Last week, student athlete Shaina Rosa was introduced as the Whiz Kid of the Week with her never-miss-school approach while also excelling in two sports.
This week, Patch is proud to present another young Fort Lee member of the community who also challenges herself with multiple sports and a tireless approach to success in the classroom.
Bernadette Darcy is an eighth grader at Lewis F. Cole Middle School. She plays three sports, one for every season of the school year, and also takes all four high honor roll classes that are offered to her.
“It’s a lot of work,” Bernadette said. “It’s good because you [can] have a work ethic and it prepares me for high school.”
So with classes that include honors civics, algebra, science and language arts, Darcy finds herself with a lot of homework every night, something she looks to as a positive rather than a burden.
“I push myself to the hardest so it keeps my options open,” said Darcy. “If I do a lot of work, it will look good for the future so I feel like it will pay off.”
Bernadette has long dreamed of attending Fort Lee High School and hopes to bring that dedicated approach with her in the fall too.
“She brings everything to the table,” Bernadette’s softball coach Mike Klein said. “She brings her ability and academics all into one. As a person goes, she is very mature.”
That also includes athletics where Darcy enjoys her time as a member of three different sports teams. Despite admitting to liking volleyball and having played tennis, Bernadette limits herself to just soccer, basketball and softball during the year.
She started playing soccer when she was in kindergarten, starting softball at the age of seven and beginning basketball more recently in fifth grade.
Bernadette has not decided if she will play soccer in high school along with the other two sports, but it has already influenced her toward more success in basketball.
“I’ve become a very good defender from soccer,” Bernadette said. “It’s the same thing where you have to watch the players and make sure they don’t score.”
As a forward on the traveling team and recreation squad for the Fort Lee Girls Basketball League, President Mike Klein has noticed Darcy’s growth offensively as well.
“She is an inside presence,” he said. “[Bernadette] started to rebound and hit eight to 10 foot jumpers in the traveling game.”
And that offensive burst continues into the spring season too when Darcy is a corner infielder in what she considers her favorite sport.
“It’s the spring time and that is my favorite season and I just love softball,” Bernadette said with a beaming smile on her face.
The sport can arguably be her best. With moments that include a game-winning run batted in during a 1-0 semifinal game and then a 3 for 3 performance in the championship with five more RBIs and another game-winner, Bernadette loves the pressure.
“Coaching third in the championship game, I called timeout and asked her if she was ok…game on the line here,” coach Klein remembered.
When asked if she could handle it, Klein remembers her simple answer:
“Absolutely. I’m going to do it.”
And then Darcy came through with a hit.
Bernadette admits it is a pressure that she puts on herself, but whether it has been in school, or in sports, Darcy has succeeded with that self-applied push to do all that she can.
“There is pressure but I always feel that I do better under pressure,” she said. “I like pressure. It motivates me to do better.”
Remarkably, Bernadette is also an environmentalist and strives to take extra steps to do her part for the planet.
“I care about the environment because I feel that if we don’t take care of it now, it will be a waste in the future,” said Bernadette, whose brother Patrick helped spark her interest.“We have to preserve the earth for future generations.”
Though she has not decided which profession to follow for a career, Darcy is a part of the future generations that she talked of and one in which she will do well in whatever she chooses to do, according to Klein.
“She could be a very successful lawyer, her dad is an accountant [where] she could go that route or she could be an environmentalist,” he said. “She is going to be successful.”
Darcy also has the support of her self-described close family as well as her religion that keeps her grounded and a helper to those around her.
“With my religion, I have a lot of morals and values that help me,” Bernadette said. “I am definitely a team player. I always want everyone to do just as well as I am doing.”
Darcy will play Wednesday night in the recreation basketball semi-finals of the eighth grade division playoffs for Sokolich & Macri when they play the StepMar orange squad beginning at 7 p.m. at Lewis F Cole Middle School.
Editor's Note: Know a great kid who made Eagle Scout or did your local soccer team take the championship? They may be our next Patch Whiz Kid honoree.
Each week, Fort Lee Patch will seek suggestions from readers for
individual kids, youth groups, teens, and even sports teams that wow us with their
accomplishments. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and
select one each week as the Patch Whiz Kid.
Submit your nomination in our comment box below or e-mail the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include all of the following information:
● Nominator's Name
● Nominator's E-Mail
● Whiz Kid's Name
● Whiz Kid's Age
● Whiz Kid's School
● Whiz Kid's Accomplishment
● Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness (what made him/her successful?)
If your nominee is selected, we'll contact you and asign a photographer to take a photo. For questions, e-mail email@example.com