Emily Gordon was ready to play her favorite position.
Gordon is a senior at Franklin Towne Charter High School, and for the last two years, she has been playing third base for the Warriors softball team.
It worked out great for her. She was good at the position, and it got her on the field early in her career. But her primary position was catcher, and after the Warriors graduated their top catchers a season ago, it created a void at the position.
Luckily they had one ready to take over, and she was looking forward to stepping right into the lineup and leading the team.
Then coronavirus hit, sending not just Gordon, but every spring athlete in the nation to the sidelines. And after a few weeks of postponing the season, the PIAA decided to wipe out the season when Gov. Tom Wolf decided to end the school year.
That didn’t just mean no softball, that meant no graduation, prom or any other event a senior would enjoy during their final few months of high school.
“I was disappointed because I love the school, and I was really looking forward to playing softball,” said Gordon, who lives in Torresdale. “We have a really good team, and the seniors wanted to play together again. The younger players will be back, but we’re done. I’m really disappointed about that, but I’m disappointed we aren’t going back to school. There was a lot of things that we’re not getting a chance to do now, so that was hard.”
It’s a tough way to end her Franklin Towne career, but it can’t take the shine off of four great years she had while attending the school and playing softball.
She also had a chance to be a captain of the team when she was selected to be a leader last year. This year, she was set to once again be a captain for first-year coach Paige McLinden-Lange.
That role was one she takes very seriously, and also one she’s pretty good at, which is why she was picked to be a junior captain.
“I think leadership comes pretty naturally to me,” Gordon said. “I really like doing it. I try to do it by being very positive and encouraging everyone. I love positive energy, and think if you bring that to the team, you can really help everyone. That’s the way I try to lead, and it’s worked well for me. I hope it works well for the team.
“I’m a happy person and I like to see everyone else be happy. I think that’s a big part of being a leader, you have to make sure everyone is having fun and working together to be a better team. That’s the way I try to lead.”
Last year, that leadership helped Franklin Towne enjoy a successful season. The Warriors finished 7-3 in the division and made a run in the playoffs before getting knocked out in the semifinals.
That led to high hopes this year before everything was wiped out. Coronavirus might have ended the chance at winning a Public League championship, but it hasn’t put a dent in the relationship of the players.
“We still talk a lot, we’re all good friends and we’re staying in touch,” Gordon said. “That’s one of the best parts about (Franklin Towne), you make a lot of friends at the school and we all are close. We have been talking the whole time. Since we stopped going to school, we still stay in touch.”
While softball is the only sport Gordon plays at the school, she’s very much involved in other activities.
She’s a mentor for younger students at the school, and also on the renaissance team, which plans pep rallies and other activities for the students.
When she’s not at school, Gordon can be found working as a lifeguard. In the winter, she lifeguards at Archbishop Ryan’s pool across the street from the school and in the summer, she works at Winchester Swim Club.
“I was a pretty good swimmer in grade school, and I like it, so it’s a good job for me,” Gordon said. “It’s a fun job. I hope we do it this summer.”
That would make it two great years in a row.
Last year, she was selected by her tournament team to go to the World Series in Washington, where she met players and was able to watch the game. She took her mom on the fun trip.
“We got to watch them warm up, and then we got to see the game, which was a lot of fun,” Gordon said. “It was a huge honor and so much fun. We both had a great time.”
In a few months, Gordon is bound for Lock Haven, where she will major in criminal justice. She has been in touch with members of the softball team and is leaning toward playing. She’s also looking forward to getting started in her college career.
“I knew I couldn’t have a job where I was going to just be sitting there, I wanted a job where you’re doing things all the time because I love to be active,” Gordon said. “It’s a job where you can help people, I like that, and I think it will be fun. Plus, you have to be a good leader, and that’s something I’m pretty good at.”