Rams to Watch: Chris Rindov and Kaelyn Mashburn

Aidan Brami and Jack Welch

Chris Rindov – Boys Soccer

He joins varsity soccer for the first time already with his own accomplishments: he has won the Maryland state cup, and he is a team captain with his club soccer team, the Olney Boys and Girls Club (OBGC) Rangers.

Even though senior Christopher Rindov has attended Rockville High School the past three years, he has not played varsity soccer due to his demanding club team schedule.

On his club team, Rindov is known for being a leader as well as one of the team’s best players.

“Chris is one of our team’s most technically sound players. He’s a great passer and doesn’t have any real weaknesses on the field,”  OBGC Rangers coach Pete Wood said.

Rindov’s love for the game came from an illuminating moment as a child.

“The first time I remember watching soccer was the 2006 world cup finals, when Italy beat France in penalty kicks,” Rindov said. “After that game I fell in love with soccer and have been attached ever since.”

Rindov plays the center back position, which is similar to playing defenseman in other sports like lacrosse and hockey. Last year, five senior defenseman graduated from the team, so Rindov’s presence fills that void.

“He’s a very commanding center back and fills the leader role very well, which is really important for our back line and keeping our defensive shape. He’s also a huge threat from set pieces, I don’t think we’ve played a team that can win a header over him,” senior forward Samuel Wells said.

Even though most defenseman do not focus on scoring, Rindov is looking to contribute to all facets of the team.

“This season I want to score at least five goals and help Rockville get past at least the first round of the playoffs,” Rindov said.

While he has personal and team goals, Rindov also hopes to become the leader he was on his club team, as he left a lasting impression on his teammates.

“Chris is a teammate who will give 110 percent every single play. He does not give up no matter what and will pick you up when you’re getting down on yourself,” OBGC Rangers teammate Dike Nnawuchi said.  “Since I play goalkeeper and he plays center back he protects me like no other, he’s like my knight in shining armour.”

One of Rindov’s immeasurable qualities that sets him apart is his toughness. He is not afraid to get physical on the field or play through an injury. Last season’s regional final for the Rangers tested his strength in a high-pressure game.

“There was about 10 minutes left in the game, and I got elbowed hard in the head. It started to bleed a lot so I had to be taken out to get it cleaned up. While this was happening the other team was putting on a lot of pressure but we were still tied 0-0. After I was cleaned up we went on to score and win the game,” Rindov said.

In the future, Rindov hopes to play soccer in college and is currently being recruited by Colgate University and the Air Force Academy.

“For Chris to take the next step, he needs to improve on guarding faster players and not letting balls bounce,” Nnawuchi said.  “I have no doubts Chris will clean this up and while I’m not sure where Chris will continue his career, wherever he goes he will be a welcomed addition to the team and play an essential role in that team’s future success.”


Kaelyn Mashburn – Field Hockey

Talking with junior Kaelyn Mashburn, her passion for field hockey is clear as she touches on the subject constantly, telling stories about her recent games.

Mashburn has grown into her position as a key player for the girls varsity field hockey team. With experience playing on club teams such as Riptide and Washington Wolves, Mashburn has honed her skills through years of practice and numerous games in which she experienced the upside of success but also the downside of failure. She has learned the game of field hockey by dedicating herself to the sport.

I push myself to higher standards, so people may think that I played well but I’m not always satisfied,” Mashburn said.

Mashburn has pushed herself on the field for varsity field hockey but also in many other distinguished venues such as the National Field Hockey Showcase, the Disney Showcase, the National Indoor Tournament (NITs) and most recently, the National Field Hockey Festival this fall.

“I love being able to meet so many different teams from different places and see how their skills and playing differs from mine,” Mashburn said. “You also get to team bond a lot because you are skipping school together to play the sport that you love in a place that is dedicated to field hockey.”

Mashburn’s dedication on the field also translates off the field as she maintains a 4.0 grade-point average (GPA), while taking rigorous courses that are included in the IB course pathway.

“She is a leader in class discussions, she’s not afraid to argue with her classmates while giving back constructive criticism,” IB Psychology teacher Christine Zafonte said. “She is a determined and motivated individual.”

Mashburn’s dedication seems to come naturally. She has fallen in love with the process of improving her field hockey skills, she said. In practice she puts forth as much effort as she does in games because over the years she explained how she has learned that pushing herself every time she is playing is the best way to keep herself and her teammates prepared.

“I really stress practicing how we play because it’s so easy to slack off and then play that way in the game. So by practicing hard and motivating my team, we have better success on and off the field,” Mashburn said.

When Mashburn is not putting everything on the field for varsity field hockey, she is traveling with her club team, the Washington Wolves, ensuring she keeps up with her skills.

“Kaelyn always knows where to go on the field, her hits are always powerful, which sets us up for an opportunity to score,” Wolves teammate and Sherwood High School sophomore Ashley Button said.

As Mashburn is only a junior, she is looking to continue building on her skills this season and eventually playing field hockey at the collegiate level.