Delaney Gin: A Star on and off the Turf

Delaney+Gin+getting+ready+to+make+a+play.

Danica Calalang

Delaney Gin getting ready to make a play.

By Gia Bexes, Staff Writer

Dribbling the ball between her cleats, sophomore Delaney Gin makes her way across the field and scores a goal for the team. Considering the fact that she has been playing soccer since she was in kindergarten, it is no doubt that Gin is a very strong athlete.

Being on Niles West’s varsity soccer team since freshman year is one of Gin’s major accomplishments in her lifetime. “My favorite memory was the first time I started on varsity. It was my freshman year against Glenbrook North. I was thrown into the starting lineup last minute, but I remember hearing the announcer say my name and it was so cool to hear it being said over the speaker,” Gin said.

“Her strength is in her vision, passing, as well as communication. She does well with her confidence and I am very proud of her,” her dad and Niles West’s College and Career Counselor Mr. Daniel Gin said.

Many athletes have certain role models they look up to, for Gin, this is her sister, Janine Gin. “I started playing soccer because my older sister Janine played soccer. I wanted to be just like her. If Janine was doing it, I would be doing it as well. I tried every single sport but soccer kind of just stuck. What’s special to me now is that we play beside each other, and we are both center backs,” D. Gin said.

“Playing with Delaney has been different than playing with anyone else because she is my sister, so do admit that I am a lot harder on her than anyone else, but that’s because I just want her to be the best soccer player she can be,” J. Gin said.

Last year, Gin had to fill the shoes of last year’s center back Danielle Boudakh. Gin learned a lot from watching her play. Playing for a majority of most of the games is something that Gin will never take for granted.

“I know what’s expected of me and I hold myself to a high standard,” D. Gin said.

“I’m proud of Delaney for making varsity as a freshman for Niles West. She is a committed player and she plays club soccer in the fall and trains in the winter. All of her hard work has been paying off as a team member and as an athlete,” Mr. Gin said.

“She is a very good teammate and has definitely improved as a leader since last year, Delaney also runs the soccer Instagram and she is really good at that and I know she has a lot of fun doing it as well” J. Gin said.

Something that was hard for Gin was when she was cut from the soccer team in 6th grade at her middle school. Even though she did end up playing later that year, she was devastated by this and it was hard for her to seek motivation to continue the sport she loved. However, she continued to work hard and later on made varsity in 7th grade and won the Little 9 championship that season.

Playing as an underclassman on varsity is very impressive, as many players on the team are juniors and seniors. “It is a huge responsibility to be on varsity as a sophomore, I’m so thankful for the coaches who recognized my abilities when I was a freshman and believed in me not only as a soccer player but also as a person. As a freshman, I was terrified to play with girls who were almost 4 years older than me, but I learned from my teammates and observed the style of play,” D. Gin said.

“Now, as a sophomore, I try my best to be a leader and help the new girls because I feel much more comfortable and at ease having a year under my belt. I think it’s very important for the new girls to be comfortable on the team and I’m always trying to support them,” D. Gin said.

Not only does it take the skills of the sport itself, but it takes a lot of leadership skills to be a great athlete and teammate. This is something that Gin has definitely mastered already as a sophomore.

Junior Maja Applequist agrees, “Delaney is a great player. She has improved so much this season and continues to be a big voice for our team. Not only does she play a big role on the field, but she is the best supporter off the field. She is always asking everyone how they are and is always looking out for her teammates.”

Not only does Delaney play soccer, but she is also involved in several other activities and sports here at West. Gin plays basketball for West and has been playing the sport for eight years. She is also the vice president of the sophomore cabinet, a math tutor, and is in many clubs such as Peer Reconciliation Club and Called 2 Christ Club. In her free time, she truly enjoys painting, baking, drawing, playing video games and writing in her journal. “I love journaling because I really enjoy writing, and it’ll be fun to look back in ten years to see what I was doing in high school,” D. Gin said.

Throughout high school, student athletes begin to think about whether they want to pursue their sport in their post high school journey. For Gin, playing soccer in college is a definite yes. Gin expresses that she would love to play soccer in college one day. “I’ve been looking at some schools right now and I’m very excited to learn more,” D. Gin added.

The life of a student athlete is a very busy one. “After school, I go to the trainer’s and talk to pretty much every person on my way there. Then, I either have practice or a game. After, I go home, eat dinner, work on my homework, help around the house, and then prepare for the next day,” D. Gin said.

One memory that really sticks with D. Gin is when she played her first 80 minute game. This was a really big deal for her and she had to prove to herself that she could do it. The first game she played against was Marine Leadership Academy. “I remember being on the bus and my legs were shaking so much because I was so nervous and didn’t know what to expect after having a year off without playing with this team. As soon as the final whistle blew, I was so happy. Not only did we win, but as a freshman, I dreamed of the first time I would play my first full 80 game,” D. Gin said.

The future is bright for Gin; her teammates and the rest of the community is looking forward to seeing what else she can achieve.