessons learned have stuck with Rosenberger.
“I think at the end of the day, making my dad proud of me and remembering what he’s taught me is what’s made me the player I am today,” Rosenberger said. “We really bonded over softball. He taught me everything I know.”
And it’s that attitude—combined with her talent and unmatched work ethic—that will make Rosenberger a central figure in determining the fortunes of this season’s Plymouth Whitemarsh softball team. After her junior year was cancelled due to the onset of the pandemic, Rosenberger and her fellow seniors are looking forward to taking their place as leaders and mentors to a young team.
In addition to this season being the first full varsity season for many Colonial players, it will also be the first season for coach Mike Perez, who came on board last year but only had the chance to experience tryouts and a few practices before the season was shuttered.
Yet despite his limited time with the team last season, it was clear from the beginning who was the heart and soul of the team, even if she was still a junior at the time.
“Carly has been awesome from Day 1, you could tell even last year that she’s the leader,” Perez said. “This year, it’s the same thing, whether it’s being the leader vocally or by setting an example for everyone else. Carly is the one who sets the tone for the entire team. Whether it’s practices, optional workouts, she’s the first one there, the first one to grab the equipment. Everything and anything she can do for the team, she’s on it.
“I haven’t been fortunate enough to have her in class, but every teacher I talk to tells me that she exemplifies what you’re looking for as far as student-athletes go. She’s a wonderful student and just a great all-around person to represent the school in general. We’re lucky to have her.”
Rosenberger will patrol the middle infield and bat near the top of the order for the Colonials. Her spot in the batting order is fitting, as it is also counted upon to provide a spark and fire up the dugout.
“I like leading off or batting second,” Rosenberger said. “I think I have strong at-bats. I’m usually going to find a way on base. And even if I’m not hitting, I’m going to have a long at-bat. I’m not going to be striking out, and I’m not striking out clean, I’m doing everything I can to get on base, and I think that’s what you need in the beginning of the game or an inning.”
Being a leader and captain on this year’s Colonial squad is an honor and responsibility that Rosenberger—and her fellow senior captains Emily Caffrey and Regan Gehman—are excited to undertake.
For Rosenberger, it’s a chance to give back. Having been accepted and mentored by upperclassmen during her freshman and sophomore seasons on varsity, she is eager to pay forward the kindness shown to her. She’s also hoping to be able to impart some of her wisdom to aid the younger players both on and off the field.
“I am the kind of person that does thrive off of being a leader,” Rosenberger said. “It’s not about getting compliments or recognition or things like that. To me, it’s knowing that my coaches respect me, knowing my teammates are looking to me or are appreciating what I’m doing or saying. I want to be that person who’s doing that for the team. I want other people to be learning and having a good time because I’m helping to create a positive and happy atmosphere for them.
“It’s all about finding the right mix. When I was a freshman, I was definitely always hustling, doing everything I could to try to stand out. But I was also a very silly and goofy person. I needed to be a little more serious and turn down the fun side. I remember my coach my freshman year talking to me about it. I love to have fun out there, but now I’ve been able to really turn down the fun when serious is needed and focus is needed.”
For Rosenberger, finding the right mix of serious and fun to inspire her teammates is the key. And it’s apparent in every move she makes while in uniform - even with something as simple as how she steps onto the field.
“Running out to the field, being the first one hustling, that’s what my dad taught me to do,” she said. “It’s really not something I think about, it’s just ingrained in me because that’s the kind of player I am. I don’t walk onto the field, I always run out there. And I’m not going to stand around, I’m going to start a drill or say let’s do something.
“It’s what I learned from my dad, it’s from the players I watched when I was younger and what they used to tell me. So I want to do the same now that I’m in that position to hopefully inspire the younger players, so that when they’re seniors, that attitude of hustle and working hard is ingrained in them.”
So far, her coach has no complaints about the way Rosenberger presents herself or works with her teammates. It’s almost like having another coach on the field.
“Maybe my favorite thing about Carly is that she doesn’t need instruction from a coach. She knows what needs to be done and she takes into her hands to get it going,” Perez said. “Whether that’s getting the equipment, leading stretches, whatever the case, she knows how to get the troops together to get it done. And she does it in a way that’s unique, she knows when to have fun and when to be serious. When it’s game time, she can flip the switch instantly. She knows when it’s OK to get a laugh and when to put on the game face and be ready to go.”
Rosenberger is also relishing the opportunity to simply be out on the field, playing softball with her friends and teammates. A four-year varsity player at PW who also plays for the elite Pennsbury Gems, having that social interaction is an important part of the game for Rosenberger. And after losing her junior season for PW, it’s not something she takes for granted.
In fact, this past year of cancelled social events and remote learning has been difficult at times for the self-professed extrovert. The inability to get together with friends, or even spend time in school, has not been easy for Rosenberger.
Much like the end of her junior year, Rosenberger spent much of her senior year studying remotely. Now she’s back walking the hallways of Plymouth Whitemarsh daily, and even if her in-person class size is exponentially smaller than it should be, Rosenberger is once again thriving in a place where she’s simply able to talk with others.
“The first semester was difficult for me,” she said. “My sister is in college, my parents are at work. By 6 p.m., I’d be wondering if I spoke more than 20 words today. I love talking to people, so it was hard for me to go to school on Zoom. But now, I’m just so happy to be back and to be able to talk to my teachers, or to my friends. I probably annoy some of the people in my class, but I’m just so happy to be with them, just to see the people every day.
“Once we had the option to come back, I knew I could not be at home all day by myself. I didn’t care if there was just one or two other people in the class, as long as I could say hi to one person or have one conversation or say hi to one teacher. One conversation with another person will make my entire day, and I feel like I’m also helping them. If they’re making me feel better by being able to have a face-to-face conversation with me, then hopefully I’m doing the same for them. That gets me though every day.”
The epitome of a well-rounded student-athlete, Rosenberger ranks among the top students in her class. In addition to her devotion to the softball team and a busy courseload, she is interested in creative outlets such as painting, drawing, photography, and fashion.
“Carly is a great example for all our younger players to look up to,” Perez said. “She proves that you don’t have to excel at one thing or the other, you can be a true student-athlete and excel in other things as well outside of school. And she just brings this positive vibe with her everywhere she goes. I see her in the hall, she’s always in a positive mood, always smiling and ready to go.”
Rosenberger will take that work ethic and those positive vibes to Emerson College in Boston in the fall. Accepted into the school’s Honors Program, Rosenberger will play softball for the Lions while majoring in Business of Creative Enterprises. Rosenberger said she felt at home at the smaller, liberal arts college in the heart of the big city.
“I love going into Philly, so I really think being in Boston, being in the city and in the middle of everything will make me feel more alive,” she said. “I think the people and the atmosphere at Emerson is really accepting of all types of people. It’s all about being yourself, being unique, learning about other people, which is what I’m all about. I’m looking forward to meeting people different from me and learning about their perspectives. Add in softball, and everything was a perfect fit.
“And I like the school colors.”
But before she suits up in the purple and yellow of Emerson, Rosenberger has one more season in blue and red. As with most teams this season, a lot will depend on how quickly the younger players adjust and contribute. Rosenberger is ready to do her part to make that happen.
And when the season ends, Rosenberger said she will not measure the team’s success by trophies or championships. Surprisingly, Rosenberger said she will consider the season a success if it ends with something rather ironic for someone known to be so positive and upbeat - tears.
“Obviously I want to win and go far, but that’s probably not the most important thing to me,” she said. “I think what would make me feel really satisfied is if I’m able to have an impact on the team and on PW. If I feel like I was able to inspire the younger girls and bond with the team. I want us to be a family by the end of the season. I want to be best friends with the freshmen and sophomores, I want them to feel like they’re going to have a great high school career, and I want to help them get to a point where they feel like they will be able to make an impact on the people that are coming in after them.
“When it’s time for my Senior Night game, if I’m crying and sad and telling everyone I love them, then I’ll feel good about everything we accomplish this season.”
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