With a few shorts months remaining in her high school career, Sandwich senior Molly MacFarland can look back on her time knowing she’s made an impact.
On the soccer field she’s a two-time Atlantic Coast League all-star as well as a two-year captain for the Blue Knights girls’ soccer program. During the winter months, she’s served as the girls’ basketball team’s manager, recording the games and keeping track of the books. And for the spring, she runs track, competing in the 400-meter hurdles and the 4x400-meter relay.
She, much like her twin sister Sara MacFarland, is a part of the National Honor Society and is also the senior class secretary. Outside of school, she donates her time to the Adaptive Sports Club at the high school, playing wheelchair basketball with patients affiliated with the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. For the Cape Cod Challenger Club, MacFarland plays soccer with people ranging in age from 4 to 40 who have disabilities.
It is because of these reasons that MacFarland is a triple-threat in life. And the folks at the Positive Coaching Alliance took notice. She is one of six recipients of the New England Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship. The group will be celebrated on April 25 at the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston.
According to PCA founder Jim Thompson in his book, “Elevating Your Game: Becoming a Triple-Impact Competitor,” MacFarland had to detail how she not only made her teammates better athletes but herself, too, while honoring the game in the process.
“[It is] an athlete who works to improve oneself, teammates and the game as a whole,” Thompson detailed on his website. “These individuals play a special role in helping to develop better athletes and better people. Being a Triple-Impact Competitor is not easy. It requires commitment and sacrifice.”
MacFarland found the scholarship when surfing her time line on Twitter and researched the organization’s mission statement and it stuck out to her.
“They were looking for people who have athletic success, but also people who are community-driven,” she said. “They’re very centered around developing athletes at the youth level.”
Of the roughly 300 applicants, PCA selected 15 New England finalists, including MacFarland. She knew from the start the application process was going to be competitive, but then again, that’s one of the reasons why she loves athletics to begin with.
In February, she was a Cape Cod finalist along with Barnstable’s Mackenzie Curtice for the scholarship, but in April she’ll be standing next to the following regional winners: Mia Arrieta (Middletown High School), Dax Billingsley (Lynn English), Travis Grosse (Danville), Donnarie Noble (Achievement First Hartford) and Danielle Panico (Abington).
When asked how she reacted to the good news, MacFarland responded humbly.
“I was pretty shocked when I found out, to be honest,” MacFarland said. “It’s such a competitive pool of athletes who all play sports, like I do, and were probably captains, like I was.”
But she finished her thought with confidence, adding that what she brings to the table is unique.
“I bring a love for the game,” she said. “I love all sports. I love being on a team and how they shape people as a collective group and as an individual. There’s no words to describe the feeling when you win as a team. I love having that feeling. That’s why I’m continuing to play sports at the collegiate level.”
She’ll bring that mindset, and her competitiveness, with her to Ithaca College, where she plans to play for the Division III NCAA soccer program.
“It just goes to show that if you really want something to never stop working at it,” she said. “If you put in the time and effort, in the long run, the results will always show.”