The Raleigh Sports Club honored varsity cross country runner and varsity soccer player Sophia Hopper ’24 as their Student-Athlete of the Week at their weekly luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The keynote speaker was Duke University men’s basketball coach Jon Scheyer.
Sophia is a seven-time letter winner in cross country and soccer. She is a vital member of both programs who competes at a high level while being one of the top academic students in her class. She has received numerous academic awards and recognition during her Upper School career, including induction into the National Honor Society and Cum Laude Society, the Ravenscroft Outstanding Student Award and the Ravenscroft Scholar Award. She is a two-year member of the Student-Athlete Leadership Training Program, nominated by her coaches in both sports. Sophia also participates in soccer outside of school for the 06 NCFC White North team.
Her coaches were quick to praise Sophia and celebrate this recognition.
“Sophia is the epitome of a team player, always wanting to do what is best for her team,” varsity soccer coach Rob Smith said. “She has played in multiple positions, coming off the bench or as a starter, depending on the situation. Sophia never complains, always puts out her best efforts and is a resource for the underclassmen both on the field and in the classroom. Almost daily, she asks what she can do to get better. Having this kind of leadership on the girls soccer team has been great.”
“Sophia is a great asset to the team,” varsity cross county coach Jim Van Veen added. “Although cross country is not her primary sport, she works hard and always gives her best effort in practice and competition. She is very kind and always supportive of her teammates.”
Sophia’s work ethic and leadership were also noted by Assistant Head of Upper School Tawambi Settles and Director of Student-Athlete Well-Being Sam Borkovic.
“Sophia is a dynamic student who rises to the occasion when presented with leadership opportunities,” Settles said. “She always represents the Ravenscroft community admirably on and off the field while maintaining a 4.0+ GPA, having taken multiple AP classes.”
“Sophia demonstrates the essential components of a student-athlete: she is a fierce competitor and maintains a high standard of performance both in the classroom and in sport,” Borkovic said. “She recognizes the importance of community by being an active member of several leadership organizations on campus, including the Community Service Board. Most importantly, Sophia is a joy to be around! She has a playful sense of humor that balances her determination and drive for excellence.”
Raleigh Sports Club is in its 60th season of providing weekly luncheons featuring speakers representing all parts of the college and professional athletic scene. Sophia was accompanied at the event by her parents, Coach Van Veen, Gibbons and Borkovic.
For Sophia, the recognition is affirmation of one of the things she loves most about Ravenscroft: having the opportunity to get involved in a varsity of activities and pursuits.
“I really enjoyed the program, especially listening to and meeting Coach Scheyer, and am really grateful that Ravenscroft has gotten me here by providing the opportunity to pursue my variety of interests,” she said.
Congratulations to Sophia!