Like mother, like daughter on the field

More stories from Lily Williams

Fruit or food?
August 15, 2019

Special to the Gazette/ Ashley Bartles

Lindsey Poulos poses with her mother, Michele Granger on the softball field after softball practice.

   After 10 years of hard work and dedication, softball player and senior Lindsay Poulos was recruited in December to play for the Harvard University softball team.

  “Harvard never crossed my mind until this past November,” Poulos said. “I always wanted to play in college, and that has been a goal of mine since I was little. I never thought I would be able to get into Harvard, but here we are.”

  Although Poulos will be juggling an extreme level of academic competitiveness while also giving her full commitment to a team, she doesn’t seem to be worried, confidently relying on Harvard’s support system for athletes.

 “One of the great things about Harvard is the help they offer their athletes,” Poulos said. “I have a big support system, and so while I know it will be hard to balance softball and school, I am confident I will be able to do it with their help.”

I never thought I would be able to get into Harvard, but here we are.

— Linsday Poulos

   This remarkable athletic success seems to run in the family. Poulos’ mother Michele Granger was a gold medalist in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

  For the duration of Poulos’ years playing softball, she has had a former Olympic softball player – who is also  her mother – as a coach.

  Poulos said she appreciates the softball legacy in her family and how it has ultimately helped her advance in her athletic skills.

  “I have had a coach since I was little that knows what she is talking about – this has been key for me,” Poulos said. “Her achievements have set expectations for me in the softball community that I have always strived to achieve.”

   From a young age, Granger had her daughter Poulos take part in athletics, mainly focused around softball.

As a mother, I am thrilled… As a coach, I feel privileged

— Michele Granger

 “When my kids were little they all played T-ball,” Granger said. “Then the boys went on to baseball and the girls onto softball. I am sure I put the kids in those sports because they were part of what my childhood experience was, and I wanted it to be part of my kids’ experience as well.”

  As a coach and a mother to her daughter, Granger has no doubt Poulos will succeed academically and athletically.

   “As a mother, I am thrilled that Lindsay has found a school and athletic program that will help her fulfill her potential as an athlete and as a student,” Granger said. “As a coach, I feel privileged to have been able to participate and watch Lindsay grow as an athlete and a leader on the field.”

  Like mother, like daughter – both athletes practiced everyday for years on end to achieve their goals.

  Jenny Allard, the Harvard softball coach, is certain Poulos will thrive in her studies and her sport at Harvard.

  “I began following Lindsay since she was in eighth grade,” Allard said. She has the maturity to balance the academic and athletic demands of being a student-athlete at Harvard.  Her personally qualities are a great match for Harvard softball.”

  Allard said there is a certain kind of  student and athlete she looks for throughout the recruitment process. Poulos’ opportunity came not only because of her athletic abilities, but also because of her attitude on the field and in the classroom.

No one deserves this more than her.

— Ashley Bartles

  “In addition to being a strong student and capable athlete in softball, we look for students who are passionate about softball – who love to play the game, who work hard, have shown necessary discipline, (and) work well with others on common goals,” Allard said.

  Poulos’ best friend and teammate of 10 years, senior Ashley Bartles, could not be more proud and appreciative that she was able to watch Poulos grow into this diligent, future Harvard athlete.

  “I teared up when I found out Lindsay was admitted to Harvard,” Bartles said. “No one deserves this more than her.”

   Bartles said her friend’s determined persona and persistent mindset is what will ultimately guide Poulos to success at Harvard.

  “Lindsay’s biggest strength is her work ethic,” Bartles said. “Everything she does is done thoughtfully and consistently.”