Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Sophia McCarty – De Pere girls’ basketball
By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – Sophia McCarty, a senior member of the De Pere girls’ basketball team, is a three-year varsity player.
Though unsure where she’ll attend college, Sophia, the daughter of Dan and Katrina McCarty, plans to study computer science and possibly play basketball at the next level.
The De Pere school district moved all its fall sports to the spring because of COVID-19, and despite currently being virtual with its instruction, the school decided to move forward with its winter sports.
“I’m grateful we’re getting the chance to play this winter,” said McCarty, who also played tennis her freshman and sophomore years and softball her freshman year. “Coming into this season, we weren’t sure we’d have a season, and we couldn’t even have any open gyms. We had our doubts, but when we got the go-ahead to play, it was crazy.”
De Pere’s head coach is Jeremy Boileau.
“He’s a great coach and pushes us hard,” McCarty said. “At the same time, he’s there for us if we need someone to talk with. It’s great having a coach who cares about us. He’s also heavily involved in the De Pere youth program.”
The Redbirds also have a Division I talent in junior Jordan Meulemans on the team.
“Jordan is a great player,” said McCarty, who describes herself as hard-working, caring and kind. “She has a high basketball IQ and is always looking for others and making great plays. To have her on the team is great. She makes everyone else around her better.”
She said her most memorable moment on the court occurred last season when De Pere hosted Green Bay Southwest.
“We won 63-62 in overtime,” McCarty said. “The gym was packed, and there were fans everywhere. Jaddan Simmons (from Southwest) was on fire that night. She shot a three right at the end, and it almost went in. It was a great feeling to play in a game like that. It will be weird this season not having any fans (due to COVID-19) in the stands. We’ll have to adjust.”
Simmons, who scored 35 points that night, is now playing Division I basketball at Arizona State University.
An injury led to McCarty’s most embarrassing moment.
“I had to play with my glasses on during a game last year because I scratched my cornea,” she said. “That was embarrassing.”
McCarty also has two younger sisters, Liv and CeCelia.
“Liv is a fifth-grader and CeCe is a first-grader,” she said.
McCarty, whose dad is the St. Norbert College football coach, likes to hang out with friends, hunt, play arcade games and play tennis as a hobby.
“It’s great having my dad as a coach,” she said. “In the fall, it’s always fun going to his games. My dad knows what to say to me, but at the same time, he expects lots from me. He does it because he loves me.”
McCarty, who said she’ll miss the community feeling and how supportive everyone is at De Pere, is one-quarter Filipino.
“My middle name is Bordallo, which is also Filipino,” she said. “My grandma was born in the Philippines, and she and my grandpa met during the Vietnam War. She came back to the United States with him, and the rest is history. They had four daughters, including my mom. I’m close to my family, and they are all from this area, so I see myself sticking pretty close to home – I’m a homebody.”
McCarty also likes hamburgers, the restaurant Chipotle, chocolate chip ice cream, Christmas, the month of September and professional basketball player Sabrina Ionescu.