For Chynna Dunneman, it was only a matter of time before her athletic efforts and leadership skills got recognized at a state-wide level.
That time came on February 3 when the senior girls’ lacrosse and basketball player represented Montclair High School at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
The NJSIAA recognized a female athlete from each school in the state of New Jersey, successfully bringing opponents together off the field in setting that promote female athletes supporting one another.
“It was a big honor to be recognized and have people say congratulations,” Dunneman said.
But it was the meaning of the day that resonated with Dunneman the most.
“To have a day for women and girls in sports means a lot. It’s showing that we’re starting to recognize a lot of females in sports and what they’re doing for our culture,” said Dunneman.
“Most of the time we don’t get recognized for things we do,” Dunneman said. “It boosted my confidence and it showed that you don’t have to do everything, as long as you put your all into it, you’re going to get recognized.”
Dunneman was nominated by basketball coach Emily Hall, lacrosse coach Ann Jennings and her teachers.
“Chynna is a young woman of great integrity,” Jennings said. “She is a great leader both on and off the field. She has the respect of her peers and teammates and is compassionate, confident and always has a positive attitude.”
This spring, Dunneman will put her leadership skills to the test as a captain on the lacrosse team and leader of the defensive line.
“A lot of the girls in each sport do look up to me and the other seniors. It’s good to have the underclassmen look up to us because it means that they’re listening and connecting with us. It just makes the team better because we’re all bonding together,” she said.
Coming off a 10-9 season, the Mounties will look for revenge in the NJSIAA State Tournament, after narrowly falling in the sectional semifinal to Mahwah by one point and in the Essex County Tournament, after dropping to Glen Ridge by two.
That’s probably what we’re most looking forward to, going back and getting the win we all know we deserve,” Dunneman said.
As a senior in her last go-a-round with the Mounties, however, Dunneman’s main priority is to go back to the basics of sports and just have fun.
“Since it’s my last season, I want to just enjoy it… and bond as a team,” she said.