Emma Rigby has experienced both ends of the athletic spectrum.
She spends her springs as the star goalkeeper on the Waubonsie Valley girls soccer team that hardly ever loses, but during the winter, she toils for her school’s basketball team that rarely wins.
In Rigby’s first two seasons, the soccer team compiled a record of 35-9-4 and was ranked as high as No. 2 by the Chicago Sun-Times.
The basketball team, meanwhile, is 8-34 since Rigby joined the varsity last year. The Warriors went 4-22 last season and are nominally better this winter at 4-12.
“It’s definitely been like a learning experience because obviously with soccer we’re just used to winning and being really competitive, so [the losing] tells you where you are,” Rigby said. “You don’t get too cocky or anything. It kind of puts you in your place and it makes you strive to work harder and do better.”
Rigby, a 5-4 junior point guard, is a fierce competitor and has remained steadfast even as the Warriors have struggled. Her enthusiasm has never waned.
“No matter the outcome you just have to love the sport,” Rigby said. “If you love the sport, you have fun. I know we lose a lot but I have my basketball family, I have my soccer family. They’re both completely different but I love them both.”
Rigby and sophomore forward Jordan Masiak, a fellow soccer player, are bringing a winning attitude that was missing last season. It is slowly paying off as the Warriors have gone 4-3 since starting out 0-9.
Masiak scored the game-winning basket in a 41-39 upset of Metea Valley on Dec. 21, while Rigby had the tying and winning layups in Waubonsie’s 32-30 comeback win over West Chicago last Wednesday.
“She always has her confidence up,” senior Andrea Colin said of Rigby. “Even if we’re down by 40 points, she’s always like, ‘Guys, come on, we can still play better, this is not who we are.’ She always helps other people up when they get down on themselves.”
While the Warriors are a long way from where they want to be, the mood around the team is different from last year.
“I think no matter how down you get or how many losses you have, you just have to stay positive and then people just follow,” Rigby said.
“Because that was our problem last year; when you get down it’s just downhill from there. Right now we’re all positive and hopefully we’re looking at a [winning] streak.”
Waubonsie Valley coach Dave Owles appreciates Rigby’s attitude.
“She does a good job of being a leader in that regard and to her credit, she gets as excited or maybe more excited than anyone else when we win,” Owles said. “When we won at Metea, you would have thought she won the lottery she was so excited, which is good. That rubs off.”
Naperville Central has dominated Naperville North in recent years, winning the last four meetings and losing just once since 2008.
That might be different when the crosstown rivals meet at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at North in the first of their two annual meetings. The Huskies (11-6, 3-2 DuPage Valley) will be favored over the Redhawks (5-13, 2-3), but North knows better than to take anything for granted.
“Any time we play Central it’s really big,” North sophomore guard Laurel Pereira said. “We’ll need to really work hard … and be ready to fight against Central because even though they might be struggling a little bit this year, at least according to their record, we know that they’re a good team and they’re capable of winning against any team, so we have to give it our best effort.”