If anyone was to ever log the number of hours Phoebe May spent at Fieldston in her four years there, it is not hyperbole to suggest no other student or staff member came close to her time.
May was always there. Really, always there. When she wasn’t toiling for the Eagles field hockey team in the fall, she was breaking a sweat with the girls basketball team in winter.
But her favorite time of the year came in the spring when May played a dominant role on Fieldston’s softball team, a regular contender in the New York State Association of Independent Schools state championship tournament each year.
Toss in all those days of practice along with all those games, and one can see why her Manhattan home was more of her home away from home.
“I love sports so much that it’s kind of my outlet,” said May, who graduated this past spring. “So to have practice after school every day as well as games, it kind of gave me structure. I was able to get all my energy out and have some fun after school, and then get home and be able to focus on my schoolwork. So sports really helped me find a way to get all of my work done and get all of my energy out on the field.”
While her sports career kept her busy around the school calendar, May’s first love was and remains softball. It’s also where she and her teammates enjoyed the most success.
“In softball we made it to the semifinals of the NYSAIS this year, which was great,” May said. “This was the only year in my four years that we didn’t make it to the championship, so that was a little disappointing. But we did have a very good season, and I’m really proud of how the team came together.”
Though there was some success with field hockey, softball also presented May with her favorite sports memories.
“Winning (the NYSAIS championship) my freshman year was super awesome,” she said. “I got close to a lot of the older girls on that team, so to be part of a championship team was really cool.”
Another highlight for May happened this year. “We were playing Poly Prep, and our centerfielder, Grace Dearden, ran through the centerfield fence to rob a home run. That was awesome. It was pretty sick.”
May, who received All-Ivy First Team recognition for both softball and field hockey this past year, said playing sports at Fieldston made her high school experience more complete.
“I played three sports there for all four years, and it was super difficult but super rewarding,” May said. “I think that my experience has been nothing but positive. I had so much community there and I grew so much as an athlete and a person. I really liked going from being an underclassman who looked up to the upperclassmen to being one of the upperclassmen who was doing their best to be a mentor to the younger players.”
Fieldston’s loss will now be Haverford College’s gain as May is headed to the suburban Philadelphia school in the fall. But her three-sport days are over as May plans to focus solely on softball.
“They’re a pretty good Division III program and they made it all the way to their conference championship this year,” May said. “I always knew I wanted a small school, so I was able to find that there and the girls that I was able to meet when I visited reminded me of teams that I had been on. They were a very close-knit group and I really wanted to be a part of that.”
May plans to tackle a pretty ambitious major as well.
“I was always interested in medicine so I definitely want to pursue pre-med,” May said. “And I’ve also been looking into some sociology courses that they offer. I find that very interesting.”
And while May is wildly excited to get on a collegiate softball diamond, there are some pangs of regret about leaving her Fieldston home.
“I’m going to miss it a lot,” May said. “I’m really excited that I’ll be playing softball in college, but there was something special at Fieldston. That program was just so important to me becoming who I am right now.
“I’m definitely going to miss it. I only have good memories from Fieldston.”