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Pugh stars as senior leader at Hubert

Charlotte Pugh led St. Hubert to the Catholic League quarterfinals. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

It was definitely a different role for Charlotte Pugh.

Pugh is a senior on the St. Hubert High School basketball team, and growing up, she was always surrounded by great leaders.

Her big sisters.

Her oldest sister is Jasmine, 28. She also has two sisters whom she’s been playing sports with her entire life. Mackenzie graduated from Hubert last year, Payton graduated the year before that. So during her entire athletic career, she’s been playing with her big sisters.

This year, she is the big sister.

The Bambies are a young basketball team with two seniors. Pugh and Gianna Grassifulli are the lone 12th-graders on the team, so it’s their job to mentor the younger girls and show them what it means to play for Hubert.

It went amazingly well.

“I actually liked it, I like to lead, I like the feeling of being depended on and being looked up to,” Pugh said. “I think leadership is a really great quality to have. 

“Our role as captains was to lead and boost confidence. Anything a captain can do to lead the team and show the teammates how to act and how to play, and to never give up is the role. I think I learned it from my sisters, actually. I’ve always looked up to them my whole life. They led me throughout my career in grade school and high school sports.”

Playing with her sisters was a blessing and she’s grateful for the experience, but she’s proud of what she accomplished this year, too.

“I think this year I was able to be Charlotte, if that makes sense,” Pugh said. “It was good. My sisters are doing great things in college. Payton is playing lacrosse at Holy Family and McKenzie is doing everything at Penn State Abington. She’s playing volleyball, lacrosse and tennis. They’re my biggest supporters and it was great to play with them, but they supported me this year. We all support each other.”

Pugh recently wrapped up her basketball career as a Bambie following her team’s 55-25 loss to Cardinal O’Hara in the Catholic League quarterfinals. It capped off a tough season for the Bambies, who played well against the city squads, but struggled against the top teams from the suburbs. Those teams, though, like O’Hara, Archbishop Carroll, Archbishop Wood and Lansdale Catholic, are among the top teams in Pennsylvania, and will likely make a lot of noise come state playoff time.

But Pugh is happy she had a chance to go against some of the best players in the area.

“I feel like our motto is never let up and we played hard all year,” said Pugh, who played forward mostly but also saw time as an undersized center. “We have a piece of paper in the locker room, we hit it that says, ‘Never let up.’ It was our motivator. Since we are smaller, an inner-city school, and we didn’t have much height, we had to stay scrappy. We liked to be that team that nobody expected to be tough. That motivated everyone.

“We got better all year. The younger girls were quiet in the beginning, but we only had 16 girls. The freshmen and sophomores came out of their shells and it was really fun. We learned a lot about each other. It’s a team I will never forget.”

Basketball might be done, but Pugh will still be plenty busy.

On top of playing volleyball, where she made First-Team All-Catholic, Pugh is an outfielder on the Bambies’ softball team, and practice starts pretty soon for that.

Before that, she’ll be participating in the school’s Dance-a-Rama, a dance marathon that raises money for Our Lady of Confidence School for Handicapped Children. Not only will she dancing, she’ll also be in charge of helping with the money since she’s the student council class treasurer.

“It starts after school and you dance for hours without stopping,” Pugh said. “It should be a lot of fun. I think being an athlete will help me, I shouldn’t have a problem doing it.”

She has very little problem in school, too.

Pugh is ranked 12th in her senior class, and hopes to continue getting good grades in college. The goal is to also continue her athletic career.

“I’m not sure where I’m going to go, but I want to major in either premed or biochemistry,” Pugh said. “I want to become a dentist. I feel like first impression of anyone is their teeth. A smile goes so far. It’s the first thing you notice, I want to fix people who have a bad smile.”

And if given a choice, she’ll play volleyball.

“I always loved softball and volleyball, but I think this year volleyball won my heart,” said Pugh, who is a captain in all three of her sports this year. “I had a really good year. I think volleyball, I’m a shorter height so I can dabble in all positions, it’s a challenge to try everything and I like to play all the positions.”

Pugh loves challenges.

Whether she’s working as a landscaper helping her father cut grass in the summer or playing sports, Pugh is always up for trying new things. She’s also quite the musician.

“I’m a band kid, I play the saxophone,” Pugh said. “My sisters were, too, we were all in the band and orchestra. I play the saxophone. I love music, it’s kind of my next top thing after sports, it’s a gateway. The band is really important, it’s a different type of teamwork, everyone has their parts and we put it together like a puzzle.”

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