As a young girl, Paige Wells was a cheerleader. For five years, she proudly chanted cheers and waved pom poms with a bow in her hair. Eventually, she grew tired of it and decided to pursue a different sport.
Coming from a family of diehard basketball fans, the decision to play was an easy one for Wells, and she instantly fell in love with the sport. At age 11, Wells channeled her enthusiasm into another challenge and took up field hockey.
Wells, now a senior, has played on both the varsity field hockey and varsity basketball teams for four years at Indian Creek.
“I originally started playing field hockey because I wanted to stay in shape for basketball, but I ended up really loving it,” says Wells, who will play basketball at The College of Wooster in Ohio. “I think I’m definitely more passionate about basketball.”
In a sense though, Wells has never completely abandoned the cheerleading mentality. She may have ditched the pom poms, but she continues to loudly and proudly root for others.
The 18-year-old, with the help of the head of the school and a few classmates, formed the Student Advisory Council her sophomore year after witnessing several conflicts at Indian Creek. The goal is to promote acceptance and kindness among classmates.
“It’s a way to meet new people and talk to people you’ve never talked to before,” Wells explains. “I feel like it’s important to meet people who don’t necessarily think the same way that you do or talk the same way you do. It’s a way to help everyone be a little more accepting of each other.”
Wells also volunteered for two years as a counselor for the STARs (Students Taking Academics Responsibility) summer scholarship camp at Indian Creek, a three-week program that helps disadvantaged minority youth prepare for high school academics.
Wells’ leadership skills are also apparent when it comes to athletics. Her teammates elected her co-captain of her field hockey team during her junior and senior years, co-captain of her basketball team in her senior year, and gave her the “Players’ Choice” award for field hockey in 2017. Wells, a shooting guard, helped lead the Indian Creek basketball team to the IAAM C Conference championship, where they defeated two-time defending champion Garrison Forest School, 43-36, to earn Indian Creek’s first league title.
“Where Paige truly stands out is her consistency of character,” says Head Varsity Field Hockey Coach Jesse Larson. “She’s always in a good mood and providing enthusiasm for the team.”
Despite her many extracurricular activities, academics have always remained the top priority for Wells. She’s challenged herself with several Advanced Placement and Honors courses, and made both Head’s List and Dean’s List three separate times. At the beginning of her senior year, she decided to leave her club basketball teams, the Maryland Hurricanes and Chesapeake Bay Breakers, so she could focus on school and begin preparing herself for college.
In the fall, Wells will be attending and playing basketball at Wooster, where she plans on majoring in Africana studies with a minor in psychology. After having attended Indian Creek (about 600 students), going for a small college was a no-brainer. With a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,980, Wooster checked that box. It took only one campus visit for her to commit to Wooster.
“I scheduled a meeting with the [women’s basketball] coach and did a tour of the campus, and after I was done, I was just like, ‘This is it,’” Wells explains. “The campus is great and everyone there is really nice. I just love it there. I feel college is a great opportunity to study and explore the things you like. I’m really excited to navigate through that. I’m honestly just really excited about all of it.”
This article was originally published in the March issue of What's Up? Annapolis magazine. Click here to see the full story.