Little rest for year-round athlete
Lynch is standout in three sports
Centerfielder Sybil Lynch of Pine Manor College (Mass.) is a multi-talented athlete who makes difficult plays look easy. In an early round of the Great South Atlantic Conference Softball Tournament played in Winston-Salem last weekend, Lynch turned in one of the most memorable defensive plays of the day when Pine Manor played Agnes Scott College (Ga.).
Agnes Scott had two runners on base when Ashley Monsrud slapped a blooper to short left-centerfield that looked like it would fall for a base hit. Lynch, in the meantime, covered a lot of ground in a hurry to make a sliding catch, which kept both runners from advancing and scoring.
Even though Lynch is a freshman, she has a well-established reputation for delivering in the clutch. The big-play skills, however, aren’t confined to the softball diamond. Lynch is a genuine athlete for all seasons, which is quite rare in an era in which college jocks tend to devote all their time to a singular sport. In that respect, Lynch is a throw-back to those days when the best athletes tried their hand at – and excelled at – whatever sport they chose to play. There is no off-season for Lynch. In her case, it’s more like a constant annual cycle in which one season ends and another season begins.
Being a year-round athlete is nothing new for the 5-feet-4 freshman from Hoboken, NJ. It’s the norm. You could even debate that it’s part of her DNA.
“It’s something that I’ve done since I was seven years old,” she said. “It’s really like a daily routine for me.”
Lynch has made an immediate impact in her first year at Pine Manor, a NCAA Division III all-women’s school located in the suburbs of Boston. As a college rookie this school year, she pulled off what can be considered an unprecedented trifecta in post-season honors. Lynch is a GSAC All-Freshman pick in softball, basketball and soccer.
“Sybil has had a tremendous impact in all three sports,” said Ashley Bernstein, who doubles as Pine Manor’s softball and soccer coach. “She’s a great all-around athlete who has a lot of personality. Her competitive nature helps everybody. They feed off of her energy. To accomplish all that Sybil has accomplished as a freshman is huge.”
As the Gators’ lead-off hitter, Lynch finished her first collegiate season with a .377 batting average and 10 RBIs, led the team with seven stolen bases in nine attempts and was second in runs scored (23).
“Having Sybil get on base is always a big key for us,” said Bernstein. “When she gets on, we know she has that ability to score runs.”
She was a point guard on the basketball court, Pine Manor’s second-leading scorer with 14 points per game. She also averaged 3.5 rebounds and two steals.
In soccer, excelled as a hard-to-guard offensive threat. Lynch scored a team-high nine goals for the season, which included two game-winning scores. In her best game, she scored three goals, giving the Gators a 3-1 win over Daniel Webster.
Regardless of which level a college athlete competes at (NCAA Division I, II or III), the time demands for athletes aren’t easy to handle in an effective manner. It requires a sustained level of dedication for athletes to play sports and still maintain their grades.
“It’s critical for athletes to have good time management skills,” said Lynch, who has a 3.4 grade-point average as a Business major. “You have to make the best use of the time you have between practices, games and studying.”
Looking back, Lynch acknowledges that her first season as a college athlete was far more than what she expected. With three more years remaining, she looks forward to what the future holds.
“I’m very thankful for my coaches,” she said. “In college, the coaching is more intense, and there’s no time for anyone to play around. They know how to push you to be the player they know you can be. I’m very excited about being All-Freshman in three sports. At the same time, it seems so surreal.”