Dubreuil has written her athletic history in East Lyme ... and rewritten it
There are times Jack Biggs, who coaches baseball and volleyball at East Lyme High School, thinks of asking Sophie Dubreuil, an outside hitter on the volleyball team, if she still has her baseball glove kicking around from her days as a Little League and Babe Ruth whiz kid.
Similarly, there are times Sophie will be in the hallway at East Lyme when she runs into one of the boys she played baseball and youth football against in middle school and elementary school. The former teammates will shove each other or feign dunking over one another.
Those sports will always remain a part of Dubreuil, a former football and baseball all-star.
Except now she's a senior. She's found her voice as a leader for the East Lyme volleyball team, where she was a member of The Day's All-Area team last season as the libero — or defensive specialist — for a Vikings team which went 19-5. And Dubreuil, also an All-Area pick in basketball, has committed to play that sport beginning with the 2020-21 season for Division II St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, N.Y., in the shadow of New York City.
Sophie Dubreuil has written her history as a part of athletics in the town of East Lyme ... and then rewritten it.
"Growing up with all these boys and playing the same sport as them, it's cool to see the sport I do play now that I am an older player," Dubreuil said following Monday night's two-and-half-hour 3-2 volleyball loss to Lyman Memorial.
"Noah (Perry), TJ Horner, Luke Leonard, they were all a part of my life growing up and we're still friends now. ... They still come up to my dad and say, 'What up, Pete?' And then, 'Hi, Mrs. Dubreuil.' For the football part ... I think I grew out of it. I always knew I wanted to play basketball. I think it was always (my favorite). There's a picture of me holding a basketball when I was 2. It was more natural.
"I had to pick something."
The old days: Dubreuil, 12, played and even pitched for East Lyme's Little League baseball team which won the District 10 tournament and reached the state tournament final in 2014. In 2013, when she was 11, she won the 11-12-year-old girls' division of Major League Baseball's Pitch, Hit & Run competition at Citi Field in New York and then followed by shagging fly balls at the MLB Home Run Derby prior to that summer's All-Star Game.
The old days: Dubreuil, in the autumn of 2015, played for East Lyme in the Southern New England Youth Football 14U Super Bowl, catching an 11-yard touchdown pass from Perry, the quarterback, to open the scoring. Dubreuil caught three passes for 28 yards in the game, as well as playing safety, returning punts and serving as the team's long snapper on extra points and field goals.
"We've been friends for a while," Perry said. "She was definitely always one of the best on the team. I mean, I was so used to her being on the team, I didn't look at it any different. ... She was definitely one of the only girls to play football, same with baseball; you don't see that a lot. Now basketball and volleyball ... you want everyone to be like that, giving full effort, stuff like that."
Now, Perry is East Lyme's varsity quarterback. Of Dubreuil's former baseball teammates, Chris Abbey is also an East Lyme senior and the defending Eastern Connecticut Conference cross country champion. Matt Malcom plays baseball at Eastern Connecticut State University.
And Dubreuil? Dubreuil is still making a name for herself athletically, too.
A 5-foot-5 guard, Dubreuil finished last basketball season averaging 13.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, along with 3.6 assists, 2.5 steals and 35 3-point field goals. She received first team All-ECC honors.
At the start of the current volleyball season, Biggs asked Dubreuil if she would move back to outside hitter from libero out of necessity. She did, but still found herself diving into the bleachers during Monday night's match against Lyman, during which she finished with 10 kills and nine digs.
"She just excels at all her sports," Biggs said. "I think if someone truly asked her (what she would want her legacy at East Lyme to be), she'd say, someone who's a good leader to the younger players and to be able to give back to the sports she plays. With Sophie, there are two things that come into play. One, she's a superior athlete; she moves not like an average high school player. She's quick and savvy at what she does. And two, she's a very coachable young woman that will do anything for her team."
"She is extremely tough and plays extremely hard. At the end of last year she really started to show some leadership skills I'm really proud of," East Lyme girls' basketball coach Sal Fiorillo said. "Besides athletics and everything, she's got some charisma. Her interpersonal skills are very strong."
Dubreuil is the fourth of Pete and Polly Dubreuil's five daughters. The youngest, Summer, is now a freshman on the volleyball team. Sophie's four sisters have all been competitive cheerleaders and maybe the only thing that annoyed them? Being known as "Sophie's sisters."
"My oldest sister is six years older and she still gets referred to as 'Sophie's sister,'" 21-year-old Sage Dubreuil, a student at Eastern Connecticut State, said with a laugh while watching Monday's match. "... Her passion is the same in every single (sport). I think she was definitely as passionate when she was young as she is now."
Dubreuil wants to teach, with the plan to major in early childhood education. Maybe she could coach, too, with all the sports she's played.
Maybe that starts now, as a senior, a role model for this East Lyme volleyball team which picked up its first win of the season Wednesday night against Waterford.
"We have good younger kids," Dubreuil said. "The freshman kids, sophomores now, they played a lot (last year). It's definitely ... it's different. I have a bigger voice. Me and (fellow senior) Mya (Delesdernier) have been playing with each other since we were freshmen. I try to make everything kind of fun. I always make jokes, always the positivity part; I don't want kids to feel down.
"In eighth grade I picked (volleyball) up and then (Biggs) helped me to be a varsity player. ... I still look back on all the people I played with."
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