Nutley Female Athlete of the Month

Samantha Gabriele, NHS senior — Soccer

What got you interested in playing soccer in the first place?
Soccer has been a big part of my life ever since I was little. Growing up having older brothers, we were constantly in the backyard playing sports, and they were involved in their own soccer teams, so of course I wanted to play as well. Also, my dad always had an influence on my soccer career, because he was a good player himself and continues to push me to be the best I can be.

What are some of your memories of playing soccer for Nutley High School?
Through my time on this team, I have made lifelong friends, and we have made so many memories together, from bus rides to team-bonding, and everything in between. One specific memory I have from freshman year is when I scored my first goal. I jumped up into my teammate’s arms and everyone crowded around to congratulate me. It really shows how close we become each year, and how much everyone cares about each other.

Do you or your team have any pregame rituals?
One pregame ritual we have is a pasta party the night before every game. Everyone gets a chance to host one, starting with the captains, and it is a great time for us to not only carb-up, but talk and have fun.

Are you involved in any other extracurricular activities?
Besides high school and club soccer, I also have been running varsity track in both the winter and spring since I was a freshman, in events such as the 1,600-meter and 800-meter. I have also been a part of many clubs at NHS, my favorite of which being Unified Sports, an inclusive sports program.

Do you have a favorite subject in school and why?
My favorite class in school would probably have to be my radio TV broadcasting class because I really enjoy video editing and it helps me explore a future career path.

Who are your role models and why?
My role models for both athletics and academics have always been my two older brothers. They have continued to set a good example for me ever since I was younger through their successes and good character.

The holidays are coming up.  How do you and your family celebrate?
The holidays, for us, is all about spending time with family. It is one of my favorite times of the year because I get to see all my cousins and relatives on both sides of the family, and eat good food.

What are your post-graduation plans?
After graduation, I am excited to attend Montclair State University as a communications major, and play for the women’s soccer team there.