Falmouth Academy does not always have a large number of excellent individual athletes, but they always seem to have at least a couple of really high-quality ones. Over the past several seasons Ainsley Ramsey has been a top-tier performer for the Mariners each season, starring for her little school on the soccer pitch, basketball court and lacrosse field. She earned the “Decathlon” designation at FA, a nod to athletes at the school who earn 10 varsity letters. She blew past that number, though, gaining 13 while at the school.
Unfortunately, Ainsley did not get to light it up one last season for the lax squad, but she put a nice cap on her career with the hoop squad. The daughter of Andree and John Ramsey excelled on and off the athletic field at FA, where history was her favorite subject in school. She said that her cats are her most-prized possessions, and she’s also very protective of her lacrosse stick.
On the fields she has been an all-star seven different times, with back-to-back selections the past two years in soccer and hoops. In lax she was a three-time all-star and named league MVP last year. She’s the outgoing student council president at FA and on the headmaster’s list.
“Clueless” and “Nerve” are her two favorite movies. “Outer Banks” is her favorite TV show, followed by “Friends.” Ainsley said she likes all kinds of music. Her go-to meal is stuffed peppers or burgers, with fries or mashed potatoes and chocolate cake.
Ainsley was named this year’s recipient of the Mariner Award, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about her as an athlete. It goes to the player who best represents Falmouth Academy on the field of play.
How did you get involved in lacrosse? How much do you enjoy it?
I started playing in 4th grade because it looked interesting and I knew a few people who played it. I love playing lacrosse. The sport had clicked with me from when I started playing, and it was just really fun.
What would your role have been during the spring season? What had you done to prepare for it?
I saw my role as someone who wanted to get the underclassmen excited about playing lacrosse. We have a lot of players new to the sport, so I wanted to try to get them not to give up on themselves when they dropped the ball or missed a catch, but to focus on how much they were improving by the day. I wanted to boost morale and have fun during my senior spring. We had a few meetings before the season (while we were still going to school) when Coach Knowles gave us the schedule and made everyone look forward to the season. Personally, I play club lacrosse year-round, so I was doing that to keep my skills sharp and also talking to other girls to get them excited to play.
You have played three sports at FA. What has been your favorite, and what inspired you to try so many?
My favorite is easily lacrosse. I love the other two as well, but neither of them clicks with me like lacrosse. I was inspired to play them all because when I started FA all of the girls I looked up to played all three sports. It just seemed like the thing to do because, A, it kept you in shape and, B, FA is so small that when someone plays one sport they end up playing them all.
What did you feel when you found out that your senior season would not be played?
I think I knew it was coming. Even so, I was really disappointed that the season was canceled. It felt really weird and surreal that I would never play for FA again.
If I could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be and why?
I think it would have to be the SJP [St. John Paul II High School] game when I was an 8th grader or a freshman. It was a super-close and intense game, and we came back to win. We all knew we wanted to win, and so we did. That was one of my favorite games to play.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
Committing to play lacrosse in college. FA-wise, probably learning how to play basketball from 7th to 9th grades and then starting the next three years, I put in a lot of hard work to play, and it was terrifying at times (I used to mess up a lot), but slowly I started to be able to see the court better and it was not so confusing or scary.
Why did you choose to go the small-school route, and how do you think it worked out?
I chose to go to FA in August before my 7th grade year. It was a really spontaneous decision, but my parents made a deal with me and said, “Just take it one year at a time, and if you hate it then you can leave.” I obviously did not hate it at all because I stayed throughout high school. I think the people made the school very welcoming; they just wanted to see me succeed. I will never regret my decision to go to FA. Sometimes I wonder how my life would look if I went to Falmouth High School, but I think that FA helped me in all aspects. For example, I would not be committed if I did not go to FA because I would not have thought to join a Boston lacrosse club. I think that FA was definitely the right choice for me.
Who is the best teammate you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
That depends on the sport. I have played with a huge amount of amazing athletes. For lacrosse, obviously Jane Earley because she is extremely driven to do her best (which extends to every sport she played). A few other people I think of are Charlotte and Eliza Van Voorhis because of their hard work and dedication to FA sports, and Kendall Currence and Devin Hill because both of them are insane at basketball.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions?
I have one small superstition. When I am on the draw circle, my hair cannot be in front of me (which is why I usually have it in a braid) or else I will lose the draw.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
Teamwork. If there is a team where all of them are good but they are only focused on themselves, then they are easy to beat, but if the team plays together, they are much much harder to beat. I have learned how to work together with people well even when we are losing and our energy is low.
Who has been your inspiration?
When I first started FA I looked up to so many upperclassmen girls who were always putting 100 percent into everything they did, whether it was sports or homework, and I wanted to be just like them.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
My family and the whole FA community have helped me achieve everything that I have, and I would not have been able to do that without them.
When quarantine life is over, what is the thing you are most looking forward to doing?
Graduating, seeing my friends and just enjoying the summer. I am also really looking forward to going to college.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
I think I was a lot shier and quieter as a freshman. If I could go back and give myself advice, it would be to just keep going toward my goals and everything will work out like it is supposed to, so do not lose hope.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I will drive an hour away to get a good burger.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what do you want to do?
Rihanna—because who would not want to be Rihanna? I would want to go to a really fancy Hollywood party, get dressed up and meet a lot of famous people.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
Eating breakfast with my family then going out to play a lacrosse game (and win) or practice, then go out on a boat for the day with my friends to go tubing and eat. Then maybe watch the sunset and then have a campfire.
What are your post-high-school plans?
I am going to Bowdoin College in Maine and playing lacrosse. I am not exactly sure what I am going to major in, but probably political science, international affairs or history.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
I will probably be traveling the world. I hope I have a steady job (maybe working for the government?) that allows me not to have to stay in one place.