Felicia Renelus ’17, four year senior and small forward from from Valley Stream, New York, has played basketball all four winters of her Deerfield career. She was named co-captain of the varsity team last year, and came into her senior season with two years of experience on the varsity team. As of February 17, the team’s record is 8-10.
Tess Mannix ’20 had high praise for her captain, noting her charisma and leadership: “She’s always motivating; she always congratulates you, high-fives you. If you’re having a bad game, [Renelus] picks your head up.”
On her growth throughout her basketball career, Renelus mentioned the importance of having a good work ethic and staying positive. “Keep working hard, keep doing what you do best, know what you’re good at and keep working on it,” Renelus reflected. “Even if you think that right now you’re not getting a lot of playing time or you’re not seeing any improvement, it will come.”
Mannix also commented on Renelus’s competitive drive: “Off the court, she puts in the extra work, cares about her teammates, serves as a great leader, and her desire to win… has led us to a [competitive] season.”
While Renelus does her job to rally her team, her current coach, Ms. Caroline Stedman, described her as a “coach’s player.” Coach Stedman expressed high praise for Renelus’s sacrifices for the other 13 players and the consistent effort which she has given from the winter of 2015 to this February.
While Renelus did not make the varsity team her freshman year, she worked hard and eventually stepped up to responsibility as a starter. “I made [the varsity team] my sophomore year but never really played often,” Renelus remembered. “It was a quick turnaround my junior year when I was starting and playing the whole game because we lost a lot of players. That made me a stronger player to just realize that I had to really shape up [for the team].”
Many of the players have followed Renelus’s example, and Coach Stedman says her girls make up one of the hardest working and competitive teams that she has been a part of since she’s been at Deerfield.
Renelus’s final advice to younger players: “Never feel discouraged [from lack of playing time] because your time will come… also keep working hard. For me, I didn’t play for half of my Deerfield career and then, things changed and [they] are going pretty well.”