Amanda Lawson loved representing her school.
Lawson, a recent graduate of Archbishop Ryan, was a star on the Ragdolls’ basketball team during its surprising 17–6 season.
For the past four years, she was an outfielder on Ryan’s softball team, which claimed three Catholic League championships and this season advanced to the league semifinals.
She’s proud of all of those accomplishments, but being selected to be the school’s president was probably the highlight of her career.
“I was very happy to win because I love my school and I was able to do a lot of things as president,” said Lawson, who graduated from the school on June 5. “It was great getting to speak at graduation. There were about 3,000 people there. I was sweating, my palms were sweating, but I loved doing it because I love the school so much. I don’t know what I’m going to do now.”
She does know where she’ll be in September, however.
Lawson is University of Pennsylvania bound. She picked the school in January and she’s been looking forward ever since.
“I didn’t really think about going there until I talked to my mom,” Lawson said. “My mom works (as an administrative assistant at the Philadelphia School) and that’s right near Penn, and a lot of the teachers there have kids who go to there. When you decide early, you have to go where you pick. I had also applied to NYU and Villanova, but I knew I wanted to go to Penn, so when I picked it, I knew I could just focus on my senior year.
“My mom and I talked about it and then I fell in love with it. I love everything about it.”
That’s exactly how she felt about her high school, and the success she had in both of her sports greatly contributed to that love.
Winning was fun, but being with great teammates, she said, was even better.
“I told the freshmen girls, the best moments I had in high school was when we won championships because it’s such a great feeling to win with your friends,” Lawson said. “This year, I really wanted to win another but that didn’t happen. I was upset, mostly because when we lost, that was the end of playing with those girls. On both teams, we had a great team.”
Lawson found the most success in terms of championships in softball. But basketball is her main sport, and while she’s unsure of her college plans, if she plays anything, it will be basketball.
If she doesn’t, she hopes to still be involved with the Quakers’ hoops team, which is coached by Mike McLaughlin, a Father Judge grad and former women’s coach at Holy Family University.
If she’s not scoring for the Quakers, she’ll gladly keep track of who is pouring in the points.
“Playing at Penn is tough because it’s Division I, so if I do play, I’ll walk on,” said Lawson, who lives in Chalfont. “But I’m also thinking about becoming a manager if I don’t play. That would keep me involved.
“I haven’t talked to their coach yet, but I know people who know him and I definitely want to talk to him about it. I think for the most part, you keep the book and help out. I took AP statistics at Ryan, so it would be good to put that to use in the real world.”
Before she enters college, she has a busy summer planned.
Lawson will play in a summer basketball league with friends to stay in shape, just in case she decides to play at Penn instead of serve as a manager.
She also plans on spending time at the Shore with friends, and later in the summer, her family is taking a cruise.
“I can’t wait for the cruise, my whole family is going and a few of my aunts,” Lawson said. “A few years ago, we went on a vacation together to Disney and it was fun. This time, we’re going to Bermuda and St. Thomas.”
Lawson will need to rest up because in the fall, she’ll start a very challenging subject.
“I am going in undecided but I’ll probably major in pre-med because my goal is to become a doctor,” Lawson said. “Work in trauma or become an anesthesiologist. I want to find a job where I can help people. I started thinking about doing that because I watched Grey’s Anatomy, but that’s not why I want to do it. I think it’s a great job where you can help save lives and you can tell people that their (loved ones) are going to be OK.”
Penn is hard in every subject, and becoming a doctor is a daunting task. Then again, so was finishing among the top of her class at Ryan.
“I’m going to miss everything about Ryan, the people, my friends, the teachers, it’s like a second home to me,” Lawson said. “I can’t believe how fast it went. But I’m really excited about going to Penn. I’m sad and excited at the same time. It’s bittersweet, but I’m really looking forward to what’s ahead.” ••