Senior Spotlight Q&A w/ Olivia Rongo from Westhampton Beach High School

This week, Back Of The CAGE caught up with the #9 ranked senior on Long Island and from Westhampton Beach High School, Olivia Rongo for our weekly Senior Spotlight series interviewing a new senior each week.

Olivia Rongo, has proven herself playing as a Defensewoman in Westhampton Beach HS and now has chosen to serve James Madison University. Let's see what he has to say in our weekly Senior Spotlights Q&A series.

Q&A w/ Olivia Rongo

BOTC: What is your favorite saying from your Coach Mary?  
Olivia Rongo: Our team motto this year is “all in”. She has been saying this for years, but this year specifically we are focusing on it. As a program, we tend to be in a lot of games that are a little too close for comfort so when we say all in, we mean all or nothing. It reminds us to leave it all out on the field.

BOTC: How much extra motivation (if any) does it give to you personally and to your teammates in the short amount of time that you guys have been practicing together?
OR: We have a lot of younger studs on the team this year, so our time together was cut even shorter than COVID already made it. The team is a great group of girls and we all are very close which makes it easy to build our team. While working hard to make sure we have good connections on the field is important, we also do a lot of team bonding and give our friendships credit for our success. It takes motivation to get us going, but every single person on the field wants to be there and feels lucky to be able to, so it doesn’t take a lot to keep our motivation.

BOTC: How much more will you treasure this season as this will be the last time that you will be playing high school lacrosse before going on to play at the collegiate level?
OR: Knowing that this is my last year at the high school level makes it so much more special. Being able to play with all of the girls that I grew up with at a high level will always be one of my favorite parts of high school. Basketball season coming to an end was a very emotional moment for me, so I already know that lacrosse is going to be 10 times harder to let go of. While I am very excited for the next chapter of my life to begin, I am extremely sad that this one is coming to an end.

BOTC: What made you choose to attend James Madison University and what other colleges were you considering?
OR: I was at the game when JMU won the National Championship. I had never heard of James Madison before but after watching them play and being parked next to their parents tailgate (complete coincidence), the whole team's vibe stuck out to me. From watching my dad take selfies with the parents of the JMU players who he had just met to watching the sideline celebrations, the energy from the whole James Madison Lacrosse program was one I had never seen before. When it came to deciding on where I wanted to go, talking to the coaches and players just confirmed that what I had seen and experienced that day was not just a one day thing. That was their team constantly. Everyone at JMU is so nice and inclusive. Also after getting to know the coaches, I was reassured that they were who I wanted to play for. Every other college I talked to seemed like an amazing place to spend my next four years, but UConn and the University of Colorado Boulder were 2 of my other top picks.

BOTC: Are you superstitious and do you have any pre-game rituals?
OR: I am not very superstitious and don’t have any crazy pre-game rituals, but my Westhampton team does always write HHH (HEAD HEART HUSTLE) on our right wrist and the next jersey number up from ours on our left wrist to “play for” someone else on our team.

BOTC: What's on your playlist before games?
OR: We pass the playlist along throughout the years at Westhampton and add some songs each year. A few of our favorites songs are Reflections by MisterWives, All of the Lights by Kanye West, and Mr. Brightside by The Killers.

BOTC: Aside from the trainings, what are other hobbies you usually like to-do?
OR: I am an ocean lifeguard in the summer so obviously I like going to the beach. I also enjoy playing basketball, training younger kids, and hanging out with friends.

Rapid Fire Q & A's:  
  • Favorite Food & Drink? Food - Chipotle, Drink - Lemonade
  • Favorite Color? Blue and Purple
  • Favorite Movie? Safe Haven
  • Favorite Sports Team? New York Giants
  • Favorite Athlete? Alex Morgan
  • Favorite Season? Summer

See some of Olivia's career athletic accomplishments: 2019: Suffolk All League, Sufoflk Rookie of the Year, Under Armour All American Command Team Member, USA U15 National Combine Participant, Women's Professional Lacrosse League Development Program Championship Team Member; 2021: All County and Under Armour All American Highlight National Champion Team Member

Written By: Jes Ilagan
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See The List of Seniors Featured on The BOTC Senior Spotlight Series