SPORTS

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June 3, 2005

Tressel left mark across U of C

A sports writer and former associate editor, a Maroons basketball player and club lacrosse player-coach and captain, an English department steering committee member, a Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sister, and an aspiring teacher and writer. She's participated in so many activities and sports that it's probably superfluous to write a column about her. If anybody's earned it, though, it's my friend and life mentor Carlee Tressel.

Carlee, as a sports staffer and the first associate editor to help me out, helped immeasurably with making this section into what you see today. She was one of our best writers, bringing her flair and attitude to the usual cut-and-dry recap. She also showed her journalistic versatility—just one small component of her wide writing repertoire, which includes poetry and fiction—with one of the best features we've ever run: a thorough look at our athletic recruiting.

For me, though, her mark was most felt behind the scenes, where she always kept things light with a great—and all over the place—sense of humor. The entire office loved her before she was even fully introduced.

According to teammates and coaches, Carlee had that same effect on the Maroons basketball team in her first and only year on the squad. Because of the team's new offensive scheme, she and all of her teammates had to relearn how to play basketball, and she grew as a player with them. In the end, despite her short career and role on the bench, she was so loved by her fellow players that she was considered as inseparable to the squad as any of the team's starters.

"No way we have the season we had without Carlee," said head coach Aaron Roussell, who, like his only fourth-year player, was a newcomer to the team. "I wish she was coming back next year. As a leader, she was a rock. We were fortunate to have her one year, and I know she'll be sticking around and stopping by to help the players and coaches."

Whereas apathy has lethargized many Chicago students by fourth year, Carlee took on two entirely new projects between basketball and editing. Though a stress fracture in her foot sidelined her before the basketball season even started, she recovered and came back to play in 11 games in her rookie year. She showed a great shooting touch, knocking down two-of-two threes January 18 against Benedictine, and delivered a punishing check for her first career foul. That's the same kind of enforcement she brought to deadlines on the paper.

Immediately after her first Maroons basketball season ended, Carlee laced up for her fourth year with Chicago's club lacrosse team. In a season in which the team rededicated itself to making a playoff push, she led the club to its first-ever postseason appearance.

In the end, Carlee proved herself as a player, a writer, an editor, a leader, a socialite, and most of all, as a friend. At least twice as baller as I could ever be, I leave you with Carlee's words from her poem "Sold Out." Thanks, C.

"Yeah, I know the game

better than you think,

and someday y'all'll envy

the deal I ink.

You must think I'm stupid

If you think I'm not thinkin'

‘bout my future gold mine.

I'll leave you

and you'll miss me too

‘cause I'll come back to haunt you."