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Getting to the Point

Saugus’ Jamie Molacek will play soccer at West Point, among other duties

Posted: January 28, 2009 10:13 p.m.
Updated: January 29, 2009 4:56 a.m.

Saugus High junior soccer player Jamie Molacek has committed to play the sport at the United States Military Academy.

 
Grant, Lee, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Patton and Molacek.

It’s a stretch right now, but Saugus High soccer player Jamie Molacek could join that group of United States Military Academy alumni.

Only a junior, Molacek has verbally committed to West Point.

Back in April at the National Cup in Lancaster, Molacek caught the eye of Army head girls soccer coach Stefanie Golan, who will be in her first year at the helm next season.

Molacek remembers her friends’ response when they heard the news: “You’re crazy, but that’s a good accomplishment.”

In order to get accepted, the school will evaluate her academic record, extracurricular activities and SAT scores.

She must pass a medical exam and fitness test, and receive a congressional nomination.

Her connection to the soccer program allows her to streamline the process and work with the athletic department to make sure all the requirements are met.

Understated, she is calm and relaxed, even amid the looming six-week trip to basic training that will precede her education.

Every summer, she will spend more time in physical training.

Molacek will study and train with the same company all four years, only getting major holidays and few weeks during the summer to come back to visit family and friends.

Molacek is looking forward to finding a second family at West Point.

“(They will be) life-long friendships, people that you know will always be there for you,” Molacek says.

Though she is looking forward to playing soccer at West Point, in the end it was the education that drew her there, picking the Army over Pepperdine, Brown and the University of California Riverside.

Talking with local recruiters, the message is the same — going to West Point is an honor, and a scholarship is not something that is thrown around.

Recruiters even compared the education to that of Harvard, noting that most generals today and in the past were alumni.

But a military career is not on Molacek’s mind.

She wants to go into medicine, possibly working in sports medicine one day.

The decision came after a visit out east in which Molacek followed other cadets around the campus, to classes, through soccer practices and stayed in the barracks.

The thought of staying in barracks does not sit as well with Molacek’s mother as it does with Jamie.

“It’s military,” says Cindy Molacek. “My little girl is going to learn how to shoot a gun. They are going to drop her off somewhere and she is going to have to walk 25 miles back to base. That’s scary. But what an adventure for her.”

The decision caught the family off guard, not knowing it was really on their daughter’s radar.

“You know, honestly, it’s not a route that we had ever considered,” Cindy admits. “But she is a kid that wants to be a part of something bigger. She doesn’t want what everyone else is doing. She is not a follower. She is not a real vocal leader, but people follow her.”

Saugus head coach Lisa Rollo agrees, calling Molacek, who has six goals in five Foothill League games this season, a “silent leader.”

The choice fits the junior, who can be described as no-frills and to the point.

Most importantly, Molacek is disciplined.

Throughout the year, she balances school, a job and soccer and is able to maintain a GPA above 4.0.

“She is probably the quietest person on the team but she leads by example and she leads by action,” Rollo says. “So when she is on the field and she decides she is going to go crazy and take the ball and drive, the team completely follows her lead. She’s not going ‘Hey let’s go.’ She’s going, ‘Watch me and follow me.’ And everyone does.”

That is the kind of leadership that cannot be taught.

West Point can foster the rest.

Ask Molacek what excites her the most about the opportunity and her answer is simple.

“I’m looking forward to everything,” she says.

pputignano@the-signal.com

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