Two of the best high school leaders in Bergen County were present at River Dell yesterday for the Quarterfinals of the Bergen County Tournament. Kaitlin McGeown from Immaculate Conception and Jess Potestivo from Westwood Regional High School are two of the most vocally positive leaders in Bergen County.
Kaitlin McGeown plays as the 6th/7th/8th man for IC, entering the game at times when the team needs her the most on the court. Although she does contribute on the court by grabbing a pertinent rebound, drawing a crucial foul, or nailing a shot, her biggest contribution to the team comes through her leadership and motivational skills. As one of the captains of the team, she cheers everyone on, picks them up when they are feeling down, and offers advice. This is a big difference from McGeown's role on the team last year.
"Last year I was still learning, not only how to play with the team, but how to be a team leader for my senior year. But being a leader isn't about playing every game and scoring all the points, it's about being there for the team and motivating everyone to play the game they know and love. I love getting my team rowdy and excited to play. For me, expressing my leadership is being loud and staying positive even through the toughest times," explained McGeown.
It is extremely difficult for most high school players to remain positive if the team is down. It is especially difficult if that player is on the bench. Only a great person with good character can do this, and Kaitlin McGeown is that person.
Another player who does not let obstacles effect her team leadership is Westwood's Jess Potestivo. When an injury to her ACL and meniscus sidelined her for the remainder of her senior year, she did not give up on her team. Even though she is unable to fully participate, she still attends their practices. She is on their bench during every game, cheering for them and motivating them to play harder. Potestivo's vocality has helped Westwood to raise their level of play considerably. They defeated Fair Lawn in the first round of the counties, Midland Park (seeded 7th) in the second round, and then fell to Immaculate Conception (2nd seed) by 15 points in the third round.
If someone subs out, Potestivo is sure to give them words of encouragement and advice. During half-time, she points out things she noticed in the first half.
These two incredible leaders play a major role on their teams even if they are not present on the court for the entire game.