Alyssa Ogle was able to pull off the difficult feat of competing with intensity while displaying congeniality. Unrelenting as a competitor, Ogle also knew how to have fun. The really good times went to those who were able to coach Ogle.
Through four years at Moorestown she earned 12 varsity letters, all-American status, several championships, and, more important, the undying respect of those whose job it was to guide her teams.
Ogle was recently named The Inquirer's South Jersey lacrosse player of the year, and now she has added the bigger prize, this season's Inquirer South Jersey female athlete of the year.
Those 12 varsity letters were split evenly with four apiece in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. She will continue her education and lacrosse career at Duke University, and her personality will be remembered as much as her athletic ability, which is saying something.
"I absolutely love her in every aspect as an athlete, as a person," Moorestown lacrosse coach Deanna Knobloch said.
First, the athletic part.
Ogle was a four-year varsity performer on what was clearly the best lacrosse program in the state and one of the top nationwide. Moorestown has won 10 consecutive Tournament of Champions titles.
This season, despite suffering from a bad back, Ogle had 56 points with 23 assists and will compete in the Under Armour all-American Game on June 27 at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.
In lacrosse, she did more than just win games. Her ability to play through pain brought yet another level of respect.
"She is the toughest, hardest working athlete I ever came across," said Knobloch, who is 355-22-4 in 18 seasons as the Quakers' lacrosse coach. "I wish I could bottle up everything about Alyssa and give it to other athletes."
While Ogle realized lacrosse would be her sport of choice early on, she treated the other sports as its equal, meaning there was no letdown.
In soccer, she began her career on offense, but as a junior moved to defense, and had the job of marking the opponent's most dangerous scorer. Her teams would win four consecutive conference titles, and this season she earned all-conference honors.
"Every now and then, you get one of those girls who come around who is the ideal student-athlete," soccer coach Bill Mulvihill said. "The best thing about Alyssa is that all the success never went to her head."
At 5-foot-8, Ogle wasn't the tallest of players in basketball, but she was the second- leading rebounder on a Moorestown team that earned a berth in the South Jersey Group 3 playoffs. First-year coach Chris Hill would use her at shooting guard, small forward, and sometimes power forward.
"She had a great sense of humor and would get you laughing and was one of those kids who was always intense, but kept it in balance," Hill said.
The success that Ogle garnered in sports translated off the athletic fields. She is an accomplished student and trained as a classical pianist. For Ogle, every activity was something to be cherished.
"I was so involved in four years that it really became a lifestyle," she said. "I will miss the coaches because they helped me so much, and I'll miss my teammates."
Most of all, she will miss competing in three sports, now just concentrating on lacrosse.
What she thrived on at Moorestown was the competitive environment at a school that offers one of the top academic and athletic programs in South Jersey.
"You were presented with challenges at Moorestown, and it was a very competitive school academically and athletically," she said. "It was really tough, but all the hard work was definitely worth it in the end and I definitely took a lot from my experience at Moorestown."
And she gave a lot back as well.
"She was just one of those likeable kids," Hill said. "She thrived on being challenged and her attitude was, 'Coach, challenge me and I will give you the result.' "
Probably the most difficult task was keeping Moorestown's incredible T of C lacrosse streak in tact. Despite her bad back, Ogle scored three goals in the Quakers' 11-8 win over Mountain Lakes in the championship.
"Nobody wants to be on the team that was remembered for losing," she said. "It was a ton of pressure and everybody stepped up."
With all she has accomplished and the accolades that came with it, one would think that a big challenge would be keeping your feet on the ground. It's another situation that Ogle aced.
"She never thought she was better than anybody," Mulvihill said. "She was just a great girl to coach."