Profiles in Sports: Coral Silverberg

Coral Silverberg

Athletes have a reputation for seeing college solely as a springboard for their professional sports career, often spending more time on the court or field than in a classroom. However, only the best of the best are able to compete at the professional level, and the majority of sports careers end in high school.

Malibu High School sophomore Coral Silverberg understands that she will probably never play volleyball in the Olympics or score the winning goal for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team. While she may be a two-sport varsity athlete, she puts just as much effort into her schoolwork as she does her training and conditioning.

In the fall, Silverberg was named the team captain of the junior varsity volleyball team. Recently, Silverberg became one of only three sophomores to make the varsity soccer squad, reprising her spot on varsity from last year. However, Silverberg knows that her future will probably not be in sports. In her two years of high school, she has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA and earned the Scholar Athlete Award both years.

As the soccer season gets underway, Malibu is hoping to not only defend its league title from last year, but also be in the hunt for a CIF title. After the Sharks won their home opener against Louisville, Silverberg spoke to The Malibu Times about the challenges of being a two-sport athlete and her goals for this season.

How do you balance your schoolwork with sports and other extracurricular activities?

I try my best to go in the morning or during lunch to talk to my teachers about any work that may have been incomplete due to sports-related trips or practices. I also have a tutor for math so that I can catch up on anything I missed on game days.

Are the relationships you have with your teammates different between sports?

The volleyball team is very different from the soccer team. The sense of humor and focus varies between the two teams, but some teammates stay the same for both sports. [Sophomore] Paige Stoker, for instance, is on both of my teams and we are really close. But I believe that in any sport, your relationship with your team members needs to be tight so that you can work well together on and off the court.

Is it hard to go from being team captain and a leader on one team to being one of the younger varsity players and having to defer to the upperclassmen on the other?

Not really. The way the two teams are coached is completely different, so in some ways it can be difficult at times to know when to talk and when to just listen. For the most part, I enjoy learning from girls like [senior] Caysie Beetley, because, in the end, it will benefit my playing ability to take all the advice I can get from girls like her who are setting league records. In all honesty, it can only make me better, so why not?

Do you see a career in sports in your future?

I might pursue a small scholarship for soccer in college, but soccer is the No. 1 played sport for girls in the nation, so the competition is not only extremely demanding, but a little unrealistic in my case. However, just because I’m not going to play for the national team doesn’t mean that when I’m older I wouldn’t enjoy coaching kids of my own someday.

Who were your sports role models growing up?

My sister Searra [a water polo player at Arizona State] and I were always very competitive when it came to sports because she could always beat me in the water but I could outrun her any day. I think the determination to beat my sister, who is three years older than me, has always motivated me to work really hard for what I want. Even now, she amazes me with what she has accomplished in her own play as a college athlete compared to where she was in high school, which was still incredible. It gives me something to look forward to as a growing athlete.

What are your expectations for this year’s soccer season?

This year there is no mercy. I want to win league just like last year, undefeated, and not only make it to the CIF finals, but also win CIF finals. I honestly think that this year we can take it all the way. Last year, we lost in CIF quarterfinals in penalty kicks after playing a man down for the second half. I still think we could have won, and this year we are all determined to win a ring.