With the clock ticking against South Suburban Conference opponent Oak Forest and trailing by a goal, Damian Komperda stepped up for a meaningful penalty shot. In the crucial moment and with less than five minutes to go, he hammered home the pressure-packed goal and led the Spartans to a hard-fought tie.
“When the game was on the line, he had the confidence and personal responsibility to put the team on his shoulders and carry it across the finish line,” head coach Nate Joiner said. “Damian’s leadership is invaluable on the field and in the huddle.”
Komperda scored that big game-tying goal, but he also excels as a goalkeeper. In fact, he has 23 saves on the season and always seems to distribute the ball and organize the defense.
In tennis, Emily Pietrzak has stepped into a leadership role as the number-one singles player. She has amassed a season record of 4-5 thus far. Her courage on the court is making a big difference for the Spartans.
“Emily has shown senior leadership from the very first day of practice,” said girls tennis head coach Dan Doyle. “Her subtle, daring attitude in developing new shots to counterattack more seasoned opponents has allowed her to shine as the team’s backbone. As Emily goes, we go.”
“She has not only demonstrated to the younger players how to practice and conduct themselves in matches, but she has also anchored the grueling and intimidating number-one singles slot. What this means in practical terms is that Emily always faces our opponent’s best player.”