A libero with strong time management skills

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Lauren Wethman of Gloucester Catholic is preparing to serve in a match against Our Lady of Mercy Academy earlier this year. Wethman holds several school volleyball records and has participated in many school activities. She will graduate with a nursing degree from the University of Pennsylvania. (Marc Zimmaro)

Lauren Wethman is finally planning to enjoy some free time.

Maybe even a whole day.

Gloucester Catholic’s Class of 2021 does not plan to sit idle as long as she is passionate about pursuing the next step in her medical career at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I really exhaled,” Wethman said with a laugh. “But I have a lot to catch up with with nursing school diplomas next year and I’m getting ready. I’m still going to stay busy for a bit.

Wethman has had a fairly busy school career in both academics and athletics, featuring the team’s libero – the most late defensive player – in volleyball. She is the school’s record holder for One-Season Digs (628) and Quarry Digs (1,337) – not bad for a player who actually convinced her freshman coach to bring in the post of. libero at Gloucester Catholic – a somewhat complicated substitution strategy.

“She came to me and said, ‘Coach, do you think we could use a libero? “” Gloucester Catholic volleyball coach Pete Peterson recalls. “I said ‘Lauren, I have no idea.’ I didn’t know much about it or how to buy it or track it during the game, so she ended up coaching me.

This helped establish a solid foundation for the program for the next four years.

“I actually wrote my college essay about starting this job at GC,” Wethman said. “I wrote about this with passion because it really means a lot to me and holds a big place in my heart that Coach Pete was able to allow me to introduce something that we had never seen in the program. previously.”

Peterson coached Wethman’s first and second seasons before stepping down the following year. When the position reopened before Wethman’s final year, he agreed to return – on one condition.

“As soon as they gave me the job, I called Lauren right away,” Peterson said. “I said if I was to come back and train, I want you to be my captain. It’s because of his personality and his leadership on and off the pitch.

“She took it and the season was delayed and she did a great job keeping them together and keeping them up to date with everything that was going on. It was unbelievable. And when game day came, it was his day. I just let him run everything.

Wethman was a leader both on and off the pitch, which included cheering and student government. In addition to volleyball, Wethman played lacrosse, captained the cheerleader team, and helped manage the boys’ basketball team by keeping the statistics book. She was president of the Student Council, RAMbassadors and a member of the National Honors Society and the Ballroom Court, to name a few.

“It was just time management,” Wethman said. “My parents have always been a great help with this. They always told me and my brothers that it’s going to be busy as long as you’re a student athlete, which we all were. I guess I was able to learn these skills.

Wethman said she plans to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist. She will try to host a few intramural volleyball games on campus, but she is directly focused on making a difference in the medical field. It’s a passion she has had since volunteering during her summers at Cooper Hospital in Camden.

“I only did little things because we were just high school volunteers and couldn’t do much because of protocol,” Wethman said. “But we could help nurses and technicians and restock closets, talk to patients and little things like that. Just being in that atmosphere is something I knew I wanted to do for a career.

More recently, seeing nurses dealing with a global pandemic cemented her decision to work in health care.

“I always knew I wanted to pursue something in medicine just because I’ve always loved science since I was little, but I wasn’t sure exactly in what area (field),” Wethman said. “Then COVID really strengthened my passion for nursing. “

It was bittersweet for Peterson to see Wethman graduate, knowing he had lost one of the best players his volleyball program had ever seen. But he knows she’s destined for greatness in other areas, helping the greater good in just a few short years, just like she did in high school.

“You never want to lose your seniors, especially when they’re playing for four years,” Peterson said. “These are your part-time daughters. And players like Lauren, you only get them very often. For her, juggling all these different sports and clubs while being a valedictorian, that makes her an extraordinary child.

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